pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
98,750 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. must replace water pump, radiator, thermostat housing & ther (1 reports)
  3. replace coolant reservoir (1 reports)
2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #9

May 112018

PT Cruiser CRU 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,085 miles


I noticed fluid on ground under front side of the Ford Explorer back in Nov. It was antifreeze. First mechanic told me Ford Explorer will lose fluid when hot out of the overflow, added more fluid. Things been fine. On May 11 I noticed fluid under the vehicle. It was antifreeze. My friend noticed that the tank radiator has separated from the core and is leaking through the seam where the top of the radiator and the core are held together with some kind of metal clips. I think this should be recalled. My friend knew where to look for the leak. He had just replaced a radiator for a friend. They had the same leak in the same place on their Ford. I want to know if there are any recalls on the radiator because of this problem.

- mcourter, Twin Falls, US

problem #8

Nov 102014

PT Cruiser Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,500 miles

Ok for all of you out there that are having the problem with your PT over heating due to coolant loss. Here is a very easy and cheap fix for the problem. Before I say what the problem is or was I changed the water pump, timing belt, radiator, radiator hoses, Radiator cap, belts, plug wires, plugs and still had the problem. So after it started heating up the last time I got another radiator cap and was about to put it on and for some reason I pulled off the hose that goes to the Coolant return bottle and tried to blow thru it. Even put 100 psi from air compressor and blocked solid. changed the hose tried again and still couldn't blow thru it. Removed the bottle and It was plugged up solid with coolant crud. Replaced the bottle with new one from RockAuto.com And guess what no more problem. The dealer when I took it in told me they think it had a cracked head but didn't say anything about the coolant return system. But I don't know if they even checked it!! I have nothing to do with Rock Auto except that is where I buy some of my parts. Cost me -$35.00 to fix the problem and has never heated up since!!! Hope this helps with others PT problems my wife didn't want me to get rid of her PT so I just happened to find the problem on my own!!

- William L., Annabella, UT, US

problem #7

Mar 182015

PT Cruiser Limited Edition 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Ok I have been on several sites everybody complaining on the overheating problems with the Cruiser from 2001-2005. I have already had radiator replaced, hoses, thermostat, fan, fan sensor and also had Blue Devil tried. well now car has been down for 2 months and I am being told cracked head gasket and cracked head. Everytime this car overheated it was shut off and towed. I spoke to Chrysler they said they can't iniate a recall until all these people complaining call and report incident to them at Chrysler. They did say at the 500 mark is when an investigation is done and a recall initiated and they don't have that number and all these sights I know there are way more than 500 complaints. They also said even if had fixed let them know because if they do recall and you have your receipts can get reimbursed but does no good complaining on sites if Chrysler is not aware. PLEASE I am begging everybody report this. Mine is down and going to stay down I am a single mother on disability can't get to any doctors app't ,therapy, get meds without neighbors and on their schedules. Yes I am furious because now being told $2000 to get head gasket and head fixed! It is a 2002 with 98000 miles on it and I have maintained for 2 years and before that an elderly couple who also maintained. Mine this last time started smoking and even had flame so had to put that out and spray paint the grill the melted part is just gone! PLEASE have members report to maker. Thanks!

- Dana S., Chapel Hill, TN, US

problem #6

Aug 212014

PT Cruiser Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,529 miles


I had drove 90 miles one way, but had stayed long enough for the engine to cool down...drove half way home when the temp light came on...pulled over, turned the car off, the overflow reservoir started bubbling and overflowed most of the fluid out...let the car cool down again...replaced the coolant...started home....pulled into my driveway. 30 min. later and the same thing happened...replaced the radiator cap...same thing the next day...any answers??....The PT CRUISER is my favorite car...this is my 2nd one to own and I have never had any of these problems before...not too happy at this point..

- tfry_65, Gideon, MO, US

problem #5

Aug 012012

PT Cruiser 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

This vehicle was purchased as a first car for my son. This has got to be the WORST car I have ever owned in my life, it is a piece of JUNK. I will never buy another Chrysler product again, as we have contacted Chrysler for a suggested fix and a couple of shops have attempted fixes. I attribute it to design flaw or maybe just complacency on Chrylers part. After reading other reviews on line about not just this issue but the combination of issues for this vehicle and other Chrysler vehicles and their response to consumers, get me once my bad, get me twice, won't happen. Chrysler deserves to FAIL.

- Eddie W., Guyton, GA, US

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problem #4

Jul 282010

PT Cruiser 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 153,212 miles

this car is really starting to piss me off. if it aint one thing its another. if had the money would go buy something else. if your thinking of buying one don't not worth the headaches and the money by any means.

- Susan C., GA, GA, US

problem #3

Dec 262008

PT Cruiser Limited 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles


Found that we were losing coolant. Had coolant refilled as we had it flushed 9 months or so ago. Now the water pump is leaking, radiator is leaking, thermostat and housing must be replaced, since they are replacing all this, they suggested a new timing belt (mileage) and they also noted that the engine mounts are cracked. Mechanic says this is the second vehicle he has seen like this only the first one had more damage. Explained that the damge is caused by the original coolant that is in the vehicle and it gradually deteriorates the system. Our cost roughly $3000 with the timing belt. Mechanic said we could probably get away without the radiator, but that eventually it would need to be replaced and the cost would be more than this time since they were doing all the other work.

- ptbluelion, Torrance, CA, US

problem #2

Apr 022008

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

I have been struggling with this issue of the PT Cruiser overheating in idle for several months. My dealer refused to deal with it, saying that it was somehow related to structural damage and that I would have to go to a body shop. The body shop said that was ridiculous, and have recommended me to another auto shop. The new auto shop is going to be looking at this, suggests it may be that the fan needs to be replaced as they have seen in other PT's and ranted about how difficult this will eb to diagnose and fix and estimated that the labor costs will be quite high.

- pugalug, Anchorage, AK, US

problem #1

May 262008

PT Cruiser Limited 2.4L 3 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 44,117 miles

PT cruiser has overheated multiple times. Original had the the electric fan replaced which solved the first issue.. Coolant Thermostat then failed (would not open all the way up).

It is now losing coolant.. The 'Overflow/recovery tank' fills up when hot but the fluid level does not go back down. Possibly due to a head gasket leak. Took it into the dealer and they did a flush and pronounced it was a head gasket leak. (quote of $1400.00). Took it to another place for a second opinion. they pulled the thermostat and showed me where it was not opening all the way up (pin was slightly bent?) replaced thermostat which makes the car run much cooler but They suspect their IS a head gasket problem as I am losing coolant also. Mechanics and online research has told me that overheating of these aluminum heads usually results in a head gasket leak (which is a major engine overhaul)

- hippydog, Leduc, AB, Canada

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