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Desperately need help!

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jun 2016, 09:32 pm
2g_DSM's Avatar
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Exclamation Desperately need help!

Okay so I took my Pt Cruiser off the road about a year ago due to not being able to afford the abnormally bad gas mileage of about 130 miles to a tank but besides that it was running fine, since its been off the road I start it from time to time. So onto the problem as of about 4 months ago I started having problems starting the car where it would crank but not start, so I gave up on it till aout a month or two ago. I assumed water must have gotten in the gas tank some how from sitting in snow all winter, so I put dry gas in it and new gas because I parked it a little low. Now I can get it to start and I've even driven it around the lawn, but it eventually stalls out after a while of idling even though it sounds like its running normal. After it stalls the positive battery terminal is hot and the car wont start again, and if I try to start it it either acts like a dead battery or the gauge cluster freaks out along with the door chime. I'm stumped as to what it could be and now I desperately need the car back as my daily drivers transmission just died and I'm tired of wasting time and money on the damn thing it breaks weekly. Thanks for any help! Its an 01 PT Cruiser Limited Edition with about 85,xxx miles on it if that helps!
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Old 20 Jun 2016, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

I see several problems here, and, unfortunately, I don't have much good news for you.

1. You're only getting 130 miles a tank? I average 225-250 between fillups with all-around driving (mixed hwy & city). And I don't usually run it down below 1/4. I think your engine needs a serious look.

2. The hot battery terminal tells me there's a short somewhere. I suspect that could be what's causing your electrics to go haywire on you.

3. Is your Check Engine light on? Is it throwing codes? To check, move the key between "Run" and "Off" about three or four times, ending in "Run." (Be careful not to start the engine or engage the starter.) You should hear a chime and see codes showing up on your odometer. They will read either "U0000" or "P0000." (The zeroes represent numbers.) Post them here and we can help you decipher them.

This is what I can offer as a starting point. Luckily, we have plenty of knowledgeable cruisers who can offer more assistance. Good luck.
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Old 20 Jun 2016, 10:53 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

Start by cleaning and tightening the battery clamps.
Then, put a battery charger on the car and be sure battery is fully charged, then see where you're at.
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Old 21 Jun 2016, 12:14 am
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

I would suggest first checking the wire harness from the crankshaft sensor to the PCM. Plenty of members have found the wire harness hanging down hitting the half shaft, rubbing through the harness and shorting wires to ground.
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Old 21 Jun 2016, 09:10 am
2g_DSM's Avatar
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesb View Post
I see several problems here, and, unfortunately, I don't have much good news for you.

1. You're only getting 130 miles a tank? I average 225-250 between fillups with all-around driving (mixed hwy & city). And I don't usually run it down below 1/4. I think your engine needs a serious look.

2. The hot battery terminal tells me there's a short somewhere. I suspect that could be what's causing your electrics to go haywire on you.

3. Is your Check Engine light on? Is it throwing codes? To check, move the key between "Run" and "Off" about three or four times, ending in "Run." (Be careful not to start the engine or engage the starter.) You should hear a chime and see codes showing up on your odometer. They will read either "U0000" or "P0000." (The zeroes represent numbers.) Post them here and we can help you decipher them.

This is what I can offer as a starting point. Luckily, we have plenty of knowledgeable cruisers who can offer more assistance. Good luck.
I always knew the gas mileage wasn't right but the car never had any problems running it ran pretty normal from what I remember, the car was my grandma's since like 03 and it was babied, and over the past 4 years it drove less than 3,000 miles a year.
The only check engine light it had when it was driving it was for the EGR which I cleaned out and the light turned back on maybe 100 miles later, that light been on for a few years now too. I'll try to see if it throws any when I'm home from work.
The possible short in the wiring was my fear I'm just not sure how that happened because when I parked it it was fine. Thanks for the help and fast replies I really appreciate it!
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Old 21 Jun 2016, 09:32 am
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

130 miles a tank is beyond horrific. These cars have 15 gallon tanks. That is less than 9 mpg. I generally do better with big blocks.

That indicates a serious problem. Look at possible causes:

1. Are you just idling and working on it without driving anywhere? Idling is 0 mpg. One time when I was tuning the carb on my 'cuda (non-op gas gauge since 1978) it wouldn't start and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. It couldn't be the gas since it only showed 68 miles on the trip odometer. Duh. If you run the car for 3 hours doing test and tune crap no miles show on the trip odometer, but that big Carter still swallows hi-test.
2. How much gas are you actually putting in? Is something keeping the tank from filling? Is the gauge inaccurate? Figure out your actual mpg.
3. Black smoke? Leaks? That gas is going somewhere. My car gets around 8 mpg when it is floored and it is a turbo. Something should show where that gas is going.
4. How old is the gas? Open the tank. Does it smell like turpentine? Modern fuel does not last long. Did you put Sta-bil or the like in it? Your gas may have gone bad. Try to run a few tanks of gas and cleaner through it. Hopefully that will solve your problems. Make sure to prep the car before letting it sit.

Your other problems sound electrical. That is common when you let a car sit. Can be the battery discharging over time. Clean all the cables and charge the battery. Look for any wires that a critter (squirrels are more sworn enemy!) might have eaten through.

Keep at it. Letting them sit is often worse than driving them constantly.
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Old 21 Jun 2016, 10:14 am
2g_DSM's Avatar
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fk5 View Post
130 miles a tank is beyond horrific. These cars have 15 gallon tanks. That is less than 9 mpg. I generally do better with big blocks.

That indicates a serious problem. Look at possible causes:

1. Are you just idling and working on it without driving anywhere? Idling is 0 mpg. One time when I was tuning the carb on my 'cuda (non-op gas gauge since 1978) it wouldn't start and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. It couldn't be the gas since it only showed 68 miles on the trip odometer. Duh. If you run the car for 3 hours doing test and tune crap no miles show on the trip odometer, but that big Carter still swallows hi-test.
2. How much gas are you actually putting in? Is something keeping the tank from filling? Is the gauge inaccurate? Figure out your actual mpg.
3. Black smoke? Leaks? That gas is going somewhere. My car gets around 8 mpg when it is floored and it is a turbo. Something should show where that gas is going.
4. How old is the gas? Open the tank. Does it smell like turpentine? Modern fuel does not last long. Did you put Sta-bil or the like in it? Your gas may have gone bad. Try to run a few tanks of gas and cleaner through it. Hopefully that will solve your problems. Make sure to prep the car before letting it sit.

Your other problems sound electrical. That is common when you let a car sit. Can be the battery discharging over time. Clean all the cables and charge the battery. Look for any wires that a critter (squirrels are more sworn enemy!) might have eaten through.

Keep at it. Letting them sit is often worse than driving them constantly.
I know I saved gas driving my dad's 01 4.7 Durango, and my turbo Eclipse around.

Since it got parked it's only been idling but only for maybe 20-30 Minutes and maybe a couple of laps around the lawn. I just put fresh gas in it last month which put it back up to quarter from empty. I didn't put anything in it prior to sitting, the only thing I've put in it is heet water remover + injector cleaner after I out that in with some fresh gas it did finally start.

When I was driving it I was putting a full tank in usually at quarter of a tank I don't run my cars to E and it would take between 8 and 9 gallons of gas every time and within 130 miles I was back at the gas station and I live pretty far from work so it was every other day for me dumping $20+ in it. It doesn't leak to my knowledge as I never smelled gas and it never had black smoke coming out of it that I know of.

As far as the battery goes I wouldn't be surprised if it's no good it's only a few years old but with my grandma barely driving it when she owned it it constantly needed a jump and when I was driving it in the winter starting it in the morning it would struggle, so I've been suspecting that the battery has been going bad for a while now.
As far as chewed wires any recommendations as to what I should check first? I've definitely heard having a car sit is worse than driving it but I simply couldn't afford this thing it was draining my account in gas money, I'm just desperate now and don't have the money to buy another car this time.

Last edited by 2g_DSM; 21 Jun 2016 at 10:50 am.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2016, 11:32 am
VsandFords's Avatar
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

One thing to keep in mind on any electrical connection is, resistance creates heat.
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Old 21 Jun 2016, 01:12 pm
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

Just start with the battery. Take it out, take it to you closest friendly Autozone, Advance, O'Reilly etc. and have them LOAD TEST it. You probably have a dead cell or two in it. Start with the free and easy things to check.
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Old 21 Jun 2016, 01:41 pm
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Default Re: Desperately need help!

to get 9 mpg id say there has to be a leak some ware that is beyond BAD
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