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Jerry
Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1740
Experience:  ASE Master tech, 30 years exp. troubleshooter, driveability tech
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I have a 2001 PT Cruiser with a rough idle and rough start

Customer Question

I have a 2001 PT Cruiser with a rough idle and rough start when cold. When it is cold after work, I have to push down slightly on the accelerator to get the car to start. When I start the car in the morning in the garage, the idle seems to be fine, around 1000 RPM, until I put the car into gear. The car starts chugging and sputtering and will stall out if I don't keep some pressure on the gas pedal. It runs rough until I get the car up over 1000 RPM.I did get the code P1193, air intake temp sensor. I replaced that and the code went away and the car was doing 'better' as in it wasn't stalling 100% of the time but still 75-80%. I went and sprayed the throttle body down as it was pretty dirty. Sadly, that didn't seem to do anything. I forgot to tighten down the big inlet hose so I just did that.I also sprayed brake cleaner on all the vacuum hoses while idling but there was no change in idle. I took the car for a test spin and it did seem to run a little better but I never got the car above 25MPH. I then took the car on street I could go up to 45MPH. The car seemed better as it wouldn't stall out when I slowed down slowly but the idle went down to 800MPH. It wasn't running as rough but it didn't sound strong. As I drove further on, I had to slow down quicker to turn off a side road and it stalled out. I was able to start it up and drove home. When I got into the garage and put the car in Park, the idle went up as normal but when it came back down to the normal idle range, it stalled out. This has been happening when I put the car into Park for over a week now.There was a smell of gas when I got out of the car, I assume from it running too rich.I have only one code P0551, brake pressure switch, that I have had for longer than I care to admit (years) but no other codes show up when I use the key method to read P codes via the odometer readout.I am trying to think of anything else but can't at the moment. I hope we can get this solved!
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  I. Silva replied 9 months ago.

Hello...welcome and thank you for using Justanswer.

Have you check for tune-up ?

When was the last time you replaced your spark plugs and spark plug wires ?

Can you pull the wires off the plugs to see if there is oil in the spark plug tubes ?

Also try to clean the throttle body with a rag and intake cleaner spray.

Good luck.

Let me know.

Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I changed plugs and wires in early fall. I will check the oil issue tonight. I have used a rag and cleaner but may take the whole throttle body off tonight and do a thorough clean while I am checking the plugs.I will post my findings.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Also, now that I think of it, I believe one of the spark plug tubes did have some oil in it when I when I changed the plugs... Duh, I need to pay people to give me logic! I will pick up a valve cover gasket with 4 spark plug tube seals on the way home tonight.
Expert:  I. Silva replied 9 months ago.

Let me know.

Thank you .

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I did not get a chance to work on the car last night but will let you know what I find out.
Expert:  I. Silva replied 9 months ago.

No problem ,just make sure the wires are free of oil when you put everything back together.

Let me know.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I checked the spark plug wires and the spark plug tubes and there were no signs of any oil leaking. I took the throttle body off and sprayed it down good and cleaned it all up. I reassembled and still have the same symptoms. I was interrupted by my daughter and completely forgot to check the spark plugs so I will do that on Sunday.I will let you know Sunday afternoon.
Expert:  I. Silva replied 9 months ago.

Ok ,let me know.

When it starts,if it still running rough ,run it for 5 minutes and then check for trouble codes.(turn key on and off 3 times ,at third time leave the key on and see if there is any P code on the odometer screen.

Let me know.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Only codes that come up are P1684 and P0551.
Expert:  I. Silva replied 9 months ago.

Did your battery went death or did you disconnect the battery ?

Did you check the plugs ,how did they look ?

If you still have the same problems and you already clean the throttle body ,the next step in case your battery was disconnected or die on you would be resetting the adapters , unfortunately you will need a scanner (not OBD2 code reader) to reset the fuel, tps and IAC position adapters.

When connect a scanner I would check for the cylinder contribution to see if there is any kind of misfiring or any weak cylinder.

Good luck.

Let me know.

Thank you.

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