The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ask Motor-Mike and Ed.
Part Thirty Seven Q&A 901 - 925
901. I have a 2001 LE PT. I have sourced a used replacement instrument cluster, but the mileage on the replacement odometer is less than what my original odometer is displaying. How do I wind the odometer forward on the replacement cluster, so that it reflects the true distance traveled by the vehicle? Any input you can provide on this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you. - Steve, from Australia.
You will need to use a DRBIII scanner (only available through Chrysler) to program the VIN number, options, and mileage. This is not something you want to do unless the original one failed.
Do not do an electrical "HOT SWAP" when replacing or testing clusters. Ensure that the ignition is OFF with the M1 fuse removed, or the battery negative cable is disconnected. Partial mating of the cluster connector circuits can damage and/or destroy the cluster microprocessor if power is available.
Do not swap clusters between vehicles. The instrument cluster has learned information stored in its microprocessor for Airbags, Anti-Lock Brakes, Cruise, and Smart Key Immobilizer. Swapping clusters between cars may result in the improper illumination of cluster indicators associated with the above features.
902. I have a 2001 LE PT and have a question about clutch pedal adjustments. From a stop, while in first gear, when I am releasing the clutch, the pedal engages too high up. For example, assume that the clutch pedal travel is four inches. It does not engage until three inches of pedal movement, which is uncomfortable to me. I would like to adjust it so it engages after two inches like my other car. Thanks for your help. - Larry, from Michigan.
The procedure in the 2002 service manual is as follows:
1. Loosen the adjustment screw on the clutch master cylinder pushrod.
2. Gently lift clutch pedal upwards. Raising pedal with excessive force can damage to the pedal upstop, causing excessive pedal travel.
Note - Inspect plastic retainer upon removal. If retainer is damaged in any way (broken/cracked), it must be replaced.
3. Connect the clutch master cylinder pushrod to the pedal pin and torque adjustment screw to 6 N-m or 55 in/lbs.
903. I have a 2001 TE PT. The problem I'm experiencing is that my door ajar indicator and my dome/rearview mirror lights stay on while driving. All the doors are closed. When I apply the brakes the door ajar indicator goes out and the light dims. When I let the brake pedal go, the lights and indicator come back on. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. - Kevin, from Georgia.
A diagnostic scanner will let you know which door switch is faulty, telling the BCM that the door is open. You may want to try pushing the power lock button on the driver's door with the key in the ignition. If the locks don't engage, that may indicate the driver's door switch is the defect. The circuit is seeing a ground somewhere. If there are any wiring modifications such as remote starter, stereo, or alarms; I would look at that first.
904. Our 2001 TE Cruiser has been plagued with what sounds like severe spark knock at nearly any rpm as long as it's under load. It's been in to the dealership twice. They replaced the plugs the first time and told us it would be fine if we ran some higher-octane fuel and ran some injector cleaner through it. After a month of 91 octane and three bottles of injector cleaner, it was still there. We returned to the dealer and they re-flashed the PCM, and said it might fix the problem, but if not, the knock wouldn't hurt anything. I have extreme doubts about that.
I've been trying to troubleshoot this myself and know that either the EGR valve or the knock sensor could be an issue. If the EGR valve or the knock sensor were malfunctioning, would it throw a CEL? I tried running the engine codes and nothing came up. The mileage remained on the odometer display. Thanks. -Steve, from Michigan.
First, the odometer test needs to be done by turning the key from off to on very quickly. You will see the word "done". If you only see the mileage, you didn't enter the self-test.
The EGR will trip a code P0401 or similar. The knock sensor may be faulty and never set a code. The PCM will just think there is no knock, and continue to advance the timing to the upper limit. (Around 37 degrees advance) There is no self-test for the knock sensor. You must watch the timing retard while simulating knock.
905. I have a 2003 TE PT and would like to know if the intake size or style is different on this model than found on the 2001-2002 models? I am looking at aftermarket intakes, which will work with 2000 to 2002 PT's. Is there a difference in the OE model year intakes? Thank you. - Jonny, from Texas.
The intake manifold is the black plastic part from the throttle body to the cylinder head. This intake has not changed. If you are referring to the airbox, the answer is "yes". Beginning in 2002, they moved the make up air hose from the flexible rubber elbow to the lower airbox. This helps eliminate the oil and crud that contaminates the throttle plate.
906. I have a 2003 GT PT and am experiencing a slight back and forth motion or shimmy in my steering wheel at lower speeds, which gradually improves at higher speeds as if the front end has too much play. The car is new with only 8,000 highway miles and I just had the tires rotated and balanced. The tire dealer said they were not out of balance and didn't think balancing would help cure that. What do you think it is and what should I do? - Claude, from Arkansas.
Another owner reported a similar problem a while back. He also had the tires rebalanced and rotated, which did not help. He reported that a friend, who happened to be a mechanic, experienced this issue with other cars. His research indicated that the geometry of the front suspension and the nature of modern radial tires create this problem. He stated that it is particularly noticeable on Ford Taurus. He indicated that there was nothing to worry about and they would work on a fix.
A short time later we received another email from the owner, who said that they increased the air pressure by 2psi all around and the problem disappeared. He normally runs with 38psi in the front and 36psi in the rears, and now runs at 40 and 38 and there is no indication of any wheel shake or wiggle.
As you may know, the normal and recommended tire pressure is 35psi for PT's with OE 15" and 16" wheels, and 38psi for GT's with 17" wheels. Over inflation can be dangerous and cause uneven tire wear, however you might consider giving this a try on a temporary basis and see if you notice any difference in behavior. It's obviously not be a permanent solution, I would certainly get a second opinion, and ask for a test ride in similar dealer owned vehicle to see if there are noticeable similarities in the ride.
907. I recently purchased a used 2001 LE PT. How do you program the lights to flash when triggering the factory alarm? The horn chirps, but lights do not flash when arming or disarming, otherwise everything is operational. Thanks. - Ronnie, from Nevada.
The lights should flash each time the alarm arms or disarms. This is the default operation and not programmable. Refer to your owner's manual, pages 18-24. Ensure that the VTS is actually arming - look for the flashing VTS indicator in the instrument cluster. If it's arming, your RKEM may be faulty.
Follow up from owner - The dealer called to let me know that they forgot to remove the dealer security system from the car. This is connected to the main system in some way. I had it removed today, now when I arm the VTS system the exterior lights flash once, but they still don't flash when disarming, only the interior lights come.
DIY follow up - Check the vehicle manufacturing/build date. See the label located on the driver side door shut face.
Default operation on the early build (prior to Sept 2000) 2001 models:
1. When locking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash once and the horn will chirp.
2. When unlocking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the interior light will activate and remain active for 30 seconds, but the exterior lights do not function.
Default operation on late build (after Sept 2000) 2001 and all 2002 models:
1. When locking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash once and the horn will chirp.
2. When unlocking the PT with the remote keyless FOB the PT exterior lights will flash twice and the interior light will activate and remain active for 30 seconds.
Follow up from owner - My PT was built 4-00, so that ends the mystery, everything is working correctly. Thanks so much for your help.
908. I have a 2001 LE PT, which has been idling rough for the past few days. I've noticed, when decelerating to a near stop, the rpm's drop to below 500. I've replaced the spark plugs, but it hasn't resolved the problem. What else can I try? What is the recommended RPM when at idle? Thank you. - Bryan, from Michigan.
The idle speed should be somewhere around 850rpm, and it should be smooth. The first thing I would do is clean the throttle plate and passage through the idle air control motor. This throttle body service only takes a few minutes and I do it when replacing spark plugs. The 2001 air intake differs from all other PT's in that the make up air hose for the PCV allows oil vapors to enter directly into the intake tract. This means the throttle plate on an '01 will become contaminated much sooner than the newer PT's. There may be other faulty parts, but this is the first and least expensive of the diagnostics. Plus, it's really needed on the 2001 PT's.
909. I have a 2001 TE PT. Lately, the doors lock and unlock themselves all of the time and my dashboard lights operate erratically. When the doors start to go nuts, the dash lights follow and sometimes the PT won't start, or will start and quickly shut off. It started when the cold weather arrived. This vehicle was a repaired salvage 9 months ago, with damage on the driver side door, and front fender area. Up until the weather conditions changed, I have had no problems with the PT. I have removed the door trim panel and inspected the harnesses in an attempt to locate previously overlooked damage, but cannot find any. I've also physically shaken the wire harness, but have been unable to duplicate the problem. What can you suggest for me to check next? Thank you. - Steve, from Massachusetts.
Some of the symptoms that you describe are similar to other reports that we've received and are symptomatic of a failing RKEM remote keyless entry module. You can read more about this in the tech library.
910. I have a 2001 LE PT. The MIL came on and indicated fault code P1193 - "Inlet Air Temperature Circuit High." Inlet Air Temperature sensor input above acceptable voltage.
That is the temperature range for the sensor. The temperature up here is -45c/-49f; can this be the cause of the light? Thanks. - Ron, from Canada.
Page 12 of the 2001 powertrain diagnostic manual lists the temperature reading limit of -50C/-58F. The IAT Sensor is a Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) Sensor that provides information to the PCM regarding the temperature of the air entering the intake manifold. Although specific sensor specs aren't detailed, you may have been beyond the operational limit of the circuit. The code will clear after 40 drive cycles without another fault.
911. I have a 2001 LE PT, with just under 48k miles. I took it to the dealer at about 40K miles for a tune-up and it has always run fine. Now a problem has surfaced. If the car is driven about 20 miles and then parked in the garage for about 1.5 hours it misses, runs rough, and the MIL blinks. After about 5-10 minutes of continuous driving the roughness disappears, the MIL stops blinking and neither of the diagnostic checks yields any trouble code(s). Can you suggest what the heck is happening? Thank you very much. - Doug, from Washington.
The blinking engine light indicates that there are 'pending' codes to be read with a scanner. They do not read on the odometer test, but are in a special section of memory that a scanner can access. Rough idle or running, and misfire, can (after a hot soak) be caused by many things. The EGR and fuel systems are the first on my list of possible causes.
912. Russ wrote, I had to change my front wheel bearings at 83,000 miles on my 2002 PT Cruiser. When I got the hub assembly off I noticed that the rubber dust covers on the lower ball joints where ripped and both ball joints were also bad. They were dried out and rusty, and needed replacing. While reassembling the hub to the control arm I noticed that the hub assembly hits on the dust boots for the ball joints. So beware. Finally, the dealer had to wait for me to remove the old wheel bearings before he could order the correct ones. There are two different sizes used and they can't tell you which ones you need until you get the old ones out.
I have read this on the forums, but neither the local dealers nor I have seen any failure trends. I've not replaced any. The rubber bushings on the suspension look terrible when the car is lifted and the bushings are not under load. This is normal. I hope owners aren't replacing parts that look funny, when they are not worn or broken.
913. I have a 2002 BE PT with the following options: header, crane cams fire wires, champion double platinum, Screamin Deamon coil pack, air intake tube and filter. At idle it runs fine, at 2000 rpm it starts running rough, like a miss. All modifications are less than two months old. It does not lack power or miss on initial take off, just at high idle. I took out the new sparkplugs and found that they have already turned black and red. They are gapped at .65. Then I got a P0304 fault code - Misfire cylinder #4. Would the aftermarket intake be causing it to run rich? It has been very cold here in lately; is cold air denser, which equals more fuel? I use 93-octane gas, plus an octane booster by outlaw. - Brad, from Kentucky.
The plugs should be gapped at .050. The intake only allows air to enter. The computer and sensors will never allow it to run rich. The 93 octane and octane booster will make the fuel harder to ignite. This can contribute to a misfire. Octane does not crate power, it only gives resistance to pre-ignition. The higher the octane, the harder it is to ignite the fuel. You are working against yourself. The wide gap and high octane are both making it harder to ignite the fuel and contributing to misfires. Neither will add any horsepower to an engine with 9.4:1 compression and stock camshafts.
914. Our 2002 LE PT was broken into and the radio was stolen. Is it possible to repair the wiring harness where they cut the connector off, rather than replacing the entire harness? Anonymous, from the USA.
Yes, for 2002 - 2004 Cruisers with the 22-pin radio connector, you can order P/N 5083221AA. This repair kit will give you the wiring pigtail and connector most commonly cut from the harness in theft situations.
915. We have a 2002 Dream Cruiser and would like to know where we can purchase a replacement "Limited Edition" badge? - Anonymous, from the USA.
The badges are released to service missing and/or damaged badges, only. Your local dealers can contact Imperial Marketing at 1-888-267-2187, and provide the VIN for verification of badge requirement. P/N 5291602AA
916. I have a LE PT with 54k miles and was interested in buying an exhaust system. I was wondering how much of a horse power difference I would get if I just got a flow master muffler compared with a full cat-back system, probably one made by pace-setter exhaust. - Elliott, from California.
I've not seen real dyno results for the exhaust. Claims made by the marketing department of the manufacturer can be slanted. Most dyno results from PT owners have shown 3-5hp from the exhaust. You cannot feel 5hp. That's only a 3% increase. The "it feels faster" is a placebo effect from the sound and spending a bunch of money on something new. The PT exhaust pipe is an excellent design. It's large enough to handle the 2.4L engine output and the mandrel bends provide no restrictions. The only restriction is the muffler itself. An aftermarket exhaust is a personal choice, not a huge horsepower builder.
917. I have a 2002 PT with 10k miles. For the last several months, after the car has sat overnight or longer, the brakes make a grinding or squealing sound when applied for about the first 3 to 5 stops. After that they seem totally normal and fine. I am easy on the brakes as all my cars go way over the norm on brake work.
I have noticed a mild abrasive sort of noise in other vehicles after washing them or after they have sat for long periods of time (surface rust on rotors). But on my PT it sounds like stuff is grinding. It seems worse on the right rear (drum brakes), but essentially sounds like all of the brakes are inflicted with the condition. I'm just wondering if this seems to be somewhat common for on PT's. Once the car is driven for a short distance the brakes are quiet, strong and balanced in operation. Thanks for your input. - Mark, from the USA.
This is common to all drum brake PT's. Review some of the other Q&A's in the brake subsection of the tech library.
918. I have a 2002 PT, manufactured in March of 2002, with automatic transmission and 10k miles. When slowing down to nearly a stop, but still rolling, when I start accelerating again, the transmission seems as though it's not engaged. The engine starts to rev but the PT doesn't move forward. A fraction of a second later then it engages. It's sort of like a super mild neutral drop. I have heard that this is a defect in torque converters that PT's had for certain period in their production run. Thanks for you time. - Mark, from the USA.
I have noticed this with PT's, as well as many newer cars. The transmission stays in high gear until you are nearly stopped. If you roll through, it's still in 3rd. As you press the pedal, it must shift all the way into 1st. This takes a split second. On the other hand, we get complaints of harsh downshifts from those who feel it drops into 1st before they come to a complete stop. It's a catch-22. There's no way they can please everyone.
919. I have a 2002 BE PT with 33k miles. My power steering seems to have a grinding noise, especially when cold. This has never occurred before, even as low as -45F actual temperature, while living in Lake Placid during the winter last year. It started about December. My dealer said that is normal a sound until it's warm, but it hasn't happened in previous winters, which were colder than this. The fluid is full, and has good color. The dealer told me it's the fluid "gelling" somewhat while cold. It's happening even when above 30F on a cold start. It gets a little better when warm, but still has the grinding/whining sound. What do you think? - Michael, from New York.
Many steering pumps have been replaced for noise concerns. If the noise was not there when the car was new, there is a concern. If all the other PT's on the lot do not make the same noise, there is a fault. See the Top 10 List in the Pit area or more information.
920. I have a 2003 LE PT with 16,400 miles. Recently the steering wheel began to vibrate when braking (especially at low speeds). My dealer tells me I probably need new front rotors. It seems a bit odd to me to need new rotors at only 16K miles. Do you agree? I live in the SF Bay area not SF city, so and I do 50:50 freeway, local driving (no hills). Are premature rotors a problem with PT's? Thanks. - Patrick, from California.
Warped rotors are more common now that car's are built with brake parts designed smaller than they should be. This is done to reduce weight and manufacturing costs. They might be able to turn them smooth again. If not, then new rotors are needed. They are simple to change and not very expensive.
921. I have a 2002 BE PT and read the reply about installing a mechanical oil pressure gauge. Can I install an Autometer electronic one? If so, where would I tap in to get a signal? Thanks. - Jason, from the USA.
There is no place to tap for a signal. The OEM sending unit is only a switch. It closes to ground the circuit anytime the pressure is below the minimum pressure. Anything above that, it's an open switch. It works like a light switch, either on or off.
922. I have a 2002 BE PT. So, the fuel filter is in the pump. When should that be replaced? When I do, I'd like to move the filter out of there and put it in-line. Can you recommend an in-line filter to use? Thanks. - Jason, from Florida.
There are no recommended aftermarket inline filters designed to handle the 56psi rated pressure. The filter is not separate from the pump module. The entire module must be changed. This would be very expensive just to get a new filter installed. The design is what it is; we must accept that. The pump will likely fail before a filter will become clogged enough to affect performance.
923. Our 2002 TE Cruiser with 20,000 miles just had it's engine light come on. We called dealer since we just had an oil change. He said not to worry about it at this time. I ran the odometer code test and it showed fault codes of P0401, P0403, and P1684. When taken in, the dealer said it was the EGR solenoid control and that it needs replacement, since I knew that myself and did not let on. The car had stalled in traffic, stinks bad on idle, idles rough, and has loss of power. Now he has the car and says there is an apparent run on these units, but no recall was issued. He has to get one from another dealership, which is far away, since parts suppliers are out of stock. If this is true and there were so many replaced, why has there been a recall or TSB? He did say it is under warranty, but I wondered about how much it would cost if I had to pay for it and if this is a normal problem? - Nick, from Pennsylvania.
A recall is for a safety issue. A common part failure does not force them to give it away. Imagine how many Christmas tree light sets would be warranted because a bulb failed? The part is a commonly stocked part. Most Mopar dealers keep more than one in stock at all times. I've replaced several of them. The part number you need is 4891985AA and should cost around $46. You can replace one in less than an hour without special tools.
924. We just purchased a used 2001 TE PT. During our cold weather (20 to 30 below), our door ajar chime/lights and horn will come on. The conditions vary. Two days ago, my husband was driving and someone was about to cut him off and he honked the horn, and it just stayed on. He was able to get it turned off by repeatedly pressing the edges of the horn on the steering wheel. Last night at 4:30am, the horn started blaring on its own as it sat in our driveway - not running. The only way we could stop was by pressing the edges of the horn on the steering wheel. On both of these occasions, it was well below zero.
Regarding the door ajar chime/light, we suspect it may be just the passenger door causing the trouble because it doesn't appear to be connecting with the switch when we close the door. There are no problems with it when the weather is above zero. The horn thing really drives us crazy. Is our PT telling us to move to Arizona or is there something we can do? Any ideas? Thanks. - Ilene, from Minnesota.
Yours is the first report of the horn sounding due to a fault in the steering wheel switch mechanism. I would have the assembly removed to inspect for a defect. If it's not the switch, which is part of the airbag assembly, there is a relay under the hood that could be sticking. The door switches are an integral part of the latch. Diagnostic tests are needed to isolate the switch from a defect in the wiring.
925. I have a 2001 LE PT. My airbag light illuminated and took the power windows and the heater/ air conditioning blower with it when it failed. All the fuses checked out OK inside the car. The driver side window is down and rain in Florida is common. Any thoughts? Thanks. - Alan, from Florida.
Power is sent to all the affected components via the ignition switch, shown on page 8W-10-23 of the 2002 manual. That line is powered from fuse #3, 40amp, in the underhood PDC, see page 8W-10-9. If something blew a 40amp fuse, you need to diagnose the circuit for a short to ground.
Follow up from owner - You're right on the money. The dealer indicated that the ignition switch is bad. (See the Top 10 List in the Pit area or more information.)
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