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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 Thirty One Q&A 751 - 775


751. I have a 2001 BE PT. I read on the site that the fuel pump is located in the fuel tank. On my last car I remember seeing the pump (easier to access) inside the engine compartment. - Delores, from South Dakota.

On newer cars, that's where you will usually find it, in the fuel tank. On older vehicles the fuel pump was attached to the engine or on the frame rail between the tank and the engine. Fuel pumps, which are mounted in the tank or on the frame rail, are electric and powered by the vehicles' battery. Fuel pumps, which are mounted to the engine, use the motion of the engine to pump the fuel.

 


752. I have a 2003 GT PT and just purchased a set of power sport mirrors with side blinkers for my car. I'm not worried about the blinker hookup; I have that figured out. My question pertains to the power mirror itself; when I removed the OEM mirror I noticed that it has three wires. The power mirror, which I just purchased has four wires and came with no wiring instructions. I was hoping that you could provide me with some insight into this problem, as to how to wire the mirrors? There is a wiring harness on the OEM mirrors and inside the door, but I don't know what three wires to use. - JB, from Florida.

I'm sorry, but we can't decode the wiring for an aftermarket part. You will need to acquire installation instructions from the manufacturer.

The 3 OEM wires for the power mirrors are:

Dark blue/white - left/right function
Yellow or yellow/black - up/down function
Pink or yellow/pink - power

 


753. My 2002 BE PT had the clutch replaced in it in January. Since then, in the morning, it is difficult to get it into gear. Once it warms up it's fine. I took it back to the dealer they bleed the system and it was fine for about 2 weeks. Now it is becoming difficult to get into gear again. I feel the problem is in the hydraulic system. The pedal feels as if it has more pressure once it's warmed up. There are no leaks that I can detect. My main concern is the vehicle has 34k miles on it - 2k more and no warranty. Thanks for you help. - Alex, from Florida.

We have only received a few reports of hydraulic system replacement. Since yours has already been documented twice for the same concern, you should be covered under warranty once your surpass the 36k mileage limit. If bleeding cured it, but only temporarily, you need more diagnosis to determine the cause instead of masking the symptom.

 


754. I have a 2002 LE PT and would like to know if it normal for the valve cover gasket to hang out a little bit? The silicon gasket hangs out around the edges and always seems to be mildly saturated with oil, however it doesn't drip or leak onto the ground or surrounding engine components. I've taken the car to two different dealers four times for this, and the valve cover gasket has been replaced twice with no change - the seal still hangs out and is oily to the touch. Both dealers have assured me that this is normal, but I've never seen this condition on any of my other cars. Thanks for your time. - Brock, from California.

Your asking for an opinion without the benefit of seeing the problem. The easiest way to tell would be to inspect the other PT's on the lot. Look at both the new ones and especially the used ones. If yours is the only one that is different, point out the discrepancy to the service writer and technician.

 


755. We have a 2001 LE PT. This is the first time we have had any problems with our Cruiser, which has about 43k miles. Normally, under all conditions, the temperature gauge reads dead smack in the middle. This afternoon (outside temperatures were in the mid-80's) after about a 30 minutes of highway driving, my wife was sitting in a parking lot with the A/C on and suddenly it started to blow warm air. She looked at the temperature gauge and it was almost pegged to the hot side. She shut the car off immediately. When I came out of the store (she was waiting for me), she told me what happened and I looked under the hood. The coolant was boiling in the overflow tank and some had spilled out onto the ground. I looked for any obvious leaks (none) and on a whim checked the oil for foam (none) in case the head gasket blew or the head cracked (they didn't). She started it up and the temperatures had dropped slightly but were still very high. I thought it might have been the combination of sitting still in warm weather and idling with the A/C on that caused the overheating. I drove the car across the parking lot and the temperatures climbed again (the engine sounded fine - no unusual noises). I suspected that the fans might be inoperable. I checked the fan relay fuse in PDC under the hood and they visually looked ok, but to be on the safe side I swapped the 40 amp fan relay fuse with the 40 amp heated seats fuse. We let it cool slightly and started it up again. I tapped the low speed fan relay with a hairbrush handle. The fan engaged and the engine started to cool down to normal. On the highway, we used the A/C; the system and engine temperatures were normal. As we turned off the highway, the temperature started to climb and only worsened as we hit more traffic. We pulled into a parking lot and let it cool down before heading home. Once it cooled down at the house I added some coolant to replace the amount that boiled out. I fired it up and let it idle with the A/C on. It quickly reached normal temperature and stayed there for about 20 minutes, then the temperatures started to slowly climb. I shut off the A/C and the temperature dropped. Each time I turned on the A/C, the fan started. I think the high-speed fan relay may be at fault here. I believe the fan relay fuse is OK and that the low speed relay is OK since it starts when the A/C is powered on. The problem is that I don't know how to test it and the fan is so quiet, I can't tell if it's running at low or high speed, but it doesn't seem to move much air when I put my hand behind it. In addition, the car will not overheat when you first start with a cold engine and drive. But if you shut if off and then restart it within a half hour later, the temperature gauge reads a bit high (normal after a short shut down period), but does not drop regardless of whether you have the A/C on or not. I replaced the high-speed fan relay with a new one, but it hasn't made any difference. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks. - Aaron, from Missouri.

The high-speed fan only comes on at extremely high temperatures. The low speed fan comes on a little above boiling temperatures. That's the one to inspect. The A/C uses the high-speed fan when it cycles. You may discover that the dealer may have to run a diagnostic to determine the exact nature of the problem. (We were unable to respond to this owner via email; it bounced back as undeliverable.)

 


756. I own a 2003 GT PT. How do I remove the alternator? - Leonard, from Michigan.

The PT utilizes a generator. I would recommend that you use a service guide if you attempt this procedure. It contains numerous illustrations and instructions for the sub procedures mentioned below.

Generator

Removal - 2.4L Turbo

The generator is located above the oil filter and axle shaft.

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
2. Remove the 2 bolts from the top of the heat shield on the generator.
3. Remove nut from the upper T-bolt adjustment bracket.
4. Raise vehicle and support.
5. Remove the right front wheel.
6. Remove the accessory drive splash shield.
7. Remove the lower heat shield bolt.
8. Remove the generator heat shield.
9. Unplug the field circuit from the generator.
10. Remove the B+ terminal nut and wire.
11. Loosen the accessory drive belt t-bolt.
12. Remove the pencil strut.
13. Loosen the lower generator pivot bolt.
14. Remove the generator belt, refer to the Cooling section for more information.
15. Remove the axle retaining nut.
16. Remove the lower control arm from the steering knuckle.
17. Remove the 2 bolts for the axle shaft bearing support.
18. Remove the axle shaft assembly. Put a container under the transmission to catch the transmission fluid from the transmission.
19. Remove the generator from the lower mounting bracket and set generator to the side.
20 . Remove the lower mounting bracket for the generator.
21. Remove generator through the axle shaft hole.

Installation - 2.4L Turbo

1. Install generator through the axle shaft hole in wheel well.
2. Put generator on upper t-bolt and loosen install the nut.
3. Install the lower mounting bracket for the generator to the block and tighten bolts to 54 N-m or 40 ft./lbs.
4. Loose install the lower pivot bolt for the generator.
5. Install the B+ terminal nut and wire and tighten nut to 11.3 N-m or 100 in./lbs.
6. Plug in the field circuit to the generator.
7. Install the axle shaft assembly.
8. Install the 2 bolts for the axle shaft bearing support and tighten bolts to 54.2 N-m or 40 ft./lbs.
9. Install the axle shaft into the steering knuckle.
10. Install the lower control arm to the steering knuckle and install the bolt and tighten bolts to 94.9 N-m or 70 ft./lbs.
11. Install the axle retaining nut and tighten nut to 244 N-m or 180 ft./lbs.
12. Install and tension the generator belt, refer to the Cooling section for more information.
13. Tighten the accessory drive belt t-bolt and tighten nut to 54 N-m or 40 ft./lbs.
14. Tighten the lower generator pivot bolt and tighten bolts to 54 N-m or 40 ft./lbs.
15. Install the pencil strut.
16. Install the generator heat shield.
17. Install the lower heat shield bolt and tighten bolt to 54.2 N-m or 40 ft./lbs.
18. Install the accessory drive splash shield.
19. Install the right front wheel.
20. Lower vehicle.
21. Tighten nut to the upper adjustment bracket and tighten to 25 N-m or 18 ft./ lbs.
22. Install the 2 bolts to the heat shield on the generator and tighten bolts to 4.5 N-m or 40 in./lbs.
23. Connect the negative battery cable.

 


757. I have a 2002 LE PT. After the car is hot, when at a stoplight waiting, the automatic transmission will give a bump; it feels like someone tapped my bumper. When riding along at 25 mph, the transmission feels like its "floating" between two gears. Sometimes when taking off from a stop sign it will clunk into gear when I take off. The dealer cannot duplicate the problem and the tests performed indicate that everything is normal. Now the front transmission seal needs to be replaced due to leaking. Thank you for you time. - Vince, from California.

I'm afraid that there are too many possibilities to guess at. The TCM, solenoid packs, valve body, or even a mechanical part cold be failing. The TCM codes will not read out during a consumer test. You must use a scan tool to access the diagnostics. You will have to be able to duplicate the concern to the dealership. Ask for a comparison test drive in a similar PT to demonstrate how yours is different from the other PT's they sell.

Follow up from owner - I took the car back to the dealer they said that they checked the transmission with the DRB III scan tool and there were no TCM or PCM DTC's. It passed the shift and clutch test, and the sensor readings were in spec. Fluid level was correct and clean. I had a leak around the oil filter, which they said was the transmission front seal and a galley plug. What is a galley plug? Thanks again for the help. PT DIY - The oil galleys are the passages used to move oil through the block. They must be drilled and then they are plugged on the outside.

 


758. I have a 2001 LE PT and I'm having a problem with the power door locks. The problem began when the interior was hot; the locks would continue to lock while driving. In addition, the door lock button would not work. Once the car was cool inside, the door lock began to work. Now neither the door lock buttons or the remote work. I check the fuse and it's good. Any sugestions? - Gene, from Florida.

There have been a few complaints similar to yours. The reports back indicate that the RKEM remote keyless entry module was replaced.

 


759. I have a 2002 BE PT. I am in the process of adding an external amp and sub. I have a question regarding the best route for the wiring. I plan on mounting the amp under the driver's seat, I was planning on running the power lead to the left of the amp under the left side door frame molding and then through the hood release grommet through the firewall, as suggested in the horn installation guide. Do you feel this is a good plan? I plan to run the RCA cables and speaker wires on the right side of the amp, under the center console and into the radio cavity. Is the console easily accessible and how is it removed? I don't believe it will be a problem, but what is the amperage of the alternator in this vehicle? Is it sufficient to run a standard 200 watt power amp? Thanks again. - Chuck, from Pennsylvania.

The wire routing is fine. The hood release grommet hole should be fine, but if it's a large power cable, it may fit better through the hole for the clutch linkage, assuming you have an automatic transmission. You can remove the cover plate to access the hole. Be sure to use a rubber isolation grommet. The ground wire can be grounded within the cabin or routed along with the power wire and terminated on one of a few OEM grounding blocks in the engine bay. The PT does not utilize an alternator; it has a generator, which puts out over 1,543 watts. You should be fine. You'll find the guide for the center console in the guide section on the site.

 


760. I own a 2002 BE PT, which I purchased used w/24,500 miles. I took it back a week after the purchase because it started to pulsate badly and shake. I also heard a loud metal-to-metal noise, which sounded like my brake pads. It is most noticeable when I drive the PT the first thing in the morning. The dealer inspected and turned a rotor, which resolved the shaking when braking, (They also re-balanced the tires.) but the brake noise was still really bad. I took it back again and they said the brakes were fine. The service guy told me the noise I was hearing was a common complaint with many owners and assured me that the brakes had a long way to go before replacement. They still make the metal sound every morning, and or after it has been parked for 20 minutes or more. Now there is another sound, which is prominent and coming from the back brakes, and the steering wheel shakes regardless of what speed I'm driving. I hate to go back to the dealer again with the same story, so I thought I would try here first. It is still under warranty. Thanks for your time. - Carrie, from California

Did you test drive the vehicle before you purchased it? These problems probably would have been prevalent during the test drive and should have been addressed by the dealer. The only common brake complaint that we have received is the slight squeal after the front disc brakes have oxidized overnight due to humidity. This is normal, but the problems you describe with the front and back brakes sound like something more serious. The shaking could be the tires or suspension and would require further diagnosis. Some owners have complained about the OEM Goodyear Eagle tires that come with the PT. Dealers have replaced them when they have not been able to resolve tire related issues with the handling and or ride of the vehicle. I think I would have the car inspected by another shop. A second opinion may yield a different diagnosis.

Follow up from owner - I did test drive the vehicle but did not notice the brake noise when driving, that's what surprised me. The pulsating was noticeable, that's why I took it back the following weekend. My friends' boyfriend works for Midas, so I had them take a look. They said the dealer should have never turned the rotors, they are throw away rotors and can't be re-machined. They should have given me 2 new ones w/new brake pads. Midas said I need 2 new rotors and brake pads, and the back brakes need adjustment. I am going to call the dealer and see if they plan on taking care of it or not. And the shaking has disappeared; they rotated the tires back to the way they were.

Follow up from PT DIY- The rear brakes are self-adjusting, and would need serious repair if the self-adjusters have failed. The DC warranty on new car brakes is 12 months or 12K miles. Under normal circumstances the rotors can be machined at least once. Midas may want to sell you more than you need, or the rotors may need replacement by now, but new ones can be turned. The refinish specs are in the service manual.

Final follow up from owner - I visited the dealer again and they finally determined that the squeaking noise was the axle and wheel bearings, and replaced both on the right side. So it's doing just fine now, except for the brake noise.

 


761. We have an early 2001 LE PT with 135k miles. Recently we started to notice a power loss and had our repair shop take a look while performing scheduled maintenance. They suggested conducting a leak down test, which I'm not familiar with? Thank you for your help. - Vincent, from Maine.

A leak down or cylinder leakage test is used to find excessive wear in an engine. When a technician performs a leak down test each cylinder is tested to see how well it holds pressure. If a cylinder is unable to hold pressure, they can pinpoint which component of the cylinder (piston rings, valves, etc) is causing the pressure loss. An engine in great condition should generally show only a 5 to 10% pressure leak. An engine that's still in pretty good condition may show up to 20% leakage, but more than 30% leakage indicates a problem.

This test is often confused with a compression test, but is quite different. A compression test measures cylinder pressure (not pressure loss), but checks many engine components at the same time. A poor pressure reading can indicate so many things that it's hard to tell which component is at fault without a lot of other tests. A leak down test avoids this difficulty, although in some instances it can be used in conjunction with a compression test to diagnose other problems. For instance, if a cylinder is misfiring, but the compression is good and leakage is minimal, it could indicate a fuel delivery (bad injector) or ignition problem (fouled spark plug or bad plug wire).

 


762. I have a 2002 BE PT and read about the CV joints on the site. Can you explain what they are? Thank you. - Abby, from Connecticut.

A Constant Velocity joint can be simply defined as a coupling that allows a shaft to turn continuously at various angles when coupled with another shaft. They are usually utilized with front-wheel drive vehicles, like the PT, or four-wheel drive vehicles, and are part of the vehicles' driveline (System of components that connects the transmission to the wheels.) assembly. All front-wheel drive vehicles have four CV joints: one inner joint and one outer joint on each of the vehicle's two driveshafts (called halfshafts).

Front Wheel Drive/CV Joint Trivia

Front wheel drive has been around for a while. It dates back to 1877 when a New York attorney, George Selden, filed a patent for a car he called the "road machine." It had a transversely mounted, three-cylinder, two-stroke engine driving its front wheels. He managed to keep the patent alive and finally built it in 1905. Even then it couldn't be called a useable vehicle, however historically it is significant because the licensing association formed under its patent had a profound effect on the early growth of the automotive industry. The potential advantages of front wheel drive (space and weight savings, improved traction, and more forgiving handling traits) instead of rear wheel drive intrigued vehicle designers ever since.

The trouble was that channeling torque to wheels that have to both steer and rise and fall with the suspension required a component that hadn't been invented yet. The ordinary Hooke or Cardan universal joint simply couldn't handle the angles involved. In 1928, Alfred Rzeppa patented a "ball-type universal joint." It could transmit twisting power through unbelievable bends and eliminated the undesirable characteristics of a regular U-joint. Eventually it was given the name "constant velocity joint." Later, the French developed the tripod and tulip CVJ that did essentially the same thing in a different way. There were serious durability problems with early CV joints; they needed refinement and better lubricants before they could be considered reliable.

By 1959 new technologies had emerged, and combined with the design talent of Sir Alec Issigonis, the first successful front wheel drive automobile was introduced. Britains Austin-Morris Mini represented the first use of a transverse mounted front wheel drive configuration in a production car. The popularity of the car was immense, and Sir Alec Issigonis placed his signature on most Austin and Morris models until the early seventies. Production ceased in 2000 with over 5.5 million Minis sold during its 41 (Designed in 1955, first production 1959.) year run.

By the early seventies the US would begin to see the growth of the front wheel drive revolution. Although a few highly respected automobile manufactuers (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, etc.) continue to utilize rear wheel drive, front wheel drive design dominates vehicle production today.

 


763. I just purchased a used 2001 TE PT with 23k miles. The problem I am encountering is that the horn will not work when engine is hot (from running or hot day). I get up in the morning and start the car, and the horn works fine. I drive to work (20 minutes) and the horn does not work. Car cools down, cool morning, horn works again. It looks like heat disables it, what do I do? - Jesus, from Arkansas.

If you purchased it from a dealer, they probably provided you with a limited warranty, or the OEM DC warranty (36 months or 36,000 miles may be valid. If that's the case take it back and have them troubleshoot and repair it. If you purchased it privately and the OEM warranty has expired the fix may be on your dime. Since you mention heat as a significant factor I would first check the horn relay located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) under the hood. That is the only component in the horn system that is subjected to high external heat. Disconnect the negative battery terminal before removing the relay or prior to installing a new one. While visiting the dealer ask them to run your VIN to identify all the recalls on your PT. Some 2001 models had two or three recalls.

Follow up from owner - Turns out it is still covered under the OEM warranty. They said the horn fuse was corroded. When it is cold it still makes contact, but when it heats up it expands it looses contact and fails. They also cleaned all the contacts in the box to make sure everything was ok. The car had 2 recalls, which they took care of. Thanks again.

 


764. I have a 2001 LE PT with 43.5k miles, which was built in February 2000. When I'm driving at any speed and hit a bump the speedometer will drop 5 to 20 mph and come back up, if I have the cruise control on the car will speed up. This car has an automatic transmission and at speeds less than 20 mph the transmission will suddenly downshift causing the car to lurch forward. I was coming to a stop and hit a dip in the road, and the transmission down shifted hard and the car sped up. I would appreciate any help you can give me with this problem. - Jim, from Washington.

My first look would be the VSS, vehicle speed sensor. If it's intermittent, you will get this behavior. It could be the sensor, wiring, ground, or PCM, along with about a hundred other causes. The diagnostic process begins with the speed sensor. We have more info on the speed sensor in the Key Sensors System guide in the pitareainfo.html area.

 


765. I have a 2002 LE PT. What is the plug located under the PCV hose for? The area surrounding the plug looks dry, but when the edges are touched, you get a small amount of oil on your finger. The dealer says this is okay. - Steve, from California.

That's the camshaft position sensor. I think it's fine.




766. I have a 2001 LE PT and live in the Philippines. The local dealer has never serviced or sold a PT Cruiser. I have been purchasing all of my parts online, and recently bought a new PCM from DC and had ASE install their performance chip, who than shipped it to me. After I installed the new PCM the car wouldn't start due to I believe, the immobilizer. How do I remedy this problem? The original PCM works, but doesn't have the factory update's as my car is a pre-June 2000 released CA model. The idea was to buy an updated PCM, then chip it for better performance. Thank you for any help that you can give me. - Kevin, from Philippines.

A new PCM must be programmed to the VIN, options, and mileage when installed. The service manual states "The PCM engine control strategy prevents reduced idle speeds until after the engine operates for 320 km (200 miles). If the PCM is replaced after 320 km (200 miles) of usage, update the mileage and vehicle identification number (VIN) in the new PCM. Use the DRB scan tool to change the mileage and VIN in the PCM. If this step is not done a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) may be set. Refer to the appropriate Powertrain Diagnostic Manual and the DRB scan tool."

 


767. I am looking for the color code for Electric Blue Pearl. My husband wants to paint his car that color and we have been searching for days now. ? The paint shop doesn't have it. Can you help? Thanks. - Marilyn, from USA.

Your local dealer DC dealer should be able to easily provide you with this information. The DC color code for Electric Blue Pearl is AB5.

 


768. I have a 2001 LE PT. I was unscrewing my stock antenna from my PT and about half of the threading broke off and is stuck inside the antenna base receptacle. I later learned that the dealer put locktite on it. I wondered if you had any idea of how to remove the rest of the threading? - Shane, from California.

There are few things you can try to remove the remainder of the bolt. Of course, the trick is to remove the remainder of the bolt without damaging the surrounding threads on the antenna receptacle. You can try some of these ideas while the antenna assembly is on the car, however the diameter of the remaining bolt is relatively small and you may have a better shot at it if you remove the entire antenna assembly. If these suggestions don't work the alternative would be to replace the entire antenna assembly.

Reference - Workshop Hints - Removing Broken Screws

 


769. I have a 2002 TE PT and am experiencing an intermittent problem. At times the car won't start. It runs, but dies between shifts and cruising. This lasts 3 to 6 seconds. Has never failed under hard acceleration. Thank you. - Steve, from California.

If there are no engine codes (DTC's) when read on the odometer test, then I would look first at the fuel pressure. That's one thing that's not monitored by the PCM. Without any diagnostic codes, testing must be done. It could be fuel, the security system, or even a bad ignition switch. There are tools, which are available through your DC dealer that record engine parameters. It will tell if fuel or ignition failed first

Follow up from owner - I was able to get the PT to fail again and DC towed it back to my dealer where they diagnosed the problem as a bad crankshaft position sensor. They replaced it, which resolved the problem. (A faulty sensor usually pulls a DTC.)

 


770. I own a 2002 2.4L LE PT and the problem is the low MPG (16.8 MPG) at highway speeds of 130 kph (82mph). After scanning with DRB III the DC technician said all the sensor and emissions values were within limits. He was familiar with the export engines (2.0L and 2.2 D), but not with the 2.4L engine and said that the idle injection pulse (4msec) was almost twice of the 2.0L. I know that the 2.0L mpg at the same speeds is around 26-27, so mine seems really excessive. I experienced an earlier issue when the MIL came up, indicating DTC P0456 (small leak). The dealer disassembled the fuel tank assembly, found no problems, and cleared the code. The MIL came back, DC upgraded the PCM software and since then the MIL has not come on. Another issue is that the car will not accelerate over 95-100 MPH after shifting into 4th. Is it a sign of power loss? Your thoughts would be highly appreciated. - Edith, from Hungary.

Your mpg is certainly much less than average, but if your normal drive at 82mph that will be a contributing factor for reduced mpg. EPA MPG tests for new vehicles in the US are conducted at 55 mph; higher speeds, like 65-80 mph consume much more gasoline. For example, driving at 65 mph, rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20%. Driving at 75 mph, rather than 65 mph, increases fuel consumption by another 25%.

There are instances when MIL's and poor mpg are related, however your description of the DTC doesn't necessarily support that conclusion if the dealer resolved the DTC when he flashed your PCM. If there was no change in mpg before or after the fix it's probably a non-issue. By your description it sounds like a restricted exhaust or intake. The engine is working overtime to push the car. Imagine running and trying to breathe through a straw! There could be a number of factors, but bad mileage, restricted top speed, and wide injector pulse width all lead to a restriction. It will require further diagnosis by the dealer.

 


771. We have a 2003 BE PT. The fan control only operates on the highest setting regardless of which (A/C on or off) mode I'm. I have tried changing relays for the fan and the fuse is ok. Any suggestions? - Mike, from Nebraska.

It sounds like the blower motor resistor pack has an open circuit. It's mounted inside the ductwork and is certainly a warranty repair.

 


772. We purchased a 2003 LE PT early this year and really enjoy it. I can recall reading a post in a forum awhile back about a 2001 owner who had upgraded to a 2003 model, and reported that the rear stabilizer bar seemed to be missing. I didn't notice this on my PT, is it something we need to be concerned about? Thank you for any information you can provide. - Ernest, from Utah.

Background - All 2001-2002 PT's came equipped with front and rear external sway bars. In late 2002 that changed - new 2003 PT's were being delivered to customers without a rear external sway bar. In some instances the external rear sway bar was noted on the Mulrooney sticker at the dealership, but absent on the PT. Initially, many dealers did not understand why the sway bar was listed on the sticker, but not included on the car. To appease some customers, some dealers installed the rear sway; possibly believing it was a factory oversight. Eventually, DC received enough calls and issued an informational TSB to their dealers.

TSB: 02-004-02
Issue Date: October 28, 2002
Year & Model Affected: 2003 PT Cruiser

Discussion

From the initial launch of the PT Cruiser (2001 model year) all vehicles built for sale in the US and Canada included two devices for roll control at the rear of the vehicle:

1. An internal stabilizer, integrated into the rear twist beam axle and;
2. An external supplemental bar, which was added during product development to achieve, desired vehicle dynamic characteristics.

An engineering change occurred for the 2003 model year that increased the size of the internal stabilizer bar. This new internal bar provides a level of roll control, which equals the performance of the previous combination of internal and external parts. As a result, the external supplemental bar was no longer required, and was dropped from production.

Note - The addition of a supplemental external stabilizer bar on a US or Canadian market 2003 model year PT Cruiser in the absence of other changes will compromise the vehicles rides characteristics, and is not recommended.

 


773. I have a 2002 DE PT and would like to know if there is a trick to unplugging the rear window switches? I tried to disconnect them yesterday and for the life of me I couldn't get them apart. I know there is the little catch to squeeze, but even with that done and pulling on the plug I couldn't unplug them. Thanks. - Tammy, from Texas.

The red tab is a locking connector. It must slide out to unlock the connector. Then you can depress the tab and pull the switch out of the socket.

 


774. I have a 2001 LE PT with 130,887 miles on it. I went to a shop and was told that I need a new catalytic converter. I want an aftermarket converter for around 200-300 $. Do you know of any? I've owned various high mileage vehicles and never had to replace the converter on any of them. ? Why would I need a catalytic converter so soon? - James, from Connecticut.

You need to get a second opinion. The converter should not need replacement within 3 years of manufacture. Unless it's been physically damaged, rusted through, or a defective manufacture, it should last more than 10 years, regardless of mileage. Before replacing a catalytic converter, determine the root cause of failure to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem. Most catalytic converter failures are caused by air, fuel or ignition problems. One indicator would be a check engine light. If the cat has lost efficiency, a DTC code would be set and the MIL would come on.

Reference - Tech Tips
Reference - How It Works

Follow up from owner - Actually, I didn't provide you with all the details, it's the downpipe coming from the manifold that has cracked. Midas told me that the converter and downpipe are one piece. He said he has seen similar problems with DC minivans.

Follow up from DIY - The converter and downpipe are one piece. I only know of one additional owner who needed a downpipe. Although it was out of warranty DC replaced the converter for free. They treat the emissions system with kid gloves. They may decide to warranty the converter if your relationship with them is solid. If you end up having to replace it, the converter is specific to the vehicle and model year; they are not generally interchangeable with other converters.

 


775. I have a 2002 BE PT and I'm interested in relocating my front license plate below the OEM bumper. I reviewed the procedure on the site, but would like to know what to do about the 4 vacant OEM holes left in the bumper? They are really obvious and look bad. Thanks. - Tom, from Wisconsin.

You're going to have to use your creative skills and see what you can come up with. Some owners have report using the following:

1. Rubber or plastic hole plugs, which can be purchased, through a well-equipped hardware and or auto part store. Look for a plug with about a1/4" head diameter.

2. Try to locate some Snap Caps. They conceal, protect and decorate the heads of screws and bolts. A Snap-Cap consists of two parts (a plastic washer and colored cap). They are available in a wide variety of colors. They fit securely, are vibration-proof, impervious to weather extremes, UV stabilized and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. All you do is slip the screw through the washer, than thread it into the bumper and add the colored cap.

2. Dark colored license plate frame screws.

3. Patch the holes and painted them with bumper paint purchased through your local auto part store. Check with the auto part store or a body shop for a suitable patching compound.

I conducted a quick online search; here are a few issue related links:

Reference - Bumper Plug Procedure
Reference - StopCap Rubber Plugs
Reference - ProDec Snap Caps

 



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