hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,425 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #8

Sep 142016

PT Cruiser

  • 170,400 miles


Vehicle accelerated on its own, up to 4,000rpm with my foot off the gas pedal. When I stomped on the brakes car would not slow down, engine continued to run at 4,000rpm. To save my life and others shifted car into neutral, pulled over and turned off ignition. After a minute or two restarted the car and same symptom were present, engine reviving to 4,000rpm, foot off the gas pedal, on the brake pedal as a precaution. Note that when this first happened the car was not in cruise control mode, simply driving around town running errands. This situation is scary because I do not know when, how, if it is going to happen again, totally unprovoked and non-sensical as to why it is happening, what triggers the problem. This has now occurred twice recently and because of this nightmare scenario I am hesitant, very very hesitant to drive the car. It is a danger to my, my wife's life and other people on the road we may accidentally plow into if the car decides to go into runaway mode of its own volition. Your consideration of a response would be greatly appreciated.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #7

May 262014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • miles
Car making noises.

- Parkforest, IL, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

Jun 202012

PT Cruiser

  • 85,000 miles
Engine light came on, it acted like it was misfiring. Car shut off at around 60mph. Drifted off road and restarted and went a mile or so and it shut off again we kept doing that until we got home. The next day we took it to our mechanic it ran fine on the way there, around 15 miles. He put it on his computer, it read bad injectors so he replaced them. Then he took it for a ride and it acted like it was misfiring again he put it back on his computer and it read bad coil so he replaced the coil pack, plugs and plug wires. It ran fine for about 4 months. Until now 10/30/2012.. took back to mechanic, he replaced O2 sensors. Ran for 2wks. Same thing again! once again took back to mechanic. He put it on his computer once again and it read fine. He said we should take it to our Chrysler center. Although we couldn't ask for a better running car (when it is running right),this car is very dangerous to be on the road shutting off in traffic. I would hate to have to replace it. Please fine answer to problem.

- Schellsburg, PA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Jan 232005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Consume too much oil since got the new car. Lost about 1 qt every 3K. Now at 65K, lost 1 qt about every 1K miles.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 012012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My car started overheating, so we have replaced the thermostat, fan fuses, and it is still overheating. My cousin has the same car only a 2002 which it overheated and caused the head to blow. There are many many many complaints on line however I am not seeing very many people with the complaints on this site. Just doing a search on line for PT CRUISER overheating problems there are tons of them. Why would there not be a recall on something that is a known issue? I have a 2001 Dodge Caravan that has never had any serious problems, with 200,000 miles on it. This car has 90K on it and there is a list of things that the previous owner had repaired, like double what the car was originally purchased for I have about $10,000 worth of repair bills, that's a little like a lemon car.

- Pahrump, NV, USA

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