Following WillR’s advice posted as a comment in the previous message, I retrieved the diagnostic codes (after some adventures noted in my comment following WillR’s.
I do have a P0551 which is related to idling. the PTDoItYourself.net has this to say of a very very similar case:
1010. I have a 2001 BE PT with 59.6k miles. Recently, while going to fill up with gas the engine (MIL) light on dash came on. I ran the self-tests and got this DTC – P0551, Power Steering Switch. Is this something I can fix or change out, or is it a dealer repair. I have always worked on my own cars, and rebuilt many engines in the old days. Thanks in advance. – Roger, from South Carolina.
A DIY’er with automotive experience could probably replace the switch, if it were diagnosed as being faulty. However, as you are probably aware, DTC’s are the result of a system or circuit failure, but do not always directly identify the failed component or components. Personally, I would have a diagnostic run before replacing the switch.
P0551 (M) – Power Steering Switch Failure: Incorrect input state detected for the power steering switch circuit. PL: High pressure seen at high speed.
Power steering pressure switch – A power steering pressure switch is used to improve the vehicle’s idle quality. The pressure switch improves vehicle idle quality by causing a readjustment of the engine idle speed as necessary when increased fluid pressure is sensed in the power steering system.
The pressure switch functions by signaling the powertrain control module that an increase in pressure of the power steering system is putting additional load on the engine. This type of condition exists when the front tires of the vehicle are turned while the vehicle is stationary and the engine is at idle speed. When the powertrain control module receives the signal from the power steering pressure switch, it directs the engine to increase its idle speed.
This increase in engine idle speed compensates for the additional load, thus maintaining the required engine idle speed and idle quality. The power steering pressure switch is mounted directly on the backside of the power steering gear. The replacement procedure is available through the Pit area on the site.
Looks like a job for Chrysler on Monday.
Note: Nothing in this posting at PTDoItYourself.net saysing anything about stalling out.
First let me say that I love my PT Cruiser. I’ve had it for over 5 years; it is a first year Cruiser. During that time I’ve only had a few minor repairs and not serious callbacks.
Then the stalling when the engine is hot started.
The occurance of the problem preceded my 60K mile maintenance by only 24 hours so I added a look at the stall to the scheduled maintenace. The 60K is a pretty big deal in which all the spark plugs, wires, hoses etc are replaced or at least checked. The guess of the service guys was that the PT had gunk built up in the throttle housing (?) and that in the heat the gunk became fluid enough to ooze down and cut off the flow. No trouble. Just clean it out.
I pick up the car and drive a bit. The stall is back — or more properly never left.
[inserting forgetten visit here]
I take it back to Chrysler. They have found a tech bulletin of some sort. They download new soft/firmware in to the car’s mind. That should fix it.
In the mean time, Sally’s car, an older Saturn, was stalling too. Her problem was related to the EGR valve.
The PT, even with it’s new brain download, stalls again and again. Some symptoms: fine until driven about 15 or 20 miles in the heat. Then beware on stoplights.
The Chrysler guys next speculated that the problem was the fuel pump. My choices: Drive around with a pressure recorder on the fuel line or Just go ahead and replace the pump.
We replaced the pump. Not cheap but effective or so it seems.
No more stalling — so far.
Thursday I drove the PT about 4 blocks and the Check Engine Light lit up. Finally some data for the poor mechanics. During all the stalling there was no Check Engine and no data or alerts generated.
Now we have something for them to look at.
More on Monday.
[insert Saturday stall outs]
So I take the first good medium length drive today. Over to Durham to hear Barry Varela read from his new novel, Palmer’s Gate at the Regulator. I get almost to 9th Street when I hit a stoplight. The car stalls.
I am cursed in several different languages as I try to restart the car even though I have the e-blinkers on and am in the rightmost lane.
Finally, as usual, the PT restarts. I get to the reading a little late, but I do get there.
After the reading and good talks with friends, I get in the PT. Starts fine. Drives fine. All the way to Chapel Hill. Until I try to turn off 51-501 onto Morgan Creek. Stall again. Yikes.