How to Troubleshoot PT Cruiser Problems

by Contributor

The PT Cruiser is manufactured through the Chrysler Company. It was first released in 2000, with an updated, more luxurious convertible version released in 2005. When it was first built and designed, it was modeled after another popular car manufactured by Chrysler, the Neon. The company was looking for a design that was small and compact, but offered a “larger” feel to it. The PT Cruiser is mixed between the small car and a truck. Being smaller in size also prompted a smaller, more compact engine size. Even though some may think this makes it more difficult to diagnose and repair a more compact engine, basic troubleshooting is surprisingly easy.


Troubleshoot your basic problems. The first thing you should do when your PT Cruiser is not working right or is broken down is to try some basic troubleshooting. If your car is not starting at all, check to make sure that the battery terminals are connected properly and that your battery is still working. Use a voltage meter to determine if it needs to be replaced. If your PT Cruiser is getting power but not starting properly, it may be something with your electrical system.


Locate your owner’s manual and use it for more specific troubleshooting. Sometimes, when a vehicle needs a tune-up or is about to break, it will have certain safety features that will make it stop running to prevent further damage. This information may be included in the owner’s manual. Another feature in your owner’s manual is a scheduled maintenance chart. This tells you when you should perform scheduled tune-ups and preventative maintenance on your PT Cruiser. It is important to follow this schedule to keep your vehicle running efficiently.


Contact your dealer. Visit your local Chrysler dealership. They may have information dealing with common problems and issues that may involve PT Cruisers. Most often, dealerships have come across a problem sometime before and know how to fix the problem or can give you tips on what to look for. If you take the time to talk with someone, usually they will give you reliable advice and there will be no fee.


Check for battery problems. Check to make sure that your battery terminals are clean and free of debris. There have been reported problems with decreased battery lifetime due to faulty hookups. Inspect your vehicle to be sure that there are no lights that remain on when the vehicle isn’t running. This will also drain your battery.


Troubleshoot engine issues. Most fuel injected vehicles manufactured by Chrysler have a built in code check system. When you have a problem with your PT Cruiser, troubleshoot it using your key. Insert the key into the ignition and move it back and forth five times between the Run position and the Off position. Watch your digital odometer for a numbered code to appear. If no problem is found, the vehicle will say “Done”. Look up the numbered code in a vehicle diagnostics chart (See references). This will give you an idea of where the problem lies with your PT Cruiser.

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