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PT Cruiser Electrical and Lighting Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
This is the place to work out solutions to electrical problems with your Cruiser.

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  • pserespseres Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 PT Limited 5-speed with 15,000 miles on it. At times the engine missfires, and the car bucks and lurches forward. It doesn't run like this all the time, it is an intermittent problem. my observation is that it gets worse as the engine gets warmer. I have had it to the dealer twice, they reprogrammed the computer, but that didn't help. They are now recommending that I clean the fuel injectors, but clearly thay are just guessing at repair solutions. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • Hi,
    I have a 2004 Touring Edition Pt Cruiser with 7,000 miles. I brought it in because it also was misfiring. The dealer updated the computer and installed new spark plugs because the old plugs would not work with the updated computer program. Your dealer should know what is wrong because this is a common problem with the PT's, though they might tell you they don't!!!
  • gordonmgordonm Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Limited with 50,000 miles on it. Recently, the fog lamps were coming on by themselves with the car off and parked. I have found that the switch cap that turns on the fog lamps is not staying pushed in where it belongs. With the turn signal arm centered, I can push in on the switch cap and the fog lamps go out. If I have the right turn signal on, I can't push in on the switch cap at all and the fog lamps remain on. Fortunately, in the left turn signal position, the switch cap stays where it should and the fog lamps are off. I just have to remember to turn on my left signal when I shut off my car or risk running down the battery. Has anyone had any similar problems? What was the fix and how much did it cost you?
  • preynoldspreynolds Posts: 3
    My problem is the opposite, my fog lamps won't go on. Bulbs and fuses have been changed, but no luck. Dealer said electrical work is needed, costing lots of $, so I've passed for now. My big problem is that I hardly ever even used the fog lamps!
    Good luck with your problem...
  • I'm having the same issue with my 2003. The Fog lights will just come on by themselfves and causing my battery to run down... Did you ever get a solution? :confuse:
  • jonidjonid Posts: 1
    My PT Cruiser 2001 just started doing the same thing - fog lights turn on by themselves.
    Does anyone have a solution yet?
  • This sounds like a recall... I just had an almost dead battery: after calling a tow truck the car started and now is recharged... who knows a process for initiating an investigation leading to a recall?
  • I noticed an earlier comment stating that turning on the left turn signal when leaving the car did not allow the fog lights to come on inadvertently for one driver. Think I'll try that.
  • incruiserincruiser Posts: 1
    I had the same problem today. I was on my way home from work and I noticed a burning smell in my car. When I pull over to let wait for my friend to pick up her son from daycare I noticed smoke in front of me. Coming from my hazard light switch. That also when I noticed the fog light signal was on on the dashboard. Well the smoke would not stop so when my friend returned to the car we drove around the corner to the fire station and they had to cut my battery cable to disconnect and avoid a potential car fire. I am trying to find others like you to see if this is a major problem or just an isolated incident. I will making calls tomorrow and doing some more research on the internet. I love my cruiser, I have had it for 3 years now and this is the only major issue I have ever had with it but it could have been a very major potentially dangerous issue had I not noticed the smoke in time. If anyone has had issues with their light signal switches sticking please let me respond.
  • jenkins1jenkins1 Posts: 1
    Great to hear someone that is having the same problem. Today my dad couldn't get the fog indicators off, and we smelled a burning smell that kept getting stronger and stronger. We pulled the battery cable as soon as possible and are pretty freaked out about the whole thing. I will also be checking around to see what the problem is with our PT's and try to get some answers. Please let me know what you find out in your search, and I will also keep you posted. Let me know what you discover.
  • well i just googled my fog light problem that i have been having since last wednesday and found all these messages. i have a 2001 pt cruiser purchased new in sept 2000. this seems to only happen when i turn my headlights on in the morning and when i turn them off, i believe it has the fog lights still on(at least someone spotted them on once and they were on when i came out another time). both times the battery was dead or near dead. seems that the fog light switch is very sensitive and must be all the way in with a fraction of a hair turning it on.

    since this is happening to many at the same time, i wonder if the computer chip is signalling them to come on(much like my oil indicator after 3000 miles!). i have about 55000 on my car and have had no real problems(except for my replacement eagles of which ive had to rereplace 2 of in the last few weeks). will keep googling and see if i can find any other references.
  • My girlfriend called me yesterday and told me she had smoke coming from the steering column and that the fog lights were on and would not go off. I told her to disconnect the battery but she wasn't familiar with that so I told her to locate the fuse for the foglamps in the fuse box and pull it. She took it to the Chrysler dealer today and they give her some story about an old type of connector that was used and if she could locate one, they would replace it or the Chrysler fix was to put a new wire harness in. The new wire harness was something they did in later PT Cruisers. Anyway they were talking to her about a bill of over $1000.00 to fix it. They claimed they had never heard of this problem, we know that is BS. Does any one know of a TSB on this problem. She bought the car used 3 months ago and now they want her to spend another $1000.00 to fix this problem. Not happy campers here.
  • I have the same fog lamp problem on my 2001 PT Cruiser (fog lamps come on randomly, including when the vehicle is parked, turned off, and unoccupied, regardless of whether the headlights have been previously used or not). It started a week or two ago. Just called the dealer from whom I purchased it and the service department claimed they have never heard reports of it and don't see and recall or TSB on it. They want 89 bucks to look at it and then tell me what it will really cost. I will probably have that done in the next month unless I hear of a different solution. For now, I'm going to immediately remove the fog lamp fuse (I haven't seen any evidence of smoke yet). Please let me know if anyone is able to make progress on TSB/recall/workaround. I'll post the dealer's reaction/solution once I can actually get it there. Thanks for any help/info/further updates!
  • brettwbrettw Posts: 5
    There is a recall for this. The stearing column harnis can catch fire. Ours did when we were in Oklahoma, 200 miles from home.
  • tooncartooncar Posts: 2
    These are what I found relate to 2001 PT Cruisers, but I can't figure out which is related to the fog light? The power steering one?

    Here was a list I found but I couldn't find free links to the info yet

    Automotive Recall and Technical Service Bulletin Titles for 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser L4-2.4L VIN B.

    Safety Recalls
    TSB Number & Issue Date TSB Title
    D18 SEP 04 Recall - Power Steering Pressure Hose Replacement
    B23 AUG 02 Recall - Fuel Pump Module Secondary Seal
    957 NOV 00 Recall - Child Restraint, Owner's Manual Update
    Service Bulletins
    TSB Number & Issue Date TSB Title
    03-006-04 SEP 04 Drivetrain - Front Hub/Half Shaft Pop/Click Sound
    23-034-04 SEP 04 Body - Front or Rear Bumper Fascia Discoloration
    19-003-04A AUG 04 Steering - Steering Column Clicking Sound
    18-020-04 MAY 04 Engine Controls - Rough Idle/Sag/3,000 RPM Surge
    21-004-04 MAR 04 A/T - ATF Usage List
    22-004-03 SEP 03 Wheels - Chrome Wheel Care
    21-009-03 AUG 03 A/T - Diagnostic Teardown Procedure
    24-003-03 MAY 03 A/C - System Sealer Usage Prohibition
    08-012-03 APR 03 Alarm System - Inadvertent Siren Activation
    08-010-03 APR 03 Interior - Seat Belt Cinch Bar Service
    18-008-03 MAR 03 Engine Controls - Co-Pilot Support/Cable Selection
    23-046-02 NOV 02 Interior - Non-U.S. Vehicles, Child Seat Anchorage
    24-010-02 NOV 02 A/C - Performance Test Ports
    24-009-02 OCT 02 A/C - System Leak Detection
    08-008-02 JUN 02 Engine - No Start/No Crank Condition
    18-020-02 JUN 02 Engine Controls - Flash Reprogramming Failure
    23-015-02 APR 02 Outside Rearview Mirror - Glass Replacement
    08-007-02 MAR 02 Keyless Entry - Programming Procedure
    23-004-02 JAN 02 Front Window Regulator - Squeaks When Operated
    08-028-01 DEC 01 Lighting - Moisture in Headlamps
    08-037-00 DEC 01 Air Bag - Foam Rubber Pads Fall Off/Buzz or Rattle
    08-025-01 NOV 01 Air Bag - On/Off Switches
    18-027-01 NOV 01 Engine - Moderate To Severe Highway Speed Surge
    19-009-01 OCT 01 Driver Airbag - Trim Cover Service
    14-001-01A JUN 01 Fuel Gauge - Doesn't Register Full
    23-010-01 JUN 01 Sunroof - Vibration/Flutter
    08-013-01 JUN 01 Radio - Connector Repair Kit
    08-010-01 MAY 01 Airbag/Clock Spring - Service
    18-012-01 MAY 01 Generic Scan Tool - Reference Information
    23-008-01 MAY 01 Body Exhauster - Ticking Noise In Passenger Compartment
    09-003-01 MAY 01 Engine Oil - Additives/Supplements
    24-005-01 APR 01 A/C System - Performance Test
    18-009-01 MAR 01 EVAP System - Leak Detection Pump Operation
    18-007-01 FEB 01 A/T - Surge/Sag/Shift Bump
    23-003-01 FEB 01 FMVSS201 - Head Impact Safety Standards
    08-006-00A DEC 00 Wiring - Revised Splicing Procedure
    08-037-00 DEC 00 Driver's Airbag - Service Information
    08-038-00 DEC 00 Restraint Systems - Service Precautions
    23-036-00 NOV 00 Roof Rack Stanchion Cover - Loose /Missing
    08-034-00 NOV 00 Tools - Relay Removal & Installation Tool
    08-033-00 NOV 00 Sound System - ``Cold CD'' Fault Code Information
    18-18-00 SEP 00 PCM - Driveability Problem Improvements
    18-12-00 AUG 00 MIL - Revised Features for OBDII Readiness
    19-02-00A JUL 00 Ignition Lock Cylinder - Service Precautions
    23-26-00 JUL 00 Rear Seat - Left/Right Floor Latch Won't Release
    26-07-00 JUL 00 Fuel System - Throttle Body Torque Specification Update
    14-04-00 JUN 00 Fuel System - Engine Slow To Start
    18-07-00 JUN 00 MIL ON - DTCs P0645, P1282, P1489, P1490, P1495 Set
    18-04-00 JUN 00 MIL - Erroneous P0441 Evap Purge Flow Monitor Failure
    23-22-00 MAY 00 B & C Pillar Appliques - Brown Haze or Discoloration
    26-05-00 MAY 00 Steering/Suspension - Alignment Specification Update
    23-16-00 APR 00 Left/Right Front Door Speaker - Buzz or Hum
    23-14-00 APR 00 Cargo Net - Installation Instructions
    08-14-00 APR 00 Fuel Gauge - Does Not Register Full
    05-02-00 APR 00 Parking Brake Equalizer Assembly - Removal
    08-04-00 FEB 00 Headlight Bulb - Part Numbers/Replacement Information
    03-01-00 FEB 00 Driveshaft - Removal Information
    07-004-00 JAN 00 A/T - Cooler Line Splice Kit
  • brettwbrettw Posts: 5
    I am sorry, I guess I should have qualified this that mine is a 2004 Limited PT. Here is the recall data:

    Recall Date: JUN 03, 2004
    Potential Units Affected: 438391
  • My cruiser's going in next Tuesday for the evaluation. In the meantime, I called Chrysler's recall folks to find out how these get started. They took down info from me about my problem/experience and they claim it will be analyzed, etc. I asked if it is helpful if others having the problem contact Chrysler and the rep told me it absolutely is. So, if you're having the foglamp problem and hoping Chrysler might do something about it, call them at 800-992-1997 and choose the "recall" prompt then choose to speak with a rep when the message explains the options available to you on the web instead of speaking with a rep.

    The woman I talked to was very nice and seemed interested/concerned. More importantly, she told me that as long as I hang onto the receipts, I can claim a reimbursement if there ever IS a recall issued for this. In doing so, having a case/file number, which is one thing you get by calling the above number, is helpful/important so I would definitely encourage folks to call.

    I'll send an update if any once the car's back from the dealer.

    PS - fwiw I'm apparently due for the PS hose recall as well while it's in there...
  • bfentonbfenton Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem with my 2001 PT Cruiser. The fog lamps turn on randomly and are very difficult to turn off. This has run down the battery one time. Is there a fuse I can remove for the foglamps?
  • I believe it's fuse #8 - it's well identified on the back of the fuse cover and, so far, I have found no ill effects of having it pulled
  • Thanks for the 800 number christianhamer. The more people that call, the more they will realize that they ( and we) have a real problem. I'll give them a call tomorrow. :) Paul
  • bstackbstack Posts: 3
    A couple of months ago, (before I checked this site) my local mechanic replaced my whole turn signal assembly to remedy the fog light problem. I went to my local guy because: 1) I trust him; 2) He is less expensive than the dealer; 3) My car is out of warranty (48,000); and 4) I did not know that this was a chronic problem with Cruisers. I took your advice and called the "hotline" today. While they were happy to register my complaint, and give me a reference number, they were unable to tell me if there was a planned recall, only that my vehicle had received all known recall service.
  • Got my fog lamp problem apparently repaired at the dealer yesterday. They did the same thing as bstack noted in post #237. They replaced what they call the "multifunction switch" which includes turn signal, hazards, etc. The part cost me $89.50 (plus labor). For anyone going the dealer route, they probably know it as "multifunction switch" but the part number listed on my invoice is 5073049-AB.

    I'm pretty sure it's fixed as I had noticed liked some others that jiggling the headlight/foglamp control would/could turn the fog lamps on/off. The new switch does not behave this way(!). I'll drop a note if I do see the problem recur anytime soon and otherwise wait and hope to hear that maybe Chrysler issues a recall for it. I'm dreading that the new switch will fall prey to the same problem in a few years if it isn't recalled/fixed/redesigned...
  • pt4mept4me Posts: 1
    I just had the exact same problem today. Before I could even get the information out the service writer told me it was a multi-function switch and the cost was $210.00. Another lady I work with who owns a Crusier is having the same problem. The service writer told me that he has replaced four in the last few weeks. Currently Chrysler has no recall going on but I made a formal complaint anyway.Recommend you do the same. Maybe if enough people complain they will recall the item and refund our repair money.
  • dicksmithdicksmith Posts: 2
    Same thing happened to me today. For some reason, when i put the turn signal in the left turn position, they go out. think i'll do the fuse removal method.
  • My PT engine light come on, then it will down shift into a lower gear and won't come out of it. When I switch the engine on and off three times It give me three problem codes P1682, P1684 and P0700. Also the air bag light come on all the time. The dealer won't tell me whats those codes represent. They want me to bring the car to them. Can someone help me?
  • I have a '02 TE PT and had the same problem w/the fog lights just a few months ago. I inadvertently discovered that when you leave the left turn signal on, the fog lights turn off. That worked fine, until I forgot to turn on the turn signal a few times and returned to find a dead battery on the car the next day. I ended up taking it to the dealer and having them replace the whole turn signal switch/arm. The problem is now gone - it cost about $130.
  • My wife called me yesterday morning and said high beam light in the dashboard came on by itself. When she pulled the turn signal handle back towards her, the high beam light went out but the Fog Lamps signal in the dash came on. She could not get the lights to go out, when she noticed smoke coming out of her steering column. She made it home but the smoke continued and the fog lights remained on. I was able to make it to the dealer with a minimum of smoke. Once there, the high beams came back on again, even though there were no keys in the car. I was informed that is was the "multifunction switch" in the steering column. It was not a covered part in my CHRYSLER extended warranty. When it shorted out, it burned the wires together in the main harness. The switch will cost $250 or so, but the harness will be $3300.00. That's right 3300. They agreed to switch out the connector on the existing harness for a mere $500. So, it is going to cost over $800.00 to replace the switch and wiring. If it is something that needs maintaining, an I don't maintain it, then I should be responsible, but for something that is installed at the factory and has no maintenance required, I think Chrysler should be responsible for these repairs. I will file a complaint tomorrow and follow up on this site for more instances of this switch failure. If enough people complain, Chrysler will have to respond with a recall.
  • I have read about starting problems on the PTs I have a problem were the car will not start at all. All dashboard lights work and the headlights dont dim when I try to start the car with the lights on ,I get no noise, no clicking just dead .
    I have added a new battery cable to the starter as per feedback on this forum and thought it worked but after a month I was unable to start again yesterday. When I try and jump the car battery it will just sit there and then for some reason it jump started after 10 trys.
    It doesnt seem to be a battery are starter problem. Maybe a ignition switch?
    Someone said something about the alarm system doing this. Does anyone know how to disconnect the alarm system? Any help PLEZ
  • My wife is having the same problem with her 2002 PT Cruiser. The dealer replaced the starter about a month ago, and it's doing exactly what you stated...I'm thinking about purchasing a battery with a much higher CAAs...but after reading your post I'm not confident that that's the solution....If you located the problem, can you please let me know what the solution is? --Thanks!!!
  • My wife and I also have had similar problems. Did you ever get your PT Cruiser problems fixed? Here is an account of our situation:

    Sunday, 12/4/05

    Got up to go to church. Car wouldn’t start. Had car towed to Midas where they replaced battery and fixed battery cables on Monday, 12/5/05 ~$180.00

    Tuesday, 12/13/05

    My wife went to work. When she got there the car wouldn’t shut off. She came home. We took it to Midas and talked to our Mechanic, Virgil (store manager). He had us take it to New Country Dodge (Saratoga Springs, NY) to run specific diagnostics.

    Wednesday, 12/14/05

    Stopped at Donahue Motor Car (Ballston Spa, NY)and talked to Mike. Explained that our PT Cruiser was in the shop once again…and we might be pursuing Lemon Law (purchased used vehicle with 80,000 miles on it 11/3/05…had it three days car wouldn’t start Monday 11/7/05…had it towed to Gil’s Garage in Burnt Hills, NY…they had car and couldn’t find problem…returned car to us that night…we took it to a banquet…when we returned home car wouldn’t shut off…had Gil’s tow it Tuesday 11/8/05…they kept it for over a week without problem arising…we sent info about ignition switch…Tom at Donahue’s had car brought to Terry Morris where the ignition switch was replaced for $9). Mike explained that Tom would make good on any repairs and to keep receipts. :lemon:

    New Country performed diagnostic. Couldn’t find any problems...manager said he wouldn’t charge us…said he spent 2 hours on the Internet and couldn’t find anything about the problem…guess he didn’t look hard enough. When we asked him what we should do if the car wouldn’t shut off again he had no clue. I said something about pulling fuse 11, which shuts off the engine and fuel pump, then he agreed. Seems he was giving us the company line…not very computer literate…not good when you’re the manager and use computers.

    Saturday, 12/17/05

    I needed a new key…somehow mine got lost on Wednesday 12/14/05. Lowe’s made a new one ~ 10:00 am. Opens the doors. Unfortunately when I turned on engine it started then shut off. Put my wife’s key into ignition and it started. We got home.

    Left to go shopping ~ 3:30 pm. My wife's key was in the ignition…didn’t even leave the garage. Car started then shut off. I did the following: 1) Pulled fuse 11 (engine). Nothing happened when we turned key. 2) Pulled fuse 12 (PDC Relays LDP) this shut off the idiot lights but the car wouldn’t start. 3) Pulled fuse 10 (Cluster RKE) and car then started OK.

    We got to our destination. My wife turned off car, pulled out the key…BUT car was still running. I pulled fuse 11, which shut off the car…Thank you Lord.

    Sunday, 12/18/05

    We went to a Christmas get together. When we were leaving, we unlocked the car with the remote and the idiot lights turned on. My wife started the car but it shut off after a couple of seconds. I did the following: 1) Pulled fuse 12 which shut off the idiot lights…2) Pulled fuse 10 which reset the cluster (except the check engine light stayed on). The car started and we returned home. Everything shut off OK

    As you can see we are dealing with problems similar to yours. Any help we can get would be appreciated. Will continue posting our developments.

    Dan V.
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