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01 pt cruiser strange overheating

 
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 05:14 pm
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Default 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

alright guys. i'm looking to become a happy pt cruiser owner, hopefully. there's this one i've been looking at. it's a 2001, and has a tad over 82,000 miles on it.
the owner has said her daughter overheated the car. she had the head gasket, radiator, and engine fan replaced. i don't believe the water pump, thermostat or radiator cap was replaced, which any three could be the culprit. she doesn't know either because her ex-husband dealt with the shop.

the engine fan is on all the time. the guy hardwired it so that it's on anytime the ignition is on. ?????. I unplugged the fan and the engine temperature quickly started rising way above half on the temperature gauge. so without the engine fan hardwired the car will overheat.

the car does have a very slight antifreeze leak near the water pump, which makes me believe it probably isn't working properly, no coolant circulation through engine. DON'T KNOW. i started the car with the radiator cap off, couple of bubbles, not boiling over. no oil in the coolant. no coolant in the oil.

I'M STUMPED. HELP ME BECOME A PT CRUISER OWNER. I WANT THIS ONE.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 05:55 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

Before we get into that, why the heck would you want that exact one with all those problems at at that mileage. Do you know at 100K you need to spend $800-1200 for the timing belt, water pump, tensioner and probably the drive belts.. Now, if you go ahead and replace the water pump to try and stop the overheating and the leak, you might as well do the timing belt (same area) and save money later on.

Have the head checked very carefully because you don't know if the head itself didn't crack and it's the reason for the overheating.

Wiring the fan to be on all the time is bad because it's not able to take all that running, heck we hardly get it to run normally before it burns out. Just ask the hundreds of us that already changed the fan.

You might as well throw in the thermostat and radiator cap because they're cheap and easy to replace.

There's a heck of a lot of PT's for sale out there without problems but it's up to you.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 07:14 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

well the lady only wants $1800, i'm trying to get her down to 1600 at least. the interior is spotless. i have 2 great mechanics and a little money to spend. she did tell me the timing belt was replaced recently, why the water pump wasn't swapped too i don't know.
and i don't think the head is cracked, it doesn't leak oil, smoke out the exhaust or from the engine, runs strong doesn't seem like a loss of compression, doesn't miss, and only leaks a tiny bit of antifreeze from around the water pump area. a couple of drops every ten minutes. a cracked head would spill a lot more antifreeze wouldn't it?

thanx for the help, it is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by stixboy; 14 Jun 2010 at 07:22 pm.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 07:34 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

Something's not right here. Any competent mechanic replacing a head gasket after the engine overheating would also replace the water pump. Something sounds fishy here.

Have both of your mechanics check this car out VERY carefully from top to bottom. She shouldn't be so desperate to sell it so cheap if she just had all that work done. There's something she's not telling you.

Personally, I'd keep looking. There are better deals out there.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 07:35 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

It was just a thought about the head, you don't want surprises down the road. Yea, you would see other signs including a loss of coolant (besides the small leak you already have) and maybe a little white smoke out the tailpipe.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 07:48 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

well the loss of coolant is minimal. i've been comin back to the car, running it and checking the coolant for 3 days straight now. still clean. a tiny drop but consistent wit the couple of drops it does leak from the water pump area.

and to be truthful, she's selling it dirt cheap because she needs to file bankruptcy. i didn't expose any names so i feel okay about saying that.

for more details. the engine temperature gauge is always at exactly halfway between the hot and cold. and i've driven plenty of cars and know they always run a nice bit under halfway at normal operating temperature. plus when the fan is not on it starts to climb towards overheating. with no oil in coolant, coolant in oil, no oil usage, no smoke at all out the exhaust.??????. i'm changing the radiator cap tomorrow, small steps. any other suggestions. this is a doozy.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 07:53 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

Run Forest RUN!

If this car ain't throwing flags right in your face than I don't know what will. You better be ready to do some major engine work. Offer her a grand for it and see if she takes it, I bet she does because to me it sounds like it has a major problem like a warped head from being overheated. Why would they hard wire the fan if they put a new one in? And she conveniently doesn't have any recites because her EX husband dealt with the shop.
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Last edited by Dino; 14 Jun 2010 at 09:07 pm.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

tomorrow i'm going to replace the radiator cap for sure. i'll try the thermostat if the lady lets me, she seems a little uptight, i am a stranger so no hard feelings.

but i was thinking if the water pump was leaking, then the cooling system can't pressurize correctly. if it can't pressurize then the antifreeze/water mix would boil at a lower temperature, correct?
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

Yes, that and the fact you could be getting air into the coolant system which would hinder the flow of coolant around the engine.
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Old 14 Jun 2010, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: 01 pt cruiser strange overheating

and how would that air be getting in. thru the faulty water pump? I'm thinking it's not a head gasket problem or head problems. i don't know know the lady but she's know around town and is trusted completely by everyone. i know she got the head gasket replaced, if it was done correctly i don't know. hopefully so and all this is a completely unrelated situation. i'll definitely buy a compression test kit tomorrow. but until then keep shooting the suggestions.

i'd mail you guys beer if i could.
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