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Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

 
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 02:50 pm
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Default Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

Hello all, I wish I were joining this forum w/happy news of our first PT purchase...Recently my gf & I purchased a PT from a used car dealership, it's a 2006 PT Cruiser Touring Edition w/the signature series badges underneath the PT logo script on the front driver/passenger sides...it has 90,957k miles on it & it was purchased for $6500 cash...when we test drove it the fuel was low (as indicated on the instrument panel) accompanied by a "ding" that would sound every so often...we drove it home during a torrential downpour (we live in NoLa) & parked it for a few days while we got the insurance transferred from our previous vehicle...upon driving it a few days later we noticed that it feels like it idles low when in park or sitting at a stop/red light & the "ding" continued after filling up the tank...last night we discovered that someone strategically placed a small piece of black tape inside of the dash to conceal the malfunction indicator light (which is what the "ding" is related to)...at this point we are both suffering from panic attacks in the driveway...I tried the key on/off procedure & it resulted in a "-----" followed by "done"...then I tried the same while holding down the trip reset, all of the gauges spiked properly & all notification lights blinked on followed by a series of #'s on the odometer display in this order: "C 43.0" "L 42.9" "S 9.6" "I 18.0" "hr2579"

I know that's a lot to throw out there, but we don't know what to make of it...
As for the rest of the vehicle it is clean as a whistle inside & out, the engine is clean & there are no drips or anything in the driveway & everything works great, except for the malfunction indicator light accompanied by the feeling that the vehicle is idling low (analog tachometer reads anywhere from 500-750 when idle)...any assistance/information would be greatly appreciated, Tysm in advance
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 03:06 pm
Kawizx9r's Avatar
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

Don't know about a 'malfunction indicator light'....unless you mean the Check Engine Light.

If you've received no codes, you can simply disconnect the negative terminal off your battery for a few minutes and hook it back up. This will reset your CEL. Also, you mentioned getting gas....make sure that the gas cap is on tight which should be 3 clicks or so.

One thing I'd like to ask; was the belt and water pump replaced before purchasing the vehicle? This is a costly maintenance that's done around 90k m for turbo models, and 105k m for non-turbo.

As for the idling low, I'd say that's normal. My car is a turbo so I'm not sure how the idle should compare but I'm right at 730rpm.

Recommend you swap your spark plug wires and spark plugs (gapped appropriately) before you do anything else to your vehicle. And btw, welcome to the forum!

PS PICS OF YOUR CRUISER!
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 03:32 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

Ty for the info...when I referred to the manual it said "Malfunction Indicator Light", which is #9 in the instrument cluster description (pg. 224 in the "Understanding Your Instrument Panel" section of the 2006 manual), but I get what you're saying, I always call it check engine light too, I just didn't know if this was something different...

I'm not certain if anything was replaced & not very confident that I would get the truth due to the black tape being deliberately placed inside of the dash (on the rear of the dash glass, not the panel itself, so you can see it at an angle if you know what your looking for) to conceal the light...it's to the left of the odometer (an orange engine icon right next to it)...it's solid, then starts blinking (which is when the "ding" begins)...

I guess we're just really concerned it's something major, since someone took the trouble to take the dash apart & put some black tape there to conceal the warning light just to dump the car off on some shmoe (that would be me)...we're really praying that it's something small b/c we love the vehicle so much & have been extremely exited about it...
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 03:35 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

If it really is anything, don't worry....we all got you covered.

Just browse around, you'll see everything from technical issues to lights, stereo, alarms are all talked about on the forum. Heck, we even got a guy that loves covering his dash with vinyl lol

Crewzin, Jerry (wwpptc) or one of the other vets around here will chime in soon I'm sure.
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 03:43 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

you can take it and have the codes read if nothing shows up its just the light if something does well...

that timing belt is a pain between $750 and $1000 for the water pump tensioners and belt and it HAS to be done
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 03:55 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

Welcome to the forum

The blinking engine light is not good. It indicates a serious condition which should be diagnosed by a mechanic or dealer with the right equipment. Driving the car with the light blinking could result in a loss of power or damage to the CAT.

As for someone deliberately putting black tape over the MIL light, that's a sure sign that they knew of an existing problem and didn't want to put the resources out to fix it.

It's sure bet that the timing belt wasn't changed and as already said, it's an expense around $1000 that needs to be done around the 100K mileage mark.

Holding down the trip reset while turning the key is only a test of the guages. Don't worry about the numbers and letters associated with that.

The idle would be a little low at 500 but OK at 750. If it's bouncing between those two, it probably needs a change of plugs, wires or both. There's no way to adjust the idle, it's controlled by the computer.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 15 Mar 2011 at 04:00 pm.
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 04:11 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
It's sure bet that the timing belt wasn't changed and as already said, it's an expense around $1000 that needs to be done around the 100K mileage

Ty, for the info...also:
Would that be something that might show up on a diagnostic..?
Are diagnostics the same (you see, the Chrysler dealership wants $120 & AutoZone does it for free)..? Reason I'm asking is that if we have to try & take this car back to the lot where we got it, we wouldn't want to be out $120 to do so...this vehicle was for my gf & she has been saving for almost a year to get a vehicle & not have a note, that was all of her $...

Ty for the speedy replies, btw...
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 04:23 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

No, nothing about the timing belt would show up on a diagnostic unless the belt actually broke and then the car wouldn't run at all. It's a "preventative maintenance" kind of thing that's done before before a major break in the belt which would leave you stranded.

I'm really feeling for you and hope it turns out to be something that your used car dealer will take care of for you but they would have almost certainly seen the black tape covering the engine light and knew there was something seriously wrong. Hopefully there was some kind of warranty on the PT and they will honor it and fix what's wrong.
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 04:39 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

I don't think so, they put "sold as is" on it, but I don't think that means that they can deliberately cover up what's wrong w/tape & pass it off to you...The lot owner said he has a mechanic check out all the vehicles & this one was a'ok...

the lot uses a religious theme in their title & proclaims their honesty

I know the economy is rough, but damn that's low...
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Old 15 Mar 2011, 05:01 pm
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Default Re: Malfunction Indicator Light :(...

Reading over again what you first posted, the thing that stands out is that the car was dinging at you but you drove it off the lot anyway. What did they say about the "ding", that it was dinging because it was low on fuel? If so,when you filled it up and it continued to "ding" at you, that's when you should have turned around and headed back. Actually, it should never had been driven off the lot with the noise.

Hope you get it straightened out and it doesn't cost you a lot of money.
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