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2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

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Old 23 Sep 2014, 07:44 am
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Default 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

2001 Limited, 128,000 miles, automatic transmission. Timing belt and water pump replaced at about 100K miles.

Issue #1 - Get an occasional CEL that results in a P0300 code (Random/Multiple Misfire). This has occurred perhaps 5-6 times in the past 2 years and when it does it always seems to be after having traveled at highway speeds for a minimum of 20-30 miles. It has always cleared itself after a few restarts. When this first started happening I changed plugs and wires & intake manifold gaskets and ran many bottles of injector cleaner through the system. Went 8-10 months with no CEL until last week when it reared its head again and then cleared. Changed plugs and gaskets again for good measure.

Issue #2 - Random occasional engine stalls that seem to happen only at idle or slightly above (sitting at stoplight, backing out of/ pulling into a parking space). I say "seems to" because this has never happened when I am driving the car. This is my daughters car and she has had this occur 3 times in the past 6 weeks. BTW, I get no codes when this happens which makes troubleshooting a real treat.

I swapped cars with my daughter for 2 1/2 weeks and I couldn't get the thing to stall on me one time. I only got the P0300 code mentioned above. Changed plugs, PCV valve, ran much fuel system cleaner and returned the car to her on Sunday. On Monday she reports that it stalled on her again as she is pulling into a parking space....... She is an hour or so away at college and is understandably nervous and not at all confident driving the car.

Any thoughts on whether the 2 issues are related and what to do next?

IAC valve perhaps? Crankshaft position sensor? Camshaft position sensor? Wiring harness issue? I'm grasping at straws here and really wish a specific code would pop up to help me figure this out.

Any advice is appreciated.

Last edited by Ether; 23 Sep 2014 at 09:12 am.
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Old 23 Sep 2014, 08:12 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

Hard to know.

But yes, the two issues are likely related to engine misfire.

A remaining likely culprit might be the cam position sensor. It is reported that these sometimes go bad on the 2001 PT. I weak coil might also cause this. But weak coils are rarely reported on the PT. Vacuum leak, low compression when hot, bad injector and weak fuel pressure could all possibly cause this too.

Start with the easy and inexpensive things first. You might try spraying WD-40 on the upper and lower manifold while the engine is running to see if the idle changes. And inspect the vacuum hose well from cracks. Running a compression check is also a good idea.

You might search the forum for the P0300 to see what comes up. And hopefully some more members will chime in soon.

Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 23 Sep 2014 at 08:17 am.
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Old 23 Sep 2014, 08:20 am
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

I see you joined a couple years ago, bu this is your first post...


My hunch is that problem is electrical. Intermittent problems are the worst - but they usually become permanent.

The stall is obviously more important than misfire, but likely he same problem.

Try to have daughter notice as many clues as possible when it happens - what is temp gauge at? Is A/C on when it happens? Had she been driving at highway speeds and then real slow? Car restart right away?
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Old 23 Sep 2014, 08:30 am
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

I have this problem on my 2007 PT Cruiser and about every 6 months or so I get the same rough idling and stalling after driving on the fwy for 25 miles. I feel that the problem is fuel related as I have used Techron Fuel Injection Cleaner to solve the problem. I believe its either carbon buildup on the valves or fuel injectors clogging up.
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Old 23 Sep 2014, 08:44 am
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

Could this be from old upstream o2 since it seems to only happen after highspeed driving.
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Old 23 Sep 2014, 09:42 am
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

Have the oxygen sensors checked or replaced. A bad O2 sensor will effect your idle & cause stalling at stop lights & stuff.

A code P0300 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
Faulty spark plugs or wires
Faulty coil (pack)
Faulty oxygen sensor(s)
Faulty fuel injector(s)
Burned exhaust valve
Faulty catalytic converter(s)
Stuck/blocked/leaking EGR valve / passages
Faulty camshaft position sensor

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Old 23 Sep 2014, 09:58 am
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

Thanks for the quick responses everyone.

I should have mentioned that I did check fuel pressure and it measures a steady 59 psi.

The car always restarts right away.

Best I can tell, the stalls occur when the engine is relatively cool. First one in August was less than a mile from home on her way to work sitting at a stoplight. Second one a few weeks ago backing out of her parking spot leaving her apartment first thing in the morning and yesterday pulling into a spot on her way to class after driving less than a mile.

Might there be a clue in that information? I replaced the top gaskets on the intake manifold but not the lower. I should have replaced all the gaskets but was pressed for time when I did the work. Hmm, perhaps with the engine not fully to operating temperature there is a small gap at the lower that seals better as the engine warms. Will do the spray test when I have access to the car this weekend. Will also replace the camshaft sensor as it is fairly inexpensive and simple to do.
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Old 23 Sep 2014, 10:04 am
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Default Re: 2001 Limited, a couple of issues. Maybe related?

Check the wiring harness underneath that goes to the crank pos sensor. See if it's chafed from rubbing on the drive axle.
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