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Electical Ghost in Car?

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Old 17 Jan 2017, 12:01 pm
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Default Electical Ghost in Car?

Hey y'all, I just got a 2006 convertible pt cruiser automatic transmission. Im having a hard time dealing with an intermittent transmission issue. the car runs like a champ when it wants to. However, occasionally when the car is in the on position the battery light comes on and the temperature gauge goes out. When these two things happen and we start the car, the car stays in limp mode and all of the gears light up as if they have all been selected. I have checked and cleaned ground connections coming off of battery. I have also replaced the speed input and output sensors which helped the transmission a little, but the limp mode keeps coming back. This is definitely an electrical issue and we aren't sure where to look. If anyone can point me in the right direction it would be great.

Forgot to mention, previous owner had the computer replaced and we have no idea where the computer might have come from.

Also, we found a connection that was broken on the computer, but once we secured it, there was no difference. We are getting a low voltage code on the reader. We just can't seem to find this ghost.

Please let me know if you have any insight!

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Old 17 Jan 2017, 12:22 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,785
Default Re: Electical Ghost in Car?

There is a known voltage regulation problem with the PCM on some 2006 PT Cruisers. It may be possible to just have your PCM flashed with an update. The technical service bulletin is 18-007-07.

A low voltage condition (or just the throwing of the low voltage code) may be causing the transmission to go into Limp Home Mode.

This isn't the TBS itself, but it references it:

This instruction talks about assuring the PCM has the updated flash before checking out other components. However, you can have your battery tested for free at many parts stores. Sadly, testing the alternator in the car at the parts store may be inconclusive since it may be the PCM and not the alternator. But if testing the alternator in the car and it tests good, than it is likely good. The inconclusive part would come in if it tests bad. Since I don't have a copy of the TBS itself, I do not know if the PCM actually creates a low voltage condition or just falsely detects one when there isn't one.

Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 17 Jan 2017 at 12:45 pm.
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Old 18 Jan 2017, 12:23 am
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: Electical Ghost in Car?

Bad battery terminals and cable corrosion causes all sorts of mayhem. I would check for any resistance in the battery cables. Also check all ground wires going to the TCM.

If the battery cables check out good I would suggest that when all of the gears are all lit up, it indicates TCM may not be processing a valid gear position, either internally in the module, faulty Transmission Range Sensor, Or "Missing or Poor" connections in The "Battery Feed and Ground" department.
Transmission Range Sensor works basically on a digital logic format....1 is on, and 0 is OFF.
There are three or four combinations of ones and zeroes for each forward gear which your TCM translates into a Gear selector position..

A Chrysler DRB scan tool has a function for Shifter Logic test or Shift Lever Test, Which will determine the input from Transmission Range Sensor as compared to Actual "Requested" position.
OBD scan tools do not have this function, so a trip to a dealership may be a quick solution but check everything else out first including taking the PT Cruiser to a transmission shop to scan for any transmission trouble codes.
If at First You Don't Succeed - Try, Try Again

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 18 Jan 2017 at 12:26 am.
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2006 pt electrical, electrical, electrical glitch, electrical problems, transmission problems

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