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Is it my fault? My PT is broke?

 
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 08:57 am
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Default Is it my fault? My PT is broke?

Ok so I'm going to be askin all of you PT owners and lovers out there this question. Is it my fault my PT is broke? I'll listen to both sides hopefully they'll be plenty of positive and negative reinforcement on this matter. But my gut instinct tells me there will be just negative reinforcement. Heres the issue. According to 3(unamed mechanics in Orlando, FL) I need a new ECU. The reason, I have nearly fried(for lack of a better word) the old one. Because of all the stereo and lighting upgrades I've done. The laundry list of problems I've had to replace or fix are as so

1. Alternator and battery (by choice) $900 almost a year ago
2. Radiator and belt (not by choice, but by dealership) $800 just 2 months ago
3. Electrical and or Alternator failure (not by choice) $300 just 1 month ago.
4. Headlight and Tailight bulb replacement (not by choice, but by dealership) $250 less than 2 weeks ago
5. Oil light blinking in turns and so far no mechanic will touch it because of of the things I've done to it. Their answer replace the ECU. $1000 to get it replaced(estimate).

So in summing up what do I do? I have less than a year before my PT is payed for. It only has 48K on it and I've put about $3K in it to make it look good and so I'll feel better about being me while driving it. But I'm closing in on $3K just to keep it alive. Is it worth it? Did I kill my PT? Why can't I have my cake and eat it too? Help me out on this one.
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 10:56 am
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Location: louisville, kentucky, USA.
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Dump it...
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 11:56 am
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Location: El Cajon, CA, USA.
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the added electric components won't by themselves cause oil light or ECU problems. If they were not installed with long term thought, or you have been using them in ways not intended, it would cause stress to other electrical parts. I understand the compulsion to have all the gadgets, but am saddened when the money for accessories is easily spent, but maintenance and upkeep is 'too much'.
If the oil light is flashing, have you checked the level and pressure?
When the upgraded alternator was installed, did it include protection from high amp loads to the sensitive components? The ECU controls the ALT field.
In stereo terms, does the added charging system go full on like a basic stereo when the key is turned on, or does it ramp up to full volume like a high-end stereo?
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 04:20 pm
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That's an aweful lot of audio you've got in the car. The question is: is it worth going through electrical components left and right for spl bragging rights? I would think about selling off some of that stuff and downgrading to a system that's a little more manageable. Just a thought.

On a side note, what kind of a difference do you notice with the dynamat?
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 06:28 pm
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Well first off The stereo fades in. It doesn't come on full on. And despite it all I never really turn it up full on unless I'm tryin to show off. The system is managable its just a 12" JL Audio W7 with a JL audio 500/1 on it one sub one amp setup. Also all the door speakers have been upgraded to JL components witha JL e-series amp to run them, packed together with an Alpine headunit. So its not like I have this bangin 4 sub 4 amp setup in my PT. Its a sleeper hit. A sub that at low volumes sounds clean and polite. But if I choose to crank it, it'll hold its own. So I never really had any electrical problems until after I got it back from the dealership after they replaced the radiator and a belt. Since then I've been in and out of my Alternator's guys shop at least half a dozen times getting it fixed.

As far as the oil light goes. I'm burning it. A mechanic here in town told me that I'm burinig it for some reason, but the reason that I'm having electrical problems is due to my stereo and my alternator. Its burning up my ECU and it needed replacing. SO tomorrow my car goes back to the dealership for what might be and extended stay to be overhauled(I wish) and see if its the ECU or something else. I priced an ECU from the dealership at $555 not including the cost to install it. So I'm still not sure what to do, I love that car but my trust has been shattered because of the recent events. I catch myself listening more and more to engine and the looking at the dash lights at night to see if there dimming or not. I want to drive back home to VA but I'm not sure my car can handle 11+ hours on the road or not. Its a tough time. Keep the comments coming.

Oh and the dynamat works wonders but if you're planning on selling the car its a one time application. Once its on, its on. with the windows down the sound escapes(of course) but I got all 4 doors done and the rear hatch(which is real heavy and its hard on the shocks due to the weight so be careful. But with the windows up, if I decide to crank it I might need ear plugs! It holds in the sound well.
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 07:28 pm
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the question is what do you want to do ??
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Old 26 Apr 2006, 07:44 pm
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Thanks for not taking it personal. Just trying to help.
Since the problem was after the dealer worked on or near that alt., I'd say there may be a connection. I hate to jump to the "it never did that before" conclusion, but it may be the case here. A good charging system check (pulling the surface charge from the battery, then monitoring the voltage from crank through a minute of high speed operation) should give an indication of what is going on. When an Alt. is upgraded, it can overpower the other components. Kind of like putting a V8 in a Civic. It will idle okay, but if you use the full power, it will break other parts. Your charging system could cause surges through the harness, ground connection, battery cables and ECU that are more than they are able to handle. Running the system with the engine off will discharge the battery, causing the charging system to charge at a high rate when the car is started. This is what needs to be measured, to see if the Alt. is charging over what the system was designed for.
One more thing, this forum is full of tales of ground problems. Check to see if all your ground straps are connected. It might be something simple and common.

Having the dealer rebuild the engine is probably the most expensive way to get the job done. Check into local rebuilders and wrecking yards. There should be a good rebuilt or used engine within 300 miles that would be less than $1000.
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Old 27 Apr 2006, 12:01 am
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That's a lot for a stock ecu. You can get a Stage 1 performance ecu for a PT turbo for $350. It's not hard to install either. Takes 15-30 minutes. For $1000 you are getting ripped.
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Old 27 Apr 2006, 02:46 pm
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If you are buying anything from a dealer ,you are getting ripped off.
I agree with Mean Green
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Old 27 Apr 2006, 11:09 pm
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Well this is whats going on from the dealership. I gave them a laundry list of problems from bumps and noises to leaks and squeaks. And told them to see what is what. It'll cost me $1800 to fix these problems. And they are the following

1. 2 oil leaks, one from the oil pan and the other from above the oil filter, both need fixing.
2. Front brakes need replacing from rotors on up
3. I need a passenger side front sway bar replaced
4. A tune up and engine treatment or transmission flush.

As far as the ECU goes according to the dealership its normal. However its the PCM that is giving me the problem. The PCM according to the dealership regulates the voltage of the car. Since I have a high output alternator the PCM will only allow a predestined amount of wattage set by Chrysler to enter the vehicle. So I may have a high output alternator but the PCM won't allow any of the high output into the vehicle and in turn its causing the battery not to get properly charged. So basically I'm screwed either way. I need this PT to work and it'll be paid for by years end. I've decided that its worth it to keep it but to lay off some of the customzing and maybe deal with what I have. So this is getting done by tomorrow and I thought all of you should know. Your opinions are valued so keep them coming.
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