Question about 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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After tune up runs rough and overheats

After tune up runs rough and fan wont come on causing overheating

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Check the fan fuse or relay

Posted on Jun 01, 2009

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Why does my car engine overheat after 25 minutes driving? open road or town. also has rough idling.


1. Make sure the electric radiator fan(s) is kicking in when the coolant temperature gets hot. If not that will be part of the problem and if the temperature sensor/switch is faulty the fans may not operate.

2. You may have a restriction in the cooling system that is significantly retarding the flow of coolant through the engine coolant passages or through the radiator. This can be caused by a build up of debris in the system so you cannot achieve optimum coolant flow.


3. You may have a combustion leak via a failed cylinder head gasket into the cooling system. This will cause hot combustion gasses to flow from the cylinder into the cooling system and the coolant will overheat. Bubbles showing up in the cooling system is a possible indication of that. A leak down test will show this up. This involves blowing compressed air into the cylinders one by one through the spark plug openings. If air enters the cooling system in this test bubbles will appear in the coolant and it is a sign of a failed cylinder head gasket and that combustion gasses are able to escape into the cooling system when the engine is running.

4. THE rough idle may be a low RPM miss fire in one or more cylinders. You need to have the vehicle scanned to see what fault codes the computer is generating. If you have rough idle once the engine has warmed up there will be one or more fault codes being generated. Once scanned and all the fault codes are found, the cause of the fault codes can be investigated and the problem fixed.



5. Do not hesitate to have the problem of the overheating checked out. Running the car with the engine overheating WILL cause expensive engine damage many times more than it will cost to fix the problem now. If you have been running the engine frequently in an overheated condition you may well have already caused failure of the cylinder head gasket but I hope this is not the case. Running the engine overheated can also cause the cylinder head to warp and crack. These are expensive engine repairs you definitely want to avoid.

6. You did not indicate the year, model of vehicle and engine type you have. Please provide this information if you have future questions as this normally has a direct bearing on the content of answers people are able to provide.

Feb 22, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Truck is overheating and have already replaced the thermastat


Here are 10 tips to address with any overheating problem:

1. Many cars overheat from more than one problem. Often we assume a bigger radiator or a similar big gun solution will fix our problem. Maybe it will, but often by so doing you are addressing the symptom and not the cause. Many cars over the years pick up little annoyances that contribute to overheating. Individually none of them would overheat your car. Collectively you have an overheating problem. Look at the whole car when addressing overheating problems.

2. Before you do anything else, tune up the car. Many overheating cars are out of tune, Be dead nuts certain you are not running lean or with retarded timing.
A lean fuel mixture will overheat your car right now. If your engine runs lean you can chase your tail looking for problems in the cooling system and never figure it out. Be sure you are not running lean. The easy way to do this is richen your jetting a couple of steps. If the overheating is better, you're on the right track.

3. There is a lot of misinformation about ignition timing and cooling. Retarded timing contributes to overheating. Advanced timing helps cooling. Bump up your initial timing a few degrees and see if it helps the car run cooler. It's an easy and practical fix. Of course, if you advance enough to enter pre-ignition or detonation you will start to overheat. Detonation contributes to overheating. If you start to detonate back off the timing. Overheating cars should always run vacuum advance. Vacuum advance helps cooling.

4. Cars can overheat from coolant circulation that is either too slow or too fast. When your car left the factory it probably had the correct speed for the water pump. Over the years things change, pulleys are swapped, rear end ratios are changed, tire sizes vary. Your car may not have the right circulation speed for the water pump. Remember cars can overheat from circulation that is either too fast or too slow.

5. Look at your airflow. Be sure your shroud fits properly and is sealed to the radiator. What'd ya mean you don't have a fan shroud??!!?? If not, obtain a shroud before you do anything else. You can adapt a shroud from the junkyard or many after market suppliers can provide you one. Seal the shroud to the radiator with weather stripping.

6. The best all around fan is the factory design with a thermal fan clutch. Flex fans aren't as versatile, Solid fans pull lots of air but are noisy and suck horsepower when you don't need the extra cooling.
If you need extra air flow there are many electric fans on the market that can help. Be sure your charging system is up to the task of handling the extras amps from an electric fan.

7. Reduce the antifreeze in your coolant. A 50/50 mixture does not help cooling. Either run 100% distilled water with water pump lubricant or distilled water with about 15-20 % antifreeze. Either mixture will cool better than 50/50 and still lubricate the water pump and provide corrosion protection for your system. Remember when the weather turns cool to switch back to 50/50.

8. Use a better grade of gas. If you are not running premium and you are overheating, step up to the top grade. If there is no improvement, try advancing your timing a few degrees. The extra octane will allow you a little extra timing without getting into detonation. Many older cars and particular muscle cars were designed for better gas (4 or 5 star, > 98 octane) than is now available. If you are detonating on today's gas you can be overheating. Remember not all detonation is audible.

9. If you are running an automatic, install a quality after market transmission cooler. Cooling the transmission is added work for an already overtaxed radiator. Do not mount the cooler in front of the radiator where it will overheat the cooling air. Rather mount it to one side.

10. Notice your driving habits. The more gas you burn the more heat the engine produces. Jackrabbit starts followed by hard braking, constant acceleration, flogging the engine uphill, all burn lots of gas. Yes, these are performance cars and that's why we love them. We're not saying don't enjoy your car, but if you are constantly into the accelerator, you are producing extra heat that the cooling system has to get rid of.

Compared to the expense of buying parts in a hit and miss fashion to solve your problem, investing in researching the origin of the issue is a downright good investment.

Arnoud Malherbe

(text based on information from varioussources on the internet)

Aug 01, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Car overheat when first run turn car off and back on and car run cool


You might need to replace fan assembly and/or thermostat. Mine was overheating only when stopped at traffic lights. Only one fan was working and would cause the car to overheat. Working great after fan swap.

Jun 20, 2012 | 2002 Dodge Intrepid

1 Answer

Car overheating


First confirm that the engine IS actually overheating - steam, no heat to the interior etc. Sometimes a temperature sensor will fail and give a misleading 'overheat' reading on gauge. For that matter sometimes the gauge can fail and give the same misleading reading. Check that the cooling fan comes on when the engine temperature starts to rise above 'normal'. If not check (in order) fan fuse, fan relay, fan sensor, fan. Real overheating is caused by a lack of coolant AND/OR lack of coolant flow. Modern cooling systems are 'closed'. In other words there should be little or no loss of coolant. If the level is significantly low you have a leak....either external or internal. With the coolant topped up to the correct level and the radiator cap on, run the engine and look for visible leaks...hoses, valves, radiator etc. Internal leaks, eg. head gasket will usually be accompanied by white exhaust smoke (steam), hard starting, rough running and bubbles in the expansion tank. Sometimes, though NOT always, you will find the engine oil has a milky look and/or engine oil will be mixed in with the coolant.

Aug 15, 2011 | Infiniti G35 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Overheating runs rough


Hello and welcome to FixYa!


If you have overheating problem, it can lead to multiple issues. You may be running on low coolant that's why the vehicle overheats. If that's the case, please add coolant and make sure that it sits on the right level, too much coolant can cause overheating too for coolant will overflow.


The vehicle may have a faulty or worn out radiator blower motor that's why it overheats. If that's the case then you will need a blower motor replacement to resolve the issue.


If the radiator is clogged with dirt and rusts this issue occurs too. The coolant doesn't flow normally on the cooling system if it's clogged. If that's the case, I strongly suggest that you have the radiator flushed to drain out dirt and rusts. If you think that the radiator served you enough then it's better to have it replaced.


Please do check the radiator hoses, If you have worn out hoses it can cause coolant leakage which can result to overheating. A tiny hole is good enough for the vehicle to overheat.


A faulty thermostat sensor can cause the issue too. If you have worn out thermostat, the fan may not trigger that's why the fan won't work when under stressed conditions. A blown radiator blower fuse can cause this issue too so I suggest that you check the radiator blower fuse and replace it when necessary.


Hope you find this information helpful enough and thank you for using FixYa! Have a good one!

Apr 16, 2011 | 1998 Volkswagen Jetta

1 Answer

Overheats, and wont switch gears at times.


Well overheating and not starting are possibly 2 different issues. Oil is not the cause of overheating. Thermostat, water pump, electric fans and viscous fan are causes for overheating plus the sensors that control the fans. Not starting could be caused by the overheating but most likely its a fuel or ignition issue.

Jul 29, 2009 | 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

1 Answer

2000 Plymouth Voyager Overheating


cOOLING fAN tURNS ON @ 210-230 dEG. tEMP sENSOR bAD & OR fAN relay cAN cAUSE THIS pROBLEM

Jun 02, 2009 | 1998 Plymouth Voyager

1 Answer

Car overheating


First, plastic tube may be the overflow vent from the coolant bottle.Check to see where the attached end goes. You are going to have to check engine for coolant leaks (carefully refill system without spilling anything, then look for dripping anywhere. Look for leaks from all hoses, fittings radiator, water pump etc) After checking for leaks, start it up and check again (watch where you put your hands though) While running, check that the fan comes on when the vehicle reaches operating temp.(no fan, check fan motor, sensor & relay) Turn the heat on (does it have heat?) Check temp of lower hose and upper hose. If overheat happens, is lower hose still cold? (likely bad thermostat). If you found a leak, replace whatever is leaking...best insurance is to change thermostat after any overheat. Last, is there any white smoke from tailpipe, does engine run rough? If so, could be a failed head gasket or crack in cylinder head. (at this point last thing to worry about unless there is excessive smoke or rough run or oil in radiator or coolant in oil).

Feb 24, 2009 | 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue

1 Answer

Rough idle and intermittant misfire


I have a 2006 with 37800 miles was told today that the fan motor and radiator must be replaced. When the car started to overheat due to the fan motor not running fast enough it blew the freon out too so now a/c wont work either. The bill is close to 1000.00 Dodge offer to pay for labor as GOOD WILL GESTURE 144.00 to be exact. I have taken it in over and over with the same complaint you have described and was told to get a tune up so I did. Warranty espired exactly 3 weeks ago. My sugestiojn would be to sell the damn thing!

Aug 04, 2008 | 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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