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Pt cruiser 2006 check engine light

My check engine light goes on ONLY when my husband starts the car.
He is starting it normally.
Then all the controls read incorrect such as temperature and RPMs.
When I get back in my car later , I start it and it goes off!
Any ideas why this is happening or what he might be doing?

Maybe the problem is temperature related, and when he starts it, that’s the first start of the day. It has had a chance to warm up and work the kinks out by the time you start it later in the day.

Suggest as a first step to check the battery, battery connections, and charging system.

The first thing you have to ask in this situation is, how much do you weigh? And how much does your husband weigh?


Hi Tester. I have been mentioning the weight difference to my husband…about 75 pound difference. How could his weight affect the car? I agree. Thanks! Joanie

When he gets in the extra weight is enough to flex something that is pinching a wire or opening a crack in a circuit board.

A mechanic might be able to find it by pilng weight in the drivers seat area until it happens. I wouldn’t rush to fix this unless it inconveniences you. It could get expensive given hourly rates.

I suspect that your husband is rotating the ignition switch to a position between start and run or between run an accessory after the engine starts instead of just releasing the key and allowing the ignition switch to spring back to run by spring action.
This can cause the gauges to be inoperative and the check engine light to be on, communication faults may be found in the computer due to some systems being off.

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Thank you…I will follow up. I think he is so use to his chevy van and may not get the feel of my car. This makes good sense.

Here’s a couple of off-the-wall ideas. When you two start the car, is the car in the same physical location and orientation? I’ve heard tale of a car that wouldn’t start when it was parked in an area where there was a lot of electrical interference, but would start fine in other places. In that particular incident an aftermarket ignition system was involved, less likely to be the case with an OEM ignition system like your car probably has.

I’ve also heard of a car-problem that would only show up if the owner put his briefcase on the passenger seat before starting the car.

My light wouldn’t go off after checking the gas cap so one day I raised the hood and checked all the caps on oil etc, then it went out.

To follow up, have him sit in the drivers seat and you in the passenger seat and you try to start the car. That will rule out the weight issue and concentrate on exactly what he does in his attempt.

Sorry, didn’t realize it was an old thread.

WAGGGG: What light? sounds like a coincidence to me.

Hi Bill
Great idea!Your response came at a good time as we used my car together today.I bet you are right that it is not a weight issue.I started it and he gets in the drivers after I start my car.I am sure you have solved this regarding what he does in his attempt!I will let you know.Thanks, Joan

That’s not what I suggested, not even close.

“To follow up, have him sit in the drivers seat and you in the passenger seat and you try to start the car from the passenger side.”