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My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

 
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 01:11 pm
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Post My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Hi, I'm new to the forum, I have a 2003 Non-Turbo PT just about to break 100,000 miles sometime this week or next.

I have only done oil changes (every 3000 miles) and a fuel flush. I also got two new tires.

I have a few things to deal with:

1. I have the AC stutter problem, where the car stutters and in idle the AC is blowing warm air, most likely culprit the fan connected to the radiator. I read the entire 56 pages printed of the thread "Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal" and I understood most of it. I just want to verify, there is only one fan, right? It's the one in front bolted to the Radiator? I'm in Miami, but it's cold today, I tried to see if it was spinning, but it didn't look like it, of course I'm in a condo, so can't do much work, but I think I'll buy this one.
01 02 03 04 05 Chrysler Pt Cruiser Cooling Fan Assembly - eBay (item 350392321239 end time Feb-05-11 09:51:38 PST)
and have a local mechanic put it in.

But one thing I noticed was on the passenger side down by the bottom it looked like there was a pulley missing some kind of fan belt. I wonder if there's just a belt missing between the fan and whatever makes the belt spin... that would probably do the same thing as a broken fan right?

2. I will get the new wires and spark plugs too, just in case they're bad? Can I change them easily? If so I can sneak it in the parking garage. I want to learn something about cars and this sounds like my best starting place?

3. The guy I bought it from said it has a security system and power locks, but that he lost the fob. The VIN number was looked up by two dealers and both said it doesn't have the power locks. Regardless, the guy said he took the fuse out of the fuse box because the horn started going off (as the security alarm) but he didn't have the fob to turn it off. I looked in the Manual and put the horn fuse where it said it should go, but it still didn't work. I read on the other thread something about there being more fuses somewhere under the hood (a relay maybe?) but I couldn't see it, I looked around the air filter, which I was able to get up a little by releasing the two clamps on the side of it, but didn't want to break anything and didn't get it up to high or see under it.

4. My brakes probably need fixing. They work fine, but in the AM they make an awful screeching sometimes, until warmed up, online I've read that condensation in the AM may make this happen, but I've never had it on any other car. Regardless the front brakes have a lot of lines in them (circular lines that is) and aren't metallically shiny like the BMW that was parked next to my car, so I think that means somethings wrong, is that right? And how do you visualize if anythings wrong with the back wheel.

5. I have a broken windshield, but it doesn't bother me too much.

6. I hear some rattling I don't like when going over speed bumps, but it is a little old and it ain't a Rolls Royce, so I guess that's to be expected.

7. Do these cars have Anti-lock brakes. Because two times I've skidded, and the tires have good tread. Of course, once was before the two new tires and it was raining, and the 2nd time was when someone in front of me on the highway slammed their brakes, so 80 to 30 in a few seconds probably was the culprit.

8. I want to clean the engine, with De-Gunker, I read I should use plastic bags and masking tape to cover the electronics. But I don't know what or where they are specifically. I read the following should be covered:
- Alternator
- Distributor
- Coils
Where are these and what do they look like? Anything else I should cover?

Thanks.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 03:42 pm
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Welcome to the forum.The plugs and wires are pretty easy to change so you should be able to do them in the parking garage.If you look in the Tech and Performance section there is a sticky on how to change them.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 04:32 pm
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

The horn does have a relay and it's in the PDC (Power Distribution Center or Fuse Box) in the engine compartment. You need to take out the air filter box to get to the PDC.

The PDC looks like this only it's 180 degrees backwards from what it looks like in your car. You can see the square boxes whcih are relays and one is marked HORN.



Here's the Spark Plug Guide on how to change the wires and plugs on the 01-05 PT's the only thing different, yours doesn't have the EGR pipe in back of the upper manifold as Chrysler did away with that in about 2002.

Spark Plug Guide

Personally, if you haven't done any mechanical work on a car before, I'd have someone with some experience help you the first time. You'll need a decent took box and a torque wrench to do it right.


Something you don't have on your list, unless I missed it, is the changing of the timing belt. It's due at 100,000 miles and you can't do it yourself. Figure anywhere from $900 to $1200 for parts and labor. You can wait awhile to do it but many belts have broken in the low 100,000 mile time frame and you'll be left stranded on the road when it brakes.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Will changing the timing belt now change the quality of my car's ride, in other words will I notice anything different or is it just a risk of it breaking and me having to call AAA?

Why so expensive to change it?

Where is the timing belt? What's its purpose in a nutshell?

I think I will start by figuring out how to get the air filter off and looking for the fuzes there, then I will try the spark plugs and wires. I'll let the pros do the rest. What tools will I need for those two jobs?

When I released the two side clamps on top of the air filter cover there was still a hose attached to it in the back (What is the called? The air filter hose?) it has a ring with a screw on it (what are these called?) I think all I need is to loosen it with a flathea screwdriver and I can probably take it off. Is that right? CAn I damage anything by disconnecting it?

After disconnecting that I'll be able to see the air filter, but how do I get under it to see the fuze box? Why doesn't my user manual mention this second fuse box? It only mentions the one in the car to the left of the steering wheel?

Thanks.
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Old 12 Jan 2011, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Are relays in the Power Distribution Center (PDC) replaceable like fuses? In case that is causing my problem? Is it possible that the AC OR HIGH-speed relay could cause the stutter problem too?

Also is it possible that what I mentioned appears to be a missing belt on the passengers side all the way at the bottom is chasing my fan not to spin? I don't know if a belt is somehow need to spin the fan or not, or do it just use a fan motor?
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Old 13 Jan 2011, 08:16 am
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

I'll give you a couple fast answers.

The owners manual does mention the "other" fuse box. Mine has it on page 232.

Yes, the relays are replaceable, Pull the old one out like a fuse, put the new one in.

Yes, your stutter problem could be caused by the one of the relays if one of them are bad and if the fan isn't coming on and if it's not cooling the engine and A/C parts.

Your NOT missing a belt ANYWHERE. If you were the car wouldn't run or you would see fault lights lighting up everywhere.

Yes, a flat head screwdriver will take the black "wrinkled" air intake hose off the airfilter box. There's a clamp on both ends of the hose. You won't break anything. Take the air filter out and then grab the black box and pull UP. The bottom of the box has two rubber pointed holders that just pop up to release the box. That will give you access to the PDC.

Changing the timing belt won't do anything for the cars ride. There's a very slight chance that you could bend a valve or two if the belt breaks while your driving rather than have it done before it breaks.

It's expensive to change the timing belt because it takes even an experienced mechanic about 5 to 7 hours to change it. You should also change the water pump, belt tensioner and serpentine/alternator belts while having the timing belt changed if those belts have never been changed before.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 13 Jan 2011 at 08:24 am.
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Old 14 Jan 2011, 04:20 am
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Thanks, you are really good at working on cars I see, plus you're obviously very unselfish with your time, I have seen your wonderfully detailed posts all over the forum. I think I am going to get the PDC open first and see if it's the relay, before I buy the fan. Does the one I linked to above look correct for a 2003 Non-turbo?


BTW, there is only one fan right? It cools the fluid for the A/C and the radiator/engine, that's what I understood from reading the other thread. Just wanted to make sure b/c I heard it called, the radiator fan, the AC fan, the fan module and I'm sure a few other things... like the *#)D*& fan. Are they all referring to the same one, the big one that's screwed on to the radiator at the front of the car.

Last edited by iridius; 14 Jan 2011 at 04:23 am.
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Old 14 Jan 2011, 07:39 am
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Yes, they are the same.
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Old 14 Jan 2011, 07:42 am
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Yes, there's only one fan in back of the radiator that cools everything and yes your link to eBay shows that fan with the housing around it and both together are called the fan module.

Going away for the weekend (3 days) so if any more questions, hopefully someone else will chime in. Good luck.
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Old 14 Jan 2011, 12:24 pm
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Default Re: My PT TODO List, please give any opinions or ideas.

Anti-lock brakes were an option - below the radio by the switch for rear defroster, is there a TRAC switch? If there is, you have anti-lock brakes (the TRAC stands fro Traction Control, which came with anti-lock in '03)
If you do have a TRAC switch, then you also have rear disk brakes, otherwise you have rear drums.
Grooves on disks are normal, and rust will form overnight. Take a front wheel off and you can see how much brake pad thickness is left - that'll tell you if you need brake work.
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