PT Cruiser Forum  

Go Back   PT Cruiser Forum > General Forums > Tech & Performance Forum

PT Cruiser Forum

Now the head gasket?

Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By chuzz

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 25 Mar 2017, 04:20 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
Default Now the head gasket?

I have a 2007 non turbo pt cruiser with a little over 120k miles, I am the second owner. We've replaced the timing belt, spark plugs, and cam sensor within the last two years. Was running great until a few months ago and it's been going downhill since then. First issue was that it stayed to run a bit rough and gave a P0481 code. The rough idling went away on its own then came back a month ago on my way home and had to pull over four times due to it overheating. It was losing coolant from front passenger side of engine, and after the fourth pull over it wouldn't stay back up. I was adding coolant/water each time. I then replaced the cooling fan, which the blades were detached and looked like the bolt was cut off. Then replaced the radiator since there were a few cuts and an imprint from the blades. I also replaced the lower radiator hose which where most the coolant leak was coming from. Got it started and now it's not overheating but it's making a gurgling noise from the reservoir. Thought it needed to be burped or needed coolant concentrate due to the amount of water I used to find the leak. The concentrate didn't help so ended up taking it to a local shop to get it flushed, and they're now telling me I have a blown head gasket. Does this sound right? Wouldn't the temperature gage say it's overheating? They didn't even attempt to flush it, they just ran the diagnostics. I did still have the code P0481 before taking it in but thought it needed to cleared out. After all this money and work I just want to verify this is correct and they're not trying to take advantage of me?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 26 Mar 2017, 07:22 am
Veteran Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lake Wales, FL
Posts: 4,812
Default Re: Now the head gasket?

Could be that the shop is trying to take advantage because you're a female. It happens all too often and they should be ashamed. I will tell you what I'd check and do as a cheap old fart that works on his own cars. First, remove the radiator cap and see if the antifreeze looks like chocolate milk. If not, that's good. Check your oil dipstick and look for the same chocolate milk look on the stick. If not, great! Then, start the car and smell the exhaust. If it's sweet smelling and blowing white smoke, you're probably looking at a blown head gasket. If neither is observed, you're okay. Now, either get your radiator cap pressure tested or simply buy a new one. I THINK on the non-turbo, that a 16 pound pressure cap will be fine. I run an 18 on my turbo. You also need to check the rubber hose that runs from the radiator filler neck to the overflow reservoir. It that sucker has a small crack or hole in it somewhere, it will cause the gurgling sound you hear. Personally, I'd just replace the radiator cap and overflow hose as a precautionary measure anyway. You should be able to do it yourself for under $20. I forgot to ask if the thermostat was replaced? If not, it's relatively easy to do yourself too. Make sure to test the new one in a pot of boiling water before installing. You want to make sure it opens. Leave the gasket off when testing! LOL

Aspire to inspire before you expire.

Last edited by chuzz; 26 Mar 2017 at 07:24 am.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 26 Mar 2017, 08:34 am
VsandFords's Avatar
Senior Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gladewater, Texas
Posts: 1,908
Default Re: Now the head gasket?

Welcome to the forum.
Life is just a bowl of jello, full of fruits and nuts.

2001 LE, auto, billet grille, tall shifter, polished aluminum spare, K&N filter and Hedman hedder. Why a header? Because it makes me happy!

Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 26 Mar 2017, 12:05 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,329
Default Re: Now the head gasket?

Welcome to the forum.

I would suggest making sure the high speed on the radiator fan is working properly. Take the PT Cruiser to an auto parts store where some will reset the engine trouble codes for free. See if the P0481 comes back.

It's very important that the high speed on the radiator fan is working to have more air going through the radiator to keep the engine temperature down to normal levels.

Also important to check the thermostat. If the engine overheats sometimes it can damage the thermostat and not work properly. If the thermostat is not opening all the way this will keep the engine coolant from circulating properly.

P0481 - High Speed Fan Relay Control Circuit:

Possible Causes:

1. High Speed fan relay power circuit is open from the relay to fused power
2. High High Speed fan relay control circuit is open or shorted to chassis ground
3. Fan relay failed
4. PCM has failed.
If at First You Don't Succeed - Try, Try Again

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 26 Mar 2017 at 12:25 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 26 Mar 2017, 05:30 pm
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Pasadena TX
Posts: 713
Default Re: Now the head gasket?

If the water pump and tensioner and idler were not replaced with the timing that would be a mistake.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 30 Mar 2017, 09:45 am
rsrocket1's Avatar
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 756
Default Re: Now the head gasket?

Originally Posted by cruisingirl View Post
they're now telling me I have a blown head gasket.

They didn't even attempt to flush it, they just ran the diagnostics.

After all this money and work I just want to verify this is correct and they're not trying to take advantage of me?
The gurgling noise could be from air in the cooling system expanding and pushing out through the reservoir. MAKE SURE THE RESERVOIR IS FILLED EACH TIME YOU STOP THE CAR AND BEFORE YOU START IT UP AGAIN. If you still had air in the cooling system, it's going to be the first thing that expands and gets pushed out to the reservoir. After the engine and air cool down, the air will contract and pull coolant back in from the reservoir. If you fill the reservoir at the end of a drive and the next morning, the tank has gone down or is empty, you know the system is doing its job of pushing the air out and sucking coolant back in as the engine cools down. MAKE SURE YOU FILL THE RESERVOIR BACK TO THE FILL LINE.

Of course the proper thing to do is to bleed all the air out properly according to the service manual.

Shop "diagnostics"
As Chuzz said, what "diagnostics"? If they showed you "chocolate milk" coolant or oil on the dipstick, then you really do need a new head gasket. If they showed you that they did a pressure test and the "diagnostics" showed a leaking cylinder, then that would be sufficient too. If they wouldn't tell you, get away and stay away from that shop.

A truly overheated engine could very well need a new head gasket but it's not a guaranteed failure.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
head gasket? Head ? radiator ?????? rustytoolss General PT Cruiser Discussions 15 12 Sep 2014 12:57 pm
PT Getting New Cylinder Head, Head Gasket, Water Pump. What Could I Mod? 06turbolite Tech & Performance Forum 8 14 May 2013 09:16 am
03 pt turbo oil in water new head gasket fresh head strokedoutss General Turbo Discussions 7 17 Apr 2013 04:22 pm
Whats the Head flat spec. for head gasket. Busted_PT Tech & Performance Forum 7 26 Apr 2012 08:16 am
WARPED HEAD / SCORED CAMSHAFT / BLOWN HEAD GASKET amadeo Tech & Performance Forum 5 12 Apr 2011 01:03 am

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:45 pm.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 © 2011, Crawlability, Inc.