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2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Nov 2010, 06:38 pm
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Default 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

I own a used 2006 PT Cruiser (~75,000 miles) and over the past two months I have been having a problem of the car locking up and stopping while in drive. The car then refuses to start or even crank. Things to note: It is no longer under warranty, and it has slight front/passenger side collision damage (dinged bumper, fender, and cracked headlight).

The first time it locked up, I had it towed to a shop that told me something was blowing fuses and the anti-theft system was locking the car up like it was being stolen. They replaced the fuse and said they fixed some wiring that was shorting out and causing the blown fuse.

The second time it happened was last Friday, and I had to take it to a different shop. They found the same problem with the fuses/Anti-Theft system. They replaced the fuses and found a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that said the cause was the WCM (Wireless Control Module). In the dry weather, the key was apparently providing a static charge that was causing the WCM to malfunction and lock up the Anti-Theft system. Here's the TSB:

http://project-jk.com/images/tsb/TSB_08-007-08.pdf

That shop told me I would have to take it to a dealer to have the WCM replaced and the key reprogrammed. So I called up the nearest Chrysler dealership, and they quoted me $350 to replace the WCM and reprogram the key (Not terrible considering the horror stories you hear about dealership repairs).

I take the car to the dealership this morning and they run their diagnostics on the car and find the Totally Integrated Power Module (Really scary/expensive sounding name for what is basically a fuse box, also TIPM) to be at fault. When I questioned him about the bulletin for the faulty WCM, he really didn't have anything to say except the scan told him it was the TIPM. He said the cost to replace the TIPM would be $850 (Read at least $1000 total).

I really don't have $850+ to replace the TIPM, and really no desire to have it replaced knowing that the WCM is a known issue that needs to be replaced as well. I don't know a whole lot about cars, especially when it comes to these technical systems that only the manufacturer can replace. So I was wondering what I should do?

Do I let the dealer gouge me and replace the TIPM? Do I demand he replaces the WCM and hope the previous repairman and the TSB was correct? I'm really hesitant to drive my car around knowing it can shut off at any time and be unable to start up again. Has anyone else had this problem? I've read similar horror stories involving the TIPM and the WCM on Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep cars, but very few seem to say whether it is one or the other that is the problem.

Help me (and hopefully in the process, many others) dealing with this apparently somewhat common issue!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06 Nov 2010, 07:43 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

First off, the TIPM isn't the fuse box. The fuse box is the power distribution center. Failure of the TIPM is extremely common.

Are you the original owner? That TSB is over 2 years old, and is pretty likely that it's already been repaired once.

Pay attention to the dealer. They have special equipment to determine these kinds of faults. You're simply going off a whim of an independent mechanic.
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2010 PT Cruiser Classic, Deep Water Blue
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06 Nov 2010, 09:39 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

Thanks for the reply. No, I am not the original owner, so I don't know what repairs have been done to it prior to my coming into the car. But I can safely say that the WCM hasn't been replaced in the last 3 years.

I'll probably end up just replacing the TIPM, but I'm still very concerned that my car has a faulty WCM that creates the very problems my car is experiencing. My best guess is that the TIPM is indeed faulty and that is why their scan is flagging it as a problem, but that it isn't what is causing the anti-theft system to lock, stop the car, and create no start/no crank situation. I guess my main problem with the situation is that most likely the WCM is causing the major issue with my car, but that the dealer's scan showing that the TIPM is bad is going to prevent them from worrying about the WCM, and the WCM will eventually cause my car to stall out in the middle of the road somewhere and create a potentially dangerous situation.

Anyone else ever deal with this situation?
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Old 08 Nov 2010, 11:00 am
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

I called the dealership this morning, and they convinced me it was the internal failure in the TIPM that was the culprit and not the malfunctioning WCM (which he called the Wireless Ignition Module, WIM). So I told them to just replace the TIPM. I'll keep everyone posted as to whether or not it works, or if I have this problem again. Hopefully this will be helpful to some future user searching online for a similar problem.
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Old 09 Nov 2010, 06:34 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

No, no after market alarm. No alarm at all.

I picked up my PT Cruiser from the dealership today. They replaced the TIPM, and they replaced a part called the PVC? valve that was broken and unrelated to the problem. When I asked the repairman at the dealership what that valve was, he didn't know. After asking someone else, he told me it sucks fumes in? or out? of the engine? It was only $45, so I didn't make a big deal about it.

They wanted to charge me $450 to replace a headlight bulb, which I couldn't afford, so I'll go w/o one headlight for a bit. Overall the cost ended up at $952.47 to replace the TIPM and that valve, and that is with my car still having the defective Chrysler manufactured WCM in it.

I'll keep everyone here posted on whether or not my car stays operational, or if these problems come back up. Thanks for the replies, and good luck to any other PT Cruiser/Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge owners who encounter such problems.
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Old 28 Dec 2010, 05:09 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

Hello.
New to the forum and have learnt a lot here.

I have a problem with my 2007 PT, non turbo.

I know the TIPM (or TICM, whichever you like, the Totally Integrated Power Control Module) is fu-bah, so my question is, is a TIPM the same as a PCM (powertrain control module) ?

I'm getting a sinking feeling it's not (for my avoiding the stealership plan)

Any help ? Thanks in advance

Chezz
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Old 28 Dec 2010, 06:48 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JThomp View Post
No, no after market alarm. No alarm at all.

I picked up my PT Cruiser from the dealership today. They replaced the TIPM, and they replaced a part called the PVC? valve that was broken and unrelated to the problem. When I asked the repairman at the dealership what that valve was, he didn't know. After asking someone else, he told me it sucks fumes in? or out? of the engine? It was only $45, so I didn't make a big deal about it.

They wanted to charge me $450 to replace a headlight bulb, which I couldn't afford, so I'll go w/o one headlight for a bit. Overall the cost ended up at $952.47 to replace the TIPM and that valve, and that is with my car still having the defective Chrysler manufactured WCM in it.

I'll keep everyone here posted on whether or not my car stays operational, or if these problems come back up. Thanks for the replies, and good luck to any other PT Cruiser/Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge owners who encounter such problems.

Man please do not take this wrong but for a Dealership to not know what a PVC vavlue is??? I cant hardly belive that---- and then to charge $45 is like way out there--I think i got one from N.A.p,A, for like $12
and if you are serious about charging $450 for a $30 headlight Again I just can not belive that its at the most a 45 minute job

I know there are some things that have to be done at a dealership and they do have a lot of info that other shops dont have access tom, and they some times have special tools but is just STUPID talk about rapeing a person
good thing you didnt have a timing belt done they might have asked for your house

I am glad you got it back and running but id sure be looking for a diffrent repair shop for aanything else
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Old 28 Dec 2010, 08:42 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

Coloradopt,

Welcome to the forum.

The TIPM is another name for the fuse box in the 2006+ PT Cruisers. Before that, the fuse box in the engine compartment was called the PDC (Power Distribution Center). There were two fuse boxes in the 2000-2005 PT Cruisers (one in the interior and oe in the engine compartment) but once the 2006 hit the streets, only one box with all the relays and fuses was put in the engine compartment (TIPM).

From PT Do-It-Yourself.net:
Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) is serviced as a unit with the engine compartment wire harness. If any internal circuit of the TIPM or the TIPM housing is faulty or damaged, the entire TIPM and engine compartment wire harness unit must be replaced.

The PCM (Powertrain Control Module) is another name for the main computer so to answer your question, NO they are not the same.
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Old 28 Dec 2010, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

Thanks so much

That was pretty much exactly what i thought from what I was researching, but wanted some good advice and the question answered personally, so I really appreciate it.

My PT blew the TICM today, 15 days out of warranty and at 25000 miles and I'm pretty upset about the $1000 the dealerships want to fix it, so I was looking to get it rebuilt or refurb'd at about $250 at a company in MA, by removing it, sending it to them and then replacing it myself when they send it back, thus also avoiding having to have it flashed for my car.

However they sent me materials and instructions for the PCM saying it was the same thing and I just didn't think so from the name and the diagram. Looking at the picture you posted on another thread had me 98% convinced, but now I'm 100

So I'll go back to them and see if they can actually do the correct module.

Ta!
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Old 28 Dec 2010, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Cruiser Help! (TIPM? WCM?)

...I'm just a blathering idiot...

Last edited by Chromenut; 01 Jan 2011 at 05:45 am.
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