2001 PT Cruiser overheating problems

Asked by Dec 30, 2014 at 11:40 PM about the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My girlfriends car has been overheating the last couple days. We would put coolant
and it would be fine. When we would park it, it would make a gurgling/bubbling noise.
Then today after we would put coolant, it would still overheat. I filled up the overflow
tank. I would let the car run to try to get all the air bubbles out, but it didnt do anything.
When I would turn the car off, it would start pushing all the coolant out and it would
only do it when I would turn the car off. I would put more coolant while the car ran but
nothing happened until I turned the car off, then it would push the coolant out. Could it
be the thermostat? the car doesnt leak any coolant. Motor is a 2.4L DOHC 16 Valve

18 Answers


I have the same problem, changed the thermostat, it did not fix it. A lot of people are saying it may be the radiator fan, there are two speeds and the lower speed often burns out or the relay switch is bad. It seems to be a common problem for the PT Cruisers, my next step is to write to Chrysler to see if there was a recall. Good Luck! PS: I also changed the radiator cap made no difference.

5 people found this helpful.

I feel like I'm one of the me too guys. My 02 pt cruiser will run fine for a few days then it hits the fan. Pardon my play on words, I have spent quite a bit changing the cheap parts. When it overheats it boils back out of the coolant reservoir. I am wondering if the PCM has anything to do with the fan not running at the proper speed? Anyone

16 people found this helpful.

The problem with my PT Cruiser with the same problem was unfortunately the Head Gasket, they want to put an engine in that has 50+ thousand miles on it in my car. I presently have 71000 miles on the engine that is in it. I bought the car used, it is under warranty. Good Luck to you

4 people found this helpful.

Just got mine back after experiencing the exact difficulties you describe and putting $1,700 in for a new head gasket, water pump, and thermostat. Topped it off with replacing the timing belt which has nothing to do with the overheating but recommended replacement is at 100,000 miles and mine had 95,000 at the time. Rather replace it now than pay the extra labor charge to re-open the engine. Good luck with your repairs.

4 people found this helpful.

i have the same symptoms I ve been told that it could be the idle control sensor that's what im going to try today wish me luck


I've read all of your problems guys.about overheating. Did you bleed the cooling system when you filled coolant ?there is a bleeding port over the bypass pipe or tube from the water pump going to the heater core.and check fan relay too.one thing more try to put the heater on while doing this for awhile. Thanks...

3 people found this helpful.

I have the same issue with my 2001 pt cruiser. ive replaced thermostat, water pump, radiator, radiator cap, radiator flush kit and still have these issues. Im going to replace the fans. seems to do better at driving speeds possibly due to are flow. Im might try a head gasket treatment. don't know what else to do.

2 people found this helpful.

We had to replace radiator and coolant tank to get it fixed.. You might have a hair line crack in the coolant tank or radiator that is big enough to mess with the car


My 2001 PT wash boiling back into the reservoir also. Had to change out the radiator cap as it did not make a complete seal. It has been a year and no gurgling or boil back. Because the engine compartment is so small, no good air flow in summer high heat, I was advised to add an additional fan. Still looking for that and how to do it. Had something to do with a turbo model.

1 people found this helpful.

On my 2001 PT I've had a gurgling sound for several months, and just noticed it was coolant that was boiling back into the reservoir. A new radiator cap solved the problem. I have 354,000 miles, and didn't have overheating until recently. The rubber seal on the old cap was worn thin and broke off easily when I tested it. So if you have boiling into the reservoir, I'd suggest you start with a new radiator cap because the old one isn't keeping proper sealing or pressure to keep the hot coolant in the system.

1 people found this helpful.

I have a 01 PT Cruiser and mine overheats when I'm idle such as sitting in traffic or charging the battery. I discovered the problem back in October when I was charging my battery. I notice it was over heating while in idle. I hear it gurgling when I turn off the car and I'm planning on a cross country drive tomorrow afternoon. I'll replace the radiator cap to see if it fixes it.


Have this overheating problem with a 2001 PT Cruiser during the very hot the months here in Mexico Seems to be O.K. when weather is under 85 degrees. I can drive forever with the temperature gauge at medium as long as I am on the main roads . As soon as I need to stop start in the city or in traffic or idle it overheats . If I can get back out of traffic and drive at a reasonable speed before it becomes critical it cools again quite quickly . Everything has been tried but it has taken a while to realise that the radiator fan has only one speed instead of two and requires a new relay switch or a new sensor ??? Am awaiting part now. It took some good mechanics and a specialist radiator guy to work this one out Will let you know if the ´Fix´is correct after job is finished

3 people found this helpful.

Just to tell you the part came in today and was fitted immediately . I have since driven it for at least a couple of hours on main roads and in the town, spent some time idling. This is at well over 80 degrees The temperature gauge has not reached a quarter and there is no bubbling or gurgling. I am not technical eough to tell you exactly what they did other than it was a sensor that controls the radiator speed. I am a happy man !

2 people found this helpful.

Hey "The Crock", do you recall the name of the part that fixed your problem?

2 people found this helpful.

My 2001 PT has over 252,000 miles and I have gone through 3 or 4 cooling fans. Only once, has the problem been the thermostat. Most mechanical guys should be able to replace the fan themselves in a few hours.

1 people found this helpful.

Sorry I missed your question , First of all, despite some pretty hot weather the car has not overheated or anywhere close to being a problem since the fix over a month ago. There were a couple of problems which it seems were caused by the overheating. My air conditioning blew a day or so before the problem was fixed. Seems it was the compressor, I was shown some parts which had been blackened and almost burned. That cost a pretty penny ! I cannot tell you the part that was replaced to alleviate the overheating (Spanish does not run to technical terms and for the life of me cannot read the bill) . However from what I gather the fan has two speeds one which kicks in when idling and temperature reaches a certain point . The motor and sensor which controls fan speed was only working when I was travelling at speed such as on the highway , As soon as I hit traffic , lights, and generally stop and start city driving the second speed should have kicked in , It did not . Seems feasible. If I could get my speed up again before the warning lights came on , my temperature would normalise !! I used to travel with the gauge half way between hot and cold , Now , even in the hottest weather in town it only just goes over a quarter. I was always topping up water and have not had to do so , and the gurgling has gone . Fingers crossed , we are fixed ! Thanks for your help !!


I’ve got a 2001 PT cruiser that overheated and now it will grow in but it will not start


I’ve got a 2001 PT cruiser that overheated and won’t start in a crate but won’t start

1 people found this helpful.

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