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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 seven - Q&A 651 - 675

651. I had some work done to my 2002 LE PT, including the addition of the Xenon front and rear bumper covers, and side skirts. For some reason the liftgate hatch "open" light will not shut off. I am wondering where the sensor is? I do not see any reason why the lamp won't shut off; the tailgate is shut all the way and appears to be locking properly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. - Paul, from Tennessee.

I added a Xenon rear bumper cover to my 2001 and haven't experienced this issue, nor has anyone else reported the problem. I would recheck my connections in that area, it's doubtful that it's the latch mechanism unless the cover is somehow impeding the closure of the hatch. Make sure that there is clearance between the bottom on the hatch door and the top of the bumper cover. You may want to run the two vehicle self-tests to determine if you have experienced a fault code, which might help further explain the "open hatch" indicator. The electrical connections are inside the latch assembly. They are either serviced as an assembly or by themselves.


652. I have a 2001 TE PT and it developed an oil leak about a month ago at 31k miles. I took it to the dealer and they thought it was the valve cover gasket; they put dye in the oil, while ordering the replacement gasket and a week later they installed it. Now, at 32k miles I have oil leaking again. I'm wondering if could be leaking from somewhere else? The oil sender, appears to be OK, what if anything would make the replacement gasket start to leak again? - Carl, from Oklahoma.

The valve cover gaskets don't just leak. Either the leak is elsewhere or the technician misdiagnosed the concern, or there were additional leaks to start with. Oil leaks have not been a problem with the PT.


653. I have a 2002 LE PT. The combination of the AirAid cold air intake system and the PowerAid throttle body spacer gives me a noticeable boost in performance and mpg, but I am not happy with the affect it has on the flexible tube between the air cleaner and the throttle body. It is scrunched up and appears to be restricting air flow. This condition, along with the factory corrugations in the tube, leads me to believe that there must be a better way to connect the two components. I am leaning towards a 60mm 45-degree silicone turbo hose modified to accept the IAT sensor. Thanks. - George, from California.

The ribs in the OEM hose allow for engine flex. Your idea seems fine, but you must keep in mind that the engine moves, and the airbox does not.


654. I have a 2002 Dream Edition PT. I like the inferno red refinish on the air filter housing shown in the AirAid installation guide. I would like to refinish my AirAid modification in Inca Gold to match my PT. I have the Mopar Inca Gold touch-up paint, but where can I find Mopar touch-up spray paint? Thanks very much. - Dan, from USA.

The AirAid filter housing was repainted with four coats of Mopar touch-up spray paint, and finished with three coats of Mopar Clearcoat, which I purchased through Wyckoff Chrysler. You will need two cans of Inca Gold spray paint and one can of Mopar clearcoat. PT DIY Club members receive a discount on purchases. See the PT DIY Club member page for details. You may also want to review the AirAid Installation Guide and Underhood Dress Up Guide in the Pit area.


655. I have a 2002 TE PT and would like to replace the OEM radiator hose with an after market chrome plated "premium" hose. Is there a detailed procedure, what needs to be moved/removed to access the hose? Thanks. - Greg, from Alabama.

It looks like the hose can be disconnected and pulled through the upper intake halves. Otherwise, follow the Spark Plug Guide in the Pit area to remove the upper intake manifold.


656. Jenn B. wrote; I purchased a 2001 PT in August 2000 and haven't experienced any major problems with it until (3/18/03) recently. I have 41k miles on the PT. At first she started to buck, then the engine light came on. I drove her for another 15 miles or so, then she started bucking again. I came to a stop at a light and she stalled. I started her up again and she ran for about 30 seconds, but continued to stall out. I had her towed to the dealer and they put her on the computer and said that the crankshaft sensor was bad, which they replaced.

Mike mentioned that he has replaced many crank sensors on other cars, but not on a PT. They are hall effect transistor pickups and are usually reliable, however they can burn out without warning, like a light bulb.


657. I have a 2003 PT w/automatic transmission and ball shift. How do I remove the shift ball? I tried the open-end wrench and tapping method, which is the suggested removal procedure for the shift ball on the 2001-2002 PT's w/manual transmissions, but I can't free the ball. There is some type of hole on the side of the knob, but there is no screw in the hole. Thanks. - Joe, from USA.

The knob is held on by a small Torx (T-15) screw, it's visible within the hole you described. Remove the screw, than the knob.

Harvey from Ohio wrote that he has a 2003 TE PT (build date - Aug 02) with an automatic transmission that came with a standard white cue ball rather than the shift ball knob described above and in the service manual. The Knob has the standard set screw, which is removed with a number T-15 Torx driver, however the ball did not simply come off once the setscrew was removed. There is a snap ring in the chrome column release that holds the knob and release in place on the column. The chrome shift release and knob come off as one piece. Apparently the internal plunger has a tapered end just above the retention slot and is flat within the slot. Once the ball knob is pushed down it locks onto the plunger by the snap ring and the flat spot. Once the setscrew was removed a good deal of upward force had to be applied to remove the knob. You may want to apply the emergency brake and move the shifter into the neutral position to avoid damaging the center console or radio during the removal process. Placing a wrench under the knob and using a rubber mallet may also work. Wrap the knob with a towel prior to using this method to avoid marring or damaging the surface. The service manual makes no reference to the cue ball style knob.

The shift knob removal guides for all model years can be found in the Pit area.


658. I have a 2003 BE PT and just hit the 15K mark. My dealer told me that I need to have some prescribed maintenance done. My car runs perfectly the way it is. If I don't do it, will I void my warranty? Thank you. - Joe, from California.

Failure to perform prescribed maintenance will not generally void your warranty unless DC can show that your failure to perform the maintenance caused the part to directly or indirectly fail.


659. I have a 2.0L TE PT. Will a JBA exhaust header fit on my Euro model? - Dan, from Denmark.

I cannot confirm that it will fit. The part numbers are different.

2.4L = P/N 4884 233AA
2.0L = P/N 4884 232AA

We suggest that you contact JBA for additional guidance.


660. I think I have a 2002 TE PT, but I'm not sure. I would like to know when 2001 model year stopped production and when the 2002 model year began production? My PT was built in 08/01 and I was told that it is a 2001 PT, is this true? - Betty, from the USA.

We don't have that information, however the model year is printed on the driver side door tag. There is any easy way to tell; if your PT has a passenger side armrest on each front seat, and a radio with only bass and treble adjustments, you have a 2002 model.


661. I purchased a 2003 LE PT today. The window sticker says that the Limited includes supplemental side airbags. The manual says, if equipped, will be denoted with the SRS airbag logo on the side of the front two seats in the PT. My moms 2001 PT has a stitched-on logo on the sides of her front seats. My new PT has no stitched-on logo or marking of any kind. I want to know where the airbags are that I purchased? Can you tell me if other 2003 LE's with side airbags have the SRS logo, or did they put the wrong seats in this PT? Thanks. - Josh, from Louisiana.

Front and side airbags are standard equipment on the 2003 LE PT. The left and right seat airbags are located in the outboard end of the front seat backs. The airbag contains a bag, an inflator (small canister of highly compressed gas) and a mounting bracket.

The SRS logos sewn onto the side of each seatback are common on the 2001-2003 models we've seen. You can verify the airbag installation by inspecting the electrical connectors under each seat, which support the SRS system and a few other options, including the power seat and heater. The connector for the airbag system is yellow - check both front seats for the connector and attached airbag wiring to verify that the airbags are in place. You may not be able to see all of the connectors when looking under the front portion of the seat - in addition, inspect the area under the front seat from behind the seat in the rear passenger area. If the yellow connectors are in place, but not attached to additional wiring, call your dealer.


662.I have a 2003 TE PT and have been trying to figure out where the filler/check hole for the manual transmission fluid is. I just changed the engine oil at 194 miles so I figured I'd change the manual transmission fluid as well (to get rid of any possible metal particles from the early break-in). I noticed in my owners' manual that it mentions checking the level through a hole, where is this hole? Also, is there a filter in the manual transmission? - Dan, from Missouri

Thumbnail The transaxle fill plug is located on the left side of the transaxle differential area. The fluid level should be within 3/16" from the bottom of the transaxle fill hole (vehicle must be level when checking). The transaxle (hex) drain plug is located on the lower right side of the transaxle differential housing. We have complete fluid change guides for the manual and automatic transaxles in the Pit area.


663. I have a 2002 DE PT and recently installed a dual exhaust, but it came without a template cutout for the rear fascia on the passenger side. Any idea where I can find a printable cutout on the internet? Thanks. - John, from Pennsylvania.

I would suggest that you contact the retailer where you purchased it or the manufacturer for their template. If that's not an option, we have a template from another installation you can download, however you'll have to decide if it's appropriate to use.

If the flange was included with your purchase you might be able to make your own template. If they didn't include a flange you can order one through Wyckoff Chrysler. Once installed, the flange gives the area a nice finished look and helps protect the paint on the fascia from the heat generated by the exhaust. If your exhaust pipe is hung incorrectly and in close proximity to the fascia heat damage to the paint can occur over time.


664. We recently purchased a 2003 BE PT. Today my wife ran the A/C for the first time and I noticed that it was leaking water. I looked under the hood and found that to the left of the coolant tank towards the bottom there's a hose sticking out and water was leaking from it. I am not that mechanically inclined so I don't know what to think of it. I checked all the fluid levels and they are fine. My thought is that maybe its evaporation from the A/C, but I'm not sure. Thanks. - Adrain, from Kansas.

Condensation that accumulates in the evaporator housing is drained by a tube, which runs through the dash into the (right side) engine compartment, and onto the ground. This tube must be kept open to prevent condensated water from collecting in the bottom of the housing. The tapered end of the drain tube is designed to keep contaminants from entering the heater A/C unit housing. If the tube is pinched or blocked, condensation cannot drain, causing water to back up and spill into the passenger compartment. It is normal to see condensation drainage below the vehicle. If the tube is damaged, it should be replaced.


664A. Last week, we purchased a privately owned 2002 LE PT. Can you explain the use/purpose of the shelf in the cargo area? Thanks. - Hollis, from Long Island.

The five-position rear shelf panel attaches to the guides in the rear cargo area and adds to the interior space flexibility. Possible configurations include:

Top Position -The shelf is level with the rear seat backs in the upright position, concealing the entire cargo area.

Mid Position -The shelf is level with the rear seat backs in a folded position, allowing a flat loading area, plus additional concealed storage beneath the shelf panel.

Floor Position -The shelf can be locked in position. It can also be turned over to its utility side, which is rubberized side for carrying dirty items such as gardening equipment or golf shoes.

Stowage Position -The shelf is in a vertical position aft of the rear seats, dividing the passenger and cargo compartments. Hooks on the utility side of the shelf panel allow grocery bags to be secured.

Tailgate Position -The shelf in this position becomes a tabletop as it cantilevers out over the lift gate opening level by a fold-down support.

Review your owners manual for all warning associated with using the rear shelf panel.


665. I have a 2002 LE PT and would like to know the total weight of my Cruiser? Thank you. - Eddie, from California.

Base Model Curb Weight, lbs (kg)

2001 - 3123 (1418) - 2.4-liter engine w/man trans.
2001 - 3187 (1446) - 2.4-liter engine w/auto trans.

2002 - 3108 (1411) - 2.4-liter engine w/man trans.
2002 - 3190 (1448) - 2.4-liter engine w/auto trans.

2003 - 3108 (1411) - 2.4-liter engine w/man trans.
2003 - 3182 (1443) - 2.4-liter engine w/auto trans.

2004 - 3101 (1408) 2.4-liter engine w/man trans.
2004 - 3176 (1442) 2.4-liter engine w/auto trans.


666. I have a 2002 DE PT and recently damaged my OEM rear bumper. The damage is a series of cracks on the top of the bumper. After pricing a replacement, I was wondering if it is possible to remove the bumper and to apply a patch on the inside of the bumper that would keep the cracks in place. If that could be done, would I be able to apply touch up paint to the cracks to disguise the damage. Thanks. - Dave, from Canada.

First off, were not body shop pro's, therefore the best advice we can offer is to seek guidance through a qualified body shop, at least through the inspection phase, to determine the amount of damage that has been sustained.

You don't mention how the damage occurred. If you we're rear ended it is possible that you have damage underneath the bumper, which may not be apparent until the rear bumper fascia is removed. Even in minor collisions it is possible to damage the energy foam and rear bumper reinforcement underneath the bumper fascia. These areas should be professionally inspected and repaired to OEM specifications in order to ensure the structural integrity of the vehicle. Failure to repair these components now could place you at risk in the event of a future accident.

The rear bumper fascia is not difficult to remove. It is somewhat flexible, which may prohibit you from applying an adequate patch, dependent upon the amount of cracking you've experienced. It is not likely that Mopar spray touch-up paint will yield an exact match to your current finish and may crack a second time if applied to an inadequately patched surface. See the OEM Front and Rear Bumper Fascia Installation Guides in the Pit area.


667. We have a 2001 LE PT and have experienced a good deal of heavy rain recently. Yesterday, I noticed some water in the rear storage area of the vehicle. How would we determine where this rainwater is entering the vehicle? Thank you for your help. - Lionel and Betty, from Utah.

See the Diagnostics Index in the Pit area for Diagnosing and Testing for Water Leaks.


668. I have a 2001 BE PT with 59K miles. I've been unable to locate a maintenance schedule for the catalytic converter. What are its requirements? Thank you. - Al, from Vermont.

According the owners' manual, under normal operating conditions the catalytic converter will not require maintenance. However, it is important to keep the engine properly tuned to assure proper catalyst operation and prevent catalyst damage. In the event of engine malfunction, particularly involving engine misfire or other apparent loss of performance, have your vehicle serviced promptly. Continued operation of your vehicle with a severe malfunction could cause the converter to overheat, resulting in possible damage to the converter and vehicle.


669. I have a 2001 TE PT, w/38k miles. I took my PT in for service and the dealer said I had a build up of carbon and need a fuel system clean out costing $135. I drive the Cruiser at least three times a week at highway speeds, what is this build up, and is it worth a $135 repair? - Vernon, from North Carolina.

That's a standard dealer pitch to make $125 profit on a $135 service. Unless you are experiencing driveability concerns, cleaning of the injectors and throttle body is purely preventive maintenance. It's like an apple a day. It can't hurt, but it's not mandatory.


670. I am adding an Autometer 5" tachometer w/shift light to my PT. What is the best way to hook that into the system for the most accurate reading? Thanks. - Mark, from Kentucky.

The tachometer drive may need filtering or signal adapters to work. You must contact the manufacturer of the tachometer for specific directions. Be careful not to blow up the BCM cluster or PCM with this mod.


671. Can you tell me if the PT has a positive or negative headlight switching circuit? I want to add a flasher unit to my headlights. Thank you in advance. - Keyser S., from Turkey

There is no switching circuit other than the multifunction switch. There are no relays other than one to turn off the foglamps when the high beams are selected. Power goes from the switch to the lamps and then to ground.


672. I have a 2001 LE PT. It is becoming more difficult to insert the key into the locking mechanism, is maintenance necessary on the door locks? Thank you for your help. - Greg, from Idaho.

Body mechanisms and linkages should be inspected, cleaned, and lubricated, as required, to maintain ease of operation and to provide protection against rust and wear. During the winter season, external door lock cylinders should be lubricated to assure proper operation when exposed to water and ice. Prior to the application of any lubricant, the parts concerned should be wiped clean to remove dust and grit. If necessary, a suitable solvent can be used to clean the item to be lubricated. After lubricating a component, any excess oil or grease should be removed.

Door Lock Cylinders

1. Apply a small amount of lubricant directly into the lock cylinder.

2. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the key.

3. Insert the key into the lock cylinder and cycle the mechanism from the locked to the unlocked position.

Note - Do not add more lubricant.

4. Cycle the lock cylinder mechanism several times to allow the lubricant to flow throughout the cylinder.

5. Wipe all lubricant from exterior of lock cylinder and key.

See the Vehicle Lubrication Guide in the Pit area for complete information.


673. I have a 2001 TE PT w/87K miles on it, which needs to have the EGR Valve replaced (pretty common problem). For my reference, do you have a diagram or picture of the part of the engine where it resides? Thank you. - Scott, from Wisconsin.

ThumbnailThe EGR system reduces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in engine exhaust and helps prevent detonation (engine knock). Under normal operating conditions, engine cylinder temperature can reach more than 3000F. Formation of NOx increases proportionally with combustion temperature. To reduce the emission of these oxides, the cylinder temperature must be lowered. The system allows a redetermined amount of hot exhaust gas to recirculate and dilute the incoming air/fuel mixture. The diluted air/fuel mixture reduces peak flame temperature during combustion. A failed or malfunctioning EGR system can cause engine spark knock, sags or hesitation, rough idle, engine stalling and increased emissions. See additional EGR system information and the removal guide in the Pit area.


674. I have a 2002 BE PT w/manual transmission and was thinking about installing a Dynomax muffler. You mentioned that it might be too loud for most folks, when installed in a 5 speed. Can I have a resonator installed to reduce the noise level? - Ralph, from Florida.

Yes, have the resonator installed during the muffler installation. I have not seen anyone with a 5-speed who was not annoyed by the 3000rpm drone. The automatic PT has the drone at almost 90mph, so it's not a concern. The 5-speed puts it at about 65mph.

Resonator - used to reduce crackling, high-pitched noises or excessively loud exhausts. If you have a straight through muffler that doesn't dampen sound levels, aren't using a catalytic converter, or just want to reduce the noise level of your car consider using a resonator.


675. We have a 2002 LE PT and would like to know how reliable the stock engine is? I've heard recently that the engine's not as good as it could be, and it doesn't help that I'm going through a mourning period for my old dear Izusu Trooper (130K, plus miles, and dying). I'm not prepared to go through that again any time soon (say in the next 75K miles or so), especially since the PT is so darn cute. Thank you for your time. - Karen, from California.

I'm not sure whom you've been talking with, but there are no design problems with the engine, or recalls or TSB's related to the engine that we are aware of. With the amount of email we receive from owners, I'm confident that they would have reported any significant problems during the last two years we have been online. The PT is not a perfect car; brakes wear out more quickly than in older vehicles, and earlier models could use more hp, but overall it is a good design. If your source insists that there are problems with the engine ask them for specific information, which can be addressed.

Since the vehicle has only been out a few years no one really knows how it will perform in the long run. Occasionally we receive mail from owners who have 100K plus miles on their PT. Problems are usually expressed as minor to none barring normal, mileage-appropriate, wear and tear. The key to ensuring that your Cruiser gives you many years, and many miles of trouble free reliable service is preventative maintenance. An effective program of timely and necessary service will help ensure that your vehicle will not experience any unnecessary and expensive repairs. Almost all major vehicle issues begin as small, seemingly insignificant problems, which are ignored and eventually blossom into major repairs. More often than not, small problems can be traced back to a general lack of vehicle and preventive maintenance. By following the maintenance schedule outlined in your owners' manual you can effectively limit your exposure to expensive major repairs. (Many owners follow the more stringent schedule "B", regardless of their mileage or driving habits.)


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