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Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

 
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 06:25 pm
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Default Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

Hey guys! First off I want to thank you all for the plethora of information I've gotten from this site for months. I wish I was half as smart of some of you guys. Much respect.

Onto the issue. I have 2005 PT Cruiser: Touring Edition. It's been running fine until recently I've been having a problem with acceleration. After the car has been sitting for awhile, when I start driving it the throttle hesitates for a few seconds while I'm getting up to speed (it happens between 25 - 30 mph). When it happens the RPMs don't jump up or anything like that it just seems like poor throttle response. Up until today, when it happens I left off the gas pedal and then press it again and it goes fine.

Today when it happened I just keep the pedal where it was and after a few seconds it started accelerating normally. The car's performance going uphill is not as good as it use to be either. I'm assuming these 2 issues are related someone.

The odd thing is the "noticeable" acceleration issue only happens after the car has been sitting for several hours. Even though, it happens only once (so far).

The only other symptoms I have is a persistent check engine light with codes P0031 and P0037 (02 sensor heater circuit). The CEL will go away for a day or 2 and then come back. Each time I do the "key dance" and it still only give me those 2 codes. I've also removed the negative battery cable so that the computer can "re-learn" the system just to make sure something wasn't being missed. I'm still only getting those 2 codes. Any ideas or suggestions?? Thanks in advance for your time and knowledge.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 08:02 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

Questions: What is the mileage? When was the last time the plugs and wires were replaced? What, if anything, have you done to try and fix it yourself?
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 08:12 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

Mileage is a little over 112,000. I got it last July (mileage was around 102,000). I haven't had a tune-up since I've had it. No issues until now, except the O2 codes and I had the crankshaft position sensor replaced about 2 months ago. I myself haven't done anything significant other than looking over the wiring and such. My automotive aptitude is lacking to be honest. Don't want to get in over my head. I wanted to do some research to find a starting point. If I could fix it myself instead of paying a garage it would be great. By searching the forums I've found a dozen directions I could go (plugs/wires, clogged cat, throttle position sensor, etc) but I thought I could get a better idea by posting my specific issue.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 08:38 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

Do you know if the timing belt was changed? The recommended time for that procedure is 100,000 miles. If NO, that belt could be stretching. Your running on borrowed time if it hasn't been changed and with the belt, the water pump and belt tensioner should also be changed. If you need a garage or a dealer to do it, your looking in the neighborhood of $800 to $1200. Sorry for that knod of news.

If you want to wait, start with the basics since you don't know when things were done with new plugs and wires. It's basic maintenance and we have good instructions on how to do it yourself if you do any kind of maintenance yourself anyway.
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...just CREWZIN along! . . . PT Cruiser Links Moderator
2000 PT. Original Owner, 123,000 miles
MY technical suggestions are given in GOOD FAITH without total guarantee, if in doubt go to a garage.
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Visit My Home Page www.CREWZIN.com
I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 08:48 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

Ah ok. I'll start with the plugs and wires. I'm under warranty and my deductible is $100 so it's not going to hurt too bad to take it in. I'll replace the plugs and wires and if that doesn't do the trick then I'll take it to the garage. Now if it is the timing belt will the issue begin to occur more often, other than when the engine is first heating up? I first noticed it last Monday and it has done it a handful of times and no more than once a day.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 08:52 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

Also, are there any other symptoms that would point to the timing belt. Rough idle? Difficulty starting?
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 08:53 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

With 112,000 miles on the PT Cruiser I would suggest checking the Catalyst Converter. One way of doing this is to use a pressure gauge to check a CAT. Take out the O2 sensor on the exhaust manifold. Use a cork with a hole in the center with a fitting in it for the hose on the pressure gauge. The cork must fit snugly into the O2 sensor hole. Start the car if it reads more than about 2 pounds at idle it's probably plugged or the exhaust is plugged. You may also have to test at the O2 sensor after the CAT to see if the exhaust system is plugged after the CAT. You should consider doing this before replacing 02 sensors or any other parts.
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Old 09 Jul 2015, 09:20 pm
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

One last detail to throw in that might help. The issue usually happens when I leave work, in generally the same area each time. When I leave work I drive slowly until I get past the guard house. Once past it I start to speed up and it's the same little stretch of road that the issue occurs each time. I don't know if that helps or not but I thought I'd mention it. Other than those occurrences, it's only happen twice: at the top of the road I live on (pretty steep hill).
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Old 10 Jul 2015, 09:00 am
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Default Re: Sporadic acceleration issue. Help appreciated.

The area where it happens shouldn't have anything to do with it, it's the amount of travel after start-up. The hill could be a clue because your using more fuel to get to the top so there could be some sort of blockage in fuel delivery but then that should happen more often. A container of fuel additive to clean the injectors wouldn't hurt. Might not help, but won't hurt. I use Chevron Techron or sometimes STP injector cleaner once in awhile.
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2000 PT. Original Owner, 123,000 miles
MY technical suggestions are given in GOOD FAITH without total guarantee, if in doubt go to a garage.
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I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.
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