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2006 PT Cruiser starts 1 second idle then dies

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by mrwade01, May 27, 2017.

  1. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Hi all!
    I've got a 2006 2.4L Touring with about 70K miles. A few months back it stalled on me then it would start idle for a second and die (no security light or codes). Pryor to this problem, it did seem that my gas mileage had started getting worse but if so, just a little. So far, I've changed the crank sensor and examined the wiring leading to it (no problem that I could see), replaced the IAC unit and thoroughly cleaned the throttle body and nothing has helped. I have got it to start a few times where it would stay running but when it's been rare.
    I started out thinking it was a SKIM related issue but but there is no security light and when I tried starting it with an un-chipped key, it started and stalled the same way but thew a code and gave me the blinking red light. I've pretty much run out of ideas on what to try next so any advice is welcome!
    Thanks in advance, Robert.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Welcome to Allpar. It has the symptom of a bad SKIM start, but no warning light or PCM codes. Any aftermarket security/alarm system on the PT?
    You might want to perform deeper diagnostic interrogation with a good scan tool to see what other control modules (TIPM/CCN) may hold stored fault codes? Watch the tool display for PCM cam/crank signal to see if it is 'present' or 'lost' at stall. Does the fuel control/ASD relay stay commanded 'on' at stall?
    I wouldn't replace any more parts until you can do some more diagnosis.
     
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  3. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Thank you very much for the quick response! There has been an int resting (though minimal) change after I posted this.Yesterday evening I spent some time trying to disconnect the fuel line at the connection on the firewall in an effort to test fuel pressure. Even with the tool I got for the job, I couldn't get it uncoupled. However,there was a great deal of jostling around of the fuel line and there was a very noticeable change in the length of time that the car tries to keep running after I start it. Before, it would die immediately and now it continues to idle for a much longer time. I can't say for certain that my monkeying with the fuel line caused this but it's the only thing I did before the change. If it might help, below is a link for a video showing how the car is acting.
    I have no aftermarket security equipment on the car, it's all oem. Would you have any suggestions for a scan tool that would be good enough for what you suggest while not breaking my meager budget? Also, can anyone tell me what fitting I need for testing the fuel pressure once I can get this uncoupled? Sorry for all the noob questions but I'm out of my depth with anything manufactured after 1990.... Thanks again for your fast reply!
    Robert.

    View: https://youtu.be/MUNbO-J4-sU
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    The quick-disconnect plastic has to be pushed into the fitting. It should then release from the fuel line. You may need the special release tools depending on the style:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvngvwOy2ns

    An example of the fuel gauge adapter is made by Miller/SPX tools. If you have a length of fuel hose, end fittings and clamps, you may be able to make your own:
    SPX Miller Special Tools 6539 Fuel Pressure Adapter 5/16 Inch (at https://www.toolsource.com/misc-c-318/fuel-pressure-adapter-516-in-p-101306.html?sourceid=googleps&gclid=CjsKDwjw6qnJBRDpoonDwLSeZhIkAIpTR8KTv2bEAh8fTbltQtlyUsMjGytrrqOydQvDO2eOXJFoGgIZQvD_BwE )

    As far as scan tools, it depends how much you want it to do. Some work with a laptop to do some of the computing while the scan tool part is simply an interface card.
    For one-time use, it may be worth buying time from a shop to use theirs. A minimum fee or diagnostic charge would likely apply, unless you know someone in the business.
     
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  5. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    Robert; it seems too consistent to be a fuel pump issue. If you have another chipped key I'd try it.
     
  6. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Thank's for the reply! Sadly I no longer have the second key, that was the first thing that was stolen when we were moving into our new house a few tears back. Not the car, just the freaking key! On that topic though, I've seen where you can now get a key "cloned" for around 50 bucks. I've been tempted to give that a try but to my mind, wouldn't a "cloned" key carry the same defect as the original? I have only a basic understanding on how that system works so I could be dead wrong. And I can't really afford the cost of a new key without being pretty sure that it would do the trick.
    I'm going to try and get the fuel pressure test done today and see what that tells me but I haven't completely ruled out the key being the issue.
     
  7. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Hey ImperialCrown! Thank you for all the information, it's going to come in very helpful!
     
  8. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    I do not think the stalling issue is related to an invalid SKIM (sentry key immobilizer module) interruption. Through research I have found that if an invalid key situation exists, the security lamp will stay illuminated in the instrument panel after it turns ON and OFF momentarily for bulb check. You can attempt to start the engine 6 times with an invalid key state. The engine will start and run 2 - 4 seconds and then die. On the 7th attempt to start, the starter is disabled. You turn the ignition key to start position but you get no action.

    In your video the engine is running 6 - 8 seconds or longer. You show 6 attempts to start, run and then stall. I imagine that you started the engine, ran a short few seconds and stalled several times before recording the video. If the problem was tied to an invalid SKIM and key then you would not have been able to start the engine that many times in the video.

    The fuel gauge which is located to the left of the engine temperature gauge is not visible. But I believe you have more than 1/2 tank of fuel???

    Do you hear the fuel pump continue to run for 1 - 2 seconds after the engine stalls? With the ignition key in the RUN position and the crankshaft rotating a signal is sent from the crankshaft position sensor to the PCM (powertrain control module). When the engine stalls it takes 1 - 2 seconds for the crankshaft position sensor signal to stop and the PCM to recognize this and then interrupt electrical power to the fuel pump. If you do not hear the fuel pump continue to run at stall then the problem might be something that is interrupting electrical power to the fuel pump.

    For an 11 year old vehicle, odometer miles is low. Is it possible that the fuel filter has become plugged and is restricting fuel flow? But that is a guess and I am NOT suggesting throwing parts replacement as a solution.

    You need to test the fuel system pressure while it runs and when the engine stalls. If fuel pressure is dropping that would cause stalling. Then you need to determine why fuel pressure is dropping. It could be an electrical failure to the fuel pump, a problem in the TIPM (totally integrated power module) that is interrupting electrical power to the fuel pump, or a fuel line blockage which is causing a restriction and pressure drop.
     
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  9. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    My old voy behaved like this when the fuelpump Went South...try to whack the tank when its running and se if it Changes.
     
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  10. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Ya know, it's funny that you should mention that as it was the one "diagnostic"step that I was reluctant to mention having done. I've taken a rubber mallet and thumped away on the fuel tank a few different times.
     
  11. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Thank you for the reply Allan,
    You've helped me feel a lot more confident about ruling out the SKIM as being the source of this problem. And you are right, she's got pretty low miles for her age but before this problem, the car never sat for more than a few days without being driven and I'm one of those people that never lets the fuel drop below a 1/4 tank. I'm in the process of getting my hands on everything I need to check the fuel pressure and I'll post what I find soon.
    Robert
     
  12. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    I tried my 2006 with an unchipped key. The round red light at the bottom of the speedometer blinked slowly when the key was in the run position. This took a few seconds. Then I started the car. It shut off within 2 seconds. Then the red light started blinking again.

    The pump puts out enough pressure to start the car consistently yet it won't stay running. Allan had some good suggestions.
     
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  13. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Hi guys,
    So yesterday after I ordered I good scan tool and new fuel pressure testing kit I got bored and went back to tinkering with the car. First thing I found was that I had made the mistake of assuming my fuel line connector was one I'd need a tool for (facepalm). Thanks again to ImperialCrown for all the info you provided! Turns out, it's kind of a weird pinch fitting and once I figured it out it came right off. Anyway, just to see what it would do, I ran a tube from the fuel line to an empty gas can and found that just by cranking the engine for a total of about a minute (in short bursts) it had pumped well over a 1/2 gallon of gas into the can. So, I know it's pumping plenty of volume. After this, I hooked the fuel line back but there was no change. I'll be able to give more info tomorrow when my tools come in.
    One question though. What would the chances be of this being caused by bad gas? I noticed yesterday after starting it about a dozen times that there was a good sized wet spot from water dripping from the exhaust.
    Thanks again for all the support!
     
  14. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Water condensing from the exhaust is normal, until it has been run til the tailpipe is very, very hot. Not an indicator of the fuel quality.
     
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  15. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    You pumped a lot of fuel volume with very little restriction to create pressure. You REALLY need to know how the fuel system behaves under pressure. Will the pump produce 40 - 50 psi (others please join in if you know the correct operating pressure)? The pump may be capable of producing adequate pressure but is the pressure regulator functioning properly to maintain correct operating pressure? Is the fuel filter plugged which would affect operating pressure?

    I would think if there was a fuel quality problem, the engine would be hard starting and spitting and sputtering. That is NOT evident in the short 6 - 8 seconds that the engine is running. So I think you can rule out "bad gas".
     
  16. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    The fuel pump pressure is 58 PSI, plus or minus 5 PSI. The regulator is part of the fuel pump and serviceable. I think the fuel pump relay is on the firewall? The fuel filter is in the tank and not serviceable.
     
  17. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Fuel pressure can be great but if the injectors aren't opening or are shutting off, you will still have no fuel to the cylinders.
    Fuel shutoff is the method used to prevent theft and the PCM should indicate the present fuel state on the scan tool.
     
  18. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    Hello all of you wonderfully patient and helpful people!
    So, I got my new code scanner and fuel pressure tester in this afternoon and went right to it. So far I've only checked the fuel pressure while cranking, I haven't come up with an inline solution yet. Pressure ran right at 60 psi. Then I hooked up my new code reader, while I need to read up a bit on the more advanced functions, there were no new codes or concerns revealed. As I've been doing a lot of cranking on the car, I noticed the battery was dying so I hauled out the charger and hooked it up. I have a pretty sweet charger with a nice 200 amp jump function and on a hunch I decided to try starting it hooked up to the charger. This is where POOP got covfefe!! The damn car fired right up and ran like a top for around ten minutes until I decided to shut it off. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?!?!?!
    Before you ask, I haven't tried starting it again without the charger, I thought I should probably let the battery charge and put some ice on the lump on my forehead (from pounding it on the steering wheel) and try it without the charger in a couple of hours. Joking aside, any ideas on what I might be dealing with? I'm thinking something like a weak relay or something similar?
     
  19. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    You can create a dangerous situation by connecting a charger that can produce excessive amps in this fashion. Batteries have internal resistance and pushing that many amps into a battery creates heat and can buckle plates. Or it could make it explode. You should only connect for a short duration; long enough to start the vehicle and then disconnect. It is best to trickle charge a battery with just a 1 or 2 amp current. It takes longer to charge but you are less likely to damage internal components of the battery.

    I have seen situations where electronically fuel injected vehicles would not run at idle. Engine rpm needs to be maintained above 1000 - 1500 rpm so that the alternator produces sufficient electrical charge to replenish the battery and operate the electric fuel pump, fuel injectors and the myriad of other, high current draw devices. But this situation occurs typically with a weak, failed, discharged battery and you have to jump start it. From your video it seems the battery had sufficient charge to operate the starter repeatedly.

    A weak relay does not make sense. It only takes a fraction of an amp to keep relay contacts closed. The relay with the largest electrical draw (100 - 200 amps) would be the starter solenoid. That is operating properly as witnessed by the starter being able to spin the engine at startup. If that works there is sufficient electrical power for other devices.

    Trickle charge the battery and get it back to 100% charge. If the engine starts and runs and idles without difficulty, then take the car and have the alternator tested. It is possible that there is a failed diode in the alternator that is siphoning sufficient electrical current to cause a stalling condition at idle. BUT THIS IS A WILD GUESS.
     
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  20. mrwade01

    mrwade01 New Member

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    So I just went out and started it, first on the charger, then off and it kept running so smoothly that I chanced a couple laps around the neighborhood. Ran just fine...
    Now this next could easily be my imagination due to the fact that I haven't been able to drive it for so long but I could swear that my power breaks felt a lot more responsive than before. They've always felt a little like stepping on a kitten in the dark with the first bit of pressure but not now.....

    I'M STUMPED (temporarily)
     

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