2009 pt cruiser 2.4L non-turbo replaced timing belt and everything is falling apart now starting with the cooling system

Im doing all mechanic work myself, learning as I go. Pretty sure I may have completely ruined my car now by putting a head gasket sealant in the radiator. Also it is now squealing everytime I crank it. But just when I first crank it. It only last a like 15 seconds then stops. A new timing belt was put in recently by a mechanic who let his emotions get in the way. Needless to say, some of my issues could be cause by foulplay :person_shrugging: this is the only car I have and have no money to be able to buy another one anytime soon. Please help. I have drained flushed and refilled the system (and bled) a couple times now. Last time I did it, as I was refilling it I noticed it leaking from underneath near front passenger side of car. Couldn’t see exactly where it was coming from bc the only jack I have is the crappy scissor one that came with it and there is a lot of nasty buildup under there making it hard to see anything. I finished off the head gasket sealer in hopes that it will temp seal the water pump leak assuming that’s what it is. So far so good on that part. Could the squealing be from the water pump? Also, I haven’t been able to drive it much yet due to it not having any gas in it right now but last time I drove it any distance … the temp gauge inside dropped all the way down when the car got to temp and never came back up. Oh and and suggestions as to how can I bleed the system through the bleeding screw without getting burnt? It has a new thermostat.

That tells me there was already something wrong with the engine.

And the Band Aid approach didn’t work.

So now, the real problem with engine is being revealed, and it’s turning into a money hole.



I put the sealant in bc I blew a head gasket the first time it overheated. I’m thinking the water pump has been the culprit the whole time but didn’t see any leaks bc it was gunked up. Didn’t see the leak until after I flushed it a couple times.

The first time?

Stick a fork in it.


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I can’t stick a fork in it. It’s my only form of transportation. It didn’t start to overheat until after the timing belt was replaced. Replaced them readjusted bc it wasn’t right the first time.

Check out car-part.com, they have about 17 non turbo engines under 200 miles away from my area and they are anywhere from call for price to $500 to $1000, and most of the time they deliver free to shops, so you might be able to work something out or go pick it up yourself… U-Haul only about $20 plus mileage a day… just an option…

But at least I would run a run a compression test, may have some bent valves from hitting each other IIRC… Not sure if the timing belt broke or not…

After blowing the head gasket, was the gasket replaced?? And the head sent out to be checked for flatness etc??

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Unfortunately, the PT Cruiser was not a robust car even when brand new. Yours is now well past its expiration date.

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I am going to go against the grain here. The Chrysler 2.4L engine uses a closed-deck cast iron block, and should be repairable even if overheated repeatedly. Of course, you will need to take the engine apart and remove the cylinder head, which is likely warped at this point, but the rest of the engine should be ok.

A remanufactured head (or machine shop reconditioning of the existing head), new gasket set, new belts and hoses, new thermostat, and new radiator should get this running properly again. Time to buy some tools, and a service manual, and get to work! If you DIY, and buy the parts online, it should cost less than $1000 to properly repair this.

BTW, the trick to properly purging the air from the cooling system is to either buy a thermostat with a bleed-off orifice or jiggle valve, or to drill a small (1/16" to 1/8" diameter) hole in the thermostat before installing it. This is an accepted technique for many engines, including the older Chrysler 2.2 and 2.5 K-car engines.


No I am too broke for that so someone told me about the head gasket sealer. Bars. I’ve ran it thru twice now and as far as I can see it sealed up the head gasket and the water pump. I haven’t been able to drive it for a long distance yet to really see.

@bcohen2010 thank you for being a grain going againster lol I can’t just say to hell with it and give up on it cause it’s my only vehicle and I’m the only person I have that will help me so… I’ve gathered some tools and will be getting a new radiator and water pump next week. It’s also throwing some codes p0300 and p0304 so new plugs and wires are in order as well. I’m a girl so after I get past all the “you don’t know what your doing” comments it’s hard to actually find someone who gets why I gotta keep on keeping on with this so again thanks :smirk:

New plugs and wires won’t help if the problem is poor compression in one or more cylinders due to a cracked or warped head. Sealant products do not work well in this situation either. You are going to have to disassemble the engine and perform a proper repair, or else buy a different vehicle. It is not going to run properly, or stop overheating otherwise.

I’m going to rent a compression tester tomorrow from the auto parts store

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I sincerely hope you do not get any comments like that on this forum.

Is there any chance you have a State (Community) College near you that offer auto mechanic classes? If so, perhaps if you enroll you might be able to work on your car as part of your course work.
I really do not know if they allow that.
I would only recommend such a school, never a “private” school that advertises they offer financial assistance.


Trust me, you have already proven that you know more about working on vehicles then some of the guys that come on here to ask questions, so no that is not a problem… My daughter knows way more about cars, and has almost always worked on them herself, then any guy she has ever dated so far… lol That aside, as Purebred mentioned above, I have seen state run trade schools work on customers cars and only charge for the parts, they moght take a little longer but that is another option for you…

Stop leak is a non thinking liquid that has it’s place, but remember it by design sees a hole and tries to plug it (stop it up) and does not know or understand the difference between a leaking head gasket or radiator and will try to stop up ever small hole it can find rather it is used for cooling or not… So too much is a very bad thing…

The start up noise that goes away in 15 seconds is probably only a worn belt and or weak belt tensioner…

The so called mechanic should have never replaced the timing belt with out also replacing the water pump as the timing belt is the belt that drives the water pump… So unless you refused to replace it for whatever reason (not important now) then your mechanic should have known better,

You need to at least get a floor jack (Harbor Freight has a great Daytona one) and a pair of 3 ton jack stands (shop around) so you can be safe anytime you get under any vehicle, if you have room, maybe even a set of car ramps (shop around, got one set of mine from Home Depot of all places on sale… lol…

But as already mentioned if you have/had a blown head gasket then that needs to be roperly repaired…


That could be the normal under-car drain-leak expected when running the car’s A/C. The A/C condenses the water vapor in the passenger compartment into liquid water, and it has to drain out somewhere, and that is where. If you want to do your own maintenance correctly and safely, you’ll need a good floor jack and some car ramps. Once you get those you’ll be able to inspect the underside of the car and you’ll see where that drain is located, typically is a rubber-tube coming through a hole in the floor pan.

I can only offer some common sense advice. First off, you need access to the proper service procedures for your car. A diy’er trying to do their own repair and maintenance work is a fool’s errand without access to that info. Google to see if there’s a Haynes or Chilton’s aftermarket repair manual for your car. If so, either buy it or ask at your local public library if they have a copy. If you think the water pump is leaking, replace it. A failed water pump wouldn’t be unexpected for a 2009. If the cooling system isn’t maintaining temperature properly, a cooling system pressure test. Suggest to discontinue magical “fixes” like head gasket sealer. I very much doubt your use of that product has done any serious damage to the engine, but that repair method is more of a band-aid rather than an actual repair. Once cooling system is back to like-new condition, keep it that way by replacing the coolant every 2 years.

One final bit about safety, Working on cars is potentially very dangerous, and safety is more important than anything else. If you are injured while doing a repair, but your car runs good, that does you no good. Successful diy’ers will often make compromises, for example they’ll take more time, in some cases much more time, than a pro shop would need to do the job; but they do not compromise safety.

BTW, usually replacing the water pump is part of a timing belt job. Suggest to ask the shop who replaced the timing belt if that was done.


Bars leak is a heavy duty stop leak and you used it twice. It will not seal a rotating shaft seal leak on a water pump. I suspect that you have no coolant in the engine based on the fact that the temp reading dropped to zero.

What the problem is, and the proper repair is is not affected by the state of your finances.

You are simply showing that you cannot afford tp drive a car.


Who hurt her feelings?

The fact that she can’t afford to properly fix her car isn’t our fault.

Maybe she should check with the local churches, food banks. Volunteers of America, Salvation Army, or even a go fund me account for help.


If we are gonna tug of war with the vernacular rope; then more scrupulous dissection would warrant that she may not have enough money to pursue this avenue of approach and live within sustainable means… henceforth the credit bureau

The world is a cold enough place at it is, I genuinely hope you have a good day and ask that you quietly acknowledge the relationship between monetary security and ones value of self.

Thought this was the original poster I came on a little strong just a bystander here, some guy just inconsiderate chose to say the only problem is she just can’t afford to have a car,