Notes: Chrysler has taken the boring small car frame of the Neon, grafted a 1930s-era roadster body on top and named it the PT Cruiser. While the new look may appeal to some, the vehicle has unfortunately also inherited many of the same problems as the Neon.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,685 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.

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #17

May 072011

PT Cruiser

  • miles


Over heats done evrything to this car since I bought it and still over heating issues, been in the shop or undrivable more than I have driven it. This is a bad image for Chrysler, as I see hundreds of complaints for this same issue, with no results when people have changed almost everything to be changed in these motors, cars are junk now im stuck with a lemon I owe on. Grrrrr.

- New Tazewell, TN, USA

problem #16

Feb 222011

PT Cruiser

  • 93,643 miles
Purchased the car with 69,591 miles. Car has always consumed more oil that normal. Took a 200 mile road trip, upon return there was a rattling at the timing chain cover. Tensioner pulley was bad. Taken to mechanic shop with 93,643 miles at time of incident. While disassembling the car two broken motor mounts, busted lower control arm bushing, a bad water pump, busted radiator seal, and a bad tensioner pulley was discovered. The car never overheated or showed signs of any of these problems. After the car was put back together it idles high, cuts off, and overheats. Timing has been checked and rechecked, it is in time. Car runs well at higher speeds but cannot stay on at lower rpms. I am now replacing the fan, PCV valve and piping, and possibly going to perform a coolant flush. I haven't passed 100,000 miles and I'm already having this kind of trouble.

- Bridgewater, VA, USA

problem #15

Jul 102009

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While the vehicle was being examined, the contact was informed that the engine mounts needed to be replaced. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 59,000. Updated 9/1/09 the radiator was leaking, the thermostat housing was leaking

- Parkville, MO, USA

problem #14

Feb 052009

PT Cruiser

  • 123,000 miles


Vacuum line came off engine causing a loss of braking performance. There was not a clamp on the line and you could almost blow the line off with your mouth it was so loose!

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #13

Dec 152000

PT Cruiser

  • miles
My 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER has burned a quart of oil approximately every 900 miles of driving since it was new. It currently has 96,000 miles on it and still only gets 900 miles to a quart. The service manager at Chrysler told me that it would burn less as I drove it. It never did. As a retired mechanic, I can say I have never previously experienced this problem either directly or vicariously with a customers car that was purchased new. Thousands of other pt owners have had this exact same oil burning problem.

- Cloverdale, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 142008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. Whenever the contact approaches a stop or begins to decelerate, the vehicle shuts off completely. Prior to the failure, he noticed that the vehicle idled roughly while at a stop. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was informed that the timing belt tensioner was manufactured incorrectly. The vehicle is currently being diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 134,000. Updated 07/31/08. The consumer also stated the power steering failed. Updated 08/05/08

- Gray, TN, USA

problem #11

Jan 102008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,621 miles


Owner noticed a slight "puddle" (size of a silver dollar) on garage floor. Owner jacked up car to inspect and identify where leak was originating. Noted a misplaced bushing on the bracket holding the power steering hose in place under the engine. One end of the bushing had broken allowing the hose to chafe against the bracket and leak fluid. Owner immediately took car into the dealer to have repaired. Upon examination, dealer informed owner that the motor mounts (2) had broken allowing the engine to sit lower on the frame and that is what caused the bushing to fail. Owner paid over $1,000 to replace motor mounts (2) and replace bushing and power steering hose. Owner feels that motor mount failure was premature as the car only has 38,000 miles on it and has never been driven hard and has been garaged its entire lifetime. Owner has in his possession the defective motor mounts. Although there were no injuries or deaths, there certainly could have been if the owner had not been so observant and vigilant about maintaining the car. Loss of power steering function or engine detachment would be catastrophic on the road, particularly at freeway speeds.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 232007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 116,280 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving between 10-20 mph, the contact heard a rattling noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The dealer replaced the rear lower control arms. When the contact left the dealer, she heard a noise coming from the front end when the vehicle came to a stop. The dealer stated that the motor mount needed to be replaced. There were no warning indicators. The powertrain was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 116,280. Updated 12/13/07

- Dallas , TX, USA

problem #9

Jul 012005

PT Cruiser

  • miles
2001 PT CRUISER developed a problem where it stalled in traffic on several occasions. The engine light illuminated before the vehicle stalled. The consumer received a recall regarding the power steering pressure hose. The consumer wanted the dealer to inspect the vehicle to see if recall related issue was causing the vehicle to stall, however the dealer wanted more money.

- Texarkana, AR, USA

problem #8

Feb 062005

PT Cruiser 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving and the front part of the car broke down I couldn't keep on the shift couldn't move to park, drive or reverse. I had to call a tow truck the part an axel. I paid a mecanic. But the bushings are also messed up they are too expensive here in puerto rico it costs me more thatn 1,000 dollars to fix it and I've been driving like that since the day I bought the car. The dealer told that the it didn't have garanteen. Know another problem there is in febreuary I took my car to the mecanic because the cargot hot they change the water bomb, and it continue to rise the temperature, then the temostat and they even flushed the radiator, and they put a computer if it can ditect where is the problem.they just don't know what is the problem and they are one of the best radiator mecanics in bayamon puerto rico. Whe N I drive around theres no problem as long I I am not in a traffic jam for more than half an hour and when I go visit my parents to the countryside going up the hills that after ten minutes on the hill the temperarure starts to rise both times that I have visited my parents for the past five months ago I can't go. The mecanics can't figure out the problem. Can you give me any suggetions E-mail me back and I can give it to the mecanics. About the bushings I've asked a person on the streets that have a 2003 PT CRUISER and she said that these cars have that problem.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #7

Jul 052005

PT Cruiser 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Consumer states 2001 PT CRUISER acted like it was going to stall and then the yellow warning light came on. He took the vehicle to the service department and they fixed the power steering, which was part of NHTSA recall 04V268000. Consumer was told the light would still be on and the problem would still occur. To find out why this is happened consumer had to pay to have diagnostic work done. This started day before yesterday, on July 5, 2005. It did not matter what speed the vehicle was going.

- Texarkana, AR, USA

problem #6

Mar 212005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
Consumer bought car that had not been thoroughly inspected. After two weeks a noise in both the back and front of the car was heard. The consumer took the vehicle back to the dealership, placed a support because brake pads were gone, metal on metal. The motor mount broke, needed rotors/spark plugs, and tune up along with a pvc valve. Needed to be fixed, but dealer refused to fix anything.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #5

Aug 192004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The right side motor mount tore after only 40000 miles! of course it was right after the warranty expired! it was replaced at my cost!

- Alden, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 022003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,077 miles
Vehicle was parked for approx. Two days, started vehichle and all lights on the instrument panel stayed on; brake light, ABS light, engine light, security light, crusie control, etc. As well as words "no bug" over the odemeter/mileage gage. These lghts would not go off after turning the engine on and off several times. The engine light stays on and will not shut off. Scheduled an appointment with dealer to connect to computer.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #3

Apr 242002

PT Cruiser

  • 8,023 miles
During the first couple of minutes of operation, during closed phased of engine operation the vehicle will hesitate during acceleration. This is most noticeable in first, second and third gear and during cooler damp conditions. Also during this closed phase, there is popping noise in exhaust system upon deceleration using the engine. The other major concern is a vibration from the engine and or transmission upon full accelerations in 4th gear. This even occurs when the engine is at or above 2500 RPM(recommended speed for starting 4th gear), and dissipates as the car speed increases. It is particularly a concern when entering express ways from on ramps. ****dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12-12-02 cut over to artemis****761677

- Monona, WI, USA

problem #2

Dec 252001

PT Cruiser

  • miles
While driving on highway engine mount bolts broke, causing a loss of steering. Had been in contact with dealership.

- Broaddus, TX, USA

problem #1

May 242001

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Since purchase of vehicle engine has been burning oil internally. Dealer had been contacted to remedy problem. Dealer rebuilt engine at 2100 miles, but vehicle is experiencing same problem. Since engine has been rebuilt, when vehicle is started, a huge puff of smoke comes out from exhaust pipe. Consumer is very upset with dealership who vehicle was taken to first, she feels that they gave her the runaround and is concerned that the engine had to be rebuilt instead of given a new one.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

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