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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 Three - Q&A 51-75

51. I have a 2002 LE PT and work the late shift. Is there a way to disable the horn feature, which sounds each time I lock and arm the sentry system? I have a neighbor that sleeps lightly. Thank you. - Angelo, from New York.

Yes, that's possible. The horn chirp that signals that the doors have been locked can be turned on or off by using the following procedure:
  1. Insert the key into the ignition switch and turn the switch to the ON position.

  2. Press and hold the Unlock button on the transmitter for between four and ten seconds.

  3. Continue to hold the Unlock button and press the Lock button.

  4. Release both buttons. A chime will sound to signify that the process is complete.


52. I have a new (600 miles) 2001 27G PT with 5 speed. I am experiencing quite a bit of pulling to the right when accelerating in 2nd and 3rd gear. Is this normal? - Jack, from USA.

"Quite a bit" is too subjective to diagnose through the Internet. If it is unsatisfactory take it to a local, trusted, alignment shop for diagnosis, not repair. Pay them and get a written report. Now take it to the dealer for repair. Torque steer is normal for front-wheel drive cars. If it is excessive, something is wrong. The normal crown of the road will push to the right. This allows rain to drain off the road. Try driving on the left (traffic permitting) and see if it pulls to the left.


53. What is the difference between the muffler on the 2001 Touring and Limited Editions? I know one has a chrome tip. I put mine back to back and they are totaly different in sound. Is one more restrictive then the other? Thanks - Rich, from USA.

They are the same mufflers:

5278-195AA with chrome tip
5278-503AA w/o chrome tip

The 2.0L export engine uses a different muffler. Muffler's sound changes as they break-in. If one PT has many more miles than another, they would sound different. As the fiberglass packing becomes saturated, the sound usually deepens.


54. I own a 5-speed 2.0L PT-Cruiser. On the first day, my little niece was sitting on the driver's seat while the car was parked, the security-brake on. She was wildly "shifting" gears for about 10 seconds, of course without pushing in the clutch. Was this harmful for the transmission? - Sebastian

No, as long as the synchronizers are not spinning, you'll be fine.


55. I own a 5-speed 2.0L PT-Cruiser. I was taught to shift into first when parking uphill, however the user's manual states to shift into reverse, which is right? - Sebastian

Follow the instructions in the owner manual. Reverse is geared even lower than 1st. This low gearing allows the normal engine compression to help keep the wheels from spinning. In the event of a parking brake failure, the car won't roll away as fast.


56. Today something happened twice that I have not experienced in my 11 months and 17,100 miles on my 2001 PT. It has been quite hot and I drive with the A/C on all the time. I do have a 5 speed and get on the pedal some times. Well, today, while really accelerating, the A/C actually started blowing warm, muggy air (vents were set to outside) until I backed off and a few seconds later the cold started again. My guess this might have something to do with vacuum (or loss thereof during hard acceleration). Is this something I should mention to my dealer next service trip? Any ideas what the cause might be? Thanks. - Bob, from the USA.

Worry not. This is normal operation for all newer cars. The A/C system uses around 10% of the engines' power to operate the compressor. When you 'floor it', the PCM turns off the A/C so that you get more power to the tires. If you hold it to the floor long enough, the hot incoming air will make it through. The PCM reads the signal from the TPS-throttle position sensor to determine when this is needed.


57. I read that the Canadian PT Cruisers have daytime running lights. Is there a simple way to install a fuse or jumper, which would turn on those lights for PT's sold in the US? I was hoping the wiring would be the same between the two models. Thanks - Phil, from the USA.

There is an exclusive daytime running light module built into the instrument cluster that controls the Canadian "parking" lights when you turn on the ignition key. They do not turn on the headlights at all. You can do the same thing for free by simply turning the light switch to the parking light selection. The odometer and radio display brightness will dim until you select 'parade/funeral' mode on the dimmer.


58. Can you provide me with information on how to program an additional (RKE) Remote Keyless Entry Transmitter (FOB) for my PT Cruiser? Thanks - Jim, from the USA.

Remote Keyless Entry - Description

The remote keyless entry system allows locking and unlocking of the vehicle door(s) liftgate, panic alarm and arming or disarming of the vehicle theft security system (if equipped), using the hand held radio frequency (RF) transmitter. The receiver may receive signals from up to four transmitters. Each transmitter has its own code, and the code is programmed and stored into RKE module memory. If a transmitter is replaced or additional transmitters are added, the codes for all units have to be reprogrammed into the RKE module memory. If a receiver module is replaced, the transmitter codes must be stored in the new receiver memory (by performing the steps for programming transmitters). The RKE module is capable of retaining all transmitter codes when power is removed from the module.

Remote Keyless Entry - Operation

The transmitter has three buttons for operation: LOCK, UNLOCK and PANIC.

Pressing the UNLOCK button will unlock the driver's door, flash the park lamps twice and enable illuminated entry. Pressing and releasing the button once will unlock the drivers door. Pressing and releasing the button two tomes within a five second interval will unlock all doors.

Pressing the LOCK button will cause the horn to sound a short chirp (if enabled) and flash the park lamps to notify that the all door lock signal was received and set. Illuminated entry is cancelled and the interior lamps are faded to off.

Pressing the PANIC button will cause the panic alarm to sound for three minutes, until the PANIC button is pressed a second time, or the vehicle reaches a speed of 25.7 Km/h (15 mph). The receiver is capable of retaining a Vehicle Access Code (VAC) even when power is removed. Each Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) module must have at least one and no more than four transmitter.

The instruction guide for programming the transmitter can be found in the Pit area.


59. Have you ever heard anything about the ignition coil module failing? My 2001 PT failed with 55 kilometers on the odometer. Cylinders 1 and 4 stopped firing. It flooded the catalytic converter with gasoline, so it was also replaced. - Eric

That's a clear-cut case of defects in materials and workmanship. You were just the unlucky consumer to get that coil pack. The Mopar PCM is very complex, yet misfire detection is it's one blind spot. This has not been a common failure.


60. My 2001 PT Cruiser owner manual says the timing belt is good for 120k miles. Is this a misprint, or has Chrysler come out with a new and really strong belt? Thanks. - Phil

The 2.4L is a non-interference motor. This means that a broken belt won't destroy the motor. (The pistons will not hit the valves, but the valves from both camshafts can hit each other and cause some damage.) It's my opinion that since the cost of damage is much lower, they have extended the change interval. Did you know that all timing belts have to be scheduled at 100K or more in California? It's a government ruling. The 100K belt and the 60K belt are the same. I bet if you asked ten service managers, you'd get ten different answers.


61. I am leaving for a two-week vacation and wondered how can I make my brakes stop squealing every time I apply them. From what I can hear, it appears to be my front brakes. I have the ABS on the rear. Thanks - Marc, from the USA.

If you are having brake noise all the time, it's most likely time for new front pads. The fronts do 70% of the braking, so they wear out much faster than the rears. If you have over 20K on the odometer, I'd get them checked. The PT uses Wagner MX-841 pads from the factory. They should be available at your professional parts store for around $60US. I don't recommend using any other brand due to manufacturing differences. Watch the prices, dealer list is $117 for the same pads.


62. I've noticed that many people have changed out their door locks with dice, etc. Is there a way to get the factory one's off without removing the door panel or unscrewing the OEM locks, which are hex shaped at the bottom and tend to "dig" up the hole when removing them? If it's door panel removal, do you have a guide for removing it? Thanks - Bob, from the USA.

The door lock pulls simply unscrew. Once loose, pull them through the door panel. I removed mine and the holes were not enlarged. It's just a tight fit.

If you prefer to remove the door trim panels the OE procedure is available in the Pit area.


63. I installed a new K&N air filter and after market muffler on my 2001 PT. Do I have to reset the computer to recognize the new items? Thanks - Ron, from the USA.

Long and short term fuel trim is constantly adjusting it's program to meet your current driving needs. You do not need to perform a "block learn."


64. I am seriously considering installing the Goldline GLP300 springs - they should drop the front 1.5 inches and rear 1.8 inches. Should I get the headlights re-aimed. - Sean

Yes, but you have the advantage of being able to cheat. Park in the driveway or garage and mark the tire location as well as the headlight beams on the wall or garage door. Once the springs are installed, you now have the original pattern marked on the wall. Align the PT on the tire marks and adjust the lights to match the original pattern.


65. I am installing the Crane Cams into my 2001 PT, and can't figure out how to get at the tensioner. It looks like I may have to drop the motor to get at it, or attempt to swap them without loosening it. Do you have any suggestions? - Brad, from the USA.

Brad, you really need pages 9-39 to 9-43 of the service manual. I'm surprised you didn't get one prior to supercharger installation. The tensioner can be locked in the "wound position", which means that it's pulled back to release tension and locked down. Page 9-41 calls for 3mm and 6mm Allen wrenches. The 6mm wrench is used to rotate the tensioner counter-clockwise. The 3mm wrench is pushed into a small hole in the tensioner and will slide in to lock the tensioner away from the belt. All this assumes that you have room to work in there. There is no mention of engine removal for this procedure.

Warning: The manual indicates that the timing marks on the cam sprockets will be installed one-half notch lower on the exhaust side. Once the tensioner is released, the marks will line up.


66. I remember going to the drive in and leaving the radio on for the whole movie (in-car radio-enabled sound system at my drive in) with the motor off (ignition to "on" or "accessory" position), but my nagging worry about draining the battery still lingers. For example, when I polish my 2001 PT I leave the motor running so as not to "drain the battery" while listening to tunes on the car's CD player, so my question revisits that issue. What's the real effect of running electrical devices off the battery while the motor is not running? - Art, from the USA.

The real effect? You will drain you battery. Batteries are rated for both cold cranking amps (CCA) at 32F and amp hours (AH). I believe the PT is rated at 90 amp hours. So you can run a one-amp drain (radio) for 90 hours, or 3 1/2 days. As the battery gets old and tired, the life span shortens. Check the battery guide on the site for complete information.


67. I have discovered a small crack in my headlight cover. My question is, can I replace just the clear cover, or will the whole headlight assembly have to be replaced? I'd like to know what I'm up against before I call the dealer because it's not that noticeable. - Marvin, from the USA.

According to page 8L-12 of the service manual, the entire assembly must be replaced.


68. Do you think an auxiliary transmission cooler would be a good idea for the automatic transmission? Do you have any recommendations for a transmission cooler? I live in the northeast of USA, could the winter temperatures make the transmission oil too cold? Thank you. - Joe, from the USA.

The largest cooler that you can fit in front of the radiator will be the best choice. Make sure to run the fluid through the radiator, then through the auxiliary cooler. Don't bypass the radiator. Remember that these kinds of modifications will give your dealer a reason to deny any warranty work. They may not be legally correct, but deny it they will. I'm holding off any permanent modifications until after the 36K-mile mark.


69. I'm installing an Ooogah horn and have room where the existing horn is situated in the wheel well to install the new horn. There are 2 OEM horns there now, do I need to splice the leads of the two horns together or just run off one and disconnect the other one? Any help would be appreciated. - John, from the USA.

I do not recommend bypassing the OEM horns. The DIY instructions include an auxiliary horn button for a reason. They are not meant for accident avoidance, only for fun.


70. I have 14,000 miles on my 2001 Cruiser and during the last week the battery indicator light has started to come on. Sometimes if I turn off the ignition and start it again it will go off, but other times it stays on all the way to work, about 3 miles away from home. Can you tell me what could be causing this, and what I should do? - Donald, from the USA.

You need to duplicate the failure at your dealership. This will require some diagnostic testing. The low battery lamp indicates a charging system failure. The voltage regulator is part of the (PCM) engine's computer.


71. Since the fuel filter is built into the fuel pump module, which is located inside the gas tank, do I need to add an external replaceable fuel filter? - Bill, from the USA.

No. The in-tank filter will not let any debris pass through it. So, a 2nd filter would never trap any dirt. Newer car filters usually outlast the electric pumps anyway. When replacing a pump, the filter is also recommended. The PT design makes sure that both are changed together.


72. My 2001 PT Cruiser is about 5 months old and recently developed a squeaking noise in the steering column when turning the steering wheel in either direction. It only does this after I have driven for 15 to 20 minutes. I can park it for a short time and it stops. - John

The most common cause is a faulty clockspring. A TSB has been issued and the dealer will replace it under warranty.


73. What is the best way to remove the air bag warning stickers on the sun visors? Thanks - Ron, from the USA.

You're in good company, many PT owners dislike the air bag warning stickers on the visors and have tried to remove them. Unfortunately, most attempts that we are aware of have met with failure. The few folks that have reported removing them, also report damaging the visor.

At one time their was so much discussion about removing the stickers in the forums that eventually many owners gave up on trying to remove them, and instead looked for a way to hide them. A few online graphics companies jumped into the fray and developed inexpensive stickers that you can apply directly over the OEM sticker. They are much more attractive then the air bag stickers, and popular with many PT owners. You can find a list of popular PT part and accessory retailers in our PT Resources section.

Updated - Since posting this Q&A we have received a few tips on how to remove the sticker and adhesive without damaging the visor. One idea, provided by the PTLady, seems to be the most effective.

Procedure - Using an iron set to medium temperature and a damp white cloth, place the cloth on the visor sticker and iron until its hot and produces steam. Then immediately test the edge of the sticker; if there is no resistance peel it off slow while it's still hot. Ordinarily the sticker and adhesive will come off together and leave no visible marks on the visor. However, if you notice that some residual adhesive remains on the visor repeat the dampened cloth and iron method. The remaining adhesive should come off on the cloth. (Do NOT apply the iron directly to the label at any time.)

Another visitor wrote that he removed the stickers by using a hair dryer set to hot and held for a few seconds on the sticker until he could lift a corner, then he continued to apply hot air while pulling gently at the sticker until removed.


74. I'm thinking of trying to do some engine compartment "dress up" and was wondering if the fins on the plastic part of the intakes serve any purpose. I would like to put either some type of chrome or stainless pieces on some of the plastic there and the fins present an obstacle. Do you think I could grind/sand these down without causing any problems? Thanks. - Joe

I strongly advise against grinding or modifying the engine. That plastic intake is not meant to be cut. You can glue whatever you want to it. See our comprehensive underhood dress up guide on the site.


75. I would like to fill the sloppy holes the dealer drilled when mounting the OEM license plate bracket, since I just replaced it with the lower bracket. My dealer says that factory touch-up paint is not available for the bumper. Any suggestions or sources for that color would be greatly appreciated. - Grant

The bumpers are colored plastic and there is no factory paint.

If you plan to plug and finish the old holes you may want to consider bringing your vehicle to a place where they sell auto paint. Most of these places have the ability to match the paint on your vehicle, and hopefully they can apply that technology to your bumper for a custom made touch up paint. A less expensive alternative would be to try matching it yourself using a combination of standard colors found at any auto parts store. I have read that PepBoys carries a spray paint, which is pretty close, called Plasti-Kote FM8110.


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