Allpar Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First off I have an 02, and an 03 PT cruiser and I'm a fairly knowledgeable person as far as cruisers and cars in general. With that said, my 03 that I just bought (used from an old man with pt never gets drove syndrome lol) started overheating not even a week after I bought it. The previous owner said he had just replaced the water pump but the signs pointed at the pump. You filled the radiator up and when it got overtemp (not over heated) I would let it cool down and check and there was nothing above the thermostat....I figured 1 in a million bad new pump. put in new pump...stilll over heating. changed cap...still overheating. Finally I said well I'll take the thermostat completely out (I had already changed it).....and now I have found water is magically disappearing. I fill it up everyday, and it runs below temp. No leaks around head. No smoke (steam) out the exhaust. Only weird thing is when you shut the car off water bubbles into the overflow yet the temp is still below temp. Oh...and the fan works. So for my question....Does anyone think it's the radiator BC I really don't know at this point. Could a clogged radiator be the problem? Anyone else scratched there head as hard as me?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,042 Posts
I'd go to the nearest auto parts store like the Zone or Advance and rent a pressure tester and check the system. If that's truly a "little old man" car that rarely got driven, I'd suspect the radiator is scaled up and has poor water flow. Either that or maybe you got a reverse flow water pump? Is that even possible with a PT?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,352 Posts
By 'water', you mean 50/50 HOAT coolant? Never run straight water.
A plugged radiator is always a possibility without knowing the history and at this mileage. Always use a HOAT coolant as recommended in the manual.
A CO2 gas check of the coolant in the engine may show a leaking head gasket, don't go by the appearance (or not) of steam as an indicator. The indicator should remain blue, if it turns green then CO2 (combustion gases) is present. Diagnose first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well I guess for my next question...I don't have a hayes manual....does anyone know what the pressure should be when I pressure check it? I have never used a pressure tester and was kinda hoping someone knew what to look for/ how to properly diagnose with the tester. I can rent one, I just checked. If worse comes to worse I could buy a book, there always good to have.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,074 Posts
Pretty simple. Attach the pump to the neck of the radiator and pump it up like a ball pump, the radiator cap itself should indicate around 16-18psi.

PT Cruisers are really hard to overheat because there is an air pocket in the engine, but doing a little burp is pretty easy. Need to get that thermostat in, but before you do that, with the engine cold, remove the cap, turn on the engine and watch what happens. If you have air bubbles, head gasket. If no bubbles, not the head gasket. One place air can stay in the system is the heater core. If when checking/burping/filling the radiator and the heater is turned off, you will have a constant pocket that is able to expand and push water out.

So do the cold radiator cap off/check for air bubbles, turn the heater to full heat, rev a couple times to make sure that is not the reason, then shut her down, pressure test before she gets warm, then the CO2 gas check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Times 2 on the pressure test. Give it an HOUR or two to see what the pressure does or does not do. I just attended and graduated from the school of the hardest knocks on cooling system mysteries. I could not lay my hands on a pressure tester (1,200 mile round trip).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
First off I have an 02, and an 03 PT cruiser and I'm a fairly knowledgeable person as far as cruisers and cars in general. With that said, my 03 that I just bought (used from an old man with pt never gets drove syndrome lol) started overheating not even a week after I bought it. The previous owner said he had just replaced the water pump but the signs pointed at the pump. You filled the radiator up and when it got overtemp (not over heated) I would let it cool down and check and there was nothing above the thermostat....I figured 1 in a million bad new pump. put in new pump...stilll over heating. changed cap...still overheating. Finally I said well I'll take the thermostat completely out (I had already changed it).....and now I have found water is magically disappearing. I fill it up everyday, and it runs below temp. No leaks around head. No smoke (steam) out the exhaust. Only weird thing is when you shut the car off water bubbles into the overflow yet the temp is still below temp. Oh...and the fan works. So for my question....Does anyone think it's the radiator BC I really don't know at this point. Could a clogged radiator be the problem? Anyone else scratched there head as hard as me?
I have an 02 that has a similar problem did you ever come up with an answer as to why it overheated????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,423 Posts
You have checked the pressure cap on the radiator (a few chrysler vehicles that the radiator is lower than the engine it might be on the engine)?

It wasn't till a few years later that chrysler switched to pressure caps on the reserviours.

Bubbling coolant into the reserviour is a sign of a bad pressure cap and you can just check the hoses when it hot to see if its holding pressure. If NOT, again it could be a bad pressure cap or a leak.

Most chrysler vehicles are 16PSI, the last 10 years many have shifted to 18PSI. Test to either, 18psi in a 16psi system isn't going to hurt anything for a one hour test, 16psi in a 18psi system, if its leaking 16psi will show the leak.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top