Question about 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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We have a 2002 PT Cruiser. A week ago Sunday it had a flat tire, so we took it in and got a new tire. While we were there we had the oil changed. We drove it back to my son's college apartment. He drove it for the first time Tuesday morning. 2 mile drive to campus the oil pressure light came on - it dinged and the car started to heat up. He got it parked and called us. We went a few hours later small puddle of oil leak there and at apartment. My husband was able to drive it back to Wal-Mart. We were told the problem was we had an expander plug, and that his guys shouldn't have touched it, but didn't know better. Sent us to Auto Zone twice. Said there was no gasket in it. Near closing said "I'll try to put the expander back in". Sent us home with warning that it could fall out at any time. On Wed. we filed a claim with Wal-Mart. Finally talked on Monday to claims person Monday had car towed, Replaced Oil Pan. Picked up this morning started overheating in the 10-15 mile range. Everything worked perfectly before owned it for 1.5 years. Help ?

Posted by Anonymous on

6 Suggested Answers

6ya6ya
  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Mike258
  • 1498 Answers

SOURCE: 2003 PT Cruiser overheating

Hi Shannon,

Since the vehicle is already at the mechanics, the standard check this and that scenarios don't apply. I also try to refrain from judging a situation that I'm not in front of, but something isn't quite right.

In case you are being taken advantage of, knowledge is power and I'm going to do my best to empower you. So let's get to the right questions to ask your mechanic.

  • I find it disturbing that it took only five miles to overheat.If they filled it with coolant and enough leaked out to allow it to overheat in under ten minutes, that leak should have been apparent. Did they not even check?
  • Did they take it for a test drive? At least run it until it warmed up? If so, HOW DID THEY NOT NOTICE? If not, HOW DID THEY FILL IT? The engine needs to be running to circulate the coolant, to get rid of air pockets remaining in the engine as you fill the radiator. For this to happen, the engine needs to be warm enough for the thermostat to open and allow circulation. Again, how did they not notice?
  • What about the oil? Another leak? From where? Did they check?
  • Was the radiator new? If not, why $400. If so, where is the old one? (You might call a local salvage yard for their price on a replacement)
  • Did they flush the system?
  • Did they check the thermostat?
  • Did they try to figure out why the radiator cracked? Was it just a crack or what looked like a blowout?
  • Did they check the hoses
  • Did they check the water pump? Was it leaking through the weep hole or shaft? Was the coolant circulating? Was it discolored? Was there evidence of oil in it? How much coolant was added? How much should it take? (Good one, eh?)
Things to make note of:
  • Have you noticed water pooling where you park?
  • Loss of power
  • Excess smoke
  • Oil in the coolant
  • Coolant in the oil
These (not necessarily all) symptoms can be indicative of a problem with the head gasket. The best way to check is with a compression test on all cylinders. This is done by pulling the spark plugs, attaching a pressure gauge and turning the engine once. This is repeated for each cylinder. All pressures should be close. If one or more is significantly less than the others, the cylinder is not containing the compressed gasses within. The symptoms you described along with any one of those on my list should have prompted this test.

Every one of the questions (just about every one) I put down would be reasonable if your car kept working perfectly the first time. I did get on a bit of a rant, please forgive me for that.
When asking them:
  • You should speak to the person that did the work (so he doesn't have to 'go check with whoever' to get their stories straight).
  • You should expect clear concise responses. If he starts going over your head with 'Techno-Babble', stop him and say, "Plain English, start again please".
  • His demeanor should be embarrassed and trying to make it right, convince you he knows his stuff and this was just a fluke. (Possible, I've been hit by lightning, but what were the odds?)
I hope there is a reasonable explanation, I don't like to think ill of anyone. I also will not stand for violating professional ethics or people being ripped off.

If these guys are trying to pull a fast one, they are lazy by nature. They are hoping for the same in those they take advantage of. Being prepared is key.

If you have one of those digital voice recorders, make sure it has fresh batteries and set it to record. The second you start asking questions you have the momentum, they are on the defensive.

Ask as many questions as you want. If you don't get straight answers, if you get waffling, condescension or BS, have them get your car ready to go, Don't pay them another dime. And as you leave, ask my final question: Do you guys know a good mechanic?

If you decide to take them to court, that recording is evidence. Their response to that question will likely win you the case.

I hope I have given you enough ammo to get to the bottom of this. If you need anything else comment me back, I'll respond as soon as I get it.

Either way, please let me know what happens. Can you tell I have issues with a certain type of 'business person'? ;-)

Best Regards,
Mike

Posted on Feb 13, 2009

  • 95 Answers

SOURCE: Car died at the stoplight. Oil light came on.

Probably blowed it. Sorry to say. You can continue to crank it but it probably already seized a bearing. Run a pressure check on the oil.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

kidspeedy
  • 321 Answers

SOURCE: Oil sending unit replaced still have problem

unfortunatly the dealer will not allways be upfront and completely honest with you about things like this.truth is the high milage is the reason the light comes on cause its got a lot of wear on the oil pump and an increase of gaps in all the places that the oil goes to.
if you would like that light to turn off all you will need to do is change your oil over to a high milage oil or even maybe a thicker weight oil or a straight weight oil.like a valvoline racing 40 or 50 weight.

hope this helps
thank you
jm

Posted on Jun 18, 2009

  • 94 Answers

SOURCE: 02 PT Cruiser LE w' Code P0340

My thought is to get a refund from the shop that tried to replace parts in order to secure your problem. The job of the shop is to diagnose the problem, not to replace items that may be the problem. Chrysler Master Techs are not trained to just replace parts, they fix the problem by diagnosing it properly.

You need to see a Chrysler dealership so they can attach a DRBIII and tell you exactly what is at stake.

I hope this helps you. I would be mad as heck.

I would not think the plugs and wires would be the problem because they would all have to fail at the same time to provide the symptom you experienced.

1. Get your money back
2. DRBIII

Posted on Jul 11, 2009

  • 490 Answers

SOURCE: 2002 PT Cruiser LE (no Turbo) Overheating. (Fan

There is no machine for this,however a VERY skilled auto electric shop might be able to help.They really have to have a Gift with car wiring to fix your problem,it can be FIXED,find the right shop in your area.I will try and think this through to help you,this is what I used to do,It's not a book problem it is experience that will fix your car. I do have a question? How does your car run without the AC on?

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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