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01' PT Cruiser Overheating

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by Hawley01PTCruiser, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Hawley01PTCruiser

    Hawley01PTCruiser New Member

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    Since we bought our 01' PT Cruiser (40k miles), she's been overheating even on the shortest drives. We read other owners' experiences and what their fixes were. Here's what fixed the problem for us. (My husband did all the work and yes, it took time. He had to take the front of the car off.)
    He cleaned out the radiator in between the air conditioner and the radiator. Seven inches of stuff (dirt, leaves, etc.) clogged the radiator. He was cleaning out some of it with toothpicks! He then flushed the radiator. He also replaced two o-rings in the radiator drain. Now she never overheats.
    While he was in there, he saw that the air conditioner was disconnected! (We had the A/C on our list to fix.) He plugged it in and guess what? Yes, the air conditioning now works. Who knew. : /
    My husband said (after he did the work) that every time he sees a PT Cruiser on the road that it's like seeing a miracle in action.
    Yeah, they're hard to work on.
    Now she drives well and we have A/C! : )
     
    chuzz and ImperialCrown like this.
  2. Hawley01PTCruiser

    Hawley01PTCruiser New Member

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    The car had been running great until we went over a mountain. Climbing the hill, the engine started to get hot. I turned on the heat and opened all the windows and was able to keep the temp just below overheating. So...we're trouble shooting again. Has anyone installed an aftermarket fan that can cool it better? Other ideas?
     
  3. CudaPete

    Ad-Free Member

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    Check radiator cap and for correct 50/50 coolant water mixture.
     
  4. Hawley01PTCruiser

    Hawley01PTCruiser New Member

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    Already replaced the radiator cap. The coolent mixture is spot on. Other ideas?
     
  5. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    If it overheats at speed, but the temperature is fine at idle, I would consider replacing the radiator. It may be scaled up enough to inhibit good effective heat transfer at speed. Basically, the radiator cannot displace the extra heat.

    If the current fan is working, a new fan won't necessarily help. At speeds above 35 mph the fan shuts off and the ram air should provide effective heat transfer. The radiator fan only operates at low speeds (below 35 mph) when the coolant gets hot enough.
     
    pt006 and Gerry G like this.
  6. Hawley01PTCruiser

    Hawley01PTCruiser New Member

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    Okay-thanks for the ideas. We'll look at the radiator.
     
  7. mr2tim

    mr2tim Member

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    I've not been getting any quality thermo stats lately and when I recently started overheating my 4 year old thermostat had crapped out.
     
  8. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    Check the hose going to the overflow bottle too. If it has a hole or crack in it, that will cause problems. And check all of your hose clamps too, especially if someone has replaced any with the screw/worm type instead of the oem spring clamps. A loose hose clamp can drive you nuts!
     
  9. guitarjerry

    guitarjerry Active Member

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    I've seen a few times where a 2.4l gets just above halfway between C and H and starts boiling over. Kinda looks like a head gasket, doesn't it?, but yet usually the problem is the cooling fan, it needs to have two speeds that work. Check the fan and the relays if necessary. Unlike older chrysler engines, this is not designed to get up to about 2/3 hot on the gauge and be fine, it's actually boiling over.

    The last time I saw one of these with overheating issues I didn't have what I needed to check the relays but I pulled the fan out and connected 12v to 2 of the 3 wires at a time and one speed didn't work. One wire is ground, the other 2 are the 2 speeds. It stopped boiling over when I put in the new fan
     
  10. guitarjerry

    guitarjerry Active Member

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    First time I did a timing belt on one of these it took about 18 hrs spread over 3 days. 2nd time, 5 and 1/2 hrs. I would say they aren't really hard to work on exactly, once you have done a certain job and know how it is put together, it can be alot faster. However for anyone that doesn't work on them all the time like a mechanic, this makes it hard to work on. The older chryslers were much easier to work on, I blame Daimler, these PTs are very much stacked together more like a german vehicle, I think
     
    djsamuel likes this.
  11. djsamuel

    Level 2 Supporter

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    Agree. Once you know the sequence of parts to remove and install, it really isn't too difficult. I've changed the timing belts in my PT several times as well as my daughter's and I get faster each time. I compare it to a jigsaw puzzle.
     
  12. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Because of the 'retro' pontoon fender and narrow hood styling, access from up top is tight. The repair operations from inside the wheelwells (with the wheel and splash shield off) and from underneath are pretty spacious.
     
    djsamuel likes this.

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