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Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

 
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  • 1 Post By NitroPT
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08 Aug 2014, 06:08 pm
JLC JLC is offline
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Unhappy Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

I have a 2002 PT that I bought from the original owner (a good friend) in June of 2008. It had 69,000 miles on it when I bought it and now has just over 91,000.

A few weeks ago, I moved downstate (I'm in Michigan), left the car overnight at a U-Haul place to make a 2nd trip north to get the rest of my stuff. The next day I picked the car up and it felt different right away. I wrote it off as just feeling different after driving a U-Haul van all day the day before.

Long story short, I could tell it wasn't shifting to higher gear. I took it to a dealer and their computer could not communicate with my car and they said I needed a new PCM, and that it may or may not fix the problem. They wanted over $1000. so a few days later I took it to a tire & auto repair place and asked them what they would charge. The wanted a little over $700 so I had them order the PCM and a few days later they installed it. It didn't fix the problem. The said the PCM told them it needed a transmission solenoid. So, another $340. later, the new solenoid went in. Still didn't fix the problem. They called a transmission place and were told the new solenoid needed to be programmed and that only a Dealer could do that.

So, I dropped it off the next morning, they took it to the dealer, and called me later that day to tell me I now need a TCM ($950) and may or may not have needed the solenoid after all. I have no more money at this time, esp. not $950. and told them so. They asked if I wanted them to take the new solenoid out and refund me less the $100. for taking it to the dealer and for removing the part. So, I told them to take it out and I got $151. back for a $251 part.
I drive the car to work and back 7 miles each way five days a week. I drive 30mph or less with my flashers on. I was told it is stuck in 1st gear. Then I overheard the mechanic tell the "receptionist guy" it is in "limp mode". I looked around on this forum and read about limp mode to see what it was.
I also read about retrieving codes here with the on & off 3 times thing and get P0700 (transmission control system malfunction) and P1684 (driver 5 line 4).

My questions are:
How much more money should I throw at this car?
Have I already spent too much?
Are they giving me the runaround?
What the heck does the "driver 5 line 4" code mean?
Am I going to damage the car further by continuing to drive it (even slow)?
Is there something they are missing?

Additional info which may or may not be relevant:
The first time the car was in when they installed the PCM, the mechanic checked everything over and said (among other things) I need a new battery asap--because it is 7 yrs old. He also pulled the air filter out and showed me the plastic "box" it goes in was about 1/3 full of acorn shells (from chipmunks or mice, I assume), and put a little screen on it so they couldn't get back in there. He said he checked wires and didn't find any chewed.

I really appreciate any help or suggestions. I'm out of money for awhile and need to keep getting back & forth to work to make money to fix this car. I'm a 54 yr old female with no mechanical experience, so doing any work myself is pretty much out of the question. Thanks in advance for any input.

Jamie
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Old 08 Aug 2014, 06:17 pm
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

The P1684 just means the battery has been disconnected at one point. Not really helpful. The P0700 is what is wrong. It's a generic code for a transmission problem that only an OBDII scanner or equivalent can break down to say exactly what the problem is. The dealer might have done this and that's why they are saying the TCM is the problem. Try doing a search for TCM and see what others have done.
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Old 08 Aug 2014, 07:02 pm
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

I don't think you are getting a runaround as much as you are dealing with incompetence.
Did you get a new battery? You'll need that no matter what, and low voltages can cause problems...
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Old 08 Aug 2014, 07:24 pm
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

Something to consider is that the timing belt will need changed around 100,000 miles and that will be around $800 to $1200 to have a garage do it (if it was not already done by the original owner - probably not).
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Old 08 Aug 2014, 07:29 pm
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

Given the nature of the problems sudden arrival. I wood investigate the wiring again. The 16@@ code is nothing to worry about. Just means that the battery has been unhooked in the last however many key starts.
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Old 08 Aug 2014, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

IMO you need to start over!

The first thing is to find a qualified shop in your area.

So if you return to this forum and are interested on how to do this Let me know.
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Old 09 Aug 2014, 08:37 am
JLC JLC is offline
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

Yes, NitroPT, I'm interested in finding a qualified (and honest) mechanic. Please help!

Regarding the comment about the battery:
The mechanic didn't say it could have anything to do with the problem...just that it should be replaced because its old and that I might get stranded somewhere if it died. But you think it might be a contributor to the problem?
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Old 09 Aug 2014, 08:42 am
JLC JLC is offline
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

Oh, and no one commented on whether or not I should continue to drive it in its current state. Anyone? Thanks!
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Old 09 Aug 2014, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLC View Post
Yes, NitroPT, I'm interested in finding a qualified (and honest) mechanic. Please help!

Regarding the comment about the battery:
The mechanic didn't say it could have anything to do with the problem...just that it should be replaced because its old and that I might get stranded somewhere if it died. But you think it might be a contributor to the problem?
This will take some phone time from you.
I see looking up service shops in your area that you are not of short suppy. So this shpuld be an easy task.

1) ask that the shop have a current ASE technician. A master technician would be better.
2) ask if they will do a complete comprehensive diagnostic and mechanical evaluation.
3) ask if they garantee thier work
4) ask if they have experence with Chrysler vehicles and spcifically a PT Cruiser. This question really matters little and the response should be that all vehickle are mechanically simular and it doesn't matter.

Once you find at least 2 shop that you feel conterble with after having qualified them with these questions than pm me there information. I will call and talk to them about your PT. I am a ASE Master Tehnicain with other certifications so I can better assertain thier qualification before you go to them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JLC View Post
Oh, and no one commented on whether or not I should continue to drive it in its current state. Anyone? Thanks!
NO vehicle having problems effecting it mecanically should be continued in use.
The operaitive word here is mechanically.



IMO don't buy any other parts until you get a qualified and experienced Technician look at the problems with your PT.

IMO In your case that you admit little mechanical ability taking advise of what could be wrong from a forum is not going to be to helpful for you without being able to test some recommendations.
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Old 13 Aug 2014, 03:29 pm
JLC JLC is offline
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Default Re: Spent over $1000. so far and still not fixed...

Ok, Nitro--
I called a few places and 2 answered the questions to my satisfaction but one guy actually asked me what problem I was having. He talked to me for 20 minutes, listened to my whole story, and it turns out he's the transmission guy the other place called to ask what to do about the solenoid.

He said he told them that the PCM had to be programmed, NOT the solenoid. He also said its possible I didn't even need a PCM because no one did any checking of anything leading to or from the PCM before just jumping to replace it. He also said the TCM, which the other place now wants to replace, is located in a place where, over time, can get dirty and/or corroded and sometimes things just need to be cleaned up and not necc. replaced.
I felt satisfied enough with our conversation and his knowledge (and overall demeanor), that I am taking my PT to him next Tues.

I appreciate your offer to call a couple places for me, but I hate to ask you to spend your valuable time doing that for a stranger. I will post here again after I take it in Tues. to let you know what this guy thinks. Thank you so much--he was impressed with my questions!
Jamie
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