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'03 won't start in cold, and coolant looks rusty

 
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Old 07 Jan 2014, 09:07 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Wisconsin
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Unhappy '03 won't start in cold, and coolant looks rusty

Okay, so I just bought a 2003 PT, limited edition, and two days back, when a cold snap hit it refused to start. It started up fine on Sunday when it was about three degrees, but Monday and Tuesday, both around -11 it refuses to start. The Starter turns over, and today, around 0 degrees, the engine even turned over a few times.
Today, on a whim, I checked the coolant, bu taking off the pressure cap, and noticed the spring was rusty, and the fluid in the tube below it looked rusty, though the liquids dripping off the cap were clear. I'm going out to check and see if I can find the reserve for the coolant, to see what level it's at.
My question is, is it possible that my anti-freeze/coolant has frozen, and that this is keeping the car from starting, or should they not be related to each other?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07 Jan 2014, 09:21 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Wisconsin
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Default Re: '03 won't start in cold, and coolant looks rusty

Okay, so I went back out and checked again, the fluid looks more dark orange than rusty, maybe, not really sure, but I couldn't tell if there was any fluid in the reservoir, keep in mind the vehicle hasn't started in three days. Any ideas, I really hate having to inconvenience people to get a ride to work.
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Old 19 Jan 2014, 03:36 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bartlett, TN
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Default Re: '03 won't start in cold, and coolant looks rusty

I have an 05 convertible. I just replaced my thermostat. My coolant was definitely orange. What you may have on your cap is a little corrosion or gunk that's the color it is due to the color of the coolant. I had my timing belt as well as serpentine belt and hoses changed this summer at my local Chrysler dealership. I am assuming they changed the coolant as well. Might have to get my ticket out to see if I was charged for coolant.
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2003 Nissan Altima (Son's)
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2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible (Toad)
2006 Saturn Vue (Daughter's)
1999 Holiday Rambler Motorhome (Retirement home someday!)
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Old 19 Jan 2014, 03:42 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bartlett, TN
Posts: 73
Default Re: '03 won't start in cold, and coolant looks rusty

Also during this January's polar vortex event it was down to 7 one morning in the Memphis area. My PT was slow to start and died at the end of my block. It started back up and got me to work. I'm sure I'll need a new battery before long, but it hasn't given me any problems since. It hasn't been nearly that cold again either.

You really find out you need a new thermostat when its 7 and its stuck open. I had a 30 minute drive to work without heat!
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2003 Nissan Altima (Son's)
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2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible (Toad)
2006 Saturn Vue (Daughter's)
1999 Holiday Rambler Motorhome (Retirement home someday!)
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anti-freeze, cold start, coolant, starter, starting


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