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I also have a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, and I was wondering if it has a distributor?


Nope. Have you ever popped the hood to check the oil? Better start.

I just had the main computer replaced in my PT Cruiser a few months ago. The other day and 3,000 miles later, I was backing it out of my driveway and the engine died. All of the electrical compnents (i. e., radio, gauges) still work, but the engine wont turn over at all.

Could you recommend a solution, and what would be the best repair manual to use, please?


Sounds like a bad starter.
Check for voltage to the solenoid.

Are you sure you’re up to trying to track this problem down? I don’t mean this in a derogatory way but if you’re not able to tell if the engine has a distributor or not how can you wade through a wiring schematic?

Wild guessing, and I mean really wild guessing for moment and since it appears your vehicle has 2 symptoms (not cranking and dying while backing out), the ASD (automatic shutdown) relay could be behind this problem.

You can probably find wiring diagrams on the AutoZone website but I’ll bet there are probably several dozen alone related to the starting and fuel/ignition systems.
I seldom touch the AZ website as it’s so slow it’s like watching grass grow and often freezes up; and in some cases has frozen my PC. Maybe you can have better luck with it.

The engine won’t crank? Voltage (12 volts) has to get to the starter solenoid when the ignition key is turned to START. This voltage can be checked with a voltmeter, or a test light. Remember to have someone hold the key to START.
If the voltage is less than 9 volts (ideally, 12 volts) at the starter solenoid, the wiring and switches in the circuit before the starter solenoid have to be tested for voltage drop.

Hey guys, thanks for all of your help on this issue.

I recently ran the car through a diagnostic test, in which case it gave me some information through the odometer. I did the test three times, and when I started the car, it turned over and is running again.

Thanks again.

I’m of the opinion this problem may return at some point.

I’m responding to tell you that you are right, sir. I do not understand this problem. I ran the diagnostic test again this evening, which is turning the key from run to off to run to off to run within five seconds, and this time the odometer showed me the code “P1684”. I looked this code up, and it seems to have something to do with the battery being disconnected recently. Except that the battery hasn’t been touched at all within the last four months.

Does anybody have an idea?


I’m not keen about the AutoZone website but I’ll try to wade through a schematic or two on there later this evening and post back.

The code you provided does help, a lot, and points to a fault that is likely between the battery positive terminal and the ECM.
For the time being you might look at the main relay/fuse panel and check for a large fusible link (may look like a rectangular box) and will have a large amperage rating on it.
Eyeball the plugin prongs on it for burning and if it is the type with a clear plastic cover also eyeball the filament inside to see if it is sagging or if there appears to be a tiny ball of solder along that filament; usually near the end.

A faulty ignition switch could also cause something like this but at this point it’s all theory. Will be back later this evening.

There is an ELECTRICAL SUPPLY problem. That’s what several of us have been trying to tell you. The trouble code P1684 says that battery power has been interrupted to the engine computer. The battery cable DOESN’T have to be disconnected to cause this. A poor electrical connection, such as from a corroded battery terminal, or a poor electrical connection elsewhere, can cause the engine computer to set the code P1684.

If electrical power is only momentarily interrupted to the engine computer, it sees it as being disconnected from the battery.

I give up on looking at any schematics on the AutoZone site. Ever since AZ allegedly improved that site a year or so ago it’s been pretty much a mess. Twenty minutes, one screen lockup, and several blank spaces to nowhere led me to throw in the towel.

This does sound like a power supply problem as hellokit mentions so you need to find a good wiring diagram and trace things from the battery positive terminal on.
Odds are it’s something quite simple although it may not look that way at the moment.

I go to the Reference section on my public library’s Web site. From that, I select ARRC (Automotive Repair and Research Center). My library, also, has a subscription to, where I can look up wiring diagrams for any car or truck, for FREE.