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(Not) Starting Problem

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01 May 2018, 08:56 am
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: South Central PA
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Default (Not) Starting Problem

The vehicle: 2004 PT Cruiser GT, 2.4 HO Turbo, 5-speed, ~175,000 miles

Water pump went out October 2017. Had new water pump, timing belt, and tensioner installed professionally (approx 6,500 miles on odometer since).

Last week my Cruiser stalled while driving. I pulled to the side of the road and tried to restart. Engine did not crank when key turned. Waited a few minutes and tried again...Fires back up. Drive about another mile, stalls again. Now it will not start, no turn over, no clicking when key turned to start...absolutely nothing happens. All other electronics work (lights, sunroof, radio, dash, DC ports, etc.).

Tried to push start. No dice. Got a tow home and now it sits in my driveway waiting to be brought back to life.

Things I have checked:
Battery is good
Fuses are good
I have 13V to the starter/solenoid. Removed the starter/solenoid and had tested. Good.
Clutch safety switch passes voltmeter diagnostic test
Tried to read codes with OBD Scanner, but no power to the OBD port. On-Off-On-Off-On key cycle returns no codes. Does not appear to be working as I do not even get the "done" indication.

Any thoughts on how to proceed?
-Rod
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Old 01 May 2018, 09:05 am
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 4,423
Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem

Check your ignition switch.
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Old 01 May 2018, 10:13 am
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Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem

I would suggest looking at the wire diagram to diagnose why you have no power going to the OBD port. See if it is related to the ignition switch as LionPt suggested.
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Old 30 Aug 2018, 10:44 am
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Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem

I have a very similar problem on my PT. She ran fine, had a o2 code, but otherwise reliable and running fine. parked her for a few hours, came out hit the key... nothing. "key dance" no response...cycled the ignition several times in frustration then she fired and ran fine for about 2 minutes then something shut the ignition system down. restarted fine 2 min later shut down. key dance for codes... no response.

observational diagnosis, I suspect the PCM or the SKIM system is not responding. here is why:

When you turn the key to the start position it doesn't drain power from other features ie. dim the interior lights, slow the blower fan, but it will shut the radio down when in the start position.

why it might be the PCM: when she cranks the fuel pump will spin up in the on position. when she doesn't crank the fuel pump doesn't respond.

why it might be the SKIM: the red security indicator light on dash will stay on solid, not blinking. I believe that mean it is not communicating with the PCM.

I have tried swapping out the ignition switch and actuator pin. no change. any ideas?
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Old 30 Aug 2018, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by kverro View Post
I have a very similar problem on my PT. She ran fine, had a o2 code, but otherwise reliable and running fine. parked her for a few hours, came out hit the key... nothing. "key dance" no response...cycled the ignition several times in frustration then she fired and ran fine for about 2 minutes then something shut the ignition system down. restarted fine 2 min later shut down. key dance for codes... no response.

observational diagnosis, I suspect the PCM or the SKIM system is not responding. here is why:

When you turn the key to the start position it doesn't drain power from other features ie. dim the interior lights, slow the blower fan, but it will shut the radio down when in the start position.

why it might be the PCM: when she cranks the fuel pump will spin up in the on position. when she doesn't crank the fuel pump doesn't respond.

why it might be the SKIM: the red security indicator light on dash will stay on solid, not blinking. I believe that mean it is not communicating with the PCM.

I have tried swapping out the ignition switch and actuator pin. no change. any ideas?
"During normal operation, the Theft Alarm / Immobilizer Light will come on for three seconds immediately after the ignition switch is turned on for a bulb check. Afterwords, if the bulb remains on, this indicates a problem with the electronics. If the bulb begins to flash after the bulb check, this indicates that an invalid key has been used to start the vehicle. Both of these conditions will result in the engine being shut off after two seconds of running. Keep in mind that a key which has not been programmed is also considered an invalid key even if it is cut to fit the ignition lock cylinder for that vehicle.

I would suggest checking to see if you have any blown ignition fuses including the ASD fuse.

If you have an 2002 Pt Cruiser the 2001 & 2002 PT Cruisers have a common problem of the wire harness from the crankshaft sensor to the PCM dropping down and rubbing on the axle burning out the wires. Check to see if this might be the issue.
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Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 30 Aug 2018 at 12:22 pm.
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Old 30 Aug 2018, 12:25 pm
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Location: southeastern PA
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Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem

Sounds like a stinker of a problem. Once you've rulled out the easy to diagnose stuff...

I'd go to the wiring diagrams, starting at at the starter and working my way back to the key switch, through the various safety circuits. I'd even print out the pages and highlite the pertinent circuits, it helps to understand what's going on. You really have to "grok" the circuit (see Robert Heinlien) I'm not sure how the PCM enters into the starter motor circuit, but it probably does. Tracing the circuit backwards until you find the cause of lack-of-signal or break in continuity.

It's gonna be a lot of pages of wiring diagrams. I spent a good part of one evening figuring out the wiring of a throttle position sensor in a Dodge Neon (and it's just three wires to the PCM, but they all take different routes and each wire went to a different connector on the PCM!). However, it was satisfying when I found there was a break deep in a wiring loom, bypassed it, and never saw a faulty PCM code again, ever.
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Old 04 Sep 2018, 05:16 am
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 74
Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem (Same Problem with a 2007)

Wow! Before starting a new thread, I decided to search and I am having the same problem in a 2007 non-turbo.

We gave the car to our daughter. She drove the car, parked it and it would start again. I had it towed. As soon as the tow truck driver let it down, he put the key in the ignition and it fired right up.

I had it towed to a shop because I don't have time to trace the wiring. However, I will check the ignition switch and watch this thread.
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Old 04 Sep 2018, 05:32 am
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Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem

Whenever you get a problem like this, the very first thing you should do after checking the battery terminals are clean and tight is get a jump lead and clamp it from a good earth on the engine to a good earth on the body - the bonnet catch assembly is usually the best / nearest.

Then try.

If nothing else it will eliminate the most common problem (with all cars) and that's the earthing getting corroded and stopping working, or working intermitantly.

Yank and wiggle ALL earth straps firmly. Just because it looks OK doesn't mean it is.

I had a FIAT once where it wouldn't start for no reason, then start OK, then not, then OK.... and on and fecking on... I checked EVERYTHING.
Took the starter out and checked it.
I bought a new battery.
I hit it with pieces of wood.
Swore at it.

Begged it.

It drove me mad

Then one day I noticed that the main earth lead was "cupped" - the solder had gone dry and the lead looked and felt perfect - until you pulled it in a certain direction, then it pulled straight out of it's connector where it bolted to the block

I crimped it with grips and never had a problem ever again.

So... take nothing for granted - but always rule out the simple sh*t first...
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Last edited by Sinbad; 04 Sep 2018 at 05:37 am.
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Old 04 Sep 2018, 11:07 am
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Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem (Same Problem with a 2007)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTCrews View Post
Wow! Before starting a new thread, I decided to search and I am having the same problem in a 2007 non-turbo.

We gave the car to our daughter. She drove the car, parked it and it would start again. I had it towed. As soon as the tow truck driver let it down, he put the key in the ignition and it fired right up.

I had it towed to a shop because I don't have time to trace the wiring. However, I will check the ignition switch and watch this thread.
The problem might be heat related. Try opening up the hood immediately after each time you drive it and see if it still starts after it cools down.
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Old 04 Sep 2018, 11:21 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Chicago
Posts: 74
Default Re: (Not) Starting Problem (Same Problem with a 2007)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTCrews View Post
Wow! Before starting a new thread, I decided to search and I am having the same problem in a 2007 non-turbo.

We gave the car to our daughter. She drove the car, parked it and it would start again. I had it towed. As soon as the tow truck driver let it down, he put the key in the ignition and it fired right up.

I had it towed to a shop because I don't have time to trace the wiring. However, I will check the ignition switch and watch this thread.
The shop told me that it was the positive battery connector. I have had to replace it before because of corrosion. I don't really buy the shop's conclusion. With a 2 month old, fully charged battery, I would expect the starter solenoid to at least click or for the engine to try and turn over. IDK... I could be wrong???
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