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Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26 Mar 2012, 04:50 pm
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Default Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

I'm helping my fiance look for a newer car. Her 96 Camry is pushing 200k mi and is a little past its prime.

One of the vehicles she really likes is the pt cruiser. I'd like to ask the members here what are there good and bad points? Know problem areas? Which ones to avoid, ie: year, engine, trans ect. How to spot potential lemons. What kind of gas mileage you usually get.

Any input you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks -lurch
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Old 26 Mar 2012, 05:18 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

Tough question.

shop condition, the newer the better IMHO, lower mile is better.

Issues are lower control arm bushings(easily fixed can buy new LCA for 90$) and install yourself.

The NA(non turbo) fans can take a dump, 100$ buys you a new one, so make sure both speeds work.

Ignition wires from factory are junk, but can buy new ones like magnacore cheap.

You can do the key dance (on-off-on-off-0n) where "on" is the accesory position to pull codes.

Of course the suspension can have issues if high mileage but you can repair/repalce struts/shocks.

Front wheel bearings can also be a issue.

So have a mechanic check it out.

Timing belt needs replacement at 80K-100K with water pump/tensioners/accesory belts. Think 1000$ roughly for dealer to replace.

Transmissions need TLC, so plan on filter/fluid changes with ATF+4 every 30K miles or so.

Gas mileage, very dependant on driving condition. I have 3 GT sticks, 25-28 mpg day in day out, 80% highway, 30 mpg straight highway, Have Base 2.4 NA auto, avg 26 mpg day in day out, 28 sh straight highway. These are calculated over many miles. If pure city driving expect low 20's.

So shop condition, repair history, maintenance records if private sale.
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86 TurboZ CS 2.2 T2 +20's A555
00 Durango SLT+ 5.9 4x4
02 Grand Cherokee 4.7 4x4
03 PT GT Black 5 sp Stg 1 sold
05 PT GT Silver 5 Spd Conv
06 PT GT Cool Vanilla 5 spd Conv
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15 Grand Cherokee Overland 5.7 QD2
17 Challenger SRT A8 GoMango
18 JL Wrangler Sahara Punkn
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Old 26 Mar 2012, 05:20 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

Lurch ,

The question has been asked many times. First, you have to decide on a couple of different things. One is the style; 2 choices, 4 door sedan or 2 door convertible. Next, the engine; base, 150 hp: Turbo Lite, 180 hp: Full Turbo, 215-230 (depending on the year). Next, you need to decide what generation you like. First generation, full egg crate grill, retro interior. Second generation, updated half grill and full open grill below the front bumper and restyled more modern style interior.

I'll let others fill in some of the other details about what to look out for, gas mileage etc.
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Old 26 Mar 2012, 06:45 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VNT View Post
Tough question.

shop condition, the newer the better IMHO, lower mile is better.


Gas mileage, very dependant on driving condition. I have 3 GT sticks, 25-28 mpg day in day out, 80% highway, 30 mpg straight highway, Have Base 2.4 NA auto, avg 26 mpg day in day out, 28 sh straight highway. These are calculated over many miles. If pure city driving expect low 20's.

So shop condition, repair history, maintenance records if private sale.
I drive mostly city, so low 20s or even high teens is about the best I get. Low 20s when I keep Lucas fuel additive in the tank. Straight highway - I get 25-29 depending on wind and weather. I have a 2.4 n/a with automatic.

PS - just added K&N drop-in air filter and hope that will help mileage, but it will probably be negligible. Rarely does one mod vastly improve mileage, in my opinion.
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Old 26 Mar 2012, 07:55 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch View Post
I'm helping my fiance look for a newer car. Her 96 Camry is pushing 200k mi and is a little past its prime.

One of the vehicles she really likes is the pt cruiser. I'd like to ask the members here what are there good and bad points? Know problem areas? Which ones to avoid, ie: year, engine, trans ect. How to spot potential lemons. What kind of gas mileage you usually get.

Any input you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks -lurch
Lurch-

Chromenut has a great bunch of info in the tech section on what to look for in a used PT. It can be found here:PT CRUISER TECHNICAL DOCUMENTS LIBRARY it's the 3rd post down. Hope it helps.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 27 Mar 2012, 06:57 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

Thanks for the input! It helps having a place to start looking. Most of whats listed is pretty common for any used car. The transmission does concern me. Particularly when looking at used cars since almost no one changes the trans fluid until it starts acting up. By then its too late.

CREWZIN - She's undecided as to weather to get a hard top or convertible. Has to be auto, non turbo perfered, and doesn't care which generation.

I did some looking online and found several low mileage ones out there. But there all outside of her budget. So we'll keep looking.
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Old 28 Mar 2012, 09:16 am
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

In regards to hard top vs convertible, I can tell you the vert is the entire reason I bought my PT. Course, I had to have a GT, but regardless of engine and tranny, the convertible gets a lot of looks and comments. Add to it, I LOVE my vert, I have the top down as often as is possible. For me, it's a really fun convertible to own, regardless of engine. Even the NA engine is fine, as with a convertible most people aren't going to be racing around, just cruising to enjoy the day. Same as me, yesterday was 72 out and I drove around for about an hour after dropping my daughter off at the gym, just to enjoy the day.

Here's my baby:
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Old 29 Mar 2012, 01:35 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

My wife is looking for a PT too, she test drove a base at a used car lot, she tried several types of cars and wants the PT as her first car. she liked the HHR but prefers the better windshield view of the PT.

We are looking at GT and Turbo-lite, but I feel a turbo-lite is better for her since she is not a heavy foot and wants the inferno red.

I have seen some limited turbos for around 8K to 9K for a 2006.

some have 80k to 35K miles,

I am a little concerned since some show as personal leases in the past and not much maintenance history on the carfax.

I see some threads stating concern of the turbo-lite having terrible reviews and mileage. But cannot pinpoint the actual facts in the threads.
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Old 29 Mar 2012, 05:17 pm
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

Well car fax usually may or may not show much service history, depends if the shop punches it in.

I wouldnt limit myself to any model, if you can find a GT go for it.

Shop condition and have the car checked out. If at a Chrysler Dealer for a used one, have them go into Dealer Connect and they can pull the history of the car and if it has been serviced or warranty work done at any chrysler/mopar store it will come up.

I would look at Craigslist, cars.com, auto trader.

Take your time, I have bought 1 new to me cruiser the last 3 years, all convertibles, two were private sales and the latest from a CDJ dealer.
Shop condition, if private sale make sure they have records or log book.
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86 TurboZ CS 2.2 T2 +20's A555
00 Durango SLT+ 5.9 4x4
02 Grand Cherokee 4.7 4x4
03 PT GT Black 5 sp Stg 1 sold
05 PT GT Silver 5 Spd Conv
06 PT GT Cool Vanilla 5 spd Conv
06 PT Base Marine Blue 40TE Conv
15 Grand Cherokee Overland 5.7 QD2
17 Challenger SRT A8 GoMango
18 JL Wrangler Sahara Punkn
20 JL Wrangler Rubicon Ocean Blue
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Old 30 Mar 2012, 02:30 am
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Default Re: Shopping for a pt. What to look out for?

is the Do not boost in 4 a real concern with a Turbo lite auto or mostly the GT with higher HP?

my wife will tend to drive in "D" all the time. and turbo lites dont come with auto sticks though so I guess must pull down to 3 on the regular auto system to pass cars at high speeds.

I wonder if some former leased turbo lites have trashed ATX due to them not knowing about the boost issue
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