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POOR IDLE, 303 Code

 
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Old 26 May 2011, 01:19 pm
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Default POOR IDLE, 303 Code

Hoping someone can help.....I just bought a Magnesium 2006 Standard PT Cruiser at an auction for a company vehicle....68,000 miles..We're going to add stars on the hood and doors, along with proper military markings to make it look like a WWII Staff car....We love the car, but here's the problem: P0303 Code: Rough idle, idles anywhere from 500RPM to 900RPM....Check engine light comes one, and will blink when stoppped. At speed, the light stops flashing, and sometimes even goes out for a few seconds or minutes. Slowing down from speed, the light either comes on, or starts to blink...We changed the Plugs and Wires, and gave it the Seafoam treatment in the vacume hose. The Vacume hose seems to be not too tight on the intake manifold cover. Is there supposed to be a hose clamp there?,,,It could be anything from a fried exhaust valve (Hence the Sea Foam) or a bat cat converter, bad fuel injector, PCV Valve, O2 Sensor....am I missing something? The car starts easily, and I drove it home from he Georgia Auction 950 miles. No issues on the 950 mile drive, except a battery that was garbage and subsequently replaced when we got home with it. The gas is all good (Shell) and there is a can of Seafoam in there for good measure. Any help to keep me from a dealer diagnostic would be appreciative. I get the shakes when I think about taking a car to the dealer...I have NEVER had any luck at a New Car Dealer actually fixing the problem the first time. The good news is that the car is is good condition cosmetically, and we got it for 3500USD.
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Old 26 May 2011, 01:43 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

Welcome to the forum.

OK, do you know that the P0303 means that there's a misfire detected in cylinder #3. You've changes the plugs and wires and that's the first thing that should have been done. The next, since you don't know the history of the car, is a compression check of all the cylinders.

If, of course, the compression check shows low in #3, you have some internal work to be done.

There's no clamp on the vacuum lines but they should go onto the the connection pretty tight to stop any vacuum loss. Replace the hose if there's any play.

The fault light says one of the sensors picked up an abnormal condition. If the fault light is blinking, the manual suggest you don't drive the vehicle until the fault can be diagnosed and fixed or else serious damage could be done.
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Old 26 May 2011, 02:22 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

it does not have to be a dealer who can do a check of the car

one other thingI would try is to start car take a can of starting fluid and spray around your intake nothing should happen if it changes at all you most likly have a leak of some kind---its a good place to start either way
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Old 26 May 2011, 02:32 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

Dear Crewzin,

Thanks for the speedy reply.....Yes, Misfire in Cyl. 3. I knew that...I kinda thought so about the compression...Does that mean rings?...right there with you about the blinking light...I'll change the hose, but in theory, a good old fashioned hose clamp would work, no? Assuming of course the hose integrity is there....My guess, there would probably be some loss of compression somewhere, just because it's the way of things...We bought the car at auction, but why would it be there in the first place? Most of these cars we see at government auctions have serious issues...So I am assuming loss of compression in cylinder three...but at times, it has run perfect, and with no light for a fifty miles or so....we disconnected the battery after every attempt at service to see if the codes come back...Once, we got a P0340 code!...It was running perfect, I went around a corner fast, and all of a sudder, it's running like junk....checked the code, P-0340, Cam Position Sensor...It was humid, been humid for weeks here in PA now...Anyway, the car dried out so to speak, and the code went away never to come back...the misfire code did though....Anyway, I am going to try a hose clamp first, then if and when that doiesn't work, a new hose...I might even have one handy. Wish me luck. Fingers crossed.

Kudos to you and this forum by the way, I have leaned much about the venerable PT...Dad had a Dodge Dealership for 25 years. I grew up in the 60's and 70's around Dodge Cars. I'm definitely a Mopar guy, BUT, it's been a few years since I owned a Chrysler Product (Or is this a Daimler product?) Anyway, Thanks again for the advice, and the forum.

Cheers

Colonel Hogan
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Old 26 May 2011, 03:02 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

When you had the P0340 code, did you change the sensor? Did you use OEM or a aftermarket sensor? Our PT's do NOT like aftermarket sensors at all, many have tried them and the either don't work or only lasts a short time.
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Old 26 May 2011, 03:29 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

No, I didn't replace the part with the 0340 code.....There was much condensation that day, and I just sort of assumed because I was going around a corner fast, a turnpike on-ramp downhill curve, that a bead of water possibly from the AC Condenser found its way into the plug...I assumed this because the code never came back.....Should it have been replaced? It wouldn't exacerbate a 303 code issue would it?....Also, tried the hose clamp, the replaced the Vacume hose....no affect. At this point, I am thinking we got stuck with a hunk-O-junk, and we'll have to either spend a grand on a new exhaust valve, or 1600 on a ring job or head gasket. It's too bad. I always wanted one of these, and this is killing the enjoyment of the purchase......Anyway, no other cheap fixes left to try.....If this is so, it's our fault, buyer beware....Let me know about the 340 code sensor and its relation to a 303 code....You guys are all PT Geniuses by the way, and you are providing a valuable service with your knowledge and love for these cars. May the face of the Almighty smile upon you.....There is one hope for a cheap fix, if its a fuel injector, or if the seafoam works over time...

Hogan
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Old 26 May 2011, 04:54 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

Hogan,

No, don't think the P0340 would have anything to do with the P0303 problem. You keep on saying about the expense, but you haven't done the compression check yet, have you? Did I miss something? Still might have a vacuum leak like Cruserdad suggested. Many owners have had that either on the seam of the upper intake or where the upper and lower intakes comes together.

Great picture BTW. The PT really does fit 100% into the theme your going for.
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Old 26 May 2011, 05:16 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

No, no compression test done yet......I guess I missed this...vacume leak at the manifold cover?...I removed this to get to the plugs, there were what looked like 4 silicone gaskets, rectangular...they seemed in good condition, but I didn''t pay too much attention to them.....Are these the gaskets....I would LOVE it NOT to be a compression issue...it's a 2006, and 68K miles, when we bought it I though, OK, how fouled up could it be?....It's going to go to a good mechanic for proper diagnosis after I do the starting fluid thing, but the real issue here is finding a good mechanic where I live...We only have a few shops in our little berg, and they are all hacks. I have to go 30 miles for a proper mechanic for my MBZ...I wish the guy worked on Chryslers, he's a genius, but local Chrysler mechanics that are good don't exist here...Fortunately, I have one of those little old time Dodge dealerships about 3 blocks from my home...So well see....Thanks again, for all the info AND THE HOPE that I may not have to Spend a grand+
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Old 26 May 2011, 05:16 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

Love the hardware on the top kind of like a really early Hummer didnt they call that a "Ma-Duce" or something like that
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Old 26 May 2011, 05:29 pm
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Default Re: POOR IDLE, 303 Code

Yes, that's Ma Duece...John Browning's .50 Caliber M2 (Hence Ma Duece) Heavy Machine gun now serving proudly for almost 100 years....That's what we do at KAR, replica weapons and explosives...We have several versions, but it's the Plastic version I think we're going to mount up there...removable of course, with suction cups, just for Parades and special events....Actually, if you want to see the first "Hummer", it was also Chrysler Powered....Circa 1973 or so.
Google XR-311 Combat Support Vehicle...You tell me if it's the Hummers Daddy....going to the auto parts store right now for the starting fluid...

Last edited by Colonel_Hogan; 26 May 2011 at 08:49 pm.
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