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P01604 Error Code

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Aug 2013, 03:06 pm
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Default P01604 Error Code

I have a 2006 PT Cruiser, Touring Edition. My check engine light came on about a month ago and I finally got around to getting it checked last weekend. I have not noticed the car running any differently since the light came on. Here is the write-up from the Goodyear Service Center that diagnosed the problem:

"We pulled 2 codes from vehicle, P01603 and P01604. We suggested to clean the battery terminals because they were so built up with acid corrosion. After we showed customer and did service we got codes P01604*2 and 2 transmission control codes. We reset system again and got a computer link problem where the PCM is not communicationg with the scan tool. We believe that the PCM is failing and will eventually completely fail."

They want to replace the PCM at a cost of about $800-. Does the diagnosis sound legitimate? If so, can I replace the PCM myself? Is it hard to get to and does it require specialized tools to remove and install?

It's has been running fine since I got it back but the check engine light is still on. I live in CA and my concern is that if I leave it as is it may not pass the smog test when it comes time for that annual testing.

Thanks,
Geoff
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Old 05 Aug 2013, 04:54 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Geoff, welcome to the forum.

The mechanics at auto stores like that make their money from selling parts. Nuff said about that.

First, you can pull your own codes by following these directions.....

How to retrieve fault codes.

Second, you can clear most codes from the computer by taking off the negative battery cable for about 5 minutes. If you can't do something like that, try asking around for a trustworthy mechanic, someone that one of your neighbors have been using for a long time and they have a little bit of faith in them.
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Old 05 Aug 2013, 06:37 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Thanks for the advice! I'll give it a try when I get home tonight and see what codes come up. I'll also try disconnecting the negative ground lead like you suggested.

- Geoff
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Old 06 Aug 2013, 01:09 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

I pulled the code per your instructions and indeed came up with P1604. My wife has a friend who's husband is the service manager at a Toyota dealership and he recommended disconnecting the negative and positive leads from the battery and then shorting them together for a minute or two. He siad there is a capacitor that can still provide power to the PCM and you want to drain this power. Then leave disconnected for 5 minutes like you suggested. By doing this he said it will totally power down the PCM so when you reconnect the batterry cables and start the car back up it is like a total reboot of the PCM. He siad it may idle a little rough at first as the system relearns how to idle and how to perform other functions. That probably explains why the Goodyear dealer got the 2 transmission control codes after resetting as I mentioned above. If I still the the P1604 code I will need to replace the PCM.

I found a site that sells used PCM's (http://www.allcomputerresources.com/). You send them your VIN number and mileage and they will pre-program (flash) the unit and send it to me. The price on their eBay store is $169- which is lower than their website price of $199-. How difficult is it to swap the PCM out myself? Do I need any special tools?

Thanks,
Geoff
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Old 06 Aug 2013, 01:52 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Older thread....

Computer/PCM removal
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Old 06 Aug 2013, 02:42 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

That's awesome. Thanks for the link!

- Geoff
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12 Aug 2013, 11:09 am
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Well, I did what my friend recommended. He recommended disconnecting the negative and positive leads from the battery and then shorting them together for a minute or two. He siad there is a capacitor that can still provide power to the PCM and you want to drain this power. Then leave disconnected for 5 minutes like you suggested. By doing this he said it will totally power down the PCM. Tried the procedure twice and still got the same error code.

Now the mechanic I went to that I mentioned above said I needed a new PCM. The P1604 error code is listed on this site as "P1604 Loss of IPC Serial Data" (Error Codes). Is the problem indeed the PCM? I hate to buy a new one if it is not.

Thanks,
Geoff
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12 Aug 2013, 03:40 pm
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Location: On Vancouver Island, BC
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Are you sure it is P1604?

That is not in my Chrysler DTC list ...

Edit: I should mention that the list on the forums you link to does not coincide with my list either: My list and the OBDII manual shows P1602 as being "PCM Not Programmed" whereas the linked list is: "Knock Sensor (KS) Module Performance"

Edit: Further, my full OBDII manual says: P1604 1T PCM 2001-2005 PT Cruiser: "PCM Internal Dual-Port Ram Read/Write Integrity Failure Conditions: Key on; and the PCM detected an error message that indicated it had not been programmed, or it was not programmed properly. Possible Causes: Fused Ignition switch output is missing (off-start-run circuit) PCM is damaged or it has an internal failure."
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Own a White 2003 Base. If you have free parts, I like free parts, actually at this point I prefer any advice to help chase down my problem.

One day I WILL make my PT behave!

Last edited by Caustic; 12 Aug 2013 at 03:49 pm. Reason: Variance to list and manual exerpt
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12 Aug 2013, 04:33 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic View Post
Edit: Further, my full OBDII manual says: P1604 1T PCM 2001-2005 PT Cruiser: "PCM Internal Dual-Port Ram Read/Write Integrity."
This is the correct description for that code.

Disconnecting the battery is good for clearing the module and seeing if a condition still exists, but it will not always clear a code. Codes can be displayed as either an "active" code or a "stored" code. You really need to use a code reader to first check if a code is there, then clear them, then see if they come right back. This means the problem is active. Otherwise the code could just be stored from a single incident that already resolved itself.

The dealer code reader (StarMobile or WiTech pod systems) actually list each code as "active" or "stored" and record the mileage when the code happened. This is really the best way to get an idea of when a problem occurred and whether it is still active.

Geoff - if the problem still persists and you need to replace your PCM, you can get a used one (like the link you posted) and do it yourself. It is very easy to do. If you look right behind the fuse box in the engine compartment, it is the module with the large wiring harnesses on the front.

If your check engine light isn't on, then I really wouldn't worry about it unless the problem reoccurs.
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Old 13 Aug 2013, 01:55 pm
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Default Re: P01604 Error Code

Quote:
Originally Posted by 392SRT8 View Post
If your check engine light isn't on, then I really wouldn't worry about it unless the problem reoccurs.
The light is still on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 392SRT8 View Post
Disconnecting the battery is good for clearing the module and seeing if a condition still exists, but it will not always clear a code. Codes can be displayed as either an "active" code or a "stored" code. You really need to use a code reader to first check if a code is there, then clear them, then see if they come right back. This means the problem is active. Otherwise the code could just be stored from a single incident that already resolved itself.
Assuming the PCM is indeed bad, will the check engine light go away if I replace it the bad PCM with one from the link above or does the dealer or someone with the appropriate equipment need to go in and clear the light?

Thanks,
Geoff
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