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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17 Oct 2010, 06:36 am
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Unhappy Help With A Few Things

Long time reader, first time poster.

A little history on my 2001 PT. I bought it used about 6 years ago. Though the CarFax report was clean, this thing has, from what I've discovered over the years, been in a wreck. The frame is bent slightly, which hasn't caused any noticeable issues in the 6 years I've had it, but when you drive the thing over and over for years you notice some things (some cracking in the dash and windshield despite replacement, front bumper is a replacement, etc.) The only odd issue I had had in the beginning was the car alarm going off frequently for no reason. This issue stopped on its own about half a year in, and typically I'd just leave it unlocked as I don't leave valuables in my car.

Anywho, it's been a great car. Minor repairs here and there, but nothing to complain about. Until about 3 months ago. My engine light came on, so I took it to a shop. I have the code at home and I don't remember what it was off the top of my head (I'll post it when I find it,) but the shop said that Chrysler's website said it was an alarm involving the PCU. It said to clear the alarm and drive the car for a while. If the alarm doesn't come back, then it was a fluke. If it does come back then the PCU needs to be replaced.

So I drove it for a while. About 2-3 weeks and a couple thousand miles later (I used to travel a lot) the light came back for a few mins and went away. It came and went off and on. Like an intelligent person I decided to ignore it for a while as I didn't have the time to be without a vehicle.

Eventually, related or not to the engine light, the temperature gauge would stop midway and randomly go up to high for a second and drop back down to midway. It would typically do this at the bottoms of large hills with higher air pressure (to the point I have to pop my ears when on my bike.) Along with this, every now and then when I'd start the car it would shake a bunch. Not really sputtering, but the whole vehicle would shake. Pumping the gas would stop this from happening, though sometimes it would take a few seconds. I drove my car a lot less as I didn't have time to take it in for repairs until one evening a couple of weeks ago when I started the car, it would turn over as normal, but then would shake violently and never actually run.

I assumed this had something to do with the PCU issue (timing for fuel/plugs being off or something of the like,) so I took it to a dealership because I've read on here when you replace the PCU you need to have someone program it as well. The guy at the shop told me he didn't think it was related, but that the fuel flooded and my radiator fan module wasn't turning on at all. Since then the fan module has been replaced, the battery has been replaced, all of the spark plugs have been replaced, air filter has been replaced, I've cleaned the idle air controller and I replaced the crankcase-to-throttle-body pvc tube which was collapsing in on itself when the car was on.

After all of this I'm still getting the shaking on every 1 out of 5-7 start-ups. The temperature gauge issue seems to have gone away with the fan module replacement, though it has peaked once or twice afterwards, but hasn't done so in over a week, now. As a side note, the random car alarms issue has returned after 5 years as well...

I'm not extremely savvy when it comes to automotive, but I have the Haynes Repair Manual and enough knowledge to be dangerous. I just want my Cruiser to be all dandy, again so here's what I'm wanting to get done:

* Figure out what's causing the shaking on some startups.
* Repair/replace or remove the fuse for the car alarm which I'm having issues finding.

The latter I think I can eventually find, though it would be great if someone knew exactly where it was already. But figuring out what's causing the shaking on one out of every few startups is what I need help with. I'm getting a spare car within a week or so so I'm not stranded while I work on the PT. I'm not sure what else to check, so hopefully someone has an idea of what might be going on. I'm not outside the idea that the PCU does need to be replaced and the Chrsyler guy was wrong, but avoiding that $1000+ replacement if I don't need to would be nice. If anyone has any input it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 07:55 am
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

You cant always trust Carfax.I have purchased 2 cars in the past that had been wrecked but still had a clean Carfax.When I contacted them they said that the cars had not been wrecked or were not reported.I wrecked the car that I had before my Cruiser to the sum of $3700 damage.When I traded it a year later the dealer ran a Carfax on it and it was clean.Sorry I cant help with your problems but people need to know that you cant always trust Carfax.

Last edited by SCBluePT; 17 Oct 2010 at 01:46 pm.
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 08:38 am
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

Good to know, thanks.

I found the code, it was PO601.

I also found a snippet about the EGR valve could be the culprit, so I'll be checking that out this week hopefully.

Thanks again in advance for anything anyone can come up with!
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 09:07 am
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

CARFAX only works if the car was taken to a dealer or a particular garage that reports their work. Hundreds of thousands of garages and repair facilities don't report anything to anybody.

Your engine code P0601 is not good. It means there's an internal PCM failure. Here's a good answer I found in a search that might help you out.

On the 0601, by the book it says there is a malfunction between processors within the controller and the only repair option is replacement. Two things to consider: verify the code by having a second readout done, for free, at an Autozone parts store. Second, just on a chance, and maybe before getting the second readout, disconnect the battery and touch the two detached cable clamps together for a minute, then reconnect. That is called a 'soft reset' and is possibly a technique that would correct what appears to be an internal failure that might have been provoked by changing the battery. Just a chance, but try it.
Finally, if the code persists, then do some comparison shopping. If you can find a scrapped model of the same year/engine/transmission then the controllers should be identical (verify part numbers nonetheless) and see how that works out. It may be necessary to program a few settings (serial numbers/part numbers/mileage reading) but that should be minimal labor time. The replacement is essentially 'plug and play'. Try local pull-it-yourself yards and if none is found nearby then ask them to look on their nationwide network of scrapyards for it. You might also check eBay to see if one is offered.
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

[QUOTE=CREWZIN;325810]CARFAX only works if the car was taken to a dealer or a particular garage that reports their work. Hundreds of thousands of garages and repair facilities don't report anything to anybody.

I thought if the accident was filed under insurance it was reported.My accident was filed with my insurance company and they paid for the repair.
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

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Originally Posted by SCBluePT View Post

I thought if the accident was filed under insurance it was reported.My accident was filed with my insurance company and they paid for the repair.

Yet, you said your CARFAX showed "CLEAN" ????? You said it yourself, "you can't always trust CARFAX"

Last edited by CREWZIN; 17 Oct 2010 at 11:51 am.
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

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Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
Yet, you said your CARFAX showed "CLEAN" ????? You said it yourself, "you can't always trust CARFAX"
Yes,I wrecked the car over a year ago.When I traded it on my PT last month the Carfax was clean.I bought a 2001 PT and a 2002 Grand Am in the past.Both had clean Carfax reports but both had been wrecked.The Grand AM had been wrecked to the point that the lower part of the core suppot was bent and the transmission was cracked.I learned my lesson.Dont trust the Carfax and check the car over very carefully.
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

I'm pretty sure we are both agreeing to the same thing .....

Don't trust CARFAX. It's a nice "tool" but do your own investigating and have any used car throughly checked out before you buy.
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

I've had to reset one and "soft reset" another PCM on a couple of my customers PTs that had the 601 code. Its just a hiccup that occurs from time to time as far as I can tell. Your code is probably being triggered by the alarm issue your having or vice versa. By the way, if you're going to do a "soft reset" after pulling both battery cables, always step on your brake pedal for a minute or two, to remove any residual charge in your electrical system before touching the cables together.

As far as the stumbling, keeping in mind the miles on your PT, you really need to change the plug wires (not a new stock set ever!) and you also need to replace the PCV valve if you didn't do it when you replaced the collapsed PCV hose. Even on cars clear back into the 60's a faulty PCV valve on the higher mileage cars was notorious for producing "hard to start" and "stumbling" issue.

I don't know if you always go to the same gas station, but if you don't try to stick with the name brands. I always use Shell or Marathon. Also, It's been said that there is a differance between the "summer" and "winter" blends that all of the gas companys are giving us. It's been brought up every year over on "The Crew" and it's a given that there will be some newby's asking why all of a sudden there car isn't idling right at the end of the summer and it usually turns out to be the gas.

Jerry
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Old 17 Oct 2010, 01:45 pm
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Default Re: Help With A Few Things

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
I'm pretty sure we are both agreeing to the same thing .....

Don't trust CARFAX. It's a nice "tool" but do your own investigating and have any used car throughly checked out before you buy.
Yes,Carfax is a nice tool to have,but some accidents may not be reported for whatever reason.It's stiil great being able to verify owner history.

Last edited by SCBluePT; 17 Oct 2010 at 01:50 pm.
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