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MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20 Sep 2017, 04:25 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 40
Default MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Hello everyone,

My wife and I are experiencing a HOST of issues with our 2003 PT, Its a limited model, has 4 wheel disc/abs, A/T.

My wife is alleging some mornings she is getting in the car and the heated seat element turns on without her touching it. She'll drive for awhile and the seat gets hot, then she knows it on. (i've never seen it, but I dont drive it that often).

She also alleges that some times the cruise control won't even turn on! But then after turning the PT off and then back on, the cruise control will function. She alleges this doesn't happen too often, but enough to piss you off when you wanna use it. (this i've seen, it has happen to me).

She also alleges that the car will die at idle when running the AC. She says the PT stutters and then shuts off. Often times shell just turn the A/C to off and the car will restart and run fine. (she alleges the car still does this even after I cleaned out the throttle-body and replaced the IAC with a new one from borg-warner. The car drove really smooth for a long time after the new IAC when I drove it. Also I had the alternator and the A/C compressor rebuilt and put new belts on the car around the same time, which was about 1 and half months ago. I also replaced the dryer and lines. The only thing that is old is the condenser... which looked fine to me and the A/C shop. My wife says on really hot days the A/C is not what it used to be (i've felt it, its really not). Also considering we have like 4% tint on the whole car and 20% on the whole windshield.... should be a lot cooler!!!!

The last problem is really grinding my gears!
My wife was driving home a few days ago and she alleges she heard a loud clunk sound and then the brakes started grinding. I came out and saw the caliper flopping up. I jacked the PT up and saw the driver side lower bracket/caliper bolt had backed out completely and was gone! The upper one was loose. The passenger side bolts were also loose, but not super bad.

I have replaced the brakes every-time on this car for the last 10 years, never had a problem. Every car we own that I've done brakes on, I've never "torqued" the caliper bolts. they are usually 25 ft lbs, thats hand tight anyway. I went to chrysler, got a factory bolt, got new pads and rotors for both sides, since the rotor and pads were ruined on that side. I replaced it all. Now in the drivers side, you can hear the grinding noise coming from the wheel, especially when you turn it. I can see the metal shavings all over and the awkward wear pattern being put onto the rotor. I checked the bleed valve, it looks like fluid is still pouring out from it. I don't see the pads contracting though. I am assuming the caliper is stuck and needs to be replaced. I can't find anyone in Las Vegas to rebuild my factory caliper, which is my preferred method. and I need this to be done ASAP. A factory caliper has to be ordered, its 4 days out. new is $171, reman is 142 from chrysler.

napa $52, autozone $42, oreily.. $47 the most concerning is that Chrysler needed the VIN b/c there are 5 option available for calipers. How come giant parts stores only show one? Could the failing caliper also be why often times the traction light and ABS light would just stay on for days and then go off, or stay off for weeks and then come on for a few hours and go off while driving? could the piston failing at that exact moment exert enough energy to pop the bolt out of the threads?

any help to get this under control would be appreciated!!!!!!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 20 Sep 2017, 05:42 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,398
Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Let's kill these gremlins one at a time.


First, don't get hung up on genuine Mopar parts. Chrysler doesn't really make them and in many cases they ARE no better than aftermarket parts.

Next, take a photo of your VIN with your cell phone. Go to the parts store of you choice, if they ask for the VIN, show them the photo. Buy the brake caliper and purchase the rubber brake line too. The reason is that your issue is likely the caliper or the brake line has collapsed. When I've had this happen on my or my friend's vehicles, both items really need to be replaced. You will also need new pads and the rotor on the side with the seized caliper may need replacing if it cannot be turned. You might get by without this, but a seized caliper often causes the caliper to warp due to heat. Fix that first and get that issue out of the way.

To attack the electrical gremlins, start by being sure the check engine light is not on. If it is, get the codes either with a code reader (preferable) or use the "key dance" method. Then report the codes here so we can better help.

If no trouble codes, take a millimeter and check the voltage across the two battery terminals with both the engine off and with the engine running. My PT measures about 12.75 with the key off and around 13.75 volts with the engine running. Yours should be similar plus or minus 0.25 volts. If voltage isn't up to par with the engine idling, run it up to around 1500 rpm's and see if it is then in range. These readings are important because the PT Cruiser can sometime do all kinds of strange things if it's operating on low voltage. And this is likely one of the few things that could cause all the electrical problems you describe without throwing trouble codes.

If voltage is good, inspect for damage wiring and/or loose or damaged electrical plugs. A poor contact at the PCM might cause some of these issues, though it's not likely without trouble codes and other issues.

Report back after this stuff. If you don't find anything, we may have to entertain the idea that you may have several unrelated problems and tackle them that way. Hopefully others will post here too with additional and possibly better ideas as well. Good luck. An unhappy sweetie makes for an unhappy home.

It should be noted that while I am an ASE Certified Master Automotive Tech, I primarily work as a Safety Engineer among other things and I haven't worked as a professional mechanic since I was young strapping lad with long sexy flowing hair before college. And even then, I mainly worked on big trucks and heavy equipment. Nowadays, I enjoy working on these funny looking little cars for fun and relaxation. And I help others when I can.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 20 Sep 2017 at 05:44 pm.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 20 Sep 2017, 06:34 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,332
Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Let's kill these gremlins one at a time.


First, don't get hung up on genuine Mopar parts. Chrysler doesn't really make them and in many cases they ARE no better than aftermarket parts.

Next, take a photo of your VIN with your cell phone. Go to the parts store of you choice, if they ask for the VIN, show them the photo. Buy the brake caliper and purchase the rubber brake line too. The reason is that your issue is likely the caliper or the brake line has collapsed. When I've had this happen on my or my friend's vehicles, both items really need to be replaced. You will also need new pads and the rotor on the side with the seized caliper may need replacing if it cannot be turned. You might get by without this, but a seized caliper often causes the caliper to warp due to heat. Fix that first and get that issue out of the way.

To attack the electrical gremlins, start by being sure the check engine light is not on. If it is, get the codes either with a code reader (preferable) or use the "key dance" method. Then report the codes here so we can better help.

If no trouble codes, take a millimeter and check the voltage across the two battery terminals with both the engine off and with the engine running. My PT measures about 12.75 with the key off and around 13.75 volts with the engine running. Yours should be similar plus or minus 0.25 volts. If voltage isn't up to par with the engine idling, run it up to around 1500 rpm's and see if it is then in range. These readings are important because the PT Cruiser can sometime do all kinds of strange things if it's operating on low voltage. And this is likely one of the few things that could cause all the electrical problems you describe without throwing trouble codes.

If voltage is good, inspect for damage wiring and/or loose or damaged electrical plugs. A poor contact at the PCM might cause some of these issues, though it's not likely without trouble codes and other issues.

Report back after this stuff. If you don't find anything, we may have to entertain the idea that you may have several unrelated problems and tackle them that way. Hopefully others will post here too with additional and possibly better ideas as well. Good luck. An unhappy sweetie makes for an unhappy home.

It should be noted that while I am an ASE Certified Master Automotive Tech, I primarily work as a Safety Engineer among other things and I haven't worked as a professional mechanic since I was young strapping lad with long sexy flowing hair before college. And even then, I mainly worked on big trucks and heavy equipment. Nowadays, I enjoy working on these funny looking little cars for fun and relaxation. And I help others when I can.
Bad idea to use the key dance method. Use an OBDII Scan Tool so you can reset the engine trouble codes after you have recorded all the codes stored and see what codes are currently being triggered if the engine light comes back on.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 20 Sep 2017, 11:43 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

I don't have any check engine light on. But my scan tool doesn't even scan ABS codes.
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Old 21 Sep 2017, 07:12 am
rob302's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Darien, IL | Forest Park, IL
Posts: 3,519
Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Disc Brake Caliper Adapter (To Knuckle) - Front 77 ft. lbs.
Disc Brake Caliper Adapter (To Knuckle) - Rear 70 ft. lbs.
Disc Brake Caliper Guide Pin Bolts- Front 26 ft.lbs.
Disc Brake Caliper Guide Pin Bolts- Rear 16 ft. lbs.
Disc Brake Caliper Bleeder Screw 115 inch lbs.

If I were your wife i'd think you were allegedly trying to kill me.

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Old 21 Sep 2017, 07:21 am
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Location: Arkansas
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Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Bad idea to use the key dance method. Use an OBDII Scan Tool so you can reset the engine trouble codes after you have recorded all the codes stored and see what codes are currently being triggered if the engine light comes back on.
It's not a bad idea to use the "key dance" if you don't have a reader. That's why it was engineered into the cars.

The truth is that with skill, most folks could retrieve and erase basic power train trouble codes in a PT Cruiser without the reader. The problem is that many folks that don't already own a reader may not have that skill. Using an OBDII reader is easier so we often recommend folks get their own if they are going to work on their own car. But most often it's not a "bad idea" to use the key dance to initially retrieve codes.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 21 Sep 2017 at 07:30 am.
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Old 21 Sep 2017, 07:28 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Quote:
Originally Posted by 03pennythept View Post
I don't have any check engine light on. But my scan tool doesn't even scan ABS codes.
Most basic OBDII code readers don't read ABS codes. They want you to pay more money for that. Hopefully, once you've repaired the brake caliper as we discussed, the brake system will not be your issue anymore.

Since there's no trouble codes, I'd move on to the voltage test as I described.
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Old 21 Sep 2017, 09:23 am
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,332
Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
It's not a bad idea to use the "key dance" if you don't have a reader. That's why it was engineered into the cars.

The truth is that with skill, most folks could retrieve and erase basic power train trouble codes in a PT Cruiser without the reader. The problem is that many folks that don't already own a reader may not have that skill. Using an OBDII reader is easier so we often recommend folks get their own if they are going to work on their own car. But most often it's not a "bad idea" to use the key dance to initially retrieve codes.
Handy_Cruiser, please stop giving bad advice on using the key dance method. Many members have come full circle realizing that they needed the OBDII Scan Tool after missing a few engine trouble codes and throwing parts at the Pt Cruiser not fixing the problem.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 21 Sep 2017 at 12:11 pm.
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Old 21 Sep 2017, 09:31 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,398
Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
Handy_Cruiser, please stop giving bad advise on using the key dance method. Many members have come full circle realizing that they needed the OBDII Scan Tool after missing a few engine trouble codes and throwing parts at the Pt Cruiser not fixing the problem.
Steve,

Quit trying to imitate some of the bad attitudes we see here. If you don't like me, that's fine. I still like you. But please don't pick a fight over little minutia that is common knowledge. Folks have successfully used the Key Dance ever since it became available. It harder to clear the codes without a reader, but can be done on a PT when you don't have one. Again, we recommend the OBDII reader because it makes this much easier, but using the Key Dance when you don't have one is not a bad thing. Most people outside the influence of one of our stronger local personalities here know and understand this.

The OP has a reader, so this is kind of off-topic for this thread. But I would be glad to discuss this more in another thread about it. To be exact, I've been going to make a How-to video but just haven't had the time yet. We could have a great adult conversation about this subject once I post the video. But for now, let's help the OP solve his problems.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 21 Sep 2017 at 09:35 am.
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Old 21 Sep 2017, 09:46 am
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,332
Default Re: MULTIPLE 2003 ISSUES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Steve,

Quit trying to imitate some of the bad attitudes we see here. If you don't like me, that's fine. I still like you. But please don't pick a fight over little minutia that is common knowledge. Folks have successfully used the Key Dance ever since it became available. It harder to clear the codes without a reader, but can be done on a PT when you don't have one. Again, we recommend the OBDII reader because it makes this much easier, but using the Key Dance when you don't have one is not a bad thing. Most people outside the influence of one of our stronger local personalities here know and understand this.

The OP has a reader, so this is kind of off-topic for this thread. But I would be glad to discuss this more in another thread about it. To be exact, I've been going to make a How-to video but just haven't had the time yet. We could have a great adult conversation about this subject once I post the video. But for now, let's help the OP solve his problems.
Wow! Handy_Cruiser, have you forgotten that sometimes you get random codes and you need to reset the codes with the OBDII Scan Tool, drive the Pt Cruiser until the codes come back (if they do) before you can accurately determine what codes are currently active. This is advice that members give all the time when another member needs help with their Pt Cruiser when starting on a new issue. This is about using common sense.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 21 Sep 2017 at 12:12 pm.
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