pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
92,500 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replaced damaged radiator & head gasket (1 reports)
2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 052011

PT Cruiser GT Turbo 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


One owner vehicle purchased new in February 2005. Have replaced the turbo once to clogged oil lines to the turbo. Head gasket replaced in Spring of 2009. Front wheel bearings fall of 2010, only one needed replaced but did them in pairs.

Intermittent overheating problem since head gasket replacement. No problems for a long time after actual work was completed but over the past year I have had to monitor the coolent level regularly as it always seems to be low. Until just this past week it has never gone completely dry and put the car on the side of the road overheated. That only happened once before and now this morning.

Water pump is good, good flow to the radiator. Oil is good, no burnt smell and is at max fill without having to add any since last oil change. Oil is changed every three thousand miles.

When we fill the cooling system and allow it to burp off trapped air, we get a constant stream of small bubbles at the filler next with occassional larger bubbles and coolent level drops appropriately. Engine runs fine and never overheats as long as coolant level is maintained.

Believe we have another head gasket issue as the only other way I know of air continually entering the water jacket is from a cracked block or cylinder wall passageway. The last gasket replacement in 2009 was just over $1500 and a week in the dealer's shop. Not looking forward to that again.

I'll report back what we find after the repair.

Still love the car and wife won't let me trade it even for a new PT. It was her birthday present in 2005. Dang!!

Update from Apr 5, 2011: Almost two weeks in the shop, new head gasket, thermostat and had them do water pump and timing belt while torn down since they were still original from 2005. Brought the wife to pick it up so she could drive it home while I went on to work. Before I paid I spoke with the shop supervisor, "Oh yeah I drove it myself for at least 30 mins and we left it running here in the shop for over an hour and it never overheated. I paid a tad under $2000 total for all the work and within 15 minutes of me heading to work and the wife heading home I get a frantic phone call telling me she is off the road in an OfficeMax parking lot where the car overheated, temp guage is pegged, steam rolling, engine knocking, etc. I call the shop and they send a tow truck to get the car and then drive me wife home. Three days later I get a call from the shop supervisor that they found a slow leak in the bottom of the radiator. They agreed to install the radiator at their cost and no labor. Another $376 added to the bill. But, we have had the car back for about a month now. It has more power then it ever did, even when new. It showing slightly better gas mileage and idles much smoother. We can even hear the turbo spool up where we did before and also hear it spool down when the engine is shutoff.

Are we happy? Heck yeah since it seems the money was well spent. If there is a downside to all this, my wife still won't let me consider trading for a new car. Even a new car that she likes. A couple more months and the PT will be paid off....you all know what that means. I've already started putting money aside for repairs.

To sum it up, I believe the leaking radiator was caused by a minor bump to the front end just over a year ago and then recently I backed off one of those parking space stop blocks which caught on the bumper cover and tore it from it's mounts. Good chance it shifted the radiator at the same time causing the slow leak.

- ptturbogt, Pensacola, FL, US

problem #2

Sep 032009

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

i had replaced the water pump cooling fans and flushed the radiator because chrysler dealer stated it was over heating because of these. then i changed the thermostat still no good so i paid over 1500.00 to have a mechanic fix these problems just to tell me that the head gasket went. so i called chrysler and there is not a warranty left on it and it will cost another 1500.00 . i think that chrysler has to make a better more reliable vehicle that will last more than 4 years before the head gasket goes or at least work with their dedicated customers to resolve these issues. if anyone knows about a recall for this or has figured a correction that may not be head gasket i would love to know thank you

- chad.ducharme, Burlington, VT, US

problem #1

Jul 022009

PT Cruiser 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,491 miles

car overheated on wife had into mechanics 3 weeks ago and had a/c fan on radiator replaced now head gasket broken and heads???? cost $1500 - $2000. mechanic said this is 3rd one with same problem in 3 weeks

- Chris H., Ozark, MO, US

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