Pt cruiser 2003 smoke coming from engine

Today I tryed to refill my coolant and power stering becuase they were empty then I drive for like 20 mins and I see smoke coming from my engine I go back home park it turn it off and look under the hood the smoke is coming from around were u put in the power steering and now it is making a knocking sound when accelerated any thoughts on what could be wrong

I cant… I just cant… Anyone else respond please.


If your coolant was “empty”, at the very least this indicates a serious leak in the cooling system.
At the other extreme is the very real possibility that the engine could have been seriously damaged by overheating before you refilled the coolant.

Are you sure that it is smoke, and not steam from an overheated engine/cooling system?

In any event, an engine which is making knocking sounds should NOT be started, lest you cause more damage. Have your car towed to a competent independent mechanic’s shop, NOT to a chain-run place like Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys or–worst of all–AAMCO.

I know that . There is a leak . Most was worried about the nokking

Do NOT start the engine.
Have it towed to a competent independent mechanic’s shop.

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I can’t either. My response would violate community standards.


in the immortal words of NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson, “It done blowed up.”

have it towed to a shop and pray for the best. Your posts make it sound like you saw the smoke and then continued driving home, knowing it was leaking coolant. If this is true, your engine on this 17 year old vehicle is very likely junk now.


… and the cost of repairs would far exceed the vehicle’s book value.

You TRIED to refill these fluids? Were you not successful? Did you put the right fluid in the right place??


Check the dipstick to make sure the engine oil level is correct.

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the cooling system is very small on the pt’s if the over flow tank hose is not fitting tight to the tank when the engine cools down it doesn’t pull the water/coolant from the tank it suxs in air instead.The solotion replace that hose and /or put a hose clamp at both ends. you don’t have to have a major leak in this case on this car!!!—Now getting to the problem at hand sounds like you have over heated the car now and your getting a fuel knock. At this point you will need to do a compression test and see if you have a bad head gasket also the water pump is on the timing belt for this engine so if the pump wasnt holding pressure you would possiably see steam not smoke coming from the power steering pump area either way it sounds like your gonna be breaking down the engine replaceing timing belt with pump idler and tentioner kit and a head gasket be sure to replace thermostat and that overflow hose.

Tex, not sure why you replied to VDC because he does not have a PT Cruiser .

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if you read his first comment he states this indicates a sirous leak now read the first part of my statement that is not always the case with a pt you can run very low on coolant and not have a leak at all read and comperhend all of the statment think twice speak once

Only thing i can think of is your PS has a bad seal and its getting in to the engine somehow i had one car do the same thing filled the PS up and few mins later I looked like i Was James Bond with a smoke screen behind me. The Knocking noise is probably due to the knock sensor i maybe wrong.

knock sensor only senses a knock doesn’t create one