PT Cruiser with rough idle, now ck engine light

fwjames

Newbie
Joined
Sep 4, 2007
Messages
6
Points
0
My wife drives a 2002 PT Cruiser with 110k miles. Check engine light is on and it has stored code P0303, miss-fire on #3. We bought it in 2003 with 6k miles on it. The thing has always had a rough idle, and often jerks when starting off cold. After several overnights at the dealer and never fixed, we just put up with it. Now that the check engine light is on, the rough idle is much worse. Plugs were replaced around 80k. I checked #3 plug and it looked normal. Same for the wires. As a test, I switched the #3 plug with #4, and switched the #3 wire with #2. After clearing the codes, same P0303 code appeared almost instantly. What should I look for?
 

Ford_Dude

wrench
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
1,395
Points
38
Age
121
1. Compression test
2. Spark Kv output

After that I would try switching injectors to see if the missfire moves.

Ford_Dude
 

Cheef

King of A-604 and Prince of 62-TE
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
970
Points
0
Location
Classified Location in East Bloc US
Website
www.ultra604.com
Look at the fuel injector. Sounds like it has had issues from day one. Not horribly hard to swap or replace outright.

As an aside...may or may not be applicable...but for reference:

Plugs from the dealer? If the answer is no, regardless of what your parts person said or what manufacturer says, the OEM Champions are the only thing that will work consistently in this vehicle's engine. It all has to do with spark duration and the computer throwing a fit if the duration as measured does not meet the spec.

Wires can be any premium brand. Do not go cheap or be fooled by "lifetime warrantees" on cheap parts. I like Autolite pro's for this application.

In any case, make sure you have the OEM Champions in it, then look at fuel injector, past that check compression and see if the #3 has variation from the others. These engines are straightforward to work on.

Cheef
 

Transman

Receptionist & Complaint Dept.
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
2,953
Points
0
Location
New Jersey
Website
www.edsofvineland.com
Just an add, Throw a can of Seafoam in the tank occasionally to help keep the injectors clean. I agree with Cheef on the plugs! Aftermarket ones more common to add problems then remove them. Transman
 
Top