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The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ask Motor-Mike and Ed.


Part Twenty - Q&A 476 - 500

476. I have a 2001 PT LE, w/heated seats. I just started using my driver side seat heater this season, but it doesn't appear to be working. I took it to the dealer and they indicated that the heating element was damaged and needed replacing. Can I repair it, or must it be replaced? Thank you. - Carl, from Washington.

The heated seat system includes two seat heating elements in each front seat, one for the seat cushion and the other for the seat back. All models use two carbon fiber mesh heating elements for each seat that are connected in parallel with the Heated Seat Module (HSM). The temperature sensor is a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistor. One temperature sensor is used for each seat, and it is located on the seat cushion heating element for all models. The seat heating elements are glued onto the seat and seat back cushions. The heated seat elements and the temperature sensor cannot be adjusted or repaired and, if faulty or damaged a new service part must be installed. See the Seat Element Removal guide in the Pit area for the complete procedure.


477. While performing routine maintenance on my 2001 PT I decided to check the fluid levels. I noticed what appeared to be air in the steering fluid reservoir, which I haven't seen before, is this normal? - Mallory, from South Carolina.

According to the service manual aerated fluid will appear with bubbles or foam, somewhat like champagne, when viewed through the reservoir fill opening, and can be caused by the following conditions:

1. Low fluid level - to rectify fill power steering fluid reservoir to proper level.

2. Air leak between power steering fluid reservoir and pump - to rectify inspect for proper sealing. Replace the power steering pump (with reservoir).

3. Cracked power steering pump housing - to rectify replace the power steering pump.

Note - Extremely cold temperatures may cause power steering fluid aeration, if the power steering fluid is low.


478. Our 2002 PT Dream Cruiser w/2000 miles recently started to produce a puff of blue smoke when started. No other "oil burning smoke" is seen after starting. I am guessing a valve guide leak, but I'm surprised that it's occurring on an engine with low mileage. The engine has to sit for a couple of hours or so for the smoke puff to develop; restarting soon after the engine is shut off produces no visible smoke. Any thoughts? - Jim, from California.

Your valve guide theory is a good one. I've also seen thick oil viscosity cause this. Be sure you used the correct weight when changing the oil. Get it to your dealer and let it sit overnight so you can reproduce the concern. A videotape proof is also helpful.

On the 2003 PT Turbo models blue smoke from the exhaust could mean:

1. Oil return line blocked
2. Engine breather clogged
3. Turbocharger shaft seals damaged


479. I have a 2001 LE PT and have read several articles concerning tire pressure; the sticker on the Cruiser states 34psi cold with 865 lbs. maximum weight. Since 75% of the time its just me in the car, I feel that I get a better ride (handling and softer) at 30psi then 34psi. Am I causing tire damage by running at 30psi? - Sparky, from Illinois.

We don't profess to be tire experts, however I would follow the sticker instructions and fill the tires to 34psi up to the maximum weight limit of 865 lbs. Underinflated tires are dangerous, reduce mpg and accelerate tire wear at the shoulder of the tire and or crack tire treads.


480. I have a 2001 LE PT and would like to install an electric oil pressure gauge, which has a sending unit. I was told there is a place on the block that has a plug that can be removed and the sending unit can be installed there, is this correct? Thanks. - Jack, from Maryland.

We have received several questions, which are similar to yours. Unfortunately, we don't have an answer for you, and none of our visitors has informed us how they addressed the problem. We have been referring these questions to the PT forums, and more specifically, Bob Stockum's posts. He's done a good deal of engine rebuilding and knows the best location for the tie in.


481. I have a 2001 PT and recently had the oil changed and the vehicle checked out for an intermittent starting problem at a local shop. The technician indicated that the battery needed replacing. If I decide to DIY, what kind of replacement battery should I purchase? Thank you. - Alex, from Maine.

Be certain that a replacement battery has the correct Group Size number, as well as Cold Cranking Amperage (CCA), and Reserve Capacity (RC) or Ampere-Hours (AH) ratings that equal or exceed the OEM specification. This information can be found on the original equipment battery label.

Battery Classification & Rating - PT 2.0/2.4L

BCI Group Size Classification: 26R
Cold Cranking Amperage: 510
Reserve Capacity: 92 Minutes
Ampere-Hours: 50
Load Test Amperage: 255


482. I have a 2002 LE PT and recently purchased an AOOGAH horn to replace the OEM horn. Where is the original horn located and how do I access it? - Steve, from North Carolina.

The OEM horns are located in the forward wheel well area on the passenger side of the vehicle for the 2001, 2002 and 2003 model years. The 2002 service manual indicates that they are located in the driver side wheel well area, however that is a misprint. To access the horn disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable. Then, remove the left front wheelhouse splash shield.


483. I have a 2002 TE PT TE w/OEM painted 16" cast aluminum wheels. With 22K miles on the PT I recently tried to rotate the tires, which had been rotated once before by a professional at about 10K miles. The rear wheel came off fine, but the front wheel would not come off after the lug nuts were removed. I was reluctant to pull too hard on the wheel since the car was on a floor jack rather than a lift. At this point I put the wheels back on the car and took it to a professional to rotate the tires. They told me that they use a rubber mallet to break the wheel loose if needed. Is there anything that I should/could do to keep the wheels from being difficult to remove? I can also add a rubber mallet to my tire changing tools if needed. Thanks for your help. - Tom, from Illinois.

A rubber mallet, torch, or BFH are all tools that will be used on occasion with reluctant wheels. It's the metals bonding together that cause the problem. Late 70s T-birds were so bad for this that they sometimes destroyed the wheels removing them.


484. I have a 2001 PT LE w/15k miles. Have you had any complaints about what seems like a knock from the bottom of the engine at idle? I have this noise, but it goes away when the gas peddle is pressed. At cold starts, it occurs when the car starts to warm up and the engine idle slows down. I read somewhere that the knock sensor doesn't work in idle. I hear this noise more from the side by the front wheels, not from the top of the motor. - Steve, from the USA.

You need a mechanic to determine if it's a piston rod knock or a normal sound. The knock sensor listens for pinging from pre-ignition / detonation, not engine failure. The origination of a sound or the severity of a sound is impossible to diagnose via the web. We have not had any complaints of bearing failure.


485. I have a 2001 BE PT and noticed that when I turn a corner every once in a while my break light and chime go off. What can cause this? - Sharon, from Colorado.

It's difficult to diagnose online, but it may be that the brake fluid is low in the reservoir, which could cause the low fluid alarm to activate. Adding a little brake fluid will cure this. The problem is caused by wear in the brake pads. As they wear, the fluid must fill the brake calipers. This fluid comes from the reservoir. You should have the brakes inspected for wear and needed replacement. Many PT owners have needed brakes between 18K and 24K miles.


486. I recently purchased a used 2001 LE PT w/50K miles and really enjoy it. With the change of (fall) seasons upon us, I have noticed that the car stalls when it is cold, but runs perfectly when it is warm. Do I need to return to the dealer to get it fixed or is there something I can look at? Thank you. - Chris, from West Virginia.

There are several sensors and solenoids that can cause stalling. The diagnostics to determine the cause will require a scanner, meter, diagnostic manuals and charts, and a working knowledge of the engine operating system. To tell you to replace the IAC valve without any testing would be wrong. There are also a few systems that are not monitored by the PCM. They could let the motor stall without an engine code turning the (MIL) light on.


487. Now that the PT has some additional hp I'm thinking about purchasing a 2003 PT Turbo. I know a little about turbos, but what is this cool down period that I've read about? Thank you. - Allen, from Wyoming.

The most common turbocharger failure is bearing failure related to repeated hot shutdowns with inadequate "cool-down" periods. A sudden engine shut down after prolonged operation will result in the transfer of heat from the turbine section of the turbocharger to the bearing housing. This causes the oil to overheat and break down, which causes bearing and shaft damage the next time the vehicle is started.

Letting the engine idle after extended operation allows the turbine housing to cool to normal operating temperature. The following chart should be used as a guide in determining the amount of engine idle time required to sufficiently cool down the turbocharger before shut down, depending upon the type of driving and the amount of cargo.

Turbocharger Cool Down Chart

Driving Conditions

Idle Time Before Shut Down

Normal Driving

Not required

Aggressive Driving or Heavily Loaded

3 Minutes

Trailer Tow

5 Minutes

See the Systems Index in the Pit area for complete information on the Turbocharger.


488. I have a 2001 TE PT. The electrical lifting mechanism in the front windows stopped working suddenly and I cannot find the fuse that is controlling this function. The rear windows are working fine. I hope someone can assist. Thanks. - Mar, from Norway.

Circuit breaker #2 powers all 4 window motors. If the rear are working and the front are not, the failure must be in the express down module. This is built into the front window switch assembly. The part is a dealer item only and should be covered under the warranty.


489. I have a 2002 PT and have been experiencing a problem with the battery discharging to a point where it's difficult to start the car. Is there anything I can check to determine what the problem is? Thank you. - Larry, from Connecticut.

According to the service manual any of the following conditions can result in abnormal battery discharge:

1. A faulty or incorrect charging system component.
2. A faulty or incorrect battery.
3. A faulty circuit or component causing excessive ignition-off draw.
4. Electrical loads that exceed the output of the charging system. This can be due to equipment installed after manufacture, or repeated short trip use.
5. A faulty or incorrect starting system component.
6. Corroded or loose battery posts and/or terminal clamps.
7. Slow driving speeds (heavy traffic conditions) or prolonged idling, with high-amperage draw loads in use.

Most of these conditions require further system diagnosis and testing. The procedures are provided in the service manual, and may require the use of specialized test equipment. A trip to the dealer may be in order for proper diagnosis.


490. I recently took my 2002 LE PT to the dealer and had the "fuel tank foam seal" recall addressed. I was not having any problems with my PT prior to this visit. I get the car back from the dealer, and the automatic door locks are going berserk. The symptoms are fast, erratic and intermittent behavior. This occurs when the car is parked and occasionally during fast acceleration and quick braking. I have even parked the car, stood and waited, and sure enough the door locks go wacky with very rapid irritating sounds. When I took the car in for recall I watched the technician unhook the fuel tank and disconnect the wiring. Is there anything (wiring, etc.) down there that would cause this to happen? Did disconnecting the electric wiring from the fuel tank cause some type of electrical glitch in my PT? Thanks. - Shelby, from Florida.

Either something made your lock module decide to call in sick, or there may be a bad ground connection where the tech was working. A bad ground can cause all kinds of RF radio frequency to sneak into the electrical system. It can cause all kinds of static. Take it back to the dealer and have them check it out.


491. I have a 2001 LE PT and would like to know where the starter is located? - Ramon, from Arizona.

thumbnailIt's located just below the plastic intake manifold on the front of the engine.


492. I own a 2002 LE PT. The outside temperature indicator on the overhead console (next to the compass) tends to read 3-4 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside. The local dealership said that this is "normal" and there was nothing they could do to fix it. I've owned other Chrysler vehicles and they all read the outdoor temp correctly. I don't think they either know how to fix it or don't want to mess with it. Your thoughts? - Tony, from Tennessee

We've received one other similar complaint and have been told the same thing. The owner manual explains that, under some circumstances, it may take a few miles of driving to get a good reading. This is because the sensor is placed in front of the radiator, which might help explain the higher temperature reading you mentioned. The residual engine heat from the radiator effects the sensor when the car isn't moving.

The service manual indicates that the sensor is not adjustable and must be replaced when faulty. There are two diagnostic tests (sensor and circuit) that your dealer can perform to determine if the sensor is working correctly. Complete system information is available in the Pit area.


493. I have a 2001 TE PT w/43K miles on it. How can I tell if the lower right motor mount is broken? - Stacey, from Hawaii.

Motor mounts don't fail very often on new vehicles. It would certainly be a warranty job.

With the parking brake applied and a foot placed firmly on the brake, apply light throttle in park and reverse. If the motor tries to jump and swing out of the engine bay, a mount may have failed.

The Pt's engine mounting system consists of a four-point system utilizing two load-carrying mounts and two torque struts. The load-carrying mounts are located on each frame rail. The right mount is a hydro-elastic mount and left mount is a conventional elastomeric isolator. The two torque controlling struts are attached at the front of the engine, straddling the right side load-carrying mount. The upper strut connects to the suspension strut tower and the lower to the suspension cross-member. The left and right mount removal procedure is included in the service manual.


494. I own a 2003 PT Turbo. I plan to switch over to Mobil 1 (synthetic) as soon as the engine break-in period is over. The Turbo uses a larger (1/2 quart) oil filter. It is Mopar P/N 04781452AA. Is the Purolator Pure One Filter PL20252 a good replacement for the Mopar filter? The PL20252 filter is the exact same external dimensions and has the same spin-on fitting size as the OEM filter. The PL20252 was originally used on the 924 Porsche Turbo, so the application is pretty similar.

I made the first oil and filter change at 500 miles, replacing the factory oil with Valvoline 5W-30 oil. I plan to change over to Mobil 1 oil at 2000 miles. Is this engine break-in period sufficient?

Most Turbo car manufacturers (87-90 Chevy Corvette Turbo option and Porsche Turbo, to name two) specify the use of synthetic oils to reduce choking and improve lubrication at high temperatures. What is DC's position on synthetic oils? - Steve, from California.

I suggest that you contact the filter manufacturer technical department for a cross-reference. The bypass valve pressure specifications and the anti-drainback valve design may not make your filter a good choice.

2K miles is fine for synthetic conversion. DC's viewpoint, from page 0-2 of the 2003 service manual, states:

Synthetic Engine Oils

There are a number of engine oils being promoted as either synthetic or semi-synthetic. If you chose to use such a product, use only those oils that meet the American Petroleum Institute (API) and SAE viscosity standard. Follow the service schedule that describes your driving type.


495. I have a 2001 LE PT. Using the directions I found on the site I changed the front disk brake pads, then refilled the master cylinder with new brake fluid. Now the brake system behaves as if there is no fluid in it. I've pumped the brakes repeatedly; the pedal goes to the floor, and the brakes do not engage. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. - Wayne, from Texas.

Your description of the problem is somewhat symptomatic of air trapped in the brake system lines. Normally, this is not an issue you would encounter using the brake pad replacement guide on the site. Try the "Standard Procedure - Base Brake Bleeding" guide found in the Pit area to resolve the problem.


496. I have a 2001 LE PT with an air intake modification. My engine light came on last week and went away later on that day. Then it came on again last night and it's still there at this moment. I did the self-test and discovered the following fault codes:

P1684 - The battery has been disconnected within the last 50 starts. (I replaced my battery a few months ago and know I have started my PT more than 50 times since then.) P1193 - Inlet air temperature sensor voltage is wrong. What does this mean? Thanks for your help guys. - Rick, from New Jersey.

You will need a (DRB) scan tool to clear the battery fault code, it won't clear itself. Fault code P1193 indicates that the intake air temp sensor voltage is too high. This sets any time the voltage exceeds 4.9 volts. The PCM sends voltage from pin 52 via the black w/red stripe wire to the sensor. The black w/light blue wire is the ground. You should not measure more than 5.5v with the ignition on the connector unplugged.

Possible causes are:

Bad ground circuit (several other sensors share the same ground point, so this is unlikely)
Open circuit from the PCM to the IAT
Intermittent connection

Since you have added an air intake, you may have messed with this sensor during the installation. My best guess is a bad connection or sensor.


497. I have a 2001 LE PT and just completed the front pad replacement using the guide on the site. Now, I find that there's a brake fluid leak that I simply can't stop. Fluid appears to be escaping from behind where the square shape mates to the caliper. I've tightened the "banjo bolt" as much as I can. When I apply pressure to the brake pedal, the leak is fairly minimal, more of a quick ooze, than a drip. Nonetheless, it accumulates and drips onto the inside of the wheel, then the wheel slings it around the wheel well. Thank you. - Wayne, from Texas.

The bolt sounds like it was loosened at some point. This is not supposed to occur using the guide. Check for a copper crush washer sealing the bolt. If so, the washer is not meant to be reused. Any professional auto parts store should have them.


498. I have a 2001 LE PT and plan to add a Nitrous Kit with minimum boost - more show than go! Are there any issues to watch for? Thanks. - Dale, from Florida.

Even minimum boost can cause damage if you run a lean mix. Follow the tuning directions exactly. I recommend that you grab a few good nitrous books at your local speed shop. The more you know about the theory and operation, the better you'll be at tuning.


499. I have a 2002 LE PT. I used a floor jack to rotate my tires on my cruiser. Where the manual said to place the jack for the front wheels, it made 4 indentations, 2 on each side, under the body. What can I use to cover up the terrible looking indentations? Thanks for the help! - Edward, from Tennessee.

If the jack made indentations in the body it sounds like the jack may have been misaligned. Were not skilled in body repair, therefore we recommend checking with a pro for the repair. To help avoid the problem in the future consider placing a piece of wood on the jack saddle to protect the body, then raise the jack using the jack locations shown in your owners manual.


500. Gary Snight, from Virginia, wrote that he recently received a recall notice from DC for his 2002 LE PT w/automatic transmission, which he has kindly shared with us:

Vehicles Affected: Owners of some 2002 Dodge Neon, Stratus and Caravan or Chrysler PT Cruiser, Sebring Sedan or Convertible, and Voyager.

Problem: The low/reverse accumulator cover o-ring in your vehicles transaxle may become dislodged. This could cause the transaxle to slip in low and or reverse gears.

Action Required: DC will repair your vehicle (identified on the enclosed recall notice) free of charge (parts and labor). To do this, your dealer will replace the low/reverse accumulator cover and o-ring in your vehicles transaxle. This work will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete, however additional time may be necessary depending on how dealer appointments are scheduled and processed. Contact your dealer to schedule an appointment for the required work.

Help: Owner notification of affected vehicles has begun. If you haven't received a recall notice and think your vehicle may be affected contact your local DC dealer, or call the DC Customer Service Assistance Center at 1-800-853-1403. Have your VIN number available when you call.

In addition, if you have questions that the dealer is unable to resolve, please contact the DC Customer Assistance Center.

DC Notification Number: B27

See the TSB/Recall page in the Pit area for more information.


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