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'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13 Oct 2009, 02:25 pm
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Default 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Hello all. My SO is the very happy owner of a 2002 Limited automatic with 70k miles, we picked it up a couple of weeks ago.

I've been doing research and learned about the control arm bushings, which makes me want to find the beancounter at MB who cheaped them out and flog him with an air hose.

Because truth be told I wasn't expecting much out of the car, but drove it 200 miles home and was impressed overall. The slight thunk I heard I chalked up to it being, well, an inexpensive car. But now I know different.

So, I thought I'd ask the experts a couple of questions, see what I should do to this vehicle to keep it running well for my better half. I think it's better to change a part than get stranded and do more damage.

Front end / suspension: I already bought the Energy kit, so off come the lower control arms. Being an overkill kinda guy, I figure while I've already got them off I'd consider changing the struts (including springs), front axles, lower ball joints, and outer tierod ends. The struts seem OK except for a very slight wobble at highway speeds from the passenger front (which could indeed be a tire).

Have any of these other parts been a common repair, or am I flushing $ down the hole?

Drivetrain: goes without saying (almost ) tranny filter / fluid, wires, plugs, air filter, look at the hoses and belts. Should the timing belt be replaced? The fan and/or any relays? Water pump? Anything else?

Rear suspension: The bushings are in the kit. Should I change the actual Watts link, or will the bushings be OK (I haven't heard any noise back there, except when backing up and turning at the same time, I thought it might be brake noise but never dealt with Watts)? What about those tierod-looking things? If I change the front struts I'll go ahead and change the back shocks/springs.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Any suggestions and advice is much appreciated, and anything I learn will be passed on.

Pete
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Old 13 Oct 2009, 02:41 pm
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Pete,

Welcome to the forum. You sound a little like me in that you'd rather do the work now rather than wait till something breaks.

I'll just mention a couple things. The transaxle is a weak link but if it was taken care of can last a long time. You don't know the history of the car so your first time, do a complete flush. Wherever you go (it needs a machine to flush) make sure they use ATF+4 fluid. That way you change all 16 quarts out instead of dropping the pan and getting only 4.

The fan is/has been a PITA for many owners because of the burnt out inner windings/brushes. There's no way you can tell if it's about to burn out so keep an eye out at your temperature guage. It should never go above half way no matter what you do, if everything is working right.

Last is the timing belt.You shouldn't have to touch it until about 100,000 miles. It's an expensive job, about $900 - $1200 with parts and labor. Unless your really experienced, I'd let a mechanic (who's done it before) handle the job.

On your front suspension, check or have someone check out the front wheel bearings. Lots of owners have had to replace them. Jack the car up, grab the tire top and bottom and shake. Do the same by grabbing both sides. You shouldn't have any play in the wheel.

The last thing is if you have the built-in fog lights. The control stick for the lights, known as the multi-function stalk has a tendency to burn out. There's thousands (yes thousands) of them on back-order from the dealer. The usual thing that happens is the stalk innards burn out and them the fog lights don't turn off and you battery goes dead. Keep an eye out if you have the lights.

Last edited by CREWZIN; 13 Oct 2009 at 02:43 pm.
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Old 13 Oct 2009, 03:50 pm
Hooligan's Avatar
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Pete, welcome to both you and your SO to the forum.

Crewzin has answered your questions, if you have more ????'s come back, lots of smart people on here.
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Old 13 Oct 2009, 06:05 pm
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Welcome.
I think you'll be fine replacing bushings for the suspension - should need parts other than that. Dealers will swap parts (with the bushings) because it's easier.
You have the right list (as amended by Crewzin).
I'm also a believer in synthetic oil.
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Old 14 Oct 2009, 10:03 am
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Hey thanks guys. I've been see-sawing back and forth between changing the whole front end and not because of funds, I think I'm just going to do the bushings for now.

Which means in a couple weeks either the struts or axles will go bad!

Crewzin, thanks fo rthe info. I'll go ahead and change the wheel bearings though, if they go bad often why not. Are they pressed in?

I was wondering about a tranny flush vs a change, I will have it done.

Because my SO will be driving the car mostly, I think I'd better change the fan. I know it can be unfair but a female watching the gauges? lol.

Heck, I'll end up changing the timing belt myself, it's nice to know I can put it off for a while

Yes, I have the fog lights, and they don't work at all! I thought it was the bulbs. I'll just pull the bulbs.

Hooligan, thanks for the welcome, and I'm sure I'll be posting occasionally, after some wrenchtime I might even have a comment or two!

Qs, I use synthetic in my newest car, which believe it or not is now the 2002 PT! So it gets the good oil and my old land yacht gets the crappy old petroleum based product

Pete
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Old 14 Oct 2009, 02:41 pm
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetePT View Post
Hey thanks guys. I've been see-sawing back and forth between changing the whole front end and not because of funds, I think I'm just going to do the bushings for now.

Which means in a couple weeks either the struts or axles will go bad!

Crewzin, thanks for the info. I'll go ahead and change the wheel bearings though, if they go bad often why not. Are they pressed in? YES

I was wondering about a tranny flush vs a change, I will have it done. Seeing that you do not have any maintenance records, just have it flushed. Some do a change at 30K then a flush, do the Flush!!

Because my SO will be driving the car mostly, I think I'd better change the fan. I know it can be unfair but a female watching the gauges? lol.

Heck, I'll end up changing the timing belt myself, it's nice to know I can put it off for a while

Yes, I have the fog lights, and they don't work at all! I thought it was the bulbs. I'll just pull the bulbs.

Hooligan, thanks for the welcome, and I'm sure I'll be posting occasionally, after some wrenchtime I might even have a comment or two!

Qs, I use synthetic in my newest car, which believe it or not is now the 2002 PT! So it gets the good oil and my old land yacht gets the crappy old petroleum based product

Pete
Good luck on all.
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2008 Silver Steel Metallic, Touring, NA, Sirius; Chromed door handles; lower grille; fog light surrounds; chrome front & rear bumpers strips; Airaid air filter; Bassani duals; Modesty Cover; Autolite AP5263 Platinum Plugs (.040); Crane Plug Wires; NAPA Ceramic pads; Blane hood struts; PTeazer Gas, Brake & Foot Rest Pedals, '05 Rear Step Pad, Stainless Door Sills, Llumar tint, "A" Piller chrome; APC Strut Bar
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Old 15 Oct 2009, 07:24 am
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Argh, pressed in! So I might as well have the lower ball joints done too while I'm at the shop.

I'll for sure have the tranny flushed.

Thanks again!

Pete
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Old 15 Oct 2009, 01:31 pm
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Aw fiddlesticks.

1st pretty darn cold day of the year, and my SO calls and says it took 5+ minutes to get it running

Searching around, I see a lot of mention of the camshaft position sensor. Although it doesn't jive in my junkyard mind, could this be the cause?

Pete
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Old 15 Oct 2009, 01:33 pm
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetePT View Post
Hey thanks guys. I've been see-sawing back and forth between changing the whole front end and not because of funds, I think I'm just going to do the bushings for now.

Which means in a couple weeks either the struts or axles will go bad!

Crewzin, thanks fo rthe info. I'll go ahead and change the wheel bearings though, if they go bad often why not. Are they pressed in?

I was wondering about a tranny flush vs a change, I will have it done.

Because my SO will be driving the car mostly, I think I'd better change the fan. I know it can be unfair but a female watching the gauges? lol.

Heck, I'll end up changing the timing belt myself, it's nice to know I can put it off for a while

Yes, I have the fog lights, and they don't work at all! I thought it was the bulbs. I'll just pull the bulbs.

Hooligan, thanks for the welcome, and I'm sure I'll be posting occasionally, after some wrenchtime I might even have a comment or two!

Qs, I use synthetic in my newest car, which believe it or not is now the 2002 PT! So it gets the good oil and my old land yacht gets the crappy old petroleum based product

Pete
I pretty much rebuilt my front end, the only thing different I would of done is probably just bought the lower control arms out right from what I understand it would actually been cheaper since the labor time would of been far less but I did'nt know about until I read it here after the fact.

I still have a minor clunk that that only shows up on low speed bumps its driving the mechanic crazy because it he cannot find it but he has acknowledged it, and double and triple check his work. I think I'm going to let it go since I have a far more important issue due and that's the timing belt. which is going to run me $800+ which from what I understand is not a bad price.

Good luck, while I like the car the suspension is its weak spot
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Old 16 Oct 2009, 07:27 am
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Default Re: 'New' 2002 Limited, 70k miles, suggested maintenance?

h1, thanks for the comments. I'm playing it by ear, particularly now that THE THING HAS AN ISSUE :grr:

So I tried to start it yesterday. Hard start, but started, but with a whine at 1st that quickly changed to a belt rubbing noise.

I was in a hurry and didn't have a chance to take a harder look, but with little room in the compartment, look at what?

Any ideas?

Pete
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