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2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jan 2015, 03:53 pm
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Unhappy 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

This might be a long story sorry if it is I want to get as much info in here as I can.

My car is 06 Limited. Bought it new. Back in 08 09 my kids mom crashed my car. She almost went off a cliff ended up hitting big rocks stopping the car. My car ended up having the body twisted and the radiator with a big old hole in it.

I went through my insurance and got my car fixed at a Caliber Collision center. They twisted the body back straight got the dents out and replaced the radiator. Well in 2013 the radiator started leaking. I was seeing my temp gauge fluctuating. It would go up to either the top temp light would come on or up to the 3/4th mark then after a little bit would drop down to normal a little below the half way mark. This happend every day for months on end every time when I would get in my car for the first time in the morning then hop on the freeway it would happen. So I started noticing fluid leaking from the top of the radiator. And guess what color my coolant was? Green!!! So I took my car back to Caliber told them the issues with the temp gauge and radiation. I stressed at them to please make sure to put in the hota fluid. So they found out that opps we put in the wrong size radiator and there was a bent bracket. They tried to blame the bent bracket on me. I got them at no charge to replace the rad and the bracket. And guess what they did again GREEN FLUID after I told them to use the hota. So I had to take my car back again and sit there and watch them to make sure they used the correct fluid for my car.

So that part got fixed. I got my car back and I noticed my heater wasn't working. I asked if the burped the system they said yea but I kept telling them that my heater isnt working. So again they took my car. Had the system burped again and said your heater is working fine. I drive down the street and it was blowing luke warm heat if that. I didnt want to deal with them any more so i said screw it.

Well after all that fun same thing started happening with my temp gauge again. Fist thing in the morn go up to full hot light would come on then drop down to normal. So I took it myself said screw them and replaced my thermostat. I bought one of the burping funnel things and got fluid from the dealership. My heater would work for a few days then stop. Still had issues with the temp gauge.

So come last year I had to drive up to San Francisco from my place in SoCal. If any of you know its a 6-7 hour drive and lots of hills. So all through Los Angels sitting in traffic with my A/C on (its was like 90+ outside) my temp gauge stayed in the mid range. About 2 hours from home going up the grapevine boom car starts to overheat. I pulled off let it cool got my burping funnel my fluid premixed and sat that getting everything working. Heater was working so I was driving in 90+ with my heater on and the windows down got a few hundred miles and my heater would stop working and then the car over heated again. I did again what I mentioned above atlest 4 - 6 more times the said F-it 66 miles from my brothers house and had to get my car towed. Lets just say my 6 hour drive turned into 13 hours.

I called the collision place bitched them out they had a office in the bay area they took my car tested it gave me a rental and found out I im sure all you can guess it was a blown head gasket. So instead of replacing the head gask they put in a used motor that had 5k less miles on it and has a 1 year warranty. Took them 2 weeks I couldnt stay up in the bay area any longer so i took my rental car back down. They shipped my car back down to me. They replaced the motor the water pump and the belts and rad hoses.

Well car was running fine right? NOPE heater worked but guess what started happening again the temp gauge issue. So call them back tell them whats going on. They take my car to a Dodge Dealership they did a test on the cooling system and said they couldn't get the issue to happen again and gave me my car back.

Same thing every day started happening again with the temp gauge. Called them back this time I took a video to show them. Car went back to the dealership. This time I laid out all the knowledge I know that I have learned on this site about what it could be. Laid it all out to the service agent requested the fan relays be replaced since my low was not turning one and he said and I quote "Your wrong...it cant be a blown head gasket or relay that is extremely rare in PT's" Needless to say the guy was a asshat and extremely rude. So they replaced my temp sensor and thermostat (that was replace when they put the new motor in). They did a block test and no blown head gasket.

So $600 later paid out by the collision place gauge still doing the same exact thing. Car went back to the dealership and this time after some arguing with the service guy they replaced my fan relays tested the system again. And the day I get my car back again same issue this time worse then before. Called the service manager at the dealership and he stated that it could be a electrical issue and a bad gauge. I very much doubt that. I replace my rad cap hoping that was the last thing I could think of still happens. So I am at a loss here. I need some ammo to give these clueless ass hats to get my car fixed. I am so frustrated right now. I am attaching a video of what the gauge is doing.


Last edited by aluisi; 21 Jan 2015 at 04:06 pm.
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Old 21 Jan 2015, 04:58 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

Are you sure the radiator is not stopped up? The mixing of the incompatible antifreeze types may have caused a precipitant to form in the radiator and heater core that partially blocks them. Since the engine was changed out, you are really only left with the fan or radiator.

Also, you might mount an inexpensive mechanical temperature gauge. Mechanical temp gauges and generally more accurate than the the dash gauge and will leave no doubt what the engine temp actually is.
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Old 21 Jan 2015, 05:38 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

Coolant level stays fine? Not losing any coolant?
Almost seems like an air bubble, but that would work itself out ...
Maybe get a temperature "gun" and scan the radiator for hot/cold spots.
Another possibility - how sure are you they really replaced the water pump???
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Old 21 Jan 2015, 05:40 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

"...it cant be a blown head gasket or relay that is extremely rare in PT's"

THAT is REALLY funny....
dalandon likes this.
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Old 21 Jan 2015, 06:32 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

Ya i couldn't believe that the guy said that. He straight up said

"A blown head gasket? Well we will make sure to do a block check on it but your wrong!!! Its extremely rare that PT motors blow head gaskets!"

And yes the ! are in there cuz he was very adiment about his point and rude to the point of belittlement and trying to make me look stupid.

Okay to answer your questions

quicksilverdon
Coolant level stays fine?
Not losing any coolant?
Another possibility - how sure are you they really replaced the water pump???

Coolant levels are fine when but rez tank never seams to move at all. Always has the same amount of coolant regardless of the cars temp and radiator always has same amount when I take off the cap.

The only place I noticed that there was coolant was looks like coolant came out from under the cap and onto the motor. I could see dried up white spots so i replaced the cap and havent seen that since.

I got the invoice from the place that replaced the motor had a brake down of all the work in there stats replaced water pump and serpentine belt. Since I wasnt there for the work I just have to take there word for it. They stressed to me that when they do this kind of thing they never change the water pump but did it for me just in case with a new one.


Handy_Cruiser
Are you sure the radiator is not stopped up?

This I am not to sure about. I did mention it to them when the collision place had there mechanic out to go over my car. He never mentioned anything about a blockage just that he couldnt recreate the issue. He did a block test as well. I am inclined to agree it might have something to do with a blockage but when I bleed it before the coolant would rise up in the funnel then drop when the thrum opened.

Mechanical temp gauge is a great idea I will look into that as well.


When i picked my car up from the dealership they told me when they check the cooling system they check the temp of the coolant fan speeds and simulate a over heat with the computer thing hooked up and also run the fans that way. They said everything checked out. But I do know that like you said Handy that mixing the fluids with out a full flush can cause a blockage. I never asked them if they flushed the system when they did the motor swap I just assumed they did since you know they changed the motor.

These are all great questions guys I will ask them when I see them tomorrow and see what they say. Right now though I am going to bitch and complain that they change the rad fan out for a new one flush the system and take a look to see if there is a stoppage some where. If there is they need to replace my rad again.

Anything else can you guys think of that I should bring up to them?
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Old 21 Jan 2015, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

This is a TIPM car Without the car in front of me, you probably have DTC's that need to be cleared with a DRBIII scan tool (or equivalent, Snap On). Where you located in So Cal?
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 01:40 am
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

radiator fan operation chart.jpg
I would think your radiator is plugged according to the chart it should cycling correctly, after seeing your video
the fan should turn on just below the 1/2 way mark and hover between 210-219
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Last edited by dalandon; 22 Jan 2015 at 01:43 am.
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 02:22 am
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

Im in the OC Newport Beach Area. you think the comp just needs to be clear? they told me that they did all the diag with it and go errors

They just changed out the fan relays at the dealership. I had a brake down of when they said on the paper when the fans turn on and at what temp. I cant find the paper. Shoot. Sorry for the late reply I was cleaning my house. I will have to get another copy from the dealership and post what they said. They are taking my car again tomorrow I will make sure to get a copy and post it here.
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 04:25 am
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

It needs PCM !! If instrument dash has been replaced and ect is working and thermostat. And if you have good heat inside the car. It's PCM these PT cruiser and Chrysler PCM are trash!! They don't know that's why there throwing parts at it it's PCM!! I bought one reman had tech come to our shop and pay him 100.00 to program with Chrysler computer. Since I didn't have. All software on my snap on computer. Check in your town call around there's tech's that have these computers that make appointment's and come to you. The charge should be 100.00.
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Old 22 Jan 2015, 04:36 am
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Default Re: 2006 PT Temp Gauge Issue

By the way depending on owner or owners how they drive and what maintenance they do is what determines head gaskets being out of a car pt cruiser has no exception!!! Timing belts with water pumps always!!! And always buying better felpro gasket kits help so your not back in it!!! At 100k on most cars today just preventive maintenance can get expensive so people wait till it breaks!!! Or don't run. But back to head gasket air getting into coolant do to antifreeze leak at water pump gasket or wheel hole or lower intake or thermostat left unattended for along time is bad for head gaskets!! Having Empty coolant bottle is bad for motor if for along time gone unnoticed and temp gauge got real hot!! So yes head gaskets on pt cruiser not so uncommon had to even shim a 2.4l after head was shaved!!!
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