January 20, 2008Hello, Proud owner of a 2002 PT TE here. Had my engine light come on for a cylinder #3 misfire, so I took it to the dealer to have it plugged in. Please bare with me here, because I'm not quite sure of all the correct part names, but hopefully I can describe it right. They explained to me that the piston was underfueled, so they ran a few tests to pinpoint the problem, and it turns out that the cap on the exhaust valve is failing to close completely possibly due to a gunk build up (the "misfire is only causing a slight bogging that is noticable when I'm at a stop). Unfortunately, the problem had been misdiagnosed in my first visit, leading me to replace the spark plugs, wires, and coil pack, plus the upper plenum gaskets.. a $450 bill. They told me that it would be $400 to remove the header to see if this is actually the problem. I didn't have the money, so I asked if I could give a try running some lucas injector cleaner in the gas and oil. I also tried seafoam, which was recommended to me. I've also been fueling with super gas, hoping it would burn higher, maybe burn some of that gunk too. But it's been a month of trying that and that $400 bill is drawing closer, so I just wanted to throw the problem out there, maybe if anyone knows of anything else I can try? If not, then I could use a little advice as to what else I should replace or check on while they're in the area. I'm just reaching 100,000 miles, and would like to keep on going. I'm not too familiar with any major fixes that come about in the area. But maybe seals, gaskets, piston rings, or even the valve covers/ springs? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks very much for your time.
January 22, 2008Welcome.
Run from that dealer.
While replacing the plugs & wires, and MAYBE intake (upper plenum) gaskets is a good stab at your problem, coil packs hardly ever go, and $450 for what you got is way too high. Now they want another $400 to fish around?
Go find a good mechanic, and ask for a compression test - that'll indicate any valve problems. Also ask the mechanic about replacing the timing belt - at 100,000 miles, you should plan on replacing it before it breaks - water pump gets replaced, too - should run around $700 (sorry).
Stop using high test, you're only wasting money. High test is actually harder to ignite and is for high compression or turbo engines where regular gas could ignite without a spark.
January 22, 2008Thank you for your help, I needed a point in the right direction. I guess when it comes to fixes, I don't mind paying the money, as long as it fixes the problem and improves the life of the vehicle, so I appreciate the advice. As for the gas, that's a relief, it felt as though I wasn't getting anywhere but I kept thinking, if the few extra on gas could save me $400? ha hah. Alright, thanks again, will keep you updated.
January 22, 2008Go to an auto parts place and ask around for a good mechanic. Get several votes for the same place, then go there. Mechanics have to live by establishing a good reputation.
January 23, 2008I do my own plug and wire changes for under 50, and an hour of my time. That is ridiculous.
My PT is starting to do the same thing 80,600, however it will run a little better with some Lucas. Drive it a little harder.
Thats about all I can suggest unless you like to play with engines.
Otherwise go to a exhaust specialist. Dealer recommended exhaust manifold, then stick to a person who probably knows exactly and doesn't have to fish around. Dealers like to fish around, I know, I have had bad experiences myself.
January 24, 2008"I do my own plug and wire changes for under 50, and an hour of my time. "
True, but they also replaced coil packs and intake gasket, their labor isn't free - BUT - It's still way too high, I doubt there was anything wrong with coils AND they DIDN'T FIX THE PROBLEM!
January 24, 2008QSD,
Your right. The pack is another 15 minutes and the intake manifold gaskets are like 30 min, because you have to grease them a little.
I'd never pay that much for a change in my plugs.
Again, why do you think I have never gone back to the dealer for anything of that sort. They ripped me off the first time and its not going to happen again.
Its sad when an adverage joe car owner, asks a tech a question and they reply with an "Ahhh, I will have to check into that for you." Sorry but it you went to school and I know more then you, then you in the wrong profession.
January 25, 2008I hear ya' on the "I'll have to check into that for you". They'll have to tell people that and they have to wait in the waiting room for a long time and then find out they tell you it's a major problem and it'll cost you some big bucks. But the catch is "oh we have that part in stock and we can take care of it right now for ya'". I just don't even take it to the dealer any more, unless I really don't know what's going on, I'll come to my fellow PT companions here to get the inside scoop first on what parts and labor and pricing. That's why I love this site, I'm not mechanical at all when it comes to cars and if I need any advice at all I can get it from you guys first.
January 25, 2008Cars are fun to play with. Take them apart and then put them back together. Just hope you don't end up with left over parts asking yourself "Where did this come from?"
The PT seems pretty easy unless totally major.
Have taken mine down to the body both inside and outside. Haven't touched too much of the engine. I don't have that kind of down time. But if I did, oh boy, would I be working on that like crazy. Sorry, I love to ticker with cars. Looking for my own classic to play with when I have the money.
January 25, 2008" Just hope you don't end up with left over parts asking yourself "Where did this come from?"
My first motorcycle had a single carburetor. One day, I decided to take it apart, and I did, completely. When putting it back together, I had like 6 parts left over! It ran like crap when I first started it, but I kept adjusting and adjusting needle valves, and after nearly all day, it was running better than before I took it apart. Never did figure out where those parts went...
That was in my late teens - I know my limitations now and don't push my luck.