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Biggest Mistake of My Life

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12 Nov 2018, 12:54 pm
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Default Biggest Mistake of My Life

Was buying this car. I am 60 years old and have done all repairs and a couple of restorations for 45 years. Never have I come across a car with part failures as early and as poorly thought out as this.

We put about 8K on it per year. It has 110k miles now and the replacements in the last 6 years go far as follows:

All door locks.
Two windows
Radiator
Transmission sensor
Crankshaft sensor
Camshaft sensor
Oil pressure sender
All four fuel injectors
Intake manifold gasket
power steering pump
Rack and pinion
AC evaporator coil
AC compressor
All motor mounts
Starter
Lower control arms
Rear watts linkage
Front brake calipers (both)

Almost all of the above required the front of the car to be taken apart and the radiator and AC condenser coil to be removed.

The rack and pinion required the front suspension and cross member to be removed.

In order to remove anything, something is in the way needs to be removed. Usually there is a ripple effect where the thing that needs to be removed to get at what needs replacing must have several other things removed first.

Now I need to replace the alternator and I find the right side front suspension must come out as well as the drive shaft. Then the engine must be freed from all of the motor mounts and lowered. To change an alternator!!

The only one I pity more than the person who can do the work themselves, is the one who has to pay some one to fix it. An alternator should be a half hour job, not a four to five hour job which involves catching transmission fluid in a pan, that's just stupid.

This is the last repair I am doing. When the next thing breaks, which given the history should be in about nine months, it goes to the crusher. And I want to watch.

Last edited by genther; 12 Nov 2018 at 12:58 pm.
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 12:59 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,347
Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

I've had 5 or 6 pt Cruisers and haven't had to replace anywhere near the thing you have changed or had replaced and only one had less miles that what you have on Your PT Cruiser.
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 01:08 pm
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Joe,

You must have an angel on your shoulder, or I have the devil on mine.
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 01:43 pm
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 756
Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

But think about how much you've learned on the way.

I've replaced almost as much as you over the last 2 years on my 09 PT along with the timing belt, head gasket, wheel bearings and lower control arms. I can now remove the upper and lower engine torque struts in a few minutes and tear down the timing belt in a couple of hours.

I can probably to a head gasket job solo in a weekend or maybe a very long summer Saturday with some pre-work on a Friday evening. But just like toilets and plumbing, I'll fix my own but never anyone else's even for money

The shame is that I've picked up all these skills and will probably never need them again for this car and the quirks will probably never be needed again in other cars. What it did do was make me appreciate a well designed and accessible car way more than in the past.
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 01:59 pm
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

My list is at least 3 times as long.....

MY PT also KICKED ASS in many aspects.


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Old 12 Nov 2018, 04:44 pm
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
The shame is that I've picked up all these skills and will probably never need them again for this car and the quirks will probably never be needed again in other cars.



Now go and work on a Mini - it's exactly the same.
9 out of 10 jobs involve lifting the bonnet and taking out the radiator to get at anything.

Even the engine is the same - up until about 6 years ago, when BMW decided to start putting a piece of crap from Peugeot in instead - although they did get rid of the poor (originally Rover) gearbox and start fitting Getrags.

The PT is no worse than most cars of it's era, or this era.

The days when you could walk all around an engine or pop a dead alternator off with one hand got left in the 80's...
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 06:32 pm
rsrocket1's Avatar
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 756
Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

When I did the timing belt on my 08 Subaru Outback I removed the alternator just to find an anchor point for a socket wrench I used to hold and accessory belt when I needed to remove the harmonic balancer. There wasn't enough room to fit my impact wrench onto the crankshaft bolt and I didn't want to risk doing the breaker bar and starter "bump" so I simply wrapped the drive belt over the harmonic balancer and used the socket wrench to anchor it. There was a convenient shelf behind the alternator so I took it off to fit the wrench.



Removing the alternator was literally a 5 minute job and a couple of bolts. Of course a head gasket job on a boxer engine is completely different and I had to take that into a shop to have it done.

I've been looking at the alternator job on the PT and am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it will hold up and not need to be replaced for a long time.
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 07:45 pm
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by genther View Post
Was buying this car. I am 60 years old and have done all repairs and a couple of restorations for 45 years. Never have I come across a car with part failures as early and as poorly thought out as this.

We put about 8K on it per year. It has 110k miles now and the replacements in the last 6 years go far as follows:

All door locks.
Two windows
Radiator
Transmission sensor
Crankshaft sensor
Camshaft sensor
Oil pressure sender
All four fuel injectors
Intake manifold gasket
power steering pump
Rack and pinion
AC evaporator coil
AC compressor
All motor mounts
Starter
Lower control arms
Rear watts linkage
Front brake calipers (both)

Almost all of the above required the front of the car to be taken apart and the radiator and AC condenser coil to be removed.

The rack and pinion required the front suspension and cross member to be removed.

In order to remove anything, something is in the way needs to be removed. Usually there is a ripple effect where the thing that needs to be removed to get at what needs replacing must have several other things removed first.

Now I need to replace the alternator and I find the right side front suspension must come out as well as the drive shaft. Then the engine must be freed from all of the motor mounts and lowered. To change an alternator!!

The only one I pity more than the person who can do the work themselves, is the one who has to pay some one to fix it. An alternator should be a half hour job, not a four to five hour job which involves catching transmission fluid in a pan, that's just stupid.

This is the last repair I am doing. When the next thing breaks, which given the history should be in about nine months, it goes to the crusher. And I want to watch.
I guess I would be, or should be, one of the people that you have pity on as I have had to, for the most part, pay shops to work on my PT. I have lived in apartments and have no garage space or shop to work on my PT like many others may have the luxury of. I try to do what I can in the limited work space, but for the most part, shops have maintained my PT.

According to AAA, this is what the average vehicle costs per year:

https://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/cost-to-own-a-vehicle/



I have an app (aCar) on my phone that I track everything related to my PT and this is the latest statistics:



When I bought my PT new I also purchased an extended warranty for $2409. During the lifetime of that warranty, they covered $7057.29 in repairs to my PT. So I made out big time from the warranty company as they paid far more in vehicle repairs than I did for their warranty.

I was fortunate of that as I have pity on those people that don't have an extended warranty and have to cover all those repairs themselves.

So from the above statistics that I posted on my PT, the cost of ownership is actually less because the warranty repairs are tracked in the app. But I also have about 4 years of gas records that I don't have recorded because I didn't start using the app to track gas records until 2010, but all of the service records I went back and recorded from the time I purchased my PT.

Also the cost of ownership may be a little higher on my PT because whenever possible I use MOPAR parts where others may choose to use cheaper parts on their vehicle. But with shopping online I can find genuine MOPAR parts at pretty good prices.

For instance, I have a tune up coming due on my PT and I was able to get all MOPAR parts through RockAuto at very good prices, far cheaper than through my local dealership with a work-related discount or even on Amazon.
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 07:55 pm
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Location: Hampton roads Va.
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

I think the majority of pt owners go thru this I know I have and I keep my cruiser parked and covered I take it to 3 or 4 shows a year and while driving it I am ready for the next break down it is costly sometimes
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Old 12 Nov 2018, 08:13 pm
Handy_Cruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,371
Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by genther View Post
We put about 8K on it per year. It has 110k miles now and the replacements in the last 6 years go far as follows:

All door locks.
Two windows
Radiator
Transmission sensor
Crankshaft sensor
Camshaft sensor
Oil pressure sender
All four fuel injectors
Intake manifold gasket
power steering pump
Rack and pinion
AC evaporator coil
AC compressor
All motor mounts
Starter
Lower control arms
Rear watts linkage
Front brake calipers (both)
Ya' know, somewhere I've got a list of things about three times longer that I did to my 2001 Limited. I didn't keep as good a score on the 05 GT or my current 07 modified vert. Just to say, this list above is not that long.

I guess the point is that these little inexpensive cars are getting old and they weren't design to last that long to begin with. They are cheap to buy, cheap to modify/repair and cheap to own. But it does take a little effort. You might get a good one that you can just drive and change the oil. But most will need some repairs now and then. The good thing is that most repairs only have to be done once if you read up on the parts and repair recommendations offered on this forum.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 12 Nov 2018 at 08:16 pm.
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