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Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

 
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Old 24 Feb 2014, 10:50 pm
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Default Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

I purchase a used 2003 PT Cruiser about a month and a half ago. It had 55,000 miles on it and is in very good overall condition. With the exception of the random stall (5 speed) and the radio that goes on and off by simply moving the key in and out while the car is running.

Took it to the shop and they wanted $150 to change out the Ignition Switch Actuator Pin. It's not an expensive part so I purchase one on Amazon to do it myself.

Dorman 924-704 Ignition Switch Actuator Pin for Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep : Amazon.com : Automotive

There's a You Tube video on how to do it. It looked easy enough so I gave it a shot but my son and I could not get the new part to connect. The long plastic pin didn't seem to want to seat properly. The spring popped out a few times and we kept having to put it back together. Very frustrating and after many tries we gave up and put the old one back in to at least get back to where we started.

The new part and the old part seem identical and I don't see how or why it could be defective since there aren't any electronic parts to it or anything that looks like it could go bad.

Here are my questions and I would greatly appreciate any help or feedback:
  1. Is there any chance this isn't my probelm in the first place?
  2. Could this be the cause of random stalling?
  3. When I had the cylinder out that the key was inserted into, the key itself easily moved in and out (not completely of course) so I'm wondering if it isn't the cylinder and not the ignition switch actuator?

Any thoughts?
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Old 25 Feb 2014, 02:05 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

When you push inward on the key does the radio display work?
If so......Get a new 'key cylinder' w/tumblers(so you can key-code to your original key code!),and that should take care of the problem.
Similar info here:
Replaced ignition actuator switch, now radio display doesn't work


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Old 25 Feb 2014, 02:38 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

Thank you for the reply!

When the car is started and I push the key into the column the radio goes totally off (display & sound). When I pull it back out everything comes back on.

From what you are saying I need to rekey the lock cylinder and tumblers. I guess I need to buy this?
Amazon.com: Dorman 924-703 Ingnition Lock Cylinder: Automotive

Since I couldn't get the new Actuator Pin installed should I keep trying or just return that part knowing the above is actually the problem?

And is there any chance at all this could cause the car to outright stall every once in a while?
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Old 25 Feb 2014, 02:54 pm
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Wink Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

Yeah;Normally if the actuator is the problem,the long plastic pin is broken.....It sounds like yours is fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DagnyT View Post
And is there any chance at all this could cause the car to outright stall every once in a while?
That sounds like your probably need to check your battery cables(loose??...good/clean contacts??),and especially your grounding points(fenderwell & engine block)....Just follow the negative cable to find the grounding points.
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Last edited by randyincctx; 25 Feb 2014 at 02:58 pm.
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Old 25 Feb 2014, 03:26 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

Thanks again.

I will return the actuator pin since mine appears to be fine and order the cylinder set and hope for the best!

I will also check the battery cables. I've had the battery checked a few times with varying results so I'm thinking the cables might be a good thing to check out.

I will report back.
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Old 30 May 2014, 01:59 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

I replaced the cylinder set and keyed it to my existing keys and it works great. No more issues with the radio going off, etc.

Today I replaced the battery as I'm still trying to determine why they hell the car just stalls out! UGH!

The battery did need to be replaced since it had an old Auto Zone (ValueCraft) battery from January 2009.

Question #1 - Do I need to keep that wrap that goes around the battery? It is slowly disintegrating and making a mess in the engine compartment. Where can I get one? It doesn't look like Advance Auto sells them?

Question #2 - I still have the random stall issue. It only occurs when coming to a stop or greatly slowing down. It doesn't seem to matter if clutch is in or out, in gear or out. It's starting to do it more frequently and is getting frustrating. It always starts again.

The Meineke guys wants to do a $160 fuel system service but can't guarantee that's the problem. Does that make any sense? I put in a can of Sea Foam to see if that helps.

Any suggestions??
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Old 30 May 2014, 02:58 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

The wrap around the battery keep the engine heat away. You can use anything to do the same thing.

You stalling problem as you come to a stop might be an IAC (Idle Air Controller) problem. It can be taken off and cleaned or just replaced.

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Old 30 May 2014, 03:39 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

That sounds promising. I assume on your pic it is located in the yellow cross hair?

I have an '03 PT 2.4L and it doesn't look exactly like yours. Any chance you have a link to a video detailing how to take it apart. I will give it my best shot but very much I'm just a car guy novice. If no video, I'll take a schematic or something.

Thanks for the tip either way.
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Old 30 May 2014, 04:05 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

Yes, it's where the yellow star is and it's just held on by two Torx bolts. But there isn't very much room between the bolts and the rear of the firewall. It just comes apart and you can clean the spring ans anything else that might be dirty.

No video. and I don't know why yours wouldn't look like mine except for the chrome goodies. It's just an 01 2.4ltr right out of the Mexican factory.
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Old 30 May 2014, 05:59 pm
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Default Re: Ignition Switch / Random Stall / Loss of Radio - HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by DagnyT View Post
...
Question #2 - I still have the random stall issue. It only occurs when coming to a stop or greatly slowing down. It doesn't seem to matter if clutch is in or out, in gear or out. It's starting to do it more frequently and is getting frustrating. It always starts again.
...
Any suggestions??
My 2004 was stalling when I came to a stop. Adding one quart of oil fixed the problem. I am not suggesting adding oil will fix your stalling, but...

...apparently a weak or faulty oil-pressure switch can signal the ECU to de-energize the auto-shutdown relay causing a stall. If the ECU doesn't see the oil-pressure switch signal (indicating insufficient oil pressure) it shuts down the system (and car won't start). In the past my car occasionally stalled when exiting a highway with very hot. thinned out oil.
I plan to change the oil-pressure switch at the next oil change.
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