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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 Forty Nine Q&A 1201 - 1225

1201. I have a 2002 LE PT with 40k miles. Recently I began to notice a burnt smell when I shut off the car in the garage. The smell was similar to exhaust, but had a chemical-like odor, not like gasoline. I asked the dealer to check it out and thought to mention burnt brake pads/sticking. The dealer said the brakes were fine, low wear, but the smell was like (to them) a dead animal had somehow crawled into the little tail pipe and gotten fried. They recommended driving two tanks of gas until it stopped. Well, I've filled it up four times and the smell is as strong as ever. The smell goes away within a few minutes, as soon as the car starts to cool down. Could the catalyst be contaminated and its high heat is causing the smell, until it begins to cool? -Dale, from Ohio.

If you can locate the general location, it will help diagnose possible causes. If the odor is from under the hood, it will be different from an exhaust smell. There are winter additives in all brands of fuel. You may be smelling the winter blend. Try changing brands for a tankfull.


1202. I have a 2001 LE PT with 40kmiles. Does the manual clutch adjustment allow the clutch pedal to be stopped sooner -- i.e. not return as far back towards the driver? The current return point causes me to lift my left leg too much resulting in painful back strain. Is the adjustment screw on the clutch master cylinder pushrod located under the dash or in the engine compartment? - Steve, from Maryland.

The position is somewhat limited. The pedal must return to the fully up position to engage the upstop switch. The adjustment screw on the clutch master cylinder pushrod is located under the dash.

Follow up from owner - Thanks for the feedback. I took your suggestions to the local Chrysler dealer. A mechanic in their shop was able to adjust the CMC enough to alleviate the back strain. It took a few tweaks to get the shifting to work properly.


1203. I have a 2002 LE PT with 49k miles. The car has developed a misfire at idle and set code P0403. What is this and how do I fix it? - Tony, from Tennessee.

P0403 (M) EGR Solenoid Circuit - An open or shorted condition detected in the EGR solenoid control circuit.

The EGR and solenoid must be replaced. The new one has an upgraded part number. It costs about $60 and takes under an hour to install. They are a popular failure in the winter. It seems the moist air freezes inside the solenoid, causing the diaphragm to rupture. You'll need a SM, or the procedure is available through the Pit area on the site


1204. I have a 2001 TE PT with 104k miles. When driving the power door locks automatically unlocked on their own. This was a one- time occurrence. Since this occurred I can no longer lock the car using the remote or the inside power locks. I have to push all of the locks down manually. The doors still automatically lock when I reach 15 mph. I can still unlock the car with the power locks and the remote. - Candi, from Illinois.

If this fault is present with the key removed, the RKEM is the most likely the problem. If it only occurs with the key in the ignition, it could also be a door ajar switch malfunction. You'll find more information in the Pit area Top Ten Issues list regarding faulty RKE modules. Your dealer will have to diagnose the issue to pinpoint the exact problem.


1205. I have a 2004 TE PT with 12k miles. I want to install a remote car starter into my PT. It has the keyless entry system with sentry key as well. Will I need a bypass, and if so, what wires do I need to connect the bypass to? - Timothy, from West Virginia.

You will need to mount a spare, programmed key inside the steering column against the RKEM. A transponder key signal must be used to complete the install. Mopar offers a remote start kit for the PT, which includes installation instructions.


1206. I have a 2001 LE PT with 42k miles. My key goes into the ignition, but will not turn. While attempting to turn the steering wheel, it locked as well. I had the SKIM module replaced in the vehicle last September, and it has been running perfectly since. My "freeze up" happened just 1/2 hour after I had parked my car in the garage. When I went to start it, I could not get it to start! Please help. - Twila, from South Dakota.

As you know, PT's equipped with a manual transaxle have an anti-theft provision in the steering column. With the key/lock cylinder turned to the LOCK position, and the key removed, the steering shaft (and steering wheel) cannot be turned more than 180 degrees before locking. If you have tried to move the steering wheel back and forth, while attempting to (unlock the wheel) turn the key to start the vehicle and failed, you may have a problem with the ignition switch/cylinder. There have been a number of ignition switch/cylinder failures reported by owners. You might try spraying a little lubricant (WD40) into the cylinder, turning the key back and forth several times, and attempting the start process again. See the Top 10 Issues List in the Pit area for more information on the ignition switch issue and possible ways to resolve it. Outside of that, the only recourse may be to have it towed to a local dealer for diagnosis. The switch and or cylinder may be faulty and need replacing.

Follow up by owner- The PT had to be towed to the dealer. The invoice reads: "Found lock cylinder faulty. Removed lock cylinder and replaced with new. Had Lock Shop rekey for same key."


1207. I have a 2001 LE PT with 61k miles. I recently flushed and changed the coolant. Every so often, while sitting idling, I can smell antifreeze. At night I placed a piece of cardboard under the car to check for leaks, but it was dry. After a nice 100 mile trip I got under the car, and it was dry. The reservoir level is right where it should be and the temperature gauge is right in the (normal) middle. Even now and then just after shutting the car down, the smell is there. I used the Dex orange Prestone, which should be fine. Any ideas, or similar situations? - Anthony, from LINY.

A tiny bit of coolant can make a big smell. I would search around the air bleed valve, any hoses or fittings you removed during the flush, and engine block. (Email bounced back an undeliverable - invalid email account.)


1208. I have a 2001 TE PT with 69k miles. I ran the self tests and results were "no faults." I went through your PT won't start section, and tried starting with the lights on. They dimmed - bad starter. I purchased a new OE starter from DC. It lasted 6 days, and then the car wouldn't start again. I have performed the starting with lights on again, and again the lights go dim when trying to start. I had a mechanic look at the first starter that went bad. He determined that the starter was fine, but the solenoid appeared to have shorted out. I have not invested in a third starter yet. I hope to be able to just replace the solenoid since it would be much cheaper than another starter. What could be shorting out the solenoid and how do I correct the problem? - Dave, from Nevada.

You will not have to pay for another starter. That's what the part warranty is for. The solenoid is not available as a separate component; it's part of the starter assembly. Without a current draw test and voltage records I cannot tell you what has failed. Your best bet would probably be to have it diagnosed by a local DC dealer.


1209. I have a 2003 BE PT with 47k miles. The turn signals and hazard lights do not flash. The correct exterior bulbs and interior indicators light up when the turn signal or hazard flasher is turned on, but the bulbs do not flash. I replaced the flasher unit, but the problem remains. - Michael, from Maryland.

There are a few things that can cause this type of behavior. Faulty fuse, faulty flasher, open circuit in feed wire to switch, faulty contact in switch, or open or grounded circuit in wiring to external lamps. If you haven't made any changes to the lighting systems, and the hazard flasher worked prior to this incident, I would take a look at the multifunction switch. A number of these have failed. An OE replacement guide for the switch and wiring diagrams are available through the Pit area on the site.


1210. I have a 2001 BE PT with 70k miles. The rear of my car bounces badly and make a thumping sound when I hit a bump. I had both rear shocks replaced because they were broke, but that still did not fix it. They told me there's a bar that's loose and they don't know what it is. It's not the support beam (I think that's what he called it), but they could not find that part in the system. Can you help me so that when I take it to the dealer that won't try to rip me off. - Andrea, from Michigan.

All that's back there is a anti-sway bar and the WATTS linkage. Any competent tech should know what a WATTS linkage is. If he doesn't, run away fast! I would question what caused both shocks to be "broke". A worn shock at 70K is not unheard of, but broken is altogether different.


1211. I have a 2004 BE PT with 34k miles. My modifications include a Conical air intake and generic "turbo" muffler. Even before the intake and muffler changes, the vehicle idled rough, so I changed the plugs to Champion platinum gapped to .050. The problem remained. After I put on the new filter and muffler, the problem grew worse. My PT sounds like it's going to cut off at idle, but it doesn't. Also, it stumbles badly when you take off and under hard acceleration. I haven't hooked up the crankcase hose that originally attached to the intake. I noticed no trouble codes for either of the self-tests. The intake is "home made" using the OE rubber hose and IAT sensor, connected to a piece of steel tubing, to an expansion coupling, then to another piece of tubing, then to the Conical air filter. The filter is made by APC. - Adam, from Texas.

Any true misfires will trigger the check engine light. The misfire monitor is there to tell you if the cylinder isn't firing. I hope the make up air hose isn't capped off. That's a very important part of the calibrated PCV system. You may need to clean the upper intake and idle air control motor. That can cure rough idle from carbon & oil buildup in the upper plenum and throttle body. The injectors could also be dirty from cheap fuel usage. See the guides in the Pit area if you need help with the clean up process.


1212. I have a 2002 LE PT with 42k miles. The fog lamps sometimes stay on after driving the car even without the parking or low beam headlight being on. Slight movement of the turn signal switch will toggle the lamps on or off. I am pretty sure it is the multi function switch. Could this switch be cleaned? - Bill, from California.

The symptoms you describe do sound like a faulty switch. There have a number of reported failures. The multifunction switch can not be cleaned; in most instances it shorts out and requires replacement. See the Top 10 Issues List and replacement guide in the Pit area on the site. The part is available through any DC dealer - 2002 model year with fog lamp P/N 5019 712AA.


1213. We purchased a pre-owned 2003 TE PT with 43k miles in October and were experiencing an overheating problem. The temperature will just start to go up, usually after the engine is heat soaked, after a long run on the highway. You can temporally bring it down to normal by running the heater full blast. It will go down around the middle of the gauge, and then start going up again. There are no leaks that we can see. It's hard to tell if the fan is running or not (so quiet). The first time it happened, we took it to the dealer, he pressure tested the system and found no leaks. They replaced the radiator cap. That worked for about a week, then it overheated again. We returned to the dealer, and he installed a new thermostat. We drove it on the highway for about an hour the next weekend, and when we were pulling into the mall parking lot, it burped a little coolant and steam once, but hubby said the temperature was normal. It worked for about three weeks, now it's overheating again. This evening, on the way home, as soon as we got off the highway into 30-40 mph moving traffic the engine temperature chime came on. Again, running the heater helped cool it some. When we got to the house, my husband checked the reservoir, and it looked like it was full. When we shut the car off, we heard a bubbling sound and checked the radiator. Steam came out, and it was very low or empty. It seems like the coolant is not flowing back in around the engine. Whenever we take it to the dealer, he can't recreate the problem. Is there anything else that could be doing it? Thanks for any insight you can give. We really love the car, but right now my hubby's ready to drive it into the nearest ravine! - Tracey, from Tennessee.

There are a number of issues which can cause overheating, however if the coolant level is low in the radiator, and full in the reserve bottle this indicates the radiator is not drawing coolant from the coolant reserve bottle as the engine cools. As the engine cools, a vacuum is formed inside the cooling system. If the cooling system has a leak, a vacuum can not be formed. Check the condition of the pressure cap and cap seals, filler neck, hose from the filler neck to coolant container. It should be tight at both ends without any kinks or tears. Finally, check the coolant recovery/reserve bottle and hose for blockage. You'll find a diagnostic guide on the cooling system in the Pit area on the site.

Follow up from owner - We took the car to the dealer yesterday. The service department checked (VIN) the car's history, and it turns out, it has had three thermostats and a head gasket replaced before we bought it! Now, they are tearing it down to see if the head gasket is bad or the head is warped. The service dept is looking into the possibility of 7/70 warranty covering it, since it has been an ongoing problem.

PTDIY follow up - A while back we received one other report of a warped head, which caused an overheating issue. The overheating was resolved when the head was replaced.

2nd follow up from owner - The head was found to have "blister" on it - so they replaced the head and gasket, and we only ended up paying a little over $100 - the rest was under warranty. So far, the temperature gauge is dead smack in the middle, and no problems since! Thanks for all your help and information.


1214. I have a 2002 BE PT with 17k miles and manual transmission. On the 2001 (manual transmission) models a drone is created at 3000 rpm when using the Dynomax muffler. In later model year PT's the final gear ratio was changed from 3.2 to 2.8 (12.5% reduction). Is it logical to assume this will increase the drone creation point to 3375 rpm or an increase of 12.5%? If so, I will consider installing the Dynomax without a resonator. - Robert, from Connecticut.

The drone is annoying during a much wider range of rpm. The peak is around 3K rpm. It will drone, guaranteed.


1215. I have a 2002 diesel LE PT. I just purchased it, and love it. I have a 2.2L Turbo diesel, which is not available in the US. However, the reverse gear is very close to first. Chrysler put a warning chime on later models and still put reverse opposite 5th. Can I put a reverse chime on my late 2002 model? - David, from the U.K.

According to the SM the 2002 Diesel PT has the Reverse Chime feature. There is no mention of an export 2.2L Turbo Diesel PT in the SM, only the 1.6L Diesel PT.

The chime provides the driver with an audible confirmation of the reverse gear selection. When the vehicle is placed in Reverse, with the ignition switch in the RUN position, the chime will sound several times (about 2 seconds). The chime will be a "fast" chime (same as door ajar).


1216. I have a 2001 LE PT with 74k miles. Do you have any idea what actual temperatures the lines on the OE temperature gauge represent? Thanks. - John, from Maryland.

No, I don't believe they are meant to represent anything besides the halfway points. You can watch the coolant temp sensor datastream with a scanner.


1217. I have a 2002 DC PT with 29k miles. I'm trying to find out if you can install a programmable PCM in an non-aspirated 2.4L engine. If you can, where can I find one; I have been unable to locate one for the OE engine. Thanks. - Joel, from Georgia.

No, other than sending your PCM out for programming, there are no other changes you can make. Each PCM is VIN specific to each PT. It is not a generic computer you can swap around. A VIN mismatch will not work.


1218. I have a 2003 BE PT with 9k miles. I stuck a pin into washer nozzle on the front hood to adjust the spray angle; the needle broke off in hole. I cannot grab the end of the needle, how do I repair it? Do I have to replace the whole nozzle? Any tricks? What is involved? - Gorden, from Canada.

If you're unable to grab the end of a pin with a pair of needle nose pliers you might try briefly hitting the washer lever and forcing fluid through the washers. That might push the pin out far enough so you can grab onto it. However, I wouldn't try it more than once or twice, the fluid back pressure could potentially damage the system. If that doesn't work you'll have to replace the washer nozzle. Review your SM for the procedure, or see the OE guide in Pit area on the site.

Follow up from owner - I failed to mention that a little water still shot out of the one nozzle that was plugged with the broken sewing needle. Because I could not reach it with needle nose pliers as suggested, I pushed the broken part of the needle further in, and felt it slide down further. Tested the spray and it streamed fine. Adjusted the stream angle as I originally planned. Maybe it was forced out once I pressed it in further and initiated the spray, I don't know. Maybe I was lucky. Thank you.

PT DIY follow up - If it gives you any further trouble you might try disconnecting the hose at the nozzle. If the needle is in the line you may be able to flush it out.


1219. I have a 2001 TE PT with 75k miles. My power steering has failed in the cold weather. The steering is out completely when I am at a stop or very low speeds, but when I am driving it is fine. It does not come back when I rev the engine, just when I am moving. I read another Q&A, which indicated it might be the pump and that this has become somewhat of a common problem. You suggested contacting a DC zone rep. My car is out of warranty so any help I can get to not have to do the work myself or pay for it would help out a lot, LOL. How do I find the rep for my area? Any help would be greatly appreciated. - Michael, from Delaware.

You can contact the DC zone rep through your local dealer or through DC customer assistance (1-800-992-1997), however be prepared for very little assistance, since you are well beyond your warranty period.

Don't assume that it's the pump without verification; there have been additional reports, which indicate other power steering system component failures. The system consists of several direct (pump, rack, valve, pressure switch, belt, etc.) and indirect components, all of which must be ruled out with specific tests by your local dealer. Review this problem in the Top 10 Issue List, which offers some suggestions on how to diagnose and resolve the issue, and current TSB's relating to this problem, which can be found in the Pit area on the site.


1220. I have a 2001 LE PT with 32k miles. The MIL comes on, and self-test procedure reveals a P0401 fault code. I've unhooked the positive battery cable to clear it and it returns in 2-3 days. I've cleared the code 3 times. What might be the most likely cause? Thanks. - Jeff, from Ohio.

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

The 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. Make sure you follow the SM OE replacement instructions precisely. If you don't have a manual, you can find the OE procedure in the Pit area on the site. Once it's replaced, the code won't clear itself using the battery disconnect technique. Have the dealer clear it using their DRB scan tool during your next visit.


1221. We have a 2001 LE PT and came across a platinum edition PT at the park. The seatcovers were leather like ours, but fancier. Are they an available option for the regular (TE, LE, etc) PT's? Thank you. - Everett, from Texas.

The platinum series PT's feature a unique two-tone leather-trimmed seat with preferred suede accents and head restraints featuring an embossed Chrysler winged badge. They are not an available option for other models.


1222. We have a 2002 LE PT with 33k miles. We have been experiencing a problem with the (intermittent) accuracy of the overhead console temperature readout. The dealer indicated that it's probably the sensor. How can we adjust it to function correctly? - Allen, from Mississippi.

Ambient air temperature is monitored by the compass/temperature display unit. It receives a hardwired input from the ambient temperature sensor. The ambient temperature sensor is a variable resistor mounted to a bracket that is secured with a nut to the bracket in front of the A/C condenser, behind the radiator grille. The ambient temperature sensor cannot be adjusted or repaired and, if faulty or damaged, it must be replaced.


1223. I have a 2001 BE PT with 180k miles and automatic transmission. This has just started happening; I drive the car for an hour or more at highway speeds, and when I would come to a stop because of traffic or a light, when I start going again the car won't shift out of 2nd (35mph at 3,000rpm's). When I stop the car and turn off the engine for a few minutes and start it up again it runs fine. I brought it to AMOCO and they noticed a slight fault when they hooked it up to the diagnostic machine. Any ideas? - Paul, from Pennsylvania.

The "slight fault" is putting the transmission in "limp-in" mode. You need to have the fault repaired. There are hundreds of diagnostic codes, many of which can only be detected with a DRB scanner. It only takes one to cause limp-in mode.


1224. I have a 2005 TE PT with 7k miles. When using the keyless fob to unlock the doors the rear hatch pops open. Nothing done differently or modified. Did go to a car wash the day previous.

That sounds like a latch fault. The locking mechanism should never release the latch itself, only allow the handle to raise and open the hatch. That is a safety issue, and should be inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Should be a warranty fix.


1225. I have a 2001 LE PT 27k miles. I had the positive lead from the battery disconnected for two months this winter (January and February). Upon reconnecting the terminal all of the electrical/mechanical systems worked fine, with the exception of the electrically operated door lock(s) and the alarm arming/disarming system. They do not operate either from the FOB or door mounted locking/unlocking switch. The main fuse (40A) in the PDC is OK, as the exterior lights (which it also controls) operate, and there is 11.85 VDC on line side of fuse contact terminal in the interior fuse sub-panel. The 20A fuse is continuity and visually OK. I have neither sophisticated equipment nor computer or module reset knowledge. Please advise as to what you recommend be done to repair/correct this malfunction as I am getting conflicting opinions from the dealer and a wiring specialist shop. The PT is out of warranty and I fear a large diagnostic bill is inevitable unless the cause can be diagnosed before the repair. Thank you for any help you can provide in this matter. - Mike, from New York.

The fuse block feeds power to the RKEM from 3 fuses. The RKEM controls both alarm and door lock functions. The lock buttons on the door panel do not connect directly to the lock motors. Everything goes through the RKEM. The Remote Keyless Entry Module is located under the dash. You should verify that the correct voltage inputs are on the corresponding pins. The ground circuit should also be verified prior to replacing the RKEM. If you need help accessing or programming the RKE please review SM, or the RKE guide in the Pit area on the site. You'll also find the wiring schematics there.

Fuse 13, 10amps, delivers constant power to pin #9.
Fuse 3, 20 amps, delivers constant power to pin #3.
Fuse 10, 10amps, deliver switched ignition power to pin #22.
Pins 8 &12 are ground wires.


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