Over Heating

Asked by Apr 25, 2017 at 05:23 PM about the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited Wagon FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My car has a new radiator, thermostat and water pump. After radiator was put in about a month ago, it was just fine. A week ago while sitting idle for a few min. it it started to over heat. It did take some anti freeze. I drove a few miles and it was fine. It started again and when I stopped it spewed a little anti freeze. I know for a fact I over filled it. After it spewed some and cooled down I went a long way to get home and  driven it everywhere as normal and its been fine. Today the needle started to go up again. I'm at a loss.

24 Answers


It could be the cooling fan on the radiator is not coming on,, have the fuses checked

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When all this 1st started the fan was running but it doesn`t all the time which is my understanding on a PT it doesn`t. I will check again. Thank you!

Hi again Tom..both low & high relays were tested. The High was "off" in the resistance reading so I replaced it with a new 1. Once again my mechanic hooked up the diagnostic and at 1/2 way the temp reads 224 and the low fan DOES come on then reaching (forgot the exact number) but I saw and heard the high fan come on. For the 2nd time my guy did the antifreeze test that turns color..it did not. Checked the oil again not a spec of water in it or on the stick. Few days ago I drove a 10 mi. distance and had to pull over a block from my destination. Some antifreeze spewed etc. We filled it back up and 2 days later we had to put more in. I put a huge piece of cardboard under the front end to see if there was a leak. Not 1 drop was on the cardboard. he even tasted his fingers after running them inside the tail pipe. Nothing. I even made a list of things I read for this problem and 1 by 1 all were eliminated except 1. A new radiator cap. Its a different radiator but I didn't know the cap was the same 1 as always. I bought the best cap they had and I buy my parts at a good parts store. Fine for few days then made a trip to the ATM which is only about 1 1/2 mi. Only sitting long enough to make a transaction the needle began to climb. as always soon as I turn on the heat/wiper defrost the needle will drop unless Ive driven a distance. My guy is at a total loss. He said he would happily do the head gasket even tho nothing at all indicates that's the problem but to spend that amount of $ and be without a car for a time just doesn't seem to be the right thing. This has been going for about 3-4 months! Can you help with anything else to look for? Thank you for reading this!


2 things get my attention ... it's still using anti-freeze and still cooling down after the fan comes on. It's odd that the AC fan is cooling it down (AC comes on when using defrost) Ask the mechanic if he can have both fans (if U have 2 fans) come on together (it's just a simple jumper at the relay box) and see if that effects the cooling ... It's a cheap and simple way to narrow down your problem

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I just drove it and it started when I stopped. I usually go back and forth from heat to defrost and maybe that's just me panicing but today I just rode with the heat on and it came back down to 1/2 way. Thank you so much for another thing to try. This is driving me nuts! I could almost give it to a family who has no car but they would probably try finding where I live so they could return it in the night!


That's the clue U needed to fix it. There'a no air is going through the radiator when your stopped and the only way to dissipate engine heat is by the air removing the heat (when stopped a fan is the only way to circulate air) so it's obvious the fan must come on sooner ... The car is wired so anytime the AC comes on ,,, the fan comes on //regardless of the coolant temp ,, that explains why when you manually turn on the AC the fan comes on .. and seems to solve your problem. We deal in the real world and not what is a perfect solution whose repair costs could greatly exceed the cars value,,, we're looking at a 15 year old car that is overheating ,,, we have already proven that if the fan is running ,,, the engine temp is acceptable. Have "Rollo".(your mechanic) do a minor wiring change ,,, if he doesn't know what to do then I will send you a wiring diagram

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Oh ,,, I failed to mention the fan must be set to only run on High speed

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I drove about 7 mi earlier and did not turn on the heat when temp started to rise. I only turned on high speed and as hot as it can go the defrost only. That's th st time I have done just the defrost and the needle did come down a little but I swear I got every red light and behind every slow driver in town. It really wasnt long though that I had to switch to heat then back and forth before pulling over. I only let it climb 1 notch before pulling over. I will contact Rollo now and ask if he did what you suggested..IF he even answers me!! haha thanks again for your help!

He is a hell of a mechanic but admits when it comes to elect stuff its not his cup of tea.

Thank you so much I would like you to send me the diagram if its no trouble. If this doesn't cure the problem we just don't know where to go after this. Its been going on for 3-4 months! Thanks again!!


OK Give me a few minutes ... coffee needs to kick in

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I had an unfortunate encounter with a Deer and have been fighting my insurance all day ,,, I will get to U asap

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Oh so sorry to hear. ok thanks


ok I got everything resolved with my Deer accident and am working on the drawing as we speak

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Look at this diagram and you will see a box with numbers 1 -2 -3 and "M" inside a circle ,,, this is a diagram showing the electrical connections to the Fan motor. ,, we will be working with wires 1 (Dark green) and 3. (Yellow). ,, unplug the connector with those 3 wires at the fan ,,, cut wire #1 about 3" from the connector ,,, tape the wire end that's coming from the plug because it is no longer used ,, now take the other wire and with a trailer splice connector join that dark green wire to the Yellow wire ,,, you have now put the radiator fan on High Speed when ever it comes on. Now there are still 3 wires on the fan plug but one of the wires (#1 dark green) is taped and no longer used. Do not assume anything ,,, if you have a question stop what your doing and ask me

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Tom..I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your time and knowledge in helping with this dilemma. I will see who I can find to do this job and when its done fingers crossed it works I will come back to let you know. 1 more thing..IF this is done correctly and doesn not fix the problem..with all the info I`ve given you..can you think of any other possibilities that may be the cause of this problem? I have never had any car have the same problem after replacing so many things! Thank you so much for all you have done. Victoria


I hope all is well ... BTW I thought my email was a better way to send diagrams because CarGurus won't upload .DWG (autocad drawings) I pray that I didn't offend you

Thank you Tom. Too funny..The diagram you posted shows just fine and I printed it out along with your instructions. I called a friend who told me to see a friend of his whom I have met a couple of times. I went to his work today which is close by TG and told them what was going on and the info you gave me. I`m dropping my LEMON..oops I mean car off on Wed. I hope like heck this problem can finally be discovered and fixed! I have a lot of traveling lined up for the summer.. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for all your help!!


Thank you for getting back so soon ,,, I was concerned because most of us don't give that info out and I wanted to assure you it was above-board. I'm a retired electrical engineer, since retiring I've tried to share my expertise with those needing help in fact I may have found a new career .. At present I'm getting very involved with computerized engine control systems ,,, I was just issued a "Provisional patent" on a device that does the diagnosis/repair on catalytic sensors ,,(probably the most miss- diagnosed repair when the CEL (Check engine light) warns of a problem. Thank you for your encouragement regarding my efforts on your car

I`ll let you know what "They" find is the problem. I`m taking your diagram and instructions with me to give them. This driving around in 80 degree weather with the heat/defrost on full blast is for the birds!!


You should be able to use your AC ,,, that's what makes your fan go on High-speed. The AC always comes on when you use defrost but you don't have to use the heat with it ,,, turn the temp down

DUH! So if I turn on the AC it will not start to overheat? Once again...A BIG THANK YOU!


It shouldn't because the AC compressor was already on when you use defrost

I got my car back! It was a sensor and no low speed fan He explained it all to me on the phone but cant remember exactly all he said. I got in my car to go home and the seatbelt was stuck! Still is. A guy came out for 1/2 hr. but no luck. So after my appt. this morning I`m taking it back to make an appt. for them to fix that. Good grief! Thank you again Tom!!

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