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New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

 
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  • 2 Post By SkyCaptain
  • 1 Post By rockandroller
  • 2 Post By myckee
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Old 04 Oct 2019, 11:59 pm
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 39
Default New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

I've had four mechanics tell me my PT (@200k) needs a new transmission. I've got enough money for it, but can't decide if it's the right choice or if I should just buy a new PT with less mileage. Anybody want to help me decide?

Reasons to buy a new PT:
- There's a nice 2002 Limited on the local Craigslist with a moon roof, a better paint job, some accessories that were missing when I bought my PT, and only about 90k miles on it for $2500.
- Transmission repair is going to be $400-$2000.
- Compression test on the engine says cylinder #2 is at 145, while all the others are at 175.
- Coolant is leaking into the AC system and whenever the car sits for a couple days the AC blows coolant smoke.
- Various other parts are wearing out as expected (motor mounts, control arms, ect)
- Something under the car is always leaking
- The paint is faded and scuffing
- Someone stole my hubcaps

Reasons to replace transmission:
- I love my car
- A new transmission + a new engine (next year?) is a fresh start as far as mileage is concerned, right?
- The interior is in pretty great shape
- I know the car and am getting pretty familiar with it's engine
- I can always repaint my car somewhere down the road and buy it new hubcaps
- Do I really want a moonroof? It's just another way to get sunburned, right?

Last edited by SkyCaptain; 05 Oct 2019 at 12:07 am.
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Old 05 Oct 2019, 02:32 am
rockandroller's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Western Canada! (Okanagan)
Posts: 8,158
Thumbs up Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

Since you have bonded with the car, the obvious answer is "New Transmission + Engine (next year!)".
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Old 05 Oct 2019, 07:07 am
RickinPA's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southeastern PA
Posts: 311
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

The "new" PT:
90k miles, probably needs a timing belt.
It is a 17 year old car, it may have other issues. To me, that's a real question mark.

The old PT:
The engine & transmission (obviously). I'd dig deeper into the compression issue, do a dry compression vs. a wet compression test. It may just be a valve, which would be a head job,which would also take care of the timing belt and motor mount.
Coolant leak is troubling, it could need a heater core.
Hubcaps are cheap, I got a decent set on Ebay for about $35.
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Old 05 Oct 2019, 08:13 am
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
Posts: 2,265
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

SOOO BIG has a moon roof. There's no sunburn issue. Even here in Florida.
You use the moon roof selectively and it is well tinted.
There is a multi function to the moon roof.
With the interior cover pulled forward it take on the configuration of a standard header cloth.
With the cover slid back you enjoy the tinted view of nature above.
Opening the moon roof is like putting the top down without the negatives of a convertible.

At 90,000 miles that PT is due a full timing belt kit job. I'd do the exterior belts at the same time. But that's a lot less than the 200,000 miles on your current PT.
Getting the belt work done before a failure is the key.
If you can, hold onto you 200000 PT long long enough for swap outs with unexpected peripherals involved with the 90,000 mile PT.

From the joy and success I've had with SOOO BIG and his moon roof, I'd say go for it!!!
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SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.

Last edited by ptprice; 05 Oct 2019 at 08:29 am.
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Old 05 Oct 2019, 08:46 am
Senior Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,629
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

I don't know if your current PT is turbocharged or not, but if not, take a turbo car out for a test drive. The turbo really wakes up an otherwise sleepy car and will make you fall in love with a Pt all over again. The turbo doesn't really add much complexity to the car, so don't let it deter you. The price difference between the turbo and non turbo cars is usually negligible.

My vote is another car but with a turbo. Most of the turbo cars came with all of the other options like moonroof etc.
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Old 05 Oct 2019, 10:35 am
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: east central wisconsin
Posts: 150
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

If you hire someone to do all the work, buy a different car. Might end up investing over $4000 in a car now worth $100. If you fix it yourself you can gamble a little.
When I was young and stupid, last year, my brother gave me his Toyota Sienna with a bad transmission. I bought a $400, low mile, rust bucket Sienna for parts. Now I have a nice Sienna but it was a lot of work.
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Old 05 Oct 2019, 12:41 pm
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 39
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickinPA View Post
The "new" PT:
90k miles, probably needs a timing belt.
It is a 17 year old car, it may have other issues. To me, that's a real question mark.

The old PT:
The engine & transmission (obviously). I'd dig deeper into the compression issue, do a dry compression vs. a wet compression test. It may just be a valve, which would be a head job,which would also take care of the timing belt and motor mount.
Coolant leak is troubling, it could need a heater core.
Heater core sounds super familiar. I remember when it first started happening the mechanic wanted $1000 to fix it. Good point. I wonder if there's a way to get a total quote for everything I want to do so they only have to tear the car apart once. My mechanic is cheep but lazy and doesn't seem too interested. He pretty much told me to buy a new car yesterday.

I'll look into further compression tests. Good point!

@ptprice: That moon roof sounds super cool! Maybe I do want one. And good point on the belts - I'll add that to my comparison budget. I can hang onto both cars for a few months but will likely be moving in the spring and don't know if I'll have two parking spots after that.

@myckee: I heard turbos were trouble? Neither my old car nor the one on Craigslist are turbos. I am thinking I'll hunt up a couple local PTs for test drives...

@circus: Yeah... I'd have to hire someone to swap the transmission and fix whatever's up with the engine. I'm did the motor mounts and enjoy learning but I'm working crazy hours these days and have no time to tinker.
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Old 06 Oct 2019, 11:47 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 7,333
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

I would suggest looking at everything else failing as the Pt Cruiser ages such as A/C, wheel bearing, etc. Bad weather is hard on rubber components as it gets older.
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Old 07 Oct 2019, 01:07 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 7,905
Default Re: New PT or New Transmission + Engine?

Having bought 5 "used" PT Cruisers, you must realize....
Buying a used PT is like buying "a box of chocolates"!
You don't know what problems you are buying.

I just paid $4K for a PT with 123K miles.
I am "Type A"; so I have probably invested another $2K in a PT that already had the 80-100K services already done!

So, beside the emotional ties, calculate all the issues involved.
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2011 GWE Dodge Challenger SRT8 as Show Car
2003 PT Cruiser GT Panel Van Conversion as new day driver.

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