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Mopar Certified
Mopar Certified, Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 11328
Experience:  24 Year Factory Trained and Certified
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2001 PT Cruiser: overheated..water leaks..temperature gauge

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Hi. My 2001 PT Cruiser recently overheated. My local mechanic said the water pump is fine - no leaks - and they replaced the thermostat, but the car is still getting quite hot, 3/4 up the temperature gauge. What do I do?
Welcome to Just Answer Chrysler my name isXXXXX don't know your automotive experience level, so I may need to alter the answer to your needs.

Was the only repair work done, to replace the thermostat?

Is the radiator fan coming on?

Are you having to add coolant.......even small amounts?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, the thermostat is all that has been done. I don't know about the radiator fan coming on....and have not had to add coolant.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The mechanic now says that we should replace the water pump, even though no codes are coming up when he does diagnostics, and it is not leaking any water at all. I am on a fixed income so I don't need to be putting a ton of money into this if it's not going to help.
Thank you for your reply.

Ok, the first thing that should be checked is whether or not the electric cooling fan is coming on to cool the radiator. When the engine is up to operating temperature, and the guge is around the 1/2 mark, the fan should kick in to maintain the correct temperatures.

We see a lot of fan motor failures on the PT's, so if your fan does not turn on, then you may need a new fan. Of course, testing all the fuses first is the best place to start in case the fan fuse has blown.

A second common issue we see with these models is leaking head gaskets. There is a chemical kit available from your parts outlet that will check for the presence of cmbustion gases in the cooling system. If these gases are present, then that would indicate a leak.

Alternatively, if you are dealing with a shop, they can apply compressed air to the engine cylinders and check for the presence of air bubbles in the cooling system and this also would inidicate a head gasket issue.

With a little bit more detective work, I am confident that one of these 2 things is going to be the most likely cause of your overheating concerns.

I wouldn't just jump in and throw a new water pump at it just for the sake of trying it. Unless it is leaking, or the 2 things I have mentioned are perfect.

If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Thank you,

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