2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Could rear ender cause overheating

Tiny
MH2001
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHRYSLER PT CRUISER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 90,000 MILES
I have a 2003 PT Cruiser. It was rear ended and had minimal ($2000) in body damage. The accident happened to my wife in Santa Monica the day I was attending an Open House for incoming PhD students at UCLA. On the way home to Palm Springs from LA, when we turned down Highway 111 the car started making screeching noises and started overheating. In the morning I drove it about three miles to downtown Palm Springs and it started belching steam. When the mechanic at the Shell station opened the hood we noticed that the small hose for the coolant recovery system was detached from the radiator and was laying somewhere inside the engine compartment. I suspect that it came undone when the car was struck from the rear. The hose points backwards into the radiator cap area, which is attached to the engine. The overheating evidently caused serious damage to the engine. I have owned this vehicle since it had 12000 miles. It currently has about 90000, but was in excellent condition. It is the top of the line Limited Edition model with heated leather seats, etc. I have significant experience working on cars. I am seeking a professional opinion on this matter. The engine started consistently overheating when driven, and the car had to be taken out of commission.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 12:07 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
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HI there,

Thank you for the donation,

I feel that there is no way that such a minor accident can cause this hose to dislodge, if the hose was secured correctly it would tear first, I would be thinking that the hose has not been tightened correctly, and cooling system pressure has caused it to blow off, this is the main cause of hoses coming off, I really cant believe that a minor accident has had any direct bearing on this problem.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 1:35 AM
Tiny
MH2001
  • MEMBER
I have uploaded a picture of the area in question. You can see the aftermarket clamp. Before this car was sharply struck in this accident, the hose was attached, no coolant was leaking, and it had never overheated. Doesn't it stand to reason that the loss of coolant during the drive home caused the car to overheat? I know the sequence of what happened, and it does not ring true that the hose simply fell off or was blown off. I bekieve that the engine torqued rearward and in so doing pulled the hose off. Even if the hose were loose, and I am not saying it was, it was still the accident that caused it to come apart. Look at the photo and it should speak for itself.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 2:09 AM
Tiny
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There is no link on your post.

Mark
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 4:42 AM
Tiny
MH2001
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I hope the photo posts this time.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/425792_coolant_hose_3.jpg

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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
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  • EXPERT
Hi there,

I do not believe that the accident caused the hose to come off, there is a fair amount of give in any automotive coolant hose, there has to be to allow for the expansion of the coolant when hot, for the impact to be so sever as to dismount the hose, the car would not be drivable, and in any case if it did come off then, there would have been coolant leaking at the time, I really don't know why it did come off, if it was fitted correctly I should of stayed on, I really don't know why you are wanting me to say here, you asked if I believe that the accident caused the hose to fail, I believe that it did not. That is my opinion.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 5:38 PM
Tiny
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Sir,

You asked my opinion and I gave it as I believed to be the case, remember that I don't have the advantage of viewing this problem first hand, I feel that your negative response is most un just, I stand by my conviction that I can't explain why the hose came off, only that I feel that the clamp was not securely seated, and as to you claim that I don't believe that the hose came off, this is not the case, I am saying that I believe that the accident had no bearing on the hose failure, and that other circumstances are at fault, if you re read the correspondence you will see that this is what I am saying.

MPH.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 5:57 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
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Why in the world would you give negitive feedback based on opinion. Frankly I agree 100% with Mark on this.

IF you don't think you are going to like the answer, don't ask the question.

IF you brake rev the engine, you will see he is right.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
MH2001
  • MEMBER
I do not give negative feedback lightly. I also do not lie. What I described as happening is exactly what happened. If coolant was on the ground after the accident, my wife did not see it. She was in a dazed mental state. She was later diagnosed with a mild concussion and an injured back. She did report hearing some noise from the engine compartment. I heard the screeching sound the night I drove the car home. I did not think about it the next morning when we drove to the Post Office. After adding coolant, the car seemed to perform okay. I drove it to Corona a week or so later, and it overheated again and I had it towedback to Palm Springs. That is probably what finished the engine off. But the bottom line is that this problem ORIGINATED from the accident. A few years ago I bought a 1999 Mustang GT convertible. The parking brake came undone and the car rolled across the parking lot and almost into my office building. The Ford dealer could not reproduce the problem, and refused to fix the brake. About a year later, Ford issued a recall for the exact same problem. I told you the TRUTH. You just refuse to believe it. Why should I respond positively to that?
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 7:14 PM
Tiny
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You seem to have this belief that I don't believe you, well that is not the case, your wife had an accident which is most unfortunate, and at some point after this the coolant hose has come away, this I don't doubt happened at all, it is just that you have asked for an opinion as to if the accident is the cause of this hose failure and it is my opinion, and an opinion is not an assumption or a statement of fact, that I feel that the accident had no part in this coolant hose issue, now if you feel that the opposite is the case, then you should investigate this further with local mechanics, you came her asking for an opinion, that is what you got, this is why I feel that the negative response is uncalled for.

Mark Hadley-Powell, A grade Automotive technician with over 35 years experience.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 7:31 PM
Tiny
MH2001
  • MEMBER
As it now stands, I have a vehicle which was perfectly okay before I took it on a trip to join a prestigious school for a PhD program, and was awarded that day a four year fellowship. I have two other cars which both run beautifully, and if I had known of any problem whatsoever with the Cruiser I would not have driven it to one of the most important occassions in my life. When the car overheated I had it towed to a dealer to determine the extent of the engine damage. The dealer claimed that someone must have tampered with the hose to cause it to come undone. That was NOT the case. I was here trying to at least get some objective traction for the possibility that what I said happened actually had happened, and perhaps you had heard of something similar before. In any event, you did not help at all. One other thing. I learned from the dealer that all my motor mounts were broken. I confirmed that later by noticing the amount of rattling coming from the engine at idle, and when it was placed in gear. These cars are absolute crap, and I truly hope Chrysler goes down the tubes for screwing the automotive public. They are getting what they deserve right now. The cooling system was perfectly fine before the wreck, and immediately afterwards fell to pieces. Hopefully what I am conveying to you will be a teachable moment.

THANK YOU


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/425792_03Cruiser_1.jpg



updated 10-26-09
Just so that you are aware, I did locate a reputable mechanic in Anaheim with a very well established business rebuilding engines who concurred that the way many front wheel drive cars are made, the drive train components "float", and when hit sharply this can cause the motor mounts to break and do other damage. Apparently this is exactly what happened to my Cruiser. I was victimized by the dealership who wanted to state otherwise, which would have jeopardized my insurance coverage. As I said earlier, Chrysler is getting what they deserve right now. Hopefully, they will soon fold up and go away.

I wish you and your much needed online service the very best! I can see that you have many satisfied customers.
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 9:04 PM
Tiny
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I have no access to remove feed back comments, you will have to take this up with management.

Mhpautos
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Saturday, October 24th, 2009 AT 9:43 PM

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