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2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 21 Feb 2018, 02:51 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Default 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

I am supposed to be on vacation, a long road trip. I did everything possible to help it go off without a hitch. Now I am spending most of my time pulled over trying to avoid a burned out engine.

"lunch" is supposed to be "LUGGAGE". Stupid auto correct.

I have minimal tools on board. I also have minimal mechanic skills. And also minimal money left over to spend at dealerships, shops etc. I already spent almost 2k getting it ready to sail so the Feb budget was supposed to be used for traveling. Now I don't know whether to use this sledge hammer while drinking at a cantina or throw it in a dealerships till. They seem to be my only options.

So I have a few questions... Do most PT owners spend more time under the hood than behind the wheel?

Do most PT owners put a full snap-on toolbox in the back seat or do they use it for carrying lunch) age and sightseeing brochures?

If you were on vacation and your car started heaving a couple of weeks after a very expensive repair would you take the techs suggestion to see a dealer or would you take the case to the BBB (or BAR in CCA?

The reason I ask about the last question is because if I start monkeying with it am I voiding the maintenance warranty? Keeping in mind that "anything can happen" could it be purely coincidental that a car that ran fine went to a shop for major maintenance, now it runs like crap, is it MY fault for buying the car in the first place? That's kind of the techs response to the issues without getting any grease on him inspecting his own work. He said they aren't good cars and they have lots of problems. Am I supposed to believe that and just wing it driving to Albuquerque and back cro_ing my fingers?

F u r k auto correct again and again.

Last edited by OldMiner; 21 Feb 2018 at 02:55 pm.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 03:11 pm
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Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMiner View Post
So I have a few questions... Do most PT owners spend more time under the hood than behind the wheel?
I have found that after the Pt Cruiser reaches 100,000 miles or ten years and older they are not so dependable. What makes it worse is when a complete diagnostic is not done and unnecessary components are replaced that might have flaws. Any time you do major repairs you will most likely have a few issues that comes up from removing and reinstalling components.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 03:19 pm
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Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

First, PT Cruisers are design as well and run as well as any other $20,000 American made car during the early 2000's. All the major components were used in many Chyslers and Dodges from this period and there's very few unique mechanical features. Mechanics just don't like these cars because the engine fits very tightly under the hood. And of course, some mechanics just do not know how to work on Daimler Chryslers so they blame the car.

With some simple maintenance, a 100,000-mile timing belt change and a few tricks we discuss all the time on this forum, the average PT can be expected to run upwards of 200,000 miles or more. The red PT in my footer had over $120K and was used in a car pool making a 110 mile daily commute with no problems.

My suggestion is this. If the radiator cooling fan is not working, it must be fixed now. The failure of this fan is what eventually kills many if not most PT Cruisers. This fan is available off the shelf at many parts stores or available over night. And it's not that hard to install if you are used to working in tight places. If you can, please follow the directions in that link I gave to test your fan.

As for the rest, we've given you several things to try for the engine problems but we are all only guessing since we cannot lay hands on the car ourselves. One thing not discussed is past overheating. Has the car recently overheated? If so, a resulting leaking head gasket could also cause many of the symptoms described.

I cannot advise you the warranty on the work you recently had done. In general terms, you really shouldn't be depending on any ten year old or older car if you do not have the resources to do some repairs yourself. And it often gets harder and harder to find good mechanics willing to repair an older car. If I knew the fan is working and if the car runs okay going down the road, I would like take the chance and just drive it home and then take it back to the original mechanic if I trusted him or her. You will likely pay more for the repair than the car is worth if you end up at the mercy of a dealership service department far from home. And that's another issue to consider. A good running PT is only worth between $2K and $3K in many cases. So factor that in before spending too much more money. It may be cheaper to just coast into a used car lot and buy another PT.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 21 Feb 2018 at 03:31 pm.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 03:27 pm
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Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
I have found that after the Pt Cruiser reaches 100,000 miles or ten years and older they are not so dependable. What makes it worse is when a complete diagnostic is not done and unnecessary components are replaced that might have flaws. Any time you do major repairs you will most likely have a few issues that comes up from removing and reinstalling components.
That was my take on it too. Especially any rubber or plastic components will not be suitable for replacement after removal. 14 years is beyond the lifetime of most small rubber o rings and whatnot. I trust the shop to take that into consideration when writing a repair order for routine maintenance. I sure as heck don't know what's involved in pulling a timing belt cover off, all I know is he isn't willing to inspect even the serpentine belts even though he noticed the steering wheel is chattering now and it didn't before. He's just chalking it up to old age and Chrysler. Wish he would have said that BEFORE taking on the job and accepting payment for it. Anyway now I am trying to figure out how to make it right before I try to drive 1k miles and back. Would you drive it? Or would you junk it?
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 03:41 pm
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Posts: 161
Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

[QUOTE=Handy_Cruiser;682872]First, PT Cruisers are design as well and run as well as any other $20,000 American made car during the early 2000's. All the major components were used in many Chyslers and Dodges from this period and there's very few unique mechanical features. Mechanics just don't like these cars because the engine fits very tightly under the hood. And of course, some mechanics just do not know how to work on Daimler Chryslers so they blame the car.

With some simple maintenance, a 100,000-mile timing belt change and a few tricks we discuss all the time on this forum, the average PT can be expected to run upwards of 200,000 miles or more. The red PT in my footer had over $120K and was used in a car pool making a 110 mile daily commute with no problems.

My suggestion is this. If the radiator cooling fan is not working, it must be fixed now. The failure of this fan is what eventually kills many if not most PT Cruisers. This fan is available off the shelf at many parts stores or available over night. And it's not that hard to install if you are used to working in tight places. If you can, please follow the directions in that link I gave to test your fan.

As for the rest, we've given you several things to try for the engine problems but we are all only guessing since we cannot lay hands on the car ourselves. One thing not discussed is past overheating. Has the car recently overheated? If so, a resulting leaking head gasket could also cause many of the symptoms described.

I cannot advise you the warranty on the work you recently had done. In general terms, you really shouldn't be depending on any ten year old or older car if you do not have the resources to do some repairs yourself. And it often gets harder and harder to find good mechanics willing to repair an older car. If I knew the fan is working and if the car runs okay going down the road, I would like take the chance and just drive it home and then take it back to the original mechanic if I trusted him or her. You will likely pay more for the repair than the car is worth if you end up at the mercy of a dealership service department far from home. And that's another issue to consider. A good running PT is only worth between $2K and $3K in many cases. So factor that in before spending too much more money.[/QUOT
Yes that's exactly what I tried to do, prevent vacation breakdown. But for dogs sake I am not a mechanic and can figure out the fan isn't turning... Doesn't that cause a code? The tech sat next to me with the on board detector right there and though it would only give a shudder not the galloping I have learned how to replicate it now that I am hundreds of miles away. We've had drastic temperature variances and the problem only occurs when it's hot outside or I have to run the a or defrost. It took me weeks to remember my COOLING 101 lessons I got from my last car.... Shudder after the car is warmed up equals fan not running. Shouldn't a mechanic check that first thing? Even if it's not related to his repair shouldn't he at least mention it? Or (and I keep forgetting this) could a faulty new serpentine belt cause the fan to stop turning or would there be more symptoms than that? My last car had a fan belt. Does this car have one? I looked in my children manual and they don't mention belts.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 04:00 pm
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Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMiner View Post
My last car had a fan belt. Does this car have one? I looked in my children manual and they don't mention belts.
The Pt Cruiser has a electric motor driven fan.

You can get a new radiator fan at Rockauto.com for approx. 84 dollars plus tax plus shipping if you find you need to replace your radiator fan. Just make sure the radiator fan plug is good after it is shipped to you.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 21 Feb 2018 at 04:02 pm.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 04:07 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 161
Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
The Pt Cruiser has a electric motor driven fan.

You can get a new radiator fan at Rockauto.com for approx. 84 dollars plus tax plus shipping if you find you need to replace your radiator fan. Just make sure the radiator fan plug is good after it is shipped to you.
Any particular brand? It seems "dorman" is predominately mentioned at this site though some of the posts are old.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 06:02 pm
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Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMiner View Post
Any particular brand? It seems "dorman" is predominately mentioned at this site though some of the posts are old.
My 2007 Pt Cruiser has the Dorman radiator fan. Just make sure you buy the 3 pin connector for your 2004 Pt Cruiser.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 21 Feb 2018, 06:28 pm
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Posts: 161
Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
My 2007 Pt Cruiser has the Dorman radiator fan. Just make sure you buy the 3 pin connector for your 2004 Pt Cruiser.
Thanks! A common retailer (not sure about policy here about naming stores here) has Dornan assembly for 108 and has it in stock so I will pick it up in the morning. Does the a_bly come with the connector?

Edited to say the clerk says it comes with the pigtail.

Last edited by OldMiner; 21 Feb 2018 at 06:35 pm.
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Old 21 Feb 2018, 08:23 pm
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Default Re: 2004 non turbo idle issues let me start again

All of the ones i bought came ready to install, pigtail and all.
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