The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ask Motor-Mike and Ed.
Part Thirty One Q&A 751 - 775
751. I have a 2001 BE PT. I read on the site that the fuel pump is located in the fuel tank. On my last car I remember seeing the pump (easier to access) inside the engine compartment. - Delores, from South Dakota.
On newer cars, that's where you will usually find it, in the fuel tank. On older vehicles the fuel pump was attached to the engine or on the frame rail between the tank and the engine. Fuel pumps, which are mounted in the tank or on the frame rail, are electric and powered by the vehicles' battery. Fuel pumps, which are mounted to the engine, use the motion of the engine to pump the fuel.
752. I have a 2003 GT PT and just purchased a set of power sport mirrors with side blinkers for my car. I'm not worried about the blinker hookup; I have that figured out. My question pertains to the power mirror itself; when I removed the OEM mirror I noticed that it has three wires. The power mirror, which I just purchased has four wires and came with no wiring instructions. I was hoping that you could provide me with some insight into this problem, as to how to wire the mirrors? There is a wiring harness on the OEM mirrors and inside the door, but I don't know what three wires to use. - JB, from Florida.
I'm sorry, but we can't decode the wiring for an aftermarket part. You will need to acquire installation instructions from the manufacturer.
The 3 OEM wires for the power mirrors are:
Dark blue/white - left/right function
Yellow or yellow/black - up/down function
Pink or yellow/pink - power
753. My 2002 BE PT had the clutch replaced in it in January. Since then, in the morning, it is difficult to get it into gear. Once it warms up it's fine. I took it back to the dealer they bleed the system and it was fine for about 2 weeks. Now it is becoming difficult to get into gear again. I feel the problem is in the hydraulic system. The pedal feels as if it has more pressure once it's warmed up. There are no leaks that I can detect. My main concern is the vehicle has 34k miles on it - 2k more and no warranty. Thanks for you help. - Alex, from Florida.
We have only received a few reports of hydraulic system replacement. Since yours has already been documented twice for the same concern, you should be covered under warranty once your surpass the 36k mileage limit. If bleeding cured it, but only temporarily, you need more diagnosis to determine the cause instead of masking the symptom.
754. I have a 2002 LE PT and would like to know if it normal for the valve cover gasket to hang out a little bit? The silicon gasket hangs out around the edges and always seems to be mildly saturated with oil, however it doesn't drip or leak onto the ground or surrounding engine components. I've taken the car to two different dealers four times for this, and the valve cover gasket has been replaced twice with no change - the seal still hangs out and is oily to the touch. Both dealers have assured me that this is normal, but I've never seen this condition on any of my other cars. Thanks for your time. - Brock, from California.
Your asking for an opinion without the benefit of seeing the problem. The easiest way to tell would be to inspect the other PT's on the lot. Look at both the new ones and especially the used ones. If yours is the only one that is different, point out the discrepancy to the service writer and technician.
755. We have a 2001 LE PT. This is the first time we have had any problems with our Cruiser, which has about 43k miles. Normally, under all conditions, the temperature gauge reads dead smack in the middle. This afternoon (outside temperatures were in the mid-80's) after about a 30 minutes of highway driving, my wife was sitting in a parking lot with the A/C on and suddenly it started to blow warm air. She looked at the temperature gauge and it was almost pegged to the hot side. She shut the car off immediately. When I came out of the store (she was waiting for me), she told me what happened and I looked under the hood. The coolant was boiling in the overflow tank and some had spilled out onto the ground. I looked for any obvious leaks (none) and on a whim checked the oil for foam (none) in case the head gasket blew or the head cracked (they didn't). She started it up and the temperatures had dropped slightly but were still very high. I thought it might have been the combination of sitting still in warm weather and idling with the A/C on that caused the overheating. I drove the car across the parking lot and the temperatures climbed again (the engine sounded fine - no unusual noises). I suspected that the fans might be inoperable. I checked the fan relay fuse in PDC under the hood and they visually looked ok, but to be on the safe side I swapped the 40 amp fan relay fuse with the 40 amp heated seats fuse. We let it cool slightly and started it up again. I tapped the low speed fan relay with a hairbrush handle. The fan engaged and the engine started to cool down to normal. On the highway, we used the A/C; the system and engine temperatures were normal. As we turned off the highway, the temperature started to climb and only worsened as we hit more traffic. We pulled into a parking lot and let it cool down before heading home. Once it cooled down at the house I added some coolant to replace the amount that boiled out. I fired it up and let it idle with the A/C on. It quickly reached normal temperature and stayed there for about 20 minutes, then the temperatures started to slowly climb. I shut off the A/C and the temperature dropped. Each time I turned on the A/C, the fan started. I think the high-speed fan relay may be at fault here. I believe the fan relay fuse is OK and that the low speed relay is OK since it starts when the A/C is powered on. The problem is that I don't know how to test it and the fan is so quiet, I can't tell if it's running at low or high speed, but it doesn't seem to move much air when I put my hand behind it. In addition, the car will not overheat when you first start with a cold engine and drive. But if you shut if off and then restart it within a half hour later, the temperature gauge reads a bit high (normal after a short shut down period), but does not drop regardless of whether you have the A/C on or not. I replaced the high-speed fan relay with a new one, but it hasn't made any difference. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks. - Aaron, from Missouri.
The high-speed fan only comes on at extremely high temperatures. The low speed fan comes on a little above boiling temperatures. That's the one to inspect. The A/C uses the high-speed fan when it cycles. You may discover that the dealer may have to run a diagnostic to determine the exact nature of the problem. (We were unable to respond to this owner via email; it bounced back as undeliverable.)
756. I own a 2003 GT PT. How do I remove the alternator? - Leonard, from Michigan.
The PT utilizes a generator. I would recommend that you use a service guide if you attempt this procedure. It contains numerous illustrations and instructions for the sub procedures mentioned below.
Removal - 2.4L Turbo
1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Installation - 2.4L Turbo
757. I have a 2002 LE PT. After the car is hot, when at a stoplight waiting, the automatic transmission will give a bump; it feels like someone tapped my bumper. When riding along at 25 mph, the transmission feels like its "floating" between two gears. Sometimes when taking off from a stop sign it will clunk into gear when I take off. The dealer cannot duplicate the problem and the tests performed indicate that everything is normal. Now the front transmission seal needs to be replaced due to leaking. Thank you for you time. - Vince, from California.
I'm afraid that there are too many possibilities to guess at. The TCM, solenoid packs, valve body, or even a mechanical part cold be failing. The TCM codes will not read out during a consumer test. You must use a scan tool to access the diagnostics. You will have to be able to duplicate the concern to the dealership. Ask for a comparison test drive in a similar PT to demonstrate how yours is different from the other PT's they sell.
Follow up from owner - I took the car back to the dealer they said that they checked the transmission with the DRB III scan tool and there were no TCM or PCM DTC's. It passed the shift and clutch test, and the sensor readings were in spec. Fluid level was correct and clean. I had a leak around the oil filter, which they said was the transmission front seal and a galley plug. What is a galley plug? Thanks again for the help. PT DIY - The oil galleys are the passages used to move oil through the block. They must be drilled and then they are plugged on the outside.
758. I have a 2001 LE PT and I'm having a problem with the power door locks. The problem began when the interior was hot; the locks would continue to lock while driving. In addition, the door lock button would not work. Once the car was cool inside, the door lock began to work. Now neither the door lock buttons or the remote work. I check the fuse and it's good. Any sugestions? - Gene, from Florida.
There have been a few complaints similar to yours. The reports back indicate that the RKEM remote keyless entry module was replaced.
759. I have a 2002 BE PT. I am in the process of adding an external amp and sub. I have a question regarding the best route for the wiring. I plan on mounting the amp under the driver's seat, I was planning on running the power lead to the left of the amp under the left side door frame molding and then through the hood release grommet through the firewall, as suggested in the horn installation guide. Do you feel this is a good plan? I plan to run the RCA cables and speaker wires on the right side of the amp, under the center console and into the radio cavity. Is the console easily accessible and how is it removed? I don't believe it will be a problem, but what is the amperage of the alternator in this vehicle? Is it sufficient to run a standard 200 watt power amp? Thanks again. - Chuck, from Pennsylvania.
The wire routing is fine. The hood release grommet hole should be fine, but if it's a large power cable, it may fit better through the hole for the clutch linkage, assuming you have an automatic transmission. You can remove the cover plate to access the hole. Be sure to use a rubber isolation grommet. The ground wire can be grounded within the cabin or routed along with the power wire and terminated on one of a few OEM grounding blocks in the engine bay. The PT does not utilize an alternator; it has a generator, which puts out over 1,543 watts. You should be fine. You'll find the guide for the center console in the guide section on the site.
760. I own a 2002 BE PT, which I purchased used w/24,500 miles. I took it back a week after the purchase because it started to pulsate badly and shake. I also heard a loud metal-to-metal noise, which sounded like my brake pads. It is most noticeable when I drive the PT the first thing in the morning. The dealer inspected and turned a rotor, which resolved the shaking when braking, (They also re-balanced the tires.) but the brake noise was still really bad. I took it back again and they said the brakes were fine. The service guy told me the noise I was hearing was a common complaint with many owners and assured me that the brakes had a long way to go before replacement. They still make the metal sound every morning, and or after it has been parked for 20 minutes or more. Now there is another sound, which is prominent and coming from the back brakes, and the steering wheel shakes regardless of what speed I'm driving. I hate to go back to the dealer again with the same story, so I thought I would try here first. It is still under warranty. Thanks for your time. - Carrie, from California
Did you test drive the vehicle before you purchased it? These problems probably would have been prevalent during the test drive and should have been addressed by the dealer. The only common brake complaint that we have received is the slight squeal after the front disc brakes have oxidized overnight due to humidity. This is normal, but the problems you describe with the front and back brakes sound like something more serious. The shaking could be the tires or suspension and would require further diagnosis. Some owners have complained about the OEM Goodyear Eagle tires that come with the PT. Dealers have replaced them when they have not been able to resolve tire related issues with the handling and or ride of the vehicle. I think I would have the car inspected by another shop. A second opinion may yield a different diagnosis.
Follow up from owner - I did test drive the vehicle but did not notice the brake noise when driving, that's what surprised me. The pulsating was noticeable, that's why I took it back the following weekend. My friends' boyfriend works for Midas, so I had them take a look. They said the dealer should have never turned the rotors, they are throw away rotors and can't be re-machined. They should have given me 2 new ones w/new brake pads. Midas said I need 2 new rotors and brake pads, and the back brakes need adjustment. I am going to call the dealer and see if they plan on taking care of it or not. And the shaking has disappeared; they rotated the tires back to the way they were.
Follow up from PT DIY- The rear brakes are self-adjusting, and would need serious repair if the self-adjusters have failed. The DC warranty on new car brakes is 12 months or 12K miles. Under normal circumstances the rotors can be machined at least once. Midas may want to sell you more than you need, or the rotors may need replacement by now, but new ones can be turned. The refinish specs are in the service manual.
Final follow up from owner - I visited the dealer again and they finally determined that the squeaking noise was the axle and wheel bearings, and replaced both on the right side. So it's doing just fine now, except for the brake noise.
761. We have an early 2001 LE PT with 135k miles. Recently we started to notice a power loss and had our repair shop take a look while performing scheduled maintenance. They suggested conducting a leak down test, which I'm not familiar with? Thank you for your help. - Vincent, from Maine.
A leak down or cylinder leakage test is used to find excessive wear in an engine. When a technician performs a leak down test each cylinder is tested to see how well it holds pressure. If a cylinder is unable to hold pressure, they can pinpoint which component of the cylinder (piston rings, valves, etc) is causing the pressure loss. An engine in great condition should generally show only a 5 to 10% pressure leak. An engine that's still in pretty good condition may show up to 20% leakage, but more than 30% leakage indicates a problem.
This test is often confused with a compression test, but is quite different. A compression test measures cylinder pressure (not pressure loss), but checks many engine components at the same time. A poor pressure reading can indicate so many things that it's hard to tell which component is at fault without a lot of other tests. A leak down test avoids this difficulty, although in some instances it can be used in conjunction with a compression test to diagnose other problems. For instance, if a cylinder is misfiring, but the compression is good and leakage is minimal, it could indicate a fuel delivery (bad injector) or ignition problem (fouled spark plug or bad plug wire).
762. I have a 2002 BE PT and read about the CV joints on the site. Can you explain what they are? Thank you. - Abby, from Connecticut.
A Constant Velocity joint can be simply defined as a coupling that allows a shaft to turn continuously at various angles when coupled with another shaft. They are usually utilized with front-wheel drive vehicles, like the PT, or four-wheel drive vehicles, and are part of the vehicles' driveline (System of components that connects the transmission to the wheels.) assembly. All front-wheel drive vehicles have four CV joints: one inner joint and one outer joint on each of the vehicle's two driveshafts (called halfshafts).
Front Wheel Drive/CV Joint Trivia
Front wheel drive has been around for a while. It dates back to 1877 when a New York attorney, George Selden, filed a patent for a car he called the "road machine." It had a transversely mounted, three-cylinder, two-stroke engine driving its front wheels. He managed to keep the patent alive and finally built it in 1905. Even then it couldn't be called a useable vehicle, however historically it is significant because the licensing association formed under its patent had a profound effect on the early growth of the automotive industry. The potential advantages of front wheel drive (space and weight savings, improved traction, and more forgiving handling traits) instead of rear wheel drive intrigued vehicle designers ever since.
The trouble was that channeling torque to wheels that have to both steer and rise and fall with the suspension required a component that hadn't been invented yet. The ordinary Hooke or Cardan universal joint simply couldn't handle the angles involved. In 1928, Alfred Rzeppa patented a "ball-type universal joint." It could transmit twisting power through unbelievable bends and eliminated the undesirable characteristics of a regular U-joint. Eventually it was given the name "constant velocity joint." Later, the French developed the tripod and tulip CVJ that did essentially the same thing in a different way. There were serious durability problems with early CV joints; they needed refinement and better lubricants before they could be considered reliable.
By 1959 new technologies had emerged, and combined with the design talent of Sir Alec Issigonis, the first successful front wheel drive automobile was introduced. Britains Austin-Morris Mini represented the first use of a transverse mounted front wheel drive configuration in a production car. The popularity of the car was immense, and Sir Alec Issigonis placed his signature on most Austin and Morris models until the early seventies. Production ceased in 2000 with over 5.5 million Minis sold during its 41 (Designed in 1955, first production 1959.) year run.
By the early seventies the US would begin to see the growth of the front wheel drive revolution. Although a few highly respected automobile manufactuers (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, etc.) continue to utilize rear wheel drive, front wheel drive design dominates vehicle production today.
763. I just purchased a used 2001 TE PT with 23k miles. The problem I am encountering is that the horn will not work when engine is hot (from running or hot day). I get up in the morning and start the car, and the horn works fine. I drive to work (20 minutes) and the horn does not work. Car cools down, cool morning, horn works again. It looks like heat disables it, what do I do? - Jesus, from Arkansas.
If you purchased it from a dealer, they probably provided you with a limited warranty, or the OEM DC warranty (36 months or 36,000 miles may be valid. If that's the case take it back and have them troubleshoot and repair it. If you purchased it privately and the OEM warranty has expired the fix may be on your dime. Since you mention heat as a significant factor I would first check the horn relay located in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) under the hood. That is the only component in the horn system that is subjected to high external heat. Disconnect the negative battery terminal before removing the relay or prior to installing a new one. While visiting the dealer ask them to run your VIN to identify all the recalls on your PT. Some 2001 models had two or three recalls.
Follow up from owner - Turns out it is still covered under the OEM warranty. They said the horn fuse was corroded. When it is cold it still makes contact, but when it heats up it expands it looses contact and fails. They also cleaned all the contacts in the box to make sure everything was ok. The car had 2 recalls, which they took care of. Thanks again.
764. I have a 2001 LE PT with 43.5k miles, which was built in February 2000. When I'm driving at any speed and hit a bump the speedometer will drop 5 to 20 mph and come back up, if I have the cruise control on the car will speed up. This car has an automatic transmission and at speeds less than 20 mph the transmission will suddenly downshift causing the car to lurch forward. I was coming to a stop and hit a dip in the road, and the transmission down shifted hard and the car sped up. I would appreciate any help you can give me with this problem. - Jim, from Washington.
My first look would be the VSS, vehicle speed sensor. If it's intermittent, you will get this behavior. It could be the sensor, wiring, ground, or PCM, along with about a hundred other causes. The diagnostic process begins with the speed sensor. We have more info on the speed sensor in the Key Sensors System guide in the pitareainfo.html area.
765. I have a 2002 LE PT. What is the plug located under the PCV hose for? The area surrounding the plug looks dry, but when the edges are touched, you get a small amount of oil on your finger. The dealer says this is okay. - Steve, from California.
That's the camshaft position sensor. I think it's fine.