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Fixes for Chrysler PT Cruiser 2001 - 2010 (PT)

Vehicle:  2006 (PT) Chrysler PT Cruiser Also applies to all 2001-2007 PT Cruisers

Concern:  A/C blows warm air when vehicle speed is 0mph (i.e., at a stoplight). A/C blows cold while the vehicle is moving 30mph or above. Related symptom: the engine speed will fluctuate at idle with the A/C on, due to excessive high-side pressure in the A/C system.

Cause:  electric radiator fan failure.

Resolution:  replace the electric radiator fan assembly.

Details:  The low speed circuit in the fan is inoperative. The high speed circuit is most likely still functional which is why the engine does not overheat.


Vehicle:  Applies to almost all vehicles, common on Chrysler (PT) PT Cruiser with 2.4L engine.

Concern:  Check engine light is on. Fault code P0340 (no cam signal at PCM). Engine may hesitate.

Cause:  Camshaft position (CMP) sensor failure.

Resolution:  Replace the camshaft position sensor to correct. I recommend to use a Mopar part from the dealer for best results.

Details:  P0340 means that the PCM (Powertrain Control Module)(engine computer) is recording a loss of the signal generated by the camshaft position sensor. This sensor is located on the left side of the cylinder head (nearest to the air filter box).


Vehicle:  All Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge (LH) (CS) (PT) vehicles equipped with NVLD (natural vacuum leak detection) system.

Concern:  The check engine light is on. Scan tool reveals code (DTC) P0440 general evaporative system failure.

Cause:  Usually caused by a failure of the switch inside the NVLD assembly.

Resolution:  Replace the NVLD assembly to correct.

Details:  The purpose of the NVLD system is to test the integrity of the fuel vapor containment system. For example, if the fuel filler cap was not in place, or there was a leak in the fuel tank/vapor lines/canister, the NLVD system would identify the fault and the PCM will illuminate the check engine light. This system is mandated by the EPA, to prevent evaporative emissions. All recent vehicles have this system in one form or another. Evaporative emissions are caused when gasoline evaporates into the atmosphere, which is a form of pollution. This also explains why the nozzles at gas stations have changed over the years---to prevent evaporative emissions. The NVLD system does not test the integrity of the pressurized fuel lines or fuel injectors. Note: P0440 indicates a general fault with the NVLD system. It does not neccessarily mean that there is a leak.


Vehicle:  All Chrysler (PT) PT Cruiser with 2.4L gas engine. Usually happens around 100,000 miles.

Concern:  No start. Engine cranks but will not start. The engine probably died while driving. Engine sounds odd while cranking (sounds too smooth). This assumes the battery and starter are OK.

Cause:  The timing belt is broken. Partially remove (pull back) the upper timing belt cover and have an assistant crank the engine. If the cam sprockets do not turn, the timing belt is broken. You may see the shredded remains of the timing belt.

Resolution:  Replace the timing belt. Also replace the water pump, timing belt tensioner, and both idler pulleys to complete the repair.

Details:  This is a fairly difficult job.


Vehicle:  All Chrysler (PT) PT Cruiser with 2.4L TURBO engine only.

Concern:  Vehicle does not have enough/normal power. Engine runs smooth but not enough power. Possible 'ching-a-ling' type noise from rear of engine. Probably no check engine light.

Cause:  The turbocharger has failed.

Resolution:  Replace the turbocharger assembly. (Get out your checkbook on this one.) Also replace the oil supply line to the turbo.

Details:  On neglected vehicles, oil sludge will build up in the oil supply line to the turbo. This will prevent oil from reaching the turbo, which causes turbo failure. Use a quality synthetic engine oil in all vehicles that are equipped with a turbocharger and change the oil at reasonable intervals.


Vehicle:  All late model Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles (PT) (LX) (WK) (XK)

Concern:  No start. The engine does not crank or start. When key is turned to the 'start' position, nothing happens. Battery is NOT dead.

Cause:  The immobilizer module is electrically 'locked up' or is otherwise non-responsive.

Resolution:  Disconnect the battery for a few minutes, then reconnect the battery and retest. If the engine now will start, the immobilizer module may need to be replaced.

Details:  The immobilizer module is located very close to where the key goes into the ignition lock cylinder. The immobilizer module has several names, depending on year/model: SKIM, SKREEM, WIN. Vehicles with a WIN also have a FOBIK type remote (no key).


Vehicle:  Most Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge vehicles, 2005 and newer (WK) (XK) (LX) (PT)

Concern:  The clock (on the radio) is incorrect. What is the procedure to set the clock?

Cause:  -

Resolution:  1) Hold the 'time' button until the clock hours digits blink. 2) Turn the right radio knob to set the hour. 3) Press the right radio knob in to select minutes. 4) Turn the right radio knob to set minutes.

Details:  Easy Squeezy Lemon Peazy!


Vehicle:  Chrysler (PT) PT Cruiser

Concern:  Front windshield washers are inoperative. Can hear the pump running, but no spray.

Cause:  The washer nozzles are broken. The hoses have broken off the nozzles. The nozzles became very brittle over time due to engine heat.

Resolution:  Replace both washer nozzles and clean out/repair the hose connections as needed.

Details:  Cool fact: PT Cruisers have only one washer pump which supplies both the front and rear washers. A polarity-reversing system is used. When the pump turns in one direction, the front sprays. In the other direction, the rear sprays.


Vehicle:  Chrysler (PT) PT Cruiser.

Concern:  The MIL (check engine light) is on. Scan tool reveals DTC P0551 power steering switch performance. Driveability is normal. No other symptoms.

Cause:  The power steering pressure switch has failed.

Resolution:  Replace the power steering pressure switch and top off the power steering fluid.

Details:  The switch is located on the rack and pinion (steering gear). Access from under the vehicle. Most likely the switch is leaking. Clean out the two-wire connector with electrical parts cleaner or brake cleaner. Three (3) test drives should clear the MIL.


Vehicle:  All vehicles. (JK)(ZJ)(CS)(JC)(TJ)(XJ)(PT)(KJ)(KK)(KA)(AN)(ND)(DR)(DS)(WJ)(WK)(XK)(LX)(LH)(FJ)(JR)(JS)(RT)(RS)(NS)

Concern:  The MIL (check engine light) is on. The scan tool reveals DTC P0601 PCM internal controller failure.

Cause:  The PCM (engine computer) has an internal fault.

Resolution:  Replace the PCM to correct.

Details:  This is an easy diagnosis. When P0601 is present, the solution is always to replace the PCM. There is no other possible cause. Normally the vehicle is still driveable.


Vehicle:  All Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles. (JK)(ZJ)(CS)(JC)(TJ)(XJ)(PT)(KJ)(KK)(KA)(AN)(ND)(DR)(DS)(WJ)(WK)(XK)(LX)(LH)(FJ)(JR)(JS)(RT)(RS)(NS)

Concern:  Alternator failure. The alternator (generator) is not charging. Electrical problems.

Cause:  -

Resolution:  Hold on for a minute. Alternator failures are extremely rare on Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge. You need to rule out the battery, wiring, and PCM first before replacing the alternator.

Details:  The alternator is controlled by the PCM (engine computer). Again, true alternator failure is very rare. In ten years as a dealer service dept tech, I have replaced maybe five alternators.


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