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PT Cruiser starting problem

Old 05-19-2008, 06:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Default PT Cruiser starting problem

I just purchased a preowned 2008PT Cruiserwith 13,000 miles. We test drove the car & it had no problems at all. One day after purchasing it, wewent shopping only to getin the car to go home & it refused to crank. The battery wasn't run down. Thedash lights indicator came on like usual but it refused to crank. After about twenty minutes it finally cranked. We took it back to the dealer where they kept it overnight and we were told they could not find any thing wrong with it.

Well, I picked it up onsaturday morning only to have the very same thing happen that afternoon. The car sat still the remainder of the weekend until the mechaniccould come pick it up. Whereby it promtly cranked. This afternoon I get a phone call that the chrystler dealer mech can't find anything wrong either. Now, I know I'm not making thisproblem up so I wanted to know if anyone here has any idea why I might be having this issue?[:@]

Barb 1077
Old 05-20-2008, 01:08 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 278
Default RE: PT Cruiser starting problem

Things like the transmission interlock switch, ignition switch, ASD relay, and starter solenoid can all be a bear to find when the problem is intermittent.

Be a good diagnostician and figure out when it happens. Is the motor hot? Cold? Both? Is the weather rainy and damp? Can you wiggle your transmission shift lever and make the problem go away? Does it make any sound at all when it fails?

The answers to these questions can go a long way to help someone figure out an intermittent problem.

Also, if you have a friend who kinda knows a bit about cars, maybe trade for a while and get their input after they spend a while with it.

Again, intermittent problems are the toughest to diagnose. The more information the better.
Old 05-20-2008, 11:04 AM
moe is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 695
Default RE: PT Cruiser starting problem

hi barb,let me ask you when this happens does the door locks work? what i getting at is they been having problems with what is called WCM?SKREEM .if your locks are inop when this happens then inform the shop that also happens at the same time.heres the tsb # 08-007-08.hope this helps moe
Old 05-20-2008, 06:51 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Default RE: PT Cruiser starting problem

Hi irdaneel, Thanks for the suggestions. Saturday when it wouldn't crank the motor was reasonably cool. I had driven it 2 hours prior to that. The weather here was perfect. I live on the North Carolina coast. I will use your suggestions in the future. Thanks for replying.

Old 05-20-2008, 06:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3
Default RE: PT Cruiser starting problem

Hi Moe, To tell you the truth, I didn't think about checking the locks. If this problem happens again I will certainly check that possibility with the locks. [sm=thanx.gif]Barb
Old 05-21-2008, 01:49 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Default RE: PT Cruiser starting problem

[align=left]Dear Barb
I wanted to post my problem here because it it similar to yours. Maybe someone will read my problem and be able to suggest a solution that would work for both of us.
I bought a 2002 PT Cruiser about 3 years ago. About a year after , the starter quit working. It would click but it wouldn't even take a jump. So I had it towed to a car repair shop. It would start the next day. I would start every time at the shop. Then once it didn't start at the repair shop so they changed the starter. Then after the warrenty ran out on the starter a year and 3 months later, the starter quit working again. I went through the same situation. Finally it quit working at the repair shop (different shop) and they changed the starter. That made it the third starter, the one it came with, the first repair and then the second repair.
A couple of times during all this I would have trouble with the starter and come back after sitting a half hour or so and it would start. One night after work at 12 midnight a guy with a large pickup with a hefty battery tried to jump it and it wouldn't take the jump. He hit the starter with a pole, but to no avail. One time it wouldn't start and some guys had me put it in reverse while they pushed it about 5 feet to have the starter moved out of any kind of null, but that didn't work, wouldn't take a jump. After having towed to a shop and not starting, the next day the repair shop called and said the car started every time. The battery has been checked.
Now it is in the shop again today (still another shop). Same problem.
Old 05-21-2008, 05:41 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: England
Posts: 541
Default RE: PT Cruiser starting problem

get them to do a voltage drop test. I have had poor earths do this where the earth bolts on to the body behind the air filter box. no more then 0.3 volts on the earth wire when cranking. The one I had was over 2 volts lost by the poor earth.
Old 12-07-2011, 12:31 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1

It's electrical more than likely. I just took mine in and it has been doing the same thing. Of course it would always start right up for my husband...light panel would come on, radio etc, so not the battery or alternator- wouldn't turn over when cranked, but sometimes it would. Weather did not matter-SO! I took it to a transmission place where he came out and listened to it, said "let me do a test" came back outside with a metal pole, popped the hood and he rammed the pole down the inside front and said "crank it, keep it cranked while I am tapping on it" So I did and it started up better than it had in ages....he said it was electrical and would cost $185.00....I got home and looked to see what he was tapping but it looked like a black cylinder, I didn't see much to tap up and down on....Hope this helps anyone! I hate mystery car stuff!
Old 01-10-2012, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4

that's an nice stuff it would really help me a lot thanks for the stuff........
Old 03-03-2012, 09:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Default Similar Issue


I have a Misubishi Montero V6 that has similar issues. Replaced the starter solenoid 3 times. Helped for a bit, but always returns to fail start. I finally figured out it is not the starter or starter solenoid at fault. There are several potential bad parts (wires/switches/connections and also bad wiring in the wiring of the ignition and run circuit that can cause the starter to not get sufficient current to properly activate the stater solenoid.

I have worked around this issue this way. Build yourself a jumper wire long enough to reach from the starter to the battery. Wire clips on one or both ends. Drop the wire down past the engine close to the starter. Connect one end to the small post on the starter solenoid post that is where your ignition circuit connects to the starter. This is the smaller or the 2 wire connectins at the starter.

When the car fails to start, raise the hood and just tap the other end of the jumper wire to the + post of your battery all the while leaving the key in the run position. It cranks and starts.

This method by passes all the safety features built into the electrical circuit like the park/neutral shift position switch, so make sure you car is in park or neutral when you do this.

My car starts and then typically restarts several times normally after this procedure (I'm thinking the solenoid likes the improved amps and voltage of the direct path to the battery). When it happens again. I repeat the above.

I'm thinking of making this more permanent by hard wiring this solution through a push button switch under my dash. You still have to have a key to get the ignition switch into run position before the car will go, so I'm not that concerned about this partial hot wire solution and resultant theft!

Hope this helps understand one posible issue and others can use this to diagnose there issues!

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