Q: PT Cruiser, replaced radiator and thermostat, dashboard gauge reads normal but car is running hot and having to add coolant daily

asked by on May 04, 2017

Having to add coolant and/or water daily, replaced radiator 3 months ago, replaced thermostat 3 weeks ago, dashboard gauge reads normal even though the engine is running hot, when stopped you can hear a bubbling or gurgling sound, can't find a leak, but after car has been parked there's a puddle.

Car is overheating Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle is reading normal temperatures because the fluid temperature sensor needs to be in the fluid to give an accurate reading. The second there is a leak and the fluid level drops, that sensor is reading air, and the gauge is giving a bad reading. Coolant leaks can be internal or external. For that reason, you must not rule out the option that your vehicle is consuming the coolant. This most commonly happens when you have a bad head gasket. In this case you will usually find white smoke (steam) coming from your exhaust. The leak must be at least partly external, because of the puddle you are finding. The only way to resolve the issues is to find and fix that leak. A dye test may be your best bet, which you can do at home with the right tools, or by a technician. For more help with finding and fixing the leak, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

Continuous Clunking and thumping while driving.

Good job on the description of the noise. What you are describing is the noise that a wheel bearing makes when it is worn out. The noise will change pitch when steering left and right. The bearings for your PT...

Oil on top of engine and car won't start

A sudden oil leak could be due to a head gasket failure, crack in the engine block or cylinder head, a plugged PCV system (causing oil to blow out through seals) or similar types of failures. Once the leak point...

Experiencing intermittent transmission issues

Hello. If your vehicle is losing transmission fluid and there is no noticeable leaks then it may be possible that the transmission is burning the fluid. I would check the fluid for any signs that the transmission may be burning...

Possible effects of a crash from the rear bumper

Hello. Wrecks are always unfortunate. Your fuel tank is located at the rear of the vehicle, and part of that system may have been damaged. There are wires, fuel lines, and the tank itself that could be damaged. The best...

Is the pcv supposed to fit loose on the valve cover? And how do you remove the pcv itself?

The PCV on this engine has a lock tab and unscrews from the valve cover. The tab may break when you try and remove it so make sure you have the correct one before you try and remove the old...

When replacing ball joints can you just replace the ball joints or do you have to replace the whole control arm?

The ball joint on this vehicle can be replaced separately from the lower control arm. However, on this vehicle it is also a known problem where the ball joint becomes loose inside the mounting in the lower control arm and...

Overheating

This can be caused by a number of things such as low coolant levels, a faulty thermostat, a clogged radiator or a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant...

Ford Fiesta TDCi starts and stall immediately

If the engine overheated, there is the possibility of engine damage (stuck valves, etc.) so it might be necessary to test for basic cylinder compression. If the engine is mechanically sound, what you are describing is diagnosed in a stalling...

Where is this leak coming from or what part do i need to fix it?

There are a few components that run to the rear of the vehicle in that location. There are heater and air conditioning pipes that run the system charge from the front of the vehicle to the rear if your vehicle...

Related articles

Is it Safe to Drive With a Leaking Gas Tank?
A leaking gas tank can be caused by a number of different things, such as rocks or sharp objects your car picks up...
How to Troubleshoot and Replace a Leaking Valve Cover Gasket
Valve cover gasket leaks usually start when not much oil leaves the engine. It should be repaired before it causes serious damage and costly repairs.
How Serious Is It When a Hose Is Leaking?
A leaking hose in your car could indicate different problems. Some leaking hoses are more serious than others, but all should be checked and repaired.