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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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,722 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 182011

PT Cruiser

  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The vehicle was previously included in NHTSA campaign id number: 03V076000 (power train:clutch assembly) and was repaired prior to the contact having ownership of the vehicle. While driving approximately 30 mph, the the contact was unable to switch gears. The contact was depressing the clutch when he noticed that the gear shifter was fractured. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostics. The technician stated the clutch assembly and the shifter cable would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #4

Oct 212005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,712 miles
My 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER, GT model, has had problems since I have had it. First, the engine light came on and they replaced a hose, then it came on again, and they said they didn't know what was wrong with, and they would have to wait until it went completely out. It did, at 28,000 miles, it was the turbo charger. Secondly, the airbag malfunctioned, they had to replace the seat, took three times to get the right seat. Third, now, I would put the car in drive or reverse, and it just sit there, then jerks into gear. Sometimes if you give it gas it would just rev up. They said it was the pump in the transmission, they took 4 plus days to replace it. When I picked it up I heard a noise and smell something burning. When I took it out there they didn't hear or smell anything so I was sent on my way. Then it started doing the same thing it did when you put it in reverse or drive. I took it in, he said it needed a battery. I put a diehard battery in it, but sears said that was not the problem. Then the check the engine light came on, they said it was the evac pump. They fixed that. They claimed that was not covered under the warranty I had when I brought it in two weeks before. Now, I hear a grinding when I start the car up, someone said it sounds like the flywheel and they didn't assemble the transmission correctly, and that was probably where the burning smell was coming from. I am taking it in to the shop today for this.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #3

Sep 092005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I have taken my PT CRUISER into dealer 10-12 times for problems that they are unable to correct. There have been parts loose that needed to be tightened, such as belts, hoses, connections and interior parts that have fallen off the car and dealer does not know how to fix. I submitted a complaint to manufacturer and applied for lemon law, but Chrysler representative did not listen and took dealer side. They claim they cannot duplicate noises, but I recently found out the shop supervisor who has been checking out my car for the noises has a severe hearing loss and a claim against insurance company for hearing problems. There are high pitch whining noises, squeals and loud screeching noises coming from the engine compartment. The car loses power and seems to hesitate at freeway speeds. There is also a noise that sounds like a train whistle in the distance. I have heard popping sounds in the front end and squealing and screeching sounds from the brakes and under hood is constant. There is also a noise that is heard sometimes in steering and turning. The dealer told me they would replace the power steering unit to see if it would solve the problems and ordered the part. When I took the car in for the service, they said they could not duplicate the noise again and did not do anything. When I step on the brakes the noise is so loud it can be heard for a long distance. It sounds like cars being crushed. The noise is also present in turning corners and driving, but worse in stepping on brakes. The dealer acknowledges a brake problem but say they do not know how to fix it. There have been other problems such as radio/cd player did not work when new, sensor light replaced, rattles under dash, check engine light, etc, but the noises and in-ablility to repair have me worried about serious problems. They hear the noise, but then tell me the mechanic cannot duplicate and do nothing to repair. This has been an ongoing problem since I got the vehicle in 2003.

- Cathedral City, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 012004

PT Cruiser 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • 11,900 miles
The transmission failed. A piece of the clutch broke off in the housing. Per the dealer. The consumer has not heard anything from Chrysler and would like to know the next step he needs to take.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 132004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Consumer's vehicle experienced the same problem as stated in NHTSA recall 03V076000: On certain passenger vehicles, manual transmission models only, a welded pin internal to the dual-mass flywheel (dmf) assembly can unseat and become lodged between the flywheel and the clutch disc. The dealership indicated this vehicle was not part of the recall due to VIN.

- Miami, FL, USA

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