2005 PT Cruiser will not idle

I feel like I am living the HEE-HAW life, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all (for those of you old enough to remember the show). I did a timing belt replacement on the car. Checked the marks carefully for alignment since it took me nearly 2 hours to get them right to begin with, started the engine and it ran fine. Now, after putting the car back together again, the car will crank, and as long as I give it gas, idle smoothly at RPM’s over 1000. Once I get my foot off of the gas, it will die, and I mean at once, no sputter or anything. I have pulled the IAC valve and cleaned it, and it seemed to do a little better in that i can let my foot off the gas and it will idle around 1000 RPM and slightly below, but it will eventually do the same, and the idle is ruff. I have also noticed while maintaining the higher RPM, there appears to be a slight surge in the RPM as if the car is trying to idle itself even higher off an on. I am pulling my hair out trying to understand this one. Anyone got any ideas/suggestions? Thanks in advance.

I forgot to add, the car is NOT producing any check engine lights at all.

Did you rotate the engine with a wrench to be sure that the marks came back in line on the next rotation to top dead center on cylinder one on the compression stroke.

I also remember that there was some confusion over the timing marks on the one I did. There were other marks and I had to make a trip the our library to look at the diagram. The mark that looked most obvious was the wrong mark. I’ll have to check the diagram when I go to the shop today.
Holiday or not…there is always family cars to fix!!! That’s what I get for letting them know where I live :slight_smile:

Go over the area you worked in and make sure that you did not pull a wiring connector out or a vacuum line off inadvertently. I remember you have to jack that motor pretty high off the front mout to gain access. This may have pulled something off and you just didn’t notice.


I did rotated the engine to check the mark. I have triple checked all my lines and wires. Now, after the suggestion of my friend, I have pulled the air filter housing/hose off, and the car will now crank and idle, but the idle is real rough.

Ok, after letting the engine run for a few minutes on its own, I now have an engine code, p0016, which could be the camshaft or the crankshaft sensor, and I just changed the camshaft sensor, so I guess the crank is out now. Any one else have a theory?

Cleaning the IAC doesn’t always work. Sometimes you just have to replace them. Crud can work it’s way back into the pintle shaft where you can’t clean it. The fact that cleaning it made a small improvement tells me you’re in the right area. Also, don’t forget to clean the pintle seat in the throttle body.

I assume you disconnected the battery when you did the timing belt job. When you reconnected the battery the IAC may have done a reset by driving the pintle shaft in and out which can dislodge some crud inside the pintle shaft bore.

Edit: Oops - the update with the P0016 wasn’t showing when I typed this but it may be worth considering anyway.

That code usually indicates that the crankshaft/camshaft correlations are out of sync.


I don’t think you’ve got that timing belt installed correctly.


The book showed that the two camshaft gears have marks that line up to each other where they are closest to each other, and are a small line across the face of the sprockets. The sprocket on the left the mark would be at 3 oclock and the right sprocket would have the mark at 9 oclock.

I think our confusion, were some other marks that were not shown in the book. So it’s not fresh in my mind.

The crank timing mark lines up with an arrow on the block, that sprocket will have an arrow on the face and you follow that sprocket tooth closest to the mark on the block. The mark on the block is near to 1 oclock on that sprocket.

I should have brought the book home and scanned it for you.


I had diagrams of the marks that I pulled off the net and that came with the belt kit. The marks were spot on. As I said, I spent 2 hours or more installing, spinning, and realinging the belt after the spinning of the belt to make sure the marks were good. Is it possible that the crank sensor went bad?

If the crank sensor were bad, the engine wouldn’t start.