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Problems with Deceleration

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24 Sep 2010, 04:01 pm
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Default Problems with Deceleration

Hi, Everyone.
I'm new to this forum, so please bear with me. I own a 2002 PT Cruiser that we inherited from my 80 yr old mother in law 3 yrs ago. It had roughly 60,000 miles on it when we got it, and just recently hit the 98,000 mile mark. It has driven flawlessly since we got it, until yesterday.

I had gone to fill it up and they were out of the 89 octane ethanol that I usually use and I was in a hurry, so I filled it up with the 87 octane. After driving at highway speed for approximately 45 minutes, I noticed a stumble or what seemed like a mis-fire when I let off of the gas to coast and adjust my speed to traffic. When I gave it gas, it was fine. It has not thrown any "check engine" lights, and my friend checked it out with his Snap-On scanner tool. It has no fault codes stored and everything checked out, according to the scan tool.

It doesn't do anything unusual under load-- going up hills, kicking it into passing gear,etc. Only on deceleration. I ran the 87 octane gas out yesterday, added a can of SeaFoam, and filled it up with the 89 Octane ethanol that I've always run in it, and today it was fine...didn't even hiccup once. Could this have really been octane-related, or is this just coincidental that it stopped doing this? Plugs and plug wires were changed around 85,000 miles and the air filter is clean.

Any input or suggections would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Stephen Scanlan
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Old 24 Sep 2010, 05:11 pm
Wishbone's Avatar
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

Maybe just a tank of bad gas? These cars are designed to run on 87 octane and that's just about what everyone uses. I do try and avoid the ethanol blends though and buy straight gas.
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Old 24 Sep 2010, 05:19 pm
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

I go along with Wishbone, probably a batch of bad gas.

Do you have the service records of the car from the mother-in-law? Was the transaxle ever flushed? Should have been done around 50K and due again soon. Also your coming up to a major expensive service which includes the timing belt and water pump. 5 to 7 hours of labor involved plus a couple other parts that will run yo in the neighborhood of $1000.
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Old 24 Sep 2010, 06:42 pm
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

Thanks for the input, guys. I live in Iowa, and I've been running the 89 octane Super Unleaded (which is ethanol here) since we got the vehicle, and I've never had any issues at all until this week.

To the best of my knowledge, the transaxle's never been flushed.Is that just a drain and re-fill operation, or does the torque converter need to be flushed out as well? Any idea of what that would cost to have done?

I had a break in my school schedule this past spring and was going to get the timing belt, tensioner and water pump done, even though I was at less miles than recommended. My mechanic pulled the timing cover and said it looked like the belt had been replaced at some point. The belt and tensioner were perfectly clean and had no evidence of wear on them. You could read the mfr's part number on the belt and everything looked practucally new, so we didn't mess with it.

I got the parts thru O'Reilly's at a pretty good discount by showing them my college student ID card. My local mechanic said he would do the job for $500 in labor, so I guess I'll just wait awhile before doing it. Is the PT's engine considered an "interference" design? If the belt goes while driving it, will I be driving valves into the pistons?

One other question while I'm at it here... do PT Cruiser front ends sound kind of clunky going over bumps? I've had the front end checked out by a local dealer and they tell me that there's nothing wrong with it. When I go over bumps, it sounds like I have a wooden box full of rocks strapped to the front axle. I can't complain too much, since we got the vehicle for nothing. If I were going to buy one and it sounded like this on a test drive, I would've looked at something else to buy.

Thanks for any additional input/comments,
Steve
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 24 Sep 2010, 06:51 pm
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

Steve,

The transaxle should be flushed and not just the pan dropped if you don't know the history. I'd have to guess around $150 for a full flush and make sure whoever does it ONLY uses ATF+4 fluid.

The front ends on the PT have given a lot of owners grief. The bushings and front wheel bearings on a lot of PT seems to wear out prematurely on SOME PT's. Others, like mine, have gone over 100,000 miles without any problems. If someone already checked out your front end, it's hard to say what the noise is. But make sure he checked all the parts including tie rods ends, struts and ball joints.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 25 Sep 2010, 07:13 am
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

Regarding wheel bearings...I don't have any noise, and the ground straps are still attached on both sides, but the front wheels get REALLY hot after driving for a while...too hot to touch. I've not experienced this with any other car. Is this a symptom of excess friction/wear in the wheel bearings, or is it normal? Anyone else notice this?

BTW, they are factory chrome 16" wheels; it's a 2001 model with 68800 miles.
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Old 25 Sep 2010, 07:54 am
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

A little search brings up these:

front wheels hot

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_t..._while_driving
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 09:25 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: Problems with Deceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by sscanlan View Post
Is the PT's engine considered an "interference" design? If the belt goes while driving it, will I be driving valves into the pistons?

Steve
No, but it is possible for the valves to hit one another if belt breaks - fairly rare, but it happens.
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