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Looking to own a PT Cruiser

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jan 2012, 09:23 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Default Looking to own a PT Cruiser

I was just browsing the web about PT's and I came across this I figured I would ask and get peoples input...I am looking to buy a new car I am 21 years old so I am also trying to shop cars on a budget due to high insurance prices, well I found that PT's are pretty good on insurance my dilema being I have pondered and pondered on information on PTS and asking several people their opinions I have found equally have good and have bad things on it...I am currently looking at a 2002 limited edition with 85,000 miles on it and its in my budget I just have several people telling me they are mistakes to buy etcc etcc...I currently own a 90 Buick regal which Ive had problems with since day 1 so I am very cautious on buying a 2002 PT Cruiser limited edition looking to buy....WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS????
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jan 2012, 09:32 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,758
Default Re: Looking to own a PT Cruiser

There's a major service due at 100,000 miles at the cost of around $1000. The timing belt and water pump which takes about 5 to 7 hours of labor time are something you have to consider when buying the PT your looking at.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2012, 12:00 am
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 5,324
Default Re: Looking to own a PT Cruiser

Ditto Crewzin. Also, the condition depends on how well it was maintained by it's previous owner. I bought my '06 in 2007, I've put a little over 1200 hours in it, counting all the mods, time on the dyno, and time on the track. I've wrecked it once and had the front end completely replaced. I tend to drive it a but more like an ape than a human. However, through all of that, I try to take very good care of her, and she takes good care of me. I've just last month had my very first trouble code, and it came out to be a loose wire.

So, if it's well maintained it should last you many years. If not, well, then it's a gamble. Go through the 'normal' list of things to look at - tranny fluid, oil, brake fluid, steering fluid, etc. Our PT's require some very specific fluids, and if the wrong types are used (for instance, specific tranny fluid, specific radiator coolant, etc.), then that shortens the life of the PT.

Let me give you a list of suggested items to look at, mind you this is only my suggestion, take it our leave it. These are items specific to PT known issues:
  • Plug wires (if they are factory, you'll need to replace them)
  • Air filter (if it's not a K&N, I highly suggest you get one)
  • Wheel condition (flaking chrome causes air leaks)
  • Do key dance, check for trouble codes (see Tech/Perf section)
  • Perform gauge test (see Tech/Perf section)

Under the car:
  • Look for ANY fluid leaks
  • Check condition of transaxle/half shaft boots
  • Pull on tie-rod ends, see if there is any play, this would indicate excessive wear
  • Check for any loose hoses and/or wiring
  • Check condition of frame and chin (look for scrapes and dents, could indicate hard use/abuse)
  • Check condition and pressure on spare tire

If it's a Turbo:
  • Ask what type of oil is being run in it (should be 5w30 synthetic)
  • Check FMIC for any damage (intercooler)

If it's a Convertible:
  • Open trunk, lift up carpet and look for water damage - will tell you if there are leaks in the storage well for the top
  • Verify top is in good condition and that it opens and closes properly
  • Verify seal of windows to top

Pretty much everything else you should look for in a used car is included in my Used Car Inspection report and checklists. Feel free to download and use them if you wish to. I've taken these from and beefed it up a bit. You can go visit their site and see if there's anything else you want to know about buying a used car.

I would suggest printing these out and taking them with you: Used Car Inspections, & Used Car Checklist.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2012, 12:34 am
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 3,722
Default Re: Looking to own a PT Cruiser


You can find out about any problem about the PT listed here.

The earlier models before the redesign had more issues than the new redesign. Not to say its perfect but some things were corrected and some things never really got fixed.

The 100k mile is something to consider with any car you buy.

When I bought my wifes we had 1700 dollars of work done before we bought the car. We also bought an extended warranty.

I bought mine, and have had no issues so far.

One thing that is widely not argued with is the Gas Mileage Sucks! Dont let the 4 cylinder fool you, most v8's get better mileage.

Good luck
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2012, 04:41 am
davea300's Avatar
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Scotland UK
Posts: 306
Default Re: Looking to own a PT Cruiser

I might just add to check the condition of the front suspension inc the lower control arm bushes. When i test drove mine it made a knocking noise every time you went over a bump in the road. Not as expensive to replace as items others have mentioned but if you are on a tight budget then its still something to look out for. Plenty of info on here about it as its a common problem.

They are an mot failure in the uk so i had no choice but to fix mine as soon as i could. Many times i wish i lived on the other side of the pond!
Short ram intake, chrome grill, chrome belt line, drilled/slotted discs, few flames, engine dress up, chrome bits and pieces.
67,000 miles

Last edited by davea300; 06 Jan 2012 at 10:35 am.
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