really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,586 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.

2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Jan 082016

PT Cruiser

  • 182,000 miles


Fuel gauge suddenly drops to empty. Even after a complete tank refill. It would seem to be an electrical malfunction in either the sensor or dash gauge itself. It can be "cleared" from being stuck on empty by shutting off the engine and then restarting it. Also, speedometer suddenly drops to zero for several seconds and then jumps back to the present speed.

- Hazel Pk, MI, USA

problem #30

Feb 292016

PT Cruiser

  • 123,978 miles
My PT CRUISER by chrylr 2004 got on fire in the control areas for the gear control areas, I was driving home on the 29th of February 2016, and I was about a mile from my home when my grand daughter said she smell smoke and seen it as well, but we didn't know where it was coming from. I got home from driving a regular city street, which was about 5 minutes from my home. I park the car and raise the hood to see if the fire was under my hood, no not there. So I park my car at my home and said I would investigate it in the morning since it was night time. I went to my car the next morning on the 1st of March 2016 and try to change gears, my gear wouldn't move. I had my car tow to my mechanic to fix the problem. He told me I had a fire in the gear areas, he was dumbfounded on how the fire started, but said the only thing he could come up with was the cigarette lighter could had started the fire.

- Midlothian, IL, USA

problem #29

Nov 202015

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving 20 mph, the front driver side heated seat caught fire. The contact stated that the fire department was notified and was able to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Brandenburg, KY, USA

problem #28

Apr 012015

PT Cruiser

  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving at 35 mph, the left turn signal was activated and the contact noticed smoke coming from the left turn signal switch near the instrument panel. In addition, the contact stated that the fog lights remained illuminated and the contact had to lift the steering wheel upwards in order to engage the horn. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failures recurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 30,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #27

Oct 012008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The multifunction turn signal switch started to smoke and we couldn't turn off the fog lights. We had to pull the fuse since there continued to come smoke out of that switch -- we had to open the windows to drive home in order to get rid of the smell/smoke. Our Chrysler dealer said that this part is in high demand. The part was $275 and a similar high amount for labor the first time. From that time on I ordered online and replaced the switch two more times. Today, 10/01/2014, the switch started to smoke again. This would be the fourth switch. This is a known problem and should be a recall since it can cause a fire and drain the battery.

- State College, PA, USA

problem #26

Oct 102011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 114,100 miles
When I turn the key switch my radio come on and then go off.

- Bainbridge, GA, USA

problem #25

Feb 072014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


Driving on freeway when all the engine lights on the dash light up, flicker, then go dead. Then the car loses power, including steering and brakes and cannot be controlled. It will start again later and will be ok for a few days or weeks when the problem re-occurs. Neither an independent mechanic nor Chrysler can find the problem. It happens without warning at any speed and circumstance. I managed to get video during one such episode on surface streets. This is similar to the problem GM is having and should lead to a recall before anyone is killed. I can't in good conscience sell the car, and am afraid to drive it but have no choice. This has happened to many other PT CRUISER owners and Chrysler has turned a deaf ear to the problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #24

Apr 012009

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • miles
Rough idle at stopped intersections, lunges and stalls. Stalls a approximately 15-25 mph while making left or right turns making it very difficult to turn while placing the vehicle in neutral and starting the engine again. The fog lights turn on by itself after the vehicle is parked and the ignition is turned off draining the battery. Had to disconnect the fuse in order to prevent this from happening again. To this date non-functional fog lights. The vehicle has several electrical problems from instrument cluster not functioning while driving to radio and climate control not working until you stop the vehicle and turn it off. Then start the vehicle again then it works properly for another few days. This is a recurring problem. Wheel bearing has been an issue too and currently needs to be replaced.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 182014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl Diesel

  • 116,000 miles
The vehicle failed to stop after applying brakes.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 282012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I had smoke and smelled burning coming from my multifunction switch,

- Keyport, NJ, USA

problem #21

Nov 072012

PT Cruiser

  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that after making a left turn, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle coasted downhill before it came to a complete stop. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic who ran a diagnostic test and determined that the automatic shut off fuse was blown. The mechanic replaced the fuse. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Brookport, IL, USA

problem #20

May 252012

PT Cruiser

  • 124,000 miles
While driving the engine will sputter and die. When pulling up to a stop light the check engine light will come on and the engine will immediately die. While driving on the freeway at 65mph the engine will suddenly die. Sometimes it will start up again right away, but most of the time it takes a few minutes to start back up, while people are honking and having to go around my car. Most of the time the car will run rough after re-start, but will run normally after sitting overnight, until the next time it dies. Many other pt owners are experiencing the same thing. Very dangerous and scary! four mechanics have tried to figure out the problem. No luck. Have replaced the ECM and just about every sensor and replaceable engine part. No luck. This is occurring in other Chrysler vehicles, too. It seems like no one has found an answer to the problem. This is a very dangerous situation and Chrysler should figure out the problem and provide a fix.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #19

Mar 092011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 41,365 miles
Fog lights will not turn off. I had to unplug the lights in order for them not to stay on. Now they are completely off. Will never buy a Chrysler product again. I have 46,000 miles and everything described in these reports went wrong with my vehicle.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #18

May 022012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 74,300 miles
Faulty multifunction switch module caused fog lights to illuminate while the car was off and in the driveway, resulting in a dead battery. Fog lights came on when I connected jumper cables to external battery. Fog lights go on and off as the light control stem on the multifunction module is wiggled. Removed fog light fuse to prevent recurrence until multifunction module can be repaired/replaced. Internet search and this site indicate this is a persistent and recurring problem across many PT CRUISER models and years.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #17

Mar 202010

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 69,482 miles
Replaced the "leak detection pump" on March 20, 2010 and again on October 26, 2011

- Freeport, IL, USA

problem #16

Jul 182011

PT Cruiser

  • 115,000 miles
Fog lamps began flickering on and off then the interior dash lights went out as well as the rear tail lighting.

- Kenyon, MN, USA

problem #15

Jun 172010

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
PT CRUISER on cruise control. Exit freeway and tap brake. Car begins to coast. As we approached stopped traffic the brake was applied again. Cruise kicked in again and instead of slowing we speeded up. Approximately 2:30 pm - no alcohol involved and no skid marks. Hit 5 other vehicles. My husband was driving and I was the passenger. I was very badly injured internally and had fractures to ribs, vertebra. And ankle. Seat belt and air bag saved my life but seat belt ripped my intestines and caused severe internal bleeding. My husband was in shock but without injury. It took 3 weeks to get a police report and on the report it stated that he had stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake. Not true -- not true. He yelled to me before the impact that the car was not stopping and I saw that he had the brake to the floor.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #14

Jun 152010

PT Cruiser

  • 48,100 miles
Fog lights on my 2004 PT CRUISER stay on all the time, draining the battery. Multifunction switch does not turn off the fog lights. Pulled the fuse to disable the circuit and attempting to find a replacement part.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 142010

PT Cruiser

  • 56,000 miles
Smoke coming from steering column. Fog lights will not turn off. Battery will run down.

- West Milford, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jun 212009

PT Cruiser

  • 79,000 miles
I have a 2004 PT CRUISER which I bought in Nov 2005. First incident, rear left passenger window stopped working. Headlights and brake lights burn out very rapidly. Latest "big" problem started in June 2009, brother noticed my fog lamps on, not only had I not turned them on, I never used them before. Thought it was a random incident but battery kept dying. Finally determined in July 2008 by mechanic that the switch arm was malfunctioning and needed to be replaced. Told by dealership are back ordered and to "just unplug the lights" to fix. Mechanic replaced, thought problem solved. Then panel kept claiming door ajar. No door was open!!! mechanic replaced door latch. Thought problem solved. Went out to car on 1/19/09, it was gone. City towed it due to complaint of my alarm going off and not shutting off. Cost me $234 to reclaim and find alarm is malfunctioning and battery being drained again!! interior lights going off and on while driving. So far since June 2009, (battery, alternator, switch arm, door latch, towing) have spent about $1000 in repairs. I have yet to find out cost of alarm and obvious electrical repairs to come. Until reading other complaints, had no idea the smell of burning I have smelt on occasion may actually be coming from my own car. Do yourself a favor, don't ever buy a Chrysler.

- Glendale, CA, USA

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