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.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,936 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.

2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #11

May 172013

PT Cruiser

  • 127,500 miles


Driving down highway oil light came on and the car began to slow down, had to pull over. When checking under the hood there was oil on the cap. Just had an oil change a couple of days ago, car had been running fine.....before this incident my power steering fluid was leaking, took my car to the dealership because there was a recall dealing with the power steering and the hose, they said that it was something else. I took my car to another person he put my car on the lift and there it was fluid leaking from the hose something that should have been fixed by the dealer but wasn't.

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #10

Feb 072012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
I unlocked my car doors with remote, and drove to the store, it was dark out so I had my head lights on. When I came out of the store and tried to unlock my car, it would not work. So I manually unlocked the doors with my key. It was very cold weather at that time and my heater would not work as well then I turned on my car to go home, and my lights would not come on. And so I was towed home. The next day I took it in to a Chrysler repair shop and they did a quick check on it and said that it might be the electrical and they would have to go through the entire electrical to find the problem. They checked everything out without tearing the entire car apart and said that they could not find a problem with it. There went $100 of my money to find out that they could not find the problem. I don't know what else to do to get the car repaired with out having to spend $1,000 plus.... which is a quote by the Chrysler repair. I have not been able to drive my car at night, due to no lights and now that we have hot 90 to 101 degree weather, I can not drive my car during this period of time due to not being able to use the air conditioner or to roll my windows down. I have spent over $3,000 in repairs for my car and I have only had it for just two years. There is one thing after another with my car, the problems are having to replace parts and sometimes having to replace those same parts a year later when they have just ran out of the warranties. I have service records for all of these problems and it is almost 2 inches thick. I am on disability and it took me over a year to save the enough money to buy this car and I have no more money to fix it again... and I have to take it through deq here in Oregon and it will not pass their test due to exhaustion problems with the emissions leaking as well.

- Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #9

Aug 012008

PT Cruiser

  • 88,000 miles
2002 PT CRUISER, was serviced about 3-4 mos prior, running fine, all of a sudden smoke was coming out of the inside of the car vents, I pulled over when I exit the car, I saw smoke and heard something ignite in the hood. There was no warning of anything was wrong with the car, there were no warning lights, there was no stalling of the car, nothing.

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 172007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


We purchased a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER with a 4 cylinder engine. After we had it a few month the check engine light came on. We were told it was just needing to be reset. In November of 2007 we took it to puckett Dodge in South boston, va for the check engine light and no power. We were told it was the exhaust valve on cylinder #3. we paid them 1700+ to fix it and since January it has been coding on the obd cylinder mis fire on #3. we took it back yesterday and since the miles were over the warranty we would need to pay to have this problem fixed again. We are both retired and just don't have the money to fix a recurring problem that Chrysler should have done right the fist time. Maybe the dealership did all they could do and it is just a bad engine but we don't have the time nor the money to help them solve this before it becomes and epidemic.

- Drakes Branch, VA, USA

problem #7

Jul 212007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,500 miles
2002 PT CRUISER, regularly maintained and with 50, 000 miles on it currently had an episode of overheating. When checked, one of the soft plugs (freeze plugs) had rusted through and all the coolant had leaked out. Plug was replaced, correct coolant put in, ran fine for 2 weeks. Overheated again, stopped driving it and had the radiator flushed and new cap installed. Driving home (30 minutes) overheated worse than before flush and new cap. New mechanic says needs a new radiator (leaking and clogged) and the #1 cylinder has water in it so the head must be replaced. The mechanic said this is the 2nd 2002 they've seen in 2 weeks, and he's done 5 others this year. And this is not a large city - and only one mechanic. May forums seems to be filling with messages about this overheating issue and the warping of the aluminum heads. Poorly designed and out of warranty?

- Cambria, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 062007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,770 miles
Fire in engine department.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 212007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Bought a 2002 pt cruise new. Before the 3 year warranty ran out the water pump had to be replaced and at the 36,000 mark the head gasket had to be replaced. Now at just over 60,000 the water pump again had to be replaced. Now I noticed it is starting to run on the hot side. I am so afraid it is the head gasket again.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #4

Jun 152003

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles my PT CRUISER consumes oil at the rate of a quart or more every thousand miles. After several failed repair attempts ferman reacquired it from him, replacing it with a new one from the lot. I purchased my 2002 PT CRUISER touring limited on 5/20/2002 with only 4,780 miles from: Ferman automotive my PT CRUISER excessive oil consumption problem was discovered about the time of the first oil change. It consumed about one quart of oil every 500 miles. The first actual attempt at repair ferman made was to replace the valve cover gasket, this failed. Second repair attempt was replacing the engine they told me. They only replaced the short block, and this also failed. I sent a vehicle defect notification to the manufacture and one to the state to start the lemon law process. Chrysler corporate office sent the regional lead technician to oversee the last repair attempt. Ferman tore down the engine and informed me that they found nine bad valve seals. Ferman replaced the entire head. They also replaced the valve cover, there is a known issue. Some 2001 PT CRUISER have a defective valve cover that causes the PCV valve to suck in oil. I drove about 370 miles and checked the oil to find it consumed a quart of oil! there is also a secondary issue with the A/C. the A/C has a persistent mildew odor that the dealer has not resolved. They have treated the A/C with an anti-mildew agent several times yet it still returns. I and many others suffer with trying to resolve the mildew odor problem also. I am currently still performing another oil consumption test. The oil consumption has varied only slightly and still continues. I have contacted an attorney and I am working with him to hopefully resolve this soon. Chrysler stated they will replace or purchase my vehicle back from me, if the oil consumption continues. Please contact me.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #3

May 152003

PT Cruiser

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,000 miles
May 17, 2003 was the most recent episode. The car has been in for service 5 times for overheating. They've been unable to satisfactorily fix the problem or admit it's a defect. I've lodged complaints with Chrysler corporate, but they refuse to replace the vehicle. The only resolution they're willing to offer is extended coverage, which won't keep my car from overheating every time I attempt a trip longer than 30 minutes.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #2

Oct 192003

PT Cruiser

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles
202 PT CRUISER - engine fire - car totalled - reported to Chrysler and got a letter saying they were checking into it - notified the general manager at the dealership - notified the service manager at the dealership - tried to Chrysler several times by E-mail, fax and phone - as of today I am still waiting to hear from them. Saw an article in the sac bee this weekend about other engine fires - want to report this one - want Chrysler to make this right - please help. I have a fire department report and pictures. Thanks, wendy donom.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 012002

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 525 miles
Shortly after the odometer reached 500 miles, the engine began idling roughly and missing. Concern about engine failure causing accident. Returned to 2 separate dealers. Both stated the computer showed no problem, but service reps admitted having other complaints. Both noted Chrysler refused to acknowledge any problem.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

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