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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,569 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.

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #14

Feb 062016

PT Cruiser

  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that power steering fluid was observed leaking from the front of the vehicle. The contact used two quarts of power steering fluid. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering pressure hose failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The viin was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V268000 (steering). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 118,000.

- Coeur D' Alene, ID, USA

problem #13

Apr 192015

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Car stopped at red light. Engine died and smoke began to rise from engine compartment, then flames shot out. Driver could not get door open at first then after short time locks released and driver was able to escape. Fire department extinguished flames and said fire appeared to be started by fluid leakage. This model had been subject to recall due to fires. Car had recall fix on 9/23/04. It now appears the recall fixes were not permanent and the original problem can recur. It is potentially life threatening. Attempts to discuss the problem with Chrysler were unsuccessful. Chrysler stone walled and falsely rigged their response procedure so as to avoid any responsibility. Chrysler refused to allow me to speak with any person in a position of authority. The clerks I spoke with stated that someone would be in touch with me. Finally after three attempts to speak with someone at Chrysler, and after more than one month from original contact, a letter dated May 13, 2015 was received from Chrysler stating they had tried numerous times to contact us and the claim would be dropped if we did not respond in 10 days. This quite simply is a lie! no attempt was ever made to contact us, even after we contacted Chrysler on three occasions asking to speak with someone. The letter instructed us to contact dekra automotive to arrange an inspection. We did and gave them all the information once again. We offered to send photos of the damage but dekra was not interested. On May 27 we received a letter stating they were unable to inspect the car since it had been sold (salvaged) and were closing the file. Thus, Chrysler had created circumstances through obfuscation and manipulating the response time which they felt relieved them of any responsibility, even the need to discuss the issue with us. This fire hazard still exists.

- Arroyo Grande, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 262013

PT Cruiser

  • 47,897 miles
I purchased the car and right from the start I've had to replace the wheel bearings, I have had to do so 3 times already within the short amount of time I have had the car, there has been no unusual stress on the bearings to make them wear out, now in my experience I have never had to replace a wheel bearing on a car with anything less than 100K mi on it, let alone 3 times, I don't know what to make of it, also im having stalling/rough idle problems that no one can seem to figure out it has stalled 5 times already and regularly idles rough, these problems are not normal and cannot be figured our, I've replaces several parts including the erg valve pvc valve spark plugs and wires the iac cleaned the throttle body and the carb and im still having these issues.

- Willowick, OH, USA

problem #11

Jan 092015

PT Cruiser

  • 166,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering failed without warning. In addition, there was fluid leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering return line hose had a hole. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 166,000.

- Jessup , MD, USA

problem #10

Feb 012014

PT Cruiser

  • 134,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that while reversing from a parking space, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact took the vehicle to a local dealer where the vehicle was diagnosed as power steering fluid leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 04V268000( steering). The contact indicated that the vehicle experienced the same defect as listed in the recall. The failure mileage was 134,000.

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #9

May 092013

PT Cruiser

  • 113,000 miles
Fortunately at a parking lot intersection, the rf tie rod end suffered a catastrophic failure causing no injury, death or accident. The bolted end which fits into the socket pulled out from the socket. There was no indication ahead of time the tie rod end was near failure. I had previously replaced the lf tire rod end. In doing so, I was appalled at the poor design of the part. Chrysler's objective to produce a low price just barely adequate part was obvious. Typically, this part is made from a forging, Chrysler chose to produce the part from stamped sheet metal. I replaced the part with a forged, after market part from moog. It is my opinion this is an unsafe design. It was very fortunate this failure occurred where it did otherwise, my wife could have killed or severely injured.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #8

Oct 052011

PT Cruiser

  • 37,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated the power steering hose was leaking on the engine. The contact also heard a loud noise and the smell of burning fumes emitting into the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the hose and motor mount needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance since her vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 37,000 and the current mileage was 42,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 222011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 117,300 miles
Year: 2003 make: Chrysler model: PT CRUISER engine: 2.4L turbocharged components: Power steering high pressure hose the power steering pressure hose was rubbing up against the transmission of the vehicle listed above. The result of the power steering pressure hose ruptured due to contact with the hot transmission during normal driving. This has been the first incident since the owner purchased the vehicle. The owner purchased new power steering pressure hose and had it installed at a local automotive shop.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 012008

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact stated that the vehicle lost all power steering without warning. The contact replaced the steering pump in October 2008 and the steering hose in April of 2009; however, the failure continued to occur. The vehicle was not repaired nor was the failure diagnosed due to the cost. The current mileage was 96,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #5

Apr 202008

PT Cruiser

  • 32,208 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact heard a loud humming noise coming from her vehicle. She took the vehicle to a dealer and they stated that the power steering pump failed. Power steering fluid leaked out and caused the air conditioner to fail. The unit was replaced at the cost of $1,583. The technician stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 04V268000 (steering:hydraulic power assist:hose, piping, and connections); therefore, they would not assume financial responsibility for the repair. Several weeks after the repair, the air conditioning unit failed again. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer on numerous occasions, in which she had to replace the water pump, the throttle body, the radiator, and various components in the powertrain and steering unit. The repairs cost $4,000. Typically, the failures immediately recur after the repairs are made. The manufacturer gave her a small reimbursement of $878. The failure mileage was 32,208 and current mileage was 66,500.

- Coopersville, PA, USA

problem #4

May 282008

PT Cruiser

  • 28,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While slowing down to make a turn, the steering failed because the vehicle switched back to manual. The vehicle has been to a mechanic and the hose was replaced on three occasions, the most recent time being on May 28,2008. On June 2, 2008, the failure recurred. The current mileage was 37,000 and failure mileage was 28,000.

- Nicholson, PA, USA

problem #3

Jan 032008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,234 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the steering rack on his vehicle malfunctioned. His wife stopped at a stop sign and experienced extreme difficulty when attempting to make a turn. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 30,234. Updated 03/13/08. The steering gear was replaced.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #2

May 302006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,326 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. After purchasing the vehicle the brakes began squeaking. The contact was told that the brakes would be replaced before she bought the vehicle. When she arrived to pick up the vehicle she was informed the dealer that the brakes were still squeaking. The dealer stated that it would take two to three days before the brakes would stop squeaking. However, the failure continued. A few days later the contact returned to the dealer the tires were removed and orange dust was found on the brakes. The dealer cleaned the brakes, but never replaced them. Three weeks after purchasing the vehicle the contact had the air conditioning repaired because it would not blow cool air. In August 2006 the vehicle began running hot and failed while driving 58 mph. The vehicle was towed, and shortly thereafter the failure recurred and the vehicle was towed again. In September 2006 the engine was replaced. On April 19, 2007, a diagnostic test was performed on the vehicle because of steering failure. The contact was told that the steering wheel needed immediate attention because steering fluid was leaking into the bottom of the car and could cause a fire. She was informed that the engine that was installed in September 2006 failed. The contact did not provide an accurate VIN. The current mileage is 50,400, and failure mileage was 35,326. The consumer stated she went to the dealership to have the car repaired and they were rude and refused to help her. Later, the dealership asked for information to rent the consumer a car and the rental place refused to rent her a car if the vehicle was not fixed by smith Chrysler. The consumer stated the dealer sold her a car then changed the name on her paperwork, refused to give her the tags to the car unless payment was provided and told her she had the wrong VIN number for the car. The consumer stated wants her money back for the car and the dealer to take the car back. Updated 07/06/07

- Desota, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 012005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles
Tires are Firestone Eagle P205/55/16. I have had trouble with a front shimmy since I purchased the vehicle. I have had it looked at and had re-balancing and wheel alignment to no avail. The reason I suspect the tires is that I had some Firestone tires in the past do exactly what I am expereincing.I purchased the car used with 15000 miles on it.the original owner was expereincingthe same shimmy. The car at slower speeds begins to rock from side to side.I was told the last time that I had it looked at, that there was something wrong with the tires.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

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