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2001 PT Cruiser questions from a newbie

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Old 03 Mar 2010, 02:33 am
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Question 2001 PT Cruiser questions from a newbie

I'm new here, and was looking at cars for sale when I came across a 2001 PT Cruiser for just under $3,000. My questions though are, how do they handle? What are the down falls? What are the common issues they have? Etc. I'm a new driver and definitely plan to take it easy on it, but was wonder what it's like before I buy it. I'm new with standards as well, how are the PT Cruisers in standard? My only experience is a '91 Jeep 4x4 with manual (very manual) steering. My problem with standard is being so gentle with the pettle when I go to leave my parking spot, stop sign, red light, etc. Is this any easier to handle?

Also, is there anything I should ask the seller before driving the 3 hours to look/buy it?

Thank you!
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Old 03 Mar 2010, 06:56 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: 2001 PT Cruiser questions from a newbie

Welcome to the forums.
So, it's a standard shift? That's good, because it gets better mileage, has better performance, and is more reliable.
Ask how many miles - and if the timing belt (and water pump and belt tensioner) has been replaced - if not, be prepared to have it done and pay about $1,000. It needs to be done at around 100,000 miles.
Ask if they have receipts of work done on the car.
Ask when plugs/wires were last changed and how often oil was changed - and listen carefully to the answers - if there's hesitation, car was not looked after well.
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Old 03 Mar 2010, 07:02 am
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Default Re: 2001 PT Cruiser questions from a newbie

I can't speak for the 01 nonturbo, but my 03 GT handles fairly well, the only downfall for me is that the turning radius is no good. On a 6 lane hwy a u turn takes me to the outer edge of the right lane, but once you're used to that it's all good.
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Last edited by 03GTCruiser; 03 Mar 2010 at 07:05 am.
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Old 03 Mar 2010, 10:18 am
William_F's Avatar
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Default Re: 2001 PT Cruiser questions from a newbie

Would second the turn radius. I had and '04 base and now have an '06 Limited and the turn radius on both is horrible. Have to be careful making U turns at stop lights that I don't scrape my passenger side rims on the curb.

One other thing about them is the gas mileage. They only get 20-22 MPG. I don't so much mind that, but it has been a point of contention for other people.

Ask for the Car Fax and have it faxed to you if possible. If they don't have one, ask them for the VIN and you can buy one on the car yourself.

I would also ask them for a very through set of photos before driving that far. Ask them about any issues with the car and listen not just to the response, but to how they respond. That will key you in to potential problems.

If you like what you hear and see before the drive, I'd tell the seller I was interested but wasn't keen on driving that far and see if they'd meet me in the middle. I got disgusted shopping for a replacement PT just going around town because people would tell me the car was "excellent with no dents or scratches" and when I'd show up, that would not be true. I can't imagine how mad I'd have been going 3 hours to look at it.

If you're really set on PTs, try using the locator at New Cars, Used Cars - Find Cars at or New & Used Cars for Sale, Auto Dealers, Car Reviews and Car Finance Advice you can select year, price range, distance etc. There is a very good chance you can find one in your price range closer to home.

Good luck and be sure to let us know how it turns out!
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