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2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser flickering headlights / instrument panel

I just bought a used 2008 PT Cruiser Touring model with a standard 2.4 liter enjine with 25,000 miles on it. The car drives normally during daytime driving. At night the headlights and instrument panel flicker real bad and the instrument panel and the headlights go out momentarily then come back on again. The problem is quite frequent, but random and only happens while I am driving. Other drivers notice the flickering headlights and flash their lights at me. I guess they are trying to warn me that I have a problem. I took it to the dealer who said he could not duplicate the problem and therefore is unable to fix it. Even if you turn the lights on in daylight hours it would be hard to notice. There’s no problem seeing this at night. The car is still under the original factory warranty. Although I bought it from a Saturn dealer and not a Chrysler Dealer. Any Ideas on what might be the problem or how I should proceed in this matter and what the dealer’s responsibility to me is I greatly appreciate.

I would suspect the headlamp switch. It could also be a poor ground wire contact somewhere. It may well be happening during the day and you just don’t notice it.

Hopefully someone who knows Cruiser will read your question and may know where the weak point is. You also may try a different dealer.

I am not sure of what you are confused about. The car is under warranty–from Chrysler–and everything on the car with the exception of the tires is covered for the duration of the bumper-to-bumper warranty. Beyond that period (3 years/36k, most likely), the powertrain is covered under a separate warranty. I strongly suggest that you read the terms of the various warranties (you have several) which can be found in your glove compartment, along with the maintenance schedule which must be followed if you are to retain coverage on the powertrain.

The dealer’s responsibility is to diagnose and to fix the problem. Your responsibilty is solely to take it to the dealer–in this case, the Chrysler dealer.

Even if you offer a diagnosis, the dealership is likely to ignore it, as they must go through a standard diagnostic protocol on all warranty work in order for the car manufacturer to pay them for the repair. Just make an appointment for service, take the car to the Chrysler dealership, describe the symptoms in detail, and allow them to do what they are contractually required to do–namely fix the car. This might be a quirky problem that is difficult to diagnose–thus leading the original owner to dump it after only one year–but ultimately it can be repaired.

I would suggest that you have this situation attended to promptly for two reasons. First, the flickering could worsen and could leave you without headlights. Secondly–and perhaps even more important–Chrysler’s financial stability is so poor that they might not be around much longer, and once they disappear, you will have no warranty coverage.

Thank you for your post I am at wits end. I know you’re right. It’s still doing it but nobody can see it during the day. I thought about taking it to another dealer or caling the one I bought it from and see if they would trade it for another one. Not that kind of course.

I already took it to the dealer who told me he could not fix it. I told him exactly what the car is doing he says he cannot find anything wrong. I guess he thinks I’m nuts.

Depending on the specific details of the Lemon Law in your state, you may be eligible for coverage under that statute. Take a look at to see the details for your state. If you are eligible, Chrysler (not Saturn) is the company to provide relief, just as they are with warranty-covered repairs.

Thank you I will definately check that out.

Why not ask them if they can keep it overnight and have someone take it on an extended drive at night? If the problem is as bad as you say, any tech that isn’t braindead should notice it then.

Does the problem seem to be worse when it’s driven on bumpy roads?

Thank you for your reply. I have thought of that. If the dealer would be willing to give me a loaner I would love to do that. It doesn’t seem to be worse on bumpy roads. I was on very smooth roads when the problem occured. THe problem only occurs while driving.

I think that you are beginning to see why the previous owner got rid of the car. Personally, I would have been very suspicious of why a 1 year old car was traded in on a different make of car.

If the previous owner was truly satisfied with the car, he would likely not have bought a car of a different brand after only 1 year/25,000 miles. To me, that would have spelled out dissatisfaction in capital letters.

I was told by the dealer that the car had been leased for only a year and was returned when the lease was up and the car was in good condition.

Get the dealer to fix this before Chrysler declares bankruptcy and your car is orphaned…Just tell the service rep the car is not save to drive at night…

I told the dealer it was not safe to drive at night. He told me to drive it at night myself and look for the problem. When the problem occurs I am to jiggle the multifunction switch, turn the high beanms off and on and then bring the car back and tell him what happened.

If each of us had one dollar for every lie or bit of misinformation uttered by a car salesman, we would likely never have to work again. Sad, but true.

If you search on the internet, you will find hundreds of complaints about the multifunction switch. I myself just filed NHTSA report 10258053.

In our case the fog lights stay on even when the key is removed. Living in Arizona, we’ve never used the fog lights!

Go here to complain: