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01 PT rough idle, seeking advice

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Old 11 Apr 2012, 08:57 pm
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Default 01 PT rough idle, seeking advice

2001 PT cruiser, non turbo, completely stock
120k miles
2nd owner, had it 5-6 years

I am looking for any advice that anyone may have about a rough idle problem that I am having with my 01 PT cruiser, non turbo, no mods. It currently has a rough idle, but drives ok. Background on the problem: The timing belt went out going down the highway out of town (119k miles). We had it towed to the first shop close by, they replaced the belt, tested compression and water pump and all were good and it was running ok - not as good as before it went out. I was on my way back home and did not have the time to have them spend another day rediagnosing it, as they claimed the timing was good now. It had a little bit of a rough idle, but now engine light so I just drove it home and figured I would mess with it then. By the time we got home, the check engine light was on and it was idling very rough. Error code was cylinder 3 misfire. Plug wires looked a little old, so I replaced plugs and wires, no change and engine light still on. Replaced coil, still rough idle and light on. Took it to a shop and it read that the timing was off, so I had the timing belt done again as I am trying to sell this car and just want to get it running right before selling it. They told me that the first guy obviously did not replace the tensioner and that was causing the belt to be loose. They replaced the belt and now it does run somewhat better and the engine light is off, but still idles rough in all gears. They cannot diagnose the problem, as everything they test reads good (compression, sensors, plugs, wires, coil...) and they cannot get any error codes to read - but it obviously idles rough.

I have read through this forum and tried many things that have been done by others, but nothing seems to help with this car. It is driving me nuts and I just want to get it running right to sell it in good condition, especially since I now have so much invested in repairing it. This was my wife's car and we already bought her a new car - I didn't trade this is because I thought it would be a simple problem to fix and I would sell out right. We have had the car for about 5 years and have taken pretty good care of it and have had few problems out of it. Many of you seem to know these cars inside and out, so I thought I would throw this out there and seek any suggestions. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 24 Apr 2012, 08:03 pm
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Location: Ga
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Default Re: 01 PT rough idle, seeking advice

check the engine mounts.
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Old 25 Apr 2012, 09:39 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oregon
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Default Re: 01 PT rough idle, seeking advice

MSCB, since all your rough running troubles started after the timing belt break, something with that event must be the problem.

I've heard that the PT engine is a non-interference engine, so when the timing belt breaks, the pistons won't kiss the valves, BUT, the valves can hit each other, causing damage. Are you sure the compression test was OK for all cylinders?

You changed the spark plugs and wires, so did you replace the intake manifold seals? You can check for leaks by spraying a little carb or intake cleaner around the seals at the front of the engine to see if the idle changes. That plastic intake manifold tends to warp too. I noticed mine is a little warped on my PT, but it still seals good, for now.

The only other thing is if the cam timing is still not right. It's a hard job to do, and it someone was in a hurry or frustrated, they may have still messed it up. And yes, check to be sure the engine mounts are installed correctly.
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misfire, rough idle, timing

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