The following is a compilation of Q&A's submitted by enthusiasts and answered by Ask Motor-Mike and Ed.
Part Forty Three Q&A 1051 - 1075
1051. We have a 2003 TE PT with 24k miles. We love our PT, but have noticed several unsightly paint chips on the hood and front fender areas. Is paint chipping covered under the basic warranty? Thank you. - Tim and Ellen, from Louisiana.
Paint chipping has been a significant issue with all model year PT Cruisers. Although some dealers may make minor courtesy repairs, unless a defect can be shown, the cost of the repair is usually the responsibility of the owner. See the Top Ten Issues List in the Pit area for more information about paint chipping, how to avoid them, and making effective inexpensive DIY paint chip repairs.
1052. I have a 2001 LE PT with 56k miles. Today, while sitting in a parking lot with the A/C on about 2 notches. I heard a chime and noticed that the temperature light was on and the needle on the temperature gauge was very close to the red zone. I shut the A/C off and shut the car off. About 15 minutes later I started the car, and without turning on the A/C, drove home, about 3 miles. On the ride home, the gauge went back to normal, dead smack in the center. When I arrived home I let it continue to run without the A/C and the gauge climbed to 3/4 and pretty much stayed there. I took a spin around the block and it went back to the normal center position, even with the A/C on. There is no loss of power, or noticeable difference with the vehicle's performance. This is the first time I've had a mechanical problem with the PT. Last winter, after shutting the car off I did hear a bubbling sound coming from somewhere. I mentioned this to a few PT owners, who indicated that they had heard this sound, but DC said it wasn't an issue. Any ideas as to what could cause this odd issue with the gauge? Thanks in advance. - Anthony, from New York.
It may be a coolant issue. With the engine cold, check the coolant level. It is a closed system; if the coolant is low in the reservoir and radiator you may need to perform a pressure test to locate the source of a leak. Low coolant can be caused by a variety of things. See the Diagnostic Troubleshooting Guide for the Cooling System and Leak Test procedure in the Pit area for more information.
Follow up from owner - I checked the reservoir (overflow) and radiator and both were low on coolant. It took about half a gallon of antifreeze to bring it up to the correct level. The needle hasn't gone past the mid-point since then. Now I need to determine what caused the low coolant problem.
1053. I have a 2002 LE PT with 34k miles. About 2 months ago my factory radio started acting up. It would take about 5 minutes of driving before it would turn on. Then it stopped working altogether. We took the car to the dealer and they replaced the radio under the warranty. Then about a month after that, the battery went dead. We had to purchase a new battery. Last night the battery went dead again for no apparent reason (no lights were left on). Now the radio volume doesn't work. Is this some kind of a relay problem, or what is going on? - Jaclyn, from Nebraska.
We have received a few reports regarding radio failure, but nothing excessive. Most of the owners who reported problems with their radios mentioned that prior to the problem they disconnected and or replaced the battery. That by itself should not create a problem with the radio, however that was the common thread. Unfortunately, we haven't received any feedback from owners who have determined what actually caused the problem. On most occasions the dealer simply replaced the radio to resolve the issue. In your particular situation Mike suggested that it could be the radio, or an intermittent wiring fault.
Follow up from owner - The battery unexpectedly died again. We took it back to the dealer; evidentially when they replaced our radio originally, they put in a reconditioned radio without telling us. This radio had a short in it, and when the car was turned off, the radio was still pulling juice from the battery. They are supposed to replace it with a new one this time. Thanks for your help.
1054. I have a 2001 LEPT with 51k miles. The engine light comes on constantly and yields a P0601 fault code. It came on after I filled up the other day. I re-tightened the gas cap but no change. The car runs fine. Thank you. - Bob, from California.
The fault code P0601 is for a Internal Controller Failure. Internal control module fault condition (check sum) detected. It has nothing to do with the gas cap. It's a PCM internal fault, and may require replacing the PCM. Your dealer will have to make a determination on that. Ensure that the code isn't a P0401 EGR Fault or P0301 Cylinder 1 Misfire. Those two would be more common faults.
1055. I have a 2001 LEPT with 50k miles. I just went to have the brake pads replaced and was told that the uneven wear of my pads was caused by the phenolic plastic pistons becoming slightly deformed due to the excessive heat generated by "today's brake systems." They are rebuilding the pistons to restore normal operation, at a cost of $600. This will include replacing pads, turning rotors, flushing brake fluid & refilling. Is this a legitimate problem or am I being bent over? - Gary, form Georgia.
The pistons are metal, and there have been no trends of faulty calipers. The calipers are $100 each for the fronts (see Napaonline.com) and they can be changed in 1/2 hour. My shop would get about $350 for the front brakes for all the work you mentioned, but I doubt if you need it. You may want to get a second opinion.
1056. I have a 2003 GT PT with 20k miles. I reviewed the guide in the Pit area for removing the hood silencer and it said remove fasteners. My question is how do you remove the fasteners? Mine just spin around and don't seem to want to pull off. I don't want to break them.
Unfortunately, the service manual does not elaborate beyond "remove the fasteners." It is my understanding that you simply depress the center portion of the faster while gently prying under the edge with a flathead screwdriver, to pop it off. I'm told that they break very easily, so be prepared to pick up some spare fasteners at your local auto parts store.
1057. I am desperate with my 2002 BE PT with 40k miles and automatic transmission. I have taken it to the dealer eight times because of a transmission problem. It bumps when I shift and they have replaced torque converter and solenoid twice. Last time they overhauled it and found a broken clutch. It was working well after the repair, but the torque converter failed again. I bought the car used and the warranty has expired. I have an extended warranty, which paid for the repairs the last time, but I don't know if they will if it fails again. I called Chrysler, but they don't care and it seems like Texas Lemon law is not useful since I am not the original owner and the warranty has expired. Any advice would be appreciated. - Jorge, from Texas.
It certainly sounds like you've had your share of problems with the transmission. Although it is considered a trouble area for the PT, we have received relatively few complaints from owners during the past three years. Unfortunately, everything that we would advise you to do has already been done. If Chrysler won't help and it's not covered under the state Lemon Law I would attempt to have it repaired under the extended warranty. Once the repair is complete, I would seriously think about trading it in for another vehicle before it gives you any more heartache.
1058. I have a 2001 TE PT with 65k miles. I was hoping you could shed some light on a problem I'm having. My PCM needs to be replaced. When I went to order one at the dealer they told me I would need to bring the car in because the new PCM must be programmed to my vehicle. They indicated that the PCM is so damn expensive because each one is specifically programmed to a vehicle, and can't be swapped from car to car. I have a Chilton's repair manual, which doesn't mention any programming. Thanks. - Michael, form Delaware.
The PCM is the vehicles main computer, and is responsible for efficiently coordinating the operation of all the emissions-related components and for determining if the diagnostic systems are operating properly. If the PCM is replaced after 200 miles of usage, the new PCM must be updated with the mileage and vehicle identification number (VIN) using a DRB scan tool. We have a complete OE PCM system guide available in the Pit area on the site, however you may also need a Powertrain Diagnostic Manual if you are not familiar with the DRB scan tool and usage on the PT.
1059. I have a 2002 TE PT with 91k miles. At 84,400 miles the check engine light (MIL) came on. I took it in to the dealer to get the 60k mile service interval maintenance performed at 87,500 and had them diagnose the check engine light. Their analysis was a PCM replacement at $600, plus $500 for labor. The mechanic on duty could not fully explain what the PCM does, other than it controlling the idle speed and being the "brain" of the car. They replaced the spark plugs and wires, and performed all other 60k maintenance. I cannot tell any difference in performance since the light came on. The car has never stalled and the mpg is still around 25-26. The vehicle self-test codes were P1684, P601 and P1495. What are the ramifications of driving the car without replacing the PCM? Am I damaging the car by not having this replaced? Thanks. - Mark from Missouri.
I'm sorry to hear of your PCM problem.
P1684 - The battery has been disconnected within the last 50 starts. You will need a (DRB) scan tool to clear the battery fault code, it won't clear itself.
P0601 - PCM internal controller failure. When monitored = ignition key on. Set condition = internal checksum for software failed, does not match calculated value. Possible causes = PCM (no other causes). Test = none. The PCM is reporting internal errors and must be replaced.
P1495 fault code. Leak Detection Pump Solenoid Circuit - An open or shorted condition detected in the Leak Detection Pump (LDP) solenoid circuit. (The LDP may be failing, but the more likely cause is the PCM.)
The PCM is the brain or main computer for the vehicle and controls most vehicle functions. It receives input signals from various switches and sensors that are referred to as PCM Inputs. Based on these inputs, the PCM adjusts various engine, transmission, and vehicle operations through devices that are referred to as PCM Outputs.
Air Conditioning Controls
Ambient Air temperature Sensor
Battery Temperature Sensor
Camshaft Position Sensor
Crankshaft Position Sensor
Cruise Control Switch
Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor
Fuel Level Sensor
Intake Air Temperature Sensor
Natural Vacuum Leak Detection
Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor
Oil Pressure Switch
Pedal Position Sensor
Power Steering Pressure Switch
Speed Control Switches
Throttle Position Sensor
Transmission Control Relay
Transmission Input Shaft Speed Sensor
Transmission Output Shaft Speed Sensor
Transmission Pressure Switches
Transmission Range Sensor
Transmission Oil Temperature Sensor
Vehicle Speed Sensor
Air Conditioning Clutch Relay
Auto Shutdown Relay
Charging Indicator Lamp
Proportional Purge Solenoid
Fuel Pump Relay
Idle Air Control Motor
Malfunction Indicator Lamp
Oxygen Sensors Heater Controls
Radiator Fan Relays
Speed Control Solenoids
Transmission Control Relay
Transmission PRNDL Position
Transmission Torque Reduction Request
Based on inputs it receives, the PCM adjusts fuel injector pulse width, idle speed, ignition spark advance, ignition coil dwell and EVAP canister purge operation. The PCM also determines the appropriate transmission shift schedule and shift points, depending on the present operating conditions and driver demand. The PCM regulates the cooling fan, A/C and speed control systems. It also changes the generator charge rate by adjusting the generator field, and performs diagnostics. You should have it replaced as soon as possible, since it can and probably will cause driveability issues and indirectly cause damage to other components that it normally monitors and keeps in check. Some owners have replaced the PCM on their own (See the PCM System guide in the Pit area) however you would need a DRB scan tool to complete the installation.
1060. We have a 2001 BE PT with 47k miles and are considering trading it in for a new 2004 model. Can you tell us which models offer the moonroof as standard equipment? - Brice, from North Dakota.
According to the DC web site the moonroof is standard on the 2004 Limited, Platinum Series, GT and Dream Cruiser Series 3, and optional on the 2004 Touring edition.
1061. I have a 2002 LE PT with 50k miles, which seems to be experiencing a bit of sluggishness and reduced mpg. I've heard about dealers recommending having an "induction service" done on their fuel-injected cars. From what I understand, using over-the-counter fuel cleaners isn't enough, and this induction service is supposed to clean deposits from the injectors and other parts of the fuel system. What are your thoughts on this? Is it a valuable service? Is it necessary or just another way for you to be separated from your money? Thanks. - Scott, from Florida.
When necessary, we recommend having the fuel injectors professionally cleaned. Over the counter fuel injector cleaning products are usually not completely effective in thoroughly cleaning the system. That said, if you're still using the OE plugs at 50k miles replace them, clean the throttle body and check your air filter. All contribute to sluggish behavior and lower mpg, and should be addressed prior to fuel injector cleaning. See the Pit area for appropriate guides.
1062. I have a 2.0L LE PT with 51k miles. My PT came with an OE satellite navigation system. It is the original CD based unit (possibly made by Becker Automotive Systems). Just recently it has failed to locate any satellites. I suspect a problem with the antenna or the DC feed to the antenna. My problem is locating the antenna, which is not visible. I suspect they may have mounted it under the dash. There seems to be no details relating to this particular satellite navigation system anywhere. It comes with a Chrysler Jeep manual so I assume it was standard equipment. - Paul, from the United Kingdom.
I checked our OE 2001-2003 service manuals and the satellite navigational system for the export PT's is not mentioned. The OE 2004 service manual provides sparse information about the domestic 2004 models, which offer a new optional AM/FM/CD GPS Navigation (RB3 sales code) system.
You will find guides for accessing the radio, removing the dash cover and headliner, and accessing the export satellite navigational system antenna within the Pit area.
Follow up from owner - Thanks, I really appreciate the help. I've used the information, found the antenna and the whole system is now operational.
1063. I have a 2001 LE PT. The OE 16" chrome wheels are corroding and the chrome is peeling off. I have one wheel with one large area (3"-4" diameter) around the valve stem missing chrome and severe corrosion. All of the wheels have bubbled areas at the outer spoke joints, with peeling from the inside area near the tire outward on the wheels. The dealer said it is not covered by warranty/extended warranty and quoted $600 per wheel for replacement. I hope to contact Chrysler directly soon. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. - Jeff, from Minnesota.
We have received very few complaints via the site, but the problem has been occasionally mentioned in the forums. Mike knows of several local owners who have experienced wheel-peeling problems, all with the standard chrome wheels, either dimpled or smooth. Owners who experienced this issue usually had the wheels replaced under the 3/36 basic warranty, however that was only after much bickering with DC and or their local dealers. Outside of the warranty period, I doubt if they are covered. Many of the owners that reported the problem used automatic car washes, which use harsh chemicals and was unofficially attributed to the peeling problem. Another good reason to hand wash the PT. Personally, I wouldn't purchase OE replacement wheels through the dealer. At $600 per wheel they're way overpriced - you can do much better at your local tire store. (Email bounced back as undeliverable - user unknown.)
1064. We have a 2002 TE PT with 27k miles. We recently had some routine maintenance performed by the dealer. When I picked up the car one of the dealers representatives said the "oil pressure" indicator lamp was not working and I should schedule another appointment to have it looked at. He indicated that the bulb was probably blown. Neither my husband nor I noticed this until he pointed it out. What do you think - a burnt bulb? Thank you. - Kim, from Alabama.
It could be the bulb, wire, connector, etc. The low oil pressure indicator will illuminate when the ignition switch is turned to the ON position without the engine running. The lamp also illuminates if the engine oil pressure drops below a predetermined safe oil pressure level.
Turn the ignition switch to the ON position. If the lamp fails to light, inspect for a broken or disconnected wire at the oil pressure switch, located on the rear of the engine. If the wire at the connector checks out OK pull the connector loose from the switch and with a jumper wire, ground the connector to the engine. With the ignition switch turned to the ON position, check the warning lamp. If the lamp still fails to light, inspect for a burned out lamp in the instrument cluster. Refer to the proper Body Diagnostic manual for more in depth testing.
1065. I just purchased a previously owned 2000 2.0L Classic Edition PT with 25k miles. I am not sure what security system is included as standard equipment with this model and I can't find any information in the handbook that came with it. I am in the process of finding a repair manual. Does the 2001 repair model cover the 2000 as well? It is the only one I can find at the moment. Many thanks for your time. - Larry, from the U.K.
The domestic PT's were released as 2001 model year vehicles, although there was an early 2001 and late 2001 build model. I can't say for sure, but you may have an early 2001 export. What you probably need is a 2001 service manual. Your dealer should be able to run the VIN for you and produce a report, which verifies the model year and includes all of the options and equipment that was installed on your vehicle when it was built. The service manual does not contain a great deal of information regarding the export alarm system or which models contain which (premium or standard) systems.
Vehicle Theft Security System - Export
Some vehicles are equipped with a premium vehicle theft security system. The Premium Vehicle Theft Security System (VTSS) is designed to protect against whole vehicle theft and the loss of its contents. This system monitors vehicle doors, hood, lift-gate and ignition key cylinders for unauthorized operation, as well as monitoring any movement inside the cabin when the intrusion sensor is armed.
Some vehicles are equipped with a standard vehicle theft security system. This system is designed to protect against whole vehicle theft. This system monitors the vehicle doors, liftgate, and ignition key cylinders for unauthorized operation.
Intrusion Sensor - Export
Some vehicles equipped with the premium vehicle theft security system (VTSS) use an ultrasonic intrusion sensor. This intrusion sensor is integrated into the dome lamp and detects any movement in the cabin when the VTSS system and the intrusion sensor are armed. In the event the intrusion sensor detects movement inside the vehicle's interior (with system armed), the ARKEM module will sound the siren. (Email bounced back as undeliverable - user unknown.)
1066. I have a 2002 LE PT with 57k miles. I have not had any problems with the PT until a few weeks ago. It stalled on my way to work; I called AAA and they sent someone out to help. They jumpstarted it, but had trouble locating the remote negative jumpstart terminal. The positive terminal, next to the PDC, was easy find, but the negative terminal does not appear to be identified. Where is it located? - Jeannie, from Utah.
The remote negative jumpstart terminal is located to the very right of the center hood latch mechanism when you open the hood.
1067. I have a 2004 GT PT with 9k miles. I would like to know if the chip in the key can be affected by placing the key in one of those magnetic key boxes, which can be hide on the vehicle. Thank You. - Mal, from Illinois.
I don't know. I do know that an unchipped key can be made for $2 and it will open the doors to access the keys locked inside. The benefit is that a thief may get in the car, but without a transponder key he won't be able to drive it away.
Andre from Canada wrote that he has a spare transponder key hidden in a magnetic box under the body, which has been there for the last two years. He tested it recently it still started the PT.
1068. I have a 2001 LE PT with 69.5k miles. While driving I turned on the fog lights. When I exited the car I turned them off, but when I came back, I noticed the lamps were on. I started the car to drive away and shut them off. I went to turn them back on and I noticed that the symbol on the dash was not illuminated and the lights were not on either. I checked the fuse and it was good. All of the other lights seem to work fine. Any ideas? Thanks. - Tim, from Illinois.
The behavior you describe is symptomatic of a faulty multi-function switch. A number of failures have been reported by other owners. Review this Q&A to rule out other issues.
You may want to review the Top 10 Issues List in the Pit area regarding this problem. If you have basic automotive repair skills and would like to handle the repair on your own you'll also find a replacement guide there, which will save you about $100 in labor costs.
Follow up from owner - I replaced the multi-function switch and that solved the problem. Thanks for your help.
1069. I have a 2002 BE PT with 7500 miles. When I get in the PT the door ajar light will not go off even though all the doors are completely closed. If you close the driver side door fairly hard the light will flash off and then back on instantly. Where is the switch/sensor for the front doors and is there an adjustment for it? I purchased the PT used, and it looks like the driver side door may have been repaired, possibly from a collision. Thanks. - Tony, from Texas.
The switch contacts for the driver's door are integral to the latch assembly. There is no adjustment. You need to diagnose the switch and wiring to locate a fault in the circuit. If you need further information the switch diagnostic test and wiring diagrams are available through the Pit area on the site. (Unable to reply - email bounced back as undeliverable - user unknown.)
1070. I have a PT with 17k miles. The liftgate remains locked and will not open using the remote control FOB or manually using the key. Thanks. - Jim, from California.
Nothing can be done prior to removing the inner access panel. There is a 2001 TSB from DC detailing the disassembly procedures for a stuck liftgate. Subject - Service Access to Liftgate Latch, (if it is stuck). For safety and liability reasons, I do not recommend this as a DIY repair job.
1071. I have a 2001 LE with 68k miles and a Hahn Turbo stage 1 @5psi. Several ignition cycles after the turbo was installed have yielded MIL's. The self test reveals P1684 Battery removed for install, P0134 Upstream o2 stays neutral, P1494 EVAP Leak detection pump switch. The battery was disconnected and reconnected to adjust the turbo plumbing. Once reinstalled, the fault codes were erased, but came back on one day later with P1684 and P1494. Did I neglect to connect a vacuum line to the fuel tank on reinstallation? Vehicle seems to be operating normally. Thanks for your assistance. - Derek, from New York.
As a rule, we do not troubleshoot aftermarket product installations. If your only code now is the P1494, you should inspect your work at the LDP, which can be found at the fuel tank.
P1494 Leak Detection Pump Sw or Mechanical Fault -Incorrect input state detected for the Leak Detection Pump (LDP) pressure switch.
The P1684 is only a system readiness code. It was for a battery disconnect in years past, and for some reason it has not been updated online. You may also want to check with Hahn - chances are, you're not the only PT owner who has pulled these codes. Additional information on the LDP is available through the Pit area on the site.
1072. We have a 2003 TE PT with 49k miles. I bought the hi-note horn from a DC dealer, to install on our PT. I read somewhere that DC left the connector for the 2nd horn in the car. The horn comes with a bracket attached, with "hi-note" written on it, but I noticed that the connector is mounted directly to it, without any lead wires from the connector to the horn. When I removed the wheel and splash shield, I discovered that there is only 1 connector for the 1 "low note" horn. Is there a way to get the proper connector so I can splice into the existing wiring? Is there any way to find out the exact mounting bolt size? The parts guy at DC said his computer doesn't show him anything about the bolt. Thanks. - Scott, from Florida.
The counterman is correct, the service manual and IPB does not provide sizing information. I checked our 2003 IPB and the horn and bracket are sold as a unit - no mounting bolts are shown. An easy approach on the second horn might be to use a standard bolt, washer and nut to install it.
The extra connector was reported as available in the 2002 model year as part of the wiring harness, which was the initial year that they did away with the second horn. It is not shown as a separate available item. I suspect that DC eventually used up their inventory of these older harnesses, and omitted the extra connector (cost cutting) on later harnesses. Perhaps you can solder the necessary wires to the connector, then splice them into the low-note horn wiring using generic radio shack connectors.
Follow up from owner - I went to a salvage yard, told them what I was looking for and they provided me with a connector for $10 that had a good 10" inches of cable and the mounting bolt, which seems to be a pointed self-tapping type. I spliced everything together and plugged in the connectors, and it works. Thanks for your help and ideas.
1073. I have a 2001 LE PT with 105k miles. I've got hesitation/sputtering under load, so I would replace the OE plugs with the double platinum's. In the spark plug guide, P/N 7570 is the plug recommended. Are the P/N 7440 plugs just as good? Are aftermarket OE plug wires okay, or would the OE factory wires be worth the extra money? Thanks. - Phillip, from Mississippi.
Most auto part stores currently carry the DP 7570 plugs. The older DP 7440 plug may no longer be available. The tip is much smaller on the 7570 plug, which makes it a poor choice for a forced induction (supercharger, turbo, nitrous) engine. If you're using it a naturally aspirated PT it shouldn't make a significant difference which plug you use. Many owners, who swapped their OE plugs out for double platinum's during the last few years, have and continue to successfully use the 7440. A few owners have indicated that they have replaced the OE wires with a less expensive aftermarket brand, which they purchased at their local NAPA store (NAPA P/N 700111). Were told they fit and work well.
Follow up from owner - Thanks for the heads-up on the spark plug wires. The NAPA wires seem to be the same quality as OE and $20 less. The fit is not bad, but not exactly OE (equal length wires). The plugs worked great - no more hesitation!
1074. I have a 2001 TE PT with 71k miles. The engine light came on after a chime sounded so I ran the self-tests and got a P1684 and P0420 fault code. I had previously disconnected and cleaned my corroded battery cables, which explained the P1684 fault code. The P0420 fault code indicates - Catalyst 1/1 efficiency below required level. I called the local dealer and he said it's the oxygen sensor and it will cost $200 to replace. Why does it cost so much and can I do it myself? And is it the front sensor or the back sensor? I was told there is one in front and one in back of the catalytic converter. Thank you for any help you can give me. - Betty Jo, from Tennessee.
The dealer cannot determine what's wrong until they look at the vehicle. He can only tell that the code is for the downstream O2 sensor reading and that the catalytic converter isn't changing the reading from that of the upstream sensor. The converter must lower the readings between the 2 sensors. The fault can be the sensor, converter, engine running way out of tune, exhaust leak (you would hear that), or even the upstream sensor failing. More hands-on diagnosis is required. If you have basic automotive skills you should be able to change an oxygen sensor. There is one electrical connector and it simply unscrews from the exhaust pipe. It must have anti-seize on the threads. The Bosch O2 sensor is #13316 -downstream, and 13123 upstream. They retail to the public for $145 each.
1075. I have a 2003 BE PT with 51k miles. I changed the spark plugs at 35k miles to cure an earlier stumbling/rough idle issue with a P0303 fault code. Now, at 50k miles I have skipping, rough idle and hesitation on acceleration, and poor power output with a P0325 fault code - Knock sensor is receiving improper voltage. I am guessing that I need new plugs (again), new wires, or that the knock sensor is causing the mixture to be too lean. Could the knock sensor be bad, or is it a wiring or command module problem? - Steve, from New Jersey.
The code is based on knock sensor voltage supplied by the PCM. The spark plugs are not listed as a possible cause. The sensor, PCM, or connectors / wiring can cause this code. Don't just throw parts at it and hope it gets fixed. That's an expensive approach, have a pro help you diagnose the issue.
Follow up from owner - I decided to replace the OE ignition cables and plugs. My local NAPA dealer had the cables in stock (P/N 700111) and ordered the Champion 7570 double platinum plugs, which arrived the following morning.
After I pulled the old plugs, I checked the gap on each, which ranged from .058 - .060. This excessive gap seems to be consistent with the feedback I have read about here at PTDIY.net. The plugs otherwise looked pretty good (no fouling or pitting). I installed the new plugs per the installation guide in the Pit area and fired up the Cruiser, and the difference was astonishing. At first, it idled at about 1500 RPM. After a few moments, the command module eased it down to an even grand. The idle was perfectly smooth, and all hesitation was gone. It accelerated up a steep incline in third from under 2000 RPM with no bucking or hesitation. The new double platinum plugs (and wires) completely cured the problem.
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