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Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07 Jun 2009, 05:52 pm
BGW BGW is offline
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Location: Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
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Default Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Hi all, I am new here, and new to owning a PT Cruiser - just bought an 02 5-speed 3 wks ago.
I have had to replace a lot of suspension parts for it to pass inspection - both front tie rods, both front control arm bushings, and a linkage at the rear that I believe is called a Watt's linkage - not sure about the name though. I have replaced the plugs and plug wires too. All this for a car with only 85,000 kms (about 53,000 miles). Almost $1,000 worth of work so far, for parts and labour (I did the plugs/wires myself - yay!)
Now here's a vexing problem - occasionally, when the car is cold, I hear a distinct sloshing sound from in front of me, behind the dash. I assume this is simply rad coolant moving around, or maybe a/c coolant (though the a/c is off). Is this something to worry about? I could not find a reference to it on these forums.
As well, the cooling fan is mighty noisy - just like the sound of a jet engine spooling up. And it cycles on and off a lot when the gauge temp gets near the 1/2 mark (though it does not go over). Are these fans usually noisy, or is it preparing to self-destruct?
One more problem - at the rear suspension, the bottom of the Watt's linkage connects to a short vertical arm that connects it to the suspension. Although the linkage was replaced last week, this arm rocks back and forth as if the bolt is loose, and as a result, whenever the road is rough, makes a loud clunky noise all too noticeable from inside the car. Should this bolt be loose? Is this typical of PT's?
I bought it for the practicality and fantastic good looks, but I have to say I am disappointed with the driving dynamics so far. The engine is a slow turner, not really happy to rev. And my last car was a 98 Escort wagon! Not exactly a Porsche, but it's 2.0 was way happier to rev than the PT's 2.4.
The clutch has abrupt takeup, though the shifter is really nice, not at all notchy like my Escort's.
Anyway, I hope someone can help me with some answers. I intend to keep this work of art (honest, I love it's design that much) for a long time.
Brian Williams
Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
(former Civic Si owner, got tired of that terrible lemon, now buy only American cars - yes, I know the PT was made in Mexico but that is in America)
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Old 07 Jun 2009, 06:24 pm
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Welcome to the forum Brian.

On the linkage in the rear. Nothing should be loose. If it's making any kind of noise it's not right.

The sloshing sound could be the overflow coolant in the plastic white/clear bottle at the back of the engine next to the firewall but I've never heard of anyone hearing it slosh around before. You sure it's not a boiling noise?

The fan has two speeds. The low speed is hardly noticeable but the high speed does sound terribly loud but doesn't come on until the coolant reaches a high temperature which could be reached when you standing still with or without the A/C on. The temperature guage should go above half way.

It sounds as though the first owner put a hard 35K on your PT for all those things to need replacing.
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Old 07 Jun 2009, 06:51 pm
BGW BGW is offline
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Thanks for the input Crewzin.
The first owner was the wife of a Chrysler salesman, who kept all the work orders. Man, my car went through a lot of wheel bearings in it's first 3 yrs of life! Then it was bought by a nurse who used it only on short hops. Now it's my baby.
We have harsh winter conditions here, and a lot of road salt is used. Plus, our climate is acidic anyway, being an island in the North Atlantic. The oldest cars on the road tend to be 15 yrs old max. Anything older than that is a weekend only car. My 98 Escort rusted so badly that I sold it for a derby car.

Yeah, the sound from in front of me is definitely a sloshing sound, just like the sound of a coffee pot being rinsed. It only happens when the car is cold.
I'll get it all checked out, but pointers from you guys are needed first.

The cooling fan starts to come on at the 1/4 temp level, then cycles on and off 'til the 1/2 mark. It never ever quite reaches the 1/2 mark though, just a mite below it. I guess the cooling is working fine, it's just the noise that is odd and bothersome. In the 3 wks that I have owned the car, the weather has not gotten above about 65 degrees F yet, so I'll have to keep an eye on it.
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Old 07 Jun 2009, 06:55 pm
BGW BGW is offline
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Hey Crewzin, I see from your personal page that you also have an 87 Vette and an 07 Rondo V6. My wife owns an 07 Rondo EX V6. How 'bout that! Love the red engine cover! And your woodwork in the PT's hatch is fantastic! I think I will try that too!
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Old 07 Jun 2009, 07:09 pm
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Thanks for the compliments. The Vette is my "other" toy but it also gets used. I just past 145,000 miles on it. The KIA already has 37,000 and is a real work horse of the family.

Here's a place that does custom rear shelves. Unfortunately, the place that did my shelf and flooring is out of business.

Inferno Red PT Cruiser
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Old 07 Jun 2009, 09:01 pm
BGW BGW is offline
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

I just got back from a drive and I have determined that what I thought was a loud cooling fan seems instead to be the a/c compressor cutting in and out. Whenever the knob is set to one of the defrost settings (turned towards the right), the loud noise cycles on and off. Same when I turn the knob to the left to the a/c setting. Only when the knob is set to floor only or to off, does the loud noise not happen.
That explains why it happens when the temp gauge is less than 1/2 or even 1/4.
I wonder if the a/c compressor is dying? The air from the a/c is still quite cold.
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Old 08 Jun 2009, 07:22 am
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post

It sounds as though the first owner put a hard 35K on your PT for all those things to need replacing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BGW View Post
Thanks for the input Crewzin.
The first owner was the wife of a Chrysler salesman, who kept all the work orders. Man, my car went through a lot of wheel bearings in it's first 3 yrs of life! Then it was bought by a nurse who used it only on short hops. Now it's my baby.
We have harsh winter conditions here, and a lot of road salt is used. Plus, our climate is acidic anyway, being an island in the North Atlantic. The oldest cars on the road tend to be 15 yrs old max. Anything older than that is a weekend only car. My 98 Escort rusted so badly that I sold it for a derby car.
Yeah I was just about to ask you if you were from a northern part of the US. I'm originally from northern NY and know quite well what the climate does to vehicles.

I've owned my PT for 3 months and just hit 49k. I had the vehicle thoroughly checked out by a 3rd party before I bought it and was told it was in pristine condition. Hopefully I won't be experiencing your type problems in the near future. I have no idea of the prior maintenance on the vehicle but I do know it was leased locally.

Anyway, I moved down here 10 years ago to get away from the winter weather... glad I did because the road salt is killer on a vehicle.
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Old 08 Jun 2009, 07:27 am
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BGW View Post
The cooling fan starts to come on at the 1/4 temp level, then cycles on and off 'til the 1/2 mark. It never ever quite reaches the 1/2 mark though, just a mite below it. I guess the cooling is working fine, it's just the noise that is odd and bothersome. In the 3 wks that I have owned the car, the weather has not gotten above about 65 degrees F yet, so I'll have to keep an eye on it.
Forgot to mention, my temp gauge also gets to a mite below 1/2 so yeah, I'd think your cooling is fine.

I've never experienced the noises however.
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Old 09 Jun 2009, 05:14 pm
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Location: Halifax Nova Scotia
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Default Re: Sloshing sound behind dashboard?

My temp gauge never gets above 1/2. Never has.

Only sound I've heard from the dash is coolant gurgle when the A/C was suffering from a leak. If the a/c is cycling constantly that is usually due to low pressure aka a leak in the system. If the engine area is clean enough, have a look around the AC lines for greasy spots. I've read that the A/C system in the PT comes with yellow dye added at the factory to help detect leaks.

What part of the Rock are you in?

Never mind I see it's Gander. Duh.
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Last edited by Madturtle; 09 Jun 2009 at 05:17 pm.
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