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Which of these PTs would you buy?

 
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 08:01 pm
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Default Which of these PTs would you buy?

Hi there, I am currently working my way up to buying my first PT Cruiser. I've got my decision narrowed down to two. The first is an '05 LE GT turbo signature edition w/ 95K miles, the second is an '06 basic w/ 75K miles.

The dealer wants $7,200 for the '05 LE and my mechanic says that it's in impeccable condition. It even has brand new tires. The other dealer wants $6,500 for the '06 basic, but it's got a couple very light scratches in the paint and my mechanic tells me that it's leaking a small-moderate amount of oil from the head gasket. My mechanic went on to tell me that he has seen this oil leak on nearly every PT Cruiser he has serviced and that it isn't necessarily something to worry about, but there's really no way to tell if it will lead to a worse problem or not.

If I had a little money to play around with I would buy the 'of LE in a heart beat, but I'm on very tight budget. I can squeeze the extra $700 out for the '05, but it's definitely gonna hurt for a little while.

What would you do? If I buy the '06 and stay within my budget now, how likely do you think it will be that it's going to cost me more money down the road?

Also, would that turbo engine end up costing me a fortune is gas? I've heard mixed things.

As many answers as I can get in a hurry would be great. I know these cars won't stay on the lot for long.

Thanks!!!!!!
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 08:16 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

Personally,I would go for the 05 GT.It souds like it's in better condition and it's really not that much more expensive.Now,one thing you need to take into consideration is the timing belt.These cars need to have the timing belt changed at 100,000 and it costs around $1000.If the belt has been changed I say go for it but if not you will be looking at another $1000 pretty soon.Of course if the dealer is asking $7200 I would offer him $6000 and go from there.You can probably get it for less.As far as the cost of gas goes the turbo model has to have premium and the NA does not so that is another thing to consider.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 08:19 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

Welcome to the site. I hope you do get a PT, they're fun cars and very easy to fall in love with. i would go for the gt but then again you HAVE to use premium when you fill up. The base model is nice too, but both of these baby's have a few extra years on their engines. so it's up to you. Do you want power that burns a hole in your pocket at the pump, or a plan old base model that doesn't require premium? lol pro's and con's.
Greetings from San Antonio by the way. Eve(07 touring ed) and I say hi.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 08:28 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

sorry SC didn't mean to step on your toes. i guess you beat me to it. lol
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 08:40 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

Hmmm... decisions, decisions. I didn't even think to ask the dealers about the timing belt, but I'm gonna guess that neither car has had it changed. Does it really cost $1K American to have my local (and trusted) mechanic to change the timing belt? That's a lot more than it cost me to change one on my old Camry, and I had that one done at the dealership!

What about the oil leak from the head gasket though? I'm curious to hear from people who have experience with these cars if that's something that usually leads to bigger problems, or if it could just stay in its current condition for many miles to come.

Thanks!
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 08:48 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

The timing belt varies from $700 to about $1000 depending on who does it.It costs more than most cars because of the limited space in the engine compartment.
As for the oil leak I cant offer much help but I'm sure somebody will post soon.My experience with other cars has been that oil leaks tend to get worst with time.
You might also want to negotiate the repairs into the deal.If you tell the dealer you will only buy the car if the work is done they will probably do it.Most dealers have enough markup in a car to cover repairs and still make a profit.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 09:09 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

I already did some negotiating with both dealers. Both started out with a sticker price of 7K. The prices I mentioned above include tax and title. The one with the '05 GT stands firm. I've been trying to wear him down for a few days to cut even a couple hundred more from the asking price, but he won't budge. The dealer with the '06 agreed to offer a six month warranty on the head gasket, and I believe he would honour it. He's a good dealer with a good reputation in my neck of the woods. He just has a small used car lot though, without a shop. My mechanic also found that the left tie rod needed replacing, which the dealer agreed to replace before I put my money down.

Last edited by miralu; 31 Jan 2011 at 09:18 pm.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 09:16 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

Are you sure it's the head gasket leaking and not the valve cover gasket?The head gasket will usually leak water/antifreeze if it's bad.The valve cover will leak oil and it's really no big deal but a leaky head gasket WILL mean bigger problems if not repaired.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 09:23 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

No, I'm not sure. I wouldn't have any way to tell. I really don't know anything about cars other than how to drive them (Unless it's a manual) I'm just going by what my mechanic told me.
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Old 31 Jan 2011, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Which of these PTs would you buy?

Another consideration, when the time comes to change the timing belt, is that you need to go to a mechanic that has worked on PT Cruiser timing belts before. Lining up the timing marks on the sprockets IS NOT intuitive. By that I mean that if the timing marks are lined up the way that they look like they should be, they are probably wrong. (Yes, I know that is strange.) But the factory Technical Service Manual (TSM) is very clear on this, and someone experienced with the engine in a PT Cruiser will know what to do. If the timing sprockets are aligned wrong, the engine will probably run, but it will not run well. It'll run just well enough for a mechanic to blame it on you or something else going wrong.

My vote is to take a closer look at the oil leak. From a far, far, far distance I am betting that it is from the valve cover gasket which is an easy weekend fix under the shade of a sycamore tree. Chirping birds are optional.

By the way, where, more or less, are you located?
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