pt cruiser overheating

Bettendorf, IA

#324 Jun 24, 2009
Did you ever find a solution to this issue?
Barry wrote:
I've had my 2001 PT since it was released in 2000 and have loved it.
My overheat symptoms...
Somehow the coolant is pressurized enough that it is slowly forced out of the system into the overflow canister. When it cools, not all is sucked back in as it shrinks. Over a week or two enough can be pumped out that the colling system is starved (the level is below the thermostat) and circulation doesn't happen - and it overheats.
I've learned to check the level at the radiator often, and when the engine is cool I can pressurize the overflow and top up the cooling system all over again from the overflow excess and start the cycle all over again & not overheat.
My mechanics believe the only way this over pressurization can happen is from a head gasket leak. I would agree, but
* I NEVER see any white smoke,
* I have marked the overflow canister level and I don't think any coolant is being lost
* The shop pressurized the system overnight and could not find any evidence of moisture in the cylinders
* No foam or liquid in the oil either
I feel like it may be time to give up my PT. No way am I going to sink a few thousand into this car at this point chasing an elusive problem.
If it's a crack in the head gasket, it must only be a few microns wide.

Pickerington, OH

#325 Jun 24, 2009
2003 PT Cruiser overheating. Have changed thermostat and radiator (it was mostly clogged), and now only overheats in stop / go driving. However, the radiator fan does not turn on.

My suggestion to everyone having this problem is to first replace the radiator. The design is such that as it clogs the radiator is bypassed (coolant flows directly from bottom to top and misses 80% of the cooling) If you can rent a thermostat camera or gun, you will see the passenger side of the radiator does not get hot. has a radiator for 110.00 and it is a two hour do it yourself job.---use the chilton's manual especially for bleeding excess air from the system. It was very straight forward to replace. The local dealer wanted $850.00! YIKES.

Then once this is done wire a switch to the high speed relay to by pass the engine control of the high speed relay control. This overheating is a culmination of problems, so one fix does not solve the problem. Lastly, I have read posts where an entire engine is replaced but the overheating still occurs. This cannot be the waterpump, so it's the radiator or the fan control.--- My suggestion is fix BOTH.

I am wondering how to start a recall action?

Davenport, IA

#326 Jun 24, 2009
Thermostat was an easy change
There are only two bolts. It's right where you add coolant. Make sure to install a factory replacement and have it lined up properly.
RICK wrote:
<quoted text>
overheats after puddles

Miami, FL

#327 Jun 30, 2009
2002 Cruiser overheated at end of long road trip when it came to stop and go traffic. Spend $500 at repair shop. Now still overheats but only after driving thbrough flooded roads after heavy rain. What's going on?

Jackson, MI

#328 Jul 3, 2009
After replacing the water pump, the timing belt, the thermostat, the fan, I sill had problems, then the mechanic noticed that the radiator had hot and cold spots, he then replace the radiator and it works great. After $2,100.00 I hope this helps someone.

Sperry, OK

#329 Jul 5, 2009
i have had to change thermostat 4 time since my wife bought the 01 pt usually once a summer then if u dont get the coolant into the motor it will still overheat. but once that is done its usually good for about a year. hope it helps

United States

#330 Jul 6, 2009

Walnut Creek, CA

#331 Jul 9, 2009
Nicola Natale wrote:
I had the same trouble. My 2002 Pt Cruiser (made in Osterreich I believe) overheated just during my holidays. The mechanic broke the thermostat and so the engine was cooled since it was on. Now I must change the thermostat and also in Italy the cost of the spare parts are incredible. The net of the authorized Chrysler is enabled to make you poor!
Just for curiosity, hom much cost a thermostat in Usa? It is convenient to ship it directly in Italy?
My cousin who worked for Napa Auto Parts said that the cost of the part is not that much money but what cost the money is the labor. I just had my thermostat replaced last weekend and paid $460 but it still overheats when the AC is on.

Pasadena, MD

#332 Jul 12, 2009
My mother owns a 2001 non turbo pt cruiser. It overheats, she's had the thermostat, water pump and timing belt changed. We took it to a different shop and were told it is the head gasket. How do i know for sure before coughing up the money for this repair?
bill d

Warrington, PA

#333 Jul 12, 2009
How did they determine the head gasket was bad? The most commnon way is to test the antifreeze for the presence of hydrocarbons which can only get there from a leaking head gasket. Has any one checked the radiator flow or temperature across the face with a radation pyrometer?
Good Head gaskets do not make an engine overheat, overheating causes a head gasket to fail, so the first thing is to find the cause of the verheating problem, fix it and if the head gaskjet is in fact bad then that also.
Najat Ghannou

Plevna, Canada

#335 Jul 19, 2009
I have just read your pt cruiser notice of July 18 2007.I also have a 2001 cruiser and have encounterd the same problems as many others.Overheating is a huge problem with these vehicules. I have replaced the waterpump,radiator,rad cap,timingbelt to no avail.It still overheated like crazy.Finally determined that the headgasket had to be cracked and then removed the valve cover.The interior was covered in rust.Not sure if the headgasket was cracked or the head itself was cracked.The mechanic said there was coolant in the oil because the oil was foamy and that caused the interior of the engine to be covered in rust (both cams shafts and probably the crank bearings were in bad shape).He gave it a ' Hail Mary ' and said I needed a used motor.
Ottawa Canada.
rosa rouse

Porterville, CA

#336 Jul 22, 2009
05 pt cruiser fan relay replaced once still pt is over heating, replaced water pump,replaced fan last 3 weeks and quit, second fan lasted one week and quit. any suggestion would be appreciate
Andy Gundersen

Carrizozo, NM

#337 Jul 24, 2009
ash wrote:
my car is overheating and smoking, the thermostat and waterpump hav been replaced very recently (thermostat last week, waterpump lastmonth) but the car is still smoking, overheating and cutting off. anyone have any similar problems?
I have the same prblem with my Cruiser. It overheats, and then keeps shutting off. I've added coolant, and it still does it. Maybe a bad thermostat? I should have bought a Toyota.

San Diego, CA

#338 Jul 25, 2009
suncat in los ang wrote:
same crap but here is the rub the cooling fan was coming on when the air was on so it stayed cool... but after council from a pro he told me these cars have relays for both reg driving and air so im hoping its that in any case im going to by pass the relays and put in an emergency switch direct to the fan so that when the temp goes up and the fan doesnt come on i can turn it on ... it will cool the radiator and collant any way 100 dollar fix but cheaper than an engine with only 35k on it......
Your solution is exactly what my husband has decided to do with our PT and overheating, it's all about the fan not coming on. Now he just has to find someone here local that will do it for him, or tell him how to do it without affecting any of the other mechanics. Thank you so much for your post.

United States

#339 Jul 27, 2009
carjunky wrote:
<quoted text> Did you have them take a look at sencer for fan?
Where is the sener located at?

Walnut Creek, CA

#340 Aug 6, 2009
PT Crusiers SUCK!!!!! BIG TIME My girls 2001 over heating, battery,front end making noises on and on blah blah blah...
Sorry folks I feel like junking it! This thing would'nt even make it in to the LEMON! catogory...
Anybody ever see the movie Bad Boy's 2 (woosau woosau) dam the woosau I HATE THIS CAR..........
Thanks Everybody
I needed that BYE...


#341 Aug 9, 2009
I Just bought a pt cruiser with 178k on it witha manual transmission it overheatd randomly after trips of 300 miles would run in half all the time the cooling fan is the most over looked problem tested it with scanner and it came on but really weak replaced still didn't fix the problem it helped and make sure you use factory thermostats mopar is picky with thermostats but most likley even though there is no oil in ati freaze or white smoke it's the head gasket have to take it apart and I'm sure of a exhaust gasket blown causing the head to go soon because I smell exhaust fumes in the radiator when I pressure tested it just because it doesn't blow smoke yet or doesn't use anti freaze it still can be the headgasket on the 2.4 motors they use in these vehicles there tough mine has been spiked at 400 degrees with temp light on 4 times and the head still didn't warp a good machine shop will re surface and mill the head for 58 bucks and the head gasket is 49 dollars with new head bolts for 25 bucks don't buy the kit the intake gaskets are commonly reusable but the exhaust gaskets aren't and once you do a head might as well do the timing belt and water pump since the timing belt does come off when you do the headgasket you get a whole new upper end of the motor if you do it yourself for under 400 bucks then you got something that will last so why sell it after doing a very simple headgasket yourself on these cars.

Seattle, WA

#342 Aug 11, 2009
Has anyone here tried seeing if the (2speed) radiator fan is running? If your PT gets hot only at idle - when there is no air moving through the radiator - it could be a bad; switch/plug/fuse. The fan will run when the car is hot as long as the ignition is on.

Riverview, FL

#343 Aug 11, 2009
Susan wrote:
A few months ago I had my 2001 PT Cruiser worked on for overheating. It only happens when the car is idling for a while and I live in a rural area so don't usually spend much time in slow or stalled traffic. I had the thermostat replaced, the radiator fan replaced and the cooling system flushed. The car is still overheating in exactly the same manner and the radiator fan still does not turn on. The repairs were very expensive and I would caution anyone having the same problem because apparently the cure is not in the thermostat, radiator fan or coolant. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Had wifes car overheating and antifreeze was diisappering, refill and still low ,took to dealer change water pump today.
Chrysler Sux

O Fallon, MO

#344 Aug 12, 2009
Have a 2002 PT Cruiser Limited. Have had overheating problems over the last 3-4 years related to the fan sensor. Replaced whole fan assembly and sensor switch, but it still acts up.

Timing belt broke and there was engine damage(?) Paid $2,100 for new timing belt, head gasket, plugs, wire, exhaust manifold, water pump, etc. Two days, later, PT overheating again rapidly, especially when AC is turned on. Mechanic says he can fix it for $650 for a new radiator.

I give up and I am going to buy a Honda or Toyota.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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