definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,710 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 142011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


I am having overheating problems. I have talked with other owners of PT CRUISER who have had the same issues. It overheats at idle and while driving. I have not found a solution to the problem yet. I have had it pressure tested and the thermostat changes and it is still overheating to dangerous levels.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #6

Apr 202008

PT Cruiser

  • 32,208 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact heard a loud humming noise coming from her vehicle. She took the vehicle to a dealer and they stated that the power steering pump failed. Power steering fluid leaked out and caused the air conditioner to fail. The unit was replaced at the cost of $1,583. The technician stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 04V268000 (steering:hydraulic power assist:hose, piping, and connections); therefore, they would not assume financial responsibility for the repair. Several weeks after the repair, the air conditioning unit failed again. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer on numerous occasions, in which she had to replace the water pump, the throttle body, the radiator, and various components in the powertrain and steering unit. The repairs cost $4,000. Typically, the failures immediately recur after the repairs are made. The manufacturer gave her a small reimbursement of $878. The failure mileage was 32,208 and current mileage was 66,500.

- Coopersville, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 032006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
: the contact stated while braking, at any speed, the vehicle stalls without warning. When this occurs, the steering wheel locks up. The vehicle immediately restarts. The vehicle has been to the dealership 15 times and multiple components including the fuel pump have been replaced. These repairs have not repaired the stalling problem. Updated 6/12/2006 -

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 052004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Vehicle tends to make noise and rumble from the engine like it is going to stall when started or is moving. Dealer changed spark plugs 3 times, but the problem recurred.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012004

PT Cruiser 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving vehicle stalled. Consumer restarted vehicle ten minutes later. Then, vehicle jerked and stalled. Consumer had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that engine needed to be replaced.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #2

Nov 212003

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Purchased 2003 PT CRUISER in Oct 02. March 03- check engine light came on and engine idled very rough. Brought it in and they said it had a cracked spark plug. Fixed" no... June 03 check engine light came on and it idled very rough. Brought it in and they said it needed a new alternator. Fixed" no. Same thing is happening again. Check engine light is on and it is idling very rough.

- Jamaica Plain, MA, 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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