My PT Cruiser Won't Start

Written by rebecca mayglothling
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My PT Cruiser Won't Start
PT Cruiser fail to start problems could be under the hood. (Yellow grill image by Viktor Gmyria from

Electronics and vehicles are infuriating, at best, when they fail. When hitting the power button, turning a key, or flipping a switch, something is expected to happen. When nothing happens, it is frazzling, frustrating, and discouraging. Cars, specifically PT Cruisers, are part electronic, so they can and will succumb to problems and simply do nothing when the key turns. There are a few answers to why this happens. Some of these answers involve the electronics of the car; other answers involve connections under the hood.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Check the battery. Locate the battery and then check if it has a factory-generated thermal wrap. Batteries will not start under extremely cold conditions, and the Cruiser seems to be particularly picky. Check the wiring between the battery and the starter. If this seems fine, the problem may be an internal short within the battery.

  2. 2

    Check the oil. Batteries and starters depend on oil to keep the car from overheating. Cruisers tend to be notorious for leaking oil, so check the oil on a regular basis.

  3. 3

    Check the radiator cap. User your owner's manual to locate the radiator cap. These tend to weaken in Cruisers, causing the car to overheat and fail to start. If the cap is loose or weak, replace it or simply tighten it. Check the radiator cap and oil cap after a visit to the mechanic's to ensure it has been reinstalled tightly.

Tips and warnings

  • If the car doesn't start after checking these points, it may need a mechanic. If your mechanical knowledge is limited, do not attempt to fix the car.

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