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Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

 
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 10:57 am
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Default Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

I have an '03 Touring Edition. Recent change of plugs and wires, and now timing belt. My current issues are that it stalls often coming to a stop or low idle going around a turn. It also doesn't idle properly just sitting at rest. I did clean the IAC.

Recently had the timing belt replaced and it was just rechecked this morning and lined up properly. I supposedly have a cracked cam shaft sensor, which was new in June but also told that isn't the cause of my problem.

The tech told me I have a bad computer. With the car running, he tapped the computer and it immediately stalls out! He said that once the car warms up it is more susceptible to stalling due to the computer heating up.

Does this make any sense to anyone? Do I really need to take to a dealer to set up the computer? After just dropping $1,000 on timing belt, this is very painful!
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

Sounds more like a dirty connector to the PCM (computer).

Are you throwing any trouble code? If so, what are they?

You might try this "tapping" experiment yourself and see if the engine changes in some way. If so, removed the plugs from the PCM and rinse them thoroughly with automotive contact cleaner. Assure there's no dirt or crud in them. Then reinstall securely. And look for broken and/or tattered wires going to the PCM.

Also, is the cam sensor actually cracked? And why do you suspect it is? If you can see a visual crack in it, then replace it. If not, just remove the plug from it and clean it as mentioned above.

Overall, PT Cruisers do sometimes have bad PCM's. But the symptoms you describe are not the routine ones reported. A dirty PCM connector plug is probably more likely and cost very little to check.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 11:29 am
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Sounds more like a dirty connector to the PCM (computer).

Are you throwing any trouble code? If so, what are they?

You might try this "tapping" experiment yourself and see if the engine changes in some way. If so, removed the plugs from the PCM and rinse them thoroughly with automotive contact cleaner. Assure there's no dirt or crud in them. Then reinstall securely. And look for broken and/or tattered wires going to the PCM.

Also, is the cam sensor actually cracked? And why do you suspect it is? If you can see a visual crack in it, then replace it. If not, just remove the plug from it and clean it as mentioned above.

Overall, PT Cruisers do sometimes have bad PCM's. But the symptoms you describe are not the routine ones reported. A dirty PCM connector plug is probably more likely and cost very little to check.
Regarding the Cam Shaft Sensor, the tech rechecking the timing belt pulled it and looked at it. I will replace that myself since the part should be under warranty.

I will absolutely try all of the above when I have the car back later today.

When you say automotive contact cleaner, is that a specific brand I can get at local parts store. I want to make sure I get the right stuff.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

any electrical parts cleaner
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

If sensor not warranty don't worry about it. Not that unusual to see a crack. Only the area where the plug goes in has any composite in it. The flat area just all plastic. If you can duplicate the tapping thing. This for sure not your issue. if you do need a computer. Don't go to the dealer. Do it your self. Couple hundred bucks or less if you order on line. Really easy to do.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

be very cautious with electrical cleaner. it is more flammable than starting fluid. i learned the hard way. in my case it ignited from a fan motor.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DagnyT View Post
Regarding the Cam Shaft Sensor, the tech rechecking the timing belt pulled it and looked at it. I will replace that myself since the part should be under warranty.

I will absolutely try all of the above when I have the car back later today.

When you say automotive contact cleaner, is that a specific brand I can get at local parts store. I want to make sure I get the right stuff.
Lowes and other places sell CRC brand electrical contact cleaner. It's safe for use on plastic connectors. There is also a lubricant for electrical contacts and it removes moisture as well.

I use both all the time. Just MAKE SURE that all power is turned OFF when using it. It drys pretty quickly.
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Last edited by wingman55; 09 Nov 2015 at 12:54 pm.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 05:35 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

Of course I get it home and beat on it and beat on it and it won't stall out. Tech said, he did pull all the plugs, said it did pop a code for the cam shaft sensor and is convinced it is the computer.

And now my air don't work!!!! He must have not charged it back up right after checking the timing belt. UGH!!

I need a drink and then need to figure out WTF to do.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 08:51 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

I would suggest pulling all the connectors off the computer and make sure there is no oil or water inside the connectors. Make sure they are making good contact.

I would suggest you get a OBDII Scan Tool if you don't have one already. It will pay for itself in no time at all. You can order it at Harborfreight.com and its reasonable. Make sure you get the right one and post if you are not sure.
You need to diagnose the problem yourself with the proper tools.
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Old 09 Nov 2015, 08:57 pm
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Default Re: Do I Really Have a Bad Computer?

Code may not come back until required drive cycles are completed.
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