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Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 Dec 2017, 04:35 pm
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Default Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

My 2004 PT Cruiser overheated because of a busted radiator as I got into an accident and had to limp it back home. When I got home I turned it off right away, about 2 hours later I went to start it and nothing.

The engine is not seized and the only damaged component is the radiator. My issue is that the car will not start or even turn over now. I've replaced the radiator and the ignition switch, and also had the starter checked and it came back ok, and when I go to start it, the dash dims like normal but the car still refuses to turn over and start, no clicking noises though. I'm at a loss as what else I need to do. Should I replace the starter relay or even the PCM?

The PT Cruiser is a base model 2.4L 4 speed automatic.
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Old 09 Dec 2017, 06:35 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

I would suggest first checking to see if you have 12 volts going to the starter from the switch when you turn the ignition switch to start "Position".

If you have 12 volts to the starter from the ignition I would check the voltage at the battery when you are starting it to see how much the voltage drops. Post what the battery voltage is when you do this.

If you have 11 volts or higher I would suggest you manually try applying 12 volts to the starter to see if it turns.
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Old 09 Dec 2017, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneDude View Post
My 2004 PT Cruiser overheated because of a busted radiator as I got into an accident and had to limp it back home. When I got home I turned it off right away, about 2 hours later I went to start it and nothing.

The engine is not seized and the only damaged component is the radiator. My issue is that the car will not start or even turn over now. I've replaced the radiator and the ignition switch, and also had the starter checked and it came back ok, and when I go to start it, the dash dims like normal but the car still refuses to turn over and start, no clicking noises though. I'm at a loss as what else I need to do. Should I replace the starter relay or even the PCM?

The PT Cruiser is a base model 2.4L 4 speed automatic.
Since the lights dim but don't go out when trying to start the engine, it does not sound like you have a bad connection. Chances are your battery is just low and needs a charge. In this case you can test it as mentioned above to detect this. The battery will likely be under 12.5 volts or so. However, if the battery was damaged in the accident, it may hold what appears to be a full charge but not produce enough power under load to turn the starter. If this is the case, I suggest load testing the battery. If you don't have a load tester, you can take your battery to one of the big chain parts stores and they can do it for you for free. If the battery isn't fully charged, they may need to charge it over night.

Also, it's worth mentioning that there is another condition that can do this if your engine has overheated. Sometimes a failed head gasket will allow antifreeze to leak into one or more cylinders. While it may still be possible to turn the engine by hand forwards or backwards to some degree, when trying to start the engine, the coolant may stop the piston on the compression stroke. This can be detected by pulling the spark plugs and seeing if there is coolant in the cylinders. However, a drained or bad battery is the more likely cause based on what you described and I'd check that out first.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 09 Dec 2017 at 10:31 pm.
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Old 09 Dec 2017, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

Thanks for the quick response guys and sorry I took so long to answer back.

The battery had already been tested at Advanced and O'Riley's, forgot to mention that part. I can full turn the engine over by hand an its not terribly hard but I will check out the head gasket and the volts leading from the starter to the switch and the battery voltage drop tomorrow, I had taken it apart again to clean the engine bay and replace the AC Condenser since I already had it mostly disassembled.
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Old 10 Dec 2017, 08:06 am
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

Check the ground connections on your drivers side fender. If the impact was enough to bust the radiator, it may have broken a ground connection there. It only takes a couple of minutes to check.
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Old 10 Dec 2017, 07:39 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

You can also remove the starter relay and apply 12 volts abnd see if the starter turns the engine. If not apply 12 volts directly to the starter.
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Old 10 Dec 2017, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

Just wanted to let you guys know I did not get a chance to do anything with the car this evening, I just got back home. It was one of those errands for everyone day if you know what I mean so Ill go at it tomorrow morning and let you know what I come up with. Thanks again guys, have a good night/morning/afternoon!
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Old 11 Dec 2017, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

It won't solve your problem, but...

If you ran the car hot, change the oil.
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Old 11 Dec 2017, 08:14 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

Alright guys got an update for you (sorry for the wait)

1) Volts from Igntion Switch to Starter was 11.94
2) Volts from Battery to Starter was 11.94
3) Battery Volts = 12.15 ( might need to get it checked or charged again, its been sitting in the car for a few days with out being charged now)
4) Ground Conection is (Took a while a find)
5) Spark Plugs did not have any coolant on them that I could see or smell.

I'll upload any pictures you might need just let me know.

I didnt try maunally applying power or anything like that because the radiator is not on as im still waiting for the AC Condenser to come in. And yes I have fresh oil and coolant sitting next to me in the garage rtn

Last edited by ThatOneDude; 11 Dec 2017 at 08:19 pm.
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Old 11 Dec 2017, 08:33 pm
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Default Re: Overheated PT Cruiser (wont start or turn over)

Post what the battery voltage is as you are starting it with a fully charged battery. Until you are able to do this we won't be able to go much further on diagnosing the problem.
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