Chrysler PT Cruiser Transmission Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
edited June 2015 in Chrysler


  • susanzsusanz Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 2004 PT Turbo, automatic, LTD and I love it but it feels like the transmission slips when I take off from a stop, as if stopping at a red light which suddenly turns green.(not a California stop). It also cuts out or "misfires" when pulling a small hill at 45 mph, especially if I down shift. My dealer says their computer indicates my computer is Ok, there is no "adjusting" the transmission, and that others complained about the same thing, yet my salesman has never heard of this. It's embarrassing to take people in a new car which displays this kind of behavior. I have an appointment to take a ride with the service team. If they still tell me this is normal, I'm requesting a test drive a 2004 PT Turbo off of their lot. Before I embarrass myself I wonder if anyone else really has complained about this.
  • jlawyerjlawyer Member Posts: 12
    Have someone check the wiring to the O2 sensors. There might be a kink in the wiring, that will intermittently kill the sensors, giving the computer faulty air/fuel mixture readings, and cause this exact problem. It affects not just idle, but acceleration. What you described is exactly the problem my 2003 GT was having. Trust me, I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and the dealer still couldn't find the problem (my car spent 7 weeks in 3 months in the shop). I took it to another dealer and they found the problem only after their diagnostics found 2 faulty O2 sensors(what are the odds of that happening?).
  • jconnerjconner Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Pt Cruiser. It developed a problem that it won't shift into reverse. Acted up for about a week and now won't shift into reverse at all. Any suggestions.
  • jconnerjconner Member Posts: 2
    Found problem....shifting cable has gone bad.....$153 just for the cable.
  • ericmayericmay Member Posts: 4
    Can you shift it into reverse when the engine is shut off? If you can't, the shifter linkage needs to be adjusted. If you can . . . transmission repairs.
  • massptmasspt Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 PT cruiser and I am getting an intermitent shimmy as I drive down the highway. It not a tire or anything. It will shimmy almost as if it is stuttering then it goes away then it happens again. Anyone have this issue?
  • mmgeiermmgeier Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 PT that i got @ 2 months ago and i'm experiencing intermitent shimmy. i have had it to the dealer 3 times and they can't find anything. any suggestions? Also, i have noticed it takes a while to get heat . .
  • mmgeiermmgeier Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 PT that i got @ 2 months ago and i'm experiencing intermitent shimmy. i have had it to the dealer 3 times and they can't find anything. any suggestions? Also, i have noticed it takes a while to get heat . .
  • redflameredflame Member Posts: 1
    the four speed automatic does not work. the car drives on one speed. what could be the problem
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Does your vehicle have warranty? Even if not I would suggest taking your PT to a mechanic and having them take a look. Riding in first gear can seriously damage the transimssion. Have it looked at ASAP.
  • autodriverautodriver Member Posts: 9
    I think you need to bring the car to outside mechanic shop to find out the problem because the dealer never can help you find out the problem until you have major break down because they can charge more. So don´t waste your money for the dealer .
  • proudestmommyproudestmommy Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I bought my 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser used in Oct of 2006 with about 75,000 miles on it. I had no problems with it up until this past week. My fiance drove it to work and he said it drove fine, on the way home,he said he had the cruise control set at 55 mph, and he said all of a sudden,it started losing speed and downshifting. It is an automatic transmission. He pulled over and turned the car off, checked all of the fluids including the transmission fluid and he said all was well. He got back in, started the car back up, and tried to take off. He said it wouldn't go in any gear but first and wouldn't go over 5 mph, so he had to drive it home that way. We DON'T have the money to replace the transmission. We have 2 kids, I am a SAHM, and he doesn't make much at all. This is our only vehicle. Could it be a sensor or the computer or what? I am sure hoping it's not the transmission, we can't afford to replace the transmission and still make the payments,and no, it's not under warranty. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful and valuable to us. Thanks. If you have had similar problems or have any information, please e-mail me at [email protected] woh dot rr dot com. Thanks! :cry:
  • theoliverscatheoliversca Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my 2004 PT yesterday....did you find out what the problem was and/or get it repaired?
  • proudestmommyproudestmommy Member Posts: 2
    Bad news, I ended up having the transmission rebuilt. One guy wanted to charge me $2200 base price, and maybe more after he got into it. I found another guy who owned his own local shop and he charged me $1400.00. Huge price difference! What did yours do exactly?
  • tedebeartedebear Member Posts: 832
    Wow, after reading some of these trans problem posts I'm glad I invested in a 100,000 mile extended warranty.

    My wife's 03 turbo Cruiser transmission started slipping recently when she'd take off from a stop. Trust me, she does not drive aggressively. It has around 65,000 miles and I changed the trans fluid and filter myself at around 30,000 miles. This car has not been maintenance neglected or abused and the fluid level was within the normal range.

    Anyway, we dropped it off at the dealer night owl drop late last night. They called today and said the trans needed to be rebuilt because of some undetermined internal problem.

    I'd hate to see the bill for that overhaul from a Chrysler dealership but at least we're covered.
  • beachgirl1beachgirl1 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 PT Cruiser with 42,000 miles and an automatic transmission. I am having difficulty pushing the silver button on the shifter to get the car out of park and into driver or reverse.

    Any idea what the problem could be? The dealer can't look at it until later this week.
  • jlarusjlarus Member Posts: 1
    My 2002 PT Cruiser has 31,000 miles on it and suddenly a high pitch noise came out of the transission followed shortly by the trasmission falling out of gear. I've had two mechaics look at it and neither can tell me the problem - just that it's definitely the transmission. I've towed the car to the dealer to see if they can figure out but they can't look at it for several days.

    Any one have an idea of what this could be?
  • fatdawgyfatdawgy Member Posts: 2
    First check the speed sensors if not them its either the trans. control module or trans. control solenoid. I have one thats giving me the same problem, oh and also check the eatx fuse in the fuse block near the master cylinder, most likely its blown.Oh yea 1 other thing for just a few dollars you can get a code reader thats real easy to use and helps narrow down the problem.If you do get one the most likely codes your going to get are p0750 thru 755 which are shift control codes and or a p0500 thru 503 which are speed sensor codes (thats the easy1 to replace).
  • bill154bill154 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 pt and has a metal to metal sound in the front of car. I checked the brakes and their like brand new. I jacked the car up in the center with both front wheels off the ground, I put the car in drive at a idle. Stopping th driver side wheel by hand the noise was still there. Stopping the passage side wheel by hand the noise stopped.I removed the wheel, brakes and rotor it still has the noise. It sounds like it's coming from the transmission metal to metal at a high point.The transmission works fine. Help Bill
  • magickwildfiremagickwildfire Member Posts: 1
    i just got my 2006 pt cruiser not even 2 weeks ago & it has been in the shop for a week of the time. when we first got it i noticed a shimmy whenever it shifted into second gear between 20 & 25 mph. they called us last night to come & pick it up that it had been fixed. when we arrived we drove it off the lot, but took it right back cause it was still doing the same thing. they then told us it had a "learning transmission" & that it would take 150 to a 175 miles for it to straighten out. has anyone ever heard of a "learning transmission"? what would you do in our situation, take it back & try to find something else or let them keep fixing it? :mad:
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Most tranny computers are learning constantly how to keep the vehicle shifting smoothly. Most of them constantly monitor how long the shift takes to complete..and makes adjustments to line pressure accordingly. If the dealer ran a quick learn procedure for the computer and maybe changed the fluid and the problem still exists then there are only 3(lol) explanations. 1. the trans has an internal pressure leak on the 2nd gear circuit, 2. there is a problem with the solenoid block or 3. A crappy computer or crappy computer inputs. Anyway, still give it a few miles for the computer to try and smooth it out ..k, then go from there
  • myohnmyohn Member Posts: 1
    01 Pt , will not shift out of low gear and speedo doesn't work. Can someone help ? THX
  • ptnurseptnurse Member Posts: 2
    my car is an '06 and it does that as well - shifting roughly (almost jerking) from 1st to 2nd gear. I took it in about 3 times before they reprogrammed the computer, but the odd time, I still get that jerking and my car only has 48,000 km on it. Oh and today I found out they have to replace the engine cause mine is shot... I am beginning to think I bought a dud.
  • mdanderson_98mdanderson_98 Member Posts: 2
    The reverse gear on my 2003 PT Cruiser has failed . It's a 5 speed manual. Is there something I can do to correct it or do I need to take it to the shop?

  • shumphreysshumphreys Member Posts: 1
    I have a 01 pt, with 84000 miles and the trans needs replaced, any good tips on where in columbus ohio to go?
  • carlarcarlar Member Posts: 1
    the reverse gear on my 2003 pt cruiser will not work, all the other gears work. I have had no problems or any indication that something was wrong. is there something I can fix or does it need to go to a shop.
  • mauitracimauitraci Member Posts: 1
    Hi everyone... I've been reading your posts, and I would like to add that if you are considering buying a PT Cruiser... DON'T DO IT! :mad: My mom bought a 2001 PT Cruiser and it has just had problem after problem after problem! :lemon: We have put thousands of dollars of work into that car! Between a leak in the cooling system, multiple problems with the power steering, and now a MAJOR tranny problem, this car is a major disaster. :sick: My mom's car will only go in reverse, but none of her forward gears are operational. It is not a gear shift problem, it is a problem within the transmission that requires a complete rebuild.

    My recommendations to all of you suffering tranny problems (and don't have a warranty that can cover the cost of fixing the problems): if it doesn't make sense for you to spend $3,000 or more on it for a tranny rebuild, you need to sell your car ASAP if the important gears are still working (Drive and Reverse primarily). Otherwise, you will be stuck with a car that will cost you thousands to fix and be a constant headache for you in the future. Again, sell it ASAP... or run the risk of it completely crapping out on you to the point where you can't even drive it! And, that is the worst case scenario, because then you have to pay for towing it somewhere. On top of that, if you can't even drive it, the chance of someone buying it from you is pretty much zero. If for some reason a miracle happens and someone does buy it, pretty much it will only get bought by either #1) a mechanic who is willing to give you a thousand or so bucks to tow it and take it off your hands (and he or she will bebuild the tranny and resell it for a profit) or #2) another owner of a PT Cruiser who is willing to buy it from you for spare parts.

    When considering all of this, you NEED to objectively figure out how much your PT Cruiser is actually worth! And be realistic! Kelley Blue Book is only a good guideline for PT Cruisers that are in Fair to Excellent condition. If you have a transmission problem, your PT Cruiser is in POOR condition! So, you have to figure that your KBB value will drop dramatically. I figured that my mom's 2001 PT Cruiser Limited edition with 77,000 miles on it would be worth about $6,000 if we sold it to a private party in fair condition. It would be worth about $4,000 if we sold it as a trade in. But, that is for a PT Cruiser that DOES NOT have major tranny problems and non-functional gears! Again, these types of problems automatically make the value of your car significantly less. And, as far as fixing it, it really doesn't make sense for us to put $3,000 to $4,000 of work into rebuilding a transmission in a car that is only worth around that much anyway! Besides, that doesn't guarantee that our problems are over! This car is notorious for regular, expensive "issues"!

    The bottom line here is to REMEMBER TO WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS CAREFULLY AND OBJECTIVELY BEFORE DOING ANYTHING with your PT Cruiser if it has transmission problems! Thankfully, we are got an offer from a mechanic friend who said he would buy it for $1,000. It's not much, but then again, there is not much else we can do with a car that can only get to the grocery store in REVERSE! ;) We are going to take that money and apply it to another more reliable car like a Honda or Toyota for my mom! Good luck everyone, and I hope this post helped you!
  • tedebeartedebear Member Posts: 832
    take that money and apply it to another more reliable car like a Honda or Toyota for my mom!

    Good luck with that Honda. They've had their fair share of transmission problems lately as well.

    My wife has an 03 Cruiser turbo and she loves it.
  • ronp3ronp3 Member Posts: 1
    I was just driving a borrowed 03 PT (5 speed) and shifted from 2nd into 3rd gear but it was not there. No noise just like being in neutral. There were no preceding problems.
  • sateelasateela Member Posts: 1
    hello everyone i also have the same problems with my 2003 pt cruiser 2.0 limited edition ,the car is stuck at the third gear and sometimes i have difficulties shifting into park,since almost everybody has the same problem with damn car can't we take chrysler to court for selling these cheated cars if not can someone tell me what exact parts are necessay to buy to rebuilt the automatic transmission thank you all
  • craz4ptcraz4pt Member Posts: 1
    Help!! I am looking for information re computer trouble and whether or not it is natural for the torq converter & tranny to go at the same time?? Purchased new, my 2002 PT has been lovingly cared for through 161,000 miles. Always hand my vehicles down to family and wanted to do the same with this but think a dealer has trashed my car!! Without previous trouble, my car stalled 2x immed after startup. Once running, it proceeded to act up on way home from 60 mile commute. Speed would drop from 60 mph (trying to save gas) to 40 mph on or off cruise.Never got any check engine light. Got home, parked and towed to Chrysler dealer where initial diagnosis was "computer". New computer, battery, (original still going), spark plugs, etc the charge was $1400.00. Didn't make it 3 miles, check engine light on. Towed back to dealer, claimed "power steering switch" bad and needed new rotors. Never had any trouble w power steering or ac, as mechanic said I should, and charged almost $400.00, w Svc Advisor stating "lots of mile left in my pt".
    Before ride home from dealer, check engine light back on, this time it's the emissions, though catalytic converter had been changed within past 2 yrs. Nothing changed out. Within 3 days, high pitched whine noticed, parked again & towed to dealer. This time I am told to "trade it in or take it to the salvage yard". Told me they could tear down the torq converter but possibly has "broken weld in tranny or engine" and would cost $2000.00. Having a fit. Meeting with the service and general manager and will be waging war. I know the car was only worth apx $3500.00 bef the trouble started. I think they should have known that the computer trouble might also have caused the torq converter and other damage, which would have kept me from spending anything and just replaced the car. Any info re this would be appreciated. Don't know if I will buy another pt cruiser but I sure loved that car!!
  • sick98lacksick98lack Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 pt cruiser and I accidentally blew my EATX fuse under the hood and now the transmission is stuck in limp mode (second gear) any ideas how to fix this???
  • lake1141lake1141 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 PT and have never had any problems with it until now. It has about 70,000 miles on it. Lately, when I am slowing down for a stop or the car is already stopped, it feels like someone hit me from behind. I've had the transmission fluid and filter changed and the computor reset. Anyone have any ideas?
  • kfradkfrad Member Posts: 1
    You wrote:
    I have a 2003 PT and have never had any problems with it until now. It has about 70,000 miles on it. Lately, when I am slowing down for a stop or the car is already stopped, it feels like someone hit me from behind. I've had the transmission fluid and filter changed and the computor reset. Anyone have any ideas?

    I am having the same problem with my 2002 PT, were you able to solve this problem? Any suggestions?
  • ZMan23ZMan23 Member Posts: 2
    Good morning all, safe and Happy Holidays to all. I have a 2005 Cruiser Limited and have had vibration happening between 1st and end of 2nd gear. Took it to Chrysler and they replaced shafts on both the left and right side. It did make it slightly better but still there. Asked why it is still there and was told they have no other answers or solutions to try. Any thoughts out there? Any help greatly appreciated!!!
  • ann36ann36 Member Posts: 1
    Help!! I have a 2001 PT Cruiser - all of a sudden it won't shift out of first gear - it's automatic - before I spend way too much, can someone suggest anything....please??!! :sick: :confuse: :cry:
  • chevyboy4grampchevyboy4gramp Member Posts: 2
    CHRYSLERs / MOPAR unfortunately are known transmission problems. I always said i would NEVER OWN one. My Gramps and Uncles on my Momma's side of the Family are DIE HARD CHEVY / GM and did their best to talk my Momma out of our PT CRUISER purchase . She does her hardest and it is hard with no child support or any help and being single . My dad is a mopar fan and that gets my Momma because every Mopar she has gave us all kind of problems . On the other hand, our Chevys have never failed us.

    Problem with our PTCruiser?
    First it was the battery, then the coolant (still dont work!) then the battery AGAIN, and shifting problems. The shifting keeps getting worse and worse and we cant nor can ANYONE find where to put the Transmission Fluid as i think that will at least HELP ease the shifting. If anyone knows how to help please let my Momma know. Im just a kid but I am doing my best to helpp her.

    Thank you!
  • chevyboy4grampchevyboy4gramp Member Posts: 2
    Anne, Did you get it fixed? My Momma's car is doing the same thing but it is stick. forums all over advice that is a known problem. My Grammpa and Uncles tried to get her not to buy Mopar but because my dad is a mopar fan i thought that maybe it would be ok, but we have had NOTHING but problems . I feel really bad because my dad dont give her any kind of support or help and gives her a hard time. I feel bad. Please let me know if you got it fixed?
    Momma is trying a Chrysler Advisor and Mechanic online close to where we live. I will let you know if we got it fixed or not.

  • josh99216josh99216 Member Posts: 9
    My buddy just bought an automatic 01 cruiser about 3 weeks ago. He noticed it was leaking transmission fluid so he took it in and had a full transmission service. After getting the car back he noticed it was still leaking. He took the car back and again they replaced the seal. The car is still leaking fluid. Today he was on his way over to my house and stopped at the store. After backing out of the parking spot he put it into drive and nothing happened; the car wouldn't move. He sat there for about 3 minutes and finally the car started to drive. The car seemed to shift just fine as he was driving. He got to my house and decided to see if it was still having problems. He backed it out of my driveway and it was just fine. He shifted it into drive and again the car wouldn't move. He tried Drive 1st and 2nd gears and the car wouldn't move in any of those gears. He tried reverse again and it moved in reverse just fine but wont go forward. He said that before this started happening, when coming to a stop the car would jerk as if he was slamming on the brakes just before coming to a complete stop.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this or how severe it is? Does he need to replace the transmission or could be something less severe like a solenoid or control module? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
  • rasec8711rasec8711 Member Posts: 4
    Hi there Bill, I was surfing through this old forum and I seem to have the exact same problem. Out of all the posts I read you're the only one that matches the description of my problem.
    So anyways, did you ever find out what was the problem with your car ? did you fix it? if so, how much did it turn out to be ?
    I would really appreciate it since I'm the typical starving college kid paying my way through college, and with my part time job i only make enough to pay for my rent and bills. I took it to this place here in Chico, CA and they quoted me like $2780 to have it fixed, waaaayyyyyyy out of my range.
    Thanks for your time and I hope you can get back to me :) :sick:
  • advocate3advocate3 Member Posts: 1
    My GF has a 2006 PT, and took it into a car dealership to have it serviced. It came back with a noticeable "shimmy" during acceleration from 20 - 25 mph. The people at the dealership tried to convince us that it was a bad axle or axles - apparently Chrysler didn't balance axles on the basic cars, only the turbo version, which was what they tried to sell my GF. If you look on other posts, people with the same issue had their axles swapped for turbo axles, and that fixed the shimmy/vibration. In the case of my GF's car, it never had any isssues until after it went to the dealer - a 3 minute inspection of the car by me (after we left the dealer) revealed they had overfilled the tranny by 1 quart, and there was also 44 oz. of oil over the max. oil mark on the dipstick!

    Just reinforces the commentary that you really are crazy to take your car to a dealership!

    Hope this helps, J
  • kewa3kewa3 Member Posts: 1
    Today, I saved myself some money - maybe $3500. I just got done replacing the timing chain, then had to put in a new radiator. Those two items cost me $1500 ($1200 for the timing chain and $300 for the radiator). Be careful who you take your car to for a timing chain replacement. If it's the first PT Cruiser the mechanic has done, it will take him 2 weeks to get it right. I had the water pump changed at the same time because it was recommended. Right after I got it back from having the radiator done, the transmission was slipping badly. I did a little research, found out about changing the fluid and filter in the transmission - did that today and it shifts like new! Hasn't shifted that well in months - maybe a year. It's perfect now. I want to Autozone, got the kit and the fluid, took me 2-3 hours (you need a torque wrench and need to know how to convert foot pounds to inch pounds).
  • perturbedperturbed Member Posts: 1
    I am trying to get a trans pan gasket @ AZ...they tell me the trans in my '01 is either a "41TE" or it's not, but don't give me another choice. Apparently there are two distinct auto trans for this model, but can't seem to locate specs. Any suggestions? AZ has the trans filter?
  • mdanderson_98mdanderson_98 Member Posts: 2
    The 5th gear in my PT kept slipping and my mechanic told me it could not be repaired and I would need to get another one. Where do I find one?
  • havnfun2havnfun2 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 PT Limited...28,000 miles, automatic transmission and it is shifting hard from take off and sometimes sticks around 45 mph...fluids are good, always change the oil at 3000 miles, the car is very well taken care 3 years is up so no warrenty..

    Anyone got any ideas? :confuse:
  • vicrbobvicrbob Member Posts: 1
    My son recently hit a deer in my car ... It was repaired this weekend; however, it would not automatically shift out of what I think is 1st gear ... My mechanic doesn't know where the shifting solenoid is ... The computer said it was a P700 or P750 error ... Can you help me please? I cannot drive above 30 or 35 mph as a result
  • scresonscreson Member Posts: 3

    I have a similar problem with the trasmission on my 2001 PT Cruiser. As the car stops, it jerks. This has been going on for a while and they have done whatever software upgrades that were required. Now Chrysler says that in order to determine my problem they will need to open the transmission to see if it can be rebuilt. They are talking about more money than I think it's worth.

    Curious. How did you resolved your problem?
  • josh99216josh99216 Member Posts: 9
    He took his car to a local Mechanic. It was the soft parts in the Tranny. They had to take his transmission apart and replace some parts inside, I'm not sure the extent of it, the mechanic just said they needed to be replaced. I believe he had this done for just under $1000. Now his car drives like new. He's never had a problem with it shifting or coming to a stop again, infact the car seems to have oomph :P A couple months after he had that work done, his timing chain broke. Fortunately he was pulling into his parking spot and driving slow so it didnt do any damage to the engine. He spent another $900 for that and replacing the water pump. He had 107,000 miles on it when the belt broke, so if your there and haven't done it yet I recommend replacing it. If your cars in good shape, I think its worth it. My buddies car had some major work done for just under 2k and now it runs like new. I hope this helps, let me know what you decide to do :confuse:
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 20,568
    Has anyone had their transmission fail since Chrysler came out with their Lifetime Powertrain Warranty?

    Could you share your experience? Was the warranty worth anything? Did they fix your busted tranny for free or is this all BS?

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • scresonscreson Member Posts: 3

    Good news on the transmission. Looks like the problem was that the Low Reverse Accumulator Piston Snap Ring had snapped. It could be replaced for around $1500.00 but they recommended a transmission overhaul for over $2500. They claimed that the overhaul would be best in case there was a piece of the Snap Ring somewhere else in the transmission.
    Since I am the original owner of the car, and have used a Chrysler Dealer for all service, and that there was no driver abuse, Chrysler decided to do the repair at their cost and I would pay for half that cost. I thought that this was fair. I paid a total of $600.00 for overhaul and am very pleased that Chrysler came through.
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