PT Cruiser Forum  
Advertisements
       

Go Back   PT Cruiser Forum > General Forums > Tech & Performance Forum

PT Cruiser Forum

Advertisements
Steering and Suspension Concerns

 
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Aug 2009, 06:47 pm
Swiveltech's Avatar
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lewiston, NY
Posts: 4
Send a message via AIM to Swiveltech
Question Steering and Suspension Concerns

Hello everyone!

This is my first post here on the Forum, but I've visited a few times thanks to the helpful information given. Now I might need some more in-depth PT counseling.

Mine is a 2001 Limited Edition with 111,000 miles. I keep it regularly maintained--even having the wheel beads cleaned in the colder months to prevent tire/wheel wear. It runs very nicely, but....

Here's my story: I took it to the local Chrysler dealer last week for NYS inspection (taking a gamble on which mechanic to choose since I recently moved and hardly any reviews are available online for most places), and it failed. The reason? The advisor told me that the power steering line was leaking, I needed a--A (singular is important, here)--control arm bushing replaced in the front, and new pads/rotors. The estimate? $1900 OEM, $1600 aftermarket.

Before I go on, I'll tell you what my car does when driving:

- A slight growling noise when idle, louder when steering; higher in pitch when I increase driving speed; loudest and deepest when turning the wheel at the slowest speeds.

- A slight shuddering when turning at higher speeds (45mph and up); think of the noise you'd make if driving over tiny, evenly-spaced bumps or grooves on the highway (not like a rumble strip--a slower tempo).

Okay, back to the story. The brakes issue is an easy solution, and I've got that covered. But that much money for what the guy listed?! I looked into it--parts and the labor involved--and the cost just didn't add up; roughly, around 20% of the estimate. By then I had realized my mistake in going to a dealership service center without a warranty.

So I go back and ask for a copy of the estimate (since he only gave me a $21 receipt for the inspection), and then he refuses to give me one, claiming he already did (not), and then verbally lists the things I needed done, which suddenly CHANGED.

- Not the power steering line, but the ENTIRE GEAR. I asked, what about the line? "Yeah, that too."

- "Which front control arm bushing did you say again?" "Uhhhhh...both of them."


SO, PT CRUISER FORUM HELPERS! It's obvious to me that I've been given the ollll' run-around by these guys, so I'm hoping that YOU can help me figure out what the likely problem with my car is. PLEASE AND THANK YOU?


btw: I have since gotten a recommendation to a far more honest mechanic and will be getting my PT re-inspected in a few days. Regardless of the outcome, I would really like to have that steering problem solved and fixed before too long.

Oh...did I mention the guy in the service department refused to give me a 10-day temporary sticker? Yyyyyeah, because that's exactly what he did.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10 Aug 2009, 07:11 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Welcome.
Go to the second mechanic and take it from there.
Hard to say what PS problem is - could be just a leak.
__________________
"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
Isaac Asimov"

'05 Limited Turbo Lite, (Silver, of course)4-wheel ABS, Sunroof, Spoiler. Mods: E&G Classic grill, K&N FIPK, BTG duals, rear lowered 1.5", LED washer lights, $20 catch can, Aoogah horn, Weatherflectors, Sunroof Deflector, Fuzzy Dice, rear logo flames, rear pinstripe graphic, Gen3 Taillights, rear sway bar, hood struts, Strut bar.
Traded in '02 Silver Touring Edition w/87,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10 Aug 2009, 07:14 pm
Swiveltech's Avatar
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lewiston, NY
Posts: 4
Send a message via AIM to Swiveltech
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Yeah, that's the plan. I'm now researching prices for a PS gear and found another lie in the advisor's spiel: "Those things, ALONE, run about $800." WHERE ARE THEY BUYING THEIR PARTS FROM??? lol

And thank you, btw, for the welcome.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10 Aug 2009, 07:14 pm
geronimo's Avatar
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Macomb, IL
Posts: 90
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Swiveltech,

I'm not a genius when it comes to cars by any means and have had no experience working with the power steering system. However, I had (at 60k!) some of the same problems you have and they were remedied by bearings, bushings, rotors, and pads. Maybe have your mechanic check
those a little more closely. Also check the CV boots and joints.

Question: Is the growling at idle happen when you're in drive and moving (however slowly) or in park? If you're moving I would point to your bearings.

That dealer was definitely pinching you. One thing I can say is that you probably do need new bushings. They're weak sauce and a lot of people have had them replaced much much much earlier than 111k. Bushings at my dealer ran about 250 installed. For little pieces of rubber, those things are a B to replace. The dealer charges for 2.5 hours or so per side.

Hope this helps give you an idea where you should look. Your new mechanic can probably give you more insight into your car than I can. Best of Luck. Keep us posted.
__________________
2003 Touring Edition. 65k

Here's to a long life and a happy one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer and another one!



Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10 Aug 2009, 07:44 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
Obsessed Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

BUNCH OF PARTS FOR SALE !!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 15 Aug 2009, 01:46 pm
Mal Mal is offline
Regular Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 164
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

My '01 currently has the exact same problems. I was sure the power steering leak was a line but it turned out to be the pressure switch. I have been having suspension noises for some time so don't doubt my mech's diagnosis of both ball joints and control arms. He said such wear is common on the Cruiser and Neon. He is good but expensive and I'm going to let him have the job because I don't have the time. He quoted $1k for the works.

For a comparison, he did the timing belt and waterpump about a year ago for $1100 and said I needed brakes. I did the brakes myself and I recommend it as they are quite easy..... The entire power steering rack is about $450 in the aftermarket but $600 to 700 at the dealer.

Last edited by Mal; 15 Aug 2009 at 01:49 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 16 Aug 2009, 04:33 pm
Swiveltech's Avatar
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lewiston, NY
Posts: 4
Send a message via AIM to Swiveltech
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Hi Mal (and everyone else),

The brakes are definitely not an issue with me as far as difficulty goes.

And, for now, neither is the power steering...anymore. It turns out it just needed a good flushing. Since money is an issue with me I figured I'd go with the options I can afford this week--namely, brake pads and power steering fluids. I used 2 quarts of ATF+4 and a quart of Penzoil PS Fluid Plus Conditioner, along with a simple siphon bulb system. Ran it through about 6 or 7 cycles, using the PS+C last, of course. The groaning is GONE. The 8-mile ride back home from my friend's garage (it helps to know people, huh?) was nice and quiet, aside from...

the control arm bushings. I took a look under the car and, OH yeah, the rear isolator bushings on both sides are just plain messed up. But at least I now know what IS and ISN'T the real problem and/or the cause of my failed inspection.

I took my car to the other mech earlier this week and the guy was very cool and very honest with me. Basically, if I (or they) show that the brake pads and bushing issues have been repaired, $10 and the reinspection will be no problem.

I'm beginning to feel very positive right now....

Last edited by CREWZIN; 18 Mar 2011 at 06:21 am.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 17 Aug 2009, 01:08 pm
geronimo's Avatar
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Macomb, IL
Posts: 90
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Congrats on cheap fix and a passed emissions test!
__________________
2003 Touring Edition. 65k

Here's to a long life and a happy one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer and another one!



Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 18 Mar 2011, 12:06 am
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 37
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Hey there. sorry to come up with a post that is late in time. Just need some info about the steering and suspension for my PT '03. Hope you understand. Im doin this for my own good. i owned this car for years and wanna let this one run once again ( for my work).Hoping someone that has a PT might have run into this issue and can point me in the right direction. im a car tech but not that much i know.The car makes a clunking noise up front when rebounding off a bump. Doesn't do it when you hit the bump only on the rebound and most often when going through a dip in the road. Got under the car to look for the obvious root of the problem and thought I had found it. There is a cast aluminum strut that goes between the sub-frame and the engine.connection points on booth ends contain rubber bushings and it's there to control engine motion.

Further details:






-front bushing had torn and the center and the strut were no longer connected and the end could move around a lot. I replaced the strut but it did not fix the issue. I used a pry bar on all the other suspension bushings but everything appears tight. I felt I had narrowed it down to worn struts that were topping out.

-Last weekend I installed new struts and felt pretty good that I had fixed it since the shaft would just fall into the body of the strut when the strut was up right. But on the test drive the clunk was reduced but still there.

-I had run into this once before and it was the bearing in the top mount of the strut that allows it turn for steering. In that application the part of the mount that bolted to the inner fender was not loaded by the spring. On the PT that pivot is always under load by the spring so I can't see that being the issue.

inputs please?

Last edited by cartech468; 08 Sep 2011 at 09:36 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 19 Mar 2011, 07:03 pm
Mal Mal is offline
Regular Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 164
Default Re: Steering and Suspension Concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiveltech View Post
Since money is an issue with me I figured I'd go with the options I can afford this week--namely, brake pads and power steering fluids. I used 2 quarts of ATF+4 and a quart of Penzoil PS Fluid Plus Conditioner, along with a simple siphon bulb system. Ran it through about 6 or 7 cycles, using the PS+C last, of course. The groaning is GONE. The 8-mile ride back home from my friend's garage (it helps to know people, huh?) was nice and quiet, aside from...
Super! The ATF 4 likely did the trick but my suspicion is that the groan will be back when the really cold weather is. I hope I'm wrong but as long as you don't hear the groan I doubt you are hurting anything. Hopefully you've delayed its return indefinitely. The change is all Chrysler recommended anyway. Good luck....
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
front suspension noise RaceWilson Wheels, Tires, Suspension 7 23 Apr 2010 07:12 am
Loud clunk from suspension since replace lower control arms mwoodengr General PT Cruiser Discussions 4 09 Nov 2009 08:58 am
O NO! Steering Wheel Wobble and Shake after Snow? Ctown Wheels, Tires, Suspension 7 24 Jan 2005 11:20 pm
Front suspension crossmember and steering rack yellowpanel Classifieds: For Sale/Trade 0 09 Aug 2003 01:34 pm


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:27 pm.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 © 2011, Crawlability, Inc.
vB.Sponsors