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Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

 
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Old 08 Sep 2012, 02:18 am
DMS DMS is offline
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Unhappy Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

2001 PT Cruiser - 170,000 miles - Had oil leak/ replaced valve cover gasket now the oil light is coming on non stop and engine is making strange rattling noises towards the right front of engine- car also overheating but not consistently. Recently had the ac compressor replaced along with the valve cover gasket by a mechanic - car came back in worse shape then when dropped off-ac was still not blowing cold and strange whistling noise coming from engine -mechanic told me my fan plugs where broke and he glued them together. This did not sound good to me and now the car sounds horrible- periodically overheats and the oil light is out of control- Just put $1200 into car and am hoping this is something inexpensive and no major damage has been done but fear the worse- Also work done on car is still under warranty however the mechanic is refusing to work on car again as he has had my car several times over the past 2 months and the car is still doing what I took it to him for in the first place with some additional issues. I am new to posting on forums about cars and will gladly provide as much info as possible - I really can't afford a new car right now and luv my cruiser any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08 Sep 2012, 07:18 am
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

Where do you people find these shade-tree mechanics? Hard to say where to start. Your noise could be anything. Hard to diagnose noise over the internet. Your going to need tools and equipment to fix your A/C. Could be your just low on R134a or one of the sensors is bad. Best to find a shop that deal exclusively on A/C work. Your overheating could be the radiator fan but you didn't say if it's running, especially when the A/C is turned on. Plenty of owners have had the oil pressure sensor go bad which turns on the engine light. Common problem, easy to fix.
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Old 08 Sep 2012, 09:43 am
DMS DMS is offline
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

@ CREWZIN-Thank you for responding so quickly. I have had one "shade-tree" mechanic after another and it has cost a lot of time and money. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about cars other then what I read and have learned from things going bad. I believe it was one of your previous threads that helped me in changing the battery and it saved me $200 dollars the mechanic wanted to charge, so again thank you for sharing your knowledge. The radiator fan is coming on periodically when the ac is on. The ac blows cold and then when the fan shuts off I have hot air blowing- this happens when idle. My concerns with the engine noises were that I had a more serious problem due to possible oil pressure issues. Have read a lot about those as well. I am heading over to a shop today in hopes of getting a legitimate answer to what's happening. These same issues have been going on over a year now. Every time I take "Little Blue" to be serviced/repairs I get it back with the same problems and am told it must be something else. If you know of a mechanic in the Tampa, FL USA area that has worked on PT Cruisers I would greatly appreciate the referral. I am desperately in need of an honest mechanic that knows these cars. I will keep you posted on what happens at the shop
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Old 08 Sep 2012, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

First, I'll save you trouble and help you with two problems at once (overheating and warm A/C) you definitely need a new fan. It WILL cure both problems. You can pick up a new DORMAN fan which comes with the shroud for under $100 at Auto Zone or a little less at a place we use on-line called RockAuto Auto Parts

The fan should stay on ALL the time when the A/C is on and you saying it's not is a good indication that your fan is on the way out.
I have instructions on how to change the fan out and it takes about 2 hours if you've never done it and have some tools. If you have to take it someplace, they wioll probably want 3 hours at whatever hourly rate they charge.

I do have a great mechanic who works on my cars. Used to work at the Chrysler dealer and now moved to an Ocala Chrysler dealer because there wasn't enough work around me. Just two smallish towns. Any work I need done that I can't do myself he does at his house. Building a 2 car garage with lift to do work there. A little too far for you to go, a place called Citrus Springs.

You might get a hold of the Tampa Bay Cruiser Club and ask someone there for a recommendation for an honest mechanic. A lot of them use the dealer (Dayton Andrews Chrysler) that is the sponsor of the club. Here's their site: http://www.tampabaycruisers.org/default.asp
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 08 Sep 2012 at 10:12 am.
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Old 08 Sep 2012, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

Noise in the engine could be slugging from the overheating and too much air from the VCG leak.

Have an oil change and have them replace 20% of the oil with "marvels mystery oil"

when the car gets sludgy the mystery oil cleans out ports and valves and allows the oil to flow to areas that may be restricting. Can do wonders :-)
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Old 09 Sep 2012, 09:30 pm
DMS DMS is offline
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

Thank you both for the input/ advise. I did have "Little Blue" looked at and was told in regards to the cooling/heating I have a 2" crack on the top of the radiator and would need to replace it immediately as well as the hose clamps, radiator cap, radiator hose kit, and thermostat, totaling $654.64 plus taxes. The oil light and leak is due to the oil pressure switch needing replaced (@ CREWZIN -which you had mentioned, good call ) cost $54.99 plus tax. As far as the rattling - I was told the clamps??? that hold the fan in place are gone and the fan is hitting the AC compressor causing the noise I am hearing - was also told my motor mounts were bad however I had those replaced a little over a ear ago, not sure how quickly those should go bad but that seems pretty quick. The mechanic said my fan was coming on and does not think my fan is the problem however he did not look at the terminals the last mechanic had glued together a month ago, so I may still need to replace the fan or at least the terminals. Need to replace the serpentine belt as well another $89 & tax.

So with all that said I had an oil change. Came home checked the fluid in the radiator and cranked her up. She is not over heating every time and did not over heat this time had her up to temp and did see liquid coming from what looked like a reinforcement seam??? close to the hose on top of the radiator also noticed liquid building up in a part that runs the length of the radiator, looks like metal and has alligator grooves in it not sure what it's called, sorry. Still concerned the fan is going bad and the shop wants to charge me over $600 if we have to replace the fan as well. Any suggestions on the radiator issue would be greatly appreciated. I don't have this kind of money and am not able to do the work myself. My bigger concern is that there may be more issues that have not been diagnosed i.e. head gasket etc... that may be lurking around the corner. I have a little over 170K miles so I know I am looking at major repairs but am hoping to address as much as possible before things are too far gone. Thanks in advance for your help.

Also @ pluminator - I am just seeing your post but will definitely have the Marvels Mystery Oil used when I go back in to have the oil pressure switch replaced. Thanks again.
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Old 09 Sep 2012, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

The radiator in the PT Cruiser as well as most new cars is constructed using an aluminum core (the finned part) and two plastic tanks on each end of the core using a rubber O ring and then crimped down with a serrated metal tab. The tanks and seals oftenly fail when they are overheated or over pressurized.

Before I put any more money into your car I would have a few diagnostic checks done. I would do a compression test and also a cylinder leak down test. There is a possibility that you have a blown head gasket that may have over pressurized the cooling system and in doing so ruined your radiator.

I also live in central Florida. I live in Lakeland. I try to do most of my own work but I agree with you that finding a good mechanic at reasonable rates is very difficult.
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Old 09 Sep 2012, 11:57 pm
DMS DMS is offline
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Default Re: Need Help Please- PT Cruiser on the brink of death- Needs resusitation ASAP

@mousehousemoparman thank you, I will definitely take your advise and have the diagnostic test you suggested. I have read a lot about the blown head gasket issue and have feared that could be the problem. When I mention it to the mechanics they always come back with other things that need to be fixed but have never suggested I have these diagnostic test to determine if the head gasket has been blown. I guess they figure they won't make any money if they tell me that

I really hope that is not part or all of the problem, I really luv my car not to mention I don't want a car payment. I will post once I have had these test run and hope it will be with good news.

Also, I really appreciate everyone's input. It is so nice to have honest people lending a hand because they want to help not just to make a buck. Now if any of you move to this area I will still need a mechanic
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