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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 Fifty Q&A 1226 - 1250

1226. I have a 2001 LE PT with 33.5k miles. I am using an excessive amount of coolant (filled reservoir twice in 7500 miles), and using 1 quart of oil approximately every 500 miles. Cannot figure out where these fluids are going? Can you assist? - Ronald, from Florida.

If they are not leaking on the ground, they are leaking into the cylinders and burnt through the exhaust. A pressure test of the cooling system should help locate the leak.


1227. I have a 2002 LE 1.6L Diesel PT with 58k miles. When I select reverse two things don't happen - the reverse lamp stays off and doesn't chime. I have checked the lamp and it is OK, but there is no power running to it. I guess the problem may be the switch in the gear-stick linkage that it senses when reverse is selected. What might be the probable cause and how easy is that switch to reach? - David, from the U.K.

See page 21-26 and 8W-51-2 & 8W-51-3 of the 2002 SM for removal instructions and wiring schematics. Fuse 6, 10amps, in the interior fuse panel sends 12v through the switch to the reverse lamps. It should be very simple to see if 12v is at the switch and then at the lamps. There are several connectors the wires go through. If you don't have a SM this information is available through the Pit area on the site.


1228. I have a 2002 LE PT with 44k miles and T350 manual transmission. There is a squeak, which occurs when the engine is running and the clutch pedal is fully depressed. The squeak goes away when the clutch is released. There is no slippage or chatter in the clutch. Thank you for your help. - Kurt, from Pennsylvania.

The SM is a little sketchy here, but Tech's Edge by NAPA, volume 05-04 indicates:

Clutch noise
If a squealing or chirping noise appears or goes away when the clutch pedal is depressed, the cause may be a bad release bearing.

A squealing sound that occurs when the clutch pedal is depressed, or as the pedal is being released, is usually a bad or dry pilot bearing or bushing.

A growling or grinding noise when the clutch is engaged may be due to a bad input shaft bearing.

A chirping noise that intensifies when the pedal is slowly depressed would indicate a bad release bearing.

If you hear a chirping while idling in neutral and the noise goes away when the pedal is slowly depressed, the fork/pivot ball contact point could be making the noise.

Follow up from owner -The repair shop could not get a OE clutch for at least two weeks. Apparently there is a problem with the part. Instead a Sachs Performance clutch kit was installed. This kit has a three-year warranty. The difference is unbelievable! The clutch action is better than it was when the car was new. Again thank you for your help.


1229. I have a 2001 TE PT with 52k miles. The "Liftgate Open" lamp on the dash glows dimly even when the liftgate is closed. When the liftgate is open the light is brighter. I suspect a switch or sensor is not closing completely, but I cannot find any buttons or switches anywhere around the truck lid. I thoroughly cleaned the areas where the trunk lid comes in contact with the body, but this did not help. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. - Paul, from Canada.

The switch is integral to the latch assembly. A mechanical switch is usually open or closed. A dim light would indicate a resistance between power and ground. A poor connection can cause this. I would diagnose the switch state with a scan tool and then check for poor connections between the switch and the body control module.


1230. I have a 2003 Turbo (LO) PT with 44k miles. This started with a slight burp in the rpm, which I would describe as a misfire. Now, when you accelerate to get on the freeway it will start to cut out and backfire. I have replaced the plugs, with there is no change. I ran the self-tests and experienced DTC's, FL0007, EE10, BL0 and P0301. - Mike, from Canada.

The earlier codes you encountered are normal and reflect PCM software revisions. The P0301 DTC indicates that a misfire has been detected in cylinder #1. There are 2 misfire codes for Cylinder #1 - P0201 and P0301. P0201 indicates that the injector circuit has a problem, while P0301 indicates that the cylinder isn't making power. A simple defective spark plug or wire could be the cause. You can swap the wires from #1 to #4 without difficulty. Swap them and determine if the P0301 changes to a P0304 (misfire on #4). If the misfire still remains at cylinder 1 try swapping the plug in cylinder #1 with the plug in cylinder #4. It doesn't happen often, but even new plugs can be defective.

Follow up from owner - I think I put a little to much anti-seize on the threads. The new plug was carbon fouled. I cleaned and reinstalled it. It runs good now, but I will try what you suggested if it does the same after the morning commute. Thank you.


1231. I have a 2001 LE PT with 135k miles. The alarm system will go off in the middle of the night with no one around ...and while driving down the road the dome light will come on and it starts to beep showing door open, but none of the doors are open. Now the door open light will not go off and beeps each time you pull out to move. - Tim, from Tennessee.

It sounds like the intermittent door switch has now failed. A scanner can tell you which door needs a new switch.


1232. I have a 2005 BE PT with 12.5k miles. I see multiple messages about the air intake system. This got me curious, so I took a look. There appears to be an access panel to the air intake in the fender well. Would there be any benefit to leaving the access panel open to allow more outside (cold) air to enter the engine? Thank you. - Kirk, from Pennsylvania.

The access panel is only for replacing the headlamp bulbs. We do not recommend that you permanently remove it to increase cold airflow to the air intake. You'll find a number of alternative DIY air intake guides in the Pit area, which provide inexpensive ways to modify the intake and temperature of the airflow. Cold air induction can improve engine performance.


1233. I have a 2002 TE PT with 55k miles. My manual transmission will no longer shift into reverse gear. Others work fine. Broken cable? - Steve, from Florida.

The SM indicates that cables control all gear positions and that if only 1 gear is damaged, the fault is internal (transaxle). You'll know more once you have it checked by your local dealer.

Follow up from owner - I checked it out myself. The bushing at the transaxle end of the crossover cable was gone completely. The bushing on the selector cable end was almost gone also. Replaced the cable assembly, the only way it is sold. Car shifts fine now, and reverse works again.

Follow up #2 from owner -Had additional issues afterall. Service note to Chrysler from dealership mechanic "No oil in transmission, put in 1 quart, drained out of case as quickly as poured in. Differential shattered, hole ripped through transmission the size of a cannon ball, replaced transmission, car operating normal after test drive." Dealership covered all costs.


1234. I have a 2004 BE PT with 4k miles. The PT was idling erratically. At a stoplight it would dip below 500 rpm and shudder a little. I took it into the dealer who replaced the #2 plug and wire because it was misfiring, the idle seemed to be better for about 2 weeks and the symptoms returned. This time the car was not registering a misfire so they flashed the PCM. Idle is a little better; at least it does not dip below 500rpm. Is it me, or do most cars idle around 650 to 700rpm in drive without the A/C on? Well, I took the car back to the dealer a third time, taking the TSP indicating plug replacement. They hooked the car up to the computer and again there were no misfires, so they didn't replace the plugs. I discovered your site and purchased the double platinum plugs and gapped them per the label in the engine compartment, which reads .040, the idle is still around 550-600rpm in drive and park. I plan to buy new wires and see if that helps. I am just sick of taking it to the dealer. Can you tell me the idle specs for a 2004? Thank you. - Luis, from Virginia.

The PCM adjusts engine idle speed through the idle air control valve to compensate for engine load, coolant temperature or barometric pressure changes. The throttle body has an air bypass passage that provides air for the engine during closed throttle idle. The idle air control valve regulates airflow through the bypass passage. The PCM controls engine idle speed by adjusting the position of the idle air control valve. The adjustments are based on inputs the PCM receives. The inputs are from the throttle position sensor, crankshaft position sensor, coolant temperature sensor, MAP sensor, vehicle speed sensor and various switch operations (brake, park/neutral, air conditioning).

When engine rpm is above idle speed, the IAC is used for the following functions:

Off-idle dashpot
Deceleration air flow control
A/C compressor load control (also opens the passage slightly before the compressor is engaged so that the engine rpm does not dip down when the compressor engages)

Target Idle

Target idle is determined by the following inputs:

Gear position
ECT Sensor
Battery voltage
Ambient/Battery Temperature Sensor
MAP Sensor

The datastream from those listed sensors should be read to determine if the specs are skewed to the sensor's outer range. The coolant temp sensor is the most important one listed. P0506 code will trip if the idle speed drops below the target threshold. The above sensors or the PCV system are listed possibilities.


1235. I have a BE PT with 43k miles. The A/C has been running great and then this morning (Monday), I turned it on and after a few minutes, felt nothing blowing, though I could hear the A/C running. I turned the A/C up to maximum (4 clicks) and shut the vents and the air was barely moving. With the vents closed, it sounds as though something has clogged the air passage. I finally had to open a window to get fresh air into the vehicle. I checked the cowl and it's clear of any debris. Where else or what else should I check? Is there some way that a critter or other small bit of debris could enter the ventilation? I ran the air on Saturday with no problems; Sunday I ran the air with no problems. - Rob, from Texas.

Follow up from owner - Turns out it was a small plastic bag that my vehicle picked up on the freeway - it was blocking something under the vehicle. When the car had time to sit parked, the bag must have dropped off; I remember running over a bag last evening, but never saw it pass from under my PT. I had the windows open in the evening so I never noticed the issue with the A/C.


1236. I have a 20012 LE PT with 77k miles. At all speeds or load on the engine I hear a knocking sound. I changed the plugs, wires, and used premium grade gas, but that doesn't seem to fix the problem. I have had the car in to the auto tech. Their computer detected a "high knock", but there was no code to fix the problem. I have also changed the knock sensor. What can I do? - Brandon, from Pennsylvania.

A trained tech can watch the datastream with the scanner to see if the knock sensor is retarding the timing. Either the circuit is functioning (with major mechanical problems) or the knock control circuit is faulty.


1237. I have 2001 TE PT with 52.4k miles. I'm experiencing a clunking noise when accelerating from a complete stop. The dealer says I might need to replace the "dog bone". Any ideas? - Paul, from Canada.

Although the sway eliminator, or WATTs linkage as it's commonly called may be faulty, I would closely inspect the lower control arm bushings. The WATTs in the rear, the control arms are up front.


1238. I have a 2003 Diesel PT with 32.5k miles. The fog light switch happens to be very touchy lately. It stays on, even when switched off, and the fog LED light pops on. Consequently, the battery has fully discharged twice in a week and has been replaced today. When I got out of the garage, I couldn't even turn off the fog lights and had to have the mechanic remove the fuse to switch them off. Now, the mechanic says that I'll need to get the full light control set replaced. Any comments or suggestions? Thank you. - Jerome, from France.

That sounds about right. The multifunction switch is a common fault on the domestic models and exhibits some of the same symptoms. Many owners have replaced them using the guide in the Pit area. Should be a warranty repair for you if the PT is less than 3 years old.

Follow up from owner - No warranty repair from Chrysler France : In France it is only good for a year after buying the car.


1239. I have a 2005 BE PT with 2.5k miles. No "problem" per se, but the transmission shifts more softly than I'd like. I drove a 2005 PT turbo automatic, which shifts crisply on full acceleration. On full acceleration my normally aspirated PT shifts in a much more mushy fashion. Can this be adjusted via computers, modulator, valve body settings, etc? Or are you pretty much stuck with what you got from the factory? Thanks. - Bill, from Oregon.

That's the TRD Torque Reduction program in the PCM. It cuts the fuel injectors and backs the timing off during the shift. Once the PCM and TCM were incorporated into one unit in 2003, there is no user option to disable it.

There is a technique/learning procedure that you can employ to optimize shifting performance and a inexpensive modification to eliminate the hesitation between gears, both of which are available in the Pit area on the site.


1240. Is there any power advantage to retrofitting a 2004 Turbo muffler to a stock 2001 LE PT with 73k miles? I was under the impression that a muffler designed for the turbo application was less restrictive. Thanks. - John, from Maryland.

The muffler is not as restrictive, but the gains are minimal. The converter is much more restrictive.


1241. I have a 2002 TE PT with 69k miles. While driving with the window down and after shutdown, I can smell a burnt coolant smell coming from the engine. I looked and was unable to find any obvious leaks from the vehicle. I drained the coolant and refilled in December of 04 in preparation for winter. As of now, the coolant level is low. Is this normal for it to run low after 4 months, or do I have a leak somewhere that I am not seeing? Thanks. - Zach, from Alaska.

It's a sealed system. You have a leak. Have the system pressure tested, and you will locate the leak. There are only 4 choices. In the engine oil, on the ground, in the cylinders, or in the auto transmission from a cracked cooler line.


1242. I have a 2003 GT (HO) PT with 22k miles. After climbing a long grade, there were no power brakes until the manifold vacuum returned. During a long climb, my manifold pressure varied between 2-6 pounds boost. The pressure never went below 0. The climb lasted about 10 minutes. At the crest, the first application of the brakes yielded a hard brake pedal. I assume no vacuum reserve. Is this normal? The DC dealer said nothing was wrong. This could be a real safety issue. Thank you. - Lou, from Arizona.

That's normal. Safety cannot overcome physics. If your engine is making boost, obviously there is no vacuum produced to operate the power brakes. By nature, the engine creates vacuum as the pistons pull the air into the cylinders. By pushing the air in with a turbo or supercharger, there is no vacuum to work the power brake booster. Turbo diesel trucks commonly use a hydraulic assist for the brakes. This comes from a power steering type unit, instead of engine vacuum.


1243. I have a 2001 2.0L LE PT with 52.5k miles. I am considering fitting a Superchip to increase mpg and bhp. Do you believe this to be a good idea or have you heard of any problems arising from these chips fitted to PT's? - Kevin, from Britain.

In the USA, there is no "chip" that can be installed. The entire PCM must be sent in a programmed. This program will be deleted anytime the dealer gets the notion to flash an update with or without the consent of the owner. A PCM performance program does not increase fuel economy at all. Quite the reverse. To get more horsepower, the timing must be advanced beyond what 87 octane can handle. You must use premium fuel in every tank, forever. This can be very costly when fuel is $0.30 more per gallon for premium.


1244. I have a 2.0L LE PT with 67k miles. I was having problems with the front tyres losing pressure (standard rims always inflated to 36psi). About a month ago I bought 4 new Goodyear tyres and they have been fine until this week. This evening I came out of work and discovered a completely flat front tyre. When I checked the other it was down from 36 to around 26psi. There was no visible damage or puncture to the one I've had to remove. I'm a little confused and uncertain as to what to do. - Mark, from the UK.

Either you have someone who doesn't like you, or you have a leak. Ensure the valve stems were replaced. They are the most likely point for an air leak. Ensure the beads were coated with bead sealant all the way around the rim. Have the tyres dipped in a water tank to locate the source of the leaks. There is a very rare possibility that the rims are porous and leaking through the metal. This should have been found when the PT was new.

Follow up from owner - The tyre dealer stripped the tyres off, scrubbed and wire brushed the wheel rims and reinstalled with a good sealant. Two weeks later I had two flat front tyres again. Is this degradation of the wheels or is it likely to be an inherent fault from new (3 years and 67k miles from a different owner.) that I can take back to DC?

PTDIY - If the beads are sealed and the stems are sealed, you can swap the tyres from the front rims to the rear and see if it is indeed the metal rims or the rubber tyres that are leaking. If the metal rims are porous and leaking air, you can discuss it with your local DC dealer and replacement charges will between you and them.


1245. I have a 2003 BE PT with 43.5 k miles. The A/C starts off fine, but then after 5 to 10 minutes, airflow is substantially reduced. I have switched over to recirculate only to hear what sounds like some kind of blockage behind the airbag cover/ glove compartment. If I switch the direction of the A/C from the face to defrost, sometimes the blockage (or whatever it is) is moved and then the air will blow freely and I can redirect, to the face/head vents again. I thought the problem had been corrected and was a plastic bag, but the issue came back the same day. I took off the radio faceplate and vacuumed the vents, but nothing came from them. I did not try to remove anything near the glove compartment/ air bag cover. Do you have any advice? Thanks. - Rob, from Texas.

Anything getting sucked into the HVAC will get stopped by the AC evaporator or heater core. The vents will not give access to them. If you can't get it from the cowl, the entire assembly will need to be removed and opened.


1246. The heater/AC switch doesn't work in first 2 positions and I was told it was the resistor, but the dealer could not tell me the exact location of it. I bought the part, dropped the fan motor out, but could not see where it is suppose to go. Can you tell me exactly where it is supposed to go? Thank you. - John, from Kansas.

It sounds like you're talking about the blower motor resistor block. It's located in the cowl, at the base of the windshield - the OE guide is available through the Pit area on the site along with other HVAC system/diagnostic guides.


1247. I have a 2001 LE PT with 60 k miles. I have a squeak in front suspension like a Canada goose. Back at around 24k I had this similar honking squeak from the front end. My mechanic lubed it with white lithium grease and it disappeared. i now handle the oil changes and tire rotation on my own with a floor jack. I can't see where he would have squirted grease to stop a suspension squeak. It honks like a goose when I go over a hump in the road. Could you point out likely places to shoot some lithium spray? Thanks in advance for your help. - Joe, from Pennsylvania.

The chemical you want to use is called Re-Seal from ATP Automatic Transmission Parts company. Spray all the rubber bushings and grease seals. The control arm bushings, tie rods, and ball joints should be inspected for failure.


1248. I have a 2001 LE PT with 70k miles. I replaced the battery one year ago with a long-life battery and when I went out to start the car yesterday the battery was dead. Absolutely no response, but no prior warning (or sluggishness) in starting. Last month, I had to have one of the window motors replaced and the fan motor. Other than replacing the battery, is there something I should have checked to find out if another problem is causing the battery life to be so short? Thanks. - Jan, from Texas.

If the battery is truly below 9 volts, you should have it tested for a parasitic drain, or 'dark current'. This is the ignition off draw. There is a normal amount for the computers, and anything above that can be diagnosed and repaired.

Follow up from owner - I just had the battery and alternator checked. They checked out OK, so maybe we left a light on or something. I hope it will remain one of life's little mysteries and won't occur again!


1249. I have a 2004 GT (HO) PT with 7.2k miles. I have a question not a problem. What would be involved in changing the 2004 drivers sun visor with the 2005 visor with remote garage door opener? I have checked with my Chrysler dealer and they tell me they have tried to do the change but were unable to do it. Have you heard of this being done? Thank you. - Charles, from California.

The Universal Transmitter transceiver is available, as an optional accessory on some 2005 model year PT's. The SM provides description, operation, diagnostics, removal and installation information, however it does not provide instructions for installing a universal transmitter transceiver in a 2005 PT that does not already include the feature. A Mopar universal transmitter kit may include the instructions, however neither Mike nor I know of anyone who has installed one. It may or may not work on a 2004 PT, we simply don't know. You'll find all the information available on the feature in the Pit area on the site.


1250. I have a 2003 DC GT (HO) PT with an automatic transmission and 25.7k miles. I noticed around 2000 miles back, the transmission felt like it had slack in it when you let off the gas and pressed the gas back lightly. It felt like it clunked almost like it was shifting or like a broken motor mount, but I checked the mounts and they were fine and the fluid level was fine, clean and red. Today, I stopped at a stop sign and the transmission clunked while I was stopped. I went to pull out and it moved about 10 feet and it sounded horrible, clunked again, and the transmission completely failed. It will not move into any gear and when you put the transmission in park, it doesn't hold the car, it's just like its in neutral. I am not sure where because I did not get under the car, but obviously the transmission case is busted because it dumped transmission fluid all over the road. When the car is running and you change it from park to any other gear, it grinds and groans and makes all sorts of clicking noises, but never even makes an attempt at moving the car. The car is at the towing company and will be going to the dealership first thing Monday morning when they open the service department. I am trying to figure out what the problem is and find out of this is common or if I just happen to have a defective transmission. I'm almost sure the entire transmission is ruined from one end to the other. There were pieces of the transmission case lying on the road when the tow truck took the car away. - Steven, from Tennessee.

It 'should' be covered by the 3/36 warranty. The most likely suspect from here, is the pinion pin. They are a common fault and will spit the case apart.


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