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

 

Part Sixty Five Q&A 1601 - 1625

1601. We have a 2002 LE PT with 38k miles. When it rains, the roof leaks - not at the sunroof - it is as if the drains are plugged. We think that we have cleaned all the drains, but wondered if we found all of them. Floor and side panel on passenger side are wet. – Stan, from Washington.

Two drain hoses are utilized with the sunroof system. One is routed under the headliner to the passenger side cowl area. The other is routed under the headliner to the upper passenger side liftgate area. You'll find a sunroof system guide here if you need it. Sunroof diagnostic guide here. And water leak diagnostic guide here. If the passenger area under the glove box is wet the likely cause is the A/C condensation hose.

 

1602. I have a 2001 LE PT with 59k miles and manual transaxle. Usually the clutch engages close to the top (when pedal is almost released). I've noticed lately when the car has not been driven overnight that the clutch engagement happens much lower than usual but goes back to its usual engagement point after a few blocks of driving. I asked the dealer about this and was told it was the automatic adjustment feature. This behavior lasted about 2 weeks then has not happened in months. To check if the clutch needed replacement I was told to drive to about 25mph, put the car in 4th and accelerate as fast as possible, if the RPM's just slowly increased with the speed then no problem. Is this the best way to check if a clutch needs replacement? I'm fairly easy on a clutch and also wonder how long should a PT clutch last? The dealer told me I might be lucky and have it last 100K. What has your experience been? Thanks. – Michael, from California.

Approximately, 95% of all PT owners who have contacted us in the last five years have the auto transaxle, therefore we receive very little feedback regarding clutch longevity or other related issues. Manual transmissions are usually more reliable than automatics and will usually go beyond 100k miles without any major issues however longevity, as with any mechanical part, is based upon a number of variables including driver usage, maintenance, mileage, driving conditions and build quality of the component. The facings on the clutch disc wear as the miles accumulate. The clutch pressure plate and flywheel can become scored, worn, warped or cracked from all the heat and friction generated by the clutch. A perfectly good clutch also can be ruined by oil contamination. Or, the cable or hydraulic linkage can fail, or the release bearing, pilot bearing/bushing or fork can wear out and prevent the clutch from working properly.

The test that you describe is not mentioned in the service manual. Diagnosing clutch problems can be difficult because a lot of different problems can cause the same kind of symptoms, therefore “road tests” do not always provide a complete and or accurate diagnosis without additional testing to confirm a finding.

The PT's modular clutch assembly is designed to transmit power from the engine to the manual transaxle. This is accomplished by the friction and clamping force generated when the spring loaded pressure plate locks the clutch disc to the flywheel. The clutch disc, which is splined to the transaxle input shaft, transmits power until the center of the diaphragm spring is depressed, and the clamp force is removed from the disc. The self -adjusting feature of this clutch assembly relies on the sensor ring and the adjuster ring, which works its way around a ramped clutch cover, taking up clearance as the clutch disc wears and maintaining diaphragm spring force throughout the life of the clutch. The primary benefits of this design are reduced pedal effort, constant release load over clutch life, and extended clutch life.

 

1603. I have a 2005 BE PT with 26k miles. Recently the steering wheel feels loose. I'm able to "wobble" it up and down and can hear a noise that suggests a bolt or washer is loose where the wheel attaches to the steering column. I haven't been poking around there because I've no idea how the airbag system is configured - I'd rather it not go off in my face. Is this loose wheel something that has happened before, and where may I look for help in tightening it back up (if indeed there's something that needs tightening)? Thanks. – Paul, from Oklahoma.

The condition you describe could be caused by any of the following issues:

1. Steering wheel retaining screw not properly tightened and torqued.
2. Steering column preload is not set properly.
3. Steering column lower bearing spring retainer slipped on steering column shaft.


However, with all of these repairs you must access the steering column, which means removing the air bag module. It's a hazardous area to work in, and unless you know what you're doing, you could injure yourself and or determine at the worst possible moment (accident) that you failed to reinstall the components correctly.

This is probably a warranty repair and it is likely that your vehicle is still covered. The warranty is 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. If you're not sure, call your dealer, provide them with your VIN and they can tell you if the vehicle is still covered under the basic warranty.

Follow up from owner - Had part of the steering column replaced under warranty. Next time I'll check my warranty agreement before posting. Many thanks for your help.

 

1604. I have a 2001 BE PT with 125k miles. I have had the belts changed before, but I think it's time to change them again. I have worked on my cars doing minor repairs, but wondered how hard is it to change the belts on the PT? Looking under the hood there doesn't seem to be a lot of room. – Bill, from Illinois.

The accessory drive consists of two Poly-V type drive belts. One belt drives the generator; the other drives the power steering pump and air conditioning compressor (if equipped). Changing the belts is not difficult, however access in the engine compartment is tight and the replacement belts must be adjusted correctly. We suggest having an OE guide on hand.

 

1605. I have a 2001 LE PT with 47k miles. A few days ago the vehicle no longer had any working lights on the dashboard and in the shift selector. I also found out that the rear lights, but not the brake lights, did not work either.

The #2 fuse (15amp) under the dashboard was blown. I replaced it and all was working. After a short ride of a few miles, I blew the same fuse again. – John, from Pennsylvania.

If the fuse continues to blow, there's still an unresolved problem in the circuit. The first thing I would do is thoroughly clean the fuse holder. While cleaning, inspect the fuse holder; check the spring tension. Make sure it's grabbing the fuse tightly.

If everything looks ok with the fuse holder, check the multifunction switch next. Fuse #2 feeds the multifunction switch, then the instrument cluster. A number of these switches have failed.

Last thing to check is the cluster, run the self diagnostic to check it, but make sure the multifunction switch is ok before testing.

You'll find a multifunction switch diagnostic/replacement and wiring schematics guide in the Pit area if you need them.

 

1606. I have a 2001 TE PT with 67k miles. Two years ago the instrument cluster was replaced due to loss of illumination at the 60 MPH location at the speedometer location. (I was advised that the IC is a sealed unit with no user replaceable lamps.) Recently, the lamp at the fuel gauge location failed. Is there some way to replace the lamps or LED'S without replacing the cluster again? I am a retired electronics technician and instrument. Or should I contact DC customer service? – Larry, from New Mexico.

According the service manual all instrument cluster indicators (Airbag, Seatbelt, etc.) are LED's and are not replaceable, with the exception of the high beam indicator which is a bulb. The gauge illumination (5, or 6 w/tachometer) bulbs are replaceable. In order to access the bulbs the instrument cluster and bezel must be removed. The IC requires special handling therefore we recommend that you have access to a service guide for this repair. You'll also find a guide in the Pit area.

 

1607. I have a 2002 TE PT with 90k miles. The lights and auto lock will go out without warning, sometimes stay out several weeks, then come back on without warning - usually as we arrive at the mechanics hoping that THIS TIME they will be able to pinpoint the problem. Fuse #10 does not seem to be the problem and the multifunction switch has been replaced. We never know when the lights will go out again, although it hasn't happened while driving so far - just when we have been stopped, sometimes for a short period, sometimes for a long one. I can't find a pattern in weather, humidity, heaviness of use, time of day, other systems used. The mechanic kept the car for several days, wiggled everything, and could not duplicate the problem. – Curry, from Washington.

Intermittent issues like this are usually related to loose and or corroded connections, connectors or grounds. Inspect fuse #1 (25amp) in the interior fuse box. Check the condition of the holder (corrosion) and tension. Make sure the holder is clean and grabs the fuse tightly.

The headlamps, headlamp relay, multifunction switch and RKE module utilize common grounds (G201, G103 and G104). Check the condition of the ground connections.

G201 - Center Rear of Instrument Panel
G103 - Left Fender Area
G104 - Right Fender Area

Check connector C105 – white 26 pin connector, on left side of instrument panel.

 

1608. I have a 2005 Classic PT with 16k miles. The PT went in for regularly cheduled service (no problems) and when I went to pick it up I'm told they think it has an oil leak and could be coming from the rear of the engine against the bulk head. It's going back in tomorrow to be checked, which is fine it's under warranty, my problem is they're saying they may just take out the old engine and replace the old engine with a new one! I thought this is a bit over board for a head gasket. Have you heard of this being done before? What will this do to my warranty? Thanks for your time. - Ian, from Scotland.

If it's just an oil leak, replacing the head gasket would not necessitate replacing the engine, unless the engine ran with little or no oil and additional damage occurred. If they determine that the head gasket leak was caused by an overheating issue, under those circumstances, dependent upon how much internal damage occurred, the engine might be replaced. It may or may not be a warranty issue – they must determine how and or why it occurred.

 

1609. I have a 2002 BE PT with 96k miles. The door will not unlock when using the key. – Mary, from Florida.

If it only occurs with the key, it could be the door lock switch. If it also occurs with the handheld transmitter it could be the door lock motor or RKE module. There is a diagnostic for the switch, but you would probably be better off having the dealer diagnose the issue with their DRB scan tool.

 

1610. I have a 2001 TE PT with 43k miles. When I turn on the rear windshield wiper the arm advances about half way, then stops. The weird part is the center brake lamp comes on. I turn off the switch, and manually push the wiper back to the rest position, at which point the brake light goes out. Your help would be greatly appreciated. – Paul, from Canada.

The center brake lamp and rear wiper are fed by separate circuits. The only common connections that I see which utilize both circuits are Connector C302, Splice S310, and Ground G300. I would check the condition of these connections first.

C302, White, Top Left of Liftgate

G300, Left Rear Quarter

S310 Near T/O for Rear Window Defogger (Ground)

 

1611. I have a BE PT with 10k miles. Will the front slotted rotors on a 2001 PT fit on a 2006 PT convertible? Thanks. – Jim, from Delaware.

The same rotor appears to be applicable to both the sedan and convertible with the 2005-2006 model year PT's. You may want to verify this information with your local DC dealer.

2001 - ROTOR, Front Brake 4509 994AA

2005-2006 ROTOR, Front Brake

4509 994AA [BRB,BRK,BRT]
5273 141AA [BR4]

[BRB]=Front Disc Rear Drums Brakes
[BRK]=Anti-Lock Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
[BRT]=4 Wheel Disc Anti Lock Brakes
[BR4]=Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Performance Brakes

 

1612. I have a 2001 BE PT with 65k miles. If the engine is not up to operating temperature it sputters right at 2500rpm. I have to shift gears just before 2500rpm to avoid. When at operating temperature shutting off and restarting clears the problem. The check engine light flashes with the problem and is on continuously when restarting at operating temperature. It will occasionally stall when slowing down to stop. Always starts right up in all conditions. – George, from California.

Fault Code P0300 - Multiple Cylinder Misfire

A misfire code in a specific cylinder (P0301-Cylinder #1, P0302- Cylinder #2, etc.) usually indicates a possible problem with a plug or ignition wire. A P0300 code indicates the misfire is random and moving around from cylinder to cylinder. The cause here would likely be something that upsets the engine's air/fuel mixture, such as a major vacuum leak, leaky EGR valve or unusually low fuel pressure (weak pump or faulty regulator). It could also be caused by or related to the other DTC P0339 you received.

P0339 - Crankshaft Position Sensor Circuit Intermittent. A rationality error has been detected for intermittent loss of crankshaft position sensor.

Possible causes include:

Wiring Harness Inspection
5 Volt Supply Circuit Open or Shorted To Ground
Tone Wheel/Pulse Ring Inspection
Checking Camshaft Position Sensor Signal
Crankshaft Position Sensor
CKP Signal Circuit Open
CKP Signal Circuit Short To Ground
CKP Signal Circuit Shorted To B+
CKP Signal Circuit Short To (K7) 5 Volts
PCM

With the exception of the Wiring Harness Inspection, a DRB III scan tool and diagnostic manual are necessary to diagnose the majority of potential causes.

You can visually inspect the related wire harness including the ground circuit. Look for any chafed, pierced, pinched, or partially broken wires. Visually inspect the related wire harness connectors. Look for broken, bent, pushed out, or corroded terminals. Ensure the Crankshaft Position Sensor and the Camshaft Position Sensor are properly installed and the mounting bolt(s) are tight.

 

1613. I have a 2004 PT with 70k miles. The PT will not turn right or left without a lot of muscle. I have checked the fluid it is where it is suppose to be but it is impossible to turn. It is not and has not made any noise before this happened. Do you think it could possibly be the pump? – Brandy, from North Carolina.

There was a number of steering component failures with early model year PT Cruisers. We still occasionally hear from owners who experience this issue. With 70k miles I would say you are a candidate. Former issues usually required the replacement of the pump and or steering gear/rack. Have it checked by the dealer; they will pinpoint the exact nature of the issue with your PT.

Follow up by owner – It was the power steering pump, got one at Auto Zone and it works wonderful.

 

1614. I have a 2001 LE PT with 133k miles. I hear an intermittent loud squeal from a belt or bearing in cold weather. I replaced both belts and tensioner last winter, and the noise went away when weather warmed up, but I'm experiencing it again this winter, only much worse. This is getting expensive. When the squeal starts, the oil pressure light occasionally comes on when RPM drops below 10,00RPM. Hitting the accelerator causes it to go off. I am beginning to suspect a bad bearing in alternator. The timing belt was replaced at 90K, and I have had no starting or operating problems. Just the infernal noise and occasional oil pressure light. The squeal is most pronounced when starting off from a stoplight and turning the steering wheel does not cause problem or make it go away. Any ideas? – Carroll, from Florida.

If you have already replaced the belts and tensioner that leaves the A/C compressor, power steering pump and alternator. It could be a bearing issue related to one of these components as you suggested, or a misaligned or bent pulley, or incorrectly tensioned belt which is too tight and binding, or too loose and slipping. Symptoms of slippage include noise or chatter and glazed or shiny sidewalls on the belt. If you can't determine where the noise is coming from don't continue to throw parts at it – have it diagnosed by the dealer than decide if you want to DIY the repair.

 

1615. We have a 2003 BE PT with 36k miles. My wife ran low on oil. The code said oil pressure sensor low voltage. Can I disconnect the battery to reset the codes? – Bill, from Michigan.

On the majority of vehicles manufactured prior to 1996 disconnecting the battery could erase fault codes, at least temporarily until the code resets and turns the check engine light back on. On newer vehicles, the PCM's fault codes are stored in a "nonvolatile memory” that is stored if the battery is disconnected. The codes remain intact until they are cleared using a scan tool.

An Oil Sensor Low Voltage fault can be caused by a variety of factors and not necessarily a low oil condition. If you clear the code with a scan tool you will see the MIL pop on again if the condition still exists.

Please provide the actual code, as requested, if you use this service in the future. The description of the code “oil sensor low voltage” is of limited value when diagnosing an issue.

 

1616. I have a 2003 TE PT with 65k miles. My check engine light keeps coming on. It has been to the shop around 6 times and they can't seem to figure out what the heck is wrong with it. The code reads P0440. I have changed the fuel cap, but it didn't work. The car doesn't seem to run any differently. – Brian, from Texas.

P0440 - General EVAP System Failure

Possible causes include:

Visual and Physical Inspection
Evap Purge Solenoid Vacuum Supply Inspection
Evap Purge Solenoid Stuck Closed
NVLD Switch Operation
(Z1) Ground Circuit Open
NVLD Assembly
NVLD Switch Signal Circuit Open
Evaporative Emission Leak Detection
PCM

If you mean, by shop, a local automotive shop, take it to a DC dealer. They have the necessary equipment and experience to diagnose most faults. If you are using a DC dealer and they have been unsuccessful in resolving it obtain a second opinion from another DC dealer.

You can DIY the visual and physical inspection of the Evaporative Emission system, but to check the remainder of potential causes, a DRB III scan tool, diagnostic manual and assorted other automotive test equipment is necessary.

Perform a visual and physical inspection of the entire Evaporative Emission system. Check for the following conditions:

Hoses disconnected or left off
Holes or cracks
Loose seal points
Evidence of damaged components
Incorrect routing of hoses and tubes
Fuel Cap left off or bad gasket seal

 

1617. I have a 2002 LE PT (diesel) with 60k miles. The back up and fog lamp light on that side are not working. When the bulb is removed the reverse alarm sounds, but no lighting. – Wayne, from the United Kingdom.

I assume that you have changed the bulbs and that has not resolved the problem. Check fuse #22 (20amp) fuse in the PDC under the hood. If the fuse is ok I would look at the multifunction (headlamp) switch next if both the LEFT and RIGHT back up lights and rear fog lamps are not operational. (The multifunction switch on the exports has a function which controls the rear fog lamps.)

If the back up lights and rear fog lamps are operational on one side, but not the other you'll have to trouble shoot that side of the circuit back to the lights. I would start by checking the grounds at the lights and making sure the wiring within the body cavity is not cut and shorting out against the body of the vehicle.

 

1618. I have a 2001 LE PT with 45.6k miles. I'm getting a clunking sound from the front of the car when I go over any bumps in the road (large or small). And the steering wheel, shimmies left and right when going slow. - Lloyd, from Pennsylvania.

We don't diagnose noise, but symptoms of worn ball joints include front wheel shimmy at low speed, steering wander, clunking noises from the front suspension and camber wear on the front tires. Have the vehicle checked.

 

1619. I have a 2005 DC GT (HO) PT with 25k miles. I started doing routine oil change and upon inspecting the air filter, found oil at the bottom of the air filter compartment. Drove it to dealership and repair department manager actually had the nerve to tell me it's routine that turbo engines have oil deposited in air filter compartment. I have never heard that or seen oil in the air filter compartment. Can you tell me what possible problems exist? – Eric, from California.

There is s short rubber hose (called a make up air hose) on 2002 and later models which is routed from the left side of the engine into the air box. It is designed to re-circulate oil blow back through the engine. A small amount of oil is normal. If it appears to be excessive I would obtain a second opinion from another dealer. More info here.

 

1620. I have a 2002 BE PT with 50k miles. For the most part it runs fine, but runs rough for a few seconds at idle. It does this for about 10 minutes and the cycle starts over again. It's also rough at initial acceleration. I went to Auto Zone used there code detector and came up with P0441. What parts can we purchase to correct this problem and can we do it ourselves? Thank you. – Paul from California.

P0441 Evap Purge Flow Monitor -Insufficient or excessive vapor flow detected during evaporative emission system operation.

A Diagnostic Trouble Code indicates that the Powertrain Control Module 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.

Possible causes for P0441 include:

Intermittent Condition
Checking Evap Purge Solenoid Functionality
Evap Purge Solenoid Vacuum Supply

You will need a DRB III scan tool and diagnostic manual to troubleshoot the issue.

If you're also experiencing excessive rough idle I don't believe it is related to this fault. A variety of conditions can induce it, however there's not enough information here to suggest a cause. See Tech Library, Engine Performance subsection.

 

1621. I have a 2002 LE PT with 50k miles. The engine cranks over very slow on cold days. I cleaned the posts (dirty), charged the battery and had it checked out (ok) by the dealer. The next day same problem; very cold out, engine turns over slowly, and won't start. This happened last year too and the dealership replaced the spark plugs? Can you help me? Thanks. – Dan, from Canada.

I don't think it's the plugs. When an engine cranks slowly it usually related to insufficient battery voltage. If you cleaned the terminals, charged the battery and the PT started ok, and a day later it is cranking slowly again there may be a problem with the charging system, excessive ignition off draw, or the ability of the battery to hold a charge. The charging system's job is to keep the battery fully charged, and to supply voltage to meet the vehicle's electrical needs. Normally, when a battery is tested they also check the charging and starting systems because of this interdependency. Make sure they tested all of the systems. If the battery still has a good charge and engine cranks slowly I would look at the starting system. Most engines need a cranking speed of 100 to 200 rpm to start. If the starter is weak and can't crank the engine fast enough to build compression, the engine won't start.

 

1622. I have a 2003 GT PT with 75k miles. At night, when my exterior lights are on, I notice that the lights on the interior as well as exterior tend to dim in and out, never completely going black. I notice it while driving and idling. – Shelley, from Georgia.

It could be related to a loose or corroded connection, problem with the charging system (output too low), or failing battery. Your local dealer will have to diagnose it.

 

1623. I have a 2003 PT with 83k miles. I am adding a fuel additive that is in pill form. Can the anti-siphon screen in the filler neck be removed or dislodged, so the additive will go into the tank? Thank you. – Randy, from Louisiana.

The anti-siphon screen is not mentioned in the service manual. If it's built into the fuel tank filler tube it can't be bypassed without removing the tube. There's also an inlet check valve on the inside of the fuel tank at the filler inlet, which prevents fuel from splashing back on the owner during vehicle refueling that may obstruct the passage of a solid additive.

 

1624. I have a 2005 GT (HO) Convertible with 26000km. I bought this car while living in Vancouver, Canada. I now live in Austin, Texas and would like to switch the odometer units reading from Kilometers to Miles. Can I do this without installing a new Speedometer/Odometer? – Scott from Texas.

The speedometer/odometer is electronically driven and part of the cluster. Check with you local dealer; they may be able to reprogram the instrument cluster for you.

 

1625. We have an export PT. We have a problem with the alarm, the lights flash as normal but no noise from the siren, just an odd grunt now and then, any ideas and also where is the siren for the alarm located? Is it the same as the normal horn or somewhere different? Many thanks. – Rebel Racer (forum post), from England.

On domestic (US) PT's the VTSS activates the vehicle horn, flashing of the park lamps and headlamps.  

The export PT's are equipped with the standard or premium vehicle theft security system.  

The standard system is designed to protect against whole vehicle theft. This system monitors the vehicle doors, liftgate, and ignition key cylinders for unauthorized operation. In the event the standard system is triggered, the VTSS will sound the vehicle horn and flash the headlamp and park lamps in a alternating fashion.

The premium system is designed to protect against whole vehicle theft and the loss of its contents. This system monitors vehicle doors, hood, liftgate and ignition key cylinders for unauthorized operation, as well as monitoring any movement inside the cabin when the intrusion sensor is armed. In the event the premium system is triggered, the VTSS siren will sound and the turn indicator lamps will flash. This siren is dedicated to the vehicle theft security system (VTSS) and is controlled by the ARKEM module (Remote Keyless Entry). The siren is located behind the air blocker - to access remove the left front wheel well splash shield.

The dealer can troubleshoot the issue by checking for faults in the SKIM and RKE module.

 



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