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Is my PT a lemon

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Old 16 Sep 2010, 09:50 pm
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Question Is my PT a lemon

I purchased a automatic 2001 Limited PT Cruiser with 100k miles in August, I know I should have known better but it looked nice, ran well, and I was getting a lot of bad advice. Anyways it has been overheating pretty often and even when it doesn't overheat it is always running hot ,the line below overheating. I changed the oil, oil filter, thermostat, flushed the radiator, and put in a new air filter. Now the oil light is coming on. I have lost a quart of oil, and my car is missing. The battery light came on yesterday then went off after I turned my car back on. Well this morning I'm driving to work and the battery light comes back on, then the radio goes off. The ABS light comes on, another red brake light comes on, the trac off/on lights is flashing, and the car starts jerking when I give it gas. I pull over shut it off and it wont come back on. I have someone come to check it out and it starts. They drive it and they said it was slipping gears into neutral when they got to a certain speed. I have no idea what is going on. Is this car worth fixing? What should I do? I know I made a really bad decision when I bought it, but I really like PTs.
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Old 16 Sep 2010, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Is my PT a lemon

that does sound like a lemon to be honest... i dont know what to tell you on if its worth fixing or not, have you carfaxed it yet to see if its had a salvaged title in the past or anything of the sort?
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Old 16 Sep 2010, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Is my PT a lemon

overheating is Bad could be your fan
the battery might need replaced depending on how old it is
if the tranny is slipping that is even worse

it would be more to fix it that is is worth most likely but i would for sure have a good mechanic check it out before i made any decisions
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Old 17 Sep 2010, 06:45 am
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Default Re: Is my PT a lemon

How do you know for sure that it is overheating? You could just have a bad temp sending unit. It could be as simple as a radiator cap that has lost its ability to maintain 16 lbs of pressure (you can get a new one at O'Reillys Auto Parts for $4).

I just bought an '01 myself, and the temp gauge registers at 3/4 when fully warmed up. This seems high, since every car I've ever owned has had the gauge calibrated to the middle at full normal operating temp. So I bought one of those radiator caps with the temp gauge right on it so that I could see what the temp actually was, and found that when the car is at normal operating temp, the coolant temperature is 180 degrees. Perfect! Now I have peace of mind that my car is not running hot at all.

As for the transmission, start with a fluid and filter change. And make certain that ONLY ATF+4 fluid is used. If you go to a Jiffy Lube-type place, DON'T let them talk you into their bulk fluid with added friction modifiers. Either bring your own jugs of ATF+4 fluid, or get it done at the dealer. If you're going to do it yourself, consider adding a drain plug to the pan while you have it off so you can change the fluid yourself more easily in the future.

Have you done the key dance to check for codes? Pressed and held the trip odo button for 5 seconds while turning the key to the on position to check the instrument panel lights and gauges?

Last edited by Danno; 17 Sep 2010 at 06:48 am.
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 03:00 am
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Default Re: Is my PT a lemon

DO NOT touch your transmission unless you can determine without a shadow of a doubt that it IS SHIFTING NORMALLY.

NEVER service a transmission that is slipping between gears. You'll pretty much be signing a death certificate for your tranny.

90% of the tranny failures in our shop are caused by people servicing them with the hopes that the slipping would go away.
2010 PT Cruiser Classic, Deep Water Blue
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 02:54 pm
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Default Re: Is my PT a lemon

It can't be a lemon,,,,your are talking about a car with 100k miles that is 10 model years old.... take one step at a time,take the PT to good mechanic & check one thing out at a time.If there are any major issues codes with appear on the compter when a report is run.It may be just not maintained or in need of a few things.To same lemon on something that is 10 years old is the wrong approach. Get back to us with what comes up..& good luck..MJB
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