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2008 PT Cruiser electrical probelms

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Old 28 Dec 2011, 01:43 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1
Default 2008 PT Cruiser electrical probelms

Hi Everyone,

I have a 2008 PT Cruiser, and lately it's been having some electric problems. After I've been driving for about 25 minutes, some of the lights on the dash will come on and the gauges will work erratically. As well, the car will start to jerk a bit, losing speed and then jumping back up again.

I just replaced the battery, and that had no effect. Anyone experienced this before or have any insights on what the problem might be?

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Old 28 Dec 2011, 03:07 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 5,324
Default Re: 2008 PT Cruiser electrical probelms

Hi Westbrook. First, welcome to the forums. Next, take a moment and visit our introductory page, create a new thread and introduce yourself. Just part of our PT family standard op procedures. You can find that at Welcome New PT Cruiser Members - PT Cruiser Forum

As to the electrical, sounds like a loose connection. Now, the '06 and up models are known for having weak grounding systems. The tie's to ground are all over the place on this car, but most are so poorly done that the connections on many, at least on my car, are painted, keeping you from getting good grounding. My primary suggestion would be to follow the steps I've detailed below and if that doesn't work, then use the parts catalog or OEM Service Manual to find the ground straps. Pull each individually and make sure they have good connections at both ends. That took me about a week to complete, in the evening when I had time and over two weekends. There are lots and lots of ground connections to look at.

My first suggestion to you is to pull your battery and make sure your terminals are clean. Also, the cable connections to the battery, the lugs, are a POS on these cars so check them carefully to make sure there's no corrosion and that they can be clamped tightly to the battery terminals.

After removing your battery, pull you air cleaner cover off, then pull off the top of your fuse panel (PDC). Check all your fuses for tight seat, then feel underneath and make sure you don't feel any loose connections. Here's a block diagram of the PDC:

Now, below the PDC is the TIPM, or Totally Integrated Power Module. Follow my next step first, and check out the cable connections to your PCM. If after you have checked the fuses/relays and the PCM, and the problem still exists, you need to pull the TIPM, flip it over (carefully) and check the cable connections on the back. This is where my problem was, a loose connector that appeared to have gotten water splashed on it.

Here's the TIPM, it's mount (also air cleaner mount), and the TIPM cable harness:

As I was saying above, you need to check the connections at the PCM (Powertrain Control Module)). DO NOT PULL ON THE PCM! Leave it mounted, just check the cable connections to it to make sure they are clean and tight. Here's the PCM, it's mounted on your firewall:

So, follow these steps and you may be able to find your problem, maybe:
  • Pull battery, clean terminals
  • Check battery cable connections for corrosion and tightness
  • Check fuses and relays in the PCD
  • Check cable connections at the PCM
  • Pull and check cable connections to the TIPM

Now, before you do ANYTHING, I would highly suggest you go to the Tech & Performance Forum and download the parts catalog for your year PT. Also, any other documentation there that you think will assist you. It's all free, so get what you can. Go through the parts catalog if you can't find where the PDC/TIPM is, it's pretty clear there.

Any other questions, feel free to post back. Also, if you discover the problem please let us know what it was.
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Old 01 Nov 2013, 10:14 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: California
Posts: 3
Default Re: 2008 PT Cruiser electrical probelms

Same issues with my car AND I have a window that will randomly roll down and refuse to roll up. Usually happens when I'm headed to the big city for the day :/
I'm taking it to the service dept. tomorrow morning and I sincerely hope they figure it out. I'll suggest they look at all of the wiring for grounding issues.

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battery drainage, dashboard, electical, power loss, pt cruiser

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