Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: Chrysler has taken the boring small car frame of the Neon, grafted a 1930s-era roadster body on top and named it the PT Cruiser. While the new look may appeal to some, the vehicle has unfortunately also inherited many of the same problems as the Neon.

2.4

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,246 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #18

Jan 052015

PT Cruiser

  • 71,250 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I purchased a used 2001 PT CRUISER on the way home when I came to a stop at a light, it sounded like water rapidly boiling with smoke coming out from under the hood. I have look up this problem and saw that this is a common problem from 2001 to 2008 PT CRUISER, no one seems to know what the problem is, it went from a radiator cap to the blades coming off of the fan. I don't know how so many vehicles can have this same problem without there being a recall to fix this. To lower the engine heat I have to put the heat or ac up to the highest setting. I have had the thermostat and radiator cap replaced. How can this same problem go unfixed from year to year? I have looked into this till I exhausted all avenues to look, everyone says the same thing, from year to year, water boiling sound, car overheating almost everything under the hood replaced and still this same problem exist. I am shocked that I did not see this problem listed on your site. All you have to do is google it. You will be shocked to see how many people have this problem year after year, yet it goes unfixed. Chrysler should be responsible for this problem and fix it. I am afraid that my car is going to just stop on the highway and have someone slam into the back of me where my two grandchildren sit. The light to show it is overheating never lights up. There are no warnings! no bells or whistles going off. Just smoke coming out of the car with liquid shooting out all over. I am very concerned that this will cause my engine to catch on fire!! if this is not a safety issue then I don't know what is! sincerely, PT CRUISER owner.

- Phila, PA, USA

problem #17

Oct 022012

PT Cruiser

  • 131,000 miles
Car suddenly began overheating without warning. Very scary situation, evidently this is common with PT CRUISER. Why have there been no recalls?

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #16

Jul 012011

PT Cruiser

  • 240,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that while braking to a traffic stop, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 240,000 and the current mileage was 245,000.

- Chapel Hill , NC, USA

problem #15

Dec 012011

PT Cruiser

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The engine starting making a ticking sound while I was driving uphill about 40 mph. I stopped to check oil which was about 1/2 quart down. I proceeded to continue driving I went about another mile and the car started losing power. Unknown to me but the car was already on fire. Someone behind me alerted me and within a minute or two the PT CRUISER was engulfed in flames.

- Lambertville, NJ, USA

problem #14

May 152009

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • miles
Engine light on/225+K miles, car mechanically sound, code P0601, runs good. Bought in 2003 off Daewoo lot. Used. With 12+K miles. Changed: Valve cover,3 PCV's, egr tube, intake. Normally change synthic oil sae 5/30 oil every 14K miles. With two oil filter changes every 7K miles., spark plugs every 6mos, with wires. Mechanic takes off light, goes back on after the engine is turned back on.

- Bellport, NY, USA

problem #13

Jun 102007

PT Cruiser

  • 51,780 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact received a recall notice pertaining to the fuel system. After the recall repairs were performed, the instrument panel failed. The engine and all the electrical components shut off while idle as well as driving various speeds. While driving less than 70 mph, the failure recurred and caused an 18-wheel vehicle to swerve over the median to avoid crashing into her vehicle. The dealer reprogrammed the transmission controller module. On July 10, 2007, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer for the same failures. The etax relay and the controller software was updated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer on August 30, 2007. The flash controller was replaced and the air bag sensor was reprogrammed; however, the repairs did not remedy the failures. On December 28, 2007, the vehicle was taken to the dealer due to transmission hesitation. The modular engine controller was reprogrammed. The failure mileage was 51,780 and current mileage was less than 62,000. Updated 10/16/08

- San Fransisco, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 102007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 51,780 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact received a recall notice pertaining to the fuel system. After the recall repairs were performed, the instrument panel failed. The engine and all the electrical components shut off while idle as well as driving various speeds. While driving less than 70 mph, the failure recurred and caused an 18-wheel vehicle to swerve over the median to avoid crashing into her vehicle. The dealer reprogrammed the transmission controller module. On July 10, 2007, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer for the same failures. The etax relay and the controller software was updated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer on August 30, 2007. The flash controller was replaced and the air bag sensor was reprogrammed; however, the repairs did not remedy the failures. On December 28, 2007, the vehicle was taken to the dealer due to transmission hesitation. The modular engine controller was reprogrammed. The failure mileage was 51,780 and current mileage was less than 62,000. Updated 10/16/08. Updated 10/17/08.

- Florence, MS, USA

problem #11

Nov 272007

PT Cruiser

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact purchased the vehicle in November of 2007 and the wiring harness was replaced due to electrical failures. In April of 2008, while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle accelerated on its own. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they replaced the brake pads and calipers. Recently, the engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer's diagnostic indicated that the transmission solenoid switch needed to be replaced, along with the power steering pump. The dealer stated that the warranty does not cover the parts. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls that applied to her VIN. The failure mileage was 68,000 and current mileage was 75,551.

- Wisconsindells, WI, USA

problem #10

Apr 012008

PT Cruiser

  • 65,000 miles
There is a chronic problem with 2001 to 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER overheating to the point of disabling the car, and sometimes damaging the car beyond repair. There appears to be no solution to the problem. The following discussion thread has over 250 people complaining about this problem, and only a small fraction of them have had satisfactory solutions. www.topix.com/forum/autos/Chrysler-pt-cruiser/T3qtlfa0vl7R6is09 the above link is one thread out of many dozens of similar discussions on many dozens of web sites out there. And then there are all of the people who have not turned to the web for help and advice... this is a serious and ongoing problem that Chrysler needs to address. People's cars are being completely ruined with no chance of repair, and Chrysler will not even acknowledge a problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

May 162006

PT Cruiser

  • 29,256 miles
My 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER consumes approximately 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles. I reported this problem to the dealership that services my car and was told that this was normal and within acceptable specifications but I do not believe this to be true.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #8

Sep 082006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,783 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Overheating, steam rolling out from under hood and stalling. Repaired 9/2006 at the cost of $379.38. Problem has started again, 10 months later.

- Cecilia, KY, USA

problem #7

Dec 012006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,250 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle was taken to a private repair shop for regular maintenance, who determined that the head gasket was slowly leaking coolant. The mechanic was unable to determine the cause of the problem, however stated that there had been other vehicles with the same problem. A service dealer and the manufacturer were notified.

- Golden Valley, MN, USA

problem #6

Apr 202006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
: the contact stated the engine failed while traveling at 25 mph. The dealership determined that the engine block was cracked and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was maintained regularly.

- Highland Park, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 242006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,000 miles
2 years into my ownership, my car began having failures, my egr valve had to be replaced 3 times, the "brain" in the car was replaced, the battery was replaced, the fog lights started going on and staying on, the car broke down on the highway and overheated, thermostat had to be replaced, pipe carrying circulating coolant rusted completely out, O ring was replaced, manual transmission began being difficult to shift, fluid leaks, low fluid, plug is recommended to be replaced.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 282005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
: the consumer stated while driving at 40 mph on normal road conditions, the engine stalled. The engine over-heated and the warning light did not illuminate. The vehicle was towed to the dealership who determined the cylinder head was broken and the engine was damaged beyond repair. The dealer would not honor the one year warranty on the vehicle; they told the consumer the damage was due to owners negligence.

- Toa Alta, PR, USA

problem #3

May 262004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,559 miles
I had no advance warning that my water pump was failing. Luckily, I was just pulling in at home when the temperature bell sounded and the thermostat was advancing near the red area. When I shut the car off, I heard a noise and looked under the hood. The water in the reservoir was down to the add lin and was boiling furiously. Had I been on the interstate, I fear that my car could have blown while driving. My car is a PT CRUISER and I have heard about a similar incident from a friend who has an intrepid. I am very disappointed and upset about this incident! I have had recurring problems with the steering, and the service people told me that they couldn't hear the sound and that it was just "the car". I am becoming apprehensive about driving my car - especially on big roads or a few miles from home. I am thankful that, so far, only my finances and temperament are damaged.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #2

Jan 152004

(reported on)

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine stops dead in the middle of driving...dealer has not been able to repeat problem but 4 warnings come up on computer

- Riverside, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 052001

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,770 miles
Depending on driving conditions, vehicle burns oil at the rate of approximately one quart every ~600 to ~1000 miles. If the vehicle is driven mostly on expressways, the oil consumption is greater than if driven primarily on surface streets. I first brought this problem to the attention of the DaimlerChrysler (DC) dealership at 9,770 miles, though I had noticed it earlier. At 9770 miles, I told the dealer that the car had consumed 1 quart of oil in 1,000 miles. On a subsequent trip to the dealer, the vehicle consumed 1 quart in just 616 miles. Under warranty and over several service visits, the dealership replaced the pc valve twice and replaced one valve stem and 3 valves, all vallve seals, machined the heads and replaced the warped exhaust manifolds. The last time the vehicle was in for this problem, the dealer had it 15 days. The vehicle still burns oil at the same rates as before. Dealer wants to replace the short block. DC has offerred to repurchase vehicle but we cannot agree on the price. I am suing undr California's lemon law

- San Marcos, CA, USA

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