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Chrysler PT Cruiser Transmission Problems



  • uggyuggy Posts: 4
    after my 2001 pt cruiser tranny litteraly blew to pieces, my mechanic said that chrysler informed him that , along with the filter and fluid, the timing chain, the computer, all needed replaced after 40,000 miles. when asked why this was only information priviledged to chrysler dealership mechanics, the reply was, "there are no recalls, and if the transmission is not properly maintained, by taking it to the DEALERSHIP on the scheduled maintenence dates, then this is what happens!" meaning my transmission that shot gears across a snowy PA road! I was lucky in the fact that the SECOND computer used was NOT the one that came with my replacement tranny, but like an organ transplant, the tranny did not reject it. My mechanic said that if the computer does not sync up with the replacement tranny, you have to keep trying until one or the other does! this car replaced by a wonderful 09 Nissan Versa!!!
  • maryvmaryv Posts: 10
    Hello: I have the vehicle in the title above and had a big shock when I went to the dealership for an oil change / tire rotation.

    First, a little background on the car. It is a 2001 with 34,000 miles when we received it. My mother-in-law gave it to my 17-year-old son when she got a new car. What a fantastic gift. We are very greatful. She is meticulous about car care and this car was pretty much literally only driven to church on Sundays. She NEVER drives on the expressway. Only a little bit around town, doing errands and such. Also, it was thoroughly checked out at 34,000 miles. So it was quite a shock when I went to the dealership and they told me my engine mounts were loose/breaking, and something about the axle connections (I don't know the technical terms), and axle seals. To the tune of $1300. I agreed to these repairs as I am worried about my inexperienced driver son driving this vehicle if it has suspension/engine problems.

    Then, at the end of the day, the dealership called to tell me that I needed a new timing belt and water pump replaced. To the tune of $1200. I declined to have these repairs done. $2500 in repairs is a big shock when you take your car in expecting to spend $60.

    Mind you, there are only 41,000 miles on the car at this time. I don't have time to comparison shop for repair services, but I will definitely not take it back to the dealership at those prices.

    I was skeptical that these repairs needed to be done at all, but after reading this forum it seems like others are having similar problems. I work for GM, so personally I would never buy a Chrysler product, but I'm not going to say no to a free car.

    When I asked the service guy why a car with only 41,000 would have such serious problems he said that "It is just the luck of the draw." What????? So when you buy a Chrysler product you might get a good vehicle and you might get a crappy one? What does that even mean?

    I'd appreciate any comments. I guess I don't really have a question here, just looking for validation/venting. Also, I'm a little worried about the transmission now after reading all these posts?

    Advice on whether I really need to have the timing belt replace? Anybody?
  • I was tooling down the freeway at about sixty-five, when I heard and felt a loud thunk. I immediately noticed my tach was registering higher than normal. That's when I knew I had lost my high gear. I limped it home. When I tried to back it up to get a better angle on the parking space, that's when I knew I had lost Reverse. Is this common for a PT Cruiser tranny? What are my options? If I need a rebuilt tranny, what kind of money am I looking to spend? The car has less than 100K miles on it. Aren't trannies supposed to last longer?
  • aiko5aiko5 Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 PT Cruiser 5 speed manual shift. In Aug of 2012,
    I had front end collision. The car was not totaled,but repaired. Since then I have noticed a vibration with acceleration on the gas pedal. Also the engine seems a lot louder than before the accident.
    The other issue is, the shifter is harder to work when the car is warmed up.
    The tie rods were replaced on both sides. Could it be the motor mounts? And is there an "after market 5 speed shifter" that could be installed?
  • Yes I have the same year. The problem is the Trans module its right on the trans. right below the battery. Its about 150 for the part. you can do it yourself but first get a book or ask someone that knows about cars help you. you will need to do a trans fluid/filter change while you are at it because of any dirt that's in the trans. the reset the codes and drive if you still have problems it maybe you main computer for the car then. that runs over 1,000 because you need to have the miles and what not transferred to the new computer. if you need anymore help just email me
  • Well, first off the dealership will nickel and dime you. Second you should always get the car looked at by at least 2 mechanics before spending money at it. The trans are not bad on them but people don't seem to understand they should change the fluid/filter every 18months or 30,000 miles. and the other thing that goes wrong with it isn't the trans at first but the module that sits right on it, any good mechanic will tell you that those modules goes out a lot its the same one as the Dodge neon. as for the mounts they do go out if they are that old regardless of miles driven because the plastic drys out and brakes. It also says the water pump should be replaced every time you change the timing belt(just what the books say/but should change every 5years just to be on the safe side) By the way if it starts to over heat in the summer on the highway its the fan because the fans go out a lot for some reason. if you have any other questions about the car and what to do just ask me
  • here are a list of things you should have done and possible problems
    1) change trans oil/filter every 30,000 miles(book says 24,000 tho)
    2) Check fluid every week(I like to do it sunday so i know I have all fluids need in the car.
    1A)could have been the trans(if fluids weren't checked and/or change properly
    1B) the module that sits right on the tranny does go out often i don't know why other than it might just get burnt out from the heat. i think it was stupid for them to put a computer on the tranny anyways.

    I hope this was of some help. sorry it took so long for the reply tho. Just started getting back on here to help out.
  • okay, first off you need more detail as to what you hit how fast and where the damage was. more than likely you need to replace all three engine mounts have the inner tierods checked, ball joints, front struts(make sure they are not bent/twisted) control arms bushings, as well as stabilizer bar and bushings. could also be you have different types of tires on the front two and/or needs balancing. as for the tranny goes make sure none of the piping/tubing is broken(pinched) or the pump is going out(since you crashed it) get the tranny tested for code and then ease all code off the car's computer if it works fine for the first 10miles or so then its the computer if it still acts up just like before then its your tranny (98%) sure your tranny needs to be replaced. the life of a tranny does last longer than that but whenever the car get into accident it truly doest mess [non-permissible content removed] up for both the tranny and engine not to even think about the suspension if you have any other questions just email

    PS always have you car looked at by at least 2 mechanics. some are just money hungry and doesnt love to just work on cars.....sad i know!!!
  • I have a 2006 PT Cruiser 2.4L with the 5 speed transmission. At 47,000 miles the transmission needs to be replaced (already replaced at 22,000). I am stationed in Germany and a new transmission from the dealer costs about $4,000. I found a German spec PT Cruiser at a salvage lot that is the same year but a 2.2L engine. What are the chances that the transmission from the German Spec car will fit in my Cruiser? Please help if this doesn't work we are going to have to junk the car because it's to expensive to fix.
  • shenning1shenning1 Posts: 1
    Recently got a PT Cruiser 2008 with 93,000 on it. Everything seems great but recently we noticed the manual transmission is a little tough to shift into 1rst and 2nd gear. Feels like the gears are binding sort of. You can push it in but it seems tight and sort of double pops into gear. Its kind of like it takes a little muscle to shift into 1rst or 2nd. The other gears seems a little easier. Reverse not any noticeable problem. Anybody deal with this before?
    sorta frustrated......
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I had a 2006 Dodge Caravan with the same engine. Timing belt replacement was recommended at 90k miles in the owner's manual. What the dealer told you about the timing belt sounds fishy. Good luck.
  • cardawg29cardawg29 Posts: 1
    I have the same exact problem. Lucky for me my best friend is a mechanical Engineer and takes automotive challenges very seriously. He came over with his code reader and laptop and was able to determine that I am having transmission problems. It all started with a soft whine type noise that I thought was just a wheel bearing I could get to later. It worsened so I took the car last July 12 to Jiffy lube for new ATF+4. I drove just under 7,000 miles since last July and then the check engine light came on and the car went into safe mode not allowing me to take it over 2400rmp. When the car gets warm it becomes extememly difficult to shift it into gear. I had very little trouble during the cold Oregon Winter. My friend reset the trouble code and the check engine light went off as did the safe mode. So I can drive the car normally but again when it gets hot I have difficulty shifting it into gear. It is a 5 speed manual trans. I will be taking the car to his house tomorrow for more comprehensive diagnostic work. Hopefully It's something outside the transmission that can be replaced like a clutch master/slave cylinder kit. my email is little nich at yahoo dot com. all without spaces. Hit me up. Maybe we can get to the bottom of this problem. :confuse:
  • My vehicle goes to Limp Mode.. I get these codes. P0700, P0732 and P0733 Codes

    Already replaced Speed Sensors in and out.

    Metal filing/material was on Speed Sensor. 1/8 of teaspoon or less.

    Do you have any next recommendations if solenoid should be replaced. Or are we thinking more on overdrive clutch.. Not sure how to test that.. Fluid is clean, but filter has not been checked. Now 99,000 Miles on car. Bought from dealer at 65,000 Miles.

    Generally seems to drive fairly well at 35-38 Miles per hour. Once I speed up beyond that, it goes into limp mode.
  • texas_redtexas_red Posts: 3
    edited September 2013
    So here's the story. About a year ago I was out with a friend and his GF in his PT. We were on our way back from getting some food and for some reason he decided to floor it right before we went over a railroad crossing. Took the hit kinda hard but not quite Dukes of Hazard levels. Engine died. It started back up fine but my friend said the car was making a noise. I couldn't hear it, and the car was driving fine otherwise. Once we got back I could hear the sound. I can only classify it as a sort of rough whine, but it's not really high pitched. The car was already giving the CEL and P0601 codes well before this.

    He continued to drive the car with it making this noise up until this past July when he lent it to me, with the idea being I'd probably buy it assuming it wasn't a major problem. He went and got the oil changed and tried to get the registration and inspection up to date, but the inspection failed due to the CEL. I took it to Cottman Transmission and they said they cannot identify the issue, they'd have to pull the tranny off and inspect it. $550 just for that, which would get included in repair costs depending on what they found. They said the transmission fluid was fine and not burnt, etc. and only mentioned that I had minor oil and tranny fluid leaks. The car shifts smoothly still and has plenty of "go," it's not in limp mode, but it does make extra noise if it has to work hard above 3.5K rpm, so far only if I have the AC on and getting onto the freeway or the cruise control is trying to get back up to the set speed. More recently I've noticed a rhythmic tapping when standing still at idle, and it can become more of a light knocking during deceleration from highway speeds and it goes away once speed gets below 40mph.

    I was thinking of biting the bullet and paying Cottman to take the tranny off an identify the issue, hoping it will be simple, but it seems that's unlikely. Not only that, but it appears I can buy a tested good used replacement tranny for under $1K shipped, I am guessing getting the work done by Cottman would cost much more than that, depending on the issue. Of course I will still have to pay someone labor to install the new used tranny and fill the fluids and such.

    So I guess my question is, does it seem worth it to those of you who have significant history with PTs? Should I just pass this up, or is it worth getting fixed? It's an otherwise nice car with only the usual wear on the outside, it has leather seats, etc. all the interior electronics are in good working condition, etc, it's just the transmission that is a problem. I'd hate to see the car get junked or sold for parts, etc. oddly.
  • If you like the car and gas mileage + the engine is running well along with below 125,000 miles, then it would probably be worth it. It is always important to change the tranny filters on these vehicles.. they can also give you the P700 and tranny codes because of reduced fluid pressure.
  • Yeah, I like the car, the mileage is good enough. It's at 119K miles right now. The place I was looking at that sold used trannies wanted a bit under $600 for a unit with ~170K miles on it.
  • A transmission with 170k is to risky, without knowing what history that transmission has. Of course if they have checked the transmission, replaced some worn parts, and offer some sort of warranty, that would be helpful, but I'd guess they'd charge more..
  • Well, the site I have looked at so far is ( g.html?fit_notes=9716867599da51db0efa638ce5418263&seq_num=4) and they mention a 6 months to 2 years warranty on the transmissions. I haven't looked too far into it so there may be more to the whole thing. The pricing they have on different transmissions seems to be based mainly on where they'd be shipping it from.

    In the end I just want to go a route that isn't super expensive, but will reliably and definitively fix the problem. I don't want to take it to a shop, put in $500+ to have them tear it apart and look at it, then give me a $1.5K+ laundry list if just buying a whole new working tranny and paying labor to install it would be cheaper.
  • I've got a 2005 PT Cruiser which has 120K miles on it. Lately, I've been hearing the engine puttering, sounding like what I call a "wind-up" car. Though sometimes it doesn't have a consistent putter. It skips one or two "putts". It idles rough when I'm stopped at a light and in Drive, but if I put it in Neutral, it idles fine.
    I've had the car for 6 years and have had a oil change done every 3-5K miles. I had the engine looked at around 100K and I thought they did a trans flush, but I'll have to double check that.
    If they didn't, I'll get that done and hopefully it will fix the problem. If they did, should I get another one done? Would it hurt?

  • I have a 2003 PT Cruiser and I notice last weekend that it was a struggle to shift down to Drive but I was able to and as soon as I got to my location I put it in park but while I was parking I heard a click sound when shifting pass R, turned my car off took the keys out and my car starts to reverse. I jumped in the car and push the brakes and made sure it was in park, my car was now in park but when I turned it on I notice I couldn't reverse and when I got home I turned the car off again and now it won't turn on and I just noticed a buzz noise coming from the engine area... anyone have any ideas??? email

  • I have a 2001 PT Cruiser Limited that my wife and I bought a couple of years ago. It's been a great running little car and has not had any problems until recently. First the fog lights wouldn't shut off until I removed the fuse. Then the horn stopped working. So I checked all the fuses under the steering column first. Nothing. They're all fine. So I checked the fuses in the engine compartment. And when I say I checked them, I mean to say that I removed them, did a visual inspection and replaced them if they were still good. Several of them were so degraded that they fell apart upon removal. Replacing them with the proper fuses if this was the case. As soon as I checked the horn to see if it worked, (which it did) we couldn't get the car out of first gear and the speedometer quit working. So I replaced the speed sensor. No go. Speedometer still won't work. I'm at a loss. Could it be a problem with the solenoid? Everything was working properly prior to checking the fuses which leads me to believe that it's electrical in nature. But I'm at a loss. So I went online and saw several sites where people are having the same problem. Apparently, the Chrysler engineers knew about this problem prior to releasing the vehicle from the assembly line. There's no recall associated with this problem. But they do give a very vaguely worded fix to the problem. Something along the lines of checking the wiring harness beneath the fuse box in the engine compartment, finding a specific set of wires, stripping them back, and replacing them to something or other and voila. Problem fixed. Anyone know what they're talking about? And if so, can you tell a backyard rookie mechanic how to do this? In EXPLICIT detail?
  • beanie3beanie3 Posts: 1
    jconner said:
    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.

  • katsptkatspt Posts: 3
    My daughter was driving our 2005 pt Cruiser and was stopped at a light. When she hit the gas to go again it would not move. She tried putting in park and back in drive and still would not work. She turned car off and back on and then it would move. However for about 10 miles up the the highway it would not go above 45mph. What do you think this is?
  • Facts:

    2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, original owner.
    Approx 138,000 miles on it.

    March 2015 Mechanic performed the following: "Install New Power Steering Rack, perform 4 wheel alignment, install new torque converter solenoid and gaskets, reseal transmission pan and install new gasket, install new T-stat housing and O ring and coolant, install reman compressor and receiver dryer and a/c line, flush sysmte evac and recharge system"

    April 2015 I had problem with "Hard shifting from 2nd to 1st (bandum-badum-badump) and feeling like it went into neutral from reverse and not moving." I would shift the gear up to park and back down to drive and sometimes it would go into drive and move and sometimes it would just rev like it was in neutral again. Sometime it took several times of this to get it to go. Fortunately only at my parking space and coming out of my apartment complex so no traffic safety issues. Took back to mechanic where they "Topped off transmission fluid."

    Car ran fine until October 2015 when it started the whole thing over again. Took to mechnanic, naturally test drive the car ran fine. He checked fluids, said they were "not low enough to be causing this problem and I'm not topping it off." So I left. Next day car kicked into "neutral" while driving several times on my way out of my apartment and once on the road.

    Any suggestions what it could be before I get a new mechanic?

  • my daughter have a 2002 pt cruiser and at sometimes it red lines before it shifts and sometimes it runs fine do anyone think the transmission need rebuilding
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966

    my daughter have a 2002 pt cruiser and at sometimes it red lines before it shifts and sometimes it runs fine do anyone think the transmission need rebuilding

    Is it doing it randomly under the same driving conditions? Or does it red line if she's trying to accelerate harder?

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  • I was driving up a hill in my 2006 PT Cruiser. Suddenly the car stopped accerlating and started rolling backwards. The car will go into different gears and when I push on the gas pedal the RPMs go up but the car won't move at all. When I turn the car on no check engine light, nor any other dash warning lights come on. I got the car towed home and let it sit over night - the same problem this morning, it won't move at all. If anyone can provide any answers or can guess what my problem may be, I would really appreciate it! :) 
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    Automatic or manual transmission? Since you say it will "go into different gears" I assume that means the gear shift will move to different positions. Obviously some kind of transmission issue that's most likely going to take someone actually looking at to determine what's going on.

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