Notes: The 2006 is the worst year for PT Cruiser engine complaints. Having an engine light on is annoying, but it's the complaints about the engine shutting-off while driving that really have us concerned.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,672 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.

2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #20

Jun 062012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • miles


Our PT CRUISER started exhibiting moments of engine failure after all the lights on the dash board came on. We have taken it to our local mechanic, who has replaced a chip in the board, but the problem continues. It has become very dangerous to drive the PT CRUISER, especially on hot days, because the problem becomes more prevalent during this time. We have made several visits to the mechanic to have this problem solved but all subsequent visits have not given us any results and the problem continues.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 132012

PT Cruiser

  • miles
2006 PT CRUISER. Consumer writes in regards to crankshaft issues and vehicle repairs the consumer stated the vehicle was leaking oil and therefore, it was taken to the dealer on 03/13/12. The consumer was contacted at the end of the day and informed the crankshaft had ruined the engine block and needed a short block replacement at a cost of $4,000-5,000. The consumer had the same issue at 4,000 where the crankshaft had to be replaced due to a factory defect. Chrysler approved the short block replacement, but the consumer had to pay a co-pay. The consumer received a call from the dealer on 03/21/12 and was informed the vehicle was ready to be picked up. However, upon arrival the next day, the only thing that was replaced, was the crankshaft, the dealer knew nothing about the replacement of the short block. The consumer was assured the block was not damaged, even though the consumer was told previously the block was damaged.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #18

Feb 262011

PT Cruiser

  • 71,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER w/automatic trans. The electrical system, Inc. The 4 cyl engine in my vehicle completely failed 3 sepsraste times, twice last year, and 1 time so far this year while driving in a residential area. This condition causes the air bag to not deploy; exterior and interior lights as well as all power assist systems such as steering and breaks, as well as all other electrical accessories to fail. I contacted the vehicle manufacturer and was instructed to take my vehicle into the local dealer as I was able to restart, as was I able each time previous, given I experienced no further problems until last week. However, the dealer diagnostic test yielded nothing which could account for the vehicle complete operational shut-down. I was advised there are no recalls, or warranty, and the dealer informed me to contact the manufacturers customer assistance center to advise them. The customer case manager indicated there would be no assistance forthcoming as the diagnostic testing showed nothing conclusive. The latest falure milease was 72,000.

- St. George, UT, USA

problem #17

Feb 012010

PT Cruiser

  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact noticed that the vehicle was leaking oil. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the contact was informed that the right crankshaft seal failed and needed to be replaced. In February 2010, the same failure occurred and the dealer replaced the right crankshaft sensor. The failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was aware of the failure, but failed to offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The failure mileage was 58,000 and the current mileage was 83,000.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #16

Jan 212012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 64,500 miles
I went in to the local Chrysler dealership on Saturday, January 21, 2012 for a routine oil change. I was told that I needed to replace an engine mount. I had to replace on in September of 2010 and I was quite shocked that I was faced with this repaid again. It was a different mount this time. So I asked the customer service representative why does this keep happening. I am 57 years old and in 40 years of driving I have never even heard about this happening to any one. I was told that there is somewhat of a design flaw in the PT CRUISER and that this particular dealer performs 20 to 30 like repairs a week.. this means that there is a design flaw in this vehicle. I checked on line and sure enough, it appears that there hundreds of complaints about PT CRUISER engine mounts. What can be done" it is not fair that Chrysler can sell a product like this - knowing that there are issues - and keep raking in money for the repairs. Shouldn't they be held to some kind of standard" this is a safety matter, for sure. It is a moral one as well.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #15

Apr 202011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER constantly overheats even after replacing thermostat, radiator fan, and any parts necessary for the vehicle to work properly. This is a problem that is know by diamler Chrysler; however, a recall has not been issued.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #14

Jan 112009

PT Cruiser

  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving approximately 40 mph, the engine unexpectedly stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and resume normal operation. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis and they advised that the engine had overheated and caused the failure. The turbo engine was replaced previously in 2009. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 152010

PT Cruiser

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph when the passenger air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for repairs. After the repairs were made the air bag light stopped illuminating but all the warning lights on the instrument panel began illuminating and fluctuating intermittently. In addition, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not further repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 242010

PT Cruiser

  • 62,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 PT CRUISER touring edition in September of 2010, less then one month later the car began pouring out oil. Took to a mechanic who stated it was either the crank shaft or cam shaft seals. Called the dealership where car was purchased and they said they would make the repairs. The car was returned within a week with a new head gasket, cam shaft seal and crank shaft seal and since it was right at 62,000 miles a new water pump and timing belt. 1 month later the car was again leaking oil. Car is in shop currently, not sure what they have decided to do with the vehicle.

- Blanch, NC, USA

problem #11

Oct 152010

PT Cruiser

  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The vehicle was parked when the contact noticed oil leaking from the engine. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the technician stated that the crank shaft was leaking. The vehicle was repaired but oil continued to leak. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the technician stated the engine needed to be removed in order to determine if they could diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Crozet, VA, USA

problem #10

Oct 012008

PT Cruiser

  • 25,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER that is stalling out at random times. It has stalled out getting onto freeway, at full speed on the freeway in front of trucks. It stalls out in intersections. I've had it in the shop a number of times and even purchased an extended warranty. I've been told Chrysler has rules about checking to see if there are problems w/ other cars like mine. I've found quite a bit of information on the internet regarding the same problem. I'm not getting anywhere. I need help. I've paid thousands of dollars for work on the car at the dealership and warranty to drive a car that is still not safe. I can't afford to buy a new one and nobody will help me. This has been going on for approximately 2 years. I am estimating mileage when this started to be approximately 25,000 miles on the car. It was still under factory warranty. Now I have 46907 miles on the car and the problem still exists. It seems to be worse when it is hot outside. The dealerships responses in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi have all been the same. We can't find the problem. We don't have any record of any pts having the same problem. Internet searches show this is not an isolated problem. Today I was told by the dealership in flowood, ms that the car isn't going to be made after Friday; making the parts to try to fix this problem harder moving forward. I or someone around me in my car or another car are going to be killed.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #9

May 052010

PT Cruiser

  • 38,000 miles
It appears that the crankshaft on 2006 PT CRUISER does have a inherent built-in flaw that allows the crankshaft to move along its axis more than it should. After a while this causes the main crank seal to pop out and a significant oil leak to happen. It looks from reading over various forums that this problem occurs as early as 10,000 miles and is known by Chrysler although not yet classified as a recall. This is a safety issue a major oil leak whilst running can have major consequences for the user and others. In my case the problem was identified before an incident happens with the oil pressure reading abnormally high but I understand this can happen unexpectedly.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

May 152008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving at speeds of 50 mph or more, the vehicle would stall. The contact also stated that the vehicle would unintentionally switch gears from drive to reverse without driver intent. The vehicle switched gears without warning while driving in reverse and the vehicle crashed into a mailbox. There was moderate rear end damage to the vehicle. The failure would occur intermittently. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and there were no repairs performed on the vehicle. There contact did not report any injuries. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage vehicle was 40,000. Updated 7/16/10 updated 07/22/10

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 042008

PT Cruiser

  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While the engine was turned on and the air conditioner was activated, the vehicle would overheat. He noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment. The dealer inspected the vehicle and found no failures. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current mileage was approximately 30,000 and failure mileage was approximately 29,000.

- Corona, NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 012008

PT Cruiser

  • 28,000 miles
Dear sir/madam: I have a 2006 chyrsler PT CRUISER hatchback, and for the past year I have experienced complete shutdowns of the engine while driving. It happens unexpectedly, I have no warning and it is scary. I feel very unsafe in the car. I have brought the car to two different Chrysler dealerships in Florida, and both told me there was no problem. First of all, they obviously could not duplicate the problem, so I feel like they wrote it off as operator error. I don't care what their diagnosis computer said, there is a definite problem with the engine computer in my car. To shutdown unexpectedly, at anytime is totally unsafe and a serious safety risk to me and the traveling public. Both my daughters have driven the car at separate times and experienced the same shutdowns. This is a liability issue that needs to be taken care and no one at Chrysler will listen. Please help me to get Chrysler to understand this is a serious safety issue before someone gets killed. Their dealerships do not seem to care. Sincerely, clara johnson

- Palmetto, FL, USA

problem #5

Jul 032008

PT Cruiser

  • 45,000 miles
Throttle solenoid stuck in open position causing 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER to impact another vehicle.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #4

Mar 292008

PT Cruiser

  • miles
2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER with several safety issues. Consumer states that the vehicle was involved in and accident with everything in the vehicle locked including the brakes the vehicle kept moving and only driver side airbags deployed. Prior to the accident the consumer had other problems with the vehicle such as: The engine stalling, the engine light illuminated, the rear glass blew out. The instrument panel lights would go after.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #3

Nov 112006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Starting around Nov of 2006 while driving at any speed, the instrument cluster indicator lights turn on; all the gauges go dead I.e. the speedometer, the tachometer, the gas gauge all go to zero. The warning sounds beep constantly. The 2006 PT CRUISER will lose power and/or severely hesitates, power steering will fail, the brakes will fail, I have had to use the hand brake one to many times to slow the car down. I have had several near misses with other vehicles on the roads. I curb the car twice, damaging my tires once, so as to not hit other drivers. This has been happening for over a year now. I have taking it massey-yardley where I bought the pt, to have looked at over a dozen maybe even more I have lost count, I have tried to lemon the car, Chrysler stated that there is nothing wrong with the car because the dealership has not reproduce the problem. I have taking the pt to other dealerships with the same result. Just recently I took the car in again to massey-yardley for poor gas mileage and the same power problem, this time with a check engine light active, in Nov of 2007, the dealership said it was a bad instrument cluster and a bad oxygen sensor, which they replaced. I am still having the above stated problem, the dealership stated on Nov 16 of 2007 they know something is wrong but since they cannot reproduce the error to trouble shoot it they will not fix it. The dealership also said since I'm not happy with the results I should go to another dealership to have it looked at! I'm going to do that but it's hard when you have to work! plus massey-yardley will not give me a statement to that fact of unknown defect in writing.

- Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 042007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,735 miles
New 2006 PT CRUISER with 6700 miles started dripping oil at first, and then large puddles started to appear. Took the car to dealer where after a day I was told that the main crank seal was leaking and both cam shaft seals were found to be wet with oil. Dealer replaced crankshaft seal and cam seals. Picked up the car and the following day the car started to leak puddles of oil again. Car was returned to the dealer where the engine was torn down twice in attempt to find the leak a die was also added to the oil to try and locate the source of the leak. After one day I was offered a loaner vehicle and was told they found the source of the leak, the main crank seal was leaking again and they would have to order parts. The next day I was told while ordering the necessary parts a technical service bulletin (tsb) issued by Chrysler was found and it stated a defect with the block was causing the crankshaft to walk back and forth crushing the seal. A new engine block was ordered and installed.

- Brookpark, OH, USA

problem #1

Jul 082006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 4,200 miles
I have a new 2006 Chrysler PT CRUISER limited. It has approx 4200 miles on it. Last weekend it started heavily leaking oil from the front of the engine. The oil level was down almost 3 quarts when I discovered it, and still no indication on the dashboard. I took the car to Town & Country Chrysler in levittown NY, Monday morning. Tuesday they diagnose the main cam seal had burst. They believe it was caused by an incorrect bore size on the block. They will have to install a new engine block in the car. If the diagnoses is correct, engine blocks to my knowledge are not bored out by hand, but by robotics. Therefore I am certain my isn't or won't be the only complaint..this might be a quality control issue.

- East Meadow, NY, USA

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