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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03 May 2017, 09:57 pm
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Default PT Cruiser Overheating

My 2007 PT Cruiser has been overheating. The problem has grown worse over the past month or two. It was intermittent, with the gauge going only a little bit over the halfway mark, but now reaches the 'H'.

I flushed the coolant system and replaced the thermostat. A bit better, but the problem persists.

So I took it to the dealer, who diagnosed the following:

-radiator leak
-fan fails to turn on at low speeds

This seems consistent with the fact that the overheating generally happened at low speeds rather than travelling on the freeway.

The dealer does not think it's a head gasket. But the mechanic indicated there is a valve gasket leak, as well as a broken motor mount.

I'm considering whether to do the repairs. My question is, given the high mileage on the car (around 177,000) and the cost of repairs (parts and labor for fan and radiator would be around 1400), is this something worthwhile?

Also, as money is tight right now, I have to wonder whether there is a connection between the valve gasket leak (not covered in the parts and labor quoted above) and the overheating. I suspect that's a slow leak, since I have not lost a lot of oil of late. So what I'm wondering is whether replacing the radiator and fan would fix the overheating and allow me to get perhaps another several thousand miles out of the car. I was not planning to take on more debt for a car loan or to save up for another vehicle until after the beginning the year. (Long story, but I've had a lot of expenses of late.)

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 03 May 2017, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

$1400 for parts and labor? Are these parts gold plated? That seems awfully high. I had both my radiator and fan replaced with aftermarket ones by my mechanic for $447. Head gasket issues should be able to be ruled out with a compresion test. I would try to get a quote from someone else.

By valve gasket you mean valve cover gasket, right? That is something that also shouldn't be too much to replace. As far as the engine mount, do you mean the center mount? Or the upper and lower torque struts which some people refer to as mounts? If it is one of the torque struts those are pretty simple DIY jobs that should be quick.

Assuming the diagnosis on your cooling system is correct and all other components are fine, your PT should be fine.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03 May 2017, 10:23 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

Welcome to the forum

Have you had this vehicle since new? If so, has the timing belt ever been replaced on it? If not, hard to believe that you could have that many miles on the original belt.

If the timing belt has not been replaced, it is way overdue. To do the timing belt work and the other components (timing belt, water pump, tensioner, idler pulley, cam seals, crank seal, center motor mount with new bolt) is going to be about $1000-$1500, on top of whatever issues you are already facing with your PT.

But if it does overheat to the point of causing severe damage, it may be difficult to justify costly repairs, as the car may not be economical to fix it at that point. The ideal plan is to stay on top of small issues before they become huge problems.

Last edited by rckstein; 03 May 2017 at 10:27 pm.
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Old 03 May 2017, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by rckstein View Post
Welcome to the forum

Have you had this vehicle since new? If so, has the timing belt ever been replaced on it? If not, hard to believe that you could have that many miles on the original belt.

If the timing belt has not been replaced, it is way overdue. To do the timing belt work and the other components (timing belt, water pump, tensioner, idler pulley, cam seals, crank seal, center motor mount with new bolt) is going to be about $1000-$1500, on top of whatever issues you are already facing with your PT.

But if it does overheat to the point of causing severe damage, it may be difficult to justify costly repairs, as the car may not be economical to fix it at that point. The ideal plan is to stay on top of small issues before they become huge problems.

I replaced the timing belt and water pump around 30,000 miles ago, so those parts should be ok.

I thought the $1400 quote was high. This dealer usually seems to be on the high side depending on the type of work. Not sure why.

Assuming I opted to do the work, whether through the dealer or someone else, what do you think about the other issue (valve--not HEAD-gasket)? Is there a connection between this an overheating?
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Old 03 May 2017, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

You have to get the overheating under control before it causes real damage. The dealer is awfully high on the radiator and fan, and that's most likely because they will use OEM parts.

Did they do a full diagnostic on the fan and tell you the fan was actually bad for one or both speeds?

If the fan and radiator need to be replaced, and you can't do the work yourself, you might try getting an estimate from say Goodyear. They will most likely use NAPA parts and it could be about 1/4-1/2 of the dealer price. On the fan, it's best to get one that includes the relays and wiring harness, if you reuse those parts from your old fan, you may be transferring problems to the new fan.

If they replace the valve cover gasket, be sure they also replace the O-rings around the spark plug wells.
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Old 03 May 2017, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

Last fall I replaced radiator because of top tank crimp leaking and radiator cooling fan a few months before that, Installed them my self in less than 4 hours and way under $200 for parts.
I think it all comes apart with a 10 mm socket and pliers to release the hose clamps. I used a regular and deep well 10 mm on a 1/4 drive ratchet
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Last edited by JoeX; 03 May 2017 at 11:38 pm.
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Old 04 May 2017, 12:24 am
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

I think the estimate includes replacing all hoses, too. Is this something really necessary if the existing hoses are intact?
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Old 04 May 2017, 05:53 am
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

Along time ago and far far away..... antifreeze caused the hoses to soften and swell and require replacing, I cannot remember the last time I found a bad hose, haven't changed one in years. If its not rubbed through or cut, use your own judgement.
I'm sure the parts store or dealer would be glad to see you.
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Addicted to Mopar You can tell how old I am..
65 Dodge Coronet 6 cyl 2dr Post
66 Ply Satellite with 273 engine swap to 69 340 4spd
70 340 4spd Dart Swinger "Those were the days my friend"
73 Charger SE
Had a few Vetts on the way 69, 85
Several Neons some flips
01 Sebring flip
Cruiser's 01, 220K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 03 133K Gone to a new home
Cruiser 06 110K Project Gone to new Home
Cruiser 05 Ltd 120,809 bought with broken belt Oct2015
May 16 Resurrected to once again roam the streets.

20 Miles South Of Pittsburgh
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04 May 2017, 07:06 am
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

Where do you live? I'd be willing to do all of that for you for half that price and that would INCLUDE the parts. You really need to call a few independent garages in your area and stay the hell away from that dealership. They're screwing you without even taking you out to dinner first. And I didn't see any mention of a new thermostat and gasket. You'd better add a couple hundred more for that at the stealership!
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Last edited by chuzz; 04 May 2017 at 07:13 am.
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Old 04 May 2017, 09:52 am
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Default Re: PT Cruiser Overheating

The fan and radiator are essentially the same job. You have to remove the fan (6 bolts and the power plug) to get to the radiator (another handful of bolts and the top/bottom hose). I was reamed $140 for a radiator at Autozone, but I needed it right away. If I had the time, I would have bought it mail order for about $40-$50. The fan is <$100 shipped or about $140 locally. It's literally a 1 hour job so even if a dealer is charging 2 hours at $150, you are still getting taken.

You have to disconnect the hoses anyway to get the radiator out so sticking a new hose in simply means unclamping the other side and replacing the $10-$20 hose with a new one.

The "motor mounts" are probably the passenger side engine torque struts. That's another 1 hour job and $20 in parts (much more if you buy OEM). That is a completely different job so you can hold off on that if you can tolerate the engine rocking back and fort during acceleration and that's only if they are completely torn like mine were.



Be sure that both top and bottom torque struts are replaced
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