Question about 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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My 2002 PT Cruiser is over heating and only cools with the heater on. It happened last year in July, the radiator was empty and I let it cool down and then filled it with fluid and have not had a problem with it until yesterday. It was sitting at idle for about 20 min and reached the red line hot level and as soon as I noticed I shut the car off, let it cool then added a whole thing of anti freeze and drove it for the rest of the day without problems. Today I drove it for about an hour and it started over heating again. I checked and it is full of fluid. I purchased a new radiator cap and the problem is still happening. Again if I keep the heater on high and at full speed it does not over heat. What is your opinion on what I need to do to fix it?

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It sounds to me like you have an intermittent Cooling system thermostat failure. The thermostat opens and closes the coolant circulation to the radiator. The heating system "core" is also a radiator, but is is a small one. When you use it with the fan on High, it allows you to get by even though you may be slow roasting yourself inside the car. The heating system water is circulated from the water pump separately from the radiator.
My suggestion to you is to definitely first replace the thermostat. This is a very inexpensive part and is also a Do it yourself type of Job.
Usually the part is less than $20.00 on most cars. Including a replacement gasket. You will need a 1/4 Inch drive socket set, and something to scrape the old thermostat gasket away so that you have a clean fit for the new thermostat.

Do the following steps.
1 If you don't know where the thermostat is in you car, have someone point it out to you if possible. If not, here are some guidelines for locating it.
It will be mounted on the engine and attached to one of the largest hoses that go from the engine to the to the radiator. It will be either 1/2 way up and attached to the bottom hose of the Radiator, or it will be on the top of the engine or very close to the top. It will be attached to the top hose of the radiator. This rule applies to just about every vehicle on the road. It is about 2 inches across and there are usually 2 or 3 bolts holding the cover on that retains the thermostat.
2 SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE AND LET IT COMPLETELY COOL BEFORE YOU CHANGE THE THERMOSTAT OR DO ANY SERVICE ON THE COOLING SYSTEM.

REMOVE THE HOSE FROM THE THERMOSTAT HOUSING (This may not be necessary if you have easy access to bolts on the housing. In that case go directly to step #4.)

3a Loosen the Hose clamp and slide it up the hose so that it is is out of the way
3b Remove the hose from the thermostat housing, This may take some twisting, rocking squirming, pulling and profane language to get it off.

4 Unbolt the housing to the thermostat and remove the housing or set it to one side with the radiator hose attached to it.

5 Note the Orientation of the old thermostat and compare it to the new one.
6 Remove the thermostat. i.e. just pull it out.
7 Then pull off and scrape off any remaining old gasket material so that the new gasket will be able to seat itself without any leaks. Be thorough when you do this.
8 Install the new gasket and thermostat
9 Put the housing back on and bolt it together.

Do Number10 only if you did number 3
10a Replace the hose onto the housing
10b Move the hose clamp onto the neck of the Thermostat housing and tighten

11 Top off the cooling system with water.
She should be good to go.
Hope this helps, If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write me.
Best Regards,
Mark

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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I would guess that your radiator fan is not coming on. Pop the hood and start the engine. Watch to see if the cooling fan comes on before the temp guage gets to the hot mark. If it doesn't come on, either the fan,the fan relay, or the thermostatic switch that is supposed to turn it on is bad. You can check the fan by running a jumper wire from the fan connector or plug to the battery positive terminal. If the fan works, then find the relay in the fuse box and switch it for another relay of the same type. If it doesn't come on, replace the thermal switch. The fact that your radiator was empty is of major concern. Did it leak out or boil away from overheating? Also, you say you added a whole jug of antifreeze. Full strength antifreeze will cause overheating. It must be mixed with water in a 50/50 solutions to function properly. You need to drain the cooling system and flush it with Prestone super flush. Put in a new thermostat, and refill with one gallon of a 50/50 mix, then top it off with full strength antifreeze until you get the freeze protection down below 0degF. You should also change your oil and filter. The overheating has probably cooked your oil and sludged up your engine.

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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You front cooling fans aren't working at all. it could be the temperature sensor. check fuses first. if fuses all good, connect fan directly with bypass wires. if it works, the sensor is faulty or the relay

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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SOURCE: 2005 PT Cruiser leak anti-freeze leak????

the overflow bottle probobly has a crack in the seam of the bottle.you can replace the bottle or remove it and use some epoxy to repair it.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009

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