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Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jul 2011, 05:05 pm
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Angry Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

I have had my 2001 PT Cruiser for 8 years. It has worked pretty well for the most part... no major problems to speak of. Until recently...

BTW.... 2001 PT Cruiser Limited, 5-speed standard with 105,000 miles.

For the past couple months the car will fail to start at least once a day, or once every 10 starts or so. It makes no difference if the car has been running recently, or sitting overnight, or being in a garage or outside... there seems to be no common denominator for the times the car won't start.

When I say it won't start, what I mean is this... the starter will make a couple pathetic 'hiccups' or 'turns' and then stop. I have to try over and over. Usually after 5 to 10 attempts it will start. Sometimes (like at night when the headlights are on) it will eventually wear the battery down and I have to push-start it (the car is a standard).

In the past month I have replaced the battery and installed a brand new starter (it acts the exact same as the old starter, so that might have been a waste of money). The auto repair place ran about 8 hours worth of tests on it with no results... they couldn't even get the car to NOT start (it worked fine every time they started it). They have tested the battery and starter and both are fine.

It still is giving me problems and I don't want to bring the car back to the shop without some sort of suggestions on what they should check. I went out of town for 5 days, came back, and it started right up. 1 hour later it would not start at the gas station.

Any ideas on this?
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Old 21 Jul 2011, 05:50 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

Symptoms like that usually point to the starter but you've changed it. Other times the actual cables start to build up corrosion and don't make a good contact on either the battery post or the starter itself.

Have you have the charging system checked including the alternator?
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Old 21 Jul 2011, 06:31 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

Maybe the clutch interlock/safety switch is going bad?
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Old 21 Jul 2011, 09:08 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

Thanks for the ideas. I am pretty sure the alternator is in good shape... no issues at all while driving the car (no dimming lights, battery stays charged, etc).

I will say this, though... I have gone through 4 batteries in the past 6 years. I don't usually pay anything since they come with a 24-month guarantee, but I find it odd that my car seems to kill batteries. Why would that be happening?

However, despite the battery-killing characteristics, the car still ran great over the years... no starter problems.
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Old 21 Jul 2011, 09:19 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

Well, you only THINK the alternator is in good shape but going through that many batteries, something has to be wrong. Lot of auto stores will check out the charging system for free. Most of us have a battery for 4 or 5 + years.
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Old 22 Jul 2011, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

hey i got a solution for your problem my wifes 02 pt acted the same way its n/a 5 speed battery was oxidated cleaning helped a bit but still it acted in the same way but when i check positive battery wires i saw they were a bit burned just a bit after the pole to i cutted them stripped and put a new connection i mean new battery poles positive and gound from canadian tire and the problem gone forever
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Old 22 Jul 2011, 01:00 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitry View Post
hey i got a solution for your problem my wifes 02 pt acted the same way its n/a 5 speed battery was oxidated cleaning helped a bit but still it acted in the same way but when i check positive battery wires i saw they were a bit burned just a bit after the pole to i cutted them stripped and put a new connection i mean new battery poles positive and gound from canadian tire and the problem gone forever
Sounds totally reasonable to me. Bad battery cables could cause both dead batteries and no-starts. The cables on the PT are either "right sized" or "bare minimum" depending on how you look at it... there isn't a lot of room for time & wear & tear to leave healthy cables behind.

You can check the cables for excessive resistance and visually inspect all the cables ends (battery, starter, alternator, and main chassis ground). If they are corroded or look burned, they should be replaced. It's often amazing what healthy battery cables can do for a car.
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Old 22 Jul 2011, 01:19 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

check the wires from your PCM. wiggle them around and see if it starts. mine seems to have a short in it somewhere but no one can seem to find it.
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Old 23 Jul 2011, 08:59 pm
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

I'm having the same problem. Car starts fine one minute and not the next. Inconsistent. Frustrating as hell.
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Old 25 Jul 2011, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Why won't my 2001 PT start regularly

see my above post
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