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Trouble diagnosing issues with 2004 PT Cruiser turbo

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by SoCal Chrysler owner, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. SoCal Chrysler owner

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    About a month ago we started having trouble with my wife's 2004 PT cruiser turbo model. The car has about 150,000 miles so it's getting pretty tired, but we can't afford to buy anything new. The issues began on the way home from work when the car quit running on her. She was able to restart it and get it home, so I started checking it out with my limited ability to diagnose mechanical problems. The check engine light was on. Also the brake light, trac off life, and ABS lights. I flipped the key to access the trouble code and it came up as indicating there was a problem with the number one fuel injector. At that point I was pretty depressed because I was envisioning a pretty big repair bill ahead.

    I took the car into my usual mechanic who is very good and I trust completely. They took a couple days to look into it and told me they suspected the computer was bad. I had replaced the ECM a few years ago with a remanufactured unit that I purchased from a company called All Computer Recources in Miami, Florida. At that time my mechanic wanted like $1200 to put in a new one, and after researching online I thought it was pretty easy to do so I bought a new ECM from the company in Florida via eBay, and put it in myself. The car ran fine for several years until these recent problems.

    At the time I bought that unit I discovered a local company call Alltek that specializes in these sort of electronic issues, in fact I had them check my old computer before I sent it in to All Computer Resources per their purchase terms, and they verified that it was in fact bad. This time they told me they thought it was the wrong computer for the car since my car does not have an ABS system. I thought that was odd because it it ran fine for a couple of years. However, I gave my local Chrysler dealer the VIN number and they did verify that the car does not have an ABS system.

    I checked my paperwork from the remanufactured unit and noticed it had a lifetime warranty. So I sent that one back to Florida, and about a week or so later they sent me a new one. I installed it but there doesn't seem to be any change in the warning lights. The trouble code now comes up as 0499 and I read online that this can sometimes arise when the gas cap is not secure. I try to make sure it was tight, but the code persists. I understand it might take a few cycles for the computer to clear that code but I'm thinking about buying a new gas cap just to make sure that that's still not an issue.

    So far the car seems to run OK but my worry are these lights on the dashboard. I suspect there's some sort of an electrical fault somewhere which will be difficult for me to track down as I'm not a mechanic. My next-door neighbor is, and he offered to bring home the code reader so that might shed some light on the issue, but otherwise I'm a total loss as to how to proceed.

    Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #14 by ImperialCrown, Jul 23, 2017
  3. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    I don't think the ECM is the issue. Further diagnostics is needed. For the brake light have you checked the brake fluid level in the master cylinder? If the fluid gets low enough it can trigger the brake light. Brake fluid could be low due to a leak or brake pad wear (as the pads wear the fluid level will drop).

    As to the trac off and ABS, you may need an advanced code reader to get the fault codes as I believe these are proprietary codes and a standard code reader will not be able to retrieve those codes. Something like a drbIII reader (these are very expensive and only dealers and shops have them). You may need the services of a dealer or independent shop. It will be well worth the diagnostic fee instead of shotgunning parts.

    Was the a alpha character with the 0499 code? Such as P for powertrain? A P0499 would indicate a problem with the Evaporative Emmission System Vent Valve, but I don't think that is related to your problems.

    I would recommend checking/cleaning connections pertaining to those components - especially where the connect to the ECM.
     
  4. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Welcome to Allpar. The ECM (PCM) doesn't care if you have ABS or not. Powertrain is a separate system from ABS.
    Diagnostics for P0499 is on p.185 here:
    http://oskin.ru/pub/chrysler-dodge/manuals/Service Manuals/2004_PL_Neon/18623-pl-powertrain_sgmldiag.pdf
    You should be able to follow the steps in order with a volt-ohm meter. It may be the NVLD, wiring or PCM.
    The PCM is last on the list as everything else must be ruled out first. Although it could be a defective PCM, it should never be suspected first.
    The P0499 code for an electrical problem. The gas cap isn't mentioned in the P0499 test procedure.
     
  5. Gerry G

    Gerry G Well-Known Member

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    How old is the battery? A weak battery/low voltage will cause all sorts of codes to appear and a general weirdness with the lamps.
     
    Doug D likes this.
  6. SoCal Chrysler owner

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  7. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    P0499 indicates an open circuit between the PCM (powertrain control module) and the evaporative emission NVLD assembly solenoid near the fuel tank. There is a 3 wire connector at the NVLD. Make sure the spade terminals and mating sockets are clean and tight. Retest and see if the CHECK ENGINE lamp stays off and code P0499 does not return.

    If the code P0499 returns use a multi-meter set to measure ohms and touch the probes of the meter to the 2 outer pins. The 2 outer most pins on the NVLD are the power and ground to the solenoid. You should see about 8.2 ohms resistance. (I measured the resistance of the NVLD solenoid on my 2003 Dodge Neon. It should be similar). If the solenoid winding is open then you have found the problem. Replace the NVLD. If there is resistance on the NVLD solenoid then you will have to check BK ( black ground wire) and WT / DG (white/dark green) power control back to the PCM for opens. It is also possible that these 2 wires at the PCM have a poor connection and need to be cleaned.

    The NVLD solenoid valve is normally closed when the engine is not running. It is energized during engine operation to allow venting as fuel is consumed from the tank. It may be pulsed during testing for medium and large evaporative leaks.

    Here is an image of the electrical connector and the description of each terminal.

    NVLD wiring.gif
     
    #6 AllanC, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  8. SoCal Chrysler owner

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    T
     
  9. SoCal Chrysler owner

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    I bought the battery in a November of 2014. I would add to the car set basically on years for about three or four months. Earlier this year as my wife is recovering from a broken foot. I'm wondering if the battery is not as good a condition as it should be based on that inactivity.
     
  10. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Charge the battery fully, let it sit an hour. Should read about 12.6 volts with engine off. Then turn on the headlights and wait 10 minutes. Should still be at least 12.0 volts. If significantly less, the battery is no good.
     
  11. george w

    Level III Supporter

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    I did not have good luck with "remanufactured" ECM's from All Computer Resources. Can ran fine but was throwing various O2 sensor codes. Exchanged several ECM's with them until finally got a refund and bit the bullet and got a new one installed and programmed by the local dealer. No problems since. I suspect that under high hood heat issues, and the placement of the ECM, especially with the turbo models, cooks the ECM components. The car has baked several sets of washer nozzles to a crisp.
     
  12. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    The wiring diagram shows 'except 2.4 turbo' if I'm reading it right. The evap. codes can take many cycles to retest the system. Sometimes a week or two. You can recheck the codes with a scanner, write them down, and then clear the codes with the scanner. They should then stay off.
     
  13. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    On a 2004, the codes should also reset with a battery disconnect. If the car is a daily driver, then the code should clear within 2 or 3 days if the issue is truly resolved.
    Good point pt006, the only difference with 'except 2.4L turbo' is that the K107 wire is Or/Yl instead of plain orange on the turbo vehicles.
     
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  14. SoCal Chrysler owner

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    I have not checked the battery and really have no way to do so, but I can probably borrow what I need or take it to have it checked. I did have a neighbor who is in the auto business bring his code reader. It confirmed the P0499 code which he cleared, but the check engine light returned. I suspect there is a problem with the NVLD unit.

    I also added some brake fluid to make sure there was a sufficient level in the reservoir. That made no difference.

    I had a mechanic advise the following regarding the Trac off, Brake, and ABS lights:

    "If it isn't equipped with ABS then the lights are coming on because the instrument cluster was sent data that the vehicle is equipped with ABS but it does not see an ABS module communicating in the bus. This was unusually caused by a bad keyless entry module, the RKE module and instrument cluster would need to be replaced together to repair it."
     
  15. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    I would think that a PT turbo would be equipped with ABS/TRAC. Is it a 4-wheel disc brake system?
    You can't read the ABS/TRAC codes with a standard OBDII engine code reader. You would need a more advanced reader. Our local Advance Auto store has a customer-use code reader that can read OBDII and most ABS codes.
     
  16. SoCal Chrysler owner

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    I gave the VIN number to my local Chrysler parts counter and the guy said it didn't have ABS.
     

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