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130,000 Mile PT

 
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Old 05 Jul 2017, 11:44 pm
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Default 130,000 Mile PT

I'm considering buying another PT Cruiser.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of 2002-2006 models with 120k+ miles at used car dealers. Their prices range from 800-1500.

I've been checking maintenance records to make sure the timing belt and water pump were changed.

Besides the timing belt, is there anything else I should be looking at in that mileage range?

If the timing belt is recently changed, how many more miles should i expect from the car without a major repair?
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Old 06 Jul 2017, 06:44 am
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Go over everything. Look at hoses, check for overheating on driving, smells, noises from underneath, etc. Rubber bits wear out and require while not expenive, but labor consuming time to replace.
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Old 06 Jul 2017, 06:47 am
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Yeah, take a good look at the suspension. Especially the large bushing on the lower control arms.
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Old 06 Jul 2017, 10:29 am
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Ditto to what the others have said. Probably all of the suspension expedibles are in need of replacement (shocks, bushings, boots, motor mounts). Also take a close look at the inside of the engine compartment for grounding points. This car has a lot of them and a broken or detached ground cable will cause havoc with the electronic sensor until it is tracked down and fixed.

Look for signs of excessive coolant exciting the reservoir (evidence of overheating). Look down from the reservoir area.

Turn on the Heater and A/C and sniff for any hint of antifreeze (leaking radiator core $1k labor or a full weekend of disassembly to replace that $40 part).

Check the coolant and oil for any "chocolate milk" <- blown head gasket.

If the airbag or SRS bell chimes, you may be in for a very long and frustrating journey trying to track down what the problem is.

Don't buy the car if it only comes with only one programmed key unless the seller gives you an extra $200-$300 allowance. You might get it resolved for <$100 if you are fortunate.

Most of the problems on a PT can be fixed by a competent DIY'er fairly cheaply, but only if you are willing to get your hands dirty and bust some knuckles working in very cramped spaces or tight fitting areas. If not, you may think it's a money pit and will dump the car because most problems will be a $500-$1000 repair job (mostly labor).
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Old 06 Jul 2017, 05:56 pm
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

If you have one, take an OBD2 scanner with you and check for codes.
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Old 06 Jul 2017, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonN View Post
If you have one, take an OBD2 scanner with you and check for codes.

...and look at the mileage since the last reset
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Old 07 Jul 2017, 12:35 am
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Your test ride should include a 5 mile run at high way speed and up hill climb. that should show any trouble with the head gasket.
Then let it set and idle to make sure the cooling fan works, it should cycle or rum most of the time.
Turn AC on and let it idle. Check temp gauge , Mine sits on middle mark even in traffic, no matter what. Yours should too.
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Old 09 Jul 2017, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonboy View Post
I'm considering buying another PT Cruiser.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of 2002-2006 models with 120k+ miles at used car dealers. Their prices range from 800-1500.

I've been checking maintenance records to make sure the timing belt and water pump were changed.

Besides the timing belt, is there anything else I should be looking at in that mileage range?

If the timing belt is recently changed, how many more miles should i expect from the car without a major repair?
Who knows? Could be ten miles. Could be 10,000 miles. Not just PT Cruiser... but ANY used car with 120,000 is a gamble! I had a 2003 Camry that was trouble-free for 74,000 miles. Then: leaking valve cove gasket, battery dead, radiator leaks, and transmission failure! All within about 2,000 miles of each other. If you had bought this 'reliable' car from me at 74,001 miles,and then things started to bad, you would say I cheated you and sold you a lemon. You never know. Remember, you are buying used machine that has been driven the equivalent of 20 times back and forth across the U.S. How do you know that three owners ago, some dude tried to install a new radio and screwed up the wiring behind the dash panel and now there is an intermittent short? You don't know. Rubber gaskets deteriorate and leak. (the Camry had several of these!) Window motors fail. Plastic parts in ignition switch get tired and wear out. What else should you be looking at? How about control arms, radiator, engine mounts, camshaft seal, water pump, brakes, exhaust system, various sensors, spark plugs, gaskets, AC Condenser, and replacing those faded, dull headlights. No, rubbing toothpaste on the plastic lenses will not make them shiny and new again. And again, the above goes for ANY car with over 100,000 miles, not just the PT Cruiser.
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Old 09 Jul 2017, 01:22 pm
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougs View Post
Who knows? Could be ten miles. Could be 10,000 miles. Not just PT Cruiser... but ANY used car with 120,000 is a gamble! I had a 2003 Camry that was trouble-free for 74,000 miles. Then: leaking valve cove gasket, battery dead, radiator leaks, and transmission failure! All within about 2,000 miles of each other. If you had bought this 'reliable' car from me at 74,001 miles,and then things started to bad, you would say I cheated you and sold you a lemon. You never know. Remember, you are buying used machine that has been driven the equivalent of 20 times back and forth across the U.S. How do you know that three owners ago, some dude tried to install a new radio and screwed up the wiring behind the dash panel and now there is an intermittent short? You don't know. Rubber gaskets deteriorate and leak. (the Camry had several of these!) Window motors fail. Plastic parts in ignition switch get tired and wear out. What else should you be looking at? How about control arms, radiator, engine mounts, camshaft seal, water pump, brakes, exhaust system, various sensors, spark plugs, gaskets, AC Condenser, and replacing those faded, dull headlights. No, rubbing toothpaste on the plastic lenses will not make them shiny and new again. And again, the above goes for ANY car with over 100,000 miles, not just the PT Cruiser.
Cheap cars come paired with cheap, incompetent and irresponsible owners who abuse their property, unless they're on this forum
So you can assume maintenance is neglected. I would recommend buying from a member here.
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Old 10 Jul 2017, 09:17 am
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Default Re: 130,000 Mile PT

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonboy View Post
I'm considering buying another PT Cruiser.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of 2002-2006 models with 120k+ miles at used car dealers. Their prices range from 800-1500.

I've been checking maintenance records to make sure the timing belt and water pump were changed.

Besides the timing belt, is there anything else I should be looking at in that mileage range?

If the timing belt is recently changed, how many more miles should i expect from the car without a major repair?
First and foremost, sir, you are a lot smarter buyer than I am .. Best never to do business with a dealer (some are OK, I am sure) . .
One .. body rust
Two .. repair history
Three .. quality of maintenance .. this can be a tough one ..
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