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List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jul 2015, 09:25 pm
Dill's Avatar
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Default List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

Howdy folks!

Skip to the words below the line of -'s if you don't care about the story leading up to this moment and just want the meat, but the story is nice!

It has been a long time since I have posted here. A lot of things have changed! I previously had 3 PT Cruisers. The 01 "seized" PT I never got around to finding the issue. I gave it to a mechanic in exchange to fix my 05 Convertibles AC. I then gave the 05 to my grandmother who needed a new car to replace her aging and unreliable grand caravan.

I then purchased a 2014 Chevy Spark which is my daily driver. With almost 40mpg I am in gas saving heaven. I have to drive about 3000 a month so I didn't want to put the 02 PT through that.

Sigh... the 2002 PT... Pickled Petey is my original PT Cruiser and I still own him. Hes got 153399 on the odometer and while he misses the days that I had time to keep him clayed, waxed and beautiful he is still a sexy machine...

Sort of...

Years ago I noticed the familiar wheel bearing noise. I have lifetime alignment and firestone told me I needed to fix that. It still passed inspection which went out in may of this year. I have been away from NC and currently in the Allentown PA area in an RV until December so I haven't bothered to drive it down and get it reinspected.

I knew last winter that he was getting worse... Driving on dirt roads became noisy and felt like the wheels were falling off. Then one day on a trip to central PA he started to misfire. I eventually got a code for a large evap leak and at this point I decided I needed to stop procrastinating and take him to get looked at. Don't judge me for waiting so long. I barely drive him and the finances just weren't there to fix him until recently.

So I scheduled an appointment to get him looked at, ready to spend whatever to get him fixed... Then the Wednesday before his appointment this happens:Microsoft Announces Restructuring of Phone Business, Plans to lay off 7,800 employees and I get a call telling me I am laid off. I get two weeks of paid time, my bonus and all my PTO that was unused.

No big deal as I had a back up and got back on my old job using connections. But this is cutting me from $700 a week to $400. Suddenly the funds to fix Petey are super limited. I take him in to the mechanic anyway since I still was getting paid the old job salary I knew I could afford to pay for an exhaustive check over.

I get the call and the news is not so great.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The PT had misfire Cyl 4 and Gross evap leak codes. For a total of $157.81 they fixed the misfire (a spark plug wire possibly. I haven't driven it enough to prove the issue is gone) and did a full diagnostic which included look over, safety check, engine fluids, visual check, body damage, road test.

Then they made two lists of stuff (which I asked them to do)

First list was what was needed to make the car safe (not pass inspection but just safe)

Right outer tie rod
Right front wheel bearing
Left front wheel bearing
Left front ball joint (Will replace with a lower control arm which would include ball joint and needed bushings)
Both front lower control arm bushings - links will be needed when the control arm is removed to replace the bushings
lower engine mount

Estimate to fix $1370. Which is roughly $600 per side and $173 for the lower engine mount.

The second list is everything else noted wrong or going wrong

Fog lamps not working (multifunction switch again)
due oil change (the sticker on windshield is old so disregard)
rear tires are starting to dry rot
belt noise
rear wiper is ripped
brake rotors are rusted
recommended tune up, spark plugs, wires, coil, plenum gaskets
left front strut ground strap broken
right rear shock housing broken
exhaust non-original equipment rattles and moves (this is my flowmaster made for the PT cruiser. Apparently the people who installed it didn't secure it right and it isnt installed as the factory one would be)
rear lateral arms worn
headlamps are discolored
oil seepages (they noted they did not find coolent in oil or oil in coolent, this is about just general oil around the engine)

Estimate to fix the previous issues as well as all of these (make the car in great shape) is around $2000 after tax.

So here is my predicament. What do I do!!

Are these prices fair? I am more concerned about the price to make the car safe. Is this car worth it to spend that much to fix it? The wife says to get rid of it. I was offered $500 for it when I went to buy my Spark.

The mechanic even said that it is better to just sell it. That even if I go all in that something else is likely to go wrong and that the nature of these vehicles is expensive repairs because of how Chrysler set them up (he quoted the process to do the timing belt as an example of how difficult these are sometimes to work on).

What should I do..

I look forward to your opinions. I love this car but I have had it a long time. I was thinking if I could get it safe for $500 I would be happy but having to spend likely $1500 after tax makes it a hard decision. I wish I had buddies that I could buy a 6 pack and we work on it together haha.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jul 2015, 10:00 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,161
Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

What it amounts to is what repairs you can do yourself. With the help of the members here you can get great help with the minor repairs.

The front end repairs is a different story. This is going to take someone who knows what they are doing to repair it.

The big questions to ask is how is the condition of the engine and transmission. Has the timing belt and water pump been replaced and has the transmission been rebuilt?
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jul 2015, 10:15 pm
Busted_PT's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Beckley, W.V.
Posts: 13,860
Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dill View Post
Howdy folks!

Skip to the words below the line of -'s if you don't care about the story leading up to this moment and just want the meat, but the story is nice!

It has been a long time since I have posted here. A lot of things have changed! I previously had 3 PT Cruisers. The 01 "seized" PT I never got around to finding the issue. I gave it to a mechanic in exchange to fix my 05 Convertibles AC. I then gave the 05 to my grandmother who needed a new car to replace her aging and unreliable grand caravan.

I then purchased a 2014 Chevy Spark which is my daily driver. With almost 40mpg I am in gas saving heaven. I have to drive about 3000 a month so I didn't want to put the 02 PT through that.

Sigh... the 2002 PT... Pickled Petey is my original PT Cruiser and I still own him. Hes got 153399 on the odometer and while he misses the days that I had time to keep him clayed, waxed and beautiful he is still a sexy machine...

Sort of...

Years ago I noticed the familiar wheel bearing noise. I have lifetime alignment and firestone told me I needed to fix that. It still passed inspection which went out in may of this year. I have been away from NC and currently in the Allentown PA area in an RV until December so I haven't bothered to drive it down and get it reinspected.

I knew last winter that he was getting worse... Driving on dirt roads became noisy and felt like the wheels were falling off. Then one day on a trip to central PA he started to misfire. I eventually got a code for a large evap leak and at this point I decided I needed to stop procrastinating and take him to get looked at. Don't judge me for waiting so long. I barely drive him and the finances just weren't there to fix him until recently.

So I scheduled an appointment to get him looked at, ready to spend whatever to get him fixed... Then the Wednesday before his appointment this happens:Microsoft Announces Restructuring of Phone Business, Plans to lay off 7,800 employees and I get a call telling me I am laid off. I get two weeks of paid time, my bonus and all my PTO that was unused.

No big deal as I had a back up and got back on my old job using connections. But this is cutting me from $700 a week to $400. Suddenly the funds to fix Petey are super limited. I take him in to the mechanic anyway since I still was getting paid the old job salary I knew I could afford to pay for an exhaustive check over.

I get the call and the news is not so great.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The PT had misfire Cyl 4 and Gross evap leak codes. For a total of $157.81 they fixed the misfire (a spark plug wire possibly. I haven't driven it enough to prove the issue is gone) and did a full diagnostic which included look over, safety check, engine fluids, visual check, body damage, road test.

Then they made two lists of stuff (which I asked them to do)

First list was what was needed to make the car safe (not pass inspection but just safe)

Right outer tie rod
Right front wheel bearing
Left front wheel bearing
Left front ball joint (Will replace with a lower control arm which would include ball joint and needed bushings)
Both front lower control arm bushings - links will be needed when the control arm is removed to replace the bushings
lower engine mount

Estimate to fix $1370. Which is roughly $600 per side and $173 for the lower engine mount.

The second list is everything else noted wrong or going wrong

Fog lamps not working (multifunction switch again)
due oil change (the sticker on windshield is old so disregard)
rear tires are starting to dry rot
belt noise
rear wiper is ripped
brake rotors are rusted
recommended tune up, spark plugs, wires, coil, plenum gaskets
left front strut ground strap broken
right rear shock housing broken
exhaust non-original equipment rattles and moves (this is my flowmaster made for the PT cruiser. Apparently the people who installed it didn't secure it right and it isnt installed as the factory one would be)
rear lateral arms worn
headlamps are discolored
oil seepages (they noted they did not find coolent in oil or oil in coolent, this is about just general oil around the engine)

Estimate to fix the previous issues as well as all of these (make the car in great shape) is around $2000 after tax.

So here is my predicament. What do I do!!

Are these prices fair? I am more concerned about the price to make the car safe. Is this car worth it to spend that much to fix it? The wife says to get rid of it. I was offered $500 for it when I went to buy my Spark.

The mechanic even said that it is better to just sell it. That even if I go all in that something else is likely to go wrong and that the nature of these vehicles is expensive repairs because of how Chrysler set them up (he quoted the process to do the timing belt as an example of how difficult these are sometimes to work on).

What should I do..

I look forward to your opinions. I love this car but I have had it a long time. I was thinking if I could get it safe for $500 I would be happy but having to spend likely $1500 after tax makes it a hard decision. I wish I had buddies that I could buy a 6 pack and we work on it together haha.
Dill I thought you could do some stuff yourself? This is probobly the going rate on professional shop. You can buy parts on ebay and save some money. Some like RockAuto. Outer tie rod cheap and easy to replace, Count the turns to remove and install new one the same turns used to remove. Probably get complete control arms and replace them . Have bearing pressed into your hubs. Dot the labor yourself removing and reinstalling. Lower engine mount easy, Can get it for around 25 bucks. Head lights you can buff but I recommend to sand them with wet or dry 400 grit. Spray with Rustoleum accents clear. nade fi=or plastic and has uv protection. and can buy around 5 bucks. Last for years not months like the kits.Intake gaskets not necessarily needed but the plugs an wires a good thing . Coil is good or bad so spend it elsewhere. Valve cover gasket kit are cheap online as well. replace broken end on ground strap. lateral links 87 on ebay. Rotors rust when not driven. New belts for noise unless it's the alt. belt it may just need adjusted. Wipers are cheap at Ollie's if you can find one. Hope this helps.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jul 2015, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

.....
Gkon likes this.

Last edited by notoriousFOZ; 31 Jul 2015 at 10:52 pm.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jul 2015, 11:50 am
Dill's Avatar
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Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

Thanks guys, miss you all. I've got an 87 Winnebago and everytime I ask questions on their forums I get grumpy response's. Post on the spark forum and no one is even on there haha.

So doing it myself is tough. Since I started fulltiming in an RV I don't have my tools. I have a small set of stuff but I would have to buy the tools to do the repairs. Plus I am feeling uncomfortable doing this myself, which is why I never repairs the issues when they first popped up.

I know I can do it. I mean I don't have to drive it at all anymore so it wouldn't hurt to have it sit a while.

Honestly I would feel better if I had someone else there to help. A second pair of hands and all of your help. Anyone near Allentown PA? Haha, willing to travel!

So the prices quoted are spot on to what I can expect...

The options now are...

Sell it. $500
DIY fix it $400 plus tools
Repair it $1500

The engine and granny by the way are in okay shape I guess. It's a manual and the booger bushings have the shifting smooth. The engine is okay. It's about like it always has been but sometimes hard to start when sitting a few weeks. Timing belt and water pump were replaced before I got it. Not sure at what mileage though.
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Last edited by Dill; 21 Jul 2015 at 11:58 am.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 22 Jul 2015, 12:39 pm
j0e j0e is offline
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Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

If it's running and driveable I'd expect you to get more than $500.
I don't know that I could justify $2000 to keep an old pt.
(Sorry guys!)
You could probably buy another for that kind if cash.
Heck, I've got a 2005 with under 100k on it and I'd sell it for that.
I'm sure there are others, too.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 22 Jul 2015, 04:07 pm
Dill's Avatar
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Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

Yeah, at the cost of repair I've looked on Craigslist and found a few cruisers with the standard easy issues like overheating at stop lights for under $2000 haha. It's so tough because this car is otherwise reliable and rust free, no dings, dongs or damage. Hmm...
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 22 Jul 2015, 05:16 pm
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Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

.....

Last edited by notoriousFOZ; 31 Jul 2015 at 10:53 pm.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 26 Jul 2015, 09:23 am
Dill's Avatar
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Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

Okay. I can look up parts, but what tools would I need to do the job? Just assume I have nothing, no jack or wrenchs.

Edit: By job I mean only the front end stuff. Not the engine mount or the other optional stuff.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 26 Jul 2015, 12:17 pm
dougs's Avatar
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Location: los angeles, california
Posts: 417
Default Re: List of problems with my PT and the cost of repair

Just my two cents -- go back and read NotoriousFOZ good comments and think about them for a bit. Do you really need the car? What is it worth to you to keep it? In other words, look at your overall financial situation and your expected lifestyle over the next 2-3 years. Don't look at this from the viewpoint "can I replace the right control arm bushing myself and save $200?" Instead, look at it from a big picture perspective of "I have a great little car. But over the next two years its going to need more parts replacements (count on it --eg: radiator, fan assembly), SO -- can I afford to spend $1,000 once or twice a year to keep the car in life and the pleasure it gives me? No dealer will give more than $500 for any car with that many miles, but it looks like a nice car and you should be able to get at least $1,000 for it from a private party... just my thoughts...
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