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Sudden acceleration of RPM'S on my 1997 PT Cruiser

While driving on the highway, I experienced sudden acceleration of the RPM’s only on my 1997 PT Cruiser. What would cause this? I had to stop and shut the car off and it was okay when I restarted.

Are you saying the engine RPM’s increased but the speed of the vehicle remained the same? How high did the engine rev?

Does this vehicle have a manual or automatic transmission?

Yes, the speed of the car remained the same. The RPM’s revved to around 5. Automatic transmission.

Sounds like transmission slip to me. Check the fluid level to make sure it’s not low. Any check engine light on? Have you regularly serviced the transmission?

If you’d said “manual,” I’d have said the clutch is slipping, but that’s obviously not it.

Was the engine actually revving to 5,000 rpm or was it just the tachometer showing 5,000 without any increase in engine noise. At 5,000 the engine would be pretty loud.

Did the engine stay at 5,000 rpm even as you slowed down and stopped?

The only way the engine could rev like that without any increase in vehicle speed is if the transmission were in neutral. You didn’t accidentally bump the shift lever to neutral, did you?

Have you checked the transmission fluid?

The check engine light has been on and off. At the time, it was on. (I think). The engine slowed down only after I shut it off. No I did not hit the shift lever, the car was going forward on the highway, you could hear and feel the engine rev. I just had a LOF and hopefully the transmission fluid was checked also. But I will check that myself.

“LOF?” Sorry, but I don’t know what that stands for.

If the CEL has been coming on you should have someone read the codes and see why the light is on. No doubt there is a connection.

2001 was the first year for the PT Cruiser.

LOF stands for Lube, Oil, Filter. I wouldn’t count too heavily on the trans fluid being checked during the service unless you went to a real mechanic for your LOF. Either way, checking the fluid level is the place to start. Leaks can start suddenly.

Lube, Oil, Filter. OK, now it makes sense, except there probably aren’t any “Lube” points on this car. The OP most likely had it done at a quick-change place.

If 2001 was the first year, the OP can’t have a '97.

Marquis3, you need to give us some information.

Lots of information.

The first PTs were built in 1999 for the 2000 model year.

Wikipedia is wrong, first model year was 2001.They may have been built in late 1999 for a launch in 2000 but sold as a 2001.

In any event, the OP is confused regarding the actual model year of his car.

In order to determine that actual model year, all the OP has to do is to look at his vehicle registration. Knowing the actual model year is very important when trying to get parts for it.

OOPS! I meant 2007 PT Cruiser.

Sounds like the transmission was in limp mode (2nd gear), find out why your check engine light is on.

Nevada and Pete peters you were right, I was lazy and used wikipedia instead of going to Edmund’s or a mopar forum.
If anything but ATF+4 was put in this transmission it could cause this. A Jiffy lube in Albany had to replace the transmission in her Hyundai when they put manual gear oil in her automatic. They flushed it 3 times before giving up and replacing the transmission and torque converter.