Moms' PT Cruiser (02) smells like the radiator inside the car


Asked by Dec 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM about the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

the gauges don't read hot, but when you park it and shut it down it looses water (1/2 Gall.
or so).

5 Answers

Tom Demyan

IF you smell it inside the car, look on the floor on the passenger side for coolant. A slick film forming on the windshield when she runs the defroster? I suspect the heater core has a small leak necessitating replacement.

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Best Answer

Thank you... Nothing on the floor...Does that also address the boiling radiator? I imagine the change in pressure has some problematic consequences.

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Tom Demyan

No, if your car is overheating you have another issue as well as the heater core. Could be a bad thermostat to a clogged radiator, etc. Get it checked out.

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Fred Farmer

We had the EXACT same thing with our 2002....and if you'll search on PT Cruiser overheat idle, you'll find you are not along. I'm not a techie, but the problem for us and MANY others was to have the low speed fan replaced. The cruiser has 2 cooling fans, and when the low speed fan doesn't turn on, you can overhead at stop lights, in the drive-through etc. As soon as you start driving, the other fan kicks in and all returns to normal. You will get a small amount of water into the overflow and it will occasionally flow out on to hot engine parts giving you steam and the smell like the radiator is in the cabin. I think the total repair was about $400ish for the motor and labor. Be warned, others have replaced tons of parts, the radiator cap, relays, even a "cracked head" but it's usually related to the fan. Take it to someone you trust.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My sons 2001 is having a similar problem. Losing water over heated once when coolant level was very low/gone. We have replaced the rad. cap, flushed the radiator and checked that the fans are working. We noticed today that there is water with a green tint coming out of the drain tube for the A/C. We checked and the floor and it is dry on the passenger side. I am going to try a pressure test to see if I can force a leak on a cold engine. Do you think he could have a leak in the heater core that is not dripping in to the passenger compartment? Also any other thoughts? Thanks from a confused dad

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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