PT Cruiser Diesel (CRD)

Our Car

Since we bought our diesel PT Cruiser last year we have not been able to drive very fast. Partly this was due to us having no water pump, and partly, we thought, this was due to the fact that it was a diesel. In our defence we had never had a diesel before, and our whole lives we had been told that diesels were slow, noisy and smoky, and of course our PT Cruiser was all of these things.

About a year ago we started getting an engine light, and the car would go into limp mode (it would loose all power and the engine would be rev-limited to 3000 rpm), this would go away if you re-started the car, but eventually it began to happen every time we tried to go up a hill, or accelerate for any length of time. We had to drive the car by constantly adjusting the accelerator to stop the car “coding” as we called it.

The problem got worse and worse, we could hardly drive up a hill plus the car started smoking more and more. Finally in the summer of this year work eased up enough to take a look at the problem properly. I bought a cheap Bluetooth OBDII adaptor from eBay, got Torque on my phone and downloaded the error code P01A4 from the car (its only there whilst the light is on in the dashboard).

This is a Chrysler only code, of course, but after some looking around I found out that it was easily fixed with a new turbo hose (I found a 1″ gash in the back of our turbo hose). I say easily fixed, what I mean is it takes less than 2 hours, is only £40, and is a total pig!

I bought my replacement turbo hose from PT Company, it comes with these instructions which were very kindly written and made available by Martin Hill.

The replacement of the hose is as simple as these instructions make it seem, but it is very awkward. The old hose will be very hard to remove, especially as it will be covered in thick black slimy filth; I cut mine in half (with the serrated blade from my Leatherman) to make two flaps which I could more easily grab (it does pull right up and out but will be very well secured). Getting the hose back in is also a pig; as it says in the instructions make sure to line up the notches in the metal ring on the hose with the notches in the bottom hose fitting and make sure to warm up the hose (I left mine in a jug of boiling water whilst removing the old hose, by the time I had removed the old hose it was just about cool enough to handle). Oh and don’t forget to put on the hose clip (as it says) I almost did and having fought the hose into place it would have been pretty bad to go back and do it again.

This process left me with black hands & some pretty nasty bruises (from where I wedged my arms into the gap between the engine and the radiator), but the car is completely different, smoking has stopped, the car can drive up a steep hill at 70 mph, and still has acceleration left if needed!

In the last photo you can see how much crud had built up inside the hose, this is residue from the EGR, which will have built up as the air slowed-down exiting via the tear in the hose. When you first drive off do not be too surprised that now air is being blown through the hose properly that some of this crud gets spat out as a cloud of the thickest black smoke your car will have ever produced (the car behind me vanished for several seconds). But after the first run this should be cleared up :-)