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Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06 Oct 2010, 04:02 pm
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Default Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

My college student daughter needs a car and we have been running all over northern NJ looking for one, wasting time and energy. She likes the PT Cruiser (I do too) and missed out on a private sale one a week ago that probably would have been ideal for her. We have a budget of $4000-4500 and we don't want to finance, so we'd be looking at something around an '03 or so. We need reliability, good gas mileage, and a fairly clean repair record.

As I'm not a PT expert, can anyone fill me in on:

Where I might find one in nortern NJ (We've been scouring Auto Trader, etc)?
What quirks or problems with the car should I be aware of?
How reliable are they in the long run?

All help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 04:31 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

I just got mine a month ago but did a lot research. Reliability seems to be a lot better than most. I am more than happy with my used one. Only thing you need to know is that 100,000 miles you need to replace the timing belt, water pump, and tensioner which runs around $1,000. Don't skip this as it's very important. Other than that a PT should serve your daughter well.
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 04:44 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

One thing ive noticed about the cruiser is that its consistently very reliable. But if you want something good on gas, look somewhere else. Their very safe and comfortable cars, so i dont mind paying more for gas personally.
But like wishbone said, the timing belt and pump will need to be changed. But its insane to pay 1000$ for it. Do it yourself , save money.
Personally, if i were a parent, i would love my daughter to own a cruiser and know shes very safe, rather than saving some gas money.
Its all about which one you find to buy. The quality of the used car
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 05:14 pm
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Location: quebec
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

if you want to get the most out of a pt as for the gas milage, get one with a manual transmission, it will be a bit better on the gas. but she need to be able to drive manual, and also manuals pts are pretty rare
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 05:16 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

We love our PT, but it is not a particularly easy car on gas. 17 to 20 MPG. In winter when not using the a/c--on the highway--you might get 24 MPG.

Tim
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 05:17 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

Last year my grand daughter bought a 2001 with 68K on the speedo. The timing belt etc. had all been done. She has driven it for the last 1.5 years and loves it. She did have to have the fan motor replaced a couple of months ago.

The MPG does suck, but I have been averaging around 22 with many fillups. I don't mind that as this is our 3rd one and I knew about the poorer mileage. The car is basically a brick and weighs a little over 3,000 which to me makes it a very safe car. Try and see if you can get maintenance records.
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 05:37 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

I, too, have had my radiator fan replaced--as well as a few other items. But all in all the car has been fairly reliable. Do NOT get a manual transmission, Driving for beginners is hard enough without having to use a clutch, and shifting gears. Most PT's have plenty of airbags--and they are really a mid-size car pretending to be a compact car--so I think of them as being a bit safer than most. As far as doing your own timing belt at 100,000 miles (a must), it's not a good idea. There's too much going on when you do that job, and I've seen many complaints on this forum where people did the job themselves--and they goofed it up. But if you're a mechanic, then go for it ....

Tim
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 05:45 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

My wife and I both have PT's,a 2005 and a 2010.Both of our cars get around 24 mpg so not really that bad.I also had a 2001 when they first came out and it got around 24 also.All of ours have been automatics.You could find something with better gas mileage but definately not as much style or fun.
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 07:26 pm
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Default Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

Check eBay.

I just bought a 2001 Limited Edition with 67000 miles on it, in VERY nice condition, for $4250. Found it on eBay - private sale, in Austin, TX. I'm in Dallas, so it was less than 3 hours away, plus my wife and I love Austin, so it was a good excuse for a weekend away.

I bought it for my mother-in-law, who only drives about 2500 miles per year, so I won't need to worry about the timing belt for years. I did, however, replace the spark plugs, pcv valve and a cracked pcv hose. Also did a coolant flush, transmission fluid and filter change, and oil change. Gave it a good cleaning inside and out, and under the hood. The car runs great. I'm happy with the price, and my m-i-l loves the car. WIN!
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Old 06 Oct 2010, 08:02 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 50
Red face Re: Looking To Buy A PT Cruiser For Daughter

Check eBay.

I just bought a 2001 Limited Edition with 67000 miles on it, in VERY nice condition, for $4250. Found it on eBay - private sale, in Austin, TX. I'm in Dallas, so it was less than 3 hours away, plus my wife and I love Austin, so it was a good excuse for a weekend away.

I bought it for my mother-in-law, who only drives about 2500 miles per year, so I won't need to worry about the timing belt for years. I did, however, replace the spark plugs, pcv valve and a cracked pcv hose. Also did a coolant flush, transmission fluid and filter change, and oil change. Gave it a good cleaning inside and out, and under the hood. The car runs great. I'm happy with the price, and my m-i-l loves the car. WIN!
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