Question about 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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I would like to know what do I need to check first on a 2003 PT Cruiser if it is running hot Could it be the pressure cap? I have already had a pressure check, and it was ok.

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  • karolinagirl Jun 20, 2009

    what consist of servicing the cooling system?, and do you think it may be my cooling fan?

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 May 11, 2010

    Radiator fan/relay, Thermostat, water pump (in that order)



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  • Chrysler Master
  • 3,854 Answers

You may want to service the cooling system if it has never been done before. The thermostat may have gone bad and needs to be replaced if it has never been replaced since the PT is 6 years old. After changing the thermostat flush out the old antifreeze and replace with new antifreeze with a mixture of 50/50 antifreeze/water. straight water will boil and steam out and straight antifreeze will over heat since it does not have the same heat transfer as water that's why your mix them 50/50. Old antifreeze will have a higher antifreeze concentration since the water will evaporate. Good luck and hope this helps, keep me posted. Be glad to help.

Posted on Jun 20, 2009

  • Harvey N Tawatao
    Harvey N Tawatao Jun 20, 2009

    Question, do you hear the radiator fan come on when you turn on the a/c??? if you do then the fans are good, The other thing is do you hear the fan come on when your at idle when the engine get's hot??? If the fans do not come on, check the fuse box at the engine compartment by the battery and look for and bad fuse and the fan relay that should be labeled. If the fans are working good then do a cooling system flush and replace the thermostat. If there is a Auto Zone around your area, your can buy the thermostat and they will have the step by step instruction to do the job and also they will have the antifreeze premixed 50/50 so you don't have to worry about mixing it. The way i understand is when the engine get's to 185 on the temperature gauge, it triggers the ecm to activate the radiator fan which also runs off the a/c over ride to turn on the fans. We can start with that and hope it's not a weak water pump which means we are going to need to replace if it has gone bad. Keep me posted, be glad to help friend. Recap check to see the fans do work, flush out the old cooling system and replace with new fluid and replace the thermostat.



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A lot of people overlook the simple overflow tank cap. If this cap loses the psi pressure it requires to hold then it can make the engine run hot because it's losing pressure. Think about it like this, if you have ever had a radiator to leak, the water level could be good, but the temp gauge shows it overheats. This is because the system isn't holding the pressure. The cap cost about $7. I'm not saying this will fix the problem but it is overlooked and fixes the problem on a lot of over heating cars.

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This is only a DIY check list of probable faults.
1. Electrical failure thro' the Fuses and Relays that energise the Compressor clutch.
2. Lack of Freon in the System,
3.Split Hi or Lo pressure hoses, due to chafing on the engine or body work, causing pressure loss.
4. Failed Expansion valve.
5. Leaking coupling joint seals in system.
6. Broken Drive belt for the Compressor.
7. Failed Compressor Clutch Electric windings,
8. Failed Hi pressure hose/pipe In line switch, that also enegises the compressor clutch.
9. Defective Thermostat in the Evaporator core.
10.Holed Condenser permitting pressure loss.
Best of luck on the fault finding trail.
I suggest a trip to Walmart, to acquire the low cost Charge canisters to find the pressure loss fault,if it is not in the other fault suggestions.
Regards DT

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