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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 Three Q&A 1301 - 1325

1301. I have a 2001 LE PT with104k miles. I have a friend who owns a 2001 with 157k miles and had to replace the timing belt. He recommended that I have mine changed as a preventative measure. I am not experiencing any trouble as of this writing. What are your thoughts? – Bob, from Georgia.

You may want to review the maintenance schedule on the site or in your owners' manual. Schedule B calls for replacing the timing belt at 90k miles. If you haven't performed much of the maintenance scheduled in the 90-104k mileage range, now would be a good time to combine a few of these related items and have them serviced at the same time, which would be less costly than having them serviced individually. Like most owners, you'll have to decide whether you want to pay for maintenance now or perhaps a costlier repair later.


1302. I have a 2001 LE PT with 80k miles. I bought another multifunction switch after reading about the issues in the Pit area on the site. Upon disassembly it appeared that above and beyond the multifunction switch - the wiring harness that plugs into the multi-function switch - leading out to the headlights, blinkers, etc was partially melted, cracked and falling apart. Currently, the blinkers and hazard lights do not work. Which means the car can not pass inspection (a week overdue now). I went to the dealer and they do not sell a repair kit for any of the PT Cruiser models. The entire replacement wiring harness (P/N 04794563AB) costs $1700, plus an additional $2000 for installation. I have calls out to junk yards hoping that they have a PT wreck that I can cut the harness out of and just splice the wires. If I can't find the junked harness I was thinking of simply soldering the connectors to the multifunction switch... would that work? - Frank, from New York.

We have received a few emails from owners who were also placed in the position of purchasing a complete harness for various issues with their PT's, but elected to go the salvage yard route. There are thousands of PT's in salvage yards across the country. You will have no problem locating a connector with wire pigtail. Simply splice the corresponding wire colors together, and plug in the junkyard connector.


1303. We purchased a pre-owned 2003 GT (LO) Cruiser with 37k miles three weeks ago. The first two weeks were wonderful and it ran fine. This past week it was difficult to start. It turns over, but does not fire the first time. The second attempt is usually successful. Occasionally there will be a screeching noise when trying to start it. Sunday the air bag light came on and stayed on. It went off after three trips that day. Today the oil light came on and stayed on. I checked the oil and it was OK. I started the car and the oil light went out, but the air bag light came back on and remained on. Ran self test B and P0522 code came up and were still having problems starting it. (We are using premium fuel.) – Cindy, from Oregon.

With so many unrelated faults, I would inspect the PCM connectors for moisture contamination. I would also look for wiring chewed by rodents. The P0522 DTC is: Oil Pressure Sensor Low - Oil pressure sensor input below acceptable voltage.


1304. I have a 2005 TE PT with 6.5k miles. Do you know if the heads on a PT are semi-hemispherical? I know that the Prowler has a baby hemi in it and want to know if we do too. Thank you. – Conner, from California.

The DC press kits and SM's do not provide this information, however were told that the PT 2.4L engine cylinder head is a low profile aluminum casting with pent-roof combustion chambers.

More information on the "Chrysler Hemi and Combustion Chamber Design" can be found here.


1305. I have a 2001 LE PT with 56k miles. I noticed a clunk when performing a left hand turn from still. At higher speeds braking is transmitted through steering wheel, resulting in vibration and shudder. I inspected the inner and outer CV joints on the passenger side, which were fine, but the driver side outer CV boot is torn. The ball joint on driver side is also loose. Should I replace the torn boot and ball joint? Or do I need more drastic measures. – William, from Illinois.

The ball joint and boot must be replaced to ensure safety and to stop any further destruction of the suspension. Also inspect the lower control arm bushings for separation.


1306. A member of my club, who's PT has standard rear drums, has had his RR seize up on him after setting a few days in his garage. Last time it left 6' of rubber on his garage floor. The dealer could find nothing wrong. Could it be that the emergency brake needs to be lubed or adjusted? Once he pulls forward the wheel turns fine. – Ralph, from California.

An ongoing fault in one wheel suggests that there is something misadjusted or broken inside the drum. A parking brake fault should affect both sides, since they share the same cables up to the 'Y' split.


1307. I have a 2001 LE PT with 38k miles. During a long road trip, I stopped to gas up and the car wouldn't start.  There was a clicking sound commonly associated with a bad starter.  Took it to a DC dealer and they replaced the starter. The PT worked fine for 2 weeks, than it wouldn't start again. Now, the dealer is replacing the starter again. When I advised them that the starter was brand new they said...'It happens'.  I just can't imagine we are really getting to the cause of this problem.  So I ask if this is common, that the starter will go out after only 2 weeks. I am flabbergasted and don't quite understand what's wrong with my PT. – Heather, from Texas.

Any part made by the lowest bidder can and will fail at any time. It's not uncommon that a rotating electrical part may fail after 2 minutes or 20 years. Ask any parts store what the line has the highest warranty return rate. They will all claim that the rotating electrical (starters, alternators, window and lock motors) are the worst. That being said; we have received few reports of starter issues with the PT.


1308. I have a 2001 BE PT with 80k miles. The radio stopped working. A few days it started working again, and finally it stopped working completely. At the time of the failure a message appeared on the display: No Fuse / No DRL. Now all of the instrument cluster lights intermittently shutdown and come back on. Also, the light inside the car is not working, nor can I hear the chime sound when the lights are left on or when I open the door with the key in the ignition. – Calin, from Canada.

"No fuse" means the power supply to the cluster is dead. This IOD fuse is located in the power distribution center, under the hood.


1309. I have a 2003 TE PT with 34k miles. I recently had both front lower control arms and steering rack replaced under warranty. However, I had to pay for front end wheel alignment and was told that DC does not cover this under warranty. Since the part replacement required realignment of front end, shouldn't this be covered? – Roger, from Philadelphia.

I agree with you however each dealer has some discretion in how they interpret the warranty. If DC won't pay for the work, the dealer will usually charge the customer. As a courtesy, under certain conditions the dealer will absorb the charges, but this “good will” gesture does no occur frequently. Your best bet would be to call DC customer assistance and request a ruling.


1310. I just bought a pre-owned 2003 BE PT with 41.6k miles. I wondered if the automatic transmission in the PT is the same one that is installed in the Dodge Neon? Is this transmission installed in other cars? Thanks. – Ronald, from Curacao.

Yes, review the Top 10 Issues List to learn more the history of 41TE auto transmission.

Use this resource to review other vehicles that utilize the 41TE automatic transmission.


1311. I have a 2003 BE PT with 33k miles. I brought my PT to the dealer eight times because the check engine light kept coming on. They have replaced many items to include, gas cap, fuel filter, and most recently the fuel pump and fuel tank. After they replaced the fuel tank and fuel pump the engine would cut off, like its fuel supply was cut off while shifting. I brought it back to the dealer 3 days later. They kept it over the weekend and their service manager was able to duplicate the problem. They performed a software upgrade to the PCM to help control rough idle. They also replaced the IAC solenoid and proceeded to tell me it had absolutely nothing to do with their previous repairs and is an unrelated part. I am not a mechanic, but I do consider myself to have a logical mind. The problem didn't occur before they replaced the fuel pump and tank. Can these problems be related in any way? Thank you for your help. – Matt, from Florida.

Loss of fuel pressure while driving would cause a slow and rough idle for about 10 seconds prior to the engine dying. As the fuel pressure would drop from 56psi towards zero, the motor will continue to run poorly. If the engine dies during a shift, like the key was turned off, I would look into the electrical system. The fuel filter is not serviceable as a separate part. It's part of the fuel pump assembly. There's no way they changed a fuel filter and not the pump.


1312. I have a 2002 PT with 62k miles. The PT needed water regularly and while doing an oil change I noticed oil dripping from where the head meets the block. It was starting to smell at idles after running it. I removed the head and had it shaved. I reinstalled the head with OEM head set gaskets and new head bolts, water pump and timing belt. Seems to have cured the water disappearing, but 800 miles later I've noticed the oil leak has reappeared and once again I can smell it as it drips on the exhaust system. I torqued the head bolts like the manual prescribed. Can you offer assistance short of pulling head again and having it pressure checked? Why does it leak oil externally on the bottom side of the lip of the head gasket that sticks out under the exhaust manifold where the block and head meet? – Thomas, from California.

With the head shaved and the new gaskets, I would suspect the block is warped. Oil leaks like yours are rare.


1313. I have a 2003 GT (HO) PT with 41k miles. The instrument cluster lights are dim and make it difficult to see the gauge numbers even when the gauge dimmer on the MFS is at the maximum setting. Can the brightness be increased? - Larry, from Virginia.

It can not be adjusted any further than the dimmer switch will allow. It is controlled by the Instrument Cluster/Body Control Module.


1314. I have a 2003 BE PT with 36k miles and automatic transmission. Taking off from a stop, at approximately 10 mph (about the first shift point) the PT simply loses power and will not accelerate. The engine seems to be running smoothly, but will not pick up speed. This lasts for several seconds, but seems like an eternity with traffic bearing down on us. It's intermittent, but I finally got it do it for me. Can you offer a suggestion? – Tom, from Illinois.

Tests need to be performed to test fuel pressure and volume, along with spark timing. A test of the datastream with a scanner is needed to locate the circuit that's not doing its job.


1315. We just purchased a pre-owned 2002 LE PT with 53k miles. The instrument panel gauges, including fuel, and all the display lights are dead. The self test is operable and the temperature and compass display is dead. The engine runs, fog light indicator lights up and turn signals work. The VIN record, according to the DC web site indicates the car was serviced for all recalls. – Paul, from Michigan.

DC issued a recall (994, issued Oct. 2001) for some 2002 model year PT's because of a software error in the instrument cluster microprocessor. Under certain conditions, the cluster, with the majority of its gauges, illumination, and warning lamps, could become inoperative. Driving the vehicle with an inoperative cluster could cause a distraction, increasing the risk of a crash. The dealer will re-flash the cluster software to correct the condition. You can contact DC at 1-800-853-1403 to learn more about the recall. Have your VIN information available when calling.


1316. I have a 2003 TE PT with 42k miles. When idling with the A/C on, the engine periodically shudders (hard!), so much that it often feels like the engine will stall.  I've also had smoke come out of the engine briefly.  This occurred two times that I observed. This condition is worse when the gas tank is full. – Lisa, from Pennsylvania.

If the smoke is coming from the A/C compressor clutch, and it causes a hard stutter when it engages, I would say the compressor is failing.


1317. I have a 2004 BE PT with 19k miles. I am looking for the best way to clean my engine/compartment. In the past, I have had too many problems getting things wet (using a hose) that never work right after they are cleaned. Thanking you in advance. – Don, from California.

Each auto enthusiast seems to have their own opinion on how to clean the engine bay. You may want to review these links for some general engine cleaning do's and don'ts.

Advance Auto Parts

Car Care Online


1318. I have a 2004 LE GT (HO) with 27k miles. The overhead compass/temperature display reads only -49F or -45C. This occurred immediately after I installed a trailer hitch and had to disconnect the battery. Everything else seems fine. The wire harness that was included with hitch was from Chrysler, designed specifically for my make and model. I plugged it directly into an existing harness. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. – Brian, from California.

If the display shows OC (-49° F (-45° C) or SC (140° F (60° C), there is an Open or Short Circuit and system diagnosis and repair is required. You might try removing the additional harness to see if that corrects the problem.


1319. I have an export 2.0L 2001 LE PT with 52k miles. I only have one programmed key available and the cost of programming a new key in Cyprus is around US$160.00. I would like to know if there is a way to deactivate the immobilizer system so that I can use non-programmed keys. – Gregoris, from Cyprus.

I'm afraid not. The SKIM is tied into the PCM; we are not aware of any way to defeat the feature. I don't think DC would design a theft deterrent system that would be easy to defeat, nor would they probably provide that information in a SM which is available to consumers. Unfortunately, the “customer programming” feature for a key is only available on domestic vehicles or those which have a U.S. country code designator. And in this instance, with the availability of only one programmed key it is a non issue. You can read more about SKIM system here.


1320. Are the struts on the 2005 TE PT the same as the 2001? I called Tirerack and they sold a Set of KYB GR-2's but they were discontinued. I thought why on a 2005, if they are year specific? They couldn't tell me, nor could they give me a P/N though, so I assume they are the same as the 03-04. Thank you for any help I can get on this matter. – Anonymous, from USA.

According to the IPB's there have been some changes in the OE damper struts over the years. The last two alpha characters denote AB, AC, AD, or three changes. The IPB's do not indicate what the changes were.

SDC=Suspension - Touring

2001 P/N 4656 449AB SDC

2002 – 2003 P/N 4656 449AC SDC

2004 – 2005 P/N 4656 449AD SDC


1321. I have a 2005 GT (HO) PT with 6k miles. I would like to know if there is a fuse that controls the power output from the CD changer port on the back of the OE radio. I recently tried to replace my PIE auxiliary input adapter, which worked perfectly, with a Wire Tunes iPod controller I purchased on EBay. However after installing it the Mode button would no longer allow me to select between stereo and CD changer control mode. I thought I had a bad unit, and tried reconnecting the PIE adapter, but that no longer functioned either. I thought the Wire Tunes iPod controller might be faulty so I picked up a new one at Circuit City. The radio, internal CD and cassette player all function normally, but the CD changer port is still broken. Is there a separate fuse somewhere that controls power to this port? Thanks. – Dan, from Nevada.

There are no separate external fuses for the audio system circuit. Unfortunately, most automobile manufacturers treat the radio as a non serviceable part; therefore no circuit information is available in the SM. Dealers usually just replace the radio when faulty.


1322. We recently purchased a new 2005 LE PT and love it. We wondered what PT stood for? A neighbor thought it meant Plymouth Truck; is he correct? Thank you. - Ellen, from Wisconsin.

Some auto enthusiasts thought PT ("personal transportation") stood for "Plymouth Truck," partly because early Plymouth Trucks were designated "PT" (other Plymouths included the PB, PC, and PD).


1323. I have a 2002 BE PT with 39k miles. The engine light came on and I ran the self-test and came up with a P1297 DTC. I researched it and found that it referred to the MAP sensor. Is this correct? If so, is it covered under warrant? Or easily replaced? If so, can you point me to instructions on how to do it? Thanks. – Henry, from Ohio.

P1297 (M) - No change in MAP from start to run. No difference is recognized between the MAP reading at engine idle and the stored barometric pressure reading.

Understand that a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) indicates that the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) has recognized an abnormal condition in the system. DTC's are the results of a system or circuit failure, but do not directly identify the failed component or components.

If the MAP sensor is faulty an individual with average DIY skills can handle the replacement procedure. This would be a warranty repair, however at 39k miles you appear to be out of warranty. You'll find an OE system/replacement guide in the Pit area.


1324. I have a 2002 LE PT with 44k miles that has recently started overheating. It has never been in the red, but has gone to the three quarter mark just prior to the overheating lines. This seems to happen after it has been driven around 50 miles and a stop is made, say at a DQ for a soda, and the engine is left idling while going through the drive through. I'm losing about a pint of coolant every 50 miles or so, but there is no evidence of leaking hoses. I replaced the thermostat ("PTS 32749 Reverse Poppet Thermostat W/R".) with one from the local auto parts center, but did not flush out the old radiator coolant. It overheated again shortly after that. I then drained the coolant and replaced it with the recommended coolant and distilled water. Do you think this might be a faulty fan switch? I've observed it working while at an idle with the A/C on. – Tom, from Texas.

It may be the low speed fan circuit that's faulty. The high speed fan operates when the A/C is on, or if the engine reaches dangerously high temps. The low speed fan should operate above 210F and below 35mph ONLY. A scanner can command the PCM to operate the low speed fan relay to see if the circuit is functioning. Please follow this procedure for checking the coolant level.


1325. I have a 2001 LE PT with 33k miles. I recently failed an emissions inspection because their computer couldn't communicate with the PCM. The car was in storage for about 2 months, so I called the dealer and he said to drive it about 200 miles, it needed to cycle. I did and it failed again, so I checked the data link connector under the dash, which connects to an external scanner. There are 16 pins, but only six wires going into the harness. The violet/yellow wire is out of the harness. Do you know what know what slot that wire belongs in? I appreciate any help you can give. Thanks. – Steve, from Canada.

Data Link Connector – Black/16way

Cavity: 2
Circuit: D25 20VT/YL
Function: PCI BUS

Additional connector/wiring schematic information is available through the Pit area on the site.


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