Author Topic: PT Cruiser  (Read 11395 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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PT Cruiser
« on: April 20, 2012, 11:55:51 AM »
Well, let's test out this help desk.
We're looking a buying a used 2001 PT Cruiser. Sitting in storage for a year. There are two issues I can't seem to get answered.
1) The instruments (speedometer, tach) don't want to light up.
2) The odometer reads "8888888", instead of displaying the mileage.

Anyone familiar with these vehicles?
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline Smokewalker

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 12:03:02 PM »
The inst panel lighting could be a bad dimmer switch, a blown fuse or a blown panel, the odometer reading may be due to the battery being dead so long the computer reset it. All in all not  bad car I have a 03 my daughter left me when she moved back east.
I don't know if this will repair it but there's a way to test all the numbers and needles of all the gauges.

Right hand, put the key in the ignition. With your left hand reach up and push IN the black reset button (the one to reset the trip meter). Hold it IN and with your right hand turn the key to ON (don't start the engine). As soon as you do that, the numbers in the dial that has the odometer reading will start to do a test like this: 00000000, 111111111, 22222222 etc. testing all the numbers. After that each needle in each gauge will start a test like this in the gas gauge: 0/0, 1/4, 1/2. 3/4, 4/4, then move on to the next dial. That tests all the numbers and gauges. Also, you can let go of the reset button once the test starts. The inst panel lighting could be a bad dimmer switch, a blown fuse or a blown panel, the odometer reading may be due to the battery being dead so long the computer reset it. All in all not  bad car I have a 03 my daughter left me when she moved back east.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 12:09:17 PM by Smokewalker »
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 12:05:09 PM »
Once a new battery is installed, should the odometer start reading, or does the car have to be in gear and/or moving?
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline Smokewalker

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 12:10:54 PM »
bump
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 12:24:57 PM »
Thanks! So the odometer on your '03 never reads all 8s??
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline Smokewalker

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 12:30:38 PM »
last I looked it read 141.237.7
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 12:35:17 PM »
Hey..that happened to my moms car.   A Grand Caravan 1999.    The guy took out the panel and found a circut that needed soldering.  Took him all of five mins.     Good to go again.      He showed me how you lay the circut board even with your eyes and you could see exactly wich one needed the soldering.    And this guy wasnt a mechanic.   An electrician.  ha.


Dont know if this helps. but the 8888888 thing is a clue to her problem circut board.


WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 01:19:35 PM »
Thanks, gang. It always amazes me how electronic crap can be good when you turn it off, and trash when you turn it back on. Grrrr.......
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 01:28:31 PM »
Thats the story of everything on my yard it seems.  Put to bed for winter running just fine..  not even a click when you turn the key in the spring.   Arrrgh.   

What do you want with a PT cruiser anyway?   Cant put much in 'em....    :P

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 01:32:51 PM »

What do you want with a PT cruiser anyway?   Cant put much in 'em....    :P

WW.
Because I can but a 17 year old behind the wheel of his 1st car for $1,000. And it's not a hotrod! One owner car, and we know her.
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 01:37:18 PM »
Ahh..that makes sense.  :)     Sorry I had to tease....      I fill my car up from behind my head to the back door some days...  lol   

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 01:46:53 PM »
Well, since neither of the two back seats are in it right now, it actually holds quite a bit. A lot more than a car trunk, or my Samurai. Hahaha!
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline wolfy

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 04:33:24 PM »
Did it have an owner's manual in the glove box?
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Offline Dano

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 05:24:57 PM »
If you are comfortable with the Dodge Neon, you'll be OK with the Cruiser...same undercarriage/unibody on the lower half.

Offline easy_rider75

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 09:06:28 PM »
Ya should do a google search for  kicks  sure there are forums out there dedicated to them. That is a new one to me haven't heard of that before. A buddy of mine  he did  work for Chrysler and though  he  worked  for them ages ago said  they  can be known for funky  electrical issues
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 09:27:56 PM »
I found more references to the self-diagnostic test Smokewalker described.  At the end of the test, the tech on this help forum says that a "all systems okay" code is "888888.88". Hahaha! Yeah...everything is okay but the odometer. Duh...
The funny thing is the Owner's Manual gives no info at all, other than how to use the Trip Meter button to switch modes. Yet in their drawing which diagrams the layout of the instrument panel, the odometer is depicted as displaying ALL FIGURE EIGHTS. Huh?  If they didn't want to put in numbers in the drawing, why not use Zeros?  Why 8s?  If we get this thing moving tomorrow, and the trip meter works but the odometer itself is still behind this 8 ball, then it's time to negotiate repair costs.
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline Smokewalker

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 10:36:04 PM »
I bet WW nailed the problem bad solder joint.
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Gryphon

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2012, 09:19:34 AM »
I dunno, but a quick search turned up that it seems to be a fairly common problem related to Chrysler's glorious electrical modules. 
Check this page out: http://www.ptcruizer.com/computer-codes.html

I had a Town and Country minivan with a bad body control module.  Burnt up my brakes, toasted the gauges, a/c and would lock you in the car with the windows up and deny control of door locks, windows and climate control, as well as all dash gauges and speedometer.  Replaced it and the problem just became intermittent.  Had to put a battery cut-off switch in to keep it from either draining the battery or running the alarm non-stop...or both.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2012, 09:32:11 AM »
I dunno, but a quick search turned up that it seems to be a fairly common problem related to Chrysler's glorious electrical modules. 
Check this page out: http://www.ptcruizer.com/computer-codes.html

I had a Town and Country minivan with a bad body control module.  Burnt up my brakes, toasted the gauges, a/c and would lock you in the car with the windows up and deny control of door locks, windows and climate control, as well as all dash gauges and speedometer.  Replaced it and the problem just became intermittent.  Had to put a battery cut-off switch in to keep it from either draining the battery or running the alarm non-stop...or both.
Wonderful!  Right in the Owner's Manual, it states that you should pull the main fuse, or disconnect the battery if the car is going to sit for more than 21 days! WTF? What kind of car drains its own battery if idle for 3 weeks?  My older cars, including my computerized Toyota can sit for 3 MONTHS without getting a dead battery!
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline easy_rider75

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2012, 11:21:56 AM »
I dunno, but a quick search turned up that it seems to be a fairly common problem related to Chrysler's glorious electrical modules. 
Check this page out: http://www.ptcruizer.com/computer-codes.html

I had a Town and Country minivan with a bad body control module.  Burnt up my brakes, toasted the gauges, a/c and would lock you in the car with the windows up and deny control of door locks, windows and climate control, as well as all dash gauges and speedometer.  Replaced it and the problem just became intermittent.  Had to put a battery cut-off switch in to keep it from either draining the battery or running the alarm non-stop...or both.
Wonderful!  Right in the Owner's Manual, it states that you should pull the main fuse, or disconnect the battery if the car is going to sit for more than 21 days! WTF? What kind of car drains its own battery if idle for 3 weeks?  My older cars, including my computerized Toyota can sit for 3 MONTHS without getting a dead battery!

OP    a buddy of mine had it happen to his  brand new Nissan Versa  he   hadn't used it in a few weeks and yes they  can drain the battery just from sitting. Don't forget you have the clocks alarms and other stuff that are always drawing  some kind of power all be it a small amount but it's still enough to drain the battery.  His sister had the same thing happen to her Jeep recently to had not thought about that with your PT   if you do have to leave it sit get one of those  battery quick disconnects or  get one of the maintenance charges  small pigtail connector you  leave on the battery  and  plug it into a wall outlet if you need to store the vehicle they are cheap to 
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2012, 12:09:32 PM »
Thanks for the hints. I think it will just be cheaper (and easier) to pull the #17 fuse under the hood if it's going to gather dust for any length of time.

Update: found out the odometer has been "messed up" for quite some time, according to the previous owner.
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline easy_rider75

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2012, 12:48:07 PM »
Thanks for the hints. I think it will just be cheaper (and easier) to pull the #17 fuse under the hood if it's going to gather dust for any length of time.

Update: found out the odometer has been "messed up" for quite some time, according to the previous owner.

Might be able to take it  to a dealer and have them  do a reset on the  computer shouldn't cost all that much  for it  either
?I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life.... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.?~Frank Sinatra~

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2012, 01:03:49 PM »
I found a decent auto electric guy nearby. When I get the rig street legal, I'll have him take a poke at it. He has all the diagnostic stuff.
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline Wounded Thumb

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2012, 09:19:58 PM »
If you haven't already bought it, DON'T, my neighbor had one and so did a girl I knew. They had nothing but trouble with them. Electrical problems were at the top of the list.

Red
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2012, 09:27:07 PM »
If you haven't already bought it, DON'T, my neighbor had one and so did a girl I knew. They had nothing but trouble with them. Electrical problems were at the top of the list.

Red
Thanks for the warning, but too late. We take delivery on it this weekend. We'll see....
Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Try spending 30 seconds in my head. That will freak you right out!!

Offline Moe M.

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Re: PT Cruiser
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2012, 08:23:20 AM »
If you haven't already bought it, DON'T, my neighbor had one and so did a girl I knew. They had nothing but trouble with them. Electrical problems were at the top of the list.

Red
Thanks for the warning, but too late. We take delivery on it this weekend. We'll see....

  I know a few people who have PT Cruisers and they like them,  like all cars they have bugs that have to be worked out,  once done they usually give good service until the next bug hits them.
  I've found that the worst problems to solve are the small ones,  my wife has a Volvo 850 sports wagon,  the car is a 1996 with 140 K miles on it, give or take a few  :).
  One day the odometer quit working,  our mechanic put in a used instrument panel from the bone yard and it didn't work either, so he got another and same thing,  being stumped as to the problem he advised us to give him a few days to research the problem.
  Meanwhile,  my wife being the type to "get involved" got on line and learned that most Volvo's in the '90's experienced odometer failure due to two small drive gears in the instrument panel that were made of plastic,  stress from working and heat build up inside the cars cause them to crack and fail,  because of the year replacement kits were no longer offered.
  Not stopping there my wife found an after market company that offered an improved set of nylon gears,  three days and $25.00 later the odometer is working as good as new,  but finding the problem took a good bit of researching, why the mechanic couldn't do what my dear wife did is still a mystery.

  Good luck with your PT,  with a little TLC it should serve you well.
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