really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,941 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #4

May 102009

PT Cruiser

  • 57,000 miles


Repeated overheating due to a problem with the cooling system. Antifreeze is properly mixed and the reservoir is full. Engine overheats after only a few minutes of operation. Thermostat and radiator cap have been replaced to no avail. When engine is shut off, gurgling noise can be heard from inside the car. Radiator was pressure tested and found no leaks. Antifreeze seems to evaporate constantly causing the overheating issue to occur again after additional amounts of antifreeze has been added.

- Huntington, IN, USA

problem #3

Sep 112008

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Approached vehicle after visit and noticed strong fuel smell from 20 ft. Away. Opened car door, fumes even stronger. Felt dizzy & disoriented. Called service to have it towed (did not want to start car with strong fumes). Was told there was a problem with fuel line (recall) and that it was repaired. Nearly 1 year later, same problem, check engine light on. 1/2 tank of gas leaked in one day. No obvious source of leak from exterior. Lingering gas smell in interior. Was told nvld pump was replaced. Very concerned about safety, possible adverse health consequences, likelihood of fire. Car has had many other issues as well, including smell from ac system (originally non-functional) which smells like an electrical fire/burning plastic. Dealership is dismissive. Possible lemon.

- Gordonsville, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 132007

(reported on)

PT Cruiser

  • 45,000 miles
2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER with defected control arm bushings. Consumer stated that the bushings are wearing prematurely. The consumer stated he has had problems with the transmission, steering column, front bearing and water pump.

- Canada, DC, USA

problem #1

Feb 092003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,765 miles
Vehicle is a new 2003 pt-turbo GT w/auto stick, air, etc. Vehicle is the very first new vehicle that my wife has ever owned. I bought it for her as a xmas gift in Dec., 2002. Since February 2003, the vehicle continues to overheat. It has had numerous parts replaced from theromstat/cooling fan and its theromstat switch, trans-cooler (turbo), water pump, etc. Vehicle has been in the shop for almost 11 weeks. Both the zone and the manufacturer has been contacted by dealership, and they responded on previous trips into the service bay. My wife actually was able to drive it for almost 5 1/2 weeks after receiving the vehicle back from dealership. Then, on Sunday, 20 July 2003, the vehicle overheated again!! my wife drove it to victorville motors (local Chrysler dealer, victorville, ca) on Monday, 21 July and there it has been since. We understood that it was the water pump again and the dealer was waiting for the zone and/or mfg to contact them to see what else could be done to rectify this anomalous condition. Either in design and just a bad engine. Block is iron, water pump and heads are aluminum. Engine has overheated into the red line so many times, the block and other components have been severly heat stressed. My wife recently (Jan 2003) discovered she had renal esrd (total kidney failure) and is currently doing dialysis. We live in victorville, ca and she must drive to fontanna, ca kaiser hospital for her treatments. Approximately 40 miles each way climbing through a desert mountain pass, elevation 4340 ft. She requires a reliable vehicle and at this point in time, she does not have one. My wife could be stranded in the middle of a desert mountain pass with this problem vehicle. All we have asked for is Chrysler replace the entire engine....my wife has wanted this dream car. For over 2-years. It..."..thank you........ron & gwen repass.

- Victorville, CA, USA

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