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Mike, Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
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Chrysler PT Cruiser question. My temperature gauge shows normal

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Chrysler PT Cruiser question. My temperature gauge shows normal but when I am stopped in traffic (engine still running), loads of steam appears from under the bonnet, the temperature gauge rockets uo and the engine coolant bubbles and spills over. I've plenty of water in the radiator.
Hello and Welcome -
My name is***** happy to help / advise.
With this issue, you can ignore the gauge - that is not reading properly because of the very issue you have - When you get the issue, the sensor needs to be immersed in water / coolant to work properly - and evidently its not...
To get the over heating / steaming issue you have to have an inefficient cooling system..
The cooling system consists of the thermostat - which you have replaced and so ruled out... and the fan.. you need to check if the fan is operating correctly..
The radiator then - and of course the water jacket - in the engine block..utilising the water pump to pump the water round.
If you rule the fan out as a cause, the next thing to check is the water pump... you will need to strip to check that Im afraid. Often a cause of this is the impeller fails partially. It works ok as you drive because the rush of cold air helps to cool the system - but when standing you don't have that - and if the water is not then being pumped round properly, thats what you get -
You could of course have a more serious issue - that of a head gasket problem. Any garage can test this for you to see if thasts gone or not quite easily using a test kit...
So start with checking as above and work through to get to the bottom of this.
Let me know how you go..and / or let me know if you need anything further on this.. I will be only on a little tomorrow due to other commitments but will always get back to you if needed.
~>>~~>>~ Meanwhile now at this point- Please do click on the "Exc / Ok rating" for me at this time.. "Thank you" in advance for that .
.. Note that you can get back to me anytime at all after doing the rating - it doesn't close you out --
Best Rgds, MIKE
Mike and other Chrysler Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Mike, had a diagnostics test done in a garage for Head Gasket, result was 'inconclusive', however the oil filler cap did not show any signs of water/oil froth. Will take a look at the dan and get back to you later.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just wanted to also mention. I noticed a wire lead with a small two pin plug hole, hanging down under the car. As I was in a hurry to go somewhere I tucked it up out of the way but when I returned home, it had fallen back down and the plug had been ripped of it. I mentioned this to the mechanic at the garage but he said it had nothing to do with the problem. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the electric fan? Appreciate your assistance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mike, some questions about the fan please. It appears that the fan is not operating cold or hot. Are there two fans ie., one electric, that kicks in when idling or stopped at lights? Also, how can I tell if the water pump is not operating?
Hi again..Sorry for the delay as I had to be off for a while. Just to run through then what you have told me now..The wire connector dangling - very difficult to know what that would be - but - if your fan ( there is one unless you have AC but that doesn't matter ).. if your fan is not working, it could be for that - you will need to trace it to a connector with a mising wire Im afraid - If its not that - then you need to check the fan - spin it with your fingers when cold to see if it actually turns - it should spin free and easy. If not - it needs renewing as the cause.If its ok then you need to check power to it - there will only be power to it when the engine is hot - If there is no power - the feed citcuit needs to be checked.You can supply a 12v feed direct to the fan also - this will test the fan itself for its electrics - I would suggest you do that ... then go from there as above.As for the water pump - leave that till all else as above is checked -- it sounds a lot but its not and has to be ruled out .. As I mentioned before at the outset, the only 100% sure way of knowing if the water pump is ok, is to strip / remove it and test manually..I hope that all helps you further - Let me know how you go.Rgds, MIKE.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mike! Many thanks for your input so far, really appreciate your help, but still haven,t got the problem sorted, I have taken it to another garage and they have got the fan sorted,,,,,think it was a stuck thermostat , but the the problem still exists, I have worked out that the coolant bubbling over after a run, has nothing to do with the re saviour itself, but appears the radiator is building pressure and forcing steam back down the pipe feeding the coolant to the actual radiator , which is attached just under the the radiator filler cap. There is no visible sign on the oil filler cap that there is water in the oil, ie, no froth or discolouration, but the radiator does seem to be getting over pressureised!!! Would it help if I arranged for someone to come around?