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PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

 
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 12:17 am
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Question PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

(2006 PT Cruiser Turbo Ltd Edition) My engine light came on. Every time I took it to the mechanic it would read different codes. They said they'd have to run electrical diagnostic analysis to find out exactly what the issue was. Each time they would tell me a sensor needed replacing. But, the engine light would keep coming on and my car would go into limp mode.

Then, the nothing would happen when I tried to start my car, i'd try the second time and it would start with no problem. Battery, starter, alternator was fine. They told me it was the PCM ($900). I had it replaced, engine light still comes on and limp mode begins. Now, they're saying the PCM is not communicating with the transmission, and I need a TCM. This is costing greatly.

Can anyone tell me what is going on? I've been told it's not the transmission, because when the engine light is off the car rides fine. I've heard transmission relay, trans speed sensor and the transmission computer ($900). I can't afford to pay this and my car's engine light keep coming on and my car keep going into limp mode! Please Help!!!
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 01:10 am
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Default Re: PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

I would suggest the first thing you do is have a battery load test done with the battery in the PT Cruiser even if the battery is new.

If the battery load checks out good then I would suggest you check the ground wires going to the driver's side fender. They get corroded and lose contact.

If the above suggestions are okay I would check all wiring going to the TIPM. The TIPM are common for intermittent problems on the 2006 PT Cruisers.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 01 Jun 2016 at 01:18 am.
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 07:48 am
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Default Re: PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

In a 2006 PT, the TCM is INSIDE the PCM. It's the same module and it's the one that you got charged $900 for while you could have gotten one for less than half that much. And if your mechanic doesn't know that the PCM and TCM are one and the same on your PT, then you may need to change mechanics.

If checking things out yourself, first check to see if a new PCM has even been installed. Its on the firewall on the driver's side and easy to see. And if there is an obviously new one, your issue may just be a wiring or charging issue since you report it affecting both the transmission and the engine.

But if unfamiliar with the PT, the best bet is likely to just get a second opinion from another mechanic.
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

First, thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my post. My car is a. 2006 PT Cruiser Turbo, 2.4 L Limited Edition. The mechanic claimed they looked up the part to see if they were combined and it listed them as separate "plug-n-play" pieces.

Being ripped off on pricing and lied to doesn't surprise me. I'm a middle-aged woman knowing nothing about what's happening. Sometimes, I think about going to Auto Mechanic Training just so I can know a little something at least to not get taken for a ride.

Does the type of model I have make a difference when it comes to the PCM or TCM? It's not a regular 2006 PT Cruiser. Thanks for your help. I'll take all info you give me and ask about it.

It seems like the only one who would know how to fix what's going on is the dealership. I know they'll be even MORE EXPENSIVE!
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

The PCM and TCM have been combined in all PT Cruisers since 2003 all the way to 2010. It was only the 2001 and 2002 models that had separate TCM's. There are no exceptions that I know of.

When it comes to PCM work, the dealer is not always going to be the more expensive option. They often have better diagnostic equipment and may be able to identify the issue instead of just guessing and changing out parts based on their sometimes limited experience at the customer's expense.

Also you might ask around and see if there is a better freelance mechanic to go to with good diagnostics abilities. Sometimes, parts stores can give good advice on who to go to depending on your car's problem. Just ask at several parts stores and not just one.
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

I am starting to lose my faith in the quality of none Chrysler rebuilt PCMs for PT Cruisers. I will no longer advise or recommend as I once did any re-built PT Cruiser PCM *except the Chrysler available re-built PCM units. While they may be considerably more cost the fail or issue rate in our shop has been zero compared to several from none Chrysler suppliers.


*The PCMs and or calibrated/tested PCMs from Syked Tunning are the exception. However to my knowledge they are not currently base calibrated PCMs for PT Cruisers.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 01 Jun 2016 at 12:59 pm.
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 01:34 pm
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Default Re: PCM or TCM? Constantly changing codes!

Thank you so very much, Handy_Cruiser! I'll take everything you shared into consideration!
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