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Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

 
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Old 06 Jan 2011, 08:04 pm
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Question Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Hello everyone! My girlfriend and I have a 2008 PT Cruiser that is having a lot of problems at the moment. We'll be driving it fine, when all of the sudden, the icons in the dash begin to flash on all at once. Then the speedometer and the gauges go down and then all the way back up. After all of this, the car usually dies for a few seconds. Then we give the ignition a turn and it - usually - starts right back up.

We've taken to Auto Zone and a mechanic. They both said, they could find nothing wrong with it.

So what COULD it be then?

Any help would be appreciated, as we've gotten none thus far.

Thanks,
Danny V.
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Old 06 Jan 2011, 08:15 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Welcome to the Forum!!!

Check both ends your battery cable connections, some have had serious corrosion and your problems, also to see how loose your alternator belt is, it maybe slipping.
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Old 06 Jan 2011, 08:32 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Welcome to the forum, greetings from san antonio and i'm going with what Hooligan said. You also might want to invest in a Haynes Manual, just suggestion.
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Old 07 Jan 2011, 09:31 am
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

With an '08 you ought to have warranty left - take it to dealer and say it's unsafe....
Clearly an electrical problem - a loose connection somewhere - battery posts are always a good place to start.
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Old 07 Jan 2011, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Danny, when my PT did the dash-dance (like yours) with needles and gauges going bonkers, the problem was my battery cables were so corroded that the connection to my battery was compromised. Also, my battery just happened to be on its last leg, to boot. However, sometimes these symptoms indicate a connection to your starter or power box. But it's probably just your battery or battery cables.

If you're lucky, you can just clean up your battery connections real good--then spray them with CRC Battery terminal protector ... or else you'll be doing all this again in the future.

It's weird the way the needles jump around when this happens--but it's a good warning system, you have to admit.

Write back and tell us how you fared.

Tim
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Old 08 Jan 2011, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Thanks everybody! I'll let ya know, how it all turns out.
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Old 08 Jan 2011, 02:32 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

You may have what the Chrysler Minivan people call "Haunted Minivan Syndrome" or "Freaked-out Dash Lights." The cause is usually a weak battery, or a battery that's on its last legs. It can also be caused by corroded battery connections, or cable connections at one place or another. The 2006 and later PT Cruisers seem to have quite a bit in common with the Chrysler minivan design philosophy, so experience from 'over there' can be applied over here. See this thread from the Town and Country Forum. Freaked-out Dash Lights

If cleaning the cables won't work, a new battery will. The car dying part indicates bad connections more than a bad battery, but a bad battery will also do it.

I recommend an AGM, or Agglomerated Glass Mat battery, which will cost more but stop corrosion forever.

The two year old Optima battery in our minivan seems to be giving us spurious dash warnings, so it'll probably be replaced this weekend. See: OPTIMA Batteries - Alternatives, Whatdya think?
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Old 08 Jan 2011, 04:34 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Had the exact same problem with our 98' Town & Country recently and it was a badly corroded battery cable connector. Replaced the connector and have been trouble free since. Just a note that some OEM battery cables are sealed in lead connectors and while they may look normal on the outside they may be badly corroded internally.
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Old 08 May 2011, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

Danny V
I have a 2009 PT Cruiser and it is doing the same thing. It died on me while in an intersection in traffic. I was fortunate, I was not hit nor did I hit another car. It has been at the dealership for 2 weeks and they can't replicate the problem. There are no codes stored. I do not want to drive it till it is fixed. Any success with your car getting fixed?
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Old 09 May 2011, 07:52 am
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Default Re: Flashing Icons, Gauges Go Up & Down, then Car Dies...

You should clean the cables at the battery and put a couple batery corroision washers on. They have a kit with some spray to prevent the corrosion.

Also if the battery is 4-5 yrs old, I would probably buy a new one since they arent going to last much longer and when the voltage drops the computers dont like and you get all kinds of gremlins.
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