2001 Manual PT Cruiser not starting


#1

Friday went to start the Cruiser but noting not even a crank. All the electrical stuff came on fine no dimming in any way not even an engine light. Checked all the fuses and they are fine. The only way it would start is if I have someone push it while I pop the clutch. After that the Cruiser runs fine. I’m at a lost at what it might be. I was thinking maybe the starter then I found out that there is a security button that the clutch pushes in so that engine can start too. So I don’t know if its that either.


#2

You can jump out the switch, but it’s more than likely the starter is bad. Next time you could hit the starter and see if it starts.


#3

@knfenimore I just went out and did that and nothing…


#4

Power from the ignition switch usually has to pass through at least the clutch safety switch to energize the starter solenoid. Check to see if power (12 volts) is getting to and through the switch. If you have power there then you need to check the wiring between the switch and the solenoid. If you have no power there when the ignition is ON then you need to look at the wiring back toward the ignition switch.

Your vehicle is getting older and if you hear a fairly loud click when you try to start the engine that may mean the starter solenoid is working but the internal switch contacts are worn out and need to be replaced. Power to the starter motor, which requires a lot of power to make it run, is being blocked by the bad solenoid contacts. Your vehicle is at the age when this kind of thing happens.


#5

I had a bad clutch safety switch 14 years back. I was able to start the car by removing the floor mat and pushing really hard on the clutch pedal. I drove to an independent repair shop where the switch was replaced for $70.


#6

Stop by an auto parts store that will check your battery for free! Autozone etc. usually provide the service.


#7

As mentioned above, there’s at least a half dozen reasons for this symptom. And often more than one is involved. Experienced mechanics know exactly how to diagnose it since it is such a common problem.

When it happens to me on my Corolla, the first thing I do is hook up a volt meter and measure the voltage on both terminals of the starter motor, SM to case. During attempted cranking. If either is below 10 volts, I know I have an electrical problem prior to the starter motor, so I work backwards to find out what it is. If both are above 10.5 volts, it is likely the SM needs replacement.