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PT Cruiser Electrical and Lighting Problems



  • Today we had an electrician look at the car. He found and replaced one of the relays...was covered with soot. Hopefully this will correct our problem. :shades:
  • I have had a problem with the fog light indicator going on without me touching it. I work for an airline and have to leave my car for a few days at a time....I have come home 3x this month to a dead battery--and we have had the battery replaced and checked out. Each time my car was jumpstarted, the green light on the dash (fog light) would come one. We pulled the fuse and are hoping for the best! I also called the 800 # listed here to report the problem. Thanks for all the info provided here.
  • I wouldn't buy a PT Cruiser GT Convertible if it was the last car on earth. My wife and I purchased a brand new 2005 Turbo and we have had nothing but problems with it. I have tried different dealer to get it fixed but to no avail. I have tried invoking the lemon law in our state because I can't get any help from even Chrysler corp. The car barely has 10,000 miles on it and we have been battling the problems with it for almost the last year. It all started with it just not running. It would just stop running and won't start until it got ready. The dealer replaced the computer and two weeks later the same thing happened again. The dealer had the car for a week and couldn't find anything wrong with it again. It happened again this time at 70 mph on the freeway it just stopped running and didn't start again for about 20 minutes. This time I had the car taken to another dealer and he has had it at least 4 times and it still isn't fixed. Whether this is a common problem or not doesn't really matter what matters is the lack of concern by Chrysler Corp and the dealers. So, if you buy one good luck I would rather have a Mustang at least they run.
  • slowmo1slowmo1 Posts: 2
    bought my 05 convert. 12000 miles ago. not 1 problem in this time frame. it also is a gt,and i run away from mustangs. ;) :shades:
  • Joe i am having the exact problem with starting--have done all that you have done still having problems--have also put 3 starters--removed the alarm system and replaced cables--have you found the starting problem with your pt??
  • I am having the same problems with my 2002 PT Cruiser. It is at the shop now where they are trying to charge me $237 to replace the battery cables because they are "corroded". This is the 3rd time I have had it to this dealer for the same "No starting" problem. (It has happened 2 other times though) They replace the starter the first time. The next time they told me it was "corrosion on the battery" and when they brushed it off, it was fine. (I had the battery replaced 6 months earlier because of the "no starting" thing) Now they are telling me it is the battery cable. There has to be a larger explanation somewhere.
  • I have the same problem. I opened the switch and the small plastic lever that actuated the contacts for the fog lights wore away allowing the contacts to close, keeping the lights on and killing the battery. I think this is a poor design because every time you actuate the turn signal it wears in this small glass filled plastic lever.
  • I have the same problem. I opened the switch and the small plastic lever that actuated the contacts for the fog lights wore away allowing the contacts to close, keeping the lights on and killing the battery. I think this is a poor design because every time you actuate the turn signal it wears on this small glass filled plastic lever. As it wears it creats a small gap that can cause the contacts to arc and potentially cause a fire since the car manufacturers don't think it is necessary to use flame retardant plastics in electrical circuits.
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Have someone check the wiring to the O2 sensors. There might be a kink in the wiring, that will intermittently kill the sensors, giving the computer faulty air/fuel mixture readings, and cause this exact problem. It affects not just idle, but acceleration. What you described is exactly the problem my 2003 GT was having. Trust me, I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and the dealer still couldn't find the problem (my car spent 7 weeks in 3 months in the shop). I took it to another dealer and they found the problem only after their diagnostics found 2 faulty O2 sensors(what are the odds of that happening?).
  • minman55minman55 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 PT and just was having the same problem. I was not able to find the issue a quick but I had the multi function switch replaced at the dealer and it has not reoccurred. It was about $200 to fix.
  • califgalcalifgal Posts: 1
    We have a 2003 PT Crusier 4 cyl-5 speed basic package.
    I have only 38,000 miles on this car.
    Over the last 36 months my battery has gone out about every 9 months. each time battery has a burned out cell & can not be recharged.
    car now has a Mopar battery #5 in it.
    Dealer says it's just bad batteries. nothing wrong with car.
    I disagree, there has to be something else causing this.
    Any information will be appreciated. :confuse:
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Did you have the charging system checked? I do not know about Mopar batteries, but other manufacturers, such as VW have a big problem with their batteries. One way to find out, is to go to WalMart and buy a $ 45 battery. You may not have anymore battery related issues. I have had excellent luck with WalMart batteries.
  • mcamponemcampone Posts: 2
    2002 pt had problems starting it,Today i stepped on the gas and heard a pop as if it came out of gear now it wont start it cranks but wont start can it be my timing belt
  • My Cruiser is having a problem with starting sometimes, of course, never when you take it in for service. Sometimes, when you try to start it, it just won't turn over. All of the lights and guages respond, but no go! It's hard to describe, but the motor just doesn't crank. Anyone else with this problem? The last time I took it in, the service manager said that I had "a loose connection", SURE!
  • I have a 2002 PT and was having the fog lamp problem in March or so of this year. People kept walking into my workplace and saying, "That PT Cruiser's fog lights are on." I called the dealer and told them I feared a dead battery. The person in the service dept. acted like I was out of my mind. "You mean the lights just come on...all by themselves...when noone is in the car..." Her tone was like I was talking about sighting Bigfoot. I took the car to a local "little guy" mechanic and he got under the car to disconnect the fog lights so my battery would not die. He replaced the multi-function switch.
    In trying to ORDER a switch for replacement, he found out they were backordered due to SO MANY of them going bad.
    I waited about two weeks and he charged about $100. Thank goodness for the little guys. Knowing why the switch was backordered tells alot about my dealers service department.
  • Hi, Yes! We have a PT Cruiser with the same problem. Did you ever get it fixed? Was the cause found?
  • pt4herpt4her Posts: 2
    We had the same problems, we had it at the dealer 4 times, they never could figure it out. Replaced everything from key switch to starter. This last time it happened, we took to another dealer and he said it was the after-market alarm system, so I had it removed ($200). Everything seemed fine til yesterday, it did it again! I think it is in the autoshift switch, the switch you press to put it in drive. Anyone else?
  • pt4herpt4her Posts: 2
    I just posted yesterday, same problem you are having, had the alarm removed was ok for a few weeks just yesterday did it again and again this morning. I really think it has something to do with the linkeage in the automatic shifter, the button you press to put it in gear. This am, I held the key in th on poistion and jiggled the button and it started! Maybe its luck who knows....
  • I have a '03 Cruiser and have gone thru 3 batteries is 3 years. Runs that just wont start and when I take it to the dealer I am told that the bat. is dead. So my nest question is what is draining the bat. and they don't know. Well needless to say I am somewhat upset since everything checks out "OK" well I guess I'll wait until Aug. 07 to get my new bat. :lemon:
  • I've got a similar bucking problem with my 02 PT Cruiser. Dealer can't seem to fix it and it's is driving me nuts. would like to swap some info with you, especially if you ever :confuse: nailed the problem. My direct e-mail is
  • Well, it's going to sound kind of silly, but I self-diagnosed the problem by thinking what was happening when it wouldn't start and haven't had the problem (knock on wood) for the past several months! On all of my other cars, when you turn the key, it never had to go so far back. But on my Cruiser, it takes a little more muscle with the key then I was used too! So, try turning the key with a little more aggression and see what happens. Now, I not saying try to break the key off, but turn your wrist a little more than normal! Looking back, it always happened when I was in a rush or upset about something.
  • :sick:

    I started having the same problem that you guys are having. The problem started with the car doors locking and unlocking themselves. Eventually, the car wouldn't start. The PT only had about 73,000 miles on it. I had been raised around my dad working on cars, and I have a good understanding of mechanics. {I use to work in a factory running machinery, too. So....} Anyhow, due to unemployment status, I didn't have the money to waste on the problem.
    I also am working hard on a college degree.

    I know the starter was good, and I also replaced the battery. It didn't work! I also had to re-set the computer several times by taking out the #11 fuse from the fuse panel on quite a number of occassions. I also spoke with several mechanics about the issue--they were stumped too!

    I bought the car used, and I also didn't have a warranty.
    When I contacted a local dealer about the issue. I was informed to come in for a meeting with the main sales manager, the owner's son. Well, I wish I didn't do that!
    The man told me that I needed to quit school, get a job, and get the car fixed! :surprise:

    Guess what?! I went to a local Ford dealership informed them of the issue, and I now have a brand new Ford Focus with a warranty. :shades: I like the car, and I hope it does last a while. It gets better gas mileage than the Cruiser did. The handling is superior quality too. The seat is a little uncomfortable, but the Focus makes up for it on road handling. It has a much quicker take off which has saved me quite a number of times on the highway when transfer trucks have changed lanes too soon behind me. Also, it brakes quite well for a car without ABS. I just miss the look of the PT. But, I don't think having that look is as important as having a car you feel you can trust and you feel safe in. I had become afraid that the PT would just shut off in the middle of the interstate with traffic behind me. I didn't feel safe in it any more.

    But, I am disappointed with the PT issue. I always wanted one. I just didn't know that I would have this kind of trouble.

    I say the PT Cruiser is a :lemon: just like the Ford Pinto and the Chevrolet Vega.

    I hope that you all have better luck than I did trying to figure out what is wrong. :confuse:
  • I've been having the same problem with my 03 PT Cruiser. I took it to the dealership who said that they have noticed some of the PT Cruisers running rough, but not all of them. They did a tune up and reloaded my car's computer. I just picked it up yesterday and the car seems to be running fine. Of course, nothing was covered under warranty. For $465, it better do the trick!
  • I have an 03 PT and I love the car. I just started having the problem of it missfiring and bucking upon take off. I haven't taken it to the dealership yet. It started last week. I took it to a local mechanic and they said it would cost $277 to do a tune-up with spark plugs, and wires, etc. The car stopped acting up after that (check engine light also shut off). When I filled the tank with gas it started acting up again. It only last about 20 miles then it works fine again. Could it be a fuel filter (or pump) problem?
  • At 20,000 miles, you wouldn't think that could happen. We've cleaned it up a few times to get it this far. Defective battery cables or defective battery? it's in the shop, now. Wonder what the excuse will be? :sick:
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  • i have a 2001 pt cruiser (just bought it) my fog lights lights wont come on i replaced the fog light fuse with a # 20 fuse lights still wont come on car has 67.000 miles.
  • I have the same problem with my 2002 Cruiser and am taking the car to the dealer tomorrow. The service tech I spoke with had never heard of this problem. (I'm printing this discussion thread to take with me.) I also called the 800 number posted by christianhamer and the lady I spoke with at Chrysler said she'd never heard of it, either. She took my information and gave me a reference number.
  • I bought a 2006 PT Cruiser from Steve Rayman Chrysler of Atlanta, Ga. the first of November. I started to notice that every time I turned on the heat, not A/C, the dash lights and head lights, if on, would flicker.

    I also noticed several other items of interest on the car. Oil smell, exhaust smell coming thru the vents every so often, not getting the gas mileage I expected, and my brakes started sqeeking.

    I took the car in on Wednesday, the 27th of December 2006 to have Chrysler look everything over. They found I had an Oil leak already, but nothing was found when they checked out the lights for any power surges or flickering. And as for the other issues, nothing as well. They did perform a test for the MPG and noted the car gets 20.86 mpg.

    They kept the car overnight and fixed the oil problem. When I picked it up in the late evening, I turned on the heat and what do you think happened? That's right! The lights flickered in the dash and the head lights.

    So, the dealership does not want to look it over as they feel the test they ran was good enough.

    I'm afraid that down the road, I'm going to experience some of the problems I read on this topic. Fire or smoke coming from the car and I being told it's not covered, making me have to take them to court.

    Anybody have any advice?
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