PT Cruiser Temperature Light

2006 PT Cruiser, just over 43k miles. Oil Changed just over a month ago. Car recently started “chugging” when at a stop light, in slow traffic, or drive-thru. Turning off AC makes the “chugging” stop. After about 45-60 minutes of highway draving, the Temperature Light comes on and the Temperature Grage moves ALMOST to H. Had car towed for service. Relay Changed. Problem persists. No fluids on the ground, so nothing is boiling over.

Forgot to mention that turning off the AC and turning on the Heater full blast will make the Temp Light go off.

The first thing you need to verify is that the cooling system is full and has no air trapped inside it. Replacing the thermostat also wouldn’t hurt. Since the problem occurred on the highway, I doubt that it is a cooling fan issue. You probably didn’t need the relay, unless it was tested and verified to be bad before it was replaced. Also, when did you last have your cooling system flushed? You mentioned an oil change, but there is much more to maintaining a vehicle than simply getting the oil changed every once in a while. I don’t want to necessarily sound as though I’m insinuating you to be a negligent owner, but we get A LOT of negligent owners on this forum. If you do fall into the category of “change the oil, gas it up, and drive it,” do yourself a favor and pull your owner’s manual out of the glove box and check out the section on scheduled maintenance. This schedule needs to be followed and adhered to in order to keep the vehicle functioning properly. It will still break down, but proper, by-the-book maintenance will dramatically reduce the likelihood and frequency of breakdowns.

[b] This sounds like a warranty issue. [/b] 

If so you don’t need to try and figure out what is wrong, only report what you are experiencing to a dealer.

You may end up needing a little information on lemon laws.  Make sure you are keeping the records you may need.  

Information on lemon laws available at:

I hope that that oil change was not at a quick lube place!

Joseph, Is A 4 To 5 Year-Old Chrysler Covered By Warranty ?

Would a lemon law apply in this case?


Which Relay Was Changed ?
Was The Condition And Operation Of The Air Conditioner Compressor Specifically Checked ?

When you say, “After about 45-60 minutes of highway draving, the Temperature Light comes on and the Temperature Grage moves ALMOST to H.”, is this always with the air conditioner or defroster (both operate A-C) ON or OFF ?

I’m wondering if the compressor is seizing or taking too much energy to turn.

Are you using a dealer or independent mechanic for service ? Is it a shop you are familiar with and have used in the past ?


You probably have 2 cooling fans behind the radiator, 1 driven by a belt and 1 by electricity. The electric fan should come on when the AC is turned on or when the engine reaches a certain temp. Verify that both fans are on when the AC is on.

Is the coolant reservoir full to the correct level? Doesn’t fluctuate from week to week?

I live in SE Nevada after years of living in the Midwest. I get the oil changed regularly and ask the service people to check to make sure the Coolant levels are good. But, no, I have have not had the cooling system flushed.

The 2 times this has happened, the Air Conditioner was running. I live in SE Nevada and use the Air Conditioner a lot.

The car is not at the dealership. I am now using a mechanic that my husband and I have been using for the 2 years we have been in Nevada. When the car was towed, it was towed to another shop of the same company (PEP Boys).

By the way, I do not take offense. I do know where the owners manual is, and I do refer to it often. I’m asking this question because I know that I DON’T know about cars and engines, etc. I’m also asking because the Mechanics seem stumpped. In fact they said they have a Mustang in with the same curious symptoms. I am hoping that someone out there who knows more about vehicles than I do can shed some light.

I have passed the warranty.

Oil Change was at a Pep Boys.

Mystery solved. A loose wire and a bad fuse. Thanks to the team at the Henderson, NV PEP Bous for not giving up!