The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ask Motor-Mike and Ed.
Part Forty Six Q&A 1126 - 1150
1126. My mother-in-law just purchased a used 2003 BE PT with 28k miles and loves it. Is it possible to install a keyless entry system? This car does not have power windows or locks. If so, can you suggest a way to do so, perhaps Chrysler or someone else? Thanks. - Kelly, from Texas.
You are correct, these features are not standard equipment on the basic edition. We're not aware of any owners who have installed the power window option post vehicle purchase. Given the necessary additional components, and labor involved, the installation is best handled during vehicle assembly. It would be a costly add-on installation.
The dealer can install the OE power door lock option for you, however it isn't an inexpensive procedure. A number of owners have installed aftermarket power door lock kits, which are much more cost effective than the OE option. We offer an AutoLoc power door lock kit installation guide on the site, which several owners have installed and appear to be happy with. You'll find a guide in the Pit area, along with a very nice discount on the AutoLoc power door lock kit for Pit Pass subscribers. If you prefer not to DIY, many professional auto sound shops can handle the installation for you.
1127. I have a 2001 TE PT 58.5k miles. The temperature gauge took 15 miles of highway driving to move off the coldest position. I removed the thermostat and noticed that one of the cage welds broke and the bottom spring retainer was at a 90-degree angle to the normal position. I replaced the thermostat with a 195-degree thermostat like the original. Now, if I let the car idle, the temperature gauge acts normal, but as soon as I drive it, the gauge drops all the way down as if it were off. I get some heat, but not as much as under normal conditions. I also replaced the radiator cap because it didn't seem to build pressure. I checked for error codes and there were none present. One thing I did notice is that there is a bleeder near the temperature sensor, should I bleed it? How? Could it be an air lock? Thank you. - Bill, from Texas.
The bleeder must be used to clear any trapped air in the system any time a repair is performed. The bleeder valve is located below the radiator cap. See the OE Cooling System guide in the Pit area for complete instructions and illustrations if you need them.
1128. We have a 2002 LE PT with 47k miles. While out driving last week, we picked up a nail, which resulted in a flat tire, that I discovered the following morning. I installed the spare, and had the tire repaired at a local shop. When I arrived home I noticed that the small plastic door that hides the spare tire drive nut in the scuff cover was missing. I'm not sure what happened to it. Must we purchase a replacement scuff cover, to obtain this part? Thank you for your help. - Ian, from Arkansas.
It's not necessary to replace the scuff plate. The "Cover, spare tire bolt" (P/N SG38 WL8AA) is available as a separate item.
1129. We have a 2001 TE CRD PT. You very kindly gave us some helpful advice about a faulty turn signal on our PT back in March this year, which resolved the problem. Now we have another problem, with loss of fluid in the clutch system. According to the owner manual, which comes with the car, it says the system is filled for life and should not need re-filling unless there is a fault. Were going to have a look at it today, but were hoping to sort it out under the warranty if things get worse. - Angela and Jim, from the UK.
You are correct; it is a closed looped system. If the fluid is low, refill it and check the clutch reservoir level weekly to make sure that it doesn't drop again. If the level drops, you have a leak and it should be checked out immediately. You may want to physically check the areas around the reservoir, master and slave cylinders. If you don't see anything obvious, have the issue diagnosed by your dealer. The fluid that is required for use in the clutch hydraulic system is brake fluid conforming to DOT 3 specifications and J1703 standards. No other type of fluid is recommended or approved for use in the clutch hydraulic system. Use only Mopar brake fluid or equivalent from a tightly sealed container.
Follow up from owner - We checked the fluid this morning and it was very low. As the car is still under warranty I got Chrysler to send a man out here to inspect it. He filled the reservoir and pumped the clutch pedal like crazy. After much pumping, he was eventually able to get the car in gear with the engine running. He hadn't been gone half an hour when Jim tried to move the car and could not get it into any gears at all. So a recovery vehicle has come out and taken the car to the dealer. Interestingly enough, when the car got towed up the ramp there was a pool of liquid under the car. They seem to think it is now the master and slave cylinders, which need attention. We appreciate your time and help.
1130. I have a 2001 BE PT with 50k miles and would like to know if it is possible to change the color of the dashboard lighting? - Charlie, from Illinois.
I suppose it's possible, but neither Mike nor I have seen any PT's with colored IC lights. You will have to remove the instrument cluster in order to access the OE lights. In addition, not all of the lights are replaceable/serviceable. In some instances when a lamp fails the cluster must be replaced. Some owners have installed the NuImage flame guide mod that changes the appearance of the instrument cluster. You may want to check one out; they look pretty cool. You'll find a NuImage installation guide in the Pit area.
1131. I have a 2003 DC GT (HO) with 30k miles. I relocated the battery in my PT to the rear of the vehicle. I did not move the temperature sensor for the battery. The service manual indicates that the PCM uses to determine the charging rate for the battery. Will the missing sensor cause a problem or not? - Don, from Florida.
I can say that the suspension and alignment are designed with the 30lb battery in it's regular spot. Also, removing 30lbs off the front and sticking it in the rear changes the weight ratio by 60lbs for the worse. That's 30lbs less traction weight over the drive tires. Only rear wheel drive cars benefit from traction weight over the rear of the vehicle.
The battery temperature information along with data from monitored line voltage (B+) is used by the PCM to vary the battery charging rate. System voltage will be higher at colder temperatures and is gradually reduced at warmer temperatures. The battery temperature information is also used for OBD II diagnostics. Certain faults and OBD II monitors are either enabled or disabled depending upon the battery temperature sensor input (example: disable purge, enable LDP). Will the missing battery sensor cause any issues? Probably, it was there for a reason. Will the issues be significant? I don't know; this is a first for us too.
1132. I have a 2001 LE PT with 150k miles. I ran the self-diagnostic using the key method. Error P1687 was displayed. Is this serviceable by DIY mechanic? - Dave from Canada.
The fault P1687 code indicates: No MIC BUS Message - No CCD/J1850 messages received from the Mechanical Instrument Cluster (MIC) Module.
It sounds like the mechanical instrument cluster MIC is faulty. It will have to be tested by the dealer to verify. If replacement is necessary, the new cluster / body control module will have to be programmed with the vehicle options to communicate correctly. It's VIN specific to your PT; instrument clusters can not simply be swapped from PT to PT.
Follow up from owner - Took the PT to the dealer. After running diagnostics and replacing the IOD fuse they informed me that it was probably a broken or corroded connection from the IOD fuse to the bulkhead or broken wire, but not a defected cluster or module. I worked in electronics for 30 years and I'm capable of tracing circuits, so I opted to find the faulty connection myself. (PT DIY supplied owner with wiring schematics.) The fix was to by pass splice S145 with a new wire from IOD Fuse 18 to C105 pin #5. Thanks guys.
1133. I repainted a number of extra interior parts the same color as my PT (bright sea mist green) and noticed that the OE paint is different on the interior. It is a shade, more blue. The engine stuff matched perfectly, but the interior console and dome light bezels are a shade greener than the air bag cover and instrument bezel cover. Do you have any idea what DC says about this? - Joel, from Florida.
As we have noted in the OE Paint Code Chart in the Pit area, Mopar touchup/spray paint products are matched to the exterior paint. If you decide to use them on the interior of your PT they may or may not match the interior OE color-keyed dash inserts. Some owners have indicated reasonable paint matches with a few colors, but based upon what you've indicated, bright sea mist green is a shade off. Another issue may be what you're painting. Identical paint sprayed on different materials may not match precisely.
1134. I have a 2003 LE GT (HO) with automatic transmission and 17k miles. I would like to know how much hp can my transmission handle? I'm thinking about installing a bigger turbo, but I do not want to rip my transmission up. - Cesar, from Florida.
The Chrysler 41TE automatic transmission has received less than stellar reviews since its inception. There is no minimum / maximum horsepower rating given for the 41TE. You can read more about the transmission in Top Ten Issues List in the Pit area.
1135. We purchased a pre-owned 2001 BE PT with 39kmiles. Were having some problems with the lights. The headlamps, radio lighting and interior lights all work. The dash and tail lights, lights that surround the air and heat gauges and the gearshift do not work. I just had CD changer added under the seat. It plays, but I didn't have a problem with the lights before the changer was installed. Would any of the other lights work if this was the problem? Thank you. - Elsie, from Ohio.
Fuse #2 in the interior fuse box powers the interior lamps and the taillights. It would seem that the radio installer shorted and blew that fuse.
Follow up from owner - You are exactly right. It was my son that installed the CD changer under the seat. He went back and disconnected the wires. That was the problem.
1136. I have a 2001 2.0L TE PT with 65k miles. The door remote controllers do not open the locks. The batteries have been replaced. I can lock the doors, but when the temperature is lower than -5 degree (celsius) the remote controller doesn't open the lock. Do you thing that receiver unit in the car is broken? Or should I wait for a next summer to get the locks to work again? - Jari, from Finland.
All PT's come with 2 remotes. If the locks fail to open with both remotes, but open with the key in the door or the power unlock button inside the car, then the RKEM is the most likely part to diagnose. The dealer will have remote testers to see if they are transmitting the correct signals. If the doors lock with the remote, but fail to open with the remote (only) during extremely cold temperatures, the dealer will have to help you diagnose the cause.
1137. I have a 2001 LE PT with 42k miles. I took the PT in for regular service this morning. The technician advised there was corrosion on the battery terminal. The terminal was cleaned. Driving the vehicle back to work I noticed that the radio has malfunctioned. The clock shows an incorrect time (it gained two hours). The radio cannot find and lock on to any station. The dealer refuses to acknowledge that disconnecting the battery cables had any affect on the radio. What improper procedure could the dealer have used in reconnecting the cables that would cause the radio failure? - Less, from Florida.
We have received a few emails from owners who have experienced issues with the radio when they or the dealer have disconnected and or changed the battery.
Here are some examples: 1 2
Owners and dealers have reported fixing the issue by replacing the radio, however no one has reported what causes the problem. Given that 1000's of vehicle batteries are connected and disconnected daily during the course of repairs, it is puzzling that a few experience these issues. The only reference to battery/radio issues in the SM is provided in the IOD fuse section.
"When removing or installing the IOD fuse, it is important that the ignition switch be in the Off position. Failure to place the ignition switch in the Off position can cause the radio display to become scrambled when the IOD fuse is installed. Removing and installing the IOD fuse again with the ignition switch in the Off position will usually correct the scrambled radio display condition."
1138. I'm looking for some advice on buying a PT from the USA to use in the UK, as regards maintenance, parts, etc. Thank you. - Craig, from the UK.
I'm afraid that we have no information or experience with exporting a car to another country. We hear from a good number of PT owners in the UK, and a few dozen subscribe to our Pit area, however there questions usually concern operational and repair issues with their PT exports. I would expect the process to be more of a problem than it's worth, and I do know that the engines and emissions are completely different. You might have better success checking with local owners; perhaps someone has already explored the process and can answer your questions. With regard to maintenance and part availability, within the UK for domestic PT's, again, we would suggest checking with local owners.
1139. I have a 2003 TE PT with 19k miles and automatic transmission. For the past few weeks it has been quite difficult to shift from park in to gear. Today I can't get it to do anything, I have pressed the brake and it still won't budge. It is not parked on an incline with regards to a previous park-release issue. I'm reluctant to have it towed to the dealer if it can be easily fixed; my dealership is very slow and grumpy. Thanks for such a great web site; having such an informative web site gives me the knowledge to make repairs on my own (hopefully I can do it this time). - Cindi, from North Carolina.
There are 2 rods connected to the shifter. One is the brake/shift interlock. It should release when the brake pedal is depressed. The other one goes to the transmission shift selector and is released by pushing the button on the top of your 2003 shifter.
These can be accessed for diagnosis by removing the center floor console. (You'll find a removal guide in the Pit area if you decide to handle it on your own.) It's possible that either has become frozen by any type of object that can fall into the area. I've seen anything from pencils to French fries jam the mechanisms. If there are no visible obstructions, a trip to the dealer may be in order for further diagnosis.
Follow up from owner - I accessed the floor console and everything appeared normal. I brought it to the dealer and they told me that there is a malfunction in the shifter cable, and it needs to be replaced.
1140. Where can I purchase the Special Tool # 8195 Filling Aid Funnel for filling the cooling system? - Ricky, from Illinois.
It's available through the any Mopar dealer, or you can order one through the parts department of a local Chrysler dealer. Some owners have elected not to use one, however it can get messy when working with the coolant.
1141. I have a 2001 LE PT with 42k miles. I am trying to get some information on the radiator fluid requirements. I am in the military stationed over seas and I left my car with my mother. She took the vehicle into the dealer because it was overheating a bit and he told her that the reason it was over heating was because someone put the wrong radiator coolant in. Does it supposed to use a specific colored fluid? In addition, they said all of the drive belts need to be replaced. I left my car with my mother hoping to ease her troubles, not create more for her. Thanks again for your assistance. - Chad, from Florida.
Caution - Use of Propylene Glycol based coolants is not recommended, as they provide less freeze protection and less corrosion protection. Do not mix coolant types. If coolant other than Mopar Antifreeze/Coolant, 5 Year/100,000 Mile Formula or equivalent is added, the mixed coolant will have a reduced service schedule.
The use of aluminum cylinder heads, and water pumps requires special corrosion protection. Mopar Antifreeze/Coolant, 5 Year/100,000 Mile Formula or equivalent ethylene glycol based coolant with corrosion inhibitors (called HOAT, for Hybrid Organic Additive Technology) is recommended. This coolant offers the best engine cooling without corrosion when mixed with 50% Ethylene Glycol and 50% distilled water to obtain a freeze point of -37°C (-35°F). If it loses color (orange) or becomes contaminated, drain, flush, and replace with fresh properly mixed coolant solution. Mixing of coolants other than specified (non-HOAT), will reduce the 5 year/100,000 mile corrosion protection.
The green coolant must not be mixed with the orange or magenta coolants. When replacing coolant the complete system flush must be performed before using the replacement coolant.
Under maintenance schedule A, the drive belts should be replaced at 60k miles or 48 months. Under maintenance schedule B, the drive belts should be replaced at 60k miles.
1142. I have a 2001 LE PT with 36k miles. I want to change a fuse, but can't locate the Power Distribution Center. I am not a mechanic, but am pretty handy with things. Thank you. - Jeanie, from New Jersey.
The location of the PDC is shown in the owners' manual. It's next to the air cleaner filter assembly. Look for the positive remote start (red) terminal. See page 238 in the 2001 manual or review the index under Power Distribution Center. You'll also find a PDC system guide in the Pit area.
1143. I have a 2002 DC PT with auto transmission and 56k miles. I have a transmission leak on the driver side, front of transmission. It looks like its coming from just above the front of the pan from a little square box bolted to the transmission with 6 Torx bit screws. It appears to have a thin metal plate on the outside of the box, with a plastic spacer, which is flush against the transmission. It's leaking between the plastic spacer and the transmission. Seems like the only way to get to the Torx screws is to remove radiator and shroud. What is this little box and what would be leaking...a seal, gasket, or the box itself? Thanks in advance. - Eddie, from Oklahoma.
Your description sounds like the solenoid pack. Do not attempt to disassemble the transmission solenoid pack. It must be replaced as a unit. I've done a number of these. They are a popular transmission fault. Your dealership will have them in stock. You will need to perform a transmission quick learn after the repair has been completed. This is mandatory. A professional scanner can do it in a matter of seconds.
1144. I have a 2002 TE PT with 45.5k miles. I had the headlamp bulbs replaced and they absolutely mangled the bulb retainer rings that hold the bulb in place in the headlight assembly. They barely hold the bulbs in place now and make it nearly impossible to replace the bulbs in the future. I didn't notice the problem until it was time to replace the bulbs again. I don't want to buy two entirely new headlights just to replace these rings. How can I obtain just the rings? Thank you. - Monte, from Tennessee.
The retainer rings are not shown in the IPB or discussed within the OE guide. They appear to be part of the headlamp assembly module, and not available as a separate component.
Headlamp module right - 5288 764AF
Headlamp module left - 5288 765AF
You may be able to locate inexpensive used/damaged headlamp module replacements through a salvage yard if you prefer not purchase new ones. You'll find a replacement guide in the Pit area if you need one.
1145. I have a 2003 BE PT with 27k miles. I folded the rear seats forward to haul some boxes. When I went to put them upright the small one on the driver side would not lock into position. - Denise, from Washington.
Check the release levers on the back of the seat. Make sure they are correctly engaged with the floor attachments. If the seat is not engaged correctly with the floor attachments it may not latch. If it's not obvious as to whether it is installed correctly, remove the seat and reinstall it. To reinstall the rear seat, insert the seat into the floor attachments. Lower the release levers of the seat to latch the front floor attachments and rotate the seat rearward to latch the seat. Then lift the seatback to its upright latched position.
1146. I just purchased a used 2004 TE GT (HO) PT and it didn't come with an owner's manual. I have been to a few web sites but they charge $40. Do you know a web site where I might be able to download the owner's manual for free? - Troy, from Virginia.
You can order hard-copy replacement manuals (2004 PT Cruiser - P/N 81-026-0440) through DC Tech Authority online for about $20, plus shipping, or you can call 800-890-4038.
You can also download free (PDF formatted) owners manuals for some model year PT's on the Chrysler website here.
1147. I have a 2001 LE PT, which just failed the state inspection with this code: 0551 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Range/Performance. Will this be expensive to repair? I don't know much about cars and would appreciate any the tips you can give me. Thanks. - Jessica, from Texas.
That must be a strict inspection. Most states only worry about safety and emissions levels. The switch and related wiring need to be diagnosed. The PSS is used to raise the engine rpm slightly to compensate for the extra load while turning at low speeds. You can try turning the wheel while parked to see the rpm increase about 100 rpm during the turns. Most new cars have this feature.
1148. I have a 2002 LE PT with 32.5k miles, which was previously owned. When I purchased it the 1st to 2nd shift was very smooth. I disconnected the battery to clean the terminals. Then I performed the shift learning technique described in the OE modification section. Now, the 1st to second shift is too harsh most of the time and I want to return it to a softer setting. Do I disconnect the battery and go through several soft starts rather than a 25% to 50% throttle start as described in the OE section? Thanks. - Les, from Illinois.
Although I cannot promise a return to soft shifting, you're best bet is to try exactly what you described. Relearn the TCM with a scanner, without even moving the vehicle, or try driving it conservatively during the relearn.
1149. I have a 2001 2.0L LE PT with 71k miles. When initially starting (cold engine) my PT, I have noticed a small white smoke trail emanating from the automatic transmission dip stick, which lasts for about 25 seconds. The transmission seems to shift and work perfectly, and there are no fault codes. The dealer suggested flushing the transmission. Do you have any thoughts of what it could be? Thanks. - Russell, from Australia.
Nothing inside the auto transmission should get hot enough to create smoke in 25 seconds after a cold start. Nothing in the transmission spins or moves until you place it in gear (except the torque converter). Since the starter motor is directly below the dipstick and draws several hundred amps to spin a cold motor, I would look closely at that. It works very hard for those few seconds, and can certainly get hot enough to create short-term smoke. Electrical smoke can be white, while oil or transmission fluid is darker grey to black.
1150. I have a 2001 LE PT with 64k miles. Just 2 weeks after having the transmission rebuilt, the car has now started leaking transmission fluid. The service technician has said that it is a leak around the transmission solenoid pack. Could this have been caused when they rebuilt the transmission? Or is it my bad luck rearing its ugly head again? - Davis, from Maryland.
Leaking solenoid packs are quite common. However, since it was recently rebuilt, I would suggest you pay for the part (around $100), but ask for warranty labor. Just a suggestion.
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