So my wife's 2002 cruiser runs hot and overheats when idle too long (drive thru, red light etc.). Checked debris between condensor and fan, fan works, coolant full, thermostat works, all relays good, changed egr valve and thoroughly cleaned egr tubing, no cracked head or head gasket problem. Getting to my wits end and ready to take long drive off short pier. Any ideas what's wrong or what else I could do to fix this problem? Please HELP!!!!!
is it overheating to a point of boiling,or is the gadge just going up.
Well, I don't let it get to the point where the light comes on and the gauge is in the red. I turn on the heater and pull over. If I drive on the highway it's fine, stays right at normal temp.
Ours is doing the exact same thing! We have replaced EVERYTHING in that "arena", too. It is at the shop as we speak.
Had all the same problems with overheating.Changed fan assembly,flushed out radiator etc.Ordered new after market radiator,installed runs better then new.Found out later they have a problem with small cores in radiator plugging up.Hope thi helps.
Our 2006 was doing this, found that there is a problem with PT radiator fans, they have two speeds and the low speed often burns out, you can crawl under there disconnect the power and add power and ground to 2 pins then try the other pin, mine wouldnt work on one speed but would did on high. Google this. New fan fixed it. PS about that time it was idling funny and the timing belt went out a week later. Change your belt before 90k, its not as hard as some make it seem if you have a large set of tools and a good jack
I had the same problem a couple years ago. The switch that turns on the fan had quit working. Have it checked out.
Had same problem with my 02 cruiser it turned out to be radiator cap......
I'm having that same problem.I have a 2001.I've have replaced almost everything.And mine still is over heating .So I ride with the heat on.Any one can help me!!!!
Check coolant level while cold,warm engine, LOOK at the radiator cap for leaks (do not open while its hot), you could replace this since its cheap. Next test the radiator fan like I said above, its not hard to test or replace. if all is good you can replace the thermostat, easy and cheap. if you have 80k plus miles the water pump could be going out. Replace it and the timing belt and tensioner along with the thermostat since you are right there. You can buy the kit cheap on ebay. You could also do the valve cover gasket and spark plug tube gaskets while you are there. I also pulled my injectors and cleaned them when I did all this. Car runs like a top. I did the full energy suspension kit which put all new bushing underneath and it rides better than new, and they last longer than the factory rubber bushings. Also while I was doing the timing belt I broke the high pressure switch on the AC compressor (down by the lower radiator) this is where you will see what appears to be steam come out when the radiator fan high speed is out, pressure builds (and heat) be careful when doing the timing belt or yours will break too, cheap to fix but a pain since you cant see the snap ring to get special pliers in the holes. I recommend unplugging the connection until ALL work is done and the car is back together and running and the timing is correct which can be tricky with the 2.4 PT motor, miss the cam wheel gears by one tooth and it wont run right. IMO you should mark the gears to the belt (different color for both sides) then do it again on the crankshaft/ timing belt.. Then transfer the marks from the old belt to the new one, then install new belt going from the crank, up the right side to water pump, cams and then zip tie the new belt down tight on each gear, then it wont slip as you work it around the tensioner. So check coolant, radiator cap and fan. Then its either water pump OR head gasket (bent valves? Google-compression test, easy. Autozone will loan the tester.) both require you to get in there. You can pick up a used head at any salvage place (or have yours cleanedup) and order the head gasket on ebay (might as well do the valve cover/sparkplug tubes also). Good luck.
lol I kept editing my post above because it was at the word limit, guess I could have broken it into 2 posts. I just remembered If the car is out of time by one tooth it will run hot (also stumble, accelerate slowly etc), if its out by 2 teeth it wont run at all. I had both problems when I did my first PT timing belt. Blondy did you do your timing belt recently? what have you replaced? "almost Everything" doesn't tell us anything
I have the same problem, I got told that it is the head gasket, but I think it's the thermostat. Where can I locate the thermostat?
Under the radiator cap spout two bolts size 10 metric.. But u have to pull the air flow bolts first
I have a problem with my pt cruiser 2002, when I ride car for long time my engine shut off.... but when I drive same distance on highway it is fine. it only shut off when I drive in city for long distance... plzzzz help me
i have a broken thermostat on my 2000 pt cruiser cruiser, could that mean the problem when it overheats and drinks all my coolant?
I HAVE A 2007 PT CRUISER AND IT OVER HEATS BUT BLOW OUT COLD AIR, I DID CHANCH THE THERMOSTAT BUT IT STILL OVER HEATS WITH COLD AIR BLOWING OUT
elizabeth, im having that problem, what did it end up being??
My 01 keeps overheating, sometimes right away and other times I can drive all day, cold or warm out. It does tend to warm up fast if going uphill, I also hear gurggling sounds when I turn it off, even when its not running hot. It sometime has heat and others blows cool air. I have replaced the radiator, cap, and thermostat. what should I do next? I have also noticed that the fluid does not stay in the neck of the radiator. when I take the cap off and fill it just goes to overflow never fills up in the neck like I am use to in other cars, is this normal?
no its is not normal with the 2.4 engine cooling system are sealed and you have to bleed them you will find a bleed just under the cap about 3 to 4 inch down have to bleed all the air out of the system or it will do that and over heat
I have a 2003 PT cruiser I've changed the water pump, radiator, thermostat, timing belt with all new parts and it continues to run hot! It spits and sputters and spits the water back through the over flow!! Can any one tell me what could be wrong? Or what was done wrong? Please help if possible. Thank you
Ive come to the healthy conclusion the Chrysler PT CRUISER is a P.O.S.!!!!I am Suffering with the same Probleml as everyone else.. The Over heating Issue Seems to be a common problem for late model PT CRUISERS !!! I have replaced the Radiator, the thermostat,Timming Cover seal and belt.And Radiator Cap. The Abominable TURD of a car, STILL is undependable, and NOT SAFE to drive !! Its ready for the Junk Yard .. & I Highly DOUBT.. i will ever buy a chrysler vehicle again !!
Yo I'm having the same problem With my 2002 PT Cruiser. Only last time it almost over heat it actually was hot. The first time it did there was plenty of coolant in the reservoir and in the engine. It can't be the water pump because I replaced it. I'm wondering if it is a bad thermostat or a fan causing my problems..
PROBLEM SOLVED !! ...Here is what we found. It would run hot! Just as indicated above. What we found was really simple. The Radiator assembly on these cars is sort of a strange configuration. On the front side there is a transmission cooler at the bottom which is about 9 inches tall. Above that is the A/C Condenser. At the back is a full height Radiator for the Engine cooling. There is a space between these A/C and Transmission Coolers and the Radiator for Engine Cooling. Ours had built up leafs and junk in the middle between these two assemblies. The whole one third part of the Water Radiator at the bottom, was blocked by trash. Since you can't see this trash until the two halves are separated? We were quite confused for a while. Upon removing the radiator, we did find the bottom third of the Engine/Water radiator Blocked with trash. No Air could circulate so the car would run Hot. This would happen when the A/C was on and Hot Days. After seeing on the Internet that the Radiators also get clogged internally, we replaced it for $141.00 (( part Cost )) with a Brand New One. Problem Solved. Two of our Known Reliable Service Centers had told us that we had a Blown Head Gasket and needed a Water Pump. As this was my Mother in Laws car since new and in Excellent Shape, we bought it from her for $1,000 cash. At 88,000 miles and a known good service history, The Timing Belt and Water Pump need to be changed as Routine Maintenance. It is scheduled to have the Water Pump, Timing Belt, Tensioner and Idler Pulley changed Monday morning. The bottom line here...... We will have $641.00 invested in Routine Maintenance and the cost of the New Radiator.. Making our low mileage 2003 PT Cruiser final cost to be $1,641 and the car worth over $3,500 dollars. We gambled and Won this time. Hopefully our experience will help someone else. E-mail address here is email@example.com I am willing to answer any questions. Of course we just cleaned out the old radiator that was clogged on the outside and drove it a couple of weeks first. This Did fix the Overheating Problems. The new Radiator, Water Pump, Timing Belt, Tensioner and Idler Pulley are just Routine Maintenance. Best Regards from Ham Radio OP Wade/KJ4WS
My 2006 does the same thing, the gauge goes all the way up but the engine isn't hot. Isn't there a sensor? I replaced the sensor for the timing belt and it is fine. My overheating is random but getting worse. Could use some suggestions!
I was almost guarantee that your heater core is plugged. Take it to a garage and for a little over 100 dollars you can have them do this.
Respectfully, I have Never seen a Heater Core, cause an Engine to Overheat! A bad/clogged heater core Will cause the Car to have No Heater! Please, explain your logic???????? Best Wishes from Wade firstname.lastname@example.org
i had bought this 09 pt cruiser i have had some issues of over heating but it goes in between the hot line and normal range which i have found that i had some air in and then when i went to fill it up i had to do the same thing let the air out of the bleeder which is right below the radiator cap about 2 and half inches. now my issue is that it only blows warm air well driving but not really at idle i think its more air and need more fluid but im not totally sure so when i get my tax's back i will be taking it in to get looked at since i just bought it in October of 2014 with 100k on it and now its got 110k which it has been in for route maintenance since i bought it and is due for another.
Same problem here I have an 06 .first thing is the timing belt went out got that fixed last year then ac stopped it was the fan assembly got that replaced replaced the radiator cause it was cracked has a new thermostat. Now it's over heating cant figure out what could be causing the over heating it's not the radiator it's the fans not coming on so what now?
I love my pt and i drive the crap out of that car I have put so many miles on it when everything is fixed it's a good car .all cars break down and need things replaced just need to figure out what needs to be replaced
Sounds to me like you need a total system flush. You have a blockage somewhere and I would bet your heater core is plugged. Take it to a garage and have them do a complete system flush. Just make sure you have them check and flush the heater core. That should fix your problem.
Thanks for your responses! Sadly the last mechanic I brought it to said the head gasket is blown. Fan motor issues. I'm so sad : (
I am the original owner of 2001 PT. I take excellent care of the car, regular oil changes, maintenance etc. Garage kept, low mileage. A few months ago - when i reached about 84,000 miles... I started to have the same overheating issues. Exact same - gurgling sounds, super fast overheating, unable to find the source after many trips to the garage. Then I took it to the dealer- and they found that either the head gasket is blown or the engine is cracked. He said it would be over $3000 to locate and repair... Seems many PT s are experiencing the same overheating problem.
Clean the gunk from the front of the actual Water Radiator. Trash, leaves and dirt builds up on the front of the actual Radiator. This gunk builds up between the A/C Condenser and the actual radiator. It is only discovered by separating the Condenser and the Radiator. You will find this Gunk/Crap blocking the bottom 1/3 or more of the actual radiator. My PT Cruiser was diagnosed with a Blown Head Gasket also. I am So Glad that we decided to investigate this failure on our own. This was repaired with a minimum of tools. .
could a heater core possibly make my 2002 PT Cruiser run hot? i replaced the starter just recently as well as the thermostat that seemed to help a little bit but i know the heating core is bad because i have no heat and there was anti freeze smell in passanger side... however i have the new one to replace it but its a pain in the butt lol but i just need to know can it cause it to over heat ... it will go in btw normal and hot then slowly rise to hot then boils over in an estimate of 6 miles of driving.. Help Please at least ease my mind?????
Does it cost alot to fix a car that is over heating and cutting off
in GH, experts will advice you to change the radiator to a bigger one and make the thermostat direct, because of the severe hot weather. did that on my 2002 and bingo, am driving anywhere without care
Ok just went through my mother's 05 pt and after changing several parts I determined that the only problem was the cheap radiator cap that comes on it, got a new one heat went down and has been running like a top since. RADIATOR CAP! HAPPY TRAILS
I'm a first time car owner and recently brought a 07 PT Cruiser. 3 weeks after having my car the "timing belt" needed to be replaced. Since I was under warranty I didn't have to pay anything. 2 months pass and my car starts running hot for no reason. I take it to the mechanic and was told the problem "was nothing major" and this will be an easy fix. I paid $100 to have a little part replaced and was told to come back in 2 weeks. The mechanic was concerned since he didn't see a leak in my hose the water and over heating had to be coming from somewhere. I drove off his property and went to work which is 3 minutes away. I park and hear my engine "bubbling" and leaking some type of substance. I take it right back to the mechanic and was told it has to be my head gasket. There was another PT Cruiser an year older than mines sitting in his lot waiting to be fixed. This car had the SAME EXACT PROBLEMS MINES DID.... I was told with part and labor I would owe $1309.60....... I'm single, only 1 income and a first time car owner. I don't have that kind of money laying around. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooo upset. My dream car used to be a PT Cruiser. I really should have done my home work before purchasing this money machine.
going through the overheating problem now, Im having to clean up some other person " mechanics" bs workman ship. Man if I had the internet back in the day oh how much money/time/and lord knows all the foul language that was said! Back to issue, the radiator cap is rated at a certain psi if your radiator cap is bad it will allow your coolant to run over into the overflow/return bottle and fill it and when it becomes to full it will drain out the back therefore you will be losing coolant thus your car will overheat. Also if you don't bleed the system after changing the coolant etc you can have air pockets created by steam which will cause your car to overheat. Use the small nipple on the side of the thermostat housing I believe a 10mm and turn it slowly to loosen which if you see steam you have an air pocket. Shut it when you see straight water let run then check it again if no steam/air your system should be good in that aspect. If your coolant system is toped of you can start the car when cold (if hot let sit and slowly I mean carefully open the cap if warm) if the coolant shoots out you are getting combustion in the cooling system. Usually a blown head gasket at that point! I will say that if you have heard of Blue Devil engine sealer which repairs cracks, head gaskets, etc, this is a temporary fix and yes I have friends that have gone almost a year and no problems save your money and do it right! Mechanic in a bottle is not the way to go unless you are stuck and its your last option. >> Check Radiator Cap first its the easiest and really cheap fix >> Coolant Level (you need antifreeze as it also raises the boiling point)50/50 mix or close to this >> Coolant Flow >> Thermostat change its another easy and cheap fix >> Run the right octane gas as turbo models require premium gas >> Check your fan relays and fuses (coolant temp sensor as it can read a false temp, I like to add aftermarket gauges I don't really trust factory gauges all that much on older vehicles. >> Do your homework as it may seem hard it really isn't, don't be afraid to ask questions etc.. If you have smaller hands or access to some they will help out as well! Good luck
How can i determine whether my cap is not good enough? My 04 pt cruiser seems to cool down while driving.but when i come too a stop the idle begins to go up to hot?
Check the relay to the fan my pt was doing that took it in and it turn out the relay wasn't letting the fan to go on high
Only thing I can add, is use extended life coolants in your car. Red or orange. The green stuff is centuries old technology, and when working perfectly it promotes overheating in everything. THis is from the Texaco Chemist who first invented the stuff! Re or orange has no silicates that will coat the entire interior surface of your system with a thermally resistant coating (white scaley stuff you see when you look in the radiator) It's not all the waters faut, mainly the green coolant. Over time the silicates will wear off (when using extended life) and your system will run cooler.
My 02 pt cruiser keeps overheating. I've changed the fan thermostat radiator cap and the relays twice. It only gets hot when I'm at a stand still. And it starts to bubble when it's hot
Somewhere on this forum, I read that if it bubbles, so you can hear it, you need to bleed the air out of the system. There's a 10mm fittiny on the filler spout. Said if you get steam you got air in the system, If you get water your ok. How to do this without getting boiled, I don't know. Perhaps someone else can help.
Hi All we bought a 2005 PT Cruiser just over a year ago and within a week it started to over heat on several occasions! we had the radiator flushed and it ran fine for over 9 months since then it overheats every morning within about 10mins and if we pull over switch it off and on again or sometimes twiddle with the heater/ac and start it up again it runs fine all day until we switch it off again then there is gurgling and white steam/smoke any ideas?
if your pt is overheating and fan doesmt go on. check your relays. thermostat. and fan. i had same problem and the only problem was a $16 coolant sensor.
As someone else said on here there is a gap between the a/c condenser transmission cooler and main radiator. Our mechanic found this to be blocked with leaves/road debris just as he was about to fit a new radiator! he cleaned it all out and it has been fine since well worth investigating
The Leaves and Trash between the A/C Condenser and Radiator is All that was wrong with ours. Mother in Law had already bought a new Ford Fusion, because two different mechanics at two different shops had told her the Head Gasket was blown. We gave her $1,000.00 for the Garage kept and Mint Condition PT Cruiser. At 89,000 miles we changed the Timing Belt, Tensioner and Water Pump. Regular Timing Belt Maintenance at 90,000 mile intervals, is the life blood of the engine. If the Timing Belt breaks, it will bend or break Every Valve in the motor. After over a year, we still have a Great Running PT Cruiser. Cleaning the Trash from the front of the Radiator was done by me with a minimum set of tools. This seems to be a common problem on these cars. Best Regards from Wade
i have a 2001 pt cruiser. its been having over heating issues for a couple of months now. I've just recently replaced: water pump and timing belt, thermostat and radiator cap, filler neck, fan belts, and overflow tank. before that i had to replace the ignition coil pack, spark plugs and wires, all motor mounts, and a few other typical things. but after all the replacements for the over heating, its still running hot. i spoke to the guy who just did the work last week and he said he'll have to do a chemical test to see if theres any combustion in the radiator? that it couldve done some damage to the head gaskets if it got too hot. but i never let it get over the 3/4 line and always turned the heat on to get it back to normal and it did...im wondering if air caught in the lines would make it run hot still or if maybe theres a way to set the thermostat lower if thats possible? any help would be appreciated. if its a gasket they quoted me $1600 and i really can't afford that since i just dropped $800 for the timing belt/water pump job. I'm taking it tomorrow for him to run tests.
@bimala - my 2001 pt cruiser had the same problem about a month ago. Turned out to be the crankshaft sensor. Easy $300 fix.
I have 2006 pt cruiser that go over the half mark then it go back down I changed the thermostat on it. I can find out why it doest the it bubbles when I stop anyone can help me?
Dear pt Cruiser owners, You would be better off investing in a new car than investing in fixing this car. @bergt if your coolant is bubbling that means it your head gasket. This same situation happened to me on my wonderful piece of crap Dodge Neon that the same company makes. I went through all the same bull crap that all you are going through and wasted thousands of dollars on a car that never ran right. I decided to trade the piece of crap in for a Scion TC, which is a MUCH better car! You will know if your head gasket is completely blown if you have smoke coming out of your exhaust. If you replace the thermostat and it does not work do not keep replacing it because that is not the issue. I would not waste another dime on these cars. Buy something that is reliable.
Your experiences are much different from mine. After doing the repair that I have posted here, We have been driving the PT for about a year with NO OTHER PROBLEMS. Not everyone can just go out and drop 20 to 30 Thousand at the dealership. We hope you enjoy your new car. We will continue to drive our Now Dependable PT Cruiser..........
okay, after reading all of the above, I want to clarify a couple of things things. First, a plugged heater core WILL NOT CAUSE A CAR TO OVERHEAT. It's one and only purpose is to heat the cabin of the car. If your car is overheating, turning on the heater can help since it does remove heat from the coolant, but again, that heat is directed to the cabin. You have problems under the hood. Secondly, if you have bubbling in the coolant when looking into the radiator cap opening does not always mean you have a bad head gasket. It could be air in the cooling system or it is getting VERY hot. With that said, be EXTREMELY CAREFUL as the coolant will overflow quickly and can burn. Make sure coolant and oil levels are normal AS mentioned by docwade931, check the surface areas he has mentioned. This is something one can do FREE. Move on to bleeding the cooling system, again, FREE if you do it. Make sure the front of the car is elevated (front higher than the rear) After that, check to see if the fans are running. Replace thermostat and/or radiator cap, cheap to do. Lastly, if all checks out and you see a cloud of white smoke/steam coming from the tailpipe, hold a rag to it then smell it. If it smells like coolant, bad head gasket. Pull oil dipstick. If it looks like a milkshake instead of oil, bad head gasket. A bad gasket can introduce gases into the coolant system, a simple test from the radiator neck can determine that is the issue. Check the parts house for the tester. but trying all the previously mentioned could save you a lot of time and aggravation.
Ok I have a 2002 PT Cruiser. Had replaced: radiator, water pump, sensor, fan, timing belt, had motor checked, had heads done, gaskets replaced, thermostat replaced . horn will not work, bright lights do not come on. We replaced fuses and the bulbs, however they blew as soon as put in. Still running hot on the gauge when sitting still or at red light. Too much money in this thing. Is it something I can fix or is it unfixable to continue???
Gosh, long thread... ok wife 2004 pt is a turbo and it is over heating. while idling i have watched the fan kick in so at least one speed is working. am disabled so not sure i could get under it to test the other fan speed. I have done the thermostat and replaced or added coolant. I don't see a leak anywhere so i am at a loss. the cap feels squirelly to me. Maybe I should replace it next. The radiator does not look like much to me either. Not sure how that thing cools anything lol. I was thinking next step radiator cap and then try flush the radiator... what you guys think.... she loves it but POS in my book.... limited, very, finances so any help greatly appreciated the bot
Hi guys start small. What I did was change the radiator cap and thermostat and gasket. Still the temperature would rise so I did a little more reading. When I drove the temperature would go back to middle and when at a traffic light it would go up. Checked the fan it was running but second speed which is used for when the car is stopped was not kicking in. Check the fan connection everything work. So I when to the next thing which was the coolant temperature sensor. It was 20 buck and it did the trick for me. I read people mention everything in the coolant system but the sensor. I hope this help does how have tried everything and still are having the overheating problem. Just replace the coolant temperature sensor. It's only 20 bucks and it could save you a lot of money. Also it only took 10 minutes to replace
A year and a half ago I had the same problem. And now it's happening again. Overheating. They replaced the thermostat housing because they tend to crack. It's a plastic housing attached to metal. Stupid design but they crack. $300 bucks and fixed for another year or two if you are lucky. POS good luck
So what are the steps to clean out the leaves and trash?
... as said by karatejoe28 ... " Just replace the coolant temperature sensor. It's only 20 bucks and it could save you a lot of money. Also it only took 10 minutes to replace." I totally agree with karatejoe28. It's the one item everybody is missing in their trouble shooting. If this sensor goes bad, it can result in all kinds of malfunctions. It also important to know, that it's frequently the wiring to the sensor that is the cause of a lot of these troubles. These wires pass through hot temperature areas around the engine head and can easily be damaged.
My wife has a 2001 PT with similar issues. It would over heat at read lights, stopped highway traffic, slow city traffic etc., but would return to normal temp if you turn the heat on. My father in law was a Chrysler master technician for years and did all of this for us. Checked fan and found no issues. He did a radiator flush and found a loose hose clamp at the bottom of the radiator. Replaced the clamp and and thermostat and refilled with fresh fluid then pressure tested the system. There was a small leak by the battery, almost unnoticeable (no fluid buildup where the battery rests) so we added a pack of stop leak granules. They're like $2 at any auto store and as long as you add them correctly I've heard they actually work. He recommended this and did it for us. The car has run fine for 2 years. We drive roughly 8k per year in this vehicle so not heavy driving, but it doesn't just sit around either. Recently it's been doing the same thing. My wife wants a new car and radiators for this vehicle are pretty cheap, but we decided to just add another pack of stop leak and nurse it until we can do a trade in.
Had same problems with my 09 pt cruiser come to find out when you add coolant or water you have to bleed the lines every time .. If you look right below the radiator cap u will see the bolt to bleed it or just you tube how to do it ! Hope this helps!!
Have the same problem with my 08 when in traffic or at red light I have to put it nutral and gas it for the gage to go down to normal..
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