PT Cruiser Computer Problems

by Daniel Westlake

PT Cruisers are a model of Chrysler vehicles which were discontinued in 2010. However, these cars were popular with many drivers because they combined a specific type of old-world automobile design with certain modern options. However, a few models of the PT Cruiser would occasionally run into problems with the car's computer.

Darkening Instrument Panel

The instrument panel in PT Cruisers made in the model year of 2002 will occasionally darken. These instrument panels are on the dashboard on the driver's side of these cars, telling drivers important information such as the speed at which they are traveling, their oil temperature and any internal malfunctions the computer senses. This darkening is actually due to a computer malfunction and was fixed during a recall of these models of PT Cruiser.

Engine Computer Won't Reset

Sometimes when the check engine light goes on in the PT Cruiser and the needed repair is carried out, the computer inside the PT Cruiser itself won't properly reset. This can be frustrating because you won't know if there is another engine problem or if the computer is still malfunctioning. Taking the car in to a dealership or experienced mechanic may be the only real solution for this problem, often requiring not only a reboot of the computer system but possibly replacement of the computer's chip.

Computer Code Access

Sometimes there are problems with the internal operations of the PT Cruiser, and the driver needs to access trouble codes from the computer system to tell them exactly what is wrong with the car. While users could buy a scanner to give a readout of the codes, there are a couple of ways to have the car output the codes without a scanner. One way is to turn the key from Run (the setting immediately before Start) to Off and back and forth again twice in five seconds. This will make the lights on the instrument panel flash and show you the Cruiser's trouble codes. Alternatively, by turning the key to Run and pressing the odometer button, codes will be displayed on the odometer.

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