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.

3.5

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,198 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #18

May 182009

PT Cruiser

  • 28,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. When attempting to shift gears, the gear shifter became loose and temporarily inoperative. The contact took the vehicle to a transmission expert and a technician stated that the gear box bushings and thrust washers were missing. He took the vehicle to a dealer and they replaced the clutch cables at the cost of $300. In addition, the seat cables to the rear passenger seat failed. He called the manufacturer and left a message. The failure and current mileages were 28,000.

- Alanta, GA, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Jun 102007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 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. Updated 10/17/08.

- Florence, MS, USA

problem #15

Sep 022003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,420 miles

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

) on 9/2/03 I had to take the car in to have the brakes checked. Problem found was the front right caliper piston stuck > closed causing uneven wear > of brakes pads ( metal to metal on front right and 50% pads on other three). Dealer replaced the caliper piston, replaced pads and machined rotors. Had to get a rental for one day. 2) on 2/21/05 had the car in the shop again to have the tires rotated and brakes checked. Dealer said although the pads where wearing evenly now, they stated "but worn out front and rear", need to be replaced. Brakes front and rear, replaced front rotors, resurfaced rear rotors" this time I had to have a rental for three days. 3) on 3/12/05 not even a month later, while I was driving on the freeway to work the, entire windshield became engulfed with steam, I could not see a thing and the wipers could not take the steam away, so again I had to head back to the dealership to have this checked out. Dealer stated "found engine cooling fan not working & radiator cap not holding pressure" " replaced fan and radiator cap". another rental for two days. 4) on 6/14/06, 161 miles after the extended warranty runs out, I have a major transmission problem. Engine light comes on, I get the car to the shop and the dealer states transmission solenoid pack shorted out and damaged the controller and I had to have this item replaced. No rental required this time but the bill was $1055.66 on my dime. Now....the grand daddy of them all! 5) the car was back at the dealer on 8/1/06 for the same front right caliper piston issue as on 9/2/03, but on my dime this time.

- Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #14

Sep 282005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,500 miles
(1) normal driving conditions; (2) car began to buck and then would not shift into gears; transmission was replaced.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #13

Jul 092005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Transmission failure after only 42000 miles

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #12

Jun 222005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,230 miles

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

I was travelling East on the 91 freeway in los angeles at about 5:10pm on Wednesday, June 22, 2005. I was in very heavy traffic travelling at about 35 miles per hour when the (automatic) transmission disengaged. There was no unusual noise preceding the disengagement except that the engine revved, of course. Fortunately, I was in the right-hand lane approaching the bellflower offramp. The car rolled to a stop near the end of the offramp in the middle of traffic. I had to have the car towed to donavee Chrysler in placentia, ca. We took delivery of the car on May 27, 2001 and it only has 37,230 miles on it. The service department told me that the car was out of warranty and that it would cost $850 just to remove the transmission before they could even begin to determine what went wrong - parts and repairs will be extra.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #11

Nov 012004

PT Cruiser

  • miles
I was driving down I-84 at 65 mph when the transmission locked up, losing all gears except 1st. This caused the car to decelerate rapidly and the car to veer to the right. I managed to get to the off-ramp without incident. The car now needs the transmission rebuilt with only 69,000 miles on it.

- Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #10

Feb 042004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Some of the illuminating lights in the dashboard for speed and RPM and fuel have gone out. I had mentioned this to Chrysler when my transmission died and they did nothing. Isn't them another E-mail in September and they still have done nothing. I feel this is a safety hazard if you can not read your gauges at night time without taking your attention away from the road to turn on the interior light to see the gauges.

- Farmington, MN, USA

problem #9

Sep 212004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
The transmission on my 2001 PT CRUISER let go at 61000 miles. I would think that it would last a lot longer than that!

- Alden, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 242003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,066 miles

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

I have a 2001 PT CRUISER. I had an incident in Wisconsin 11/24/03 where my steering wheel locked and could not be unlocked, thus I could not start the car. I had it towed to the dealership the next day. They found nothing wrong. On 2/26/04 the steering column was clicking. I took it to a dealership in St. Louis. The steering column had to be replaced a bearing went out at 38913 miles. Then 8/31/04 I had just pulled into my subdivision after a long trip and the car would rev but did not accelerate. I took it to a local garage due to the mechanics strike at the dealerships. The front pump of the transmission is out and needs a new transmission at 47066 miles. In addition, neither of the two dealerships mentioned a fuel system recalls the were issued in 8/02 and not completed on my car.

- Arnold, MO, USA

problem #7

Jul 122004

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,520 miles
While driving 60 mph, the transmission shifted out of gear and locked up without warning. The consumer managed to pull over and had the vehicle towed. Please provide additional details.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #6

Jul 192004

(reported on)

PT Cruiser

  • 93,000 miles
Problems with transmission in 2001 PT CRUISER. The vehicle cooling fan motor failed then a week later the planetary gear exploded. The vehicle is currently sitting in the consumers driveway.

- Boerne, TX, USA

problem #5

Nov 212003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,160 miles
Trans shifter failed causing vehicle to lock up. The dealer stated the starter malfunction, but the consumer disagreed.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #4

Sep 102003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,100 miles
My 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER limited edition -- less than 3 years old, after having every required and recommended service at the car dealership -- needed a transmission overhaul on this date. The problem surfaced just past 36,000 miles while I was on vacation in late August, and I initially took it to the dealer on September 3. I was told it was safe to drive the vehicle. But the problem did get worse and I felt uncomfortable driving it, yet I could not get an earlier appointment. A new car, well cared for, should not need its transmission rebuilt just after the manufacturer's warranty runs out.

- Montclair, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jun 092003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Transmission on 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER w/ 42000 miles let go and repair shop says it is in pieces.

- Earle, AR, USA

problem #2

Dec 302002

PT Cruiser

  • miles
While driving the vehicle at 60mph the vehicle stalled out and die without warning. Dealer has replaced head casket. On December 23 vehicle stalled again while driving at 40mph this time due to a faulty transmission, dealer has been notified.

- Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 112002

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine racing when starting, and at time when stopping. Also, transmission was slipping and brakes squeaked. Mechanic refused to do anything about the brakes. Vehicle has been in shop about 6-8 times in less than a year.

- Berthoud, CO, USA

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