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Went form errors P0032, P0038 to P0420 after new battery cables

 
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Old 10 Oct 2012, 12:14 am
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: South MS
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Default Went form errors P0032, P0038 to P0420 after new battery cables

A bit long I guess, but want to be as detailed as I can to see if anyone has ideas in where I should dig into next.
We just bought this PT Cruiser a few weeks ago and I knew it needed work. So that isn't the problem, it solving the problems

Prior to replacing battery wiring.
The initial problems were the car would not accelerate at stop signs. Required putting in park/neutral, shut off restart and then drive. Only error codes were P0032 and P0038, however ABS, Trac Off, and Park break light all stay on as well. This is how it was when we bought it and what it did on it's initial way to our home.
Because of limited free time I took the car to a shop the next day to replace a strut assembly, replace the timing belt and for diagnostics. I couldn't repeat the problem with acceleration or lack there of, when I took it to the shop. I also told the shop to replace the battery cables before even bothering with the diagnostics, as they were in real bad shape with corrosion on both ends (both the 2 pos and 2 neg). Few days later, daughter picked up the car and drove to a friends for dinner with no issues and no bad lights showing up. Car started after the dinner but then died while idiling after about 2 minutes she said. Also the Engine light, ABS, Park Break, and trac off light were all on again. So the car spent a few days there. She said it would crank but not catch.
A couple of days later the car then made its way to our house with no issues but with engine light and 3 ABS related lights on. Same O2 errors were all that showed up.
I now got to see the car for the first time since the shop trip. Noted that the wiring from the battery was still heavily corroded so I replaced that. The shop just cleaned around the terminal and since the battery was disconnected it probably took the car a while to spit out its errors.

This past weekend I did a thourough eyeball trace of all the wiring and connections I could lay my eyes on, above and below while on jack stands. Noted a few new sensors had been put on recently (not by the shop I just used). Checked all the fuses. Things look as they should for the age, but didn't see any issues unfortunately. I was hoping and still am, that I won't have to break out a voltmeter.

Hooked everything back up did a few test drives around our large block with no errors generated, the ABS errors not withstanding. Speed was kept below 25 because of a still bad wheel. Wife did the same today for me and she said the engine light came on. When I got home it shows an error P0420.

So I'm guessing my only alternative now is to replace the back O2 sensor and see if that is the culprit. I'm guessing I should replace both from what I've read here. I didn't find an exhaust leak and the exhaust note seems fine. It's idling fine too.
My nagging issue and question though is why would either of those sensors or a bad cat cause the problem with the car not wanting to start after it died at idle. For that matter why would a cat /cat sensor related problem prevent acceleration at the stop signs? Do you think by putting in the fresh 4awg cables I might have made some of her electical needs happy? I just don't feel that lucky.
The whole ABS thing is going to require a dealership check, as I don't see anything and know full well it could be a wire in a covered bundle.

Much thanks for reading. It's to be my daughters daily driver and I don't want her getting stuck somewhere because of the car.
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2004 Gold PT Cruiser LE, Automatic, non-turbo. Purchased used with no history in Sep 2012. Has about 115K miles. Bringing her back to roadworthyness first, shall see what else after that.
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Old 10 Oct 2012, 06:59 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 5,324
Default Re: Went form errors P0032, P0038 to P0420 after new battery cables

I'd like to help but am up to my ears in work. However, I posted yesterday a thread regarding troubleshooting suggestions for trouble codes: Troubleshooting PT Cruiser Error Codes

Go download that pdf file and see if it can help you out.
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Old 11 Oct 2012, 01:41 am
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: South MS
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Default Re: Went form errors P0032, P0038 to P0420 after new battery cables

Thanks shall take a look.
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2004 Gold PT Cruiser LE, Automatic, non-turbo. Purchased used with no history in Sep 2012. Has about 115K miles. Bringing her back to roadworthyness first, shall see what else after that.
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Old 15 Oct 2012, 11:32 am
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: South MS
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Default Re: Went form errors P0032, P0038 to P0420 after new battery cables

Well the O2 sensors were replaced, but the car died last night on the freeway. that was kind of a first (as it was not at a stop sign or light). Now at the dealership as that was only a few miles away and home was 25 plus miles.

Dealership just called a third time as they are troubleshooting. The cars computer thinks the car has ABS. They said the car doesn't. Which would explain why I couldn't find the ABS connections to the wheels!!! Wonder what the connections were I was looking at back aft? Probably to the fuel pump.
Anyway, that leads me to think the prior owner/owners had work done that involved the PCM being fiddled with by a mechanic with a computer and it wasn't reprogrammed correctly.
We shall see. hoping that's all it is.
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2004 Gold PT Cruiser LE, Automatic, non-turbo. Purchased used with no history in Sep 2012. Has about 115K miles. Bringing her back to roadworthyness first, shall see what else after that.
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Old 15 Oct 2012, 11:21 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: FL
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Default Re: Went form errors P0032, P0038 to P0420 after new battery cables

from experience a P0420 speaks about the catalytic converter
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