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2006 Cruiser running hot

  #1  
Old 06-28-2016, 12:59 PM
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Default 2006 Cruiser running hot

Hello I, I have a 2006 Cruiser Touring with the 2.4 engine. It currently has 105k miles on it. I'm experiencing problems with it running hot. Moving at road/highway speeds usually keeps it at the normal, half way spot on the gauge. If I stop in traffic or at a light, it will jump up to 3/4 on the gauge. Running the heater helps bring it back down to normal. When I turn the motor off, sometimes I hear a gurgling sound, and some coolant backs out of the overflow of the bottle, onto the firewall and hot components below. On Father's day I checked the cold level in the morning, and thought I'd try to add a little distilled water to the bottle. As soon as I poured some in, it came right out the overflow, so I assumed at least at that time, the system was full. The color of the coolant is a light rust color. I got the vehicle in January. I'm not sure if the pervious owners changed the coolant, perhaps now's a good time to do so. I've heard of air getting into a cooling system and causing problems, and noticed the bleeder valve below the radiator cap. Could this be as simple as a fill and flush and proper bleed on the system? Any thoughts appreciated, thank you!
 
  #2  
Old 06-28-2016, 10:57 PM
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your fan is inop a common thing replace teh fan assembly
 
  #3  
Old 06-29-2016, 04:15 PM
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Hey Chrysler Tech, thank you for the response! Before I saw it, I went out this morning and put a new thermostat in it, as well as almost half a gallon of 50/50 mix thru the fill neck. I saw your response, then I drove it around for a few minutes with the air conditioner running. The temp gauge got up to normal, just a hair under half. I even sat it in the driveway a minute or two and it maintained and did not rise up past half. I did not detect any leaks any where. However, I noticed that the fan was NOT running, even with the air on. So, I believe that for sure is an issue. I checked the fuze in #15, the 50 amp fuze, and it looks good. I want to check any associated plugs or whatnot to make sure they are connected, but that just ran out of time before work. Other than #15 fuze, is there any other one or a relay to check to rule that all out?

I did not get a chance to put the old thermo in boiling water to see how it would react, I still want to see just for the hell of it. I doubt what I did toady were the main issues here, but the low coolant didn't help for sure. I have scheduled pressure and head gasket testing for next week to see if there are any problems there. Thank you again, CT, for the fan hint. I gladly appreciate and look forward to any info I get here from you or anybody else.
 
  #4  
Old 06-29-2016, 10:40 PM
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its not a hint =) replace the fan assembly.
 
  #5  
Old 07-11-2016, 07:58 PM
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I had scheduled a pressure test and head gasket test at place in town, and was waiting to repost anything more until I heard back from them and to gather further observations.

Both tests came back negative. They said they took coolant out to the proper level, that they thought I had too much in it. This car has not ran hot (over half) since I initially replaced the thermostat and topped off the coolant level all but 2 weeks ago. I boiled the old thermostat and noticed it did open up. I have noticed that the fan in fact does run, I have seen it on and cycling on/off the times I went under the hood to check.

I believe this is going away from a running hot issue (when the level's correct) to a losing coolant somewhere issue. The day after the car passing both tests, I began to smell hot coolant as I drove. This has happened before as well. When turning the engine off, I hear/see some gurgling in the coolant recovery tank, as well as some coolant spurting out of the overflow tube of the tank. I have even witnessed coolant coming out of the tube in a stream as the engine was running. I did not detect gurgling when the engine was running though. The place I took my car to for the tests I guess did not get it hot enough for this to happen to witness it, but I did catch it on video and later went back to show them. The gurgling sound usually happens every time it's driven and turned off, but I'm not sure about the coolant flowing out of the tank issue.

So I guess I'm losing it through a combination of the gurgling/spurting on shutoff and when it flow out the overflow tube. The times this has happened, I have not noticed huge puddles under the car, so I don't know what kind of volume I'm losing every time I drive. I've put in a gallon of coolant in the two weeks since I replaced the thermo, counting what I added when I replaced it.

The place I got my tests done at have told me to get a second opinion on the head gasket. All they did was test the coolant for signs of combustion gasses or something, but didn't detect any. They are a glorified tire and oil change place and minor repairs place, and they said they don't do engine work, but to take it to somebody who does and maybe they have a better test there. The gurgling would make sense to me if the head gasket was leaking somewhere.

I'm left wondering if it's not the head gasket, what else it could be. Perhaps a circulation problem somewhere? What are the symptoms of a blocked or flow restricted radiator? The recovery tank always seems to be full whenever I look, hot or cold. The coolant's getting pushed into the recovery tank and I guess right out the overflow tube. Or that's what it seems.

This is a head scratcher, and I appreciate any more thoughts on the issue.
 
  #6  
Old 07-12-2016, 11:27 AM
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Could be something simple like a bad radiator cap. That would be a cheap stab at fixing it.
 
  #7  
Old 07-12-2016, 03:19 PM
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I replaced the cap that was on it, a 16psi, with a off the rack at Advance Auto 18psi about 2 months ago, and it didn't seem to alter the situation one way or the other. I drove the car on a quick trip of about 7-8 miles round trip today, giving it time to get good and warmed up, no overheating. When I left the place I went to's parking space, i noticed no drips/runoff. I drove home, put up the hood, and while running, observed nothing coming out of the recovery tank. Hot and running, the level looked about half full in the tank. I noticed just slight gurgling when shutting off.

When I remove the rad cap when cold, should I see coolant in the fill neck? There are times when I've checked the level and it was what appeared to me as low. I mean maybe half way down the neck. One time the top of the thermostat was visible. Now, I check this because the guy who did my pressure testing said you can't always trust that recovery system to work right, take the cap off and verify the level. I understand that doing so will further help introduce air into the system, not a good thing. And if I'm topping the radiator off unnecessarily, I could be putting more in that what it needs, thus the excess coming out like I'm seeing. When I add coolant, it's filling the neck up, then it's flowing into the top hose, and into the radiator as well, until full. If I'm putting in like 1/3 gallon or so doing this, am I not doing right by making sure the radiator is full? Or and I shooting myself in the foot and crating my own problem with excess air and coolant, assuming there still is no head gasket problem.
 
  #8  
Old 07-12-2016, 06:42 PM
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Removing the cap shouldn't cause a problem unless you pop it off when the system is really hot and under pressure, in which case you would get a sudden boilover and a mess and lose lots of coolant. I would think the owners manual would have something in it about where the level should be when the system is full. (If you need an owners manual, download one from chrysler.com) There should be a little air in there at least to accommodate expansion during normal operation. Usually, a coolant recovery tank has a "Max" and "Min" line or sometimes a "Hot" and "Cold" line to guide you. It is possible to overfill the system, in which case it will spit out the excess.
 
  #9  
Old 08-13-2016, 05:55 PM
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Been a while since I've posted here, so I will just update. I took the car to a Chrysler dealer, explaining that the main problem was coolant loss. The pressure tested it, flow tested it (how is that done?) as well as a checked to see if it's a head gasket issue. All tests came back good. One problem they did tell me about was the cooling fan was not running, they scanned it and could not get it to come on, but the fan relay did work. (You were right, Chrysler Tech). They explained to me that the fan not working means no airflow when the car comes to a stop, and that the the coolant heating up due to lack of airflow is expanding and blowing out the recovery bottle overflow tube. OK, makes sense to me. So I have installed a new fan, and it does work, I've heard and seen it run many times.

And I'm still plagued with coolant coming out of the recovery bottle. I saw it today running out from under the car as it was running, fan running too, sitting in a parking space. I was on my way in to work, and could not open the hood and visually see what it was doing, but it was definitely coolant, mixed with AC condensation. The car almost constantly smells of hot coolant when you drive it, and I assume this is from loss during driving thru the recovery bottle overflow tube.

This car never ran hot before I started having this problem. It only runs hot when it gets low on coolant. Last weekend after I put the fan in, I added coolant to the fill neck/radiator, (until the level came to the top of the neck/hose) and drove for 2.5 hours, some of it slow down streets apartment hunting, lots of stop signs. And not once did the temp even raise even with the half way mark on the gauge, it was just below it. But I smelled the hot coolant. And a couple days later, the temp started rising above the normal, half way mark, after losing coolant. And again I added more coolant and it ran normal temp again.

I understand the thought that "you're putting too much coolant in and the excess is bleeding off", but at some point would it not equalize to the correct coolant volume, and then just run at a normal temp? It just seems that I keep losing it thru that recovery bottle overflow tube, and I can't figure out why. Would a sediment build-up/blockage in the radiator cause the coolant to maybe flow 1-way, not circulating but pushing it back thru that hose running from the fill neck the the recovery bottle, then out it's overflow tube? The level in the recovery bottle is almost always constant, never low. Seems to be around the 'hot' level marked on the bottle, or a little above, even when cold.

I have no problem putting on a new radiator and recovery bottle to try to solve this- heck I was 3/4 of the way there any way when I did the fan, the radiator shouldn't be that much more work. It's just getting frustrating trying to figure this one out. I've taken it to 2 places now with no real solution to the problem.
 

Last edited by hoovied; 08-13-2016 at 05:58 PM.
  #10  
Old 08-13-2016, 09:45 PM
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After 10 years and over 100,000 miles, it could be that deposits on the inside of the cooling system are interfering with proper heat transfer. It might be worth the effort to try a cleaning solution to see if you can remove some of those deposits. It will involve adding a cleaning solution to the coolant, running it for a while at operating temperature, then flushing the system to get everything out and finally refilling with a proper mixture of antifreeze and water. There are do-it-yourself kits out there but be advised that these cleaners are corrosive and can eat your system from the inside if not done properly. You also have to be careful to not over-pressurize the system when flushing or you can blow the seals on the water pump. Adding the proper mixture of anti freeze and water can also be tricky after flushing with plain water because some plain water will be left in the system. I would try cleaning before replacing the radiator because a good cleaning will improve heat transfer throughout the system, whereas replacing the radiator only deals with half the system. Make sure the front of the radiator is not clogged with leaves, bugs and debris.
 

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