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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 One - Q&A 501 - 525

501. I own a 2002 BE PT. Will the tailpipe/muffler off the turbo bolt onto a non-turbo? What's the tube diameter? Are all the bends and hangers in the right places? Is the turbo muffler less restrictive because the turbo itself slows the gasses? Is this a viable performance upgrade? I understand that the large diameter tip may need a larger opening in the roll pan. - RJ, from Texas.

The service manual does not specify pipe diameter. The stock pipes flow great. I would guess that only the muffler is changed to allow more CFM flow. Unless you locate a turbo muffler at a very discounted price, an after market performance muffler may be a more economical option.


502. I would like to know if it's safe to use Gasohol in my 2001 PT? It's still under warranty and I just had to have the fuel pump replaced. I use Gasohol occasionally, and regular unleaded fuel the remainder of the time. Is it possible that the Gasohol may have caused my fuel pump to fail? I had a cold start problem with it last winter, where it hesitated to start and then shook when it did start, and now its gotten colder again and it started doing same thing. The dealership said the fuel pump was the problem and replaced it. Thank you. - Shawneka, from the USA.

According to the owners manual and service guide the use of Gasohol (Methanol) is not a recommended fuel for the PT and may damage critical fuel system components.


503. I own a 2002 LE PT and I'm thinking about installing a cold air intake system, but I'm concerned about it being emissions legal. What would make it legal or illegal? Thanks for your help. - Robert, from California.

Were not familiar with California's emission regulations therefore we can't tell you what would make it legal or illegal, however legal products should be identified. Look for the (CARB) California Air Resources Board certification label. It provides proof that the part complies with California emissions regulations.


504. How do you remove the rear dome light assembly? I want to replace it with a chrome-plated assembly. Thanks. - Michael, from New Jersey.

Insert a trim stick between the dome lamp unit bezel and the headliner. Disconnect wire connector. Remove the dome lamp unit from vehicle.


505. I have a 2002 LE PT. This past summer I installed the rear spoiler distributed by Metalcrafter's. I noticed the center section is now contacting the roof in my garage when the hatch is opened. I'm wondering if the stock support struts length can be limited by an inch or so shorter? This would allow access to the back and still clear the roof. Thank you. - Michael, from Illinois.

Other than test fitting shorter struts, we know of no way to shorten the OEM strut travel. Struts in various sizes are available through most auto part stores.


506. We own a 2003 LE PT and have a comment about the OEM horn. It's awful, and sounds like a single horn. Thanks. - Richard, from Virginia.

According to the service manuals a dual-note electric horn system is standard factory-installed equipment on the 2001-2004 model line. The dual-note horn system features electromagnetic horn units. However, on 2001 and 2002 model year Cruisers two horns are included - one high and one low note, but on 2003 and 2004 model year Cruisers the high note horn has been omitted.


507. What is a DRBlll scan tool, and where can I purchase one to clear some fault codes I experienced on my 2001 PT? Thanks. - Rick, from New Jersey.

The DRBIII scanner is the OEM diagnostic tool for DC. They run over $5K for a new one. If you don't have access to one, any current scan tool should be able to clear a fault code. Check with your local well equipped auto parts store for availability. Here's an interesting (PDF file) article on How to Select the Right Scan Tool.


508. I recently purchased a 2002 20.L PT. While changing gears or trying to drive in slow traffic, the engine revs up and down, and is difficult to stabilize with the gas pedal. I have heard of this before, but I'm not familiar with the cause and the dealer is scratching his head. Thanks. - John, from Ireland.

Idle rpm will vary with A/C compressor activation along with input from several sensors. Once off-idle, you should not see extreme fluctuations in rpm. The dealer will have to determine the cause.


509. I have a 2002 LE PT. At 36K miles I visited my DC dealer and asked about performing some scheduled service on the Cruiser. He advised a spark plug change and automatic transmission filter and fluid change. I scanned the owners manual, but could not find any reference to a transmission service under schedule A usage. Am I being scammed or do they know something we don't know? The quoted cost for this service was $250-300, which seems a bit high for the parts and one hour of labor. - Gardener, from Connecticut.

The first recommendation for the transmission service is at 48K miles in schedule B. I suggest everyone follow the B schedule. The automatic transmission is not a DC (long-lasting) award winning design. Frequent fluid changes will certainly extend the life of the transmission.

The pricing is a bit exorbitant, but it's not unusual for a dealer quote. The intake manifold must be removed to access the plugs on all PT's except for the new turbo. The labor for the spark plugs is not cheap. Owners have reported paying anywhere from $100 to $200 for a spark plug change. If you look at the requirements under the maintenance schedule many are pretty routine, which you may be able to handle yourself for the cost of the parts. If you decide to have the dealer handle it for you ask for a labor/parts breakdown list showing the actual cost of everything. Alternatively, it may be cost effective to find a reliable independent auto professional to handle the work.


510. I have a 2002 BE PT and would like to know if the PT has a mass air flow sensor? If so, if you install a K&N Filter wont the computer readjust the fuel and negate the use of the K&N filter? - Bill, from the USA.

The PT is a speed density design. There is no MAF. It uses MAP manifold absolute pressure and IAT air intake temp sensors. No matter what you add, the PCM will keep the fuel trim at 14.7:1, or stoichiometry.

The after market air filters simply reduce the airflow restriction and allow for more air to pass through. This adds a great rushing sound and may be a little more efficient. That efficiency, when compared to the initial money investment, may take years to be realized. That said, they are a popular add-on.


511. I have a 2001 LE PT, with 12k miles on it. During the last few months I have added coolant to the recovery bottle ever 400 to 600 miles. There are no detectable coolant odors or signs of any leakage. Thanks. - Mal, from Illinois.

Although cases of defective head gaskets are very rare with the newly designed PT 2.4L head gasket, get it to your dealer ASAP. They will pressure test the system do find the leak. You do have a leak. It's a sealed system and should not need filling.


512. We have a 2002 LE PT and recently purchased a pair of APC Carbon Graphite Taillights and included in the box was a set of LED lights to replace my OEM lamps. When I installed them, the taillight was bright, but when I applied the brake there was no change? I turned the lights off, applied the brake and the light was dim? I turned the bulb around in the socket and it would not work? I received 4 LED bulbs, and they all do the same thing? In addition, the one installed in the turn signal socket makes the flasher blink fast? I can't get any help from the retailer. Thanks. - Doug, from California.

We receive more complaints about the APC lights than any other product owner's install on their PT's. You might want to take a look at the installation guide in the Pit area, which discusses some of the design issues and work-arounds owners have used.

They're nice looking, but I personally don't recommend them and we don't support them on the site. The reason why they supply you with replacement lamps is because the OEM lamps have a tendency to melt the APC lens when turned on over sustained periods. Rather then redesign the light with materials that can sustain the heat or vent the heat correctly, APC now includes replacement bulbs with the lamps, which supposedly produce less heat, however many owners report (fast flash) problems after installation. The fast flash is an indication of a bad bulb or improper current draw. We have received complaints of this nature from other owners who use after market bulbs and the potential exists for damaging the PT wiring with bulbs that exceed the specifications of the OEM bulb. If the manufacturer insists upon selling a product that is poorly designed they have a responsibility to the buyer to support the product through their tech support services. And as a consumer you have the right to return the product for a refund if the problem can not be resolved to your satisfaction.


513. I have a 2001 LE PT. My Cruiser recently failed to shutoff when the ignition key was removed; this occurred twice within an hour. The engine was up to temperature and the headlights were on at the time. I suspected that the ASD relay in the engine bay was at fault. I pushed down on the relay to see if it was seated fully, it 'clicked'. Hasn't acted up in last 24 hours - any ideas? Thanks. - Gary, from Canada.

Page 8W-10-21 of the 2002 service manual shows something to test if this happens again. Test for power at the cigar lighter and auxiliary rear power port. These normally lose power when the key is removed. If they have power, your ignition switch is defective. If the car runs and they do not have power, more diagnosis is needed.


514. I have a 2002 BE PT. Is the cargo net supposed to be standard equipment or an option? My basic PT didn't come with one, and when I asked my sales rep about it, she didn't know any thing and referred me to the parts dept. They hadn't heard of one. I pointed out the reference in the owners' manual, but they could only shrug their shoulders, saying they didn't have a P/N. Thanks for any help. - Buzz, from Kentucky.

The cargo net is not included as standard equipment on any PT, although it is available as part of an options package. If your local dealer can't help you they are available online though Wyckoff Chrysler. PT DIY Club members receive a 5% discount on purchases, and your purchase helps support a free PTDIY. Check the PT DIY Club page for details.


515. I just purchase a 2001 LE PT and don't have an owners' manual. The clock is not on the correct time. How do I fix it? - Theresa, from Illinois.

Clock Setting Procedure

1. Turn the ignition switch to ON or ACC position. Using the tip of a ballpoint pen, or similar object, press either the hour (H) or minute (M) buttons on the radio. The display will show TIME.

2. Press the H button to set hours or the M button to set minutes. The time setting will increase each time you press a button.

If you purchased a used Cruiser through a dealer or privately and did not receive a manual you can order one through the dealer or DC directly.


516. I have a 2001 LE PT. Is there any way to add the adjustable lumbar option from the 2002 PT to my existing leather driver's seat in my 2001 PT? The driver's seat really hurts my low back due to poor lumbar support. Thank you for your consideration. - David, from Florida.

No, I'm afraid not, that feature is built into the seat. You can probably swap them out, the seat mounting seams to be identical. As long as both seats are the same; side seat airbag & power height adjust, they should swap. You may do more damage to your back trying to lift and install the heavy seats. Replacement leather seats are not inexpensive, you may want to check with a few local salvage yards; perhaps you can locate one in good condition for a reasonable amount. Make sure that the side air bag has not been activated, or that will add to your cost.


517. I have a 2003 PT Turbo and would like to know if there are any after market air intakes for the Turbo, and are they necessary and effective? If something is available is it complex or difficult to add on? Thanks. - Glenn, from California.

We have had limited exposure to and or feedback on the PT Turbo, and only know of one instance where an owner attempted to install an after market air intake enhancement. Mike helped during the installation of an AirAid system and stated that it required serious modifications to the unit, even though the retailer claimed it would fit. (Since this post AirAid has designed a new intake specifically for the PT Turbo. The installation guide is available in the Pit area.)

The top of the metal frame had to be reduced approximately 1.5" to lower the housing. The back of the housing does not align with the OEM lower half. The air outlet to the throttle body was at least 3/4" smaller than the turbo ducting. This required cutting the outlet off and adding a piece of semi-truck exhaust pipe to fabricate an air outlet. Although, he wouldn't perform a modification like this again, he did say that the new (open) airbox provides a substantial increase in performance. There are no Dyno or track results since everything is closed for the winter.

A free-flowing intake will certainly provide a pleasurable boost, but it isn't an easy modification, and were unaware of any intakes designed for the turbo at this time.

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518. I have a 2003 TE PT. Does the touring package that states "touring suspension" actually include a rear sway bar, or for that matter a front sway bar. If not, then what is touring suspension? Thanks. - Terry, from Missouri.

The sway bars are not part of the touring package, they are standard equipment on all PT's. The only difference between the touring package and other models is the different spring rate; all other parts are similar. For information on the sway bars changes see this post.


519. I have a 2002 TE PT and would like to know if there any advantages to using a Borla dual exhaust over a single pipe exhaust, or is it just cosmetic? Thanks. - Mike, from New Jersey.

It is only cosmetic, as long as both use the same muffler. Muffler restriction to flow and maximum cfm flow determines the advantages. The motor can only push out a given cfm. All that exhaust goes through a single cat converter and midpipe.


520. I have a 2001 PT TE. Where are the sensors for the air bags, and at what speed will they activate? - Kimberly, from West Virginia.

A dual front airbag system utilizes driver and passenger airbags. Both the driver and passenger airbags are certified to new federal regulations, which allows them to deploy with less force than prior airbags. The primary occupant restraints in this vehicle are the seat belts, which require active use by the vehicle occupants. The front airbag system is a supplemental passive restraint that was designed and is intended to enhance the protection for the front seat occupants of the vehicle when used in conjunction with the seat belts. The driver airbag includes an inflatable airbag and inflator unit behind a trim cover in the hub area of the steering wheel. The passenger airbag includes an inflatable airbag and inflator unit behind an airbag door in the instrument panel above the glove box. The Side Impact Airbag System utilizes two air-bags, one mounted to each front seat back frame. This system is designed to enhance protection of occupants in the event of a side impact collision.

The front airbag system electrical circuits are continuously monitored by a microprocessor and software contained within the Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC). The ORC also contains impact sensing elements, which are monitored by the ORC to determine when an impact occurs that is severe enough to require front airbag system protection. When a frontal impact is severe enough, the ORC initiates the inflator units of both front airbags to deploy. The Side Impact Airbag Control Modules (SIACM) control the seat back mounted airbags (one left and one right). If a SIACM determines the impact is severe enough, the appropriate airbag will inflate, tearing open the front seat back trim cover protecting the occupants. Once a seat back mounted airbag has been deployed, the entire seat back as well as any damaged parts must be replaced.

Data reflecting impact speeds to activate the sensors is not provided. For additional information regarding the PT's Restraint Systems visit the Pit area.


521. We have a 2002 LE PT and the passenger side seat rattles from the underside when the seat is empty. When a passenger sits in the seat it does not rattle. Thanks. - Richard, from Virginia.

Vehicle noises are difficult to diagnose online. The seat may have a loose wire or sensor. The heated seat module and side airbag parts are located in the seat. It should be a warranty repair.


522. I've got a 2003 PT Turbo and I've been studying the air intake. There is a sharp curve just before the throttle body and the plastic hose appears to be a smaller diameter, which might restrict airflow. As far as I know there are no after market modifications for the air intake aside from replacing the stock cotton filter, which I've done with a K&N. Do you know of anything I can do to boost my air intake? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks. - Pete, from Oklahoma.

It seemed to me that the curved intake hose maintained its ID inner diameter throughout the intake tract. I'm not aware of the restriction.


523. I noticed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site that you referenced on site has different crash data for the 2001 PT Cruiser than the 2002-2003 models. Has Chrysler done something to improve driver crash safety in later model years? Thanks. - Ian, from the USA.

Were not aware of any changes, however the improved data on later year models could suggest unpublicized modifications made by DC. You will have to contact them directly for that information.

Follow up from owner - I spoke with DC last night and they said that they have made structural improvements to the frames of the 2003 models, resulting in a better crash test safety rating.

See the rating for 2001-2004 model years in the Pit area Special Report section.


524. I have a 2001 BE PT and recently had my tires rotated. On the way home from the dealership, I noticed a squealing sound when I applied the brakes. Could this sound be related to removing the tires to rotate them? Thanks for your help. - Kay, from Kansas.

Yes, it's possible. If they installed the lug nuts with a big impact gun instead of a torque wrench, the rotors can warp almost immediately. Many shops don't take the time to do it right. Most tire technicians think using 600ft/lb impacts is the acceptable method. Take it back to the dealer and have them check it out.


525. I'm having trouble with my 2001 PT Cruiser keyless entry system. The FOB opens, closes, and sets the alarm, but the door lock on the driver side does not work with the FOB or the interior power lock button. You can depress the manual button down, but the power button and FOB will not unlock it. Finally, you can lock the door using the key, but the FOB and power button will not unlock it. The three remaining doors function correctly in all modes. Thank you. - Rudy, from the USA.

I'd say the lock motor is defective. Your description is consistent with lock motor failure. That should be a warranty repair. Give the dealer technician all the information you provided for us.


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