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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,969 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Nov 222016

PT Cruiser

  • 98,500 miles


Power steering fluid is leaking from the high pressure hose where it is routed under the engine casing. The high pressure hose appears to have been warn through by rubbing against one of the clamps which secure the hose to the bottom of the engine casing. Power steering pump was making whining noises. Power steering fluid reservoir was checked. Dipstick was dry.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #22

Oct 162016

PT Cruiser

  • 101,295 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact observed a heavy leak from the undercarriage of the vehicle. The contact determined that the fluid was power steering fluid. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V268000 (steering). The approximate failure mileage was 101,295.

- North Branch, MI, USA

problem #21

Mar 192016

PT Cruiser

  • 162,400 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While making a turn at 5 mph, an abnormal noise was heard and the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver without warning. The failure recurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering hose failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V268000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 162,400.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #20

Aug 242015

PT Cruiser

  • 155,621 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the service engine warning light flickered and suddenly remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the underbody prematurely rusted and could fracture at any moment. The vehicle was also taken to an independent repair who diagnosed that the casing for the frame needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. In addition, the contact stated that power steering fluid had to be constantly added to the vehicle. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V268000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 155,621.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #19

Jul 232015

PT Cruiser

  • 46,403 miles
Front sub frame (cross member) broke apart at weld.

- Grass Lake, MI, USA

problem #18

Oct 202014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Center of steering wheel (where airbag is located) became so hot that it could not be touched with your bare hand. Pulled over and got out of the vehicle and turned vehicle off. Waited until it cooled down to normal temperature then got back in and restarted vehicle and moved seat all the way back from the steering wheel just in case. The heating phenomenon did not recur in the short drive home (5-10 minutes). Has not happened again. Scheduling a visit to local dealer to determine if this is a known problem. Nothing found on Chrysler recall information and email to Chrysler got no response. This is a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER with package 28G that included supplemental side airbags.

- North Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #17

Jun 192010

PT Cruiser

  • 130,000 miles


My car just shuts off leaving me no control to stop, turn, or get out of the way of traffic behind me..... @ 55mph to nothing is asking to be hit from behind. Or if turning across a divided highway, to be left stuck with 2 lanes of semi coming for me and my kids. Now it sometimes wont even do anything when I crank over the ignition (like there is no battery) or if it cranks and starts it will shut off right away. It wants to idle down at stops and stall. I have had it in the shop more than I like N spent more money to have to be told they can't find anything. I read of so many other owners with the same problems who end up junking these cuz they just stop starting....sad, we need our cars to run. Chrysler knows they R riddled with serious issues including the lights and transmissions.....these are a bad combination on the road. Someone needs to look @ some stats! thanks.

- Jjeromesville, OH, USA

problem #16

Jul 312014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Made a right hand turn and heard a metal clunk noise, proceeded another block - from a stop made a left hand turn onto a highway - at that time a very loud metal noise, no brakes, no steering, no control of veh at all. Somehow managed to get to side of road without rolling veh, wheels turned opposite directions, had veh towed to shop. Engine cradle was rusted out on right side and gave way, which disconnected steering control arm and axel from the wheels, mechanic - stated dripping from air conditioner had rusted the parts on that side only - rest of under veh was in good shape - stated had seen this in pt's often - a known Chrysler issue with the PT CRUISER and the neons also - which have the same platform. If had been going at highway speeds - would have been a very bad, possibly fatal accident. Own two of these vehs - took the second veh to have inspected (only has 50,000 miles) - has the exact same issue. Researched the PT CRUISER forums and found many complaints on the same issue. Chrysler is non responsive - this should be recalled as is a deadly problem. Vehicle is unrepairable.

- Hartford , SD, USA

problem #15

Jun 042014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 193,892 miles
I purchased a used PT CRUISER that drove fine until the components near the power steering house touched and created a major leak and caused my car to smoke very badly close to causing a fire while driving.

- Inkster, MI, USA

problem #14

May 212014

PT Cruiser

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that while traveling 20 mph and attempting to make a left turn, the power steering failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage and current mileage was 90,000.

- Victor, MT, USA

problem #13

Mar 282014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 152,888 miles


For a month I have been putting power steering fluid in my PT CRUISER and went to get new tags and could not pas emissions because of a power steering problem. I was so upset I went to the salon and was talking about how I need to get my vehicle checked.. a woman in the office told me about this website. I checked and there is a recall for this problem with my car. How do I get it repaired" will they honor it ? is there a list of special dealers" help I need to pass emissions to keep my car legal.

- Stone Mountain , GA, USA

problem #12

Mar 272014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 112,332 miles
I bought a car from North coast auto mall and it had a lot of suspension problems. They ensured me that they would fix these issues if I bought the car. After buying the car, they have had me in and out of their shop 4 or 5 times to which they only lube the parts or lie to me claiming that the car has been fixed. I feel that this business practice is unsafe and misleading. They claimed to have replaced a control arm to which Goodyear later (when I was buying tires) informed me that my control arms were bad. I was surprised to hear this. North coast should be investigated as they are selling unsafe cars, claiming to repair issues and then putting me in an unsafe car. 30 claims have been made about similar issues via the better business bureau, the federal trade commission and the Ohio attorney general. I feel that they should be investigated for safety reasons.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #11

Oct 012013

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • miles
2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. Consumer writes in regards to power steering hose recall notice and seeks reimbursement for repairs. The consumer stated he experienced power steering problems twice, where the power steering hose was leaking. The dealer replaced the same hose, at no charge to the consumer. The consumer is seeking reimbursement for the first replacement, due to a recall he discovered, which was the same issue he experienced.

- Monona, WI, USA

problem #10

Feb 032014

PT Cruiser

  • miles
I have 2001 PT CRUISER, I had the control bushings and tie rod replaced after I had them replace it took only one year for them to go out again. I will never buy or suggest purchasing a PT CRUISER. Thank you for having this page/site to list complaints.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #9

Mar 182012

PT Cruiser

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While parked, the contact noticed power steering fluid was leaking from the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the vehicle was included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 04V268000 (steering:hydraulic power assist:hose, piping, and connections) but had already been repaired. The vehicle was not further repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Deer Park, WA, USA

problem #8

Aug 212009

PT Cruiser

  • 98,000 miles
In 2004 Chrysler recalled PT CRUISER with automatic transmissions for a fault with the power steering hose which caused fires in a few cars. They did not however cover 2001 PT CRUISER with manual transmissions. Last week (8-20-09) my wife drove to the post office (2 miles from home) and smelled burning rubber, she drove the car directly back home. I examined the car that night and could find nothing wrong with the drive belts, tires, and there didn't seem to be any leaks. I took it for a quick test drive and everything seemed fine. The following day (8-21-09) my wife again drove the car to the post office, this time it started making grinding noises and was difficult to steer. She drove the car straight home again. There still didn't seem to be any leaks but when I test drove it I could tell the power steering was non functional. I opened the fill cap for the power steering fluid to check its level and the remaining fluid in the system drained onto my driveway. It seems like there had been a leak in the power steering hose that was being burnt off on the engine. We were fortunate that we were only using the car for local trips as it would have been much more dangerous if the hose had let go while we were driving on the highway. Recall 04V268000, NHTSA action number PE04028, should be extended to the PT CRUISER with manual transmissions as well before someone gets hurt.

- Thompson, CT, USA

problem #7

Nov 272007

PT Cruiser

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact purchased the vehicle in November of 2007 and the wiring harness was replaced due to electrical failures. In April of 2008, while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle accelerated on its own. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they replaced the brake pads and calipers. Recently, the engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer's diagnostic indicated that the transmission solenoid switch needed to be replaced, along with the power steering pump. The dealer stated that the warranty does not cover the parts. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls that applied to her VIN. The failure mileage was 68,000 and current mileage was 75,551.

- Wisconsindells, WI, USA

problem #6

Dec 062005

PT Cruiser

  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving over a bump at approximately 20 mph, the control arm bushing failed. The contact heard a loud clunking noise prior to the failure. The vehicle began jerking and swaying across the road, which caused great steering difficulty. The vehicle was driven to an authorized dealer. The mechanic stated that the failure was related to the control arm bushing. The control arm bushing was replaced. The failure has occurred a total of 4 times. The contact was very concerned of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 36,000 and current mileage was 50,000.

- Gerard, PA, USA

problem #5

Jul 032004

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,870 miles
While driving 25 mph the power steering failed without warning. The driver was able to maintain control and pulled off the road. The dealer states the rack and pinion, the power steering pump and hoses needed to be replaced. The cause has yet to be determined. Please provide additional information.

- Homer Glen, IL, USA

problem #4

May 262004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,559 miles
I had no advance warning that my water pump was failing. Luckily, I was just pulling in at home when the temperature bell sounded and the thermostat was advancing near the red area. When I shut the car off, I heard a noise and looked under the hood. The water in the reservoir was down to the add lin and was boiling furiously. Had I been on the interstate, I fear that my car could have blown while driving. My car is a PT CRUISER and I have heard about a similar incident from a friend who has an intrepid. I am very disappointed and upset about this incident! I have had recurring problems with the steering, and the service people told me that they couldn't hear the sound and that it was just "the car". I am becoming apprehensive about driving my car - especially on big roads or a few miles from home. I am thankful that, so far, only my finances and temperament are damaged.

- Florence, KY, USA

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