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Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Jul 2010, 01:44 pm
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Default Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

Any mechanics in this room?

My wife drove her 2001 PT Cruiser to Nashville & back yesterday--no problems!

She got in it this morning to run errands, and it doesn't idle properly...races
up & down continuously--and her brakes don't stop it well, she says... Does
this sound like an electronic accelerator problem or perhaps a loose or cracked vacuum line to anyone? It's undriveable
of course, but hoping I might be able to take it some place other than dealer
as they charge 4 times as much as do our reasonable local fix-it shops. Any helpful advice/suggestions out there?

Thanks in Advance,
Ty-K
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 02:45 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

Ty-K, welcome to the Forum. How many miles? Did you do the Key dance, (in a sticky in this section). Tell us the codes!!
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 02:56 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

Key Dance? Codes? What R U talking about?
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 03:25 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

In other words, is there an engine fault light glowing? That could help us narrow down the problem. If the computer sees a problem, it will set the engine light and store a fault.

If not, the only thing we can do is start asking lots of questions to help narrow it down.

P.S. there's no electronic accelerator, vacuum line, maybe.
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 03:40 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

OK, gotcha. It is WIFE'S PT CRUISER....I'm just askin' the questions--for her. It has over 170K & we bought it brand new when they first came out. Only idiot lite illuminated is the chk engine which has been ON for months. The chk engine lite on my F150 has been on since Jan 2006, or over 4 1/2 years. Usually meaningless. As my '04 Dodge RAM had an elec accel prob 6-mos ago, and had a similar malfunction, just thought I'd toss it in. I am NOT a mechanic so I dunno even where to look for a problematic vacuum line, but am gathering info to relay to either a mechanic or wiring shop manana. Had squirrels destroy wires on my RAM 3 or 4 times. Don't think that is the current problem w/the PT.
Thanks for any help offered.
Ty-K
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 03:55 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

That "meaningless" check engine light is the one I'm referring to. It tells us or the mechanic what fault the computer has seen so we can help. It should never be ignored. Since it's been on so long, your probably going to have several codes stored in the computer's memory. Here's a link to how to retrieve those codes and come back here with the results. Most codes look like this: P0340 and when the codes have flashed as you write them down at the end it will say "done". The codes will flash in the bottom of the middle dial where the odometer numbers are.

How to retrieve fault codes.

I would dought seriously if the brakes have anything to do with the up and down idle. The idle is controlled by the IAC (Idle Air Controller) and at your mileage it's very possible that it needs replacing plus a good cleanout of the throttle body. There are a couple vacuum lines and it's possible one might have come loose also.
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 05:36 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

I hope you meant that you are taking (towing) the car to your favorite mechanic tomorrow. With no brakes, I would never try to drive it in that condition.

The "no brakes" and "up and down" idle are both the result of the same thing. While it's true the AIC controlls our idle under normal conditions, When you develop a break or disconection of any type in the brake booster or its hoses it will show up as both of these symptoms. The booster runs off of manifold vacuum and if it develops a break of any kind it will produce a "vacuum leak" surging type idle and since it feeds yor brake booster, you will have no brakes.

You could simply check visually the condition of the lines coming off of your brake master cylinder, but as you so emphatically said "you're no mechanic", so if I were you I would tow it to a mechanic. When you give him the two symptems you described he'll check your system from the brake booster back and I'm sure quickly find your vacuum leak. If it's just a hose it won't cost much. If it's a leak in the booster itself, then you're talking a whole new ballgame in prices.

Jerry
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 05:50 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

Never just ignore the check engine light. This is likely a problem that started occuring a while ago when the light initially came on, and has progressed until now, when finally something has failed.

Just because you can't feel anything wrong and the car still runs good does not mean the light is "meaningless". In fact, this probelm may have been fixed when the light first came on and you wouldn't be trying to find the problem and have an undrivebale car right now.

Just food for thought. If the light comes on, fix it!
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 06:45 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

THANKS TO ALL, esp Jerry...who's synopsis seems most plausible. Car will be professionally towed SOMEWHERE reliable soon. DEALER will be my last option/choice, as they are BY FAR the absolute MOST expensive in 'this' hick town! Again, thanks to all for your words of wisdom! I do appreciate it!
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 07:41 pm
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Default Re: Any PT Cruiser mechanics hanging around?

No problem. Glad to help. Please let us know how it turns out. While your mechanic has it I would have him check the code or codes to see what other, hopefully minor, things are hiding in there.

Jerry
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