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The infamous P0303 error code

 
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 02:45 pm
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Default The infamous P0303 error code

Hello folks. I've been a non participating member of the forum here for a while. I've been able to find the answers I need in the past from searching the posts here. Until now.

I have a 2007 PT Cruiser non-turbo, AT, 120,000 miles that has been throwing the P0303 code for several weeks. After searching on this forum I've done the following:

New plugs & wires
New ignition coil
tectron (3 times)
Discovered the battery had a bad cell & replaced it.

Now the check engine light flashes and the bell rings while at idle ONLY, like at a stop light, air conditioner on. When I start moving the bell stops and the light goes out. It's not throwing a code that my scanner can pick up I assume because the check engine light it now off.

I left the car running in the driveway and after a few minutes it again spit out the P0303 code.

I'm not a mechanic but I know which end of the wrench to use and I can follow instructions. What am I missing? Faulty fuel injector on #3 cylinder?

I don't have the tools to check the engine compression. It's not back firing, there's no smell of eggs in the exhaust. It doesn't seem to have much power but then it never did. The engine is idling rough but not bucking or stalling.

Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 03:28 pm
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

Did you recheck the plug & wire for #3..??
Did you gap plugs at .40..??
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 03:34 pm
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

Yes sir when I replaced the ignition coil today.

I just got back from a "test drive", long story short I barely made it home. The car started to buck and would not shift gears. Hardly any power. The engine smelled really hot when I shut it off but the temp gauge was where it normally is. I was not able to get the speed past 45mph.

My first thought is that the wiring harness to the new coil came loose. It's too hot to check. It'll be tomorrow before I try. Why do I think that? I lost the little red plastic piece that locks the harness to the coil. It disappeared in a suicidal dive behind the engine. Any thoughts on how to replace that little plastic locking thingy?
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 04:04 pm
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

Did you check to make sure its the right coil for your PT Cruiser? Did you check to make sure the wiring is correct?
I would suggest checking the compression in cylinder #3 with 120,000 miles on it.
If your compression is good you might want to check and see if your exhaust manifold is cracked- If it's bad enough enough air will enter to it misleading the O2 sensor to report a lean condition.

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 13 Jun 2015 at 05:10 pm.
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 04:28 pm
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

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Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
Yes sir when I replaced the ignition coil today.

I just got back from a "test drive", long story short I barely made it home. The car started to buck and would not shift gears. Hardly any power. The engine smelled really hot when I shut it off but the temp gauge was where it normally is. I was not able to get the speed past 45mph.

My first thought is that the wiring harness to the new coil came loose. It's too hot to check. It'll be tomorrow before I try. Why do I think that? I lost the little red plastic piece that locks the harness to the coil. It disappeared in a suicidal dive behind the engine. Any thoughts on how to replace that little plastic locking thingy?

That sounds like the Camshaft Sensor, check to make sure you didn't knock the plug loose or pulled a wire when you replaced the coil.
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 05:04 pm
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

Thanks folks I will attempt to check all of your suggestions.

Now it's showing CODE 0300. Multiple misfires. (sigh)

Back to the drawing board . . .
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 05:50 pm
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

I would suggest checking your vacuum lines. You might be running lean.
Has the timing belt been replaced yet?
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 05:31 am
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

The timing belt has not been replaced.

Do I need to find a replacement for the locking piece that holds the wiring harness onto the coil?

Heading into the garage . . .
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 07:25 am
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
The timing belt has not been replaced.

Do I need to find a replacement for the locking piece that holds the wiring harness onto the coil?

Heading into the garage . . .
Usually no, if the plug isn't damaged it should stay on...but it's your decision.
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 09:04 am
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Default Re: The infamous P0303 error code

I put the original ignition coil back in. The car ran fine for 9 miles. At a stop light with the AC on the check engine started to flash and the bell rang along with it. When I started moving the light went off as did the bell. It did that at every stop light with the AC on. Not with the AC OFF.

I stopped to exchange the coil for a new one and the check engine light came on - you guessed it - CODE P0303 misfire in cylinder three.

BUT it does run now. My plan is to let the engine cool and try another new ignition coil.

I've checked for vacuum leaks with WD40. I can't find one.

Thoughts?

(help!)
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