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Engine misfires at idle

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04 Mar 2011, 10:42 pm
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Default Engine misfires at idle

When I am sitting at a light, on in a drive-thru, my engine will occasionally misfire (I guess that it what you call it). It will be running smoothly and then "skip" and the car will shudder a little when that happens.

Is this a tune up? Spark plugs and wires? Car has 80,000 miles, I have not tuned it up since I bought it at 36,000 miles, so it is due (but I do change the oil every 3000!)

Just want to know so I know what to ask for at the shop (I dont do any of this myself
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Old 04 Mar 2011, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

it's funny, both this post and the OP handle, because I'm having the same issue and just now googled 'PT Cruiser Forum' and found this site and made the username used here....great minds? not sure...coincidence? possibly...still..here's what's happening to me and perhaps any info given to one of us will help the other.

I have a 2005 PT Cruiser, non-turbo or anything, just the standard PT.

Here are the symptoms:

If the car is turned on and left in park it will act fine except once in a while the engine will sort of stutter, but not really mis-fire.

If the car is in drive but left idling it will run fine for a bit and then stutter and mis-fire a lot and sometimes even back out and sometimes the engine dies.

If the car is moving, say down the road in the city at around 35mph it usually runs fine except when accelerating, say to pass someone or after sitting at a stop light. During these times the stuttering is really bad and misfiring is much worse, so much that if I am at a stop light and attempt to accelerate it takes several seconds to even start moving.

Now all of the above situations get much, much worse if I turn on the AC, heater or defroster at all. Even just turning it on one notch will cause the car to immediately stutter and die. It always turns right back on, but if I keep the AC, heater or defroster on then it will stutter back off again.



If I get the engine code it is: P0300 which I've googled quite a bit and found several possibilities that could cause it so basically I've come here to ask the gurus what I can check myself to try to better diagnose what's wrong with it before I take it to a mechanic who will charge me out the wazoo for useless parts and labor and likely not even fix it the first time.

btw, OP, go to your car, put the key in the ignition and turn it from off to on 3 times and on the 3rd time just leave it in place. don't actually start the car, just turn it to where the radio and stuff turn on, it takes some practice or at least it did for me, but what will happen is where the trip-computer and odometer is a code like the one I posted above will show up, and it will help others here diagnosing you, hope that can help in some way.


Thanks guys!
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Old 04 Mar 2011, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

Hey everyone,

After digging around it seems that the most common (and easiest to fix ) problem is with the spark plugs or spark plug wires...so, is there an easy way to just look at them and see if they are messed up? If so, I can do that in the A.M. and if they are bad I can just go pick some up at the auto shop.

Thanks again guys
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Old 04 Mar 2011, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

Well I ran the code test, and all it says is "done". So there are no error codes. Looking on the net, that indicates it is probably spark plugs. Unless anyone else has any ideas! BTW, my car IS turbo, if that matters.

Your problem sounds much worse than mine--mine is ONLY at idle, it is fine while driving and the car leaps away from a stop (well, as much as PTs leap LOL)

My username is from my first PT--a lovely plum one that was sadly crushed by an idiot when only 2 years old. But I kept the name anyway, as she kept me safe in that terrible crash... my current one is black with much chrome!
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Old 04 Mar 2011, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

mine happens to be purple as well

Looking further I found this:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/reading_spark_plugs.jpg

which makes it seem that it will be pretty easy to tell if one or more of them are bad, still no info exactly on diagnosing the wires, but I'm guessing it's the plugs themselves.

sucks about your original car, bummer!
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Old 05 Mar 2011, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

you know for a minute there i thought your were talking to yourself till i realized that you both almost have the same user name, lol.
but if your thinking about checking your plugs this might come in handy 2006-Up Pt Cruiser Spark Plug Removal.
welcome to the forum by the way. Greetings from San Antonio. I'm danny and my baby is Eve.
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Old 05 Mar 2011, 07:42 am
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

I had the same problem with my 2008 with 500 miles on it. I replaced the plug wires after checking the plug gap (.040, good ). I replaced the plug wires with Cranes (no longer available), but any good plug wires (other than OEM) will work. I had no more problems and I now have over 38,000 on it.
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Old 05 Mar 2011, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

gkid1983,

Your link is for the 2006+ PT's spark plug change and both the purplePTgirl and purplecriser have an 04 and 05.

There might not be a big difference but we do have a sticky for the 01-05 cruiser spark plug change.

To the purple's, If you go through the trouble of lifting the manifold and the other couple things to check anything, you might as well change the plugs and wires while your there. Anything around 30,000+ miles, it never hurts to put in new ignition parts.
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Old 13 Mar 2011, 06:37 pm
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

Thanks for the help everyone--it was the wires. Replaced them, also sparkplugs and tuned it up and had them clean the fuel injectors. Running smoooooth now
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Old 22 Mar 2011, 01:08 am
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Default Re: Engine misfires at idle

I had the same problem and fixed it 97%. I read somewhere on here if you have a dirty battery terminal on the + side, clean it and re-attach it. I did it and the car runs much..much..better after a nice connection. Also I'm sure the new air filter did not hurt things either. Thank you. Pat

P.S. I'm new here.
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