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No Codes, Guages just jump around, No Lights

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by Keruth, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. Keruth

    Keruth New Member

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    So, sons '02 PT died at a short stop after work. Thought battery, jumped it, no. Starter, 5spd so bump start, no. No codes, lights at all, buzzer for key works sometimes and gauges jump around w/ key on and off, no E-flashers.
    Got it home, checked battery, connections, pulled fuse cover, all good!
    Was ready to pull starter, but started reading forum till eyes started crossing. No really close answers.
    I think I hate computers in automobiles.
     
  2. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Could be battery.
    Do headlights work?
    Put it on a charger and when fully charged, let it sit an hour. Then measure voltage with engine off, should be 12.6 volts. Turn on headlights for 10 minutes, voltage should be above 12.0 volts.
    If fails test, replace battery. If it passes, check all connections. Measure voltage between pos terminal and pos clamp, and between neg terminal and neg clamp, with engine off and headlights on. Should be 0.1 volts or less. If over 0.3 volts, connection between post and clamp is bad. Also test between block and neg post with headlight on, also look for 0.1 volt drop.
     
    Gerry G and ImperialCrown like this.
  3. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    With all these functions not working on the vehicle I would suspect a main power feed from the battery to the PDC (power distribution center) to have failed. At the positive battery clamp on the battery there is a 6 gauge wire to the starter solenoid and a similar wire to the PDC. Is this wire intact? Is it connected tightly at the PDC? Are you getting any voltage at each fuse in the PDC?
     
  4. Keruth

    Keruth New Member

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    ya. broke grounds too, cleaned, voltage and drain checked on battery, (by someone who wanted to sell me a new one).
    Additional info,,, replacement motor after cracked head 2 years ago.
    I still hate computers on automobiles. Especially one for everything!
     
  5. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    Did you check and clean the grounds on the driver side fender? You have to remove the battery in order to get to them. This is a known problem area on the PT's.
     
  6. Keruth

    Keruth New Member

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    As an update to the issues, here's what I did. As was suggested right away.
    New battery harness installed ($$), grounds cleaned, battery charged.
    Instruments started functioning right till I hit the starter, solenoid fired, dead, checked and replaced starter, viola! (even though the FLAPS checked it out as good w/no load test)!
    Seems to have charging problem now. Is that an internal regulator, or not? Fused?
    It'll be another week before I'll have time again. Any idea's?
     
  7. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    I think the regulator is in the alternator in your vehicle. You might have the alternator tested. But the old starter could have been draining the battery, and you'll need to charge it again.
     
  8. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    Voltage regulator in the alternator is a GM thing. They are in the computer for Chrysler products of this vintage.
     
  9. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Of this vintage, yes. But not for all years. My 84 Daytona as an external regulator bolted to the back of the alternator. Later it was moved into the computer.
     
  10. ImperialCrown

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    So the instrument cluster is behaving OK now? Key chime and e-flashers working also?
    The e-flasher switch may need cycling 'on-off' several times to clean the contacts if they tarnished from not being used.
    The v/reg is inside the PCM on these. Diagnose first.
    A computer problem should be the last thing you suspect. It can be, but usually isn't.
    Is the red battery icon lit in the instrument cluster? A 'not-charging' problem should eventually set a fault code.
    Does the odometer say 'donE' instead of showing fault codes?
     
  11. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    Look under the car too. One the 01 and 02 PT's there was a problem with a plastic clip breaking and dropping the wiring harness onto the axle and rubbing the insulation off and causing a grounding problem. IIRC, it's the passenger side axle. Worth a look and won't cost you a penny!
     
  12. Delta_9x

    Delta_9x New Member

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    I had an almost identical problem with my wife's 2001 Neon. If the car was put on the charger over night it would start and stay on under it's own power, however random warning lights and chimes would go on, and the speedo and tac would go up and down. The car only got maybe a start or two before battery died. Jumping the car caused the same condition, it would run, but the dash would go off like a pinball machine and once it was turned off it was dead. The issue was actually a bad battery. Now I may describe the issue wrong but this was the general gist. Basically the battery went open, and the electrical system uses the battery as a noise suppression filter for the electrical system. Cleaned and checked large battery wires and the little 20 gauge wire on the positive side first, no change. Described the issue to my friend, an electrical engineer, he called me back and told me to replace the battery. Problem solve. I know it not a PT, but I bet Chrysler uses a similar design for these cousins. I hope it helps, just wish I could give you a better explanation for the why however I cannot remember the entire reason.
     
  13. Delta_9x

    Delta_9x New Member

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    Since I am a noob to this forum I can't find the edit button to fix grammatical errors and to stress checking the thin 20 gauge wire on the positive side as well. The thin cable is the power for the dash and if it is not making a clean contact it would cause similar issues as described. This seems to be one of the most overlooked steps for the bouncing or non working gauges and no dash lights, at least on a whole lot of Chrysler products from this period. That or the open battery I mentioned above.
     

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