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The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ed.


Part Fifty Nine Q&A 1451 - 1475

1451. I have a 2006 GT (HO) with 6k miles. After a slight front end impact the A/C compressor pulley was damaged and is throwing belts. The dealer tells me they use a different compressor on the GT turbo, and the A/C clutch is not serviceable. They want to replace the complete compressor. Is this true or is the dealer bumping up the bill? Fred, from Georgia.

We don't have a service manual or IPB for the 2006 model year, however the 2005 service manual states:

The compressor clutch assembly consists of a stationary electromagnetic coil, a hub bearing and pulley assembly, and a clutch plate. The electromagnetic coil unit and the hub bearing and pulley assembly are each retained on the nose of the compressor front housing with snap rings. The clutch plate is keyed to the compressor shaft and secured with a retainer. The compressor clutch and coil are the only serviced parts on the compressor.

The 2005 IPB shows different compressors for the GT and non aspirated PT. Each compressor is shown as a complete assembly however a Pulley Hub Kit, A/C is available for both models and consists of a clutch plate and pulley.


1452. I have a 2001 LE PT with 49k miles. After 18 months of use, the top half (open) black button on the keyless remote (FOB), popped off and I could not find it in the parking lot. It still works, but the sensor is bare and you must push it with a fingernail to operate it. So, I put this remote away and used the second. After 12-15 months of use, the exact same thing happened to this keyless remote. Have you heard of this problem before, or am I just lucky? Nancy, from Maryland.

Regrettably, I think you've just been lucky. Normally, they are pretty durable/reliable. I'm still using the original FOB on my 2001 PT, and have not touched the spare. They fail occasionally, but usually just need a replacement battery.


1453. We have a 2001 LE PT with just over 61k miles. At 60500 miles the engine light came on. My husband replaced the plugs, wires, PCV valve, and air filter, plus cleaned the battery cable and checked all the fluids. Meanwhile, I discovered your web site and ran the two self tests. DTC P1684 (battery was disconnected) and DTC P0601. Our local Advance Auto ran and cleared all codes then gave me the following print out.

DTC P0601 Internal Controller Failure

I started the car, and the light came back on, with the same code P0601. Advance Auto did not know what that code meant. Can you help me? Thanks in advance. Gail, from South Carolina.

It's the PCM, unfortunately not an inexpensive repair. As long as the condition exists, the DTC will reappear, each time it is erased with a scan tool.

Follow up from owner I took the PT in and had a new PCM installed. It was covered under the 7/70K Powertrain Warranty. Thanks for your help.


1454. I have a 2002 LE PT with 41k miles. After spending quite some time in the Pit area reading about changing my plugs and wires, I went to Auto Zone to purchase them. I was asked what the 8th letter of my VIN was, which was "B". They say they can't get parts for. I've never heard or read anything like that. Is there something else I should know before I try to find the parts somewhere else? I'm really overdue to change them and would appreciate your help. Thanks. Linda, from Pennsylvania.

They either made a mistake or can't tell the difference between a domestic and export Cruiser.

The VIN consists of 17 characters. The character in position #8 identifies the engine in your 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

If you have a domestic Cruiser (one built for use in the US) the character should be B (B = 2.4 L 4 Cyl. 16 Valve Gasoline DOHC).

If you have an export Cruiser (one built for use outside the US) the character should be F, 9 or U.

If all else fails simply ask for the specific P/N of the plugs and or wires you retrieved from the Pit area.


1455. I have a 2003 TE PT with 44k miles and 41TE auto transaxle. I recently serviced the transaxle fluid/filter. After removing the filter, I noticed no o-ring on the fitting. I looked very carefully for any evidence of one, and it appears to have never had one. My Haynes manual suggests installing one. I decided to install w/o o-ring because of the absence of one during the filter change. Please advise. Jason, from Texas.

The service manual clearly states that a new o-ring should be installed on the bottom of the valve body when replacing the filter. Can't explain why you didn't find one during the procedure; perhaps the original disintegrated or broke off and slipped into the pan. You'll need O RING, Trans Oil Filter, P/N 6032 780.


1456. I have a 2002 LE PT with 66k miles. The headlight lens looks like a coating is wearing off at the upper portions, or becoming cloudy. Thought I'd seen this addressed on your website before, I can't find it at the moment. Thank you. William, from Texas.

We had one other owner write in about a similar issue a while back, however his situation turned out to be moisture related. DC issued a TSB about this back in August 2005, where they indicated some moisture is normal inside the headlamp unit and will appear as a cloudy or foggy condition inside the assembly. The moisture can be removed by activating the headlamps on high beam for 15 minutes. If water droplets larger than 1mm in size have accumulated on the inside of the headlamp lens, the headlamp assembly should be replaced. The TSB is available in the Pit area on the site if you'd like to review it.


1457. We have a 2002 LE PT with 31k miles. While out shopping yesterday the engine light popped on. The vehicle continues to run ok, and all the fluid levels are fine, but I ran the self test and came up with P0551. Any help would be appreciated. - Lamar, from Georgia.

P0551 (M) - Power Steering Switch Failure: Incorrect input state detected for the power steering switch circuit. PL: High pressure seen at high speed.

A few owners have reported this fault and in all cases it has been diagnosed as a faulty power steering switch. The switch usually costs $40-45, plus labor through the dealer. You'll find a guide in the Pit area if you want to DIY.

Follow up from owner We called the dealer and they wanted over $200 to replace it. I decided to use the Pit area guide and DIY. I purchased a subscription for $17.50, spent another $43 for the switch, and completed the repair in less than 45 minutes at a saving of about $139 which was a great return on my $17.50 investment. Thank you very much for your help.


1458. I have a 2002 LE PT with 37 miles. My PT has growling rear brakes. It sounds very deep and gravely. It's even worse in wet weather. The rear shoes were just replaced (at my request) and the old ones still had a lot of wear left on them. The mechanic told me it was a noise that all "Neon's" had, but I find that hard to believe even though his business is brakes and tires. He did say that everything was "clean and smooth" and, other than the noise, my brakes were working fine. Please tell me which direction to look next. I'm embarrassed by all the noise it makes. Kenni, from Ohio.

If your mechanic is comparing the PT to his experiences with a Neon my first suggestion would be to find a new mechanic. There are noise issues with the standard rear drum brakes, which are thought to be caused by the composition of the rear drum. However, they have never been described as growling, and there are other issues which can cause noise, none of which can be accurately diagnosed through an email. I would suggest that you read through the Q&A's in the Tech Library Brake subsection. Then find a shop that specializes in brake work and is familiar with the PT Cruiser.

Follow up from owner Thanks, took your advice and found a new mechanic. Turns out it wasn't the rear brakes, but the front pad, rotor and caliper on the passenger side. The caliper was sticking, causing the pad to eat into the rotor. Had all replaced and everything is much quieter!


1459. I have a 2004 BE PT with 19k miles. I'm adding the OE fog lights to the PT, which was already pre-wired, so all I had to add is the fog lights and new combination multifunction switch. Once installed the fog lights work, but I've lost the turn signal functionality. I replaced the switch twice, and everything works except the turn signals. Any ideas? Lawrence, from Arizona.

There's not much information to work with. I would suggest that you recheck and verify the installation using the instructions that came with your fog lamp kit or our guide.

Ensure that the combo-flasher smart relay is installed on the backside of the multifunction switch. The turn signal flasher and the hazard warning flasher are combined into one unit called a Combination Flasher (combo-flasher). The combo-flasher is black in color and has a dampener material wrapped on it.

Follow up from owner - You were 100% correct, I must have missed transferring the relay to the new switch in the instructions. All is well, thanks for your help.


1460. I have a 2002 TE PT with 88k miles. I recently had to have the fuel pump module replaced to correct a stumbling/stalling issue. The pressure regulator was faulty, which resulted in an intermittent fuel pressure problem. I was surprised to see that it didn't register a DTC when they checked the PT with their scan tool. Jim, from Louisiana.

The fuel pressure regulator is part of the fuel pump module and is not serviceable. As you discovered the entire fuel pump module must be replaced. The powertrain diagnostic manual states that the PCM does not monitor some circuits, systems, and conditions even though they could have malfunctions that result in driveability problems, and that a diagnostic code may not be displayed for some conditions. However, problems with these systems may cause a diagnostic code to be displayed for other systems. For example, a fuel pressure problem will not register a diagnostic code directly, but could cause a rich or lean condition. This could cause an oxygen sensor, fuel system, or misfire monitor trouble code to be stored in the PCM.


1461. I have a 2005 BE PT with 8k miles. I'm getting about 20.1 mpg. Does anyone offer a computer chip that improves gas mileage? I've seen some that improve power and they say mileage "might" improve. Also, the first 1/8" travel of the pedal seems to be about 50% of the throttle. That leads to jack-rabbit starts. I would prefer a more linear feel. A quarter-pedal should equal a quarter-throttle. Does anyone have a fix for that? Pat, from Arizona.

Not that we are aware of, most chips are designed to increase performance, which by its very nature usually results in a reduction in fuel economy and or increased fuel cost because of higher octane fuel requirements.

I haven't noticed that degree of linear sensitivity on my PT however I have a 2001 and may have very well, over time, conditioned my response while accelerating. The accelerator pedal throttle cable is connected to the throttle body cam. If you feel it is too sensitive, have the dealer take a look, but I suspect that it is probably adjusted correctly and simply something you'll have to condition yourself too.


1462. We have a 2003 LE PT with 17k miles. I know where the PCM is located in the engine bay, but I can't seem to locate the TCM. Where is it? Thanks. Will, from California.

The PT (2.0/2.4L) is equipped with the Powertrain Control Module and Transmission Control Module combined in a single control module. This module is the Next Generation Controller (NGC) for DC and is referred to as the PCM.


1463. I have a 2004 BE PT with 52k miles. I had the PT into the shop so they could check the head gaskets because during a normal oil change they said they thought I had a gasket leak. Everything turned out fine but after they checked it my gas gauge does not work. It shows half full when we fill it up. We initially thought it was frozen but, it still hasn't changed. Is this an easy fix? They said I need to pay for a diagnostics before they can fix. Has anyone else had this problem? - Donna, from Minnesota.

It could be the fuel gauge (cluster), fuel level sensor or short in the circuit. Try running the instrument cluster self diagnostic test by pressing the trip reset button down and then turn the ignition to the ON position simultaneously, then release the button. The gauges will increment to selected stops and all indicators will light. If the fuel gauge needle does not move from E to F during the test there's a problem with the gauge and or sensor.

There was a TSB issued for the 2001 model year PT for an issue like this where the fuel gauge did not register full when the tank was filled. The repair involved replacing the fuel level sensor or indexing the fuel pump module to the fuel tank.

The fuel gauge level sending unit (variable resistor sensor) is attached to side of fuel pump module. Under normal conditions the resistance changes with the amount of fuel the tank. The float arm attached to the sensor moves as the fuel level changes.

The dealer can run a more complete diagnostic with their scan tool to check for a fuel level sensor/circuit open/shorted condition and or faulty gauge. In the case of a faulty gauge the entire cluster must be replaced. If the fuel level sensor is faulty the gas tank must be dropped to access the sensor on the fuel pump module. In either case, they are not DIY repairs for the average owner.

Most dealers will forgive the diagnostic charge, (usually $50-75), if you allow them to make the repairs. Discuss this with the service manager.

Follow up from owner - I brought it to the garage and they said it was the sender which they had to order ($320.00). Thanks for all your help!


1464. I have a 2003 GT (LO) PT with 35k miles. I can feel a shudder when turning the steering wheel all the way to the left. Sometimes it's felt while driving and turning wheel from side to side. The dealer said it's a problem with the CV joint and DC knows about this problem. The fix is to add a shim on both sides? Is this ok, or not? Randy, from Canada.

We have received a few reports of CV joint failures; however the fix has been to replace the joints. No one has reported treating the issue with shims.

With FWD vehicles like the PT, a damaged outer CV joint, inner tripod joint seal boot or seal boot clamp, may cause vibration, but more often you'll hear a clicking sound. One way to check for a worn outer CV joint is to turn the steering wheel to one side, then put the car in reverse and accelerate backward. When you run the joint in the opposite direction that it normally turns, it exaggerates any wear that might be present.


1465. I have a 2001 LE PT with 47k miles. The engine doesn't turn over, although I hear rapid "ticking". I suspect the solenoid? Dealer said it sounds like battery is below 9 volts, but the interior lights are bright and accessories work. What do you think? Steve, from Minnesota.

If the headlights do not dim when you attempt to start the engine that could be an indication of no voltage, or insufficient voltage, at the starter. Many starters require a minimum of 10 volts battery current. Check the condition of the battery, clean the terminals and charge the battery if necessary. Once you know the battery is ok, attempt to restart the PT. If the starter still doesn't kick in see the starter guide to troubleshoot the system. (The solenoid is part of the starter assembly and not serviceable.)

If the battery needs to be replaced keep in mind that the battery, starting, and charging systems in the vehicle operate with one another and must be tested as a complete system. In order for the engine to start and the battery to maintain its charge properly, all of the components that are used in these systems must perform within specifications. The cause of abnormal battery discharge, overcharging or early battery failure must be diagnosed and corrected before a battery is replaced and before a vehicle is returned to service.

Follow up from owner - I did as you suggested and found the most beautiful Caribbean-blue battery posts you could imagine! After much baking soda and Coke I was able to determine the battery was indeed, "toast", while watching the meter on the charger go immediately to zero after turning it on. I pulled the battery specs off the site and replaced the battery through my local NAPA store. I gave them the oldie and was back on the road 30 minutes later. Thanks for the information.


1466. We recently purchased a pre-owned 2005 GT (HO) PT. While having it serviced a mechanic said that it had oil jets built into the engine block; can you explain what they're for? Thank you. Elizabeth, from Nebraska.

The 2.4L Turbo engines are equipped with four oil jets installed in the engine block. The oil jets are fed engine oil pressure from the main oil gallery and used to cool the pistons. An integral check ball controls the flow of oil through the oil jet.


1467. I have a 2005 GT (HO) Convertible with 3k miles. After installing a K&N FIPK I noticed a chatter sound when coming off the gas pedal. It almost sounds like a heat shield chattering, but I removed the K&N filter and can clearly hear the sound coming from the intake tube. I am guessing it's just the way it sounds, because the car runs really strong after installing the FIPK. Also, I've never had cause to rev to 4000rpm, while in park before noticing this noise. Is there a rev limiter in my car? On the road it runs right up to the red line and shifts without any problems. Or can this be related to the FIPK install? Please advise. Michael, from New York.

The GT should sound throaty after you installed the K&N FIPK. The engine rev limiter is set at 3500rpm in park or neutral and 6250rpm while driving. That may very well be what you're hearing, but as you know we can not diagnose a sound through an email. If you hear a chattering sound below 3500rmp the logical place to begin would be rechecking your installation work.

The engine rev limiter is set at 3500rpm in park or neutral and 6250rpm while driving. That may be what you're hearing, but sounds can not be diagnosed through an email. The GT should sound throaty after you install the K&N FIPK and will be somewhat louder without the OE air box and baffles. If you hear a chattering sound below 3500rmp the logical place to begin would be rechecking your work.


1468. I have a 2002 BE PT with 56k miles. Last week I noticed that the turn signal indicator does not turn off after the completion of a right or left turn. What could cause that? Thanks. Ellis, from New Hampshire.

That's an indication of a broken canceling finger on the multifunction switch or broken or missing canceling cam on the clockspring. In either case, the switch or clockspring must be replaced to correct the problem.


1469. I have a 2001 TE PT with 38k miles. The brakes have become intermittently spongy. Today I had to press the pedal all the way to the floor to stop and I wasn't driving fast (30mph). The situation seems to be getting worse. I checked the fluid level and it is up to the top. The disks look new and do not squeal. Please help. Paul, from Canada.

Spongy brakes and excessive pedal travel are usually an indication of air in the brake lines. Try bleeding the brakes; if that doesn't resolve the issue a trip to the shop is in order. Brake diagnostics/guides are available in the Pit area.


1470. I am going to purchase a new 2006 LE PT. The AutoWeb site shows a tilt/ telescopic steering wheel. I sent for the Chrysler brochure and it only shows a tilt steering wheel. Will you please let me know if in fact it does have the tilt/telescopic steering wheel? Thank you. Norton, from New Jersey.

A tilt steering wheel is standard on all 2006 model year editions. DC has never offered a telescopic steering wheel feature on the PT Cruiser. You can review all of the 2006 model year features here. Or, you can review the entire DC/PT information index.


1471. I have a 2001 TE PT with 122k miles. I went in to get my car inspected and it failed. I had a diagnostic run on the car and they recommended a tune up and replaced a hose and PCV valve. Now my engine light is on and it still won't pass inspection. Now the shop is telling me that the ignition coil is bad and needs to be replaced. (I replaced the ignition coil and sparks plugs last September). What would cause them to go bad again in such a short time? Barbra, from Texas.

I will assume that you're talking about the emissions test that some states impose on vehicle owners. Each state determines its own specific tests that must be performed. Most test programs look at only two pollutants: unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO). Most also measure carbon dioxide (CO2) but only for diagnostic purposes since CO2 is not a pollutant.

When a vehicle fails an emissions test, the owner is usually provided with a printout that shows the test results of the vehicles emissions as well as the applicable cut points (a standard that the vehicle is required to meet) From this information a skilled technician can determine if too much HC and or CO caused the vehicle to fail.

Hydrocarbon failures mean unburned gasoline is passing through the engine and entering the exhaust. The three most common causes include ignition misfire, lean misfire and low compression (typically a burned exhaust valve). Ignition misfire can be caused by worn or fouled spark plugs, bad plug wires or a weak coil. Lean misfire results where there is too much air and not enough fuel, so a technician would check for vacuum leaks, dirty injectors or a fuel delivery problem. In addition to these, hydrocarbon failures can also be caused by oil burning due to worn valve guides, valve guide seals and/or rings. This could be an issue given the mileage on the vehicle and eliminated as a possibility with a leakdown test.

Carbon monoxide failures indicate an overly rich fuel mixture. This could be an indication that the system is not going into closed loop because of a bad coolant or oxygen sensor.

If both HC and CO are high, the vehicle may have a bad catalytic converter.

NOX failures are usually EGR related, since the EGR system is primarily responsible for reducing oxides of nitrogen. But NOX emissions can also be caused by a faulty converter or computer control system that remains in open loop.

If you recently replaced the ignition coil the odds of this one failing are low. You did not include any recorded DTC's (vehicle self test), therefore I would suggest that you find a shop with competent technicians who can recheck the vehicle for outstanding faults with a scan tool. It is important to remember that it is possible that the emission failure was caused by a combination of issues which need to be addressed as a whole. Simple patch repair and retesting may continue to result in emission test failures.


1472. I recently purchased a pre-owned 2002 TE PT with 77k miles for my wife, which appears to be in good running condition. Our last (fuel injected) vehicle used a cold start injector, but the PT does not appear to have one. Am I missing something? Ken, from Washington.

On the PT and most vehicles with newer engines the cold start injector is no longer used. Instead, the PCM looks at the coolant temperature sensor to determine if the engine is hot or cold. If the engine is cold and needs extra fuel to start, the PCM increases the cycle time of the fuel injector pulses to supply more fuel to the engine.


1473. I have a (domestic import) 2001 pre-owned TE PT with 40k miles. I've experienced problems with cold starting/stalling since I took possession of the vehicle in 2005. If the vehicle sits overnight, or for more than a few hours, it will usually stall or stumble when I start it. I have to rev the engine a bit for about 20 seconds or so before driving off. This occurs regardless of whether I'm in drive or reverse. After it warms up a bit it's ok. I had the sparkplugs, wires and EGR changed, but it hasn't helped. Last week I had the idle motor valve cleaned, de-carboned after a mechanic suggested I try it as a remedy. The car runs smoother, but the problem with stalling persists. Currently the idle runs at about 800 RPM. The folks at DC say that the idle motor may need changing. As it would mean spending another couple of hundred dollars I kindly ask your advice for this persisting problem. What should the RPM in idle be for my car. Should I have the idle motor replaced, is it likely to cure the stalling problem? Thanks for your help. Robert, from Czech Republic.

As we discussed in a previous email, stalling can be caused by a low idle speed, incorrect fuel mixture, intake manifold leakage or faulty ignition coil(s). Under the right conditions there are a number of components (ECT sensor, fuel injectors, MAP sensor, idle air control motor, throttle body and O2 sensor) that can contribute to stalling issues with a cold engine.

You indicate that the sparkplugs, wires, and EGR were replaced and it didn't help. Then the idle motor valve was cleaned after a mechanic suggested it as a remedy, but the trouble with starting persists. The idle speed is controlled by the PCM and various inputs. Target idle is determined by the following inputs:

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

Based upon other PT's I've seen, normal idle, without the A/C running, is about 1000rpm. As previously discussed, a malfunctioning IAC motor can cause stalling, but low idle can also be caused by one or more of the inputs mentioned above.

If you had brought it to the DC dealer initially, and they determined that the IAC was faulty they would simply replace it. They would not have bothered to service it. At this point it is difficult to know with any certainty if the IAC motor is faulty, or possibly one of the other inputs that is causing the low idle condition without further testing. What you really need is a skilled diagnostician.


1474. I have a 2001 LE PT with 95k miles. My PT's A/C was cooling, but now does not cool quickly. The dealer said it is the cooling fan module. From my research this appears to be related to the radiator cooling fan. I am not sure how this relates to the AC. Do you have any info on this part you could give me?

The radiator cooling fan is a dual-speed electric motor driven fan. The radiator fan module or assembly includes an electric motor, fan blade, and a support shroud that is attached to the radiator. The motor is a non-serviceable component, and the fix consists of replacing the entire radiator fan module. The motor brushes have a tendency to burn out; it is a fairly common failure on the PT. Owners with DIY skills usually replace these on their own given the cost of replacement through the dealer. You'll find a replacement guide and tips on where to find a less expensive replacement module in the Pit area on the site. Review the Top 10 Issues guide in the Pit area while you're in there.


1475. We have a 2003 TE PT with 17k miles. We were told to replace the ASD relay. Can you tell us where the ASD relay is located and what's it for? Thanks. Randy, from New Jersey.

The relay is located in the PDC under the hood. For the location of the relay within the PDC, refer to the PDC cover. When energized, the ASD relay on NGC vehicles provides power to operate the injectors, ignition coil, generator field, O2 sensor heaters (upstream and downstream), evaporative purge solenoid, EGR solenoid (does not apply to 2003 model) wastegate solenoid (if equipped), and NVLD solenoid (if equipped).


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