How do i get the code by using the ignition switch? I know you have to turn it on 3 times etc.


Asked by Feb 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM about the Chrysler PT Cruiser

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My PT Cruiser has a check engine light on and I want to access the code but i don't  have a reader.  I
know you can use the ignition to access the codes.  I have done it before, just can't remember how to
do it.  Does anyone know how to do this?

17 Answers


2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Your owners manual would be able to tell you. Often those check engine lights come on at factory set intervals, like around 25k, 40K, 50k. These check engine lights often are set to correspond with what the manufacturer says is the mileage you should take it into the dealer to have what ever looked at. Or, it can be something more serious, of course, but I see the later more often than not. As the other person said you can go to any place that sells parts and they will scan if for you. Just remember to write the codes down if you indeed to have a problem and want to return here for more help as those codes will be important.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

If you still want the process to retrieve those codes I can probably get the key sequence for you, if you don't have the owners manual. They are a two digit code and are sometimes depending on the year, either displayed or just flashed to you by counting the light flashes

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I would appreciate the help. The car is my exes, and I don't know if she has the manual. I remember when I did it last time , the code showed up where the milage usually appears. Thanks

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Great and thank you for the best answer mark, this is kind of a points game amongst us guys as we do this for free and that is all we get and kind of like bragging rights, I guess...LOL. What is the year as I think all I can come up with is like about 04 or so, I'm not sure but will look for you. I do somewhere have the codes and what they mean from the days when I had my Viper and they are all the same. I am hoping this is not pre-97 as the codes started getting changed around in about 97 and it's a pain, I have know idea why Chrysler did this, but they messed up a bunch of people, me being one. But let me know the year of the PT and I will start going through my stuff and see what I can come up with for you.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

It's a 2005 Turbo, convertible. Thanks

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

OK great, let me do some looking and I will get back to you as quick as I can, that one I think I have.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Is it the convertible?



OK I have it, but it is big 10MB, I am going to take a quick look and see how to turn the key which is generally the method to get the the code, like turn it three times to just before it starts, stomp on the brake 12 times get out of the car and climb back in thru the passenger side and repeat 6 more times to retrieve the codes. Just kidding.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

No! You nailed it! I remember crawling through the window! LOL

OK, I was digging through my stuff and there's a couple of things you can try, I looked quickly at the owners manual and nothing really jumped right out at me, but it's probably there, I am having to take off here in a minute and go help my old Mom and the sun is actually out here in WA so it's a nice day. But try these ideas to get those codes and if you want to go to my what they call here is my garage which you can do by clicking on my car in the picture and PM my with a email address, I will upload that owners manual to my cloud storage and send you an email with the link and you can then download it in PDF. Most email providers won't let you send a 10MB attachment. So, here is my old Viper day routines, To get the codes, move the key from Run to Off to Run to Off to Run within five seconds. It does not always work the first time. (Run is JUST before Start). The code will show up in the odometer - thank your lucky stars for this, since the codes used to get blinked on the engine light. “if you do it too quickly it doesnt work (got to wait to see the odometer light up” and that if you have no codes, the odometer will say “done.” Another method which may in most cars just test the instrument panel is to put the key into the ignition, push down the odometer reset button, then turn the key to RUN with your finger on the button - and then release the button. The odometer will go through 1111111 through 999999, then display the car's serial number and some other, irrelevant information, then show the error codes starting with P. Note that this method may not work. It's easier but not necessarily better. Like I was saying pre-97 All Chrysler vehicles with fuel injection have had some form of "error checking." In many older vehicles, a person could easily turn the key back and forth a few times to get a two-digit code. With the PT Cruiser, a longer code seems to be used. In addition, as with all vehicles sold in the United States, the system is OBDC3 compatible, so that a standard diagnostic device can be plugged into a standard jack to get computer codes which you can get done at like Autozone or O'Reilly's or just basically any auto part store because it's simple and they want to sell you parts. If you do PM my with a email so I can send that owners manual, I have a list here of what I believe is the codes as Chrysler didn't change the meanings of the codes that much but they might start with a "P" now as that's how OBD codes start with a "P".

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

OK. T Hank you. I'll let you know how it works out.

I scanned through the manual and it's probably there, but it's not really in plain site, like in the index. I would probably be right to say they don't really want you the owner to know how to maybe fix and diagnose your own car, got to take it to the dealer, right? I have to get running pal, so let me know if you want this manual and then we can do as I was saying with the email to my cloud storage where you can download it along with the list of codes I have. Later


cycle the key from on to off three times leaving it on the third time

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Toni Moore

Make sure you on on the regular setting on your odometer, not the trip setting with the doors closed. then do the key turn three times just before turning completely over. Your code(s) should show up. Mine do, I have a 2003 PT Cruiser however it does not show any letters just numbers and when they have all been presented it shows DONE. Currently I have 4. LOL not good right!!! I hope this has helped you and saved you from a trip to a store and a climb through the passenger door.... Toni

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Cory Castellano

Where do I plug in my code reader in a 2006 pt cruiser

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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