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May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

 
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 01:58 am
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Default May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

Ok I will first say I am NOT a fan of the PT Cruiser, it is my GF's car (its cute) and I am unlucky enough to have to fix it, or pay to fix it as she is on a limited income.

Story, she recently bought this POS used with 148000 miles on it, for $1700, i have dumped about that much into it so far... timing belt, pulley, water pump, belts, (original) never replaced, tune up, tensioner, motor mount...

next a week later front wheel bearings started howling, then found it needed tie rod ends, then a window switch unit...

I notice a antifreeze smell in the when she starts the heat (dissipates later) so I am guessing the heater core needs replacement sometime soon. hopefully I can postpone that for another day,

However for the moment my focus is on an intermittent overheating issue she has.

It doesn't happen frequently maybe 3x-4xtime in the past two months,

the first time was after running some errands around town maybe 4 stops, 30 min and say 20miles it occurred just after going through a car wash, temp spiked, chimed and dropped back to normal.

second time after idling for a few minutes she went into town (5 miles maybe) going throgh town @ 30-45 mph temp spiked, alarm went off (maybe hit red) and again started dropping fairly quickly (less then a min) back to normal.

3rd time after tooling around a good bit, maybe an hour running errands, then sat through a car wash, then about 5 more miles, going into town @ about 55 mph and alarm went off (just hitting the red) i was in car this time so I maxed the heater/fan to on high, it started dropping back to normal right away and was normal again after maybe 30 seconds

Ok, What I do know and have tested. or replaced.

High speed fan works, kicks in about mid-way up on the temp gauge and cycles on and off (when parked) it seems to me as it should

Low speed fan itself works too, it is funky but it works it cycles on and off quickly when ac is turned on, voltage does same on my VOM (to digress I believe this is due do to the AC system needing to be charged and or a faulty compressor and/or both. I know positively 100% it is empty of refrigerant. The guy who did her belt/water pump had to empty the AC , then open the A/C lines to lift the motor to change the Timing belt/water pump, motor mount etc . he left it to me to recharge, now It doesn;t want to take a re-charge but that is for another thread... It is december in wisconsin we don;t need AC this time of year).

I have replaced the Rad cap

Ok, I tried to bleed air from coolant system with the zert looking fitting, it does nothing when pressed in as far as I can press it with a pin punch (about 1/2") it appears not functional that I can see. neither air or coolant came out it did nothing when depressed and stayed depressed.

Prior to the new cap, it was filling the coolant resovor tank, and radiator would end up running low, (I though that was the cause of the overheat at first ) add fluid was fine for awhile then it over filled the tank. So put a new cap on, Since the new cap it appears to be pulling coolant back into the Radiator. raises in the tank when hot and drops later when cool. or so it appears

Some have mentioned removing the cap when cool and making sure the radiator was full, then to start the car, with cap off and watching, Looking for proper flow and bubbles (head gasket) etc. I am not sure how you effectively do this with this design with the T type fitting above the thermostat and righ angle into the hose. (with a normal radiator yes) but heck I gave it a try just the same.

I Fire it up, first nothing just vibrations, a bit later ( 2-3 min maybe) some bubbling, not crazy, some slow tiny pea sized bubbling just enough to cover about 1/2 the surface in the neck, shortly there after the fluid expanding ( I assume from temp expansion and as pressure raises) it appears to be copmming from radiator as teh thermostat hadent opened yet, or it could have just been starting to open not sure. It slowly overflows onto the rags I have down for such purpose. (not a lot maybe a cup or 2 of expanded up and out) then the thermostat opens right on schedule (about 1/2 way on the temp gauge) as fan kicks on and I have a version of Mount Vesuvius erruopting and a bit of a mess. Honestly I kind of expected this to happen, I didn't see how it was going to "flow a right turn into the hose with the cap off being pumped. Still was useful I guess, coolant has lots of yellow/Brownish coagulated Goo-slime balls (kind of like it was caughing up antifreeze snot balls) It also looks like some green A/F amongst mostly yellow A/F. But a good bit of floating moving yellowish/brown gunk is spewing up.

I am looking for a test kit to check for exaust gasses in the antifreeze but be damned if I know how to use it on the neck since it is right above the thermostat. and will spew, when the thermostat opens and the tank isn;t sealed.

I am trying to be the wrench as much as I can here and am avoiding mechinics to the extent possible to save her money. my labor and skin is free as long as I can do it... she is on disability so she has a very limited budget.


Ok this is a long post and I apologize, about the mini rant, but this thing has been one problem after another... and it is killing me in costs.

I would appreciate some words of wisdom from folks with experience with these beasts, on what way to proceed.

Jim
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 02:19 am
Badglas's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 493
Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hate_this_POS View Post
Ok I will first say I am NOT a fan of the PT Cruiser, it is my GF's car (its cute) and I am unlucky enough to have to fix it, or pay to fix it as she is on a limited income.

Story, she recently bought this POS used with 148000 miles on it, for $1700, i have dumped about that much into it so far... timing belt, pulley, water pump, belts, (original) never replaced, tune up, tensioner, motor mount...

next a week later front wheel bearings started howling, then found it needed tie rod ends, then a window switch unit...

I notice a antifreeze smell in the when she starts the heat (dissipates later) so I am guessing the heater core needs replacement sometime soon. hopefully I can postpone that for another day,

However for the moment my focus is on an intermittent overheating issue she has.

It doesn't happen frequently maybe 3x-4xtime in the past two months,

the first time was after running some errands around town maybe 4 stops, 30 min and say 20miles it occurred just after going through a car wash, temp spiked, chimed and dropped back to normal.

second time after idling for a few minutes she went into town (5 miles maybe) going throgh town @ 30-45 mph temp spiked, alarm went off (maybe hit red) and again started dropping fairly quickly (less then a min) back to normal.

3rd time after tooling around a good bit, maybe an hour running errands, then sat through a car wash, then about 5 more miles, going into town @ about 55 mph and alarm went off (just hitting the red) i was in car this time so I maxed the heater/fan to on high, it started dropping back to normal right away and was normal again after maybe 30 seconds

Ok, What I do know and have tested. or replaced.

High speed fan works, kicks in about mid-way up on the temp gauge and cycles on and off (when parked) it seems to me as it should

Low speed fan itself works too, it is funky but it works it cycles on and off quickly when ac is turned on, voltage does same on my VOM (to digress I believe this is due do to the AC system needing to be charged and or a faulty compressor and/or both. I know positively 100% it is empty of refrigerant. The guy who did her belt/water pump had to empty the AC , then open the A/C lines to lift the motor to change the Timing belt/water pump, motor mount etc . he left it to me to recharge, now It doesn;t want to take a re-charge but that is for another thread... It is december in wisconsin we don;t need AC this time of year).

I have replaced the Rad cap

Ok, I tried to bleed air from coolant system with the zert looking fitting, it does nothing when pressed in as far as I can press it with a pin punch (about 1/2") it appears not functional that I can see. neither air or coolant came out it did nothing when depressed and stayed depressed.

Prior to the new cap, it was filling the coolant resovor tank, and radiator would end up running low, (I though that was the cause of the overheat at first ) add fluid was fine for awhile then it over filled the tank. So put a new cap on, Since the new cap it appears to be pulling coolant back into the Radiator. raises in the tank when hot and drops later when cool. or so it appears

Some have mentioned removing the cap when cool and making sure the radiator was full, then to start the car, with cap off and watching, Looking for proper flow and bubbles (head gasket) etc. I am not sure how you effectively do this with this design with the T type fitting above the thermostat and righ angle into the hose. (with a normal radiator yes) but heck I gave it a try just the same.

I Fire it up, first nothing just vibrations, a bit later ( 2-3 min maybe) some bubbling, not crazy, some slow tiny pea sized bubbling just enough to cover about 1/2 the surface in the neck, shortly there after the fluid expanding ( I assume from temp expansion and as pressure raises) it appears to be copmming from radiator as teh thermostat hadent opened yet, or it could have just been starting to open not sure. It slowly overflows onto the rags I have down for such purpose. (not a lot maybe a cup or 2 of expanded up and out) then the thermostat opens right on schedule (about 1/2 way on the temp gauge) as fan kicks on and I have a version of Mount Vesuvius erruopting and a bit of a mess. Honestly I kind of expected this to happen, I didn't see how it was going to "flow a right turn into the hose with the cap off being pumped. Still was useful I guess, coolant has lots of yellow/Brownish coagulated Goo-slime balls (kind of like it was caughing up antifreeze snot balls) It also looks like some green A/F amongst mostly yellow A/F. But a good bit of floating moving yellowish/brown gunk is spewing up.

I am looking for a test kit to check for exaust gasses in the antifreeze but be damned if I know how to use it on the neck since it is right above the thermostat. and will spew, when the thermostat opens and the tank isn;t sealed.

I am trying to be the wrench as much as I can here and am avoiding mechinics to the extent possible to save her money. my labor and skin is free as long as I can do it... she is on disability so she has a very limited budget.


Ok this is a long post and I apologize, about the mini rant, but this thing has been one problem after another... and it is killing me in costs.

I would appreciate some words of wisdom from folks with experience with these beasts, on what way to proceed.

Jim
Hi Jim. Welcome to the forum. It's hard to believe with that handle and your opening statement that the help isn't just pouring in.

Let's start simple. The radiator is full of goo derived of different colored anti-freeze and it overheats. I'm stumped.

You suspect a leaking heater core, letting coolant out and air in. Stumped again.

You bled the system unsuccessfully by pushing down on the "zert looking thing" with a punch. So the air wasn't bled. Puzzling......

I'm sorry I couldn't be more help, but as you said it is a POS.

Good luck! Maybe a member who has more POS experience than me could help further. Any member with a POS PT have any ideas?

Ron
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 02:27 am
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Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

you don't push it in you unsrew it like bleeding brakes. Also did you pull the plugs and make sure you don't have any antifreeze in the cyl. if so it maybe a bad head gasket.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 08:04 am
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Posts: 27,744
Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

Words fail me after reading your post. You come to a forum for help full of people that happen to really like a PT Cruiser and explain that your GF bought a car with 148K miles for $1700 and you can't, with your limited skills, figure out what's wrong. Just telling us that you pushed down with that punch on the bleed valve instead of turning it, shows that you shouldn't be working on the car...any car. Telling us that the coolant "has lots of yellow/Brownish coagulated Goo-slime balls (kind of like it was caughing up antifreeze snot balls) It also looks like some green A/F amongst mostly yellow A/F" would normally tell any person that the radiator is junk and the whole system from the radiator cap to heater core needs to be thrown out and new parts installed. Nobody in their right mind should expect anything but trouble after spending so little on a 10-12 year old car with that many miles and no idea what the car went through. She recently bought it which is the worst time anyone could buy a used car with all the hundreds of thousands of cars that were junked with the recent storm that hit the east coast. Half of them probably found their way into the used car market looking for people to buy them, unaware of the problems they face.

So far you put out in fixing the PT the same amount as she did buying it. Be prepared to double that again on more parts to keep it going.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 15 Dec 2012 at 08:24 am.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 08:31 am
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Location: New Bern
Posts: 44
Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

1st, I understand your pains.
1st,do a compression test on all cylinders,if they pass
The 2nd thing I would do is replace the radiator(an easy inexpensive fix).I'm shure it's stopped up with gook.,what you probubly smell is the coolant recovery tank,mine did it too.Be shure and clean the system out with some flush type cleaner,then pure water.
Completly drain system and refill with a HOAT type antifreeze mix to protect what you've already done.

tackle a big problem with small steps an walk right to it.
ronpolley
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 09:09 am
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Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

OK you are a bit frustrated. First it survived all those miles without any real up keep. I would call that a pretty darn good car. It would probably be a good idea to check the compression as you have gotten it to red a few times. If that passes, I would try doing a flush of the cooling system. And try it again. Make sure you have a new thermostat. Just a standard kind and inspect t stat housing for cracks. Let us know where your at when you get done.

Forgive the others as they too get frustrated! They are normally kind and helpful and some of the most knowledgeable people here. A POS is the previous owners who never maintained the PT. Any car will fail with that maintenance record.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 09:24 pm
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Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badglas View Post
Hi Jim. Welcome to the forum. It's hard to believe with that handle and your opening statement that the help isn't just pouring in.

Let's start simple. The radiator is full of goo derived of different colored anti-freeze and it overheats. I'm stumped.

You suspect a leaking heater core, letting coolant out and air in. Stumped again.

You bled the system unsuccessfully by pushing down on the "zert looking thing" with a punch. So the air wasn't bled. Puzzling......

I'm sorry I couldn't be more help, but as you said it is a POS.

Good luck! Maybe a member who has more POS experience than me could help further. Any member with a POS PT have any ideas?

Ron
Ron, Thanks for the warm welcome, The sarcasm was appreciated (probably deserved) I let my frustration out... However I didn't say ALL PT's were a POS, just this one that has me a bit frustrated at the moment...

Thanks again merry xmas,
Jim
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 09:35 pm
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Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by needmoretoys View Post
you don't push it in you unsrew it like bleeding brakes. Also did you pull the plugs and make sure you don't have any antifreeze in the cyl. if so it maybe a bad head gasket.
Lenny

Ok, Thanks for the info! I am familiar with break bleeders, Even have the specific brake wrenches for them, I'll see if any i have fit... and do that. Forgive my ignorance, I never had a car that had one before and before reading about it didn't know it did either. I read somewhere online to press it so I did. live and learn. This is my first transitionally mounted 4 cylinder engine. All my cars and trucks previously had conventionally mounted V-8 or V-6 engines.

Thank you again...

Merry Xmas

Jim
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 09:40 pm
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Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

What is pos?
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 09:57 pm
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Default Re: May issues lets start with intermittant overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa_Powered View Post
What is pos?
Piece of s**t! Hope this helps.
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