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Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jan 2014, 11:42 am
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Exclamation Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

I'm not a hipster, but I have a fixed-gear PT Cruiser that I'd love to repair. It's stuck in "Limp-In" mode and I'm trying to find the cause.

Here's some background:

Issue:
It's been stuck in limp-in mode somewhat intermittently for months. On cold mornings, the transmission sometimes works well for the duration of the drive. On subsequent start-ups, it reverts to the lame limp-in mode. We live in a humid climate, so I'm not certain that it's strictly temperature and not also humidity related.

Professional Repair:
It's been through three mechanics, with one saying he doesn't work on transmission, one who changed the TCM with no effect, and a dealer who offered to change the PCM for $1400.

Vehicle:
It's a 2005 NA Limited Edition with 120K miles.

Fault Codes:
P0501 (Vehicle Speed Sensor Range/Performance)
P0700 (Transmission Control System Malfunction)
U0101 (Mass Air Flow Sensor Performance)
P1603 (Loss of SDM Serial Data)

Other Issues:
The speedometer is intermittent and some of the dash lights have gone out.


Here's my attempted diagnosis for possible causes:

1 - Bad input/output sensor on transfer case
2 - Blown TCM fuse
3 - Bad solenoidpack
4 - Bad battery wires
5 - Corroded connectors in PCM
6 - Bad transmission control relay
7 - Bad powertrain control module

I swapped the horn and transmission control relays and found the horn to continue working and the transmission to continue *NOT* working, so #6 is likely out. I've been through about 40 threads on this topic and still learning more, but I'd love to hear insight from someone who knows about this issue and how to resolve it.

If it ends up being #7 (Bad PCM), I'm *very* tempted to score a $150 eBay PCM instead of paying 10X the amount at the dealer. Any thoughts on the cost/benefit of this?
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Regarding the fault codes:

I'm guessing P0501 is related to the faulty speedometer or a bogus input/output speed sensor.

I haven't really thought about U0101 and if the MAF sensor could be causing this problem.

P1603 seems like it could be a corroded connector that's sabotaging serial comms, or lack of power to all or parts of the PCM/TCM.

I'm very inexperienced with troubleshooting from codes and would love some help. Do the specific codes or the combination of codes suggest a particular failure in my list or something else?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 01:58 pm
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Default Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

hipster?
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 05:53 pm
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Default Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Change the speed sensor. That could be your problem. Has the fluid and filter been changed.? Also has these codes been there from the beginning?
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 06:05 pm
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Question Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Crawler View Post
It's been through three mechanics, with one saying he doesn't work on transmission
Lazy,or combination scared or ignorant of PT Cruiser(and Chrysler products in general!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Crawler View Post
one who changed the TCM with no effect
Lazy,and just wanted to make a fast buck(or hundred/s?)...Yeah,sorry to say you probably got burned on that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Crawler View Post
and a dealer who offered to change the PCM for $1400.
Surprise,surprise,surprise!....lmao

Just curious;Did ANY of the 3 suggest,or do a fluid change,or even say the words: "Solenoid Pack"?
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 06:13 pm
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Default Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyincctx View Post
Lazy,or combination scared or ignorant of PT Cruiser(and Chrysler products in general!)
Lazy,and just wanted to make a fast buck(or hundred/s?)...Yeah,sorry to say you probably got burned on that one.
Surprise,surprise,surprise!....lmao

Just curious;Did ANY of the 3 suggest,or do a fluid change,or even say the words: "Solenoid Pack"?
I believe the tcm has been replaced. Isn't that the same thing?
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__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________Performance, Body and Service, OEM

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http://www.ptcruiserlinks.com/forum/...oject-1-a.html

This is a great read from one of our own! Badglas
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 06:26 pm
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Wink Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
I believe the tcm has been replaced. Isn't that the same thing?
Emily-Litella-Never-mind.jpg
.....
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 06:35 pm
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Default Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyincctx View Post
LMBO!
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__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________Performance, Body and Service, OEM

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This is a great read from one of our own! Badglas
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 07:19 pm
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Talking Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
LMBO!
Younger members probably won't get that,and they'll have to use 'The Google'!....
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Old 06 Jan 2014, 12:07 am
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Default Re: Yet Another Limp-In Thread! No Love For PT-Fixie

Wow, thanks for the replies!

Busa_Powered,

I made a terrible joke that offended both hipsters and those who appreciate fixed-gear bicycles and fixed-gear automobiles. For that, I apologize.

Busted_PT,

Thanks for the suggestion. The manual shows the speed sensors to be a quick change, so I'll try that tomorrow. I'm not sure how long the codes have been on, but I disconnected the battery and had only the U0101 code come back on initially, then the P0501 and P1603 followed after a few starting cycles. Perhaps related to the U0101 (MAF), the wires leading to the MAF look a bit gnarly and the shroud is almost entirely gone. I haven't checked the wires (yet) for continuity/resistance, but I'll do that as soon as I'm certain where they are supposed to go! Apparently the car has also been stalling when off the throttle and also gets gas mileage worthy of a bus (8MPG!). I attributed this to being in a low gear and revving high, but I suppose the MAF could be off and letting the engine run gloriously rich.

randyincctx,

Yep, he made a fast $500 on the TCM. I wasn't the one taking the car into the mechanics, so I'm not entirely sure how we were sold on it. The transmission fluid has been changed twice recently.



Thank you guys for your insight. I'll put another few days into this and hopefully find some answers.
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