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New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

 
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Old 15 Apr 2014, 11:48 pm
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Default New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

Hey there all, I'm new to the forums and new to my PT Cruiser. Just got it two days ago for what I see as a steal, as most of the used cars I looked at had much higher miles at the price. Just under 80,000 miles on it, and got it for about $4000 out the door, titles, plates and all.

As soon as I could drive it I had the oil changed/ complimentary tire rotation, and they did a quick inspection. Didn't find anything. I also went to the auto parts store for some leather conditioner and had a guy take a quick look at it, he didn't see any issues aside from a filter that needed to be replaced, cost me ten bucks.

It seems to be driving just fine, no obnoxious noises, no dash errors, no weird smells. I did think at first there was something wrong with the engine because it doesn't pick up and go as quickly as my '01 Grand Prix did, but there's also a huge difference in power I'm getting used to. The interior lights I noticed tonight flicker/get dimmer, but that's apparently a common and pretty harmless problem.

My question is.... what should I have my mechanic check out right away on this car that's likely to be bad, or going bad, with approximate price if they'll let me buy my own parts? And what's highest priority? This is the first time I've had a car in this (seemingly) good of condition, with this low of miles. I'm young (aka mechanically uninclined and usually broke haha), driven nothing but total junkers till now, and I wanna nip everything in the bud asap.

Planning to have this PT for a long time, and do all the preventative stuff I need to! I love the hatch back, and I ESPECIALLY love all the room inside as an outdoors person. Love the placement of, and how many, little cubbies I have to throw my phone, cigs, etc. I love the color on it, a nice dark red, and I love the cool retro look inside and out. Hoping you fine people can contribute to a long and healthy life for 'Blood Scarab'!

Edit: This will be a daily driver, probably averaging about 300 to 700 miles a week, and I live in 4-seasons Michigan, if that helps for customizing advice.

Last edited by Cruzer; 16 Apr 2014 at 12:47 am.
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Old 16 Apr 2014, 01:48 am
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 3,722
Default Re: New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

Shouldn't you have your mechanic check out the car before you buy it, then you would know the issues and could negotiate the price better

Seems like you are doing it backwards

Oh well, not my money

Have fun Enjoy your pt


Oh and don't smoke

Last edited by Busa_Powered; 16 Apr 2014 at 01:51 am. Reason: Health concern
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Old 16 Apr 2014, 06:19 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

Welcome.
Oil change was good start.
I'd do plugs and wires - then you know when they were changed. Stock plugs (Champions) are okay, gap at 0.040, get better wires, the stock ones don't last - I like Crane wires.
Auto? Good idea to have trans flushed - be sure they only use ATF +4 - runs ~$200.
Plan for getting timing belt and water pump replaced, should be done every 100,000 miles, but age is a factor, also. Cost varies, ballpark is ~$1,000 +-.

Anything else that is common is usually cheaper than those things....
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"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
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'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
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Old 16 Apr 2014, 08:04 am
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,326
Talking Re: New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

Here's a PARTIAL list of everything I've done to my 2001 PT:

NKG Iridium Spark Plugs
8 mm Plug Wires
Valve Cover Gasket
Flushed cooling system and added modern antifreeze
Thermostat
Tailgate Hatch Gas Lift Supports
New Keyless Entry Remote
2004 OEM Chrysler Stereo/CD Player
2004 Chrylser LHS OEM floor mats
iPod Auxiliary Input
Both Rear Brake Taillight Housings
New Rubber Antenna
Left Front and left back window lift motors
Complete salvage sunroof assembly
Power Window Switch
Rear Wiper Grommet, nuts, bolts, plug
Salvage steering column
New hood prop rod
New front brakes
New drive belts
Custom K&N Style Air Filter
NOPI Twin Strut Tower Bars
LED Light Repair to Power Window Switch
Designed and performed aluminum can repair to the fog light switch
OEM Chrome Base Ball Shifter from 2004 turbo PT
OEM silver accelerator and brake peddles from 2004 turbo PT
Installed new dash, mixed paint to match original W8 taupe color
Replaced pealing center dash bezel.
Installed missing underseat drawer on passenger side
Mounted underseat drawer on driver side
Installed OEM wing on rear hatch
Cabin Air Filter
Reburbed ECM to eliminate P0601 code
Replaced missing owner's manual
Replaced bad left rear speaker
Chrome tire valve covers and caps
Salvage alternator off much newer low-mileage PT
Low Profile Vauxhall Corsa rear window wiper
Battery trey and support arm (off low-mileage PT)
Chrome door lock pulls
Small Chrysler wing emblem for vanity cover
New OEM 80-watt Mopar Subwoofer for PT
DEPO Custom backup lights
Stereo Antenna Booster
Polished Aluminum cover for decal on cargo shelf
2nd New Fob (Remote)
GT Speedometer/Gauge Cluster (to be installed)

There's more but that's enough for now.


Welcome to the forum from the great state of Arkansas!
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Old 16 Apr 2014, 08:49 am
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 2,794
Default Re: New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

Wow, Handy - that's a pretty complete partial list!

Cruzer - welcome to the forum from the Missouri Ozarks!
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2005 Touring n/a - Cool Vanilla with J&J vertical billet grille, PTeazer tail lights, Chrome wheels and Baby Moons.
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Old 16 Apr 2014, 02:05 pm
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Default Re: New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

I did have someone mechanically inclined with me as I was looking at cars and everything checked out with him as we were driving, checking fluids, etc. When we went for a test drive he even had me floor it and there were no issues, so looking good for now.

I'll get the trans flushed pretty soon to be safe and have them check out all the plugs and wires, but how long can I go would you say safely before I should replace that timing belt and water pump? I'm a student and make less than $1000 a month right now.

But summer break's a comin' so planning on picking up a full time job on top of my part-time, so should be able to do that by July or so.... and maybe make a FEW of those changes mentioned by Handy_Cruiser
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Old 16 Apr 2014, 02:45 pm
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Posts: 10,326
Default Re: New Owner of a Used 2001 Limited PT Cruiser!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzer View Post
I did have someone mechanically inclined with me as I was looking at cars and everything checked out with him as we were driving, checking fluids, etc. When we went for a test drive he even had me floor it and there were no issues, so looking good for now.

I'll get the trans flushed pretty soon to be safe and have them check out all the plugs and wires, but how long can I go would you say safely before I should replace that timing belt and water pump? I'm a student and make less than $1000 a month right now.

But summer break's a comin' so planning on picking up a full time job on top of my part-time, so should be able to do that by July or so.... and maybe make a FEW of those changes mentioned by Handy_Cruiser
First, don't respond to the Busa. He's the member with the Nicki Minaj fetish. Rattling his cage only encourages him.

Next, most say that the timing belt should be changed around 100,000 miles. So you've got a little time. The job usually involves changing the timing belt, water pump, timing belt tensioner and idler pully. Often the crank seal and possibly the cam seals are also changed. If you could do the job yourself, you could get a kit with all the parts in it for less than $150 online. However, installing the parts is challenging sinse most componants on the right side of the engine must be removed and there is very little space to work between the right side of the engine and the chassis. Most of the thousand dollars that shops often charge is for labor.

You've got time to plan and save up, so don't worry. Plus, if you are handy with some tools or have a friend that is, there's plenty of great instructions right here on this forum that shows exactly how to do it.

Plugs, wires and an oil change should likely be first on your list. Next you might consider flushing the cooling system and changing the thermostate. The original antifreeze is the orange-colored type. After flushing you can go back with that or use some of the newer yellow antifreezes like Prestone Extended Life. This is now approved for the PT just as the oragne stuff is.

For a simple and cool mod, consider a Vauxhall Corsa rear window wiper. You can get them on eBay for less than $15 and they look great on the PT.

Car Window Windscreen Rear Wiper Arm Blade for Vauxhall Corsa C MKII 2000 2006 | eBay

You can get these cool red-dot backup lights for $29.

00 04 Chrysler PT Cruiser Rear Reflector Lights 2pc Set | eBay

There's a toughless fuel cap where you can put in gas without having to remove it for $8.50. You just have to install it upside down on the PT.

Instant Fill Stant Gas Fuel Cap 41004 New NASCAR Approved | eBay

And there's loads of other low-cost mods too.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 16 Apr 2014 at 02:50 pm.
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