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New Guy -- 2001 PT Cruiser, 123K miles

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Old 28 Jul 2012, 04:33 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 48
Default New Guy -- 2001 PT Cruiser, 123K miles

Hi all,

I usually hang in a forum for another vehicle, which was my daily driver, and this PT Cruiser will take on that role.

First I want to say thank you all, as this is the first place a landed to search the threads to help familiarize myself with the maintenance issues. Very pleased to see this forum is top notch in content and people.

I picked this cruiser up a couple Friday's ago. I had my eyes open because my car is just a little small and wanted something with more space. I also had done a lot of mods to my car over the years (12 years) which make it fun to drive for performance, but not so comfortable for a daily driver with a family.

I also wanted something along the lines of an SUV or hatchback since I have always been an audio enthusiast.

This was bought from a dealership. I happened to see it on a dealer lot around the corner from my house. When I bought my car, the PT Cruiser came out the next year, and honestly I had always thought maybe I would've rather had a cruiser. Now I have both -- I Rock!

It is unfortunate, because someone took very good care of this car and probably didn't intend to give it up. Cosmetically it is in great shape inside and out. Mechanically, well, he used a shop rather than DIY and that is why he had to give it up.

There were maintenance records with the car, and he recently had paid a lot of money for a head gasket job. That tells me he was chasing an overheating problem and had probably been through radiator, t-stat, etc and his mechanic was now guessing head gasket.

That work was about a month ago..... after that work he then had a check engine light..... continued to have an overheat problem, and had an AC problem. So he unloaded it by trading it in.

Well, the CE light was because the mechanic put the vacuum lines on the EGR valve backwards...... the overheat problem was a bad fan (imagine that on a PT), and the AC was because the mechanic reassembled the radiator/condenser assembly wrong -- that brace in front that bolts to the upper radiator support -- he didn't bolt it and use a zip tie instead. And it was all pushed in..... so every bump you hit it pressed into the condenser and put a hole in it.

I am wondering if the mechanic didn't do that on purpose. I am sure the guy was back in the shop giving them heck for spending $1500 on a headgasket and still overheating. I am wondering if the mechanic didn't induce the AC leak to intentionally disable the AC so it would stop overheating -- to get him out of his hair and refer him to an AC shop.

So after replacing the EGR valve (didn't inspect before I bought a new one, so I replaced it anyways), AC condenser, and fan motor, all is well. Fan motor low speed was inop -- probably the source of the overheating and I'd bet money that HG job was unnecessary.

Next weekend will be addressing the leaks. Transmission leaks badly, and I did see there is a missing bolt on the tranny fluid pan. Probably paid someone a hundred bucks for a tranny filter change and that is what he ended up with.

Oil is leaking around the filter.

Will be doing a tranny filter/fluid change and will address that missing bolt, and will do an oil change using a K&N filter to address that leak.

Now I can focus attention on the audio build I'll take that to the audio forum.

Tom C
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 06:33 pm
767skyking's Avatar
Fanatic Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inland Empire Ca
Posts: 754
Default Re: New Guy -- 2001 PT Cruiser, 123K miles

Welcome Tom to the forum! One bit of advise... Be careful on the pan bolts for the transmission.. Use a torque wrench when tightening... They are prone to being stripped if too much will ruin your day for sure!
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 07:01 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,744
Default Re: New Guy -- 2001 PT Cruiser, 123K miles

Nice to see a new owner of a used PT come to the forum and tel us all of what he did to fix it instead of asking for help on all those problems. Good luck with your purchase although you don't sound like you'll need it.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 28 Jul 2012, 07:14 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 48
Default Re: New Guy -- 2001 PT Cruiser, 123K miles

Thanks all. I am expecting to find that missing transmission bolt has a stripped hole. I bet that is why it was left out or fell out.
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Old 29 Jul 2012, 08:13 am
PeteyGT's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 327
Default Re: New Guy -- 2001 PT Cruiser, 123K miles

Welcome from Vancouver, BC, Canada
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