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 1 of 2)

problem #28

Mar 022015

PT Cruiser

  • 201,561 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and then caught fire without warning. The contact did not disclose if a police report was filed or not. The details of who extinguished the fire were unknown. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 201,561.

- Gravois Mills, MO, USA

problem #27

Nov 192014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The wiring harness melted, which caused the multifunction switch to burn out and running tail lights to not work properly. Replaced multifunction switch and burning smell came from steering column. Pulled new multifunction switch and noticed melted connectors.

- Trenton, GA, USA

problem #26

Aug 072003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Stop at a red light and was hit from behind by another car going over 30 miles per hour. It pushed us into another vehicle and the air bags did not deploy. My husband and son got whip lash.

- Denison, TX, USA

problem #25

Aug 012014

PT Cruiser

  • miles


Battery went completely dead after only two years. Had the battery replaced and now the dashboard lights and the headlights flicker terribly and even more when on high beams.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #24

May 092011

PT Cruiser

  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated the airbag and the check light engine warning lights illuminated. The contact stated that the battery was replaced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic where it was diagnosed that the electrical system needed to be repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,000 and the current mileage was 100,000. The VIN was not available.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #23

Mar 032014

PT Cruiser

  • miles
2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. Consumer writes in regards to ignition problems. The consumer stated she had a problem with the radio going out, whenever she hit a bump in the road. It turned out, after several service appointments, that the ignition key has been knocked out of place and the electricity was off.

- Amherst, MA, USA

problem #22

Feb 172014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 156,263 miles


Low voltage light came on, lost all power on the highway.I had to hit the shoulder quickly. I then tested code with key (3 clicks off/on) got code P0622 and P2403..towed to a shop, to find out the wires from alternator to the computer shorted out, it's a known problem, wiring harness runs along cv shaft and rubs against a bolt near the frame, thus shorting out the charging system and burning out the computer. So now the bill for repairs are almost $650 and lucky we got off the highway in time, almost got hit by a semi cause we lost power so quick. I am glad we didn't get killed. If Chrysler and the government knows this is a problem why is there no recall.....or a safety warning.

- Malinta, OH, USA

problem #21

Dec 172013

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 127,730 miles
I've had this vehicle approx. 2 years. At an earlier time I had used the fog lights twice with no incident. Later and prior to 12/17/13 the fog light indicator appeared on the instrument panel, the fog light switch wasn't even turned on but the light came on by themselves. I jiggled the switch and the lights and indicator went out, after that the fog lights wouldn't work at all. On 12/17/13 I went out to my garage to find the fog lamps on. The headlights were off, the car not running, the keys weren't even in the ignition. The lights just came on by themselves. I managed to turn them off (for the night) only to find when I got to work the next morning I couldn't shut them off. I drove the car home, finally pulled the fuse for the fog lamps and returned to work. I've also had incidences where the headlights will dim slightly and then illuminate fully. According to some of the forums I've read, there are a lot of people having this problem. Some people also report burning wires and dead batteries. I wish they would file a complaint. Thank you.

- Monticello, MN, USA

problem #20

Jul 012013

PT Cruiser

  • 94,000 miles
About 3 three years ago the headlights started flickering and the radio light would totally go out. Now the fog lights are coming on with the car turned off. I am taking the car to a mechanic - hopefully they can fix the issue.

- Mt Airy, GA, USA

problem #19

Aug 232010

PT Cruiser

  • 65,000 miles
2003 turbo PT CRUISER issue with engine over heating light coming on engine was not over heating. A week later running lights and foglamps started coming on while car is off and sitting. Checked a site that said it was a problem in the turbo 2003 and 2004 turbo cruisers and the issue will get worse. My car is not included in the recall.

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #18

May 042009

PT Cruiser

  • 85,000 miles


1. I generally drive our 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER with the fog lights on during the day, and the headlights at night. This means I was turning the fog light switch on the turn signal unit several times a day. 2. beginning early in 2009 I experienced times when the fog lights would not turn off with the switch without a lot of cycling, or the fog lights would turn themselves on when the door closed. The vibration of the vehicle made that happen. Then, when trying to get the fog lights to turn off, the switch began to smoke. Turning off the car cleared that, so I stopped using the fog lights. The turn signals and headlight portion of the switch worked fine. 3. I contacted the Chrysler dealership and was told they were out of the switch. I then contacted a local auto maintenance company I have used in the past and trust. They quoted me a better service price, and that the switch was backordered. There were over 5000 switches on backorder and it was six months after the order was placed before we received the switch and had it installed. My concern is two fold: 1. the 5000 may well have been the tip of the iceberg in terms of failures, and 2. if I had not been sitting there, would the lights, after coming on by themselves have cause the switch to actually catch the vehicle on fire? I thought that the brief time I was smoke should have been enough to blow the fuse, but it didn't.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #17

Jun 242009

PT Cruiser

  • 122,000 miles
High beams coming on without being turned on, at first once or twice a week then everyday it would happen then everytime using the vehicle, the high beams came on after I turned them off when getting out of my car upon returning to my car would not crank, the high beams where still on, had to get my car jumped started, removed the fuse and haven't had the high beams to come on again, but I need my high beams esp. For long distance driving through the mountains, there's a shortage somewhere between the fuse and high beams lights.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #16

Sep 262007

PT Cruiser

  • 92,000 miles
I purchased a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER in July 2008 in Oct we noticed lights flickering headlight switch started burning fog lights came on didn't work before took it Dodge new switch and 22 pin connector. New PCM reprogrammed it still same problem lights flicker and check engine light stays on.

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #15

Mar 102009

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Fog lights continue to flash without my turning them on. This is my third dead battery" is there a recall"

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #14

May 012006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This problem started in the spring of 2006. Although I didn't know it at the time, the fog lights came on by themselves while just sitting in the parking lot or at home. No warning, so I didn't know until I went to start the car and the battery was dead. Since this was intermittent, no lights on the dash advising me the fog lights were on and during daylight hours, I never noticed that the fog lights were on. After several times of this happening. This caused me to replace the battery. While replacing the battery I noticed that the original cables had inferior battery connector leads. The cables connectors were mostly eaten through causing me to have to replace them. (I noticed that when I got the new leads that the connectors were of a better material). Due to this not having any rime or reason as to why the battery kept going dead and no one had any idea why this was happening I simply had to wait until I discovered the cause. In Dec 2007 I went to start the car and sure enough the battery was dead. However this time when I jumped the battery the fog light on the dash stayed on and that is when I found the problem. I was unable to turn them off since the switch was already in the off position. My only recourse was to remove the fog light fuse. Since removing the fog light fuse I have had no further issues to date. I still do not know the cause or the cure so, I logged on to this site to look for a service bulletin or information to tell me that and here I am. The mileage on the vehicle when this whole stuff started was approx 36,000 and it now has 42000 miles on it.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #13

Jul 072007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
We own a 2003 PT CRUISER. It has manifested three separate problems, all of which are similar to complaints I have found from others on the internet: First, the "check engine" light comes on. The dealer said we needed to click the gas cap. We did that, but the light came back on. Second, the fog light switch failed such so that the lights turned on without the switch being touched. We discovered the problem only after the battery had been drained, stranding my wife at work. I "fixed" this problem by pulling the fuse on the fog lights. I have read complaints in which this faulty switch has actually started fires. Third, we have the infamous intermittent starting"problem. I have replaced the starter and the battery. I checked alternator function and integrity of all cable connections to the starter. Then I read others' complaints and have found there is no available solution. The problem became more and more frequent, and now the vehicle is dead in the driveway. Our vehicle has only 54,000 miles on it, and we believe we should expect many more miles from it. We are afraid to take it to a dealer and have hundreds of dollars worth of fruitless diagnostics done on it. We still owe $1,800 to Chrysler financial for the car. It pains us to make payments on a vehicle that is a lump in our driveway. We would like to have the vehicle repaired at no charge, assuming the manufacturer has found a solution. Although the vehicle is currently out of warranty, the problem began to occur long before the warranty expiration, but we could not get it to repeat for the dealer. Is there a "secret warranty" for this issue? we cannot find a full-text tsb to find out.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #12

Mar 162007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
I purchased a new 2003 pt GT turbo cruiser and have electrical problems since day one. The battery has been replaced twice and the lights have never stopped flickering since the day I purchased the vehicle. The Chrysler repair facilities were nice to deal with but the problem has never been resolved. I have always liked Chrysler products and throughout the years have purchased quite a few, after this experience this will be my last Chrysler product.

- Roscoe, IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 302006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
We recently purchased a used 2003 PT CRUISER GT turbo. We really love it. However, there is an issue we have been trying to figure out. The lighting flickers when you start the car. It is intermittent. After running awhile it decreases. Usually when first starting the car it is really bad. We didn't notice a difference when we used more or less power in the car, like turning on the radio and A/C. the power fluctuation makes all the lights flicker inside and outside of the car, as well as the panel lights and radio.

- West Valley City, UT, USA

problem #10

Oct 172004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 pt crusier bought brand new. Head lights, interior lights, and dash lights all flicker hard to pay attention when driving. Chrysler is aware of the problem and says no fix. I will never buy another Chrysler again, poor customer service. Just waiting for all lights to finally go out.

- Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #9

Jun 072006

PT Cruiser

  • 51,523 miles
: the contact stated a knocking sound is heard when the vehicle is placed into reverse, or when a stop, and then placed into park. The sound is coming from the driver's side of the vehicle. The vehicle stalls after each start and has to be restarted. The dealership determined the lower control arms and the skim model in the computer was defective and needs to be replaced. Updated 07/05/06.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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