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2002 PT cruiser /overheating

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by geraldg, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. geraldg

    geraldg Active Member Ad-Free Member

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    Was looking at one and it said it overheated on long drives, Don't know what engine but could it be the head gasket ?
     
  2. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Could be a scaled up radiator, stuck thermostat or just low on coolant (don't overlook the simple stuff). Head gasket is a possibility as well. As I recall the PT's had either a 2.0L or 2.4L engine.
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    Although the 2.0L is listed, all U.S. PTs that I have ever seen are 2.4L.
    A coolant sample can be tested for the presence of CO2 gas, which would be a likely head gasket combustion leak into the water jacket. Diagnose first.
     
    Doug D likes this.
  4. dana44

    dana44 Well-Known Member Ad-Free Member

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    Yeah, they don't heat up unless a couple of problems have occurred. Low on fluid, as in the overflow is good, but the radiator level is low, so when cooled down, pop the cap and see what it is looking like. Head gasket leaks pushing the fluid out of the engine and into the overflow and overheating, cooling fans not coming on at all, and yes, blocked radiator.
     
  5. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Member

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    Make sure BOTH electric radiator fans are working.
     
  6. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    When the present owner says that it overheats on long drives, is he talking about sustained highway driving (where the cooling fans wouldn't be used)? Or can it overheat while in 'stop and go' type traffic (where the cooling fans might be needed)? I believe that this is a single cooling fan with both high and low speed control.
    Are there any other 'overheat' symptoms besides an elevated temperature gauge?
     
  7. geraldg

    geraldg Active Member Ad-Free Member

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    How hard is it to hot wire the fans so they run all the time, if that is the problem.
     
  8. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    You don't really want to do that. Diagnose first.
     
    valiant67 likes this.
  9. geraldg

    geraldg Active Member Ad-Free Member

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    If I buy it and have to drive it home I would like this as a option. I would find out more but if the fans relay is bad this would help. I also know that to keep a car from overheating you can use the heater because basically it is another radiator.
     
  10. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    If you can drive home at speeds of 25 mph or above, then it won't matter if the radiator fan is running or not. The incoming air will cool the radiator sufficiently.
    A heater core can disperse some heat, maybe enough to keep the temp safe.
    If the head gasket is blown and pushing coolant out of the radiator and into the reservoir, then it will overheat no matter what.
     
  11. geraldg

    geraldg Active Member Ad-Free Member

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    If I go to check it out and find it has a blown head gasket I will walk away, to much work.
     
  12. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    If you ever had to replace the water pump and timing belt on one of these, you'd never buy another one. I know I sure won't.
     
  13. geraldg

    geraldg Active Member Ad-Free Member

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    After thinking it over I decided to pass on the car, thanks for all the help.
     
  14. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Member

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    A friend rented an early PT and it had the 2.0 Liter, and it was under powered to the point of being scary getting on an expressway. Later on he bought a used PT which had the 2.4 plenty of pep.
     
  15. dana44

    dana44 Well-Known Member Ad-Free Member

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    I still wish they would have dropped a 3.3/3.8 under the hood. The turbo was nice, but I like the extra cylinders and beef of a V6 over the 4 cylinder 2.4. Although porting the head did help quite a bit.