Allpar Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's worrying when the dash lights go out, the car sort of withers and dies... especially when you're in the middle of a gas station.

I had an errand to run, did that and decided to go for a cruise... i nipped into the gas station to top up but the PAY BY CARD pump didn't work... so i pulled away from the pump and the car just passed out. i thought, " i know how you feel pal"

Ironically i'd been reading about this on the forum over the weekend and remember thinking "what if that happened to me".

I tried to restart the car, it was like the old days when you'd flood the carb... a feeble attempt to fire, but it died straight away. i removed the key and pretended i'd just got in.... the car fired up but no lights on the dash.. i thought i'd better see how far i can get and look out for somewhere safe for it to pass out, in case i had to abandon the ride. Anyhoo, it drove home ok and i've tried consoling my motor, lol, and just hope he's had an "off day"... but what am i to expect? what's the next step?

On the forum pages there seems to be a reluctance to pay for investigative measures when no-one can pin-point a specific cause. What should i do guys? Any advice or even shots in the dark might help understand the goings on.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
39,067 Posts
If the only problem currently is the dash lights, I'd start at the headlight switch. get a wiring diagram and an electric meter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,915 Posts
Given the failed restart and then successful restart, I'd check the battery and charging system.
How old is the battery? Charge it fully and then measure the voltage with engine off, and then with engine running. Then shut it off and measure voltage, and turn on headlights with engine off, and measure voltage at 5 minutes and at 10 minutes. If it gets below 11 volts, the battery is no good.
If you don't get 14 volts at idle, the charging system has a defect, probably the alternator.

Intermittent lights and other quirky functions are often the sign of a battery going dead.

One other test - measure the voltage between the positive post and the positive clamp, and between negative post and negative clamp. Should be 0.1V or less. Then turn on the headlights and repeat the test. If you now get 0.3V or greater, there is a bad connection between post and clamp, and you need to remove the clamps and clean them and the post with a battery brush, no matter how clean they may look. Reconnect and test again, and you should get less than 0.3V for both.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 06PTElectricBlue

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Given the failed restart and then successful restart, I'd check the battery and charging system.
How old is the battery? Charge it fully and then measure the voltage with engine off, and then with engine running. Then shut it off and measure voltage, and turn on headlights with engine off, and measure voltage at 5 minutes and at 10 minutes. If it gets below 11 volts, the battery is no good.
If you don't get 14 volts at idle, the charging system has a defect, probably the alternator.

Intermittent lights and other quirky functions are often the sign of a battery going dead.

One other test - measure the voltage between the positive post and the positive clamp, and between negative post and negative clamp. Should be 0.1V or less. Then turn on the headlights and repeat the test. If you now get 0.3V or greater, there is a bad connection between post and clamp, and you need to remove the clamps and clean them and the post with a battery brush, no matter how clean they may look. Reconnect and test again, and you should get less than 0.3V for both.
Hi Bob, the battery is new, it was replaced prior to the mot; my old battery "turned off" my headlights while i was driving one night. so yeah, a dying battery can throw up a variety of problems.. i've just been out to turn the key again...and all is fine, my chariot fired up and all illuminations came on. i've been perusing an earlier thread that you commented on where it mentioned low fuel pressure... so i thought maybe i didnt refit the fuel cap correctly when i attempted to fill up... but that was ok too. we have to try the obvious first i guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the only problem currently is the dash lights, I'd start at the headlight switch. get a wiring diagram and an electric meter.
i have the wiring diagrams and all the intellectual stuff in a testing station manual..and im not too bad at tracing the loom around, but unfortunately i have the Parkinsons wobble and i wouldn't trust myself to poke at anything electrical. i'm hoping its not a garage job as diagnostics is an additional bill to the supply and fit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,101 Posts
Hi Bob, the battery is new, it was replaced prior to the mot; my old battery "turned off" my headlights while i was driving one night. so yeah, a dying battery can throw up a variety of problems.. i've just been out to turn the key again...and all is fine, my chariot fired up and all illuminations came on. i've been perusing an earlier thread that you commented on where it mentioned low fuel pressure... so i thought maybe i didnt refit the fuel cap correctly when i attempted to fill up... but that was ok too. we have to try the obvious first i guess.
I had a similar issue a few weeks ago. I cleaned the battery terminals, which were pretty corroded and all has been well since. May not be your issue, but may as well eliminate the easy things first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had a similar issue a few weeks ago. I cleaned the battery terminals, which were pretty corroded and all has been well since. May not be your issue, but may as well eliminate the easy things first.
Yeh, fair point dj. we've had some miserable weather lately so i guess poor contacts are a possibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,930 Posts
There are approximately 7 ground connections on the inside of the drivers fender behind the air box. These are exposed to battery gases and over the years may become corroded, loose or break. Remove your air box and check those connections. Make sure they're ALL clean and tight. This is a known problem area for the PT Cruisers. If not that, then you might have a loose ground connection in the dash assembly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
It's worrying when the dash lights go out, the car sort of withers and dies... especially when you're in the middle of a gas station.

I had an errand to run, did that and decided to go for a cruise... i nipped into the gas station to top up but the PAY BY CARD pump didn't work... so i pulled away from the pump and the car just passed out. i thought, " i know how you feel pal"

Ironically i'd been reading about this on the forum over the weekend and remember thinking "what if that happened to me".

I tried to restart the car, it was like the old days when you'd flood the carb... a feeble attempt to fire, but it died straight away. i removed the key and pretended i'd just got in.... the car fired up but no lights on the dash.. i thought i'd better see how far i can get and look out for somewhere safe for it to pass out, in case i had to abandon the ride. Anyhoo, it drove home ok and i've tried consoling my motor, lol, and just hope he's had an "off day"... but what am i to expect? what's the next step?

On the forum pages there seems to be a reluctance to pay for investigative measures when no-one can pin-point a specific cause. What should i do guys? Any advice or even shots in the dark might help understand the goings on.
This may be a dumb question bjt, did you happen to check the fuse boxes? There's one by your left knee on the bottom of the dash board, and another under the hood, on the right hand side.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top