really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,261 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Dec 062005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles


Nov 19, 2005 I purchased a new lot model 2003 PT CRUISER with 14 miles on it. At 500 miles I notified the dealership where I bought this vehicle that there was a problem of flickering headlights when any other electric was touched in vehicle, this also happens when nothing is touched. They replaced the battery twice to see if this was the problem, but that didn't help. I have taken the vehicle back to the dealer on at least four occasions but they still cannot find the problem.. I was issued a ticket by the police for this problem and have given a copy to the dealership, the ticket said that the problem is to be fixed or I am supposed to stop driving it.. I took it to another dealership and they reprogrammed it and that hasn't helped either. I need to have this problem fixed or replaced as I am not supposed to use it legally by order of police. The dealership where I purchased my vehicle said that this is just a problem that I will have to learn to live with as it is a problem with 2001,2002,2003,2004 PT CRUISER. If this is so, then there should be a disclosure when you purchase the vehicles.

- Hawley, PA, USA

problem #7

Oct 122005

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Check engine light comes on, car idles at low RPM, and stalls at anything near 1000 RPM, which is its normal idle speed, at least 25 stalls in the past 2-3 months. So far Chrysler knows there is a problem but can't find it, so they keep giving it back to me.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #6

Nov 182004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43 miles
Shortly after purchasing our brand new 2003 PT CRUISER, we noticed the dash lights and headlights would occasionally flicker for no apparent reason. At first, it was very intermittent and we did not pay much attention to it. However, since about the middle of October of 2004, the problem has gotten much worse. Now whenever the brake is applied, the dash lights and the headlights flicker very noticeably, and the frequency of the flickering for no reason has increased dramatically. On November 18, 2004, we took the cruiser into spokane Chrysler to correct the problem (invoice 147545). Spokane Chrysler was very courteous and tried diligently to fix the problem. They replaced the generator, the powertrain control module, and even tried a new battery -- unfortunately, none of their efforts fixed the problem. Spokane Chrysler did discover that this flickering lights defect was not unique to our cruiser. The technician tested several 2002, 2004, and even brand new 2005 PT CRUISER and found that in each of these models, while not all, but some of them had the same defective electrical system. This problem is particularly disturbing considering the nature of many of the PT CRUISER's control systems. The pt is in many respects a fly-by-wire type of vehicle. Everything from throttle control, air/fuel mix, speed control, automatic transmission shifting, traction control, to ABS brake control is governed by electronics. The flickering lights are a defect that can clearly be seen, but what about defects that cannot be so easily seen. What about a brake control 'flicker' or an erratic throttle control 'flicker' that you do not notice until it is too late. Or, what happens if it is pitch dark, you are rounding a curve at 60 mph, and the headlights flicker out and stay out! at this time, the problem has still not been fixed. We feel Chrysler has two options--either fix the defect immediately (this is our preferred choice) or replace the vehicle immediately.

- Reardan, WA, USA

problem #5

Dec 052003

PT Cruiser 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving at any speed, the vehicle stalled without warning. The driver tried to restart the vehicle and was able to do so. The driver noticed that the vehicle did not accelerate over 60 mph. While driving 60 mph, the driver applied the accelerator pedal and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection numerous time. However, the mechanic can not duplicate the problem.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #4

Sep 172004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30 miles
"check engine light" came on regularly, prompting visits to the dealer. Was told I wasn't "clicking" the gas cap enough times upon closing it. Number of times to be clicked started out at 3 and eventually moved up to 7, increasing with each return visit until I screamed in the middle of the service area and they actually fixed the problem by replacing the leak detection pump and the natural vacuum detector. Sunroof motor wouldn't run continuously, the switch would have to be pushed repeatedly to get the roof to close, moving a fraction of an inch at a time. This happened on three separate occasions. Parts replaced included the switch, the motor, and eventually the entire sunroof motor assembly. The big problem: Car wouldn't start, even after being jumped. This happened on five separate occasions during the first 16 months I owned the car. Parts replaced include the battery (replaced twice) the starter, the starter relay, and finally the powertrain control module. The car was deemed a lemon under the Florida lemon law and I was refunded my money from Chrysler under a "byback" program not arbitrated by the state.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 162004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,240 miles
I have taken my 2003 PT CRUISER GT back to the dealer eight times to have a check engine light problem repaired. The first visit to the dealer occured on July 3, 2003 the second visit to the dealer occurred on July 9-12, 2003 the third visit to the dealer occured on August 15-18, 2003 the fourth visit to the dealer occurred on May 7-12, 2004 the fifth visit to the dealer occurred on May 26-27, 2004 the sixth visit to the dealer occurred on June 9th, 2004 the seventh visit to the dealer occurred on June 28th., 2004 (replace leak detection pump) the eighth visit to the dealer occurred on July 16th., 2004 (car towed) general syptoms leading to the light coming on were hard starting several days or weeks prior to light coming on, as well as hesitation under acceleration (occured twice), and the latest incident in which the car completely lost power while accelerating away from a stop sign onto a main road. During the course of my many dealership visits, they have reprogrammed the computer, replaced the solenoid duty cycle purge, contacted Chrysler's star technical center and replaced what they claimed to be a bad leak detection pump. Upon the last failure, the car was driven back to my residence and the dealer contacted to tow to the dealership.

- Brookville, OH, USA

problem #2

Jul 152003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,500 miles
While driving at 55 mph headlights were flickering and finally burned out. Vehicle was taken to the dealer eight times for this problem. Dealer has checked every component, trying to repair the problem, but to no avail. The manufacturer repurchased the vehcile from the consumer.

- Klamath Falls, OR, USA

problem #1

Nov 262002

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,416 miles
When consumer brakes, the headlights would flicker. This causes a distraction at night time. Dealer has been notified. Ph this also occured when window switch and auto door locks were engaged. Dealer checked wiring to PCM, allg rounds and electrical connections. Nothing found.

- Kannapolis, NC, USA

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