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03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

 
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Old 28 Jan 2017, 11:28 am
Flash619's Avatar
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Default 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

I have an 03 PT Cruiser LTD with 157k on the odometer and an AT. Last year the transmission went out, and I was able to pay a mechanic 890 to put in a used transmission.

Now not even a year later (about 10 months) the transmission goes out again, slipping all over the place and refusing to shift past first gear. I have moved since the last repair, and the local mechanic told me it would cost 1.1k to put in a used transmission.

The issue is KBB lists my car as worth 1.4k if it was actually running (including body rust etc....).

Is it worth fixing this car if it's costing me a transmission every year? Reviews on Chrysler transmissions are horrible on the PT AT line.

If I sold the car as is, how much would I be able to make?

I'm trying to debate my options as money was already tight before my car decided to die again. I would try to swap the transmission myself as I do have engine experience, but I don't have a transmission jack and have never actually swapped a transmission before.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 28 Jan 2017, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

How much do you like the car? Answer that question and you have your answer... It will keep breaking down I promise you with different problems.

???????
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Old 28 Jan 2017, 02:03 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

I agree with Bubba on the emotional value. If you like the car and want to keep it, weight that desire against the cost.

However if looking at if from a financial standpoint, it's likely not worth it. Your PT is likely worth around $2000 if in top shape. If you've already lost two transmissions, chances are something else is wrong. And no matter, other things will break in the future. Plus, if the timing belt has never been changed, there is another very costly repair in your future.

First, know that PT Cruisers are no more known for transmission problems than most other cars. This is not a weakness specific to PT's. You've either been very unlucky or have another mechanical, electrical or past driving issue.

If me, I would search for a replacement PT in good clean original condition. If lucky, you may be able to pick up a clean lower mileage PT that has already had the timing belt changed.
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Old 28 Jan 2017, 04:13 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

This may be a question better suited to get an unbiased answer from some of your clients?
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Old 29 Jan 2017, 09:49 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
I agree with Bubba on the emotional value. If you like the car and want to keep it, weight that desire against the cost.

However if looking at if from a financial standpoint, it's likely not worth it. Your PT is likely worth around $2000 if in top shape. If you've already lost two transmissions, chances are something else is wrong. And no matter, other things will break in the future. Plus, if the timing belt has never been changed, there is another very costly repair in your future.

First, know that PT Cruisers are no more known for transmission problems than most other cars. This is not a weakness specific to PT's. You've either been very unlucky or have another mechanical, electrical or past driving issue.

If me, I would search for a replacement PT in good clean original condition. If lucky, you may be able to pick up a clean lower mileage PT that has already had the timing belt changed.
I've already replaced the timing belt in it, a job I was able to do myself.

My biggest concern is the financial aspects of this issue.

I realize you say PT transmissions are no more likely to fail than other cars, however I've seen a large amount of Chrysler transmissions fail especially in comparison to other makes/models. Especially those nearing the 150k mile mark.

Every car can break down, this is completely understood. However with two transmissions failing within a year of each other, I feel it's only likely that this will soon become a re-occurring issue. 2k a year on average spent on transmission replacements gets expensive quick.

A majority of small to medium repairs I can complete myself, such as timing belts, struts, tie rod ends, breaks, transmission pan gaskets, etc... However an entire transmission swap is a bit outside of my scope of experience so I don't attempt this.

Emotional bonds are existent as I do like this car and have had it in my family for quite some time, however it's body is rusting. I've replaced one rocker (cut out and welded a new one in), however the passenger side still needs work, there is rust around tire wells and fenders. There is an oil leak I've yet to locate/fix, the headlights housing needs replacing as the current headlights cannot be aligned properly.

All these items together make me feel like there is already additional problems building up that I lack the time, or finances to continuously fix. However, I have replaced the timing belt, water pump, breaks pads, break rotors, a rocker panel, rear hatch latch, tires.

That being said, I do value others input on this matter as the actions I take within it could adversely affect my own financial future and I want to make good decisions based on research and planning.
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Old 30 Jan 2017, 10:11 am
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

I suspect that you've seen a LOT of Chrysler's with transmission failures because of people putting the wrong type of transmission fluid in them. Even some trans shops put Dexron "plus an additive" in the Mopar transmissions. No wonder they have so much repeat Mopar business! ATF+4 is the ONLY type of fluid to be used in the Mopar transmissions. One question I have to ask about yours when it was replaced is if they replace the transmission cooler or not? They SHOULD have at least flushed it if they didn't replace it. It could have had residual crap in it that lead to the death of your replacement.
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Old 30 Jan 2017, 11:22 am
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Wink Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

Speaking as a fellow Cruiser from the salted plain, I would most likely have to say goodbye to the beloved Pt. The mechanical issues could be addressed but once rust gets a foothold it doesn't give up. Your little Pt is trying to return to its natural state, Dust. There are plenty of good bargains out there for you to take advantage of and some may have some mechanical issues you can fix yourself and pick up at a bargain basement price. You have done it on your own Pt already, reading from your post. I have been doing that very thing now for a few months and I actually enjoy it. It scratches my wrenchin itch. I have not paid over 500 dollars for any of my Pt's and the one on my gallery I gave 450 dollars for and it is a nice Cruiser with some eye appeal and no body rust.
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Old 30 Jan 2017, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash619 View Post
I've already replaced the timing belt in it, a job I was able to do myself.

My biggest concern is the financial aspects of this issue.
Than you need to make a limit to how much you have and are willing to spend to determine if this warrants keeping any vehcle

I realize you say PT transmissions are no more likely to fail than other cars, however I've seen a large amount of Chrysler transmissions fail especially in comparison to other makes/models. Especially those nearing the 150k mile mark.
Underlined

Every car can break down, this is completely understood. However with two transmissions failing within a year of each other, I feel it's only likely that this will soon become a re-occurring issue. 2k a year on average spent on transmission replacements gets expensive quick.
Your unlucky

A majority of small to medium repairs I can complete myself, such as timing belts, struts, tie rod ends, breaks, transmission pan gaskets, etc... However an entire transmission swap is a bit outside of my scope of experience so I don't attempt this.
This is not a good claim to make or you would not have started this thread. Not trying to be insulting.

Emotional bonds are existent as I do like this car and have had it in my family for quite some time, however it's body is rusting. I've replaced one rocker (cut out and welded a new one in), however the passenger side still needs work, there is rust around tire wells and fenders. There is an oil leak I've yet to locate/fix, the headlights housing needs replacing as the current headlights cannot be aligned properly.

All these items together make me feel like there is already additional problems building up that I lack the time, or finances to continuously fix. However, I have replaced the timing belt, water pump, breaks pads, break rotors, a rocker panel, rear hatch latch, tires.

That being said, I do value others input on this matter as the actions I take within it could adversely affect my own financial future and I want to make good decisions based on research and planning.
Honestly you are answering your own questions and seem to want someone to be blunt. Ok LOL I am known for that on this forum!

Get rid of that PT Cruiser and shop for something more inline to support your needs in life as it is right now for reliable transportation!
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Old 30 Jan 2017, 08:31 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Honestly you are answering your own questions and seem to want someone to be blunt. Ok LOL I am known for that on this forum!

Get rid of that PT Cruiser and shop for something more inline to support your needs in life as it is right now for reliable transportation!
I'm actually debating taking it to a reputable trans shop and having them fix the transmission. The thought with this is that it will prevent this from being a re-occurring issue by fixing what keeps failing.

I mean, this should work right?
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Old 30 Jan 2017, 08:38 pm
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Default Re: 03 LTD, Is it worth fixing?

If you take it to a shop you need to INSIST that they flush the lines and replace the cooler for you, if there's an external one. If it's not equipped with an external cooler, then make damn sure they flush the radiator cooler and transmission lines. Otherwise, you're just pissing money away on a problem that will likely come back. And make sure you get a new torque converter. They can hold shavings and other loose crap floating around in the trans fluid and contaminate a new rebuild.
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