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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24 Aug 2010, 12:15 am
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Default New to me PT Cruiser Problems

I recently purchased a 2005 PT Cruiser with 90,000 miles. The car has a 2.4L non turbo engine. I bought the vehicle from an individual knowing there was some engine issues. Previous owner informed me that he had been having some power issues and identified cylinder 3 as having light compression. In an attempt to fix the problem he installed a remanufactured head but after insalling the head he found that cylinder 3 still has low compression.
I have put a few miles on the vehicle and for the most part it runs and drives good. The problems that I am seeing is that it idles rough and it stalls if left sitting at an idle very long. I ran the error codes and the following is what I have found: P0016, P0300, P0303, P0340, P0335, P0107, and P0122. I have not done many tests on this car yet, but in checking the codes it seems that it could be possible that the previous owner did not get the timing right when the reman head was installed.
I am new to the 2.4L engine so I do not have a good feel for troubleshooting steps on this engine. Any help you can give me would be very helpful. I bought the vehicle at the right price so even if I end up sticking in a different engine I should not get burned.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 24 Aug 2010, 06:52 am
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

Welcome to the forum.

That's a lot of fault codes. Was the negative battery cable taken off before yo pulled the codes to clear the old codes? You might be seeing some old stored codes, so take the cable off for about 10 minutes, replace it, drive the car (it might stumble a little bit because the computer is learning) and after 20 minutes, pull the codes and see if they are the same as you listed.

If they are, and you don't know the codes: cylinder 3 (you already knew that), crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor, map sensor and throttle position sensor.

You maybe right on the timing being off as most owner reported bad/rough idle after a belt change that was wrong. That also might clear up the other codes.

As far as the low compression on cylinder three, this is from PT Do-It-Yourself.net ...

Compression in a healthy engine should be 170-225psi. If the compression reading is initially low, than higher after you squirt a little motor oil into the cylinder, this usually indicates that the rings and or cylinder are worn. No change in the compression readings would indicate that the cylinder has a bad valve. You may want to consider having a leakdown or cylinder leakage test conducted to help isolate the issue.
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Old 24 Aug 2010, 08:07 am
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

Thanks for the information I will start with the resetting the codes and repeating the compression test. The codes should have been reset when the head was replaced but I will repeat myself just to make sure. It seems to me that it would not run if the timing was off a notch, but could very well be the problem.

One more thing that I wanted to run by you. There appears to be several oil leaks making a mess of the engine compartment. The biggest source for the mess is the vent line from the valve cover to the air filter box. When I took the filter box apart I could not believe that there was standing oil inside.
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Old 24 Aug 2010, 08:15 am
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by addition413 View Post
Thanks for the information I will start with the resetting the codes and repeating the compression test. The codes should have been reset when the head was replaced but I will repeat myself just to make sure. It seems to me that it would not run if the timing was off a notch, but could very well be the problem.

One more thing that I wanted to run by you. There appears to be several oil leaks making a mess of the engine compartment. The biggest source for the mess is the vent line from the valve cover to the air filter box. When I took the filter box apart I could not believe that there was standing oil inside.
Welcome to the forums.
Why do you say that line is a source of leaks?
There's another line off the valve cover on passenger side - off PCV valve....

Bummer if timing belt is off a notch - the labor to re-install it is nasty...

Something to try - when it's idling, spray wd-40 along the seams of the intake manifild - if idle smooths out, its an intake gasket...
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Old 24 Aug 2010, 08:16 am
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

A whole lot of that oil would point to a bad EGR/PCV valve. But that's just a guess and who knows how they put everything back together with the head job, especially since you have several leaks.

When you get it back and running or whenever you have the upper manifold off for the compression test, I'd buy a new valve cover gasket and re-do the work that was done.

Last edited by CREWZIN; 24 Aug 2010 at 08:19 am.
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Old 25 Aug 2010, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

I just got done doing a compression test on the engine and the results were cyl 1 = 165, cyl 2 = 175, cyl 3 = 90, cyl 4 = 165. If I recall the compression should be 175 to 190 so all cylinders are low to out of range with cyl 3 being the worst. I put some oil cylinder 3 and repeated the test and the result was a compression of 95.

The other thing that was odd to me was that everything that I took apart was dripping with oil. The intake manifold dripped oil out, the air cleaner box dripped oil, and the spark plugs were soaked in oil. The oil is way above what I have seen on other engines.

One thing I am suspicious of is that the timing did not get set correctly when the previous owner installed the new head. If I remove the valve cover is there any way of verifying the timing? The other possibility in my mind would be that the head gasket was not installed correctly and is contributing to all the oil mess.

I have a line on a used engine for around $500 which claims to have low mileage. If I tear the engine apart and put new gaskets, rings, valve job, etc I think I am going to go over $500 pretty easy. I appreciate your thoughts and advice.
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Old 26 Aug 2010, 04:49 am
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

The compression in your other three cylinders is fine. What's most important when checking compression is how close the cylinders are to each other. The othe three are pretty close to each other, and they're above 160, so they're all fine.

Your supposed timing issue needs to go on the back burner. What's more important than that is you have a serious engine problem.

The compression got slightly better when you did the leakdown test, which means you most likely have a ring or cylinder problem, or possibly a problem with the piston itself.

You said you have a lead on a low mileage engine for $500. I'd take it before someone else does.
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Old 29 Aug 2010, 12:31 am
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

Can anyone tell me what year engines will work in a 2005. I have a line on a 2001 with 55,000 miles. The donor car has a manual transmission and mine has an automatic so I will need to change the flywheel. Just not sure if everything bolts up that far apart.

Thanks
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Old 26 Feb 2011, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

Just wanted to give everyone an update on this. I ended installing an engine from a 2001 and I could not make this engine run. It started and ran but shut down at 2400 rpm's. Even though I was told it would not work I needed a second opinion. I ended up taking the car to the dealership and they were unable to make the car run as well.

So out came the 2001 engine and in went a 2006 engine. After the swap the car started right up and ran great. I did find a compatibility problem between the 2006 and 2005. The wire harness is not the same. I checked it carefully before installation and found that the plug going the the lights in front is different. Also learned this one the hard. At least I did not have to pull the engine again.

Now that the engine is swapped I do like driving the car. I have only got one chance to check the mileage and the first tank is 21 mpg. Very disappointed in that. If it does not go above 25 I will need to figure something else out. Any suggestions on gas mileage. The engine seems to run great and I do not have any engine codes.
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Old 26 Feb 2011, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: New to me PT Cruiser Problems

IMHO, 21 MPG is a good mileage!!!! City or highway???
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