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**VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

 
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Old 01 Mar 2013, 09:33 pm
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Default [SOLVED!!!] **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

My wife’s PT Cruiser decided to fall apart today. 2001 Auto with 145K. Seriously, no problems for the past several thousand miles. Ran great when we parked it the night before.

Today, the tides have turned.

Rough idle with poor acceleration and FLASHING check engine light. Pulled the code. P0304 – misfire in cylinder 4. After a little research, I decided to change out all the plugs (And they were TOTALLY shot).

No dice, same rough idle and error code.

To add insult to injury, it seems as if the thing is OVERHEATING as well. Also, the exhaust smells rotten.

Blown head gasket?

Any help is much appreciated.

I made a video so you can see what’s going on. And just so you know, the car has always sounded like it had a hissing vacuum leak. It ran great, so I figured it was just the nature of the beast. Been like that for thousands of miles. No problems until today…


Last edited by kcpope; 24 Mar 2013 at 08:42 pm.
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Old 02 Mar 2013, 08:23 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

You changed the plugs, how about the plug wires. They give just as many problems as the plugs.

Check the coolant for any signs of oily residue that would give one indication of the blown head gasket and check the oil on the dip stick for any signs of of water in the pan.
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Old 02 Mar 2013, 08:45 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

Just curious about the overheating problem... In the video I couldn't hear the engine cooling fan running... do you know for certain if that's working? If not, I can see why it'd be overheating just sitting there idling. All of us here know that the fan is a very common problem on our cars.
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Old 03 Mar 2013, 02:47 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

I'm with Crewzin on the plug wires. Especially since old plugs 'overwork' the plug wires. And with Neoman with the fan. It should be in high speed at that temp reading.
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Old 03 Mar 2013, 10:17 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

Thanks guys! Crewzin, thanks, I'll check for signs of oil or water in the wrong places. And I AM going to replace the coil and wires, because at 145K, it's probably about time...even if they aren't the cause of this problem.

I have another theory though; let me know what you think. If the #4 cylinder is not firing, I would expect the spark plug to be WET with gas when I pulled it out after driving. However, it's bone dry, with no signs of combustion happening. Could this be a sign of a fouled INJECTOR?
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Old 03 Mar 2013, 10:49 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

I'm not sure of the exact signs of a fouled injector but I do know that of all the rough idle and loss of power problems that I've seen on the forum with a P0304 (or 1, 2,3) have come down to either some sort of vacuum leak or internal problem. Check really good around the plastic upper manifold for any tiny cracks and the four red oblong gaskets between the upper and lower manifold for signs that there's no vacuum leak especially around the number #4 cylinder.
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Old 04 Mar 2013, 11:58 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

Okay, I think I made some progress. Yesterday I pulled off the #4 spark plug wire and stuck an old spark plug in it. I started the car with the spark plug wire attached to the coil and attempted to ground the plug on a metal bolt. No spark. Nothing.

I did this same test on the #1 cylinder. Plenty of spark. I even shocked myself several times! So I ordered a new coil and spark plug wires. Ill post again and let everyone know the results.

I hope that's it...
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Old 24 Mar 2013, 08:41 pm
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

Okay, just to help those who may encounter a similar problem in the future, I'll explain how the problem was fixed.

I read many times that the ignition coil in our PTs is very reliable and bulletproof. BUT, I'm proof that they CAN fail. My spark plugs were unbelievably shot. 145K and they had never been changed. From what I read, this can place high stress on your coil and cause it to fail. At least I think that's what caused mine to go out. I got a P0304 code, and lost spark to the #4 plug. All others worked fine.

While I was in there, I noticed my #1 spark plug well was filled with oil. (Valve cover gasket was leaking. So I replaced that, along with the rubber seals for the upper and lower intake. Here's some pictures of the process. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll try to answer to my best ability.

Also, while I was feeling around in there, I believe one of the bolts to my mid-motor mount is sheared, because I can feel the bolt head just loosely bouncing around in there. This sucks, cuz I'm not pulling the engine to get to that. I recently replaced the upper and lower torque struts. Will I be fine? Here's a picture of the bolt that's sheared, along with all the others...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg shear.JPG (28.9 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg photo 1.jpg (47.6 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.jpg (48.9 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg photo 3.jpg (45.4 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg photo 4.jpg (39.9 KB, 28 views)
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Old 25 Mar 2013, 02:48 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

KC: just curious, how did you determine it was the coil and not the plug wire?
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Old 25 Mar 2013, 07:30 am
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Default Re: **VIDEO** P0304 and Overheating HELP!!!

Heck at 145k I would personally replace the plugs, wires, coil AND fuel injectors. I replaced the injectors on my 03 base at 107k just because they were 107k old
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