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'02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

 
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 05:09 pm
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Default '02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

Hi all,

I am new to the PT Cruiser world, recently acquired an '02 (2.4L, N/A).

I acquired it because the previous owner had been told by their mechanic that the car needed the water pump / timing belt replaced at a cost of over $1,200. The previous owner opted to buy a new car instead.

I know this is a big job on these cars, but I'm pretty well versed in the world of mechanics and have been spinning wrenches for quite a few moons, so no problems there. When I received the car, all the previous repair receipts came with it, and I found that the water pump and timing belt had been changed out just 30,000 miles prior. You should get a lot more milage out of a new waterpump than that (althoug I have seen the pictures of the grenaded 20,000 mile pump someone posted).

The bigger issue at the moment is a very loud rattling noise coming from the engine when driving. The noise is not present while idling in the driveway, it only becomes apparent (and very loud) while in motion and under load. It sounds exactly like one of those old 70's diesel Mercedes sedans.

I took started it up today and took it around the neighborhood to take some video of the car while idling and while driving. Upon returning home and pulling into the driveway, it sputtered and died. It generated two error codes, P1684 (battery reset in last 50 cycles, no biggie), and P0172 (Fuel, bank 1 running rich).

I initially thought the noise might be a bad rod knock, or valve clatter due to a stuck lash adjuster. Now, the more I think about it, it sounds exactly like detonation. The P0172 error code seems to support that.

I have uploaded videos of the car idling and driving to YouTube for you to hear.

Idling :

Driving (pardon the camera orientation). Dies coming into the driveway and generates error codes :

I think the next step is to pull the upper intake, remove the plugs, and take a look at their condition to see if one isn't firing, running rich, etc. Maybe a bad plug wire ? I'm trying to eliminate all the least costly variables before I go digging deeper.

Any thoughts or input is welcomed. Thanks in advance !

Chris
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: '02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

You either have no oil pressure at idle or a massive exhaust manifold leak
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: '02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

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Originally Posted by UptownSport View Post
You either have no oil pressure at idle or a massive exhaust manifold leak
I would agree, but it sure sounds like something is ready to vacate the motor.
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Old 29 Jul 2012, 01:27 am
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Default Re: '02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

Agreed. Sounds like a handful of marbles going down the garbage disposal and gets heads turning from quite a distance. Idles ok sitting in the driveway, driving it is when things get bad. Today was the first time it lit a CEL and threw a code.

It's definitely leaking oil from somewhere also as it's all over the bottom of the oil pan and transmission case. Took nearly a quart to top it up today before starting it up.

Tomorrow I will pull the intake manifold, check the plugs, do a compression and leak-down test, and check fuel pressure at idle and various engine speeds.

Will post results when done. Thanks guys for all the input so far. It is much appreciated.

Chris
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Old 18 Sep 2012, 07:44 pm
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Default Re: '02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

was wondering what you found out about the car... Bought a 02 cruiser and it is making the EXACT same sound that yours was and shut off after the oil light came on.
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Old 19 Sep 2012, 01:48 pm
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Default Re: '02 Engine rattle, error codes, runs rough

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Originally Posted by Laurie571 View Post
was wondering what you found out about the car... Bought a 02 cruiser and it is making the EXACT same sound that yours was and shut off after the oil light came on.
It was indeed detonation (pre-ignition) as I suspected. First thing I always check are fluid levels, oil, water, etc. I checked the oil that day, but only checked the fluid tank mounted on the firewall for coolant level. It was ok.

In reality, the radiator was nearly half empty. I discovered this after allowing it to cool down and popping the cap (which was not fully tight as well, there are two "stop" positions).

After properly filling the cooling system, the detonation completely dissapeared. Helps when the cylinder head is actually getting coolant into it.

I got really lucky. Compression and leakdown tests came back fine. Fortunate I didn't blow out a head gasket or knock a hole in a piston.

Tackled the water pump / timing belt job, was definitely not fun but she is all back together now and runs great.

Have you checked your coolant level ? Don't rely strictly on the catch-can mounted on the firewall. Pop the radiator cap (when cold !) and have a look to see if there's actually coolant in there.

There are other things it could be (see my first post), but I'd start with the simple stuff first.

Let us know how it turns out !

Chris

Last edited by 76911S; 19 Sep 2012 at 01:52 pm. Reason: Typo
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