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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,553 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Feb 212011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 141,145 miles


Chrysler customer assistance center (kmm7261775V12890L0km)us customer service - Chrysler brand site brief description: Transmission failed without warning 2002pt comments: I am very blessed to be able to send this email due to the fact as a pt 2002 owner and a very happy one just had the scare of my life.while driving at 65 mph my transmission locked up causing my PT CRUISER to lift the back wheels off the ground and threw me into the windshield lucky for me I had my safety belt here I am stuck on a major highway with no reverse and no gears.I was lucky enough to have it towed to a Goodyear dealer who said the transmission is shot. This place does all my work and I have records to prove with this car has been service and well taking care of. My concern is now the transmission place says it will cost $2800 dollars to fix. I would like some kind of response from Chrysler. There response was we dont care and will not help.

- Boothwyn, PA, USA

problem #23

Jun 292010

PT Cruiser

  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that while backing out of traffic, the linkage arm had come off of the transmission which were held on by bushings. The car would not move. The vehicle was towed to his home. The manufactuer had not been contacted and the vehicle had not been repaired. The contact stated he will do the repairs himself. The failure mileage was approximately 52,000.

- Johnson City , TN, USA

problem #22

Mar 202007

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Was driving along and the transmission went out at about $35,598 miles. The brakes make a god awful noise I have had them checked they say nothing is wrong but I don't believe them the brain box went out the same time as the tranmission. The dashboard on top has cracked for no reason the car is garage kept it pulls to the right for no reason they say and it has started making rattling noises from the passenger side the trunk lid shocks are given out and the car just turned to $40,000 miles I think they make them to break at a certain tine and no one will do anything about theses problems I think my next car might be a Toyota at least they don't fall apart so easy because I baby this car like its the only one I will ever own if Chrysler wanted to do the right thing they would take this lemon back and give me a new one free of charge and I would do the Chrysler adversement all over it for them as long as it looks good. Because I have no money for another new automobile have a family to take care of and im not allowed to work anymore this would be a great thin tanks for listening.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #21

Mar 032008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,267 miles


The transmission from my PT CRUISER exploded on I95 near kingsland ga while coming back from a trip on 3/3/08. It has a excellent maintainance record on this car. All services where done when due by a Chrysler dealership in hinesville ga, where I purchased this car new in 2002. I have never had any indications that there was anything wrong with my transmission. It never made any strange noise, leaked transmission fluid, skipped gears..and just like that it exploded. It had a complete tune up performed on PT CRUISER Sept 2007. I had to have it towed to the nearest Chrysler dealership in kingsland ga. Transmission needed to be replaced with a cost of $3,484.66 a transmission should not have exploded with 80267 miles. I feel overall there is a problem with PT CRUISER transmissions and this should be covered under warranty.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #20

Feb 202008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle hesitated and never switched from second gear. The engine just kept revving. The contact drove to a safe area and shut off the vehicle. The vehicle made a sound as if it failed completely. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and they stated that they did not have enough time to get an accurate diagnosis. The vehicle still has not been repaired. The current mileage was 97,000 and failure mileage was 95,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #19

Feb 292008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,623 miles
While driving, the automatic transmission slipped out of gear, rendering the vehicle useless and endangering the driver. Towed to repair shop. Estimate to rebuild the transmission $2,134.20. The vehicle has 86,632 miles and was purchased used at 77,000 miles.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #18

May 012007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the steering wheel vibrated and she heard a rattling sound coming from underneath the vehicle while it was stationary. She felt that a failed motor mount caused the failure. As of November 8, 2007, the dealer had not completed an inspection. The failure mileage was 75,000 and current mileage was 85,000. Updated 03/13/08. The solenoid pack was leaking. The fog lights were inoperative.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #17

Aug 092007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,100 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving into a parking space between 5 and 10 mph, there was a clicking sound. She exited the vehicle and discovered the transmission on the ground. Goodyear towed the vehicle to a Goodyear dealer and they stated that the bolts separated in half and released the transmission. The headlight switches and a bracket near the timing belt were also damaged. Daimler Chrysler stated that her warranty expired and that she would be responsible for the repair costs. The contact has the bolts and failed parts. The vehicle was repaired by Goodyear. The current mileage was 100,146 and the approximate failure mileage was 99746. The dealer information was not available. Updated 01/11/08.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #16

Dec 062006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
Transmission failed without warning; vehicle was towed to the dealer, who eventually determined that a new one had to be installed. Vehicle had about 26,000 miles at the time. Replacement transmission is leaking.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #15

Nov 132006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,550 miles
I own a 2002 PT CRUISER and have always taken good care of it, by having it always serviced at the dealers and nowhere else. I love this car but just recently I have started have some problems with it. First my A/C started to sometimes blow hot air instead of cold and that stopped and then it seems like when I come to a stop with the A/C on it acts like it is going to stall. Now the transmission started making a noise when I go from reverse to drive. So I took it to a dealer to get it fixed and they are telling me I need a new transmission and it will cost me about $3200. My car has 45,000 miles on it. I would think that if it has always been serviced by a Chrysler dealer that this should have been preventable" can anyone help" thanks for your consideration.

- Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 272006

PT Cruiser 2-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The transmission went out at under 34,000 miles. Although I was still under warranty I was charged $100 for something that I do remember being a defect that I had to bring into the dealership for them to repair within the first 2 months I had the vehicle. Why then must I pay for a known defect?

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #13

Apr 042006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Transmission of 2002 PT CRUISER failed @ 56,000 miles needing complete rebuild. Fluid pump disintegrated spreading metal shards throughout transaxle.

- Elon, NC, USA

problem #12

Jan 292005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,477 miles
Noticed a large amount of fluid under car in the morning. After investigation, determined it was transmission fluid. The fluid level in car was very low. Since it was a"special" fluid, I could not buy it at the local parts store. Took a chance and drove it to the dealer. Mechanic determined that it was defective "solenoid pack" and "cooler lines". parts replaced, ok since. If it had happened on the highway, it would have been a catastrophic transmission failure and possibly fire.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #11

Oct 302005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
Subject: 2002 PT CRUISER brakes / transmission I do not know if you are the proper person to bring up some safety issues with the Chrysler PT CRUISER but it is my sincere hope that maybe you could direct this to someone who can. About two months ago, I had my brakes services at a local shop that I have been dealing with for 10 years. When I was younger, I used to do much of the work to cars myself, and once in a while I do an audit of the work he does. As always, he does a great job. Recently I was driving back from lake Tahoe on I80. This is mostly full of mountains with very steep grades and a lot of sheer cliffs. I had a full car load of human and personal property so I would conceder it to be close to the max weight of the car. I placed the automatic transmission from over-drive to the next lowest gear during the steep grades. We did not slow down at all! I discovered to my horror that the next lowest transmission speed was third. So I dropped it down again to the next lower gear and it was first gear. Since our speed was 55 miles per hour, it did not engage at all. Thank goodness it did not. So I applied the ABS front discs and rear drums. By the time we got down from this area, I totally burned out the brakes. I have driven other cars from California to Texas to Florida with similar loads, but never with a transmission with no second gear. I have never burned new brakes up in a similar fission and required one new disc. I do not think that they "?Chrysler?" did enough engineering in stopping this car with steep highway grades with a full load, and the population is at risk for run-away cars in those areas. Thank you very much for your valuable time.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 202002

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 PT CRUISER jumps at stop lights and the transmission shifts with jerks from 1st to third gears. The consumer was told that the transmission could not be fixed.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #9

Apr 022005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles
Hello. I tried copying and pasting my letter into this box however, my letter is too long. Therefore, I am completing this online form and then will mail in my entire letter, documentation and the like to your mailing address along with a copy of this online form. The complaint is regarding my 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER, VIN# [xxx] and it is relating to the fact Chrysler refuses to repair my vehicle under the current and active NHTSA recall # 01V288000 (instrument cluster problem). Today, 8/5/05 I will mail my letter detailing the entire problem but I am submitting this portion online to get the process started. Thank you for your time and attention. Sincerely, [xxx]. the vehicle was in motion when a pop noise was heard caused by a spark within the dash above the speedometer. White smoke had come billowing out of the instrument cluster. The overhead lights in the headliner did not work properly. The circuit board was burned. Other problems: Transmission fluid leaked and squeaks were coming from the rear suspension. The sway bushings had worn out and were replaced. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 312004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Transmission failed without warning. Car came to an immediate stop as if the brakes were locked. Traffic behind me had no warning of such a rapid descent in speed due to no brake lights, I had not pressed the brake pedal in other words. No accident resulted but we were lucky in that aspect.

- Patterson, GA, USA

problem #7

Feb 112005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
While driving 30 mph transmission failed. As a result, the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The cause has yet to be determined.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

May 272004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
Bought a new 2002 PT CRUISER. Automatic transmission went completely bad at 37,000 miles and again at 72,000 miles. Chrysler repaired the first time under the standard warranty. The second time, I paid $100 since I have a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 232004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
After 38,000 miles the transmission pump went out. The dealer stated the warranty ran out at 36,000 miles and there is no drive train warranty. It will cost me 1,6000 dolars to replace. Never will I buy from Chrysler again!

- Okeechobee, FL, USA

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