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2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

 
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 01:18 pm
Rollbar's Avatar
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Default 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

I just bought a 2003 PTC about 15min ago and I had it running with a jumper box to the battery. Ran a little rough but smoothed out. Very low idle.

1. When I took the jumper box off, it died. (Maybe alternator?)
2. When I was cranking it, I had to let the starter spin it so it would finally catch like to get the rpm up, then it would run.
3. When cranking, I can hear bubbling like the radiator is venting into the over flow/radiator fill bottle.
4. When running, the idle is very low but when your foot in on it it runs good. No knocking or anything.

I'm thinking these might be the problems:
1. Alternator is bad.
2. Maybe the timing belt has skipped a tooth or? (I don't know, I do not have a manual and guessing it is belt driven).
3. The bubbling might be from a bad head gasket BUT the oil is clean/no foaming or water present and tranny oil clean/red.

Hope this helps and sorry for so many questions. I bought this for the wife and now I can't get it to run.

Thanks,
Jim

P.S. Does some one have a link to an on-line manual?
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-2003 PTC, 2.4 non-Turbo, Auto, Loaded, 146K.

Last edited by Rollbar; 04 Jun 2016 at 01:21 pm.
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 02:08 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Because Trump
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Last edited by sanatanadharma; 10 Nov 2016 at 07:36 pm.
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 03:14 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

First I would suggest checking the battery. If one or more cells on the battery is bad the PT Cruiser will not keep running. What voltage are you getting on the battery without the engine running? If the battery voltage is low try doing a full charge on it with a battery charger.

I would suggest doing an coolant compression test to see if your coolant system is sealed or leaking.
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 04:36 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

New battery-all good.

Did a compression test w/all plugs removed.

1. 30lbs
2. 25lbs-wet/h2o and milky traces down the intake.
3. 25lbs-wet
4. 55lbs.

Then I did a compression test and removed only the plug in the cylinder I was testing, same readings.

We ran it for 15 min before we picked it up.

Note: When we started it before I bought it, the motor surged really bad=high/low rpms/high/low rpms then smoothed out.
I guess the computer was resetting it self since the original battery was dead.

Still no h20 in the oil and did run/drive but now, I can't get it started.
Might have to part it out, body/interior clean and straight.
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Last edited by Rollbar; 04 Jun 2016 at 04:38 pm.
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 05:57 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollbar View Post
New battery-all good.

Did a compression test w/all plugs removed.

1. 30lbs
2. 25lbs-wet/h2o and milky traces down the intake.
3. 25lbs-wet
4. 55lbs.

Then I did a compression test and removed only the plug in the cylinder I was testing, same readings.

We ran it for 15 min before we picked it up.

Note: When we started it before I bought it, the motor surged really bad=high/low rpms/high/low rpms then smoothed out.
I guess the computer was resetting it self since the original battery was dead.

Still no h20 in the oil and did run/drive but now, I can't get it started.
Might have to part it out, body/interior clean and straight.
I would verify that the compression gauge you are using is calibrated correctly. Are you checking the engine compression with the throttle body wide open and all spark plugs out? With the engine compression you posted it is not enough compression to fire.

How did you get it home? Drive it or had it towed?
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 06:20 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Towed home.

Compression test with intake removed. That was the only way I could get to the plugs.

Is there any other way to do it?

Thanks for the help,
Jim
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 06:34 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollbar View Post
New battery-all good.

Did a compression test w/all plugs removed.

1. 30lbs
2. 25lbs-wet/h2o and milky traces down the intake.
3. 25lbs-wet
4. 55lbs.

Then I did a compression test and removed only the plug in the cylinder I was testing, same readings.

We ran it for 15 min before we picked it up.

Note: When we started it before I bought it, the motor surged really bad=high/low rpms/high/low rpms then smoothed out.
I guess the computer was resetting it self since the original battery was dead.

Still no h20 in the oil and did run/drive but now, I can't get it started.
Might have to part it out, body/interior clean and straight.
Did the engine actually run before you towed it home?
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 06:45 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Yes it ran but hard to start, had to let the starter keep spinning and we had to keep the battery jumper on it and once we took it off it died so I thought all it needed was an alternator. We tried it again and let it run and the motor reached operating temp/needle in the middle.

It ran rough and surged big time until the computer got sync and then it ran good.

Everything works on it but I'm not sure if the very slow starter spin w/all the plugs out didn't give me a good reading. Not sure but the cylinder still should have still pumped the same.

I usually do a compression test before I buy but in this case, having to take the intake off etc, I didn't.

I bought this for the wife so she could have A/C here in hot Fla.

Can't complain. I paid $650.00 for it and another $30.00 for a tail light at the junk yard. But it would be nice to get it going, just not sure what condition the motor is in.

It does should like it needs a timing belt the way it is starting and needing the starter to help it spin a lot to start.

Maybe I can post some pics of the intake if I can get them off my phone or if this forum has TapaTalk.

Thanks again,
Jim
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 07:01 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Your engine light should be on with the starting problems. Post what the engine trouble codes are so we have a better idea of what the problem is.
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Old 04 Jun 2016, 07:17 pm
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Default Re: 2003 PTC, Won't start, runs rough.

Will it read the code if it won't start, and yes, the engine light was on but not when running, but I can't be 100%. No idiot lights were on.

Now, I just went and filled up the radiator. I put 1 gallon in at the place and just added 1 gallon.

Note: oil still at 1/2 mark/needs 1/2qt.

Note: when I just cranked it with the radiator cap off and the water to the brim, each time the engine piston pumped air, water cam out in the same cycle, not a flow, so that to me means I am getting blow-by on the rings, BUT, no water in the oil, so far/the oil line on the dip stick has not moved and no water on the ground except when it pumped out.

Thanks again for the help,
Jim
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