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

 

Part Seventy Six Q&A 1876 - 1900

1876. I have a 2003 GT (HO) with 70k miles. I was driving with cruise control on in 4th gear and the engine started to rev. It revved so high the cruise control shut down. I start to give it gas and it's like the car is in neutral. 1st and 2nd gear still work, so I was able to get it home. I checked the fluid level which is full but the fluid is a dark in color, not the red like when I installed it. So as it sits outside my apartment. I'm trying to figure out if the transmission needs to be replaced or if it's something else. Would a complete flush with Chryslers ATF possibly fix this? I just changed it three months ago with the Amsoil ATF. – Derek, from Washington.

As you know, the service manuals offer very little diagnostic information in this area therefore we do not offer support for transaxle issues. It sounds like the transaxle went into "limp-in" mode. From the owner manual:

The transaxle is monitored electronically for abnormal conditions. If a condition is detected that could cause damage, the transaxle shifts automatically into second gear. The transaxle remains in second gear despite the forward gear selected. Park (P), Reverse (R), and Neutral (N) will continue to operate. This second gear limp-in feature allows the vehicle to be driven to a dealer for service without damaging the transaxle. In the event that the problem has been momentary, the transaxle can be reset to regain all forward gears.

Stop the vehicle and shift into Park (P).

Turn the Key to OFF then restart the engine.

Shift into D and resume driving.

Note - Even if the transaxle can be reset, it is recommended that you visit a dealer at your earliest possible convenience. Your dealer has diagnostic equipment to determine if the problem could recur.

If the transaxle cannot be reset, dealer service is required.

That being said, you mentioned replacing the transmission fluid with Amsoil ATF instead of the recommended OE Mopar ATF Fluid. I can't say that the Amsoil ATF is the cause of your issue however using something other than the recommended ATF in this transaxle is a big no-no and has been known to create problems. In fact, if this were a warranty related issue they could void your transaxle warranty for using the wrong fluid. You can try flushing out the current fluid and replacing it with the correct one however the damage may already have been done.

 

1877. I have a 2001 TE PT with 190k miles. After my last oil change I noticed my PT was leaving puddles of oil under it every time I parked it. After crawling under it tonight, I found that the drain plug is leaking. I found I can't tighten down the drain plug. The bolt just spins and spins and spins. What options do I have to fix this if the oil change place refuses to do anything about it? Thanks. – Steve, from Michigan.

Unfortunately, sometimes the techs at these quick change oil shops damage the threads on the plug and or pan by simply over-tightening. If you have the option to DIY you're probably better off handling the oil change yourself.

If the threads on the bolt are striped try replacing the drain bolt. The plug should only be tightened to 28 N-m, 20 ft/lbs. or 240 in/lbs. While replacing the plug be careful not to cross-thread or over-tighten; you'll destroy the drain seal.

Some owners have also suggested using PTFE or Teflon plumbers tape to seal minor leaks by wrapping it around the plug thread counterclockwise two or three time however we haven't tried this method.

If the plug is ok, but the oil pan threads are stripped, a competent repair shop can re-tap the threads, tap and utilize a heli-coil or replace the pan, dependent upon the damage. You'll have a better idea of what your options are once it's examined.

 

1878. We have a 2007 BE PT with 42.7k miles. On the way home the engine light came on and the PT started surging. We pulled over and killed the engine, restarted it, and the light was still on. It idled very rough for the rest of the trip home. We thought there might be a little water in the fuel, so we decided to go to AutoZone and have the engine light checked. On the way there we stopped at gas station to put in gas, and when I restarted the car the light was gone. So, we decided not to get it tested at AutoZone. It stayed off about 3 weeks, and lit up again today. The engine seems to run rough with an idle of about 6 to 7 hundred rpm since the problem started. We went to AutoZone and they pulled a code P0068. I read everything I could find here and checked the engine for any apparent vacuum leaks, but didn't find any. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated. – James, from Arkansas.

P0068-Manifold Pressure/Throttle Position Correlation - Correlation MAP sensor signal does not correlate to throttle position sensor signal.

This DTC sets when an unexpected high intake manifold air flow condition exists that can lead to increased engine speed and puts the NGC into a High Air flow Protection limiting mode. The High Air flow Protection feature includes RPM limits for when a Throttle and/or MAP sensor limp-in fault is present.

When Monitored: During all drive modes.

Set Condition: If vacuum drops below 1.59Hg with engine RPM greater than 2000 RPM and closed throttle. One Trip Fault. Three good trips to turn off the MIL.

Possible Causes

Vacuum Leak
Resistance In The (K1) MAP Signal Circuit
(K1) MAP Signal Circuit Shorted To Ground
Resistance In The (F855) 5-Volt Supply Circuit
(F855) 5-Volt Supply Circuit Shorted To Ground
Resistance In The (K22) TP Sensor No.1 Signal Circuit
(K22) TP Sensor No.1 Signal Circuit Shorted To Ground
Resistance In The (K900) Sensor Ground Circuit
MAP Sensor
Throttle Position Sensor
PCM

If vacuum is ok your dealer will have to run a diagnostic to rule out the remaining potential causes in the list. If you wish to continue to DIY the diagnostic for this DTC is available through the subscriber based Pit area on the site.

 

1879. I have a 2001 TE PT with 98k miles. It overheated and quit. I replaced the 2001 engine with a used 2003 engine. The crank sensor is in a different spot, knock sensor is a different "type" and it does not have EGR. After replacing the engine the first attempt to start yielded a P1391 trouble code. I replaced the crank sensor and now get no codes. The engine cranks, but won't start. I have good spark, compression, fuel pressure, and have checked for contaminated fuel. In two of twenty or so attempts at starting it "acted" like it wanted to go and a couple times as I turned the ignition switch off it "popped" like one cylinder fired. I have had problems back in the past with faulty ignition switches and my instincts are pointing that way. Can you help me? – Paul, from Washington.

Swapping engines can introduce variables which would not ordinarily exist in a normal "no start" issue. As you have already noted there are a number of differences in the new (used) engine, which can potentially affect your ability to start the vehicle. Our advice in similar situations has always been to replace the engine with same to avoid these additional variables during a normal swap.

Regrettably, service manuals do not address engine swap issues. As you know every engine requires four basic ingredients to start: sufficient cranking speed, good compression, ignition voltage and fuel. If the engine cranks but won't start and you have good spark, compression, fuel pressure and good fuel AT THE PLUGS then it is not likely to be the ignition switch. You can easily verify that it's ok by bypassing the switch.

Fault Code P1391 – Intermittent Loss of CMP or CKP

If the tone wheel flex plate/pulse ring, and crankshaft position sensor are ok, check the camshaft position sensor. The PCM determines fuel injection synchronization and cylinder identification from inputs provided by the camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor. From the two inputs, the PCM determines crankshaft position.

You probably don't have the appropriate test equipment to conduct a complete test but you can check for an intermittent condition by visually inspecting the related wiring harnesses and connectors. Look for broken, bent, pushed out or corroded terminals, or chafed pinched or partially broken wires. Make sure that the CMP and CKP sensors are installed correctly and tight. Have someone CAREFULLY and SAFELY wiggle the wires in each harness while you attempt to start the engine to check for intermittent contact. Otherwise, it is hit or miss for replacement.

Diagnostics for the starting system and Powertrain “No Start” condition are available in the Pit area.

Once you resolve the no start condition you may have to address the EGR and your 2001 PCM which is programmed for this system. The EGR system reduces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in engine exhaust and helps prevent detonation (engine knock). Under normal operating conditions, engine cylinder temperature can reach more than 3000°F. Formation of NOx increases proportionally with combustion temperature. To reduce the emission of these oxides, the cylinder temperature must be lowered. The system allows a predetermined amount of hot exhaust gas to re-circulate and dilute the incoming air/fuel mixture, which reduces peak flame temperature during combustion and reduces a key pollutant (oxides of nitrogen), but often improves fuel economy.

Symptoms of a failed or malfunctioning EGR system may include engine spark knock, sags or hesitation, rough idle, engine stalling, reduced mpg, increased emissions and diagnostic trouble codes P0401 through P0406.

 

1880. I have a 2001 LE PT with 64k miles. The PT sat in the driveway for about 5 days and now it won't start. No sound whatsoever when turning the key. I called AAA, and they started the car via jump start. I immediately drove the car to my mechanic, and while driving, noticed that one of my dome lights was on. I turned it off manually. The battery would not take a charge (it is one year old). Is it possible for a dome light to drain my battery in this time period? Thank you. – Nancy, from Maryland.

If you turned the key and there was no activity, then jumped the vehicle and it started right up, that would suggest a dead battery.

The interior dome lights are controlled by the instrument cluster through the multi function and ignition switches.

Interior Light Operation

1. The interior lights come on when a door is opened.

2. With the ignition key in the OFF position, the interior lights will automatically turn off in about 8 minutes if a door is left open.

3. If the dimmer control (rotating ring on the multifunction control lever) is left in the Dome light position the interior lights will turn off in about 20 minutes.

Overhead Compass Map Light Operation

1. The lights will remain on until the switch is pressed a second time, so be sure to turn them off before leaving the vehicle. They will not turn off automatically.

If the interior lights remained on for five days that would drain the battery.

Test the operation of the interior lights as described above. If they do not function as described, further troubleshooting will be required to isolate the issue. Possibilities include the cluster, ignition switch, or multifunction switch, which is a common failure in the PT.

Follow up from owner - The light I referred to was the "Overhead Map Light".  I certainly will be checking to be sure it is turned off in the future!  My mechanic is installing a new Delco battery in the morning. Thanks again for your help.

 

1881. I have a pre-owned 2001 BE PT with 51k miles. The black colored metal trim surrounding the windows on the outside of the PT have always looked "muddy". What can I use to shine them up, or at least get a consistent finish? Thanks. – GM, from Texas.

A number of owners have complained of water spotting, streaking and or discoloration on the black pillar panels (B & C Pillar Appliques) located between the driver and passenger windows. The discoloration is often described as having iridescent blue spots. The general consensus regarding the cause is residual trace deposits left by minerals in water and or contact with certain phosphates used in some types of car wash soap.

A handful of owners have reported replacing severely discolored appliqués (guides are available in the Pit area) however panels with minor discoloration can usually be successfully cleaned using one of the methods below.

1. Vinegar/Water procedure.

2. If the vinegar/water procedure fails to remove the spots, streaking or discoloration try using a wax cleaner such as Mothers Liquid Wax Cleaner, 3M's One Step Cleaner Wax and Mopar Swirl Free Cleaner, which is recommended by DC, and effective in removing spots and streaking on the pillars.

 

1882. I have a 2001 LE PT with 102k miles. The timing belt broke and was replaced by mechanic on Oct 1, 08. On Nov 21, 08 the timing belt broke again, only this time I am told it requires the replacement of an entirely new engine. When I asked the repair shop why the belt came off, I got a lot of vague answers, and a response inferring that that it could have been due to engine damage resulting from the first time the belt came off. Since this shop does not do engine work I asked the same question of the second shop and they indicated that if the car ran after the belt was replaced the first time then the only thing that would cause the belt to come off the second time would be because the first shop failed to replace the tensioner when they should have (which the receipt does not indicate that they replaced) or that they failed to install something correctly. My question is what is the recommended practice? Should the tensioner be replaced at the same time the belt is replaced? – Mary, from Tennessee.

With regard to the tensioner there are no absolutes.

The OE Timing Belt guide indicates “Caution - If timing belt was damaged due to incorrect tracking (alignment), the belt tensioner pulley and bracket must be replaced as an assembly.”

Under Service Maintenance Schedule B, which is the most widely used service maintenance schedule it recommends “Replacing the engine timing belt.” at 90k miles, but does not mention the tensioner.

Outside of these guidelines it is left up to the discretion of the repair shop and or experience/ training of the technician to assess the condition of the tensioner at the time of the repair.

The PT engine is a non-interference motor, but only to a degree. Although the pistons will not hit the valves, the valves from both camshafts can hit each other. Valves hitting each other are very bad. When a timing belt breaks there's always a chance of damage which must assessed during belt replacement. If the shop that replaced the belt failed to inspect the engine during the procedure and damage was overlooked, you could potentially experience a reoccurrence of the problem with replacement belt and or cause further damage to the engine.

A prudent and experienced repair facility, like your local dealer who is familiar with the vehicle, would check for engine damage, assess the condition of the tensioner and pulley, and suggested that you replace the water pump, given your mileage, during the repair. (Although it is not mandatory for the water pump to be replaced during a belt change it must be removed to access the belt hence it's much less expensive to replace it during the belt repair then separately at a later date.)

 

1883. My friend has a 2002 PT with 70k miles. The car overheated (not sure how hot it got). It needed coolant, but a few days later it overheated again and quit running. The coolant leaked from underneath, possibly from water pump. Now it won't start, but the speed of the crank is faster than normal. We have checked the timing belt and it's ok. We have spark and fuel at the plugs, no fault codes, and all sensors are reading normal. Not sure if the head is cracked or something. I'm trying to help a friend out as he is at his ends wit trying to get this started. Any advice or direction would be great. Thank you. – Lonnie, from Ohio.

My thought exactly. Overheating can create problems with the aluminum heads. If you've ruled out the timing belt the overheating, loss of coolant and speed of crank suggest a warped or cracked head, and or blown head gasket. A compression check and or leak down pressure test on all cylinders can help make that determination.

Follow up form owner - Compression test was done; results were not good. No compression and anti-freeze sitting in the cylinders. I believe they will be replacing the motor. Thanks for the advice.

 

1884. I have a 2004 GT (HO) with 49k miles. Two months ago I brought my car to a good mechanic/tire dealer to diagnose a squishy noise in the front end passenger side. He advised me that the front axle was loose and they tightened it, but could not explain why it was loose. Two weeks ago I brought the car back to the mechanic for the same noise. They advised they cannot find anything wrong, they don't hear a sound, but tighten the axle again. I dropped the car off again today when I heard a loud grinding noise from passenger side. The mechanic discovered that the brake clip was scraping the rotor. It was gouged so deeply that they had to replace the rotor, so they replaced both the rotor and pads on the left/right front wheels. When I arrive to pick up the car and they advise me they heard noises when test driving the vehicle after the brake job. The mechanic tore apart the front passenger side to find the cause and they state that the "intermittent shaft" which connects to the axle is bad and costs $235.00. Is there such a part? I could not locate one on the internet. Is this life threatening as the part will not be in until next week? – Karen, from North Carolina.

I believe that he meant an intermediate shaft. Vehicles equipped with the 2.4L Turbo utilize an equal-length halfshaft system. The system incorporates two halfshaft assemblies (left and right) that consist of an inner and outer constant velocity (CV) joint and a solid interconnecting shaft, and an intermediate shaft/bearing assembly. The halfshaft assemblies are designed to transmit power from the transaxle to the front wheels, while allowing for powertrain and suspension flex.

The left and right halfshafts are essentially your front axle. There have been an average amount of failures reported. The most common failures that we hear about are halfshaft CV joints. Generally, any failure other than that is reported simply as a halfshaft failure therefore we can't say how many were specifically related to intermediate shaft issues. The intermediate shaft is available as a separate component and is serviceable.

It shouldn't be any issue if you wait a week for the repair however, drive as little as possible during this period, and if you notice additional noise or anything out of the ordinary contact the shop.

Follow up from owner - Thank you. The mechanic let me order the replacement part direct from a dealer for $62 as opposed to his $235.

 

1885. I have a 2006 BE PT with 43k miles. The wipers, turn signals and headlights don't work periodically. I can remove the battery cable for a few minutes and they work again for a week or so. Thanks. – James, from Iowa.

Possibly an intermittent short; first thing I would check is the multi function switch, which is a known issue and controls these functions.

 

1886. I have a 2001 TE PT with 51k miles. I took it in for the State Inspection where I had it inspected last year with no problem. They said that my computer couldn't communicate with their diagnostic equipment re emissions info. Suggested I go to Dealer. Is there some reset procedure, e.g., that I can do by myself? Did something special happen in computer re emissions when it went over 50,000? Thanks. - GM from Texas.

There are no owner resets, and mileage does not have a direct affect on the PCM. Most inspection stations provide the owner with paperwork when there's a failure which indicates the exact error so the dealer can troubleshoot it.

Follow up from owner - Got a recommendation for a local mechanic; it was a loose fuse connection in interior fuse box. All's well.

 

1887. I have a 2001 LE PT with 114k miles. The A/C works fine in the summer but in the winter the air for heat only blows slightly warm or about room temperature. The thermostat is new and the level is high in the engine coolant bottle near the back of the engine. The temperature gauge reads fine and normal at all times. It feels to me like the blend door for the hot & cold air is not opening or closing all the way when the dash control knob is all the way over in the red or hot position. I'm mechanically inclined and wondered if this is something I can fix or does it have to go back to the dealer? Thanks very much for your help. – Pat, from Maryland.

Inadequate Heater Performance can be caused by the following:

1. Coolant level low. – Review the coolant level check procedure in the owner manual to verify adequate coolant.

2. Obstructions in heater hose fittings at engine.

3. Heater hose kinked.

4. Water pump is not pumping coolant to heater core. When the engine is fully warmed up, both heater hoses should be hot to the touch.

5. Obstructed cowl air intake.

6. Blend-air door not functioning properly. – Only serviceable part appears to be the cable control assuming that it has slipped and is out of adjustment. The temperature control knob on the control panel determines the discharge air temperature by moving a cable, which operates the blend-air door.

 

1888. I have a 2005 PT. Six power steering hoses have burst and been replaced during the last two years. Now just over my warranty, it happened again. In each case it's been the same hose on the driver side. I believe it is a return hose. I spliced it, so I can get it down to a dealer. It is obvious it has been an ongoing problem that was never fixed properly. Thanks. – Wayne, from USA.

Without access to the vehicle it's hard to say, however something is very wrong. If the same dealership has made all of the repairs I would suggest that you contact Chrysler customer service and or obtain a second opinion from another dealer. Given that's been a documented ongoing issue during the warranty period I wouldn't expect that you would have to pay for another repair now that the warranty has expired.

Have your VIN ready when you contact customer service or the dealer and ask if your vehicle was subject to (and repaired) the recall which affected a number of 2005 PT's with the non aspirated engine.

Recall Number: D18
Recall Date: June 2, 2004


Component: Steering: Hydraulic Power Assist: Hose, Piping, and Connections

Summary: On certain passenger vehicles equipped with 2.4L non-turbo engines and automatic transaxles. Routing variation in the high pressure power steering hose could allow contact with the automatic transaxle differential cover, potentially damaging the hose.

 

1889. I have a 2004 BE PT with 60k miles. I had a wheel alignment and now the oil light is coming on and beeping. It mainly comes on & off when brakes are pressed or idling. The oil was just changed so it obviously does not need oil. Need to stop the annoying beeping and blinking light - the mechanic that changed the oil said it's something we can fix and the instructions would be in the owner manual but its not. – Rob, from Arizona.

If the light came on after they completed the alignment makes sure they didn't accidentally unplug the oil pressure sending switch. It's located on the right rear side of the engine block. If it started after the oil change do not assume that the service facility handled the work correctly; inspect it. Look for a disconnected switch, check the oil level for under-fill and or over-fill and ensure that they installed the correct oil filter. I wouldn't drive the vehicle until I figured it out. Review your owner manual and see Tech Library, Engine subsection.

 

1890. I recently purchased a pre-owned 2002 TE PT with 60k miles that arrived without the rear shelf panel. I am interested in obtaining one, but have had no luck finding a part number or source. Is this something you would have access to? Thanks! – Sabrina, from Texas.

The rear shelf can be ordered through any Chrysler dealer, or as a less expensive alternative, you might check with a local auto salvage yard.

PANEL, Shelf Trim
P/N RK00 1L8AC

 

1891. I have a 2006 PT with 56k miles. The PT occasionally stalls in the driveway after sitting for several hours on a nose up incline, and loses power on highway at 30mph. I've put HEET and Gumout in tank, changed gas stations 3 times and use 100% gas (no ethanol). Do you think this is a fuel pump/fuel filter issue or just a gas quality issue? Thank you. – James, from Oklahoma.

Stalling and or loss of power can be caused by a variety of issues. You can rule out the fuel pump and filter, which is not serviceable, with a fuel pressure check, and based upon what you've indicated about the gas and steps taken to eliminate any issues there, it is unlikely that it is the cause. The next time a stall occurs, watch for the condition which preceded it. In many instances stalls are directly related to a drop in idle rpm. If idle rpm drops below normal just prior to the stall or loss of power I would look for an idle issue. See Tech Library.

 

1892. We have a 2006 LE PT with 30.6k miles. We love the car, but hate the power front seats, specifically the hip wedges. It feels as though the seat is also way too high in the lowest position, so we feel squeezed and high. We're thinking of having them reshaped instead of replacing them with aftermarket seats. – Mike, from Arizona.

We're not aware of any owners who have reshaped the seats.

We have early model year owners who occasionally write in and complain that the seats are too high or low and 2006 and later owners who have similar complaints who also indicate the seats are uncomfortable. The seats were redesigned beginning with the 2006 model year. Drivers who have owned both earlier and later model years have reported that earlier model years seats were more comfortable. The newer seats have features that the older ones do not have and like every other automotive manufacturer with a vehicle at this price point they cost cut where they can.

A few owners have expressed an interest in replacing the new seats with older model seats however the footprint of the seats and redesign of the center console is so dissimilar that this task would not be cost effective.

We have had a few early model year owners report that they were able to lower the seats (without power option) by swapping risers or having the seat risers cut down however this isn't an option with the power seat since there's very little clearance to begin with in this area with power option in place.

That being said, our concern with any manipulation of the seat outside of its normal operating parameters would be how it affects the restraint system including the position of the airbag in relationship to the driver when deployed and potential impact with the steering wheel or windshield, instead of the airbag. See Tech Library, Body subsection for more information.

Follow up from owner - I had my seats reshaped by cutting down the hip bolsters and smoothing out the wedge. It is now only slightly rounded up at the sides and with a softer material. Center butt section was slightly shaved to lower it. Not much padding to work with there. Front leg drop was also slightly reshaped and lowered. Not much padding to work with there either. Seat still high, but no more squeezing and feel 100% different and better without hip bolsters constantly squeezing. OE hip bolster material taken out was almost as hard as PVC piping. A professional carpet, upholstery and car top man did it for under $300.It makes the front seats feel like the 2003 PT we had.

 

1893. Larry C. wrote, I am the owner of a 2002 and 2004 PT Cruiser. I recently had to replace the power steering pressure hose on the 2004. While doing this I cleaned the screen in the bottom of the power steering reservoir. The eliminated a cold weather whine/growl that I experienced with the car. I did the same to the 2002 Cruiser and eliminated the same cold weather noise. The screen gets a buildup of black carbon like material that partially blinds the screen. Apparently in cold weather when the power steering fluid is more viscous the pump starves for oil and thus whines until the oil warms up. Cleaning the screen cured the problem on both vehicles.

 

1894. I have a 2002 LE PT with 109k miles. I just had the oil/filter changed, and new air filter installed. After leaving the garage the "check engine" light came popped on and the error codes P0551 and P1684 came up. I can understand P0551, because there is rough idling, and I plan to replace the power steering switch. But P1684 means "battery disconnected within last 50 starts". What is the significance of this code? Is there a problem? – David, from California.

As you indicated it generally means "battery disconnected within last 50 starts" however other possible causes include:

Low battery voltage
Malfunctioning charging system
Open fused battery circuit to TCM
Open TCM ground circuit
TCM disconnected

Borderline batteries often fail as the cold weather months arrive. Check for the obvious - corrosion on terminals, poor connections/ground, etc.

If the connections are ok, the battery and charging systems would have to be checked to rule them out, as well as the TCM circuits by the dealership using their DRB III scan tool.

If it occurred immediately after the oil change it may be a coincidence or related to the work performed. You may want to take a peek under the hood to ensure that everything is in its place and they didn't miss anything. On some of the old Dodge cars the code meant "Metering Oil Pump Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction", which could occur is they unplugged the oil pump or oil pressure switch, which is activated by the engine's oil pressure.

You'll find the guide to replace the power steering switch in the Pit area on the site.

Follow Up From Owner - Thank you. I disconnected the negative side of the battery, jacked up the car and was going to replace the power steering pressure switch. But I was not able to raise car high enough to safely work under it, so I put it back down, and re-connected the battery. I test drove it and noticed the "Check Engine" light was gone. Does this mean I can now disregard the previous P551 and P1684 error codes?

Follow Up From PTDIY - It's difficult to say with any certainty based upon the information available. If you discovered the P0551 DTC using the self tests and assumed the sensor was faulty without actually confirming it, is possible that the sensor is ok. Debris on the tip of the sensor and or a bad connection can set a DTC and provide a false positive. On the other hand, a failing sensor can be intermittent in operation. When the battery is disconnected some codes are cleared from the system however if the initial issue which set the DTC is still present they will reappear after so many driving cycles. For the time being I would simply suggest monitoring your driving, but understand that the engine light may reappear at some point in time.

 

1895. I have a 2006 PT Cruiser. The turn signals stopped working. I checked the bulbs and fuses in the fuse box under the hood and everything appears to be ok. Is there an interior fuse box I don't know of? – Charles, from USA.

On earlier model years, yes, however there isn't an interior fuse box on the 06 and later. The PDC or Integrated Power Module contains all the fuses and is located in the engine compartment near the air cleaner assembly. This center contains cartridge fuses and mini fuses. A description of each fuse and component may be stamped on the inside of the cover.

If the fuses and bulbs are ok that leaves the wiring, circuit, integrated module, and multifunction switch which controls a number of lighting functions including the turn signals.

The multifunction switch is a common failure over all model years and we usually suggest starting there however beginning in 06 the DIY diagnostic for checking the switch has been eliminated from the service manual. The SM now recommends a new procedure for testing the switch using a DRB III scan tool (dealership). We believe that the introduction of the various modules during this model year effected this change in diagnosing the switch. The circuits are much more complex than earlier model year PT's. We do not suggest that you simply replace the switch without first having it tested.

If the switch is ok that leaves the wiring, circuit and module. Unless you have experience troubleshooting in these areas it's best to leave this to the dealership.

Follow Up From Owner - Thank-you for the information on the turn signals. The garage fixed the turn signals by doing something with the vehicle computer. Now the lights won't flash as before when engaging the car alarm. The head lights come on when disengaging the car locks, even though I have them set to "off" with the personal settings. Did the garage mess up?    

Follow Up From PTDIY - It would have been helpful if they explained exactly what they did in the event the turn-signal issue occurs again. It appears that whatever they did changed or defaulted some of your personal setting.

The EVIC or Electronic Vehicle Information Center was introduced during the 2006 model year. Prior to then personal setting were simple to set, but limited in scope to a few vehicle features.

As you know EVIC features a driver-interactive display and is located in the lower left part of the cluster below the fuel and engine temperature gauge. It consists of the following setting which control light function. If you've tried adjusting both setting and the lights fail to function as stated I'm afraid it's back to the dealership.

Flash Lights with Remote Key Lock

When ON is selected, the front and rear turn signals will flash when the doors are locked or unlocked using the remote keyless entry transmitter. This feature may be selected with or without the sound horn on lock feature selected. Press and hold the EVIC button when in this display until “ON” or “OFF” appears to make your selection.

Turn Headlamps on with Remote Key Unlock

When this feature is selected the headlamps will activate and remain on for up to 90 seconds when the doors are unlocked using the remote keyless entry transmitter. Press and hold the EVIC button when in this display until “OFF”, “30 sec.”, “60 sec.”, or “90 sec.” appears to make your selection.

 

1896. I have a 2006 Grand Touring PT with 67k miles. The windshield wipers, high beam, rear wiper and turn signals stopped working. I have no idea what to do. The headlights just come on when I start the car. I checked fuses, but didn't find a blown one. I checked another website but the guy just said the circuitry was very complicated, and just pointed to a problem in the steering column, and maybe no power is getting to the module. – Joe, from Oklahoma.

Without access to the vehicle it's difficult to say, however if the fuses are ok, it could be an issue with the wiring/circuit, TIPM module that control these functions or the left and right multifunction switches on the steering column.

The circuits were much simpler prior to 2006. Beginning in 2006 there were a number of the electrical design changes including the use of modules throughout the electrical system. However, you will have to rely on your local dealer to isolate the fault given that there are no DIY diagnostics for checking the circuit or modules, or for that matter the switches on 2006 model year and later. Prior to 2006 there were no modules and the switches could be DIY checked. The switches have been problematic over all model years and many have failed and been replaced however it's unusual (but not impossible) that both the left and right switch have failed at the same time. 

The left (lighting) multi-function switch is located on the left side of the steering column, just below the steering wheel. This switch is the primary control for the interior and exterior lighting systems. The only visible components of the switch are the control stalk, control knob and control sleeve that extends through the steering column shrouds on the left side of the column. The remainder of the switch including its mounting provisions, its electrical connection, and the turn signal cancel actuator are concealed beneath the shrouds.

The right (wiper) multi-function switch is secured to and directly connected to the Steering Control Module (SCM), on the steering column just below the steering wheel. Only the switch control stalk extending from the right side of the steering column is visible, while the remainder of the switch is concealed beneath the steering column shrouds. The right multi-function switch is dedicated to providing all the driver controls for both the front and rear wiper and washer systems.

 

1897. I have a 2003 PT with 25.6k miles. The air bag light is on all the time. I took the car to the local Chrysler dealership and they want $102 to tell me what is wrong. Is this the only way to find out why the light is on? I am not the original owner and they say that the car is out of warranty. Thanks. - Michael, from Nevada.

The air bag indicator will light up when the system is inoperable or malfunctioning therefore it's a good idea to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. The dealership will charge a diagnostic fee to determine if there's an issue with the circuit and or a specific component. The diagnostic usually consists of checking the system with a DRB III scan tool and diagnostic manual. The diagnostic is necessary to accurately isolate the problem however some dealerships waive the diagnostic fee if they perform the repair work. You can try negotiating with the dealership to waive the fee or shop around for a better price, but don't delay the repair.

 

1898. I have a 2001 LE PT with 140k miles. The problem I have is when engine gets hot the rpm does not exceed 2500 and it will not shift gears. I replaced the EGR unit and thoroughly cleaned the throttle body, but that did not solve it. The plugs are ok, air filter is clean and I have good fuel pressure. Thanks. - Musa, from USA.

Your description sounds like the engine is going into limp mode. Limp-in mode is a safety feature which limits transaxle operation when certain conditions occur which might cause further problems under normal driving conditions. In technical terms, the PCM continuously checks for electrical problems, mechanical problems, and some hydraulic problems.

When a problem is sensed, the PCM stores a diagnostic trouble code. Some of these codes cause the transaxle to go into limp-in or default mode. While in this mode, electrical power is taken away from the transaxle via the PCM, de-energizing the transmission control relay, and taking power from the solenoid pack. When this happens, rpm is limited and the only transaxle mechanical functions are: park and neutral, reverse and second gear. No upshifts or downshifts are possible. Although vehicle performance is seriously degraded while in this mode, it allows the owner to drive the vehicle in for service.

If this is the case, your engine light may be on, which would indicate that you have active DTC's. You can try obtaining the DTC information by running the self tests or your local dealer can troubleshoot and isolate the fault using a DRB III scan tool.

Follow Up From Owner - I noticed that my muffler output was weak, so I went to a local muffler shop and they were able to detect that the catalytic converter was clogged up, so they replaced it, which resolved the problem.

 

1899. I have a 2001 TE PT with 208K miles. Our car's idle began hunting one day, once the car was warmed up: from 800-1800, fluctuating while sitting at stop lights. The throttle also began surging while trying to drive at consistent speeds under 3000rpm. We tried to maintain a consistent speed with the gas peddle and the car would hesitate, than jerk, as if to compensate for the hesitation. It's very awkward to drive smoothly. The car doesn't stall at lights. The problem is intermittent and difficult to duplicate at the dealership. The “check engine” light hasn't lit. I have tried the self-test but see no DTC codes. To resolve the problem the plugs/wires/intake gaskets/vacuum lines/PCV valve have been replaced and the entire exhaust system has been checked. I'd like to pick your brain. Thanks. – Steve from Michigan.

The PCM adjusts engine idle speed through the idle air control motor to compensate for engine load, coolant temperature or barometric pressure changes. 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).

In many instances fluctuating idle is vacuum related however it can also be caused by other issues. Diagnosing it under the conditions that you describe (intermittent, no DTC's, and can not duplicate upon command) are almost impossible unless you happen to get lucky and trip over the faulty component. This is known as the hit and miss method of repair and can be very expensive.

It sounds like you have addressed the possible vacuum leaks by inspecting and or replacing the intake gaskets, vacuum lines, PCV valve and entire exhaust system. You might also want to inspect the brake booster.

Other possibilities include the sensors mentioned in the idle operation description, dirty or failing IAC motor/throttle body, failing PCM or PCM firmware. What I would suggest that you do is work with one component at a time and check for effect rather than replacing multiple components. It's much less costly and you'll know exactly which component caused the issue once it's resolved. With 208,000 miles I would start by inspecting and cleaning the IAC motor/throttle body. The IAC motor pintle must be able to move freely in and out of the passageway within the throttle body. If the motor, throttle body, passageway or pintle is gummed up, it will affect idle.

Follow up by PTDIY – After a number of correspondences and a good deal of troubleshooting by the owner, the issue was resolved when the owner checked the MAP sensor installation performed by the dealership. It was discovered that the electrical pigtail that mates up with the sensor was dirty and or not fully seated on the sensor side connection. There's a good object lesson here. When you encounter a drivability issue it's always a good idea to: (1) visually check the wiring for obvious signs of chafing or breaking, and (2) physically check all sensor connections; ensure they are clean, debris free and M/F mate tightly, before you begin replacing parts.

 

1900. During the last ten years we've been online we have only received 2-3 requests for help with the tie rods however a recent request for assistance brought some new information to light that we want to share and will hopefully save you some money on repairs.

We received a request from one of our Pit Pass subscribers in Canada for the OE procedure to replace the outer tie rods on his 2002 PT. We provided the relevant guide, which also included the replacement procedure for the gear.

A few days later we received a follow up request for the inner tie rod removal instructions. We reviewed several of our OE model year service manuals and IPB's and determined that the procedure was not included in the service manuals. All of the IPB's indicated the inner tie rod was part of the gear and not available separately.

Our Canadian friend mentioned an aftermarket inner tie rod part manufactured by Federal Mogul Moog (MOOG P/N EV404) and a separate repair kit offered by Chrysler that we were unaware of. I contacted a local Chrysler dealership and spoke to a service manager who was not familiar with the repair kit (Mopar Inner Tie Rod Kit, P/N: 6803 9889AA). He didn't recall seeing much inner tie rod work but indicated that they replace the entire rack in those instances because OE inner tie rods are not available separately to them.

So, it appears that some dealerships are not aware of the kit and are still replacing the entire rack when they diagnose an inner tie rod issue. Assuming that the inner tie rods are the sole issue, it is incumbent upon each owner to bring the repair kit to their attention if they prescribe replacing the rack.

Additional info, including installation guides is available in the Pit area on the site.


 



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