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Chrysler PT Cruiser Transmission Problems



  • 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!!
  • 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???
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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:
  • 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!
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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 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 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?
  • 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 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 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 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?
  • 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 Posts: 10,712
    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?

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • scresonscreson 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.
  • Thats great! Were you still under warranty? I'm suprised that chrysler paid for half the repair. Usually manufactures try every thing they can to get out of warranty repairs. I'm glad you got it fixed!
  • Hi Jon. What was the outcome of your predicament. I also have a 2003 PT Cruiser, 5 speed manual, and I am no longer able to shift into reverse.... Anyone else???? need suggestions. Thanks, Cj :cry:
  • scresonscreson Posts: 3
    My warranty expired a few years ago. I was also surprised that Chrylser took take of me.
  • as i kept reading what you wrote it was more and more identical to my situation i have a 2004 also but its a touring edition i bought it in 2006 and it does the same things i live on the other side of tampa florida so i have to cross the skyway bridge and its scary when it starts to tremble and it feels like its gonna shut down on me its been going on for 2years now and its interesting how these stupid mechanics never know what the problem is???????? so why do they even do diognostic testing for? besides the fact of sucking my pocket dry..... :confuse:
  • so, purchased a 2007 pt about a year ago, the trans is starting to slip. Had it towed to the dealer, they say its out of warrenty. so im waiting for the bad news. $$$$
    I thought this car had a 100,000 warrenty on the drive train, was I wrong?
    the car has 37,606 miles on it now. I've had fords and chevy's never a chrysler.
    I THINK I'V MADE A BAD CHOICE. HELP ME AM I being ripped off.
  • I have a 2001 pt cruiser doing the same thing...did you ever find out what was causing it?...i replaced the input and output speed sensors......please email me at with your answer if possible
  • My transmission was slipping when braking, specially when slowing down from 25 to 20 MPH, all I had to do is change the Tranny fluid and the car started working like a champ. It happened for a couple of days after then fluid was changed, but then it just never happened again.
    Praying helps too, it's the best insurance you can get :)
  • krh7krh7 Posts: 1
    2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser - - Approx. 65,000 mi. Automatic transmission. 4-cylinder. Runs great most of the time.
    Seems like every 4 to 5 weeks the car begins to shake, loses acceleration and the engine light activates. After a few seconds - - engine performance returns to normal. What is going on ? ?
    No other problems.
  • I would definitely check/replace the timing belt. I was on a 10 hr road trip when my cruiser lost power, the engine light turned on on the spot, and then the car turned off. Bad news =(
    My timing belt went out. DEFINITELY have your timing belt replaced, 60,000 miles is the recommended interval, I was stupid and had no clue that had to be replaced and it cost me about 1K to have it replaced in the middle of nowhere (Kettleman City, CA) but that was including Towing Costs, so save your towing and have it replaced ASAP !
  • I’ll tell ya what wrong; there are two engine cam shaft Idler sensors. Ours (2007)went out and Chrysler wouldn’t pay for it to be fixed under warrantee, @ 37,500 miles. So, we told them to fix it, and we would pay, THEY REPLACED the wrong one. We took it to our regular mechanic when it was still doing it and he found the problem rite away. I think 1st of all they didn’t tell us it wouldn’t be covered by warrantee, and 2nd they didn’t fix it correctly. If it’s the same thing as ours, the car surges and jerks under high tork, when you let off the gas it settles down. The 1st fix was $378 and the 2nd was $50 bucks for the part (our guy). Also, when you get it fixed, do the water pump, we did, it was another $780 it was going tooooo.
    I still think Chrysler should have stood by and paid for it:
    But that’s why I’ll never buy another.
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