2004 PT Cruiser dies while driving

Asked by AllynTal Jul 19, 2019 at 11:32 AM about the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser Wagon FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Twice now, my 2004 PT cruiser (~120,000 miles) stopped running. There is
no hint of a problem, the engine just turns off. It happened once in my
driveway when the car was idling and once when I was driving down the
road and I was able to coast to the shoulder. The dash is lit when it dies.
When I try to restart it, nothing happens when I turn the key -- no cranking,
no clicking, nothing. The first time it happened, I was still in my driveway. My
husband pulled fuses and relays looking for something popped or burnt. He
found nothing amiss but when he tried the key, it started right up. We thought
there must have been a bad connection somewhere. The next day, I was
driving to the store and it died. Same thing, when I tried to restart the engine,
there was no cranking or clicking. It was silent. Dash was lit. I had it towed to
my mechanic. He said he found a burnt fuse (he didn't say which fuse. I'll ask
him when I talk to him again) and now the car starts again, but he's
scratching his head over why the fuse popped and why the car is dying with
no warning. Obviously, the fuse wasn't blown for the first incident or the car
wouldn't have started again (either that or the fuse was for a non-essential
system and had nothing to do with the problem). He's been taking the car for
a long drive everyday trying to get it to repeat the problem, but so far, no luck
getting it to die again. I'm open to suggestions. TYIA

3 Answers

1. Disconnect battery and reconnect, this reboots the car's computer. 2. Replace battery. Charge it after replacement, you can do this in the car. Charge the battery every few months if not driving the car much or driving only on short trips. 3. Examine fog light switch, ensure battery not draining without your knowledge. 4. Examine air filter and also the small filter in same box called an oil catch filter, replace the oc filter with a foam filter from ebay like https://www.ebay.com/itm/263606641099? ul_noapp=true 5.If this does not solve, consider replacing the fuel pump, do this not at a dealer and use highly rated Amazon part.

1. Already done 2. The battery is less than a year old. Even if it was a weak/low battery, why wouldn't it slow-crank when trying to restart it? 3. Not applicable. There are no fog lights. 4.Air and PCV filter were replaced at the last oil change. 5. If it were the fuel pump, why wouldn't it crank but not catch when trying to restart it? The car hasn't shut off since I get it back from the mechanic. I'm still at a loss as to why, if it was the fuse, did it start and run after the first incident.

Try putting your battery on the charger, though. Even if one year old. On most chargers there is a green area and a red area. If it starts charging and is close to the red area then moves after a couple of hours to mid green, that says something. You might not be driving it enough to keep it charged or it might be the alternator not providing a good charge or good current to the system. The computers check the current available and might prevent cranking when they don't see what they want.

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