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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 Six Q&A 876 - 900

876. I have a 2003 BE PT. I messed up. I tried to install a subwoofer and amp. I got lazy and used the power source from the rear 12v cigarette outlet. I spliced into it for the juice and ground. Big Mistake! Everything was connected and working fine until I moved the amp, then my screwdriver fell and hit the speaker connection on the amp and the rear locking plate that secures the liftgate. It created a short of some kind. The radio speakers started to make a whining and crackling sound. I went to the radio and turn it off, disconnected every thing I connected and turned the ignition off, but I could detect a burnt odor. I turned the ignition on and eject the CD in my radio, then noticed smoke coming from the rear of the radio. Then the dome light and rear liftgate light went out. A little while later I cautiously started the car and everything except the power door locks, dome light, power mirrors and courtesy buzzer works. I tried to locate a fuse that was burned, without success. The car readout indicates that there is "No Fuse" and continuously flashes this message while the car is sitting still. Once the car begins to travel the flashing message stops. If you can, please help. Thank you. - J, from California.

Check fuse #18, (20amp) in the Power Distribution Center box under the hood. This fuse will blow when you've added a load to the circuit or there is a component failure. It doesn't take much to blow the fuse, the addition of a stereo or alarm, or even the power window modification, if you wired it into that circuit. This fuse has a plastic pull-tab on it. . To remove the fuse, pull it straight out until you here a "locking sound", then pinch the two "arms" just below the very top of the fuse/latch, which will release the fuse. It's used to control Ignition-Off Draw = IOD. If it's blown, replace the fuse and see if that resolves the problem. If it immediately blows again you will need to determine what is causing it to blow. Do not replace the fuse a second time until you diagnosis and repair the problem.


877. I have a 2001 PT. The light is out for the outside temperature on the overhead console. How do I take that apart to fix problem? Thank you. - Allen, from USA.

If the display readout is inoperative or incorrect after ruling out the temperature sensor and circuitry the display must be replaced, it is not serviceable.


878. I have a 2002 LE PT. Recently, I noticed that my fog lamps are not operating and neither does the indicator on the dash. I checked the bulbs and the fuse, which are OK. If I remove the fuse and measure with a voltmeter, there is 12v on the top "pin" with respect to chassis ground. I am out of warranty (3year 360000 and I have 40,000) and would like to fix this myself. Could this be the switch or is there a relay of some sort that I can check? Thanks. - Tom, from New York.

I am assuming that this is a factory installation, which previously functioned correctly, everything else is working as it should and you are operating the fog lights correctly. To activate the front fog lights, turn ON the parking lights or the low beam headlights and pull out the end of the control lever.

Fog Lamps Do Not Illuminate

1. Blown fuse for fog lamp.
1. Replace fuse. Refer to Wiring Diagnosis.

2. No Z1-ground at fog lamps.
2. Repair circuit ground. Refer to Wiring Diagnosis.

3. Faulty fog lamp switch.
3. Replace fog lamp switch.

4. Broken connector terminal or wire splice in fog lamp circuit.
4. Repair connector terminal or wire splice.

5. Defective or burned out bulb.
5. Replace bulb.

The dash indicator lamp will light even if both bulbs are blown. I would suggest checking the #8 fuse in the fuse block next to the steering wheel. If a voltmeter or test light indicates 12v exiting the fuse, then power is going to the multifunction switch. If the fuse is blown, you'll have to figure out what caused it to blow.

If the fuse is Ok and you have 12v, and have ruled out the other possibilities, check the fog lamp switch, which is part of the multifunction switch. If the fog lamp switch is faulty you will have to replace the multifunction switch (P/N 5019 712AA). If it's OK, the dealer will have to perform further diagnostics to resolve the issue.

Follow up from owner - I traced it back to the multifunction switch. I was able to get the switch apart and found this spring-loaded contact that would contact when the fog lamps were turned on. It was binding and not contacting when the switch was thrown. I cleaned the area and now they work. I will be ordering a new multi function switch from Wyckoff today, along with the service manual as I have just recently gone out of warranty. Thanks again for your help.


879. I have a 2001 LE PT. I noticed that the coolant in the reservoir seems to be evaporating and there are no leaks of any kind on my car. I had the radiator flushed at the required service interval and had not noticed the problem before that. I trusted the dealer to check the fluid levels like they say they do, but after an oil change I checked, and the reservoir was empty, they had not even checked it. - Lawrence, from Texas.

The reservoir will appear low or empty if you check the level with the engine turned off. Follow the instructions in your owner manual for checking the coolant level. It is a closed system, if it is low it's usually because of an over heating concern, or there's a leak in the system.


880. I managed to get a good price on an aftermarket stainless steel chrome header. After reviewing the JBA header guide on the site I have two questions. When I install the gaskets, do I need to use a sealant? Also, the bracket that sits under the existing header is not mentioned in the guide, as far as reusing it. It just says to remove it. Thanks. - Joe, from New Jersey.

Do not use any kind of sealant on the exhaust gaskets. The OEM bracket is not useable with aftermarket parts. Be sure to fabricate the heat shields back in place.


881. We have a 2002 TE PT, with 37k miles, which has been trouble free, until now. We returned home late, and when we turned the engine off the automatic radiator cooling fan came on, and stayed on as we went inside. We assumed it would cycle and turn off - it did not. It drained the battery and is set to on, so we cannot jump the battery because the fan sucks all the juice. How can we disconnect it so we can jump the battery to take it in for repair? Thank you. - Chuck, from New Mexico.

The service manual indicates that the fan will continue to run if the coolant is low or there is a malfunctioning electrical component or circuit. The fan will only draw a few amps. The starter will require a few hundred amps. You can still jumpstart the PT with the fan running. I would look at the fan relays in the underhood power distribution center. It may be a stuck relay contact. Once you start the car, check the coolant level according to the procedure outlined in your owners' manual.

Follow up from owner - Here is the update on what we did to finally solve the problem. We were not able to get enough electric charge to hold in the battery to start the car. The fan motor seemed to take it all. We removed the fuse from the underhood fuse panel, that controls the radiator fan and that stopped it from sucking all the juice. Then we let the charger do its thing for an hour, started the car with no problem. Then we turned the car off, reinserted the fuse for the cooling fan, and the fan did not continue running. The car was restarted and we have had no more problems with it. (DIY Note - Although the problem seems to be resolved further diagnosis should be attempted in order to determine what caused the issue to occur and hopefully reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.)


882. I have a 2003 GT Turbo PT and have a question about the power window controls. The controls for the front windows illuminate when the lights are on. The ones for the rear do not. Is this a problem, or is this normal? Thank you. - Matt, from Texas.

That was one of the reported model year changes on the 2003-2004 Cruisers. Unlike 2001-2002 model years, which actually provided illumination for the front and rear window switches, the 2003/04 rear switches are not functional.


883. I have a 2001 LE PT. I discovered that my blower motor only works on high. I replaced the resistor, but it didn't help. I thought it was the switch and tried another, but still no help. Could it be the blower motor itself? Thanks. - Brian, from Tennessee.

The blower motor only receives power from a single output from the blower resistor. A single power lead goes to the switch. The fault must be somewhere between the two.


884. I have a 2001 LE PT. My Cruiser has just reached the age, which requires it to be tested by our government for roadworthiness. Although the car is immaculate and very well maintained, it failed the inspection - the left hand headlamp beam displays the wrong pattern for our roads. Is it possible that a 'left hand drive' lamp has been fitted at the factory, or is there an adjustment that can be made? - Terry, from Scotland.

The headlamp alignment procedure is available in the Pit area, however the manual indicates that export PT's have powered headlamp controls.

Headlamp Leveling Motor - Export Description

The Headlamp Leveling System allows the driver to adjust the headlamp beam pattern from the interior of the vehicle to compensate for passenger or cargo load. Only the vertical axis of the headlamp beam can be adjusted. A headlamp leveling switch is located on the instrument panel and controls the headlamp leveling motors found on the headlamp unit. The headlamp leveling switch has four settings 0-3, 0 being the lowest, 3 being the highest headlight beam vertical setting.

MODULE, Headlamp

5288 764AI 1 Right
5288 765AI 1 Left
5288 766AI 1 Right,Export
5288 767AI 1 Left,Export
5288 768AI 1 Right Hand Drive,Right
5288 769AI 1 Right Hand Drive,Left

Check that the correct part number has been installed. (Unable to respond via email - bounced back as undeliverable, user unknown.)


885. I have a 2003 DE Turbo PT. I would like to put a turbo timer on it. Which ones will work with the factory alarm? Thanks. - Don, from Florida.

I'm afraid that I do not have experience installing them. The turbo specific forums are the best place to ask.

A turbo timer will keep the engine running for a set time after the key is removed and the driver exits. It's similar to the headlamp delay found in higher-end cars. It keeps the oil circulating through the turbo to cool it down after spirited driving. It is an automated work around for the normal recommended manual cool down period.


886. I'd like to know if anyone knows of a factory roof rack that can be installed on the PT. The only racks the dealers offer are the after market version that attach to the doors. - Bob, from USA.

The OEM factory roof rack was available for purchase through Mopar in previous years, however in mid 2002 they discontinued carrying it and offered the clamp on version in its place. At that time you could still order the OEM version as a factory installed option when preordering a 2003 PT, or find one through existing (2002) inventory on a dealer lot, but it is no longer offered as an option on 2004 models.


887. I own a 2002 LE PT. For the past six months I have been going to my dealer to resolve an ongoing problem. While driving, my car suddenly stops in the middle of the road, I'm usually able to maneuver it to the shoulder and let it sit for a short while, however after restarting it stops again. I visited the dealer and they said that it was the battery, which they replaced, but the problem has continued. I revisited the dealer they replaced the chip in the key, which resolved the problem for 2 days before it returned. Next, they replaced a relay, and the car was good for 6 months before the problem reappeared. I told the dealer that the car was dangerous and that they needed to accurately diagnose the problem and permanently fix it. Now they are saying that the computer (PCM?) needs to be replaced. What do you to think? Thank you. Junior, from United Kingdom.

I think the technicians need to freshen up on the scan datastream and body control diagnostic codes. They can read the freeze-frame data with the Chrysler DRBIII scanner. They can also install a 'flight recorder'. It's a device that records all functions, so they can determine what caused the shutdown. Several owners have reported defective Sentry Key Immobilizer Modules (SKIM) and a few reported sticky ASD auto shutdown relays. The SKIM is the most likely suspect, other than fuel pump failure or a bad electrical connection. Please let us know how the issue is finally resolved.


888. I have a 2001 PT. While changing my tire and tightening the lugs, 3 of the 5 snapped off. I didn't over tighten them, they simply snapped off at the base. Is this a common problem, and can I replace the bolts or do I have to replace the entire assembly? - Mike, from Ohio.

The bolts are pressed in and can be changed individually. They should be available at any auto parts store. Someone must have over tightened them at some point. They should only be set to 100ft/lbs. Most tire shops just blast them with several hundred foot pounds of torque.

Breaking off lug nuts can be a common problem if proper care is not exercised. If you stand on the end of a tire iron, without proper support on the end of the tool you can shear off the nuts if they are frozen. Wheel lugs must be torqued correctly and a little bit of grease or anti-seize compound goes a long way in preventing future problems.


889. I'm having a problem with the ambient air temperature circuit for the overhead display console. During hot weather the display "locks up" for 5 to 15 minutes after startup. For example, I drive to work during 57 degrees weather and arrive at 7:30am. The car sits outside all day. At 5pm, I start the car in 85 degree heat and the display indicates that it is 57 degrees outside for 5 to 15 minutes; then the displayed temperature raises 1 degree at a time until it reaches a reasonable facsimile of the true ambient temperature. We've been to the dealer twice, and they indicate that everything appears to be working correctly, and can't duplicate the problem. In addition, the clock in the radio runs 15 minutes fast after about 2 months and they have been unable to diagnose the problem, however I doubt that they have done any actual troubleshooting of this system. They have referred me to Daimler's customer assistance phone number. Thanks for any help you can give on this issue. - Greg, from California.

This information is from the 2003 service manual, it is not included in the 2002 manual. "Since the ambient temperature sensor is in close proximity to the radiator, it can pick up engine heat giving a false "high" outside air temperature reading - known as "Heat Soak". In order to display a more correct outside temperature, the overhead console will not increase the displayed temperature until it detects movement in the compass over a two-minute period, to insure that there is adequate airflow over the sensor. "Movement over a two minute period" is best understood as once in the first minute, then some more detected movement in the second minute."


890. I have a 2003 PT Turbo Cruiser with 2000 miles on it that has a high speed miss in second gear between 5000 RPM and the shift point. The car gives a slight stutter two or three times in second at about 5000, 5400, and 5800 RPM. The miss seems to be more prevalent with WOT rather than if I just constantly depress the accelerator pedal until it shifts. I run 93-octane premium gas and have a K&N stock replacement air filter. I don't notice any miss in first gear. I have yet to take it to the dealer. No check engine light comes on. - Doug, from Texas.

Have the dealer run your VIN number to determine if the TSB affects your PT. If your car is covered, the dealer must change the PCM.

TSB# 18-029-03
Issue date - August 8, 2003

Subject - Slight Engine Mis-Fire Above 5200 rpm

Overview - This bulletin involves replacing the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

Models - 2003 (PT) Chrysler PT Cruiser

Note - This bulletin applies to vehicles built prior to January 22, 2003 (MDH0122xx) equipped with a 2.4L Turbo engine and manual transmission or prior to March 18, 2003 (MDH 0318xx) for vehicles equipped with a 2.4L Turbo engine and automatic transmission.

Symptom/Condition - Vehicle operator may describe a random or slight engine misfire when operating vehicle above 5200 rpm. There will be no DTC logged in the PCM. If there are DTC's present additional diagnosis should be done to determine the problem. This condition is caused by a internal hardware issue in the PCM.


891. I have a 2003 BE PT and would like to "black out" the rear of the muffler on my PT. I notice that earlier 2003's have the rear back "oval" of the muffler painted black. What suggestions can you make? Thanks. - John, from Arizona.

I have painted my own with flat black, high-temp BBQ grille paint. It works fine.


892. I have a 2003 BE PT, which I purchased without side airbags. If I buy new seats with the side airbags installed, will they operate? I am not sure if the factory installs a standard wire harness in all its models that would make such an installation simple. Thank You. - Dave, from Georgia.

I'm afraid not, the wiring may or may not be there, but the two side impact airbag control modules (SIACM) are not.


893. I have a 2003 LE PT with 30,000 miles. While in for interval servicing the dealer said my tires are showing steel. After replacing the tires they now say I need a toe? alignment. They want to charge me $80.00. I've never hit any curbs or anything, I just wonder how this gets out of alignment. Thank you. - Connie, from Texas.

Toe is the inward or outward angle of the wheels as viewed from above the vehicle. Toe-in is produced when the front edges of the wheels on the same axle are closer together than the rear edges. Toe-out is produced when the front edges of the wheels on the same axle are farther apart than the rear edges. Toe-in and toe-out can occur at the front wheels and the rear wheels.

There are many variables that can contribute to early alignment issues (curbs, potholes, bumps, damaged components, etc.) with a vehicle regardless of age or mileage. It is not an uncommon consideration, when necessary, while replacing all four tires. A number of tire pros seem to agree that toe is the most important alignment adjustment on the vehicle for preventing tire wear. An incorrect toe measurement of 1/8" is equal to driving a car one-mile and having the tire dragged sideways eleven feet. Front wheel drive has made four-wheel alignments a must. Three angles are checked at each wheel - camber, caster, and toe. Needless to say, four- wheel alignments are more time consuming and costlier than a standard two-wheel alignment. If you are leery of the dealers' advice, you might consider obtaining a second opinion from a pro tire shop, without mentioning the dealers' remarks.


894. I have a 2002 LE PT with 40k miles. Recently, some friends attending a car club meeting mentioned that Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid is a great idea, especially for Chrysler products. I've checked Mobile 1 Synthetic and it says it is ATF+4 compatible. So, I called the dealer and asked for their advice. You can imagine the reply, "only use approved Mopar products." What are your thoughts on this? Thank you. - Sue, from North Carolina.

We're fans of synthetic lubricants, but in this instance we suggest following the OEM manufacturers fluid recommendations. The TCM adjusts shifts by reading several sensors and calculates a CVI clutch volume index for each gear. The sophisticated electronic controls added to the general unreliability of Mopar automatics, leads me to only use Valvoline ATF+4. (Valvoline makes the ATF+4 for Mopar.) I do not know of anyone using synthetic ATF that has had a fault, but I'm unwilling to risk it for a $2500 transmission. The service manual states:

Transmission Fluid

Mopar ATF+4 (Automatic Transmission Fluid-Type 9602) is required in the 41TE automatic. Substitute fluids can induce torque converter clutch shudder. Mopar ATF+4 (Automatic Transmission Fluid-Type 9602) when new is red in color. The ATF is dyed red so it can be identified from other fluids used in the vehicle such as engine oil or antifreeze. The red color is not permanent and is not an indicator of fluid condition. As the vehicle is driven, the ATF will begin to look darker in color and may eventually become brown. This is normal. A dark brown/black fluid accompanied with a burnt odor and/or deterioration in shift quality may indicate fluid deterioration or transmission component failure.

Fluid Additives

DaimlerChrysler strongly recommends against the addition of any fluids to the transmission, other than those automatic transmission fluids listed above. Exceptions to this policy are the use of special dyes to aid in detecting fluid leaks. Various "special" additives and supplements exist that claim to improve shift feel and/or quality. These additives and others also claim to improve converter clutch operation and inhibit overheating, oxidation, varnish, and sludge. These claims have not been supported to the satisfaction of DaimlerChrysler and these additives must not be used. The use of transmission "sealers" should also be avoided, since they may adversely affect the integrity of transmission seals.


895. I have a 2001 TE PT with 43,700 miles, which I purchased used. I filled up at a gas station and the car started running rough afterwards. I assumed it was because it was cheaper gas (only gas station open for miles at the time), so I added a fuel injector cleaner to the gas tank. It went away up until I filled up again. I had no choice but use the same gas station, but added medium octane gas this time. It started again. I brought an octane boost, thinking now that the gas must be really cheaper. But when I got home, the check engine light came on. I ran the self-test and received the fault code 'P0301 - misfire on cylinder #1". I purchased the PT used, and it didn't include an owners' or maintenance manual. What do you think it is? Thank you for your time. - Mike, from New York.

The plugs are supposed to be changed every 30K miles. If they have not been done, it's way overdue. Our guide on the site will show you how to DIY. Gas stations mix the premium and the regular fuel to blend the midgrade. If the regular is contaminated, the midgrade will be also. If you want to confirm that it is the plug before changing them out apply the procedure outlined in this Q&A.

Follow up from owner - I'd just want to thank you for your advice. You were completely correct. The plugs were way overdue. One look at the first plug and I knew you were right. They had worn to the point where the gaps were between 0.58 and 0.60! I changed them pretty quickly, considering what it takes to reach them, and the car feels and drives better than the day I drove out with it. I followed the instructions on the site and installed the double platinum plugs, which I purchased from Autozone. Now I have to ease up a little on the throttle compared to the way it was before.


896. I have a 2001 LE PT. I recently read that the ball joints on the Dodge Dakota & Dodge Durango are being scrutinized. They, like the PT, have permanently sealed grease fittings. Do you still agree that a grease fitting should not be installed so that the car can be lubed? My friend just bought a 2004 TE PT and had his mechanic install fittings. Did he do the right thing? Thank you! - John, from Delaware.

The ball & cup are not designed to allow for any more grease than what comes in them. Do not add fittings. Your friend may have just voided his or her suspension and steering warranty by modifying the OEM design. The service manual expressly warns not to add fittings. Serviceable grease fittings have channels, grooves, and reservoirs for the grease, however the PT's design does not.


897. I own a 2001 LE PT. The check engine light came on so I checked the codes and it read P1684 and P0401. I know that the 1684 is the battery was disconnected within 50 starts, but it hasn't be disconnected. The 0401 has something to do with the A/F meter. I'm not sure what it means, or how to fix it. Any help would be great. Thank you. - David, from Illinois

There is no air/fuel meter on the PT. It uses a speed density strategy instead of the Mass airflow used by Ford & GM. P0401 is a very common code for the EGR. More than a few have been replaced under warranty on the PT. A new valve should cure the codes.

P0401 (M)
EGR System Failure
Required change in air/fuel ration not detected during diagnostic test.


898. I have a 2002 LE PT. As you know weather strip at the bottom of the door was not included on the 2002 model year. Would you know if weather strip from a 2001 or 2004 (I think that they are back for 2004) would fit? If so, would you have a P/N for all for the doors and approximate price? I live in Montreal and weather stripping is a must. Thanks for your time. - André from Canada.

The 2001 and 2002 IPB shows them, the 2003 IPB does not, we don't have the 2004 IPB. From what I can tell by looking at my 2001 PT they appear to be fastened with some type of adhesive, perhaps an adhesive backing on the weatherstrip itself. You will have to check with your local dealer on pricing.

The P/N's are the same for the 2001 and 2002 IPN, so they should be identical:

Front door - weatherstrip, sill front secondary

Right - 4724 768AB
Left - 4724 769AB


899. I have a 2001 LE PT. After replacing the air cleaner, my mileage went up 2 mpg, which makes me happy. However, I noticed that the engine doesn't drop down to idle speed when you let your foot off the gas and put the car in neutral and coast. At 5 mph it drops to where it should be. A mechanic told me it does that to keep the rpm's up so the alternator can make enough "juice" to run everything. So, is it all cruisers that do this or just mine? This has a tendency to want to wear out the front brakes quicker than they should. They lasted to 45k which is ok but I thought I would contact you for your opinion. - Dave, from Illinois.

Everything is fine. Getting 45K from your brakes is excellent! Most owners report replacing them between 18-24K miles. Better quality aftermarket pads will last longer and produce less dust. The PCM controls idle speed based on many sensor inputs. If it sees that you are still traveling at highway speed, it won't let the idle drop. This prevents a shock to the drivetrain when you shift back into gear.


900. My 2002 PT Cruiser has 34k miles. The guy at the service counter tried to tell me that it needed a transmission fluid service as part of the 30k miles service. According to my service manual this is not recommended until 48k miles and that is for driving conditions applicable to schedule B. My Cruiser is driven under fairly normal driving circumstances, so it actually probably falls more under A, than B. I did not find a recommended mileage for transmission service at all under schedule A. I have opted to wait at least until 48k miles. What do you think? - Ceissia, from the USA.

You are correct, under schedule A there are no scheduled fluid changes for the transmission. Most of the DIYers we talk with use schedule B, regardless of driving conditions or habits. However, even under that schedule, as you stated, it is not necessary until 48k miles. Unless you are experiencing an issue with the transmission, we suggest that you follow the maintenance schedule outlined in the owner's manual. (Unable to respond by email - bounced back as user unknown).


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