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Thought it was a TIPM problem but…

 
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Old 02 Oct 2015, 06:14 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Default Thought it was a TIPM problem but…

So I had some random problems with my PT Cruiser Convertible. I considered changing the TIPM because that seemed to be the root cause of other posters issues. But it turned out to be a bad body ground.

There were Symptoms that I had been living with and making minor changes to attempt to correct. I was working through lower priced component changes as I went.
Engine Fan continued to run for long periods after shutoff. I changed the High and Low Speed Engine fan relays. It had a rough idle when A/C compressor engaged. I changed the TPS, Idle Air Valve, and PCV. This seemed to improve idle quality.

Then I started to get other Intermittent Symptoms, Air bag light on dash and chime occurred randomly when a passenger was in front passenger seat. Turn signal had high flash speed before any other light issues noted. RH front lights all out at once. Then Low Beam and Turn signal/side marker light came back. Then all RH front lights out expect side marker.
And the Horn stopped working but that wasn’t intermittent.

So I was looking for the source of the issue and was convinced it was the TIPM based on my web searches. I would have replaced it without any more diagnosis but the convertible version of the TIPM was a lot more expensive than the sedan (wagon).

Then I got a No Start – Cranked but would not start. It got towed to the dealer. I wrote a note with a list of my symptoms and put it on the front seat. The technician was not informed of the list with other issues I had and his diagnosis for the no start was a bad fuel pump. I was having a hard time believing that the fuel pump would go bad at the same time as all the other electrical issues. So I talked to him and asked that he spent additional time (which I paid for) to diagnose and put direct power on the fuel pump.

The fuel pump wasn’t bad. The original test with the circuit tester applied voltage to the pump but the body ground was bad so it didn’t get the amperage required. So appeared there was power to the pump but it just wasn’t strong enough, which is why he was convinced the pump was bad.

After that he determined the body ground was bad.

So after the repair was done everything works except the air bag light still comes on intermittently. I have a Sebring and it has the same problem. Still not sure why but it appears to be a seat sensor.

The lesson is to make sure your mechanic has all the background info you provide. There can be a disconnect between the service writer and mechanic. I asked if he had read the note I left and was told he had. Then I asked him face to face and found out he had not been informed of it.
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Old 03 Oct 2015, 08:12 am
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 298
Default Re: Thought it was a TIPM problem but…

I can understand everyone wants a quick fix. Me included (not to mention cheap) BUT with a modern car there is so much that can go wrong, that pulling parts just isn't the answer. You will wind up paying more and I think causing more problems than what you start with.

I would NOT change PCM's and TIPM's unless you are pretty sure that is the problem. Without a pro grade scanner I don't see that happening.

This is just my unprofessional opinion. Suggestions on this site are only that and NOT a repair manual and no magic.

Knowledge is power put you still need the skilset and the tools.
As the song says, "Know when to hold them know when to fold them"

Mike
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Old 03 Oct 2015, 11:26 am
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 2
Default Re: Thought it was a TIPM problem but…

I appreciate your thoughts Mike, but I have fixed so many other issues by comparing comments on user boards with my symptoms. When there is a demonstrated weakness in a part design, I'm willing to roll the dice and try the solution others have found. If I had been able to purchase a $200 TIPM to try that solution, I think I would have done it. Obviously the issue was a central point electrical issue. The surprise to me was that the ground was only degraded and not completely failed. My expectation was that various circuits in the TIPM were bad as corrosion spread but not the whole thing.

I would suggest that the mechanic did a worst job of analysis by trying to fix only one failure instead of considering other issues that were present. What I heard was from the dealer is 'the pump is bad and they had to get the car running before the other issues could be addressed'. That trial and error repair would have added $600+ to my bill.

My point in posting was to give others another item to review before they replaced a TIPM. And to be careful with an 'expert's' diagnosis even if they were using the correct shop tools.
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Old 03 Oct 2015, 01:31 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,348
Default Re: Thought it was a TIPM problem but…

Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtFoldUp View Post
I appreciate your thoughts Mike, but I have fixed so many other issues by comparing comments on user boards with my symptoms. When there is a demonstrated weakness in a part design, I'm willing to roll the dice and try the solution others have found. If I had been able to purchase a $200 TIPM to try that solution, I think I would have done it. Obviously the issue was a central point electrical issue. The surprise to me was that the ground was only degraded and not completely failed. My expectation was that various circuits in the TIPM were bad as corrosion spread but not the whole thing.

I would suggest that the mechanic did a worst job of analysis by trying to fix only one failure instead of considering other issues that were present. What I heard was from the dealer is 'the pump is bad and they had to get the car running before the other issues could be addressed'. That trial and error repair would have added $600+ to my bill.

My point in posting was to give others another item to review before they replaced a TIPM. And to be careful with an 'expert's' diagnosis even if they were using the correct shop tools.
I blamed my left fender bad grounds to the previous owner who threw away the inner wheel shield headlight access doors permitting a mixture of rain and winter road melt material to splash into the area where the grounds are bolted to left inner fender.
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Old 04 Oct 2015, 08:15 am
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 298
Default Re: Thought it was a TIPM problem but…

Yes the dealer and other mechanics that do the parts change are a part of the equation. In a perfect world we should not have to worry about that as they should be able to fix it without doing that. My mechanic is pretty good and does honor his warranty and unlike the dealer does not charge me if he can't fix it.
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