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Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new computer?

 
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jan 2018, 05:58 pm
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

I'm sorry guys, I didn't mean to offend anyone in the industry. I'm sure there are plenty of honest dealerships and autoshops out there. You all certainly seem like an extremely honest and helpful bunch of people.

I've had a few experiences here and there where one shop tried to tell me I needed a bunch of things fixed and the next said they were lying. I never bothered to report anyone because I figured there'd be no proof of anything except hearsay.

My parents also got ripped off routinely while I was growing up always bringing the car in to have it prepped for every changing season and paying an arm and a leg for whatever other unnecessary BS the mechanic told them they needed.

I suppose I also fall victim to believing the stereotype of the shady mechanic who tells you you need a new johnson rod, etc. I should be more thoughtful about making such blanket statements.

Last edited by piccolo; 12 Jan 2018 at 06:07 pm.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jan 2018, 06:03 pm
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Looking quickly at all your posts since you joined I would recomend that you NOT change your own PCM!


I would recomend to start looking for a good general auto service shop in your area. First talk to friends and co-workers and get an idea who they use.
If that does not work call or go by a few and see if you feel good about what the technician has to say overall. I say this because IMHO you need to develop a rapport with some service shop sooner or later to get some repairs done especially on a high mileage and over 10 year old vehicle.
We've had a lot of difficulty finding a good one. Hardly any of our friends in NYC drive and the ones that do have warranties on newer cars. It's hard to know who you can trust when you know nothing about cars. They could literally tell me anything needs fixing and all I could do is guess if they're being truthful or not. I suppose maybe I am a bit paranoid as well.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jan 2018, 07:22 pm
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

Try typing "how to find an honest auto mechanic" or variation of the wording. Read and learn!

Also don't assume that even your parents had unnecessary service done?

I often do seasonal "tune-up" or preparations and recommendations for customers.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jan 2018, 08:15 pm
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

I have a cousin who lives in NYC too, and finding a good and honest mechanic is something he too struggles with. It's too bad!
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Old 12 Jan 2018, 08:39 pm
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

Quote:
Originally Posted by piccolo View Post
I just ran this by my brother who I share the car with and is the one who took it to a mechanic for diagnosis. He said the mechanic urged him to get it done by the dealership or someone who specializes in Chrysler because "if you mess it up you might as well roll the car into the river" lol. Overly dramatic, but that scares the bejeesus out of me! Is there any truth to that?
This is a gross over-statement. Early (2001-2002) PCM's are very plentiful. And the chance of messing something up is fairly remote as long as the battery is disconnected before the PCM change out occurs. Once the PCM is programed with the VIN from your car by the one selling it to you, the PCM is literally plug and play. And by "literally", I mean you plug it in and it works.

To change out this early PT PCM, you simply disconnect the battery, disconnect the two connectors on the side of the PCM, remove the 2 or 4 bolts holding it in place and then put in the new one.

In general, if you are not mechanically inclined, it's always a good idea to have the work done by someone that is. For me, I would feel confident explaining the procedure to my 9 year-old nephew and allowing him to do it unsupervised. So any competent mechanic or any friend or neighbor familiar with Chryslers of this era should be able to do this. If I still had a 2001/2002 PT, I'd even make you a video because it takes under 5 minutes.

Here's the PCM that was on my 2001 PT. Your car will not have the aftermarket chrome strut bar in the way, so it's very easy to get to.



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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 12 Jan 2018 at 08:52 pm.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jan 2018, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

There is so many thing that can and do go badly even with a simple remove and replace part like a PCM. We have read it time and time again on this forum!!


Mykee and anyone else... I am not trying to pick a fight nor will I respond any further, but really...all of NYC and all the auto service shops are corrupted.
https://www.chamber.nyc/

piccolo this tends to bend some members the wrong way but I really feel you should seek someone that is at least an DIY auto enthusiast and has worked around ECU equipped vehicles to help you or just do the R&R of the PCM if required to need replacing for you.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jan 2018, 01:17 am
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

Damn i was all set to buy it and install it myself then Nitro came along and made me nervous again. Surely if their sister and 9 year old nephew can handle it I could!!! It does sound extremely simple and I AM mechanically inclined despite having very little car knowledge. Money is also tight, so as long as there's no chance I have to roll the car into the river after I want to try it I think >_>

Surely if I screwed something up THEN I could bite the bullet and try to find a Chrysler specialist shop?
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Last edited by piccolo; 13 Jan 2018 at 01:19 am.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jan 2018, 07:08 am
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

Quote:
Originally Posted by piccolo View Post
Damn i was all set to buy it and install it myself then Nitro came along and made me nervous again. Surely if their sister and 9 year old nephew can handle it I could!!! It does sound extremely simple and I AM mechanically inclined despite having very little car knowledge. Money is also tight, so as long as there's no chance I have to roll the car into the river after I want to try it I think >_>

Surely if I screwed something up THEN I could bite the bullet and try to find a Chrysler specialist shop?
If you get a PCM from a dealership, they are about $1200 plus programming and installation labor, so could be about $1500.

Generally shops don't like to work on a vehicle after someone else has tried a repair, as they don't know what the previous repair person did or what other things might have been affected.

But the main thing is to disconnect the battery before changing the PCM, and to disconnect it in the correct manner: disconnect the negative (black) terminal first, then the positive (red).

While the battery cables are disconnected, that would be a good time to use a battery post cleaner brush to clean cable ends and the battery posts and install some anti-corrosion pads on the battery posts before reconnecting the battery.

Then reconnect battery: positive (red) cable first, then negative (black).

When installing the PCM, take care with the clips that hold the connectors to the PCM. They might be different than my Gen2, but on the Gen2, there is a little red clip that you slide back and that releases the connector. That clip can get brittle over time and may easily break, so take care and don't apply too much force.

The other concern would be where you get the remanufactured PCM from. There are plenty of choices and many offer a Lifetime Warranty, so shop around.

I think you could change it out, and save a bunch of $.

Or if you really felt intimidated with replacing the PCM, you could likely still buy one from a source that you picked, then find a shop to provide the labor only, knowing full well that the shop will not be providing any warranty on any parts that you supply. I have a couple of shops in my area that will let me do that and everything has worked out fine so far. Good luck
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Last edited by rckstein; 13 Jan 2018 at 07:24 am.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jan 2018, 09:11 am
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

NYC is a big place and of the many thousands of shops, I am sure there are some good and honest and competent ones. It doesn't mean that it can't still be a struggle to find one.

I am sure if you look at the official website for any city in America, Canada, or any other place, it will advertise they are the best city in the world. This extends to any businesses too; as some members often recommend to call Business X and ask if they are the best or not. Do you really expect the answer to be: "Thanks for your call sir. No, we suck, try business Y."?

Anyway I digress. Piccolo there are a couple of youtube videos about PCM replacement in a Pt Cruiser. They are for 2004 and 2005 and are generally okay, but they make the actual replacement of the pcm painful to watch as they do not do it correctly. The later ones have 4 PCM connectors, and in both videos, they have no clue as to how to properly unplug them and actually end up breaking the retaining clips but are completely oblivious to that fact. Luckily yours will only have two plugs and as long as you move the red locking clips properly, will unplug easily. But for a general overview of disconnecting the battery and removing the airbox etc, they are okay.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jan 2018, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Code P0601 showed up on dash, do I have to take it to Chrysler to get a new compu

If possible, have the computer provider leave the plugs on the computer and cut the harness. This way you can practice breaking / making the connections.

Be aware, old plastic sticks together and gets brittle so some locking tabs could break. I've been in and around the auto business for 40 + years and still run across tabs that break.

In the 80's / 90 's I used to get trade magazines like "| Motor Service " , " Motor Age " and some others. Real shop owners would write articles about diagnosis , business sense * , dealing with problem customers , dealing with a situation where the shop knows something went horribly wrong and how to fix it. There might still be someone in NY that writes for these magazines, I'd think they would be a good start because then have a reputation to uphold.

* On the auto repair business sense, many shops lack this. This leads to situations where the customer feels they have been wronged even though there was no malice from the shop. Some shops just don't have the technical background and struggle with diagnosis.

I come at diagnosis from an engineering perspective, if one knows how the world behaves, you can figure everything else out. This also speaks to that a good mechanic ( or farmer ) can fix anything. Also, I don't mean understanding how the world works by memorizing formulas and such, I mean good practical grasp of physics / electricity.

While they might be great mechanics, they neglect the business side. I've talked to many shops when I had mine and could see they could be doing much better. Some communicated they are struggling with the business side and I always replied " take a business course at the community college " .

A businesses rates should not primarily be based on "what everyone else is charging", it should be based on what it costs to do the job otherwise you might be working for minimum wage and taking huge financial / liability risks. At this point you are just making a job for your self or even worse just a hobby that barely supports it's self.

One issue is charging what the job is worth and prepping the customer for what it is going to or may cost. When one likes their job, there is a tendency to under rate their value. A shop owner ( who was an otherwise abusive jerk who got physical with me one day ) gave some good business advice. ". . . make the bill out at the end of the day when you are tired and remember how much work it was to fix the car, not the next morning when you are fresh. . ." ( Even with this, the bill still might be under what the job was worth )
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