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New owner with a few questions...

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 14 Aug 2009, 11:17 am
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 5
Default New owner with a few questions...

Hi Everyone.
My name is Enjay, and I purchased a 2008 PT Cruiser Street Cruiser package, 5-speed manual, in Cool Vanilla straight off the dealers lot the day before yesterday. It had less than 200 miles on it. I'm so excited! It doesn't have the cargo room that I was used to with my mom-mobile (1996 Caravan) but the kids have become closer since we picked it up. Literally! Heh.
The car had been transferred from a different dealer upstate and in the process the owners manual went missing. The dealer has a new one on order, but I did download one via the link in a sticky post on this site, thank you. That's actually how I found this site, which has been very helpful.

I have some questions regarding breaking in and maintaining a new vehicle. I've never owned one that was brand new before. My father collected, rebuilt and showed Oldsmobile 442's and Silver Medallion issue cars so I have vague recollections of breaking in the engine, an accelerated maintenance schedule during the break in period and such, but he passed away when I was a teenager and he didn't really allow me to help with his cars. Actually, I wasn't allowed to so much as breathe on them, considering I once wiped the fog off with my coat sleeve and deeply scratched the paint on his baby, a candy apple red and white 1970 442 convertible in mint original condition. Suffice to say that when I told him about it his face matched the color of the car almost exactly!

My main questions at the moment are regarding how to break in the engine, synthetic vs standard oil, is there an accelerated maintenance plan during the break in stages or is the plan-a schedule good to go, and how to protect and maintain the paint in this hot, humid, coastal SC climate. The car will not be kept under cover.
As you can probably imagine, I've found a lot of conflicting information regarding all of these issues, so I thought I'd ask the opinions of people with experience.
Thanks for any and all opinions. I think that while I wait for replies, I'm going to go for a drive and enjoy my sexy new car. Take your time, I will.
Enjay
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Old 14 Aug 2009, 12:55 pm
Travis2k7's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 406
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zygote View Post
My main questions at the moment are regarding how to break in the engine, synthetic vs standard oil, is there an accelerated maintenance plan during the break in stages or is the plan-a schedule good to go, and how to protect and maintain the paint in this hot, humid, coastal SC climate. The car will not be kept under cover.

Enjay
I didn't buy mine new but if I had I would have ran standard oil for the first 600 miles or so... more friction = better break in IMHO. Did that with the first (and final) new vehicle I bought years ago.

Opinions vary... found this as well. Breaking in new engine..dino? syn? - Bob Is The Oil Guy

All I run in mine now is Mobil 1

Your climate is the same as mine and all I did was give mine a good wax job. Of course, little paint chips on the bumper don't bother me as much as some people.
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Old 14 Aug 2009, 01:46 pm
mopar_man's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SK, Canada
Posts: 290
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Some cars come from the factory with synthetic. I've never owned a new car but if I ever do, the regular oil is coming out the day I get it and synthetic is going in. I run Amsoil in my car but just about any quality synthetic is better than regular oil.
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1973 Barracuda
340/auto
Modifications: Too many.
2002 PT Cruiser
N/A 2.4L/5-speed
Modifications: Boogers, Maddog 80% STS, Auto throttle body, Airbox modifications, Eibach Pro springs, Energy Suspension control arm bushings & motor mount inserts, disabled balance shafts.
1989 Caprice Wagon
307/auto
Modifications: Lowered 2" front and rear, flat black paint, emblems and trim removed and filled, pinstriping, big 'n little tires.
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Old 14 Aug 2009, 03:48 pm
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

I am a strong "believer" in synthetic oil. I had a car that needed work at 195,000 miles, and the mechanic had the head off, and the metal by the valves was all clean and shiny - I asked what he used to clean it up - he said nothing! That's the way it was!
I changed the oil in both my PTs to synthetic oil (Mobil 1) at about 500 miles, and change it every 5,000 miles.
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"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 14 Aug 2009, 11:52 pm
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 5
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Thank you all very much. It sounds like synthetic is the popular choice. It also sounds as though the first oil change should be at 500 mi? Hmmm...that might be tomorrow LOL. I'll have to do some calling around and see if I can source it. Are there any particular brands that I should look for/avoid?

Travis, we're located just outside of Charleston, Savannah is within day-tripping distance for us. We've played tourist there and enjoyed ourselves immensely, the historic tours were especially interesting. Since we are in the same climate, I hope you don't mind if I ask if there's anything in particular that I need to be aware of regarding caring for a car down here? I'm already dreading going though pollen season with a white car.
Thanks again everyone
Enjay
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Old 14 Aug 2009, 11:59 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zygote View Post
Thank you all very much. It sounds like synthetic is the popular choice. It also sounds as though the first oil change should be at 500 mi? Hmmm...that might be tomorrow LOL. I'll have to do some calling around and see if I can source it. Are there any particular brands that I should look for/avoid?
Easiest/cheapest - WalMart. They carry 5-quart jugs of Mobil1 - which is what the PT takes (5 quarts).
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 06:14 am
Travis2k7's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 406
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zygote View Post
Thank you all very much. It sounds like synthetic is the popular choice. Are there any particular brands that I should look for/avoid?

Travis, we're located just outside of Charleston, Savannah is within day-tripping distance for us. We've played tourist there and enjoyed ourselves immensely, the historic tours were especially interesting. Since we are in the same climate, I hope you don't mind if I ask if there's anything in particular that I need to be aware of regarding caring for a car down here? I'm already dreading going though pollen season with a white car.
Thanks again everyone
Enjay
Mobil 1 is the way to go IMHO. 5,000 miles between changes as QSD said.

As far as the climate, you'll get used to it. Pollen season wasn't really that bad this year... just a couple extra car washes is all I needed.

Keep the maintenance up and you'll be good to go. It's nice when it's 100 degrees outside to have a strong A/C system. Left work the other day on my 15 mile trip home with the A/C wide open, and before I got home I had to turn it off... chilly in the car!

Any questions, ask. Welcome!
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 08:35 am
mopar_man's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SK, Canada
Posts: 290
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilverdon View Post
Easiest/cheapest - WalMart. They carry 5-quart jugs of Mobil1 - which is what the PT takes (5 quarts).
You can buy your oil there but please don't have them change the oil. You may not get your oil changed and get charged for it. You might get your oil changed and if you decide to change it yourself next time, you might not get the filter off and/or the drain plug out. I've heard way too many horror stories from Walmart service centers. It's not just oil changes either. You get what you pay for getting work done on your car there.
__________________
1973 Barracuda
340/auto
Modifications: Too many.
2002 PT Cruiser
N/A 2.4L/5-speed
Modifications: Boogers, Maddog 80% STS, Auto throttle body, Airbox modifications, Eibach Pro springs, Energy Suspension control arm bushings & motor mount inserts, disabled balance shafts.
1989 Caprice Wagon
307/auto
Modifications: Lowered 2" front and rear, flat black paint, emblems and trim removed and filled, pinstriping, big 'n little tires.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 15 Aug 2009, 11:10 am
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 5
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

No, no wal-mart service center here. I had two full service oil changes there. The first time I thought everything went okay, the second time they pointed out that my air filter hadn't been changed in "forever", then discovered halfway through that they couldn't actually change the oil because the van now had an oversize oil plug installed and they don't work with those. I learned my lesson and only took my cars to the neighborhood certified repair shop after that.

Which reminds me, do I have to take my cruiser to the dealership for regular maintenance or can I have Jack do that and just take it to the dealership if a problem arises? I don't want to void the warranty but I prefer Jack's shop.

Another question, I've been reading Candyman's guide to detailing a pt (found in the detailing forum), which is very good, but I don't think all of it applies to my car. Do I really need to use buffing compounds and such on new paint that doesn't have swirl marks or scratches? I was thinking that I could get away with starting around the claying stage and going on from there.
Thanks Time to get the pork butt in the oven, we're having pulled pork tonight.
Enjay
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 15 Aug 2009, 12:25 pm
Hooligan's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,023
Default Re: New owner with a few questions...

Use Jack for everything except warranty work. It sounds like Jack is a trustworthy person. I had someone like that in Michigan when we lived there, he would tell me if he thought it was warranty work and I would take it back to the dealer for that kind of work.

Yes, just start with the clay bar and follow his instructions.

BTW: welcome to the forum.
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