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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,391 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.

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 222015

PT Cruiser

  • 60,000 miles


This occurs all the time wether I am driving on residental road or on a highway going 70 mph. My car feels like it is losing power which it is. All the lights on my dash are lit up like a christmas tree and I have to pull over to the side of the road very carefully as I lose steering as well. Sometimes I can just restart the car and everything is fine, sometimes it is a few minutes and a few times it has taken a few hours. I have taken the car in to get the codes read but they tell me it is either the gas cap is loose or another issue with the fuel. I took it to my mechanic and they put it on their computer and got different readings. I was told it was a fuel vacuum problem which was corrected. I still have the issues. Now sometimes the engine jerks and pulls but I don't loose power. Mechanic is unable to find problem. Did not take to dealership after reading all the horror stories about paying dealers tons of money and still not having a working car. Also if I have more then one key on my keyring then the ignition switch doesn't work. If I limit my keyring to just my car key and house key then my car starts everytime and no cutting out while at complete stop like it has in the past. We bought the car used in July 2011 and it now has aprox. 66,000 miles.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #17

Nov 272015

PT Cruiser

  • 86,000 miles
After starting and running normally for about 20 minutes, the vehicle will begin to exhibit electrical issues. The gauges will drop to zero and then slowly return, the warning lights will flash, and the warning chime will sound repeatedly. It seems like when this happens the engine goes through a start cycle. Most of the time, this problem is otherwise asymptomatic, but occasionally it results in sudden power loss to the engine. It does not seem to matter if the vehicle is moving or not; it happens if the vehicle is stopped, moving slowly, moving quickly, etc. The engine has lost power more than once at a critical moment (turning left, clearing an intersection) and multiple times in moving traffic.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #16

May 012015

PT Cruiser

  • 26,000 miles
Lights started flashing & car stopped on more then 1 occasion

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jun 302014

PT Cruiser

  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving at various speeds, the speedometer and fuel gauge fluctuated and the engine stalled. The failures recurred numerous times. The dealer diagnosed that the camshaft, alternator, battery post, and battery needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was approximately 98,000.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #14

Sep 022013

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Engine dies at speed, and will restart in a second or two (manual transmission). Gauges go haywire. Can sometimes reset condition for a while (minutes to an hour) by turning key off-on, or restarting while at speed - sometime not. Has gotten much worse, car now has 185,000 miles. Replaced engine PCM - no effect. Replaced engine tipm - no effect. Kind of scary when this happens pulling out into traffic. Software design defect?

- Claremont, NH, USA

problem #13

Dec 282012

PT Cruiser

  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving various speeds, the engine stalled and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The contact stated the failure occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the timing sensor failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #12

Nov 062014

PT Cruiser

  • 41,000 miles


Purchased vehicle a couple of years ago with about 32,000 miles, everything has been great until a couple of weeks ago. At about 41,000 vehicle has started stalling when moving, horn will not quit, starting issues and dash lights flash on and off. This is a very dangerous issue and I have read most of the prior 60 complaints dating back to 2010 and nothing has been done by Chrysler. I have heard on the national news that there is finally a recall with this vehicle but my VIN # is not included for some reason.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 202010

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 4,585 miles
This is the 2nd PT CRUISER that I have owned. The first one was great! but...this one!! ongoing problems since we have owned the car!!!! seat belt wouldn't unlock couldn't get out of car. I was locked in. Someone had to open door from outside. Lights always flickering. Loss power. Acts up while driving. Finally got so bad that the car would just stall out. Took to dealership and was told they couldn't find anything wrong. They said...and I quote "remember we didn't do anything." Why would they say that" the latest... lights flickering, radio going on and off stopped at a store. When I came couldn't unlock the car with my remote. Had to use key to get in, alarm went off, had to jump in and start car to turn alarm off. Pulled out into traffic and the car quit. Completely stalled out. Turned everything off, put in park and it started up but I parked it at a friends that lived one block away. Was afraid to drive it. 3 hours later went to pick car up and nothing worked. No lights no juice no click no nothing got it jumped started. Went straight to advanced auto because it was late. Alternator ok battery ok I just want to get rid of it but don't want someone else stuck with this lemon what do I do????"

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #10

Jun 022014

PT Cruiser

  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 41,000. Updated 12/03/14

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 102014

PT Cruiser

  • 36,700 miles
As stated in a previous complaint. The gauges start lighting up and the vehicle shuts off, I have found that if you wiggle the key it can stop what is happening. It is very dangerous because the vehicle loses all power when this happens and when traveling on the highway or trying to pass this could cause serious injury. I received notification that this item has been addressed by your office for other Chrysler and Dodge vehicles but the recall did not include the PT CRUISER. NHTSA campaign id number: 14V373 sounds identical to what my vehicle is doing. I also have video that shows what the vehicle is doing. Please advise if the PT CRUISER is going to be included in this recall and if not and I pay to have the ignition switch replace will I be refunded in the event that the pta cruiser is included in the recall. This is a very costly repair. In addition I would like to address the horn on my vehicle. It has been repaired previously by the Chrysler dealer but does not work properly. When depressed it sticks or doesn't work at all without alot of force. Thank you for your time and consideration.

- Carolina Beach, NC, USA

problem #8

Jun 012014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles


After driving for about 5 minutes and going about 35 mph the lights on the instrument panel went on and all the gauges went to zero. I didn't totally lost power but slowed down and the gauges popped back and the instrument lights came back on. It has continued to run ok for the last 3 days. Took it to the dealer and was told nothing could be done unless they could duplicate the problem. This exact same thing occurred on September 8, 2013 at a mileage of about 39,100. The car has run ok since up to this latest incident on June 1, 2014.

- St. Joseph, MI, USA

problem #7

Jun 022014

PT Cruiser

  • 65,000 miles
While driving all dash lights going crazy, car engine shut down, driving approx. 55 miles per hour. This has happened approximately 3 times. Took to Chrysler dealership. Unable to replicate the problem. I was directly in front of 18 wheeler when engine just shut down.

- Columbia, AL, USA

problem #6

Nov 192011

PT Cruiser

  • 34,000 miles
The car was in motion when passenger airbag off light on dash illuminated, and then all gauges on dash dropped to zero and reset several times in succession. This has occurred several times, often including a loss of acceleration or engine stalls (though engine has never shut completely off, often it is only revived with a press of the accelerator). As with other complaints on this site, the vehicle was taken a dealership on several occasions for diagnosis, but the issue was never replicated. It has occurred several times in the past years, the most common symptom being the passenger airbag light coming on (practically weekly), indicating my passenger has no airbag and could be jeopardy in the event of an accident. No one has ever found this issue, which as repeated even after battery, electrical system, and battery contacts have been replaced. The vehicle has undergone numerous repairs related to the electrical system but this hasn't stopped, and I don't have the money to replace this car. Please look into this, the lives of my family are at risk if the passenger airbag doesn't work!!

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #5

May 302013

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 58,750 miles
Driving down the road, all gauges go crazy, all dash warning lights come on and off, vehicle loses power and stalls, very dangerous while driving. Dealer unable to locate the problem despite numerous repairs and having the car for weeks at a time. I cannot express how unsafe this is.seems to be a problem reported by others but the dealer acts as if they have never heard of the issue before.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #4

Oct 142013

PT Cruiser

  • 74,000 miles
I was driving on a major highway, doing about 55mph. All of my gauges started to light up, the speedometer went from 55 to zero then up to 65, the lights flashed on and off, the car then started to slow down to about 40, would not accelerate, then eventually just shut off. I was driving on a major highway, but able to pull off to the right side lane. The wheels tightened so I could not steer, I shut the car off and left it for about 20 mins. It started again but struggles to go over 40 before it starts acting up again. I can not find the problem, no codes are recorded. I am convinced that this is a serious safety issue with PT CRUISER as I have read similar problems.

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #3

Aug 142012

PT Cruiser

  • miles
All the lights on the dash light up, dials start dropping, engine goes quiet and car starts coasting. Sometimes engine shuts off completely then turns on after a second or two; other times have to put the car in park, turn the ignition off and back on again- starts up normally. Has died at very low (sub 5mph) and very high (about 60mph) speeds; have blocked roads and intersections.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #2

Dec 292012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
While traveling down the qew highway in Ontario, the instrument panel on my pt 2009 cruiser started blinking on and off, the gauges went wild with up and down full-range swings, then blinking on and off on and off; I thought the seatbelt may be the problem since the fasten seatbelt indicator remained "on." It happened again a second time right away (less than 2 minutes) accompanied by loss of engine power. I heard sputtering, and then the engine died, and I had to guide it to a resting spot on the side of the road without power steering; not fun. I was in near hamilton, Ontario, and managed to get off the highway safely. I inspected under the hood and nothing seemed out of the ordinary at all. Engine restarted right away, and I was able to make it back to E. amherst NY. This is totally unsafe! I was concerned about getting my family home safely. And there is no way to know what is wrong with the vehicle! I cannot trust my car and that stinks! I had same type of problem with a Grand Caravan (1994?) and the mechanics could never locate the problem. Makes me wonder about Chrysler.

- E. Amherst, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 292012

PT Cruiser

  • 79,000 miles
While driving down the road all the dash lights came on and the car started beeping, the gas gauge and mph and RPM dials go to zero. Can't pull a code and there seems to be no apparent problem that can be located by the dealer or a mechanic. This is very dangerous!

- Longview, TX, USA

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