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Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17 Sep 2012, 01:10 pm
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Unhappy Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

I guess I'm new here or my profile got deleted from before, haha. Anyway, I apologize if this is not the correct place to post this. If it isn't, please direct me to the correct place. Sorry for the length of this. I just want to help anyone who reads this get a good understanding of what's happening with my PT.

In February I had gotten into an accident; front passenger side took the damage. I have been having weird electrical issues ever since then.
Just recently my car started doing this thing where the light for my brights flashes on the dash and eventually just stays on, but my brights are not on. When this happens, my gas gauge drops below empty and my car starts to *put put put* if I try to go over 45 mph. I have to pull over, shut my car off, and then restart it and it's fine until it randomly does it again. I also noticed a lot of issues come up like this when using the right turn blinker. Once in a while it will *ding* once, then if I use my right turn blinker after this, it will *ding ding ding* in sequence with the right blinker.
After the accident, the ground wire had been severed that goes from the fender wall to the strut. Right now, it has been reconnected, same wire but not with the connector that was originally there. I guess you could say it's sorta "ghetto rigged." I don't know if this is the issue or if something was not hooked up properly when the new headlight and fender were put on.
There are other issues I am having with my PT since the accident, too, but this one actually effects driving, so I would like to address this, haha.

Any ideas what this could be?
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Old 17 Sep 2012, 03:44 pm
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Default Re: Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

What year is your car Pop. If it's 2006 + be prepared for bad news.

On the ground strap at the wheel well to the strut. That's only to stop static electricity for the front wheel bearings. Not your problem.
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Old 18 Sep 2012, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

Oh, sorry. It's an 01'. And I know you didn't ask, but maybe it's also helpful to know it has 153,835 miles on it. I didn't put that many on it, haha. Already had 102,000 on it when I bought it in 07'.

I'm being told the computer is probably going out, but I'm sure it has to do with something from the accident because I didn't have these problems before the accident. Is it possible wiring was done wrong when the new headlight was put in?

After the accident, I had to replace the temp sensor, the power steering pully and belt, the radiator, and of course the headlight and fender. I can't remember off the top of my head what else was replaced.
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Old 18 Sep 2012, 01:31 pm
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Default Re: Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

Yes, it does sound like something got messed up re-wiring part of the car. Personally, I'd fork over the money for an hour labor charge and have it hooked up to an OBDII scanner which will run the car through it's diagnostic and hopefully pin-point any problems.
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Old 18 Sep 2012, 01:37 pm
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Default Re: Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

There was a thread on here the other day where somebody was having issues with the fuel sending unit causing the gas gauge to go haywire. Their solution was a ground wire on the passenger side inner fender had got corroded and was causing issues. You might look around in that area and see if something has come loose or looks missing.
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Old 08 Oct 2012, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

Man, I had to dig deep to find this thread, haha.

Well, I have taken it apart and found quite a few things that the guy that worked on my car had left in poor condition. Belt wasn't seated properly on the power steering pully, wires all exposed for the headlight, etc. I have pin pointed that it's ONLY when I need to use my headlights that my car gives me issues. Stupid me, I knew to check out the ground wire on that new headlight and I didn't.
I know it has to do with that new headlight because it keeps flashing the right turn blinker at the same time that the light for the brights flashes on the dash. The problem is way worse now.

Another question....there's a plastic box of sorts that looks like it's suppose to be behind the horn boxes inside the bumper and it looks like a vacuum tube to the cruise control goes into it. That hose is just hanging there and that whole plastic box is just gone. I don't know if it's ok to just put a plug on the end of it or not and I can't seem to find anything online about it. Anyone know about this?

And I do plan to take it to someone to have it scanned good because my OBDII doesn't find anything.

Thanks for your responses.
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Old 08 Oct 2012, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Gas gauge drops/Car starts jolting

That box is the vacuum reserve for the cruise control. Should be able to find one at a junkyard. I believe they are the same for all years. I am sure you can plug it but I doubt the cruise will work right.
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