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PT cruiser overheat at idle

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 May 2012, 12:50 am
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Default PT cruiser overheat at idle

My 2002 2.4l non turbo has been overheating in traffic, coolant is fine, and the thermostat was recently replaced, (I know nothing about cars really, this one was given to me, so bear with me)
-a fan definetely comes on when the engine gets hotter than middle gauge (can't tell if high or low)
-no serious leakage
-once on the open road, temps go back to normal quickly
-AC works great even when the engine is hot
-boiling coolant when the engine left to idle for too long
I really need help determining what is wrong, here is a list of things I haven't done:
-replaced radiator cap
-replaced anything fan-related (relays, assembly, etc)
-checked the water pump
-bled the air in the coolant system
Any suggestions?

Last edited by Fable55255; 09 May 2012 at 12:51 am. Reason: missing info
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Old 09 May 2012, 02:06 am
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

the pt fan has a low and high side. when idling or going under 30 mph, the low side should kick in. my bet would be your fan is dying. happens a lot with these cars. the fan you hear is most likely the high side.

i replaced the fans in both my pts. right around $85 on ebay or check rockauto.com.
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Old 09 May 2012, 08:42 am
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

But if the high side is working, then wouldn't the car not overheat? i mean, the high speed fan should cool the engine better than the low speed fan (but really i don't know)
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Old 09 May 2012, 08:53 am
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

It does sound awkward that the high speed wouldn't cool down everything but we've seen it time and time again that both speeds have to be working for everything to cool down and run right.

You also want to make sure there's no blockage in the radiator so the coolant can keep running around the engine and piping without begin slowed down. In a 2002 car, the HOAT anti-freeze and coolant system should have been flushed out at least once during that time.
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Old 09 May 2012, 08:17 pm
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

How do you know it's the high speed that comes on? At high speed, our fans are very, very noticable. Loud!

Under low fan speed, you actually have to look to see if the fan blades are going round (I use a mirror and a flashlight).

Tim
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Old 10 May 2012, 07:19 pm
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

I can hear a fan come on at around operating temperature, the problem is i don't know if the low speed fan is audible or not, if it's not audible, it's the high speed that comes on.
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Old 10 May 2012, 09:05 pm
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

There is a way to test the low speed fan. Had an issue like this before. The low speed fan should turn on when you have to A/C turned on. and should stay on. If your a/c cycles on and off alot you have an a/c problem that can cause the engine to overheat. The one i worked on overheated with a/c on. A/C ran for a little while then stopped working car heated up. checked the a/c charge it was good then went to pressure switch and found that it was bad. replaced the pressure switch and everything went back to normal no more overheating.
so low speed operates with a/c on and high speed operates when vehicle reaches upper limit set by engine coolant temp sensor. Just something else you can take a look at if needed.
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Old 10 May 2012, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

Guys, I've seen postings time and again about the radiator fans and guesses as to diagnosing the problems, overheating engines, etc. In the OEM Service Manual there is an entire section dedicated to the engine cooling system and how to troubleshoot it. I was going to post this in my library thread but it's locked, so I'll post it individually until Crewzin unlocks it.

Now, the service manuals are different for '06 and up, however if I were you and I was troubleshooting overheating problems, I'd download both because they both have excellent info in them.

Here they are, you can download directly from my web library:
2000-2005 PT Engine Cooling System
& 2006 and up PT Engine Cooling System.

Last edited by Chromenut; 10 May 2012 at 11:49 pm.
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Old 10 May 2012, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

ignore this one...lol

Last edited by Chromenut; 10 May 2012 at 11:48 pm.
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Old 28 Oct 2017, 08:19 am
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Default Re: PT cruiser overheat at idle

Hi

Im sorry but i have to disagree

The low speed mode on fan is only for ac condenser...and high speed is for when engine coolant temp exceeds certain temp like 200 deg f

The low speed does not have to function unless u are using ac.....all u need is high speed to function and if everything else in system is ok ...the engine should not overheat


Low speed mode on fan has nothing to do with car overheating.....if car gets hot the high speed fan is suppose to power on
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