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2001 PT Cruiser 5-speed manual - Cranks, but does not start

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by Edward Jacak, May 23, 2020.

  1. Edward Jacak

    Edward Jacak Member

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    Any help would be appreciated.

    I have a 2001 PT Cruiser 5-speed manual that will crank, but will not start.
    BACKGROUND: No previous signs of a problem and running strong until I jacked up the car to replace the lower and upper passenger side motor mounts. Upon completing the repair, I tried to start to car to check the state of the motor mount repair and the car would crank over, but not start. There is no sputtering or attempts to start, it just cranks in a cyclical, metered way.
    STEPS TAKEN THUS FAR:
    PRE-FUEL PUMP CHANGE:
    1.) I inspected the fuel lines where I jacked up the car to see if something got crushed. No damage. I later inspected the entire field line from the gas tank to the engine compartment and there are no problems or leaks.
    2.) The car has a full tank of gas
    3.) I checked the fuses in both compartments. I also made the effort to swap the larger fuses (given they are 6 that are the same, including the Fuel Pump) to see if the problem corrected itself or moved to another component.
    4.) I checked if there was pressure between on the flex tube connecting the metal fuel line (feed from tank) where it terminates inside the engine compartment to the engine. Yes, it was under pressure. No damage, no leaks.
    5.) I put my ear by a gas filler tube to see if I could hear the fuel pump cycle, and I could not hear a sound.
    6.) (STRANGE and possibly a clue) I noticed than when trying to start the engine, the fuel gauge rises from below E to up to E and then after 2 seconds drops back down below E even though there is a full tank of gas.
    7.) Assuming it was the pump, filter, send unit, float. etc, I purchase an aftermarket complete fuel pump unit and put it in today.
    8.) I took care to clean the tank outside and inside before reinstalling the unit.
    9.) I took care to install the new pump exactly in the same position as the original pump. I took care to ensure that every electrical connection and hose were correctly reinstalled.
    POST FUEL-PUMP CHANGE:
    10.) I added Gas and ensure there were no leaks. I cycled the switch to prime the new pump and it is still not starting. There is no sputtering or attempts to start, it just cranks in a cyclical, metered way.
    11.) I checked the fuses in both compartments. I also made the effort to swap the larger fuses (given they are 6 that are the same, including the Fuel Pump) to see if the problem corrected itself or moved to another component.
    12.) I put my ear by a gas filler tube to see if I could hear the fuel pump cycle, and I could not hear a sound. (Same as before)
    13.) NO PRESSURE: I checked if there was pressure between on the flex tube connecting the metal fuel line (feed from tank) where it terminates inside the engine compartment to the engine. "IT IS NOT UNDER PRESSURE"
    14.) (SAME PROBLEM) I noticed than when trying to start the engine, the fuel gauge rises from below E to up to E and then after 2 seconds drops back down below E even though there is a full tank of gas.

    Thoughts?
    A block in the fuel link between the tank and engine? (But given the fuel pump does not make an initiating sound and the gas gauge still stays below E even with gas in it, it seems less likely the cause.)

    I am lost. Please help.

    Thank you,.
     
  2. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    What is your testing procedure to hear the electric fuel pump run? If you turn the ignition key switch to the ON / RUN position and then expect to hear a continuous sound of the electric fuel pump running, you will NOT hear a sound. Try this test.

    A) From the ignition key switch in the OFF position turn the key switch to the ON / RUN position but not START position. You should hear the electric fuel pump power up for 1 - 2 seconds and then stop. Does this happen? If YES then the PCM (powertrain control module) can control and energize the fuel pump. If NO then you need to inspect wiring, fuses, relay between the PCM, fuse box and onto the electric fuel pump.

    B) If the result from the test A is YES and you hear the electric pump run 1 - 2 seconds and then stop you know the wiring, fuses, relay between the PCM and electric pump is good and the PCM can control operation of the pump.

    C) Turn the ignition key switch to the START position, engage the starter for 8 seconds and then release the key switch to the ON / RUN position. Do NOT turn to the OFF position. You should hear the fuel pump continue to run for 1 - 2 seconds after key release and then stop. If you do NOT hear the pump continue to run then the PCM is not receiving a proper signal from the crankshaft position sensor that the crankshaft is rotating. Check the crankshaft position sensor on the end of the engine block and near the generator and oil filter. It is a 3 wire connector. An electrical connector could have been dislodged, broken unseated when you were replacing the right side engine mount.
     
    Bob Lincoln likes this.
  3. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
    Level III Supporter

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    If you are losing the fuel gauge shortly after key-on, the communications bus is probably dropping out. All gauge information comes to the instrument cluster via the bus. This could be your whole no-start issue.
    If you spray a brief shot of carb cleaner into the throttle body then crank it over, does it fire up momentarily? That would show that you have spark.
     
    Bob Lincoln and valiant67 like this.
  4. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    You might be barking up the wrong tree assuming it's all fuel related. IC asked about carb cleaner making it fire. First thing I'd do is check to make sure it's getting spark. If not, check for a broken ground somewhere. Maybe even the coil plug is loose or the coil died. I don't see how changing motor mounts could have caused a no start situation, but these PT's are aggravating to work on. Air, fuel, spark and compression is what you need to get it started. You have to figure out which one is missing.
     
  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

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    On some cars, there is a ground wire across one or more motor mounts. Typically these are to prevent static electricity and resulting damage to the finish surface of wheel bearings, but they may also be used as electrical grounds for instruments or controls. Check carefully for missing or damaged grounds. Check carefully for damaged wiring to a crank position sensor or cam position sensor.
     
    Handy_Cruiser and chuzz like this.
  6. Handy_Cruiser

    Level 2 Supporter

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    A 2001 PT Cruiser has a schrader valve on the driver's side end of the fuel rail. If in the US, get a fuel pressure testing kit from the Autozone "Load-a-tool" program and hook it up. The line will be long enough to sit the gauge against the windshield where you can watch it. Then try starting the car and see if you have fuel pressure.

    The early PT's are bad about dropping the Sentry Key Mobilization Module (SKIM) code for the Sentry key. If you have a gray key, you have SKIM. When you first turn the key on, you should see a red led come on for a few seconds in the gauge cluster. Then it should quickly go out. If it stays on, your SKIM is not recognizing the Sentry key and the fuel will shut off after a number of tries. To reset it, take both battery cables loose and touch them together for about 10 minutes. Then try. If it is the SKIM and if you reset it, it should go ahead and start for a for seconds and then die. It will do that several time until it shuts the fuel off for good.

    On the 2001 PT. The crank sensor is on the back of the engine on the passenger side. The wire often rubs the CV shaft and gets damaged. It's possible that you disturbed it while changing the engine strut mounts. You may want to inspect that wire.
     
    06PTElectricBlue and chuzz like this.

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