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Electrical gremlins

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 14 Jun 2021, 03:23 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 6
Default Electrical gremlins

Help ! I've got an '06 Touring convertible that has some really strange electrical issues. We've had the car for about 10 years now. A few years after we bought it the issue started. Out of the blue, the instruments all go off, all the warning lights come on, the seat belt buzzer goes off, then everything goes to normal. Car continues to run just fine. It might do it 10 times then it won't do it for a year. I never know when it might happen. At first it was just the lights and gauges going off. One time, a few years ago, when that started to happen, the engine started to die. Sputtered and I had to keep pumping the gas. I stopped, shut it off, restarted it, and it was fine for several more years. Today, it really went nuts. It stalled out twice on the way home from running some errands. Restarted right up. Two more times it almost died but again, I pumped the gas and then it ran fine until it died in the driveway. Same thing, all the warning lights come on and gauges went blank. Restarted it just fine and pulled into the garage. Seems sometimes it will do it when hitting a bump and then sometimes not, even if I purposely hit them. I've had it to several shops over the years and of course, it won't do it when they have it and it passes all the electrical tests. Seems it must be a ground wire or a connection somewhere if it does it when hitting bumps. Strange it goes years with no issues then wham, it goes crazy. Any ideas ? Sorry for the long post.
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Old 14 Jun 2021, 07:23 pm
imickey503's Avatar
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Default Re: Electrical gremlins

This sounds like an Instrument cluster that has some Bad solder joints.
Its usually right on the Main Connector harness. (Where they are stressed)

Use Lead Solder and desolder the Broken points, and clean them and make sure the PADS are still there on the circuit board.

Then go back and use Lead solder to make them like new again.

There may be problems with the Connectors under the hood. But its either the Board or wire issues.

I know that does not give you a solution. But with how these cars are made? You need a DRB or something like that in order to really chase down problems.
2001 PT cruiser.
49,000 miles
Custom Dealer installed aftermarket sunroof
worst car I have ever owned from a reliability standpoint.
Canadian spec car imported to the states.
Wish I could just rewire everything and use a Minivans ROCK SOLID electrical system in this car.
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Old 14 Jun 2021, 07:57 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 6
Default Re: Electrical gremlins

Thanks, gives me something to look at. The instrument glitches aren't as worrisome as the engine dying. It's only done that a few times now. I guess if it would just die and not start back up it would be a whole lot easier to track then. I'll just make sure I don't go farther than I can walk back. Thanks again.
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Old 15 Jun 2021, 11:18 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 6
Default Re: Electrical gremlins

I saw a YouTube video talking about this same issue and they removed and repaired the connector going to the ignition switch behind the lever for the tilt wheel. By repair they tightened the pins in the connector for better contact. They also said the wiring there wears on a metal piece under the dash and can cause a ground to occur. Going to look at these this weekend.
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Old 16 Jun 2021, 05:13 pm
dougs's Avatar
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Location: los angeles, california
Posts: 629
Default Re: Electrical gremlins

It could also be something as simple as you need a new ignition switch..... That's what happened to us...
Black base 2006 NA, dented front bumper, scratched rear bumper. 2008 Touring, one of 385 red Turbos built in 2008. Limited grill, body-colored mirrors, grab handle deleted, dual-tone horn, shorty antenna.
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Old 05 Jul 2021, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: Electrical gremlins

First I would suggest checking the battery cables and doing a battery load test. The PCM does not like low battery voltage. Check to see if the battery fluid is low next to both battery posts.
If at First You Don't Succeed - Try, Try Again
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Old 05 Jul 2021, 09:47 pm
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Default Re: Electrical gremlins

Originally Posted by ptcruisersteve View Post
First I would suggest checking the battery cables and doing a battery load test. The PCM does not like low battery voltage. Check to see if the battery fluid is low next to both battery posts.
And, check all your grounds!

But, agree, ignition switch is a common culprit!

2003 PT Cruiser GT Panel Van Conversion as new day driver.

Have now owned 6 PT Cruisers = Me PT Crazy!
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Old 31 Jul 2021, 02:25 pm
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Default Re: Electrical gremlins

I had this problem and I replaced the ignition switch. So far so good!
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Old 04 Sep 2021, 07:16 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1
Default Re: Electrical gremlins

I had to have my ignition switch replaced also but now my car thinks the key is still in the ignition even when I take the key out. The ding ding ding goes off as soon as I open the door and dings until I close it. Was hoping someone might know a way to fix that. My mechanic says I have to replace the steering column to make it stop dinging but I'm just not sure about that. Any ideas?
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Old 05 Sep 2021, 08:52 pm
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Default Re: Electrical gremlins

I'm with Steve. Check the battery. I had sane issue with a 2008. Happened twice and I changed the battery. Never had the issue again.
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