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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 Four Q&A 826 - 850

826. I have a 2003 GT and would like to know where the ignition coil is on the Turbo? Is it the same that's used on the regular PT? Thanks. - Elton, from Illinois.

The coil pack consists of 2 coils molded together. The same coil and plug wires are used on all 2.4L turbo, non-turbo, and 2.0L export motors. Only the 1.6L gas and the 2.2L diesel are different. The coil is under the intake, mounted to the valve cover, the same as all other PT's. Follow the plug wires back to the coilpack. Warning - the direct ignition system generates approximately 40,000 volts. Personal injury could result from contact with this system.


827. We have a 2003 BE PT w/manual transmission and 13k miles. We are experiencing engine valve ping while accelerating in all gears. We have been to the dealer twice, and they haven't been able to resolve the problem. Their first suggestion was to try a better grade of gas. We tried 87 & 89 octane gas with no change. During the second visit to the dealer they determined that the PCM was an earlier model and decided to flash PCM with new programming, which did not resolve the problem. Thank you. - Richard, from Oregon.

If the pinging occurs during mid throttle acceleration, but not at WOT wide open throttle, I would check the knock sensor. Anything above 85% throttle, and the PCM goes open loop and the sensors (including the knock sensor) are not used. The PCM uses a preprogrammed fuel and ignition strategy. Please let us know how this issue is finally resolved.


828. I have a 2001 PT with 17,500 miles on it. About one year ago (about 12,000 miles) it started behaving strangely. For no apparent reason when you brake to wait for the garage door to open or at a stoplight, the TRAC and ABS lights illuminate and ding simultaneously. They stay illuminated until you shut off the car. If you start it again, everything is normal. This has been happening for one year and the frequency of occurrence has increased to every time the car is driven. My dealer has no clue and the car is out of warranty in Sept '03. Have you heard of this happening? Thank you. - Henry, from USA.

This is the first issue of this type that we've received. We weren't able to come up with anything definitive, however there are a few cautions mentioned in the 2002 service manual to consider and some additional testing that the dealer can do.

Cautions - The addition of aftermarket electrical equipment (car phone, radar detector, citizen band radio, trailer lighting, trailer brakes, etc.) on a vehicle equipped with antilock brakes may affect the function of the antilock brake system.

Caution - If welding work is to be performed on the vehicle, using an electric arc welder, the CAB connector should be disconnected during the welding operation.

The dealer needs to take the time to perform some of the written tests.

If it is the red BRAKE warning indicator, there is a brake hydraulic problem that must be corrected before driving the vehicle If the amber ABS warning indicator is on, road test the vehicle as described below. While only the amber ABS warning indicator is on, the ABS is not functional. The ability to stop the car using the base brake system should not be affected.

1. Turn the key to the OFF position and then back to the ON position. Note whether the amber ABS warning indicator lamp continues to stay on.

2. If the amber ABS warning indicator lamp stays on, shift into gear and drive the car to a speed of approximately 25 km/h (15 mph) to complete the ABS Start-Up and Drive-Off Cycles. If at this time the amber ABS warning indicator lamp stays on, refer to the Appropriate Diagnostic Information.

3. If the amber ABS warning indicator lamp goes out at any time, drive the vehicle a short distance. Accelerate the vehicle to a speed of at least 64 km/h (40 mph). Bring the vehicle to a complete stop, braking hard enough to cause the ABS to cycle. Repeat this action several times.

Controller Antilock Brake

The CAB contains a self-diagnostic program that monitors the antilock brake system for system faults. When a fault is detected, the amber ABS warning lamp is turned on and the fault diagnostic trouble code (DTC) is then stored in a diagnostic program memory. These DTC's will remain in the CAB memory even after the ignition has been turned off. The DTC's can be read and cleared from the CAB memory by a technician using the DRB scan tool. If not cleared with a DRB scan tool, the fault occurrence and DTC will be automatically cleared from the CAB memory after the identical fault has not been seen during the next 3,500 miles of vehicle operation.

The primary functions of the controller antilock brake (CAB) are to:

1. Monitor the antilock brake system for proper operation.

2. Detect wheel locking or wheel slipping tendencies by monitoring the speed of all four wheels of the vehicle.

3. Control fluid modulation to the wheel brakes while the system is in an ABS mode or the traction control system is activated.

4. Store diagnostic information.

5. Provide communication to the DRBIII scan tool while in diagnostic mode.

The CAB constantly monitors the antilock brake system for proper operation. If the CAB detects a fault, it will send a message to the mechanical instrument cluster (MIC) instructing it to turn on the amber ABS warning indicator lamp

This concern needs to be addressed ASAP. If there are no codes in the ABS controller and both warning indicators are lit, I would push for replacement of the controller.

Follow up from owner - The ABS/TRAC lights illuminate at the same time. When this happens, the ABS illuminates in yellow, not in red. I visited the dealer and they diagnosed it as a faulty left front wheel, ABS speed sensor.


829. I have a 2003 LE PT and read on a number of forums about removing the air restrictors in the OEM filter housing. I removed the upper restrictor and added a K&N filter. I am reluctant to remove the lower intake tube because it bends 90 degrees and appears to draw fresh air in from the fender well area. It seems to me that if I remove the lower intake tube I will be drawing in more hot air from the engine compartment. Is this the case or will removing the lower tube increase the airflow? I haven't noticed any benefit from removing the upper restrictor. I'd like to install a cold air kit, but my budget for upgrades is very little. Thanks. - Dustin, from Oklahoma.

The white plastic restrictor inside the OEM air filter housing lid is nearly a 33% decrease in the air tube volume. Drawing in hot air is bad - don't remove the lower tube or do anything that will increase the intake air temps.


830. I have a 2001 LE PT. My blower fan to the radiator stopped working. The fuses and relay appear to be ok. I need to know how to gain access to the relay switches so that I can check them? - Vincent, from Texas.

You'll need a scanner and a service manual. With a diagnostic scanner, you can see the on-off state for all the relays as well as the PCM commands. There is low speed and high speed fan operation. The service manual and wiring diagrams will help. The relays and fuses are located in the power distribution center under the hood. If a fuse is blown, it must be determined what caused it.


831. I have a 2003 BE PT. Is it normal for the rear side windows to feel loose? They do not rattle or make noise but if you hold the window while it is down you can move it around in the slot. The front sides do not do this. Should I have this looked at? Thank you. - Craig, from Ohio.

The service manual does not provide any information with regard to window fit, however the front window installation procedure refers to a regulator channel, as does the rear window installation. In addition, the rear guide mentions a run channel guide for the window. These appear to be the channels for the glass, however no positioning specifications are provided. Apparently, you just slip the glass into place and proceed to the next step in the procedure. I checked the windows on my 2001 and they are snug all the way around. If your rear windows appear to be operating properly at the moment it may not be necessary to make a specific trip to the dealer, but I would certainly point it out during my next scheduled maintenance visit. It does not appear to be normal.


832. I own a 2002 LE PT with 13k miles, and automatic transmission, which I purchased 3 days ago. When I arrived home today I discovered that I could not remove the key from the ignition. My neighbor, who owns a 2001 PT, took a look and said that the shift knob push-button is in, instead of out. The car is sitting in my parking lot with the key in it and I can not get this button to pop out. What could be the problem? Thanks so much! - Jeanie, from Virginia.

The Automatic Transaxle Ignition Interlock System prevents the key from being removed unless the shift lever is in park and the shift knob push-button is out. It also prevents shifting out of park unless the key is in the off or on position. There is a spring inside the shifter that keeps tension on the button. In some cases, this may be defective. Removal is the only method of inspection and repair. You may want to seek the help of your local dealer to troubleshoot this before you attempt a repair.


833. I have a 2003 GT PT. I have been told by other GT owners that I need to cool off my turbo engine before shutting it off is this true? I have also been told that I need to warm it up before driving? Thanks. - Cindy, from Oregon.

Unlike the 2001 and 2002 owners' manuals, by design or error DC has failed to include the initial engine start up procedure in their 2003 owners' manuals. Most new cars require very little warm up time. There are no differences in the initial start up of a PT or GT. After starting the engine allow it to idle for a few minutes (1-2) before proceeding. This allows the oil to reach and lubricate all parts of the engine to prevent metal-to-metal wear. During the winter months you may want to extend the warm up time by another minute or two. The idle speed will automatically decrease as the engine warms up. Long periods of engine idling, especially at high engine speeds, can cause excessive exhaust temperatures, which can damage the vehicle. I would suggest that you bring the engine up to operating temperature prior to using the turbo.

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

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

Turbocharger Cool Down Chart

Driving Conditions

Idle Time Before Shut Down

Normal Driving

Not required

Aggressive Driving or Heavily Loaded

3 Minutes

Trailer Tow

5 Minutes


834. I have a 2003 GT Turbo PT and don't care for the front bumper tag location. I want to relocate the tag centered below the bumper. Would there be a problem with airflow and intercooler behind the lower grille? Thanks. - Dan, from North Carolina.

I wouldn't normally consider it to be a problem on the PT, but on the GT I would say yes, the relocated plate would interfere with airflow. That intercooler needs all the air it can get to cool the intake charge.


835. I have a 2001 LE PT. This morning I heard a knocking sound while over 3,000 rpm's and took it in to the dealer. They say it's big-ends? The car has 70,000km on the clock and just out of warranty (60,000Km). Has anyone experienced this problem? - Kevin, from South Africa.

If "big ends" refers to bad connecting rod bearings where they attach to the crankshaft, we have not had any complaints of defective or worn bearings or rod knock.


836. We have a 2002 LE PT. While driving home today, my PT suddenly downshifted, the rpm's revved way up, and the MIL came on. I pulled over and got my manual out to see if I could safely drive it home. I did so, and ran the diagnostics tests, which gave me a P0700 fault code. I have no idea the description of the code means, and have yet to get an appointment with the dealer. Could you explain what exactly this is, and can the vehicle be driven? When I started it back up it was shifting okay and then did the same thing and the MIL is staying on all the time. Thank you for any help you can give me. - Linda, from Virginia.

P0700 - Transmission Control System/ Read Transmission DTC(s) on the DRB III scan tool.

This is an informational DTC letting you know that a DTC(s) is stored in the Transmission Control Module. The technician will erase this DTC from the PCM after all of the Transmission DTC(s) have been repaired.

Effects: Immediate 'limp-in' mode (transmission only moves in 2nd gear) if power is lost while operating the vehicle. Normal operation is restored during the same key start.

Follow up from owner - Thank you for responding to my question. I had my car towed into the dealer's auto service shop, and they came up with a code of P0765...SOLENOID. They replaced that and I haven't had any additional problems.


837. I have a 2001 LE with 43k miles. During the initial engine start and driving all is OK. After turning engine off and restarting, the Trac Off and ABS lights come on. Under this condition, they remain on the rest of the day. Once the vehicle is shut down for the night it seems to be fine during the initial start in the morning. The Trac switch has no effect, except on the first trip of the day. The brakes seem to be OK. I ran the two self-tests and had no errors. Any ideas? - Fred, from Alabama.

The self-tests rule out the engine and instrument cluster operation, therefore it is most likely directly related to the ABS. The ABS codes require a DRB scanner to collect. If the light is on, there are codes to read. It means the ABS will not work if you need it. The hydraulic brakes will work normally, as long as the red brake light is not lit. We haven't received a complaint similar to yours before and would suggest that you have your dealer check it out.


838. I have a 2003 GT PT. I removed the OEM muffler on my GT and replaced it with a straight pipe (no restrictions) and my mpg has dropped ten miles per gallon. What's up? My dealer also just installed a new OBD (old one was bad) one week prior to the muffler change. Do you see a connection? Thanks for the help. - Alan, from the YSA.

Opening up a system that's designed to require a certain backpressure will move the power band higher than normal. The torque can significantly drop. Reinstall the OEM muffler and see the mpg increase.


839. I have a 2001 LE PT. How do the export PT's with the 1.6L engine compare to (are they as slow as) domestic PT's? - James, from Connecticut.

They are slower. The 2.0L export engine is similar to the 2.4L in that it has twin cams with a lower power output. The 1.6L gas is a single cam engine with minimal power. It scares me to think of a 3200lb car with that engine! The 2.2 turbo diesel will certainly keep up with traffic. It's the torque, not the horsepower that makes it a contender.


840. My 2003 PT's coolant bottle shows the level at just a bit over the ADD line. Does this mean I need to add any coolant? My wife's 2000 Stratus recently overheated and a friend added about 1 gallon of an unknown coolant so I know that will require a coolant change or radiator flush. Thanks. - Rob, from California.

Standard Procedure - Routine Coolant Level Check

Note - Do not remove pressure cap for routine coolant level inspections.

The coolant recovery/reserve system provides a quick visual method for determining the coolant level without removing the pressure cap. Simply observe, with the engine idling and warmed up to normal operating temperature, that the level of the coolant in the recovery/reserve bottle is between the FULL HOT and ADD marks.


841. I have a 2003 BE PT and have read about clay bars, but would like to know what they do, if anything, on a new car? - Bob, from Florida.

Professional detailers have used clay bars for years. They're used for removing surface contaminants from the paint finish that cannot be removed with regular washing and waxing. Clay bars remove bugs, tree sap, paint over spray, light tar, and rail dust, brake dust and industrial fallout, which are contaminants that derive from friction and air pollution. A vehicle can not be effectively waxed or polished unless the surface is free from contamination. Some owners use a clay bar prior to applying the first finish to their vehicle. Many popular automotive cleaning system manufacturers carry a clay bar product.


842. The PCM is on the firewall above master cylinder, where would the TCM be located? Thanks for your help. - Franco, from USA.

The Transmission Control Module (TCM) is located behind the left fender and is fastened to the left frame rail forward of the suspension. It mounts on a bracket that is fastened to the rail.


843. I have a 2002 LE with woodgrain option. I would like to know what type of "wood" is on the sides. I am planning to build a wooden rear shelf. Thank you for the help. - Bill, from USA.

DC describes the Woodgrain Exterior Accent group as follows - Medium Oak woodgrain film (decal) on front and rear doors, rear quarter panels and liftgate framed by dimensional Light Ash rail moldings and front fenders feature rail moldings without Medium Oak film. There are no other details.


844. I have a 2003 GT PT and plan to install a Nitrous fogger kit. Do I need a retard box and what jet size do you recommend? - Paul, from Canada.

Staying around 50hp with NOS should not require any timing retard. There are no magic jet numbers. You will need to get air/fuel readings and tune it to your application. A chassis dyno is the best solution for jetting.


845. I have a 2002 LE Woody PT with an automatic transmission. The vehicle is "bucking" - meaning that when cruising in Drive (4th gear) at 45-70 mph, the car hesitates and bucks intermittently. This action can be duplicated at 35-45 mph in the "3" drive position (3rd gear). RPM seems to be anywhere from 2-2.8k when this is occurs. Sometimes it doesn't do it at all; at other times, it is a very pronounced bucking feeling - very uncomfortable. The dealer described the problem as a "surge" when the vehicle was road tested in connection with service at the 12k interval. Dealer road tested, found "surge," called "STAR" which suggested a bad EGR valve, noting that "some surge is normal." The dealer replaced EGR valve (P/N 25014509), road tested and discovered a engine misfire. Then they replaced the ignition coil (P/N 08120205). This improved the situation, but within 1,500 miles, the problem reappeared and is worse now than before. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. - Rich from Ohio.

Secondary ignition should be checked. The coils 'never' fail. The wires and especially the plugs should be inspected. Fuel pressure and volume should be monitored. O2 sensor datastream should be recorded to look for the surges. The dealer can install a "flight recorder" to take some of the datastream readings.


846. I have a 2002 LE PT with the heated seat option. There is high and low settings. Is there an off position? Thanks. - Bill, from Pennsylvania.

There are three modes that can be selected with each of the heated seat switches: Off, Low, and High. When the front of the switch rocker is depressed, the High mode is selected and the high mode LED indicator illuminates. Depressing the front of the switch rocker a second time will return the heated seat to Off. When the rear of the switch rocker is depressed, the Low mode is selected and the low mode LED indicator illuminates. Depressing the rear of the switch rocker a second time will return the heated seat to Off. In addition, the heated seats will automatically return to the Off mode anytime the vehicle ignition switch is turned Off.


847. I have a 2001 LE PT. In the rear, on both the right and left side under the corners of the hatch, there is a discoloration of the bumper. It looks like a mineral stain, similar to when your tap water has too much lime in it. At first that's what I thought it was rain or wash water drying in the sun. I have tried to wash, scrub, etc it off without success. There is similar discoloration on the front under the headlights. I have looked at other PT's but have not seen this type of discoloration on the bumpers. Any thoughts or ideas on what this may be or what may cause it? Thank you. - Steve, from Ohio.

Although I don't have an explanation for your concern, your description sounds like chemical runoff. Those locations are where a chemical in water rain or washing) would slowly drain. Ask yourself what you wash it with that others do not. Do you park in an area that could accumulate dust chemicals? Do you use a drive-thru car wash? They are known for using terrible chemicals.


848. I have a 2001 BE PT. When I drive the vehicle in warm weather for long periods of time (over 2 hours) the radio stops working. It is fine for cool weather. When the radio stops working, the (clock) time readout is incorrect; it does not reset to 12:00, and the radio pre-sets are maintained. Any idea where to start looking? Thanks for any help. - Max, from Oregon.

You will need to check for power at both the B+ and memory power terminals at the radio power connector. Either the radio is losing power to it due to a wiring concern, or there is an internal intermittent open circuit inside the radio. New ones can be found on E-Bay for a lot less than the dealership.


849. I have a 2001 LE PT. I made the biggest mistake today. I went to Auto Zone for a torque wrench to change my spark plugs and asked for an inch pound wrench. They got me one, but without double checking it, I purchased and used it. It turned out to be a foot pound wrench, instead of the inch pound model. I set it to 156 foot pounds and the spark plug cracked in two. The threaded portion is stuck in the engine. Is there a way to get it out? Did I ruin anything inside by over tightening it? - Dan, from Illinois.

Professional auto parts suppliers employ ASE certified parts specialists to help avoid mistakes like this. Some times a broken plug can be removed using an easy-out extractor, by inserting it into the hole where the ceramic part used to be, and slowly unscrewing the old plug. However, that's not possible on the PT given the position of the plug and reach requirement for the easy-out extractor. With the PT, it will take special tools to remove the broken plug. If you're lucky, the head won't be trashed. 13 ft/lbs. is only a fraction more than finger tight.

Although we strongly recommend that you use a torque wrench, a good rule of thumb for owners without a torque wrench is finger tight, plus a 1/16th turn of the ratchet for a non-gasket plug, and a 1/4 turn for steel gasket plugs (PT plugs).


850. We have a 2001 LE PT. The vent system has stopped functioning correctly. Regardless of which selection I use on the control knob; air only comes out of the foot vents and the tiny vents in the corners of the dash. The fan blows plenty of air, and I can get hot or cold air, but I cannot get air out of the defroster or out of the main dashboard vents. When the problem started, (about a week ago) I was driving with the blower on and I heard a sound like a vent being forced shut. I have had the problem constantly ever since. Is there something I can do myself, or is it time for a trip to the repair shop? Thank you. - Eric, from Seattle.

The 'mode door' and cable operation need to be inspected. The mode door is operated by a cable from the control knob on the dash and sends the air from the floor to the panel to the defroster vents. The removal and inspection is covered in the service manual.


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