PT Cruiser problems
DIY Auto Repair

5 Common Pt Cruiser Problems and How to Fix Them

1.35 million PT Cruisers were built during its nine-year lifetime. With that many vehicles produced, there are bound to be some PT Cruiser problems.

While the last PT Cruiser was produced in 2010, many of them are still on the road. There is a lack of manufacturer support since the discontinuance of manufacturing.

Many owners have gathered together via the internet to work together to find solutions.

There are common issues that are prevalent PT Cruiser problems. Below are some solutions to the most prevalent problems.

The most important tool you can have while planning the repairs below is to have the correct manual.

Chrome Wheels Peel Causing Air Leakage

The car this issue conflicts is the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The typical repair cost for peeling chrome wheels is $860.

The metal of the wheels deteriorates causing the chrome coating to peel off. Air from the tire will leak from the valve stem area.

This can cause flat tires. It can also cause the tire to split when driving at a high rate of speed on a highway.

There is no way to prevent the chrome from peeling.

Most Common Solutions

This is one problem where replacing the part with another original OEM chrome part would just cause the problem to occur again.

The only realistic solution is to replace all four wheels with either a non-chrome version of the OEM wheels or another aftermarket wheel.

Once one wheel begins to corrode and leak it is only a matter of time until the other begin to also.

Engine Light Turns On and Idles Rough

The car this issue conflicts is the 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Typical repair cost for an engine light that repeatedly turns on and an engine that idles rough is $2,150.

In general, 2006 is the worst year for PT Cruiser problems. Here the engine light is constantly on and the engine idles rough.

The engine light will repeatedly turn on after solutions to fix the problem are attempted. Sometimes the light will come on again right away. Sometimes the light will be delayed in turning back on.

In combination with the engine light turning on, the computer will protect the engine by not allowing it to shift out of second gear.

The engine light will trigger different codes for different owners making it difficult to diagnose the combination issue.

Most Common Solutions

The most common solution is to replace the engine. This can be an expensive solution and should be considered a last resort.

A second solution to the problem was the engine sticking valve reground.

A third solution could be warped head reground and temperature sensor replaced.

Engine Stalls/Shuts Off While Driving

The car this issue conflicts is the 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Typical repair cost for an engine that stalls and shuts off while driving is $700.

This is the most dangerous of the PT Cruiser problems. It involves the engine to completely stall out while driving.

It can happen sporadically while driving, giving the driver no warning as to when it will happen next.

For some drivers, the issue occurs when a certain RPM is achieved. For others, the problem occurs at a certain speed.

Most Common Solutions:

Unfortunately, because of the symptoms being so varied, the solutions are also quite varied. The best solution is to have a professional car mechanic well versed in PT Cruiser problems.

A tempory solution was to turn the car off and back on. But this only stopped the problem temporarily and quite often the problem would arise again upon the next time the owner drove the car.

A second solution was to disconnect the battery cable and reconnect it. This effectively resets the computer that controls the main functions of the car.

By resetting the car the engine problem would be temporarily resolved. Unfortunately, this is not a long-term solution either.

With Chrysler no longer producing the PT Cruiser, it is likely that no official solution will be determined for this issue.

The best solution is to take the car to a trusted mechanic to work on the car. The issue is a computer glitch, but to determine the cause of the glitch requires a professional evaluation.

Cracked Dashboard

The car this issue conflicts is the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Typical repair cost for a cracked dashboard is $200.

The dashboard from the 2001 PT Cruiser will suddenly crack with no correlation to a causing event.

It isn’t a result of being out in the sun. The cracks often start within 2-3 years of owning the car.

The cracks most commonly originate from a vent and spread throughout the length of the dashboard widening as they grow.

Most Common Solutions:

The only solution is to replace the entire dashboard. A recall was done on the dashboard and replacement is covered under it.

The other solution is to live with the cracks. If they don’t bother you, they don’t cause the car to malfunction, so you can continue to drive the car with them.

Engine Light On

The car this issue conflicts is the 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Typical repair cost for an engine light consistently on is $640.

Unfortunately, engine lights that will not turn off seem to be a prevalent PT Cruiser problem.

The common symptoms for the 2007 PT Cruiser are overheating accompanied by the engine light turning on.

The code P0340 is often displayed as the problem for owners. This code means that the camshaft position sensor circuit sensor A bank 1 is malfunctioning.

As we will see below this code makes sense since replacing the camshaft fixes the problem.

For this particular year, the solutions are varied, but at least effective.

Most Common Solutions:

The first and most common solution is to replace the cylinder 3 exhaust valves that are burnt.

The other solution is to replace the injectors and map sensor.

Other solutions owners have found to be helpful are changing out the camshaft position sensors, replacing the pressure switch.

PT Cruiser Problems Solved

This list of problems may not be issues you can fix yourself at home. Having learned about them, you are an informed owner bringing your car to a mechanic should you need to address these issues.

The important thing is to be aware that these issues have the potential to be dangerous. You can now remain vigilant and prevent them.

Next read about four car services you can skip.