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Stumped 2002 PT Cruiser Engine Trouble

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Old 19 Jul 2015, 01:03 pm
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Default Stumped 2002 PT Cruiser Engine Trouble

2002 PT Cruiser Touring Edition.

So the problem started on Friday. The car jerked (says my wife) when she was accelerating, and lost acceleration. She noticed the tachometer was oscillating quickly. Also noticed several accessories stopped working, including the radio, dash display, etc.

She started pulling over. As she was applying the brake, they felt like the froze, became hard like the car was off and had been pumped. When she got the car stopped, it ended up stalling completely.

When I got there, the car would turn over, but sounded like it would not catch. I ran the codes, and came back with P1391 (intermitent signal from the crankshaft position sensor or the camshaft position sensor).

I had it towed home, tried turning it over again, and it sounded like the started was spinning, but not turning over the motor.

I replaced the started (thinking that may have gone pretty sure that was original parts), and replaced the crankshaft position sensor. Got it all back together, and same thing, sounds like the starter is spinning but not catching the motor.

I was trying to get the motor to turn, it did sound like it got it, but then I noticed some smoke from under the hood, coming from the passenger side. Smoke stopped when I killed they key.

So a couple of questions:
1) Does this all sound like it's related?
2) Does this sound like an alternator problem?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 19 Jul 2015, 01:21 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,736
Default Re: Stumped 2002 PT Cruiser Engine Trouble

Since the radio quit too, this is likely bigger than just a bad cam or crank sensor. I me, I'd start with the smoke you saw under the hood. Find the source of that and you may find your problem. I suspect an electrical short.

Also, if you do find it. You may need to check fuses to get everything working again. Just keep that in mind.
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Old 19 Jul 2015, 01:45 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,534
Default Re: Stumped 2002 PT Cruiser Engine Trouble

I would suggest taking the camshaft sensor off, turn the engine over and see if the cams are turning. You might be putting stress on the starter if the engine is locking up if the starter is smoking.

I would suggest to stop randomly replacing parts. Do a load test on the battery and look at all the battery cables especially the grounds. Use a OBDII Scan tool to reset the engine trouble codes and re check expect lots of codes if it does not start.

You need to determine where the smoke is coming from. This can be very important as if its an bad electrical short you should disconnect the battery and find the short before you kill the PCM or the PT Cruiser catches on fire.

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 19 Jul 2015 at 02:05 pm.
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alternator, engine, p1391, stalled

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