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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2014, 10:47 am
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: PA
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Default General Maintenance Tips

I just bought my first car early last year, an '03 PT Cruiser Touring Edition, and have had to fix many things on it due to poor maintenance previously of me owning it it. As a first time car owner (and a female) I have no clue what sort of general maintenance my car will need to avoid costly repairs down the road, other than oil changes. Any tips are appreciated.
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 10:50 am
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Location: Dallas Texas
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Probably look at getting your hands on an owners manual, sometimes you can find them online for free

Welcome
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 11:06 am
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Like Busa said. The manual will be a good thing to have . Also check the brakes to see the condition . Because if you can hear the brake problem you are already damaging more stuff. A friend that has some experience can help you do this and point out thing to watch for.
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 11:22 am
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Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Major things are:
Timing belt and water pump at ~ 100,000 miles - costs about $1,000 +-
If an automatic, should have fluid flushed every 50,000 miles - with ATF +4 fluid ONLY costs ~$200.
Oil change is a very good start - I am a believer in synthetic oil - it does cost more, but is WAY better. Advance auto often has a good deal on 5 quarts of Mobil 1 with a Mobil 1 oil filter. If yours is a turbo, synthetic oil is a MUST.
Keep an eye in the check engine light and if it comes on, have Advance Auto or other place get the trouble codes - they do it for free. Any P030__ code is ignition - probably need plugs and ignition wires - get new wires when you do the plugs.
Check you tire pressure and keep tires inflated - you'll get better mileage and tires will wear more evenly....
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Get a service manual.

Keep a log of what you have done, perform aggresive maintenace schedule.

Use the correct fluids, do NOT trust the mechanics, many independants use wrong fluids, like incorrect transmission fluid should be ATF+4, incorrect PS Fluid should be ATF+4 etc

I only use Mopar parts for electrical like sensors.

Most people totally neglect the power steering, coolant, transmission fluids, many folks wait too long to do the water pump/timing belts and accesory belts, many dont have the hoses changed etc
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 02:35 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Thanks for all of your advice, I'm going to have my mechanic take a loot at my timing belt and water pump sometime this month. I was thinking about getting an extended warranty for my car like from Chrysler extended warranty, Factory backed extended warranties for Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler vehicles or some where else, has anyone had any good/bad experiences with extended warranties, is it worth it?!
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 02:38 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by txh976 View Post
Thanks for all of your advice, I'm going to have my mechanic take a loot at my timing belt and water pump sometime this month. I was thinking about getting an extended warranty for my car like from Chrysler extended warranty, Factory backed extended warranties for Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler vehicles or some where else, has anyone had any good/bad experiences with extended warranties, is it worth it?!

How many miles are on your Cruiser?
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Old 03 Jan 2014, 02:41 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: PA
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Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteduster View Post
How many miles are on your Cruiser?
124,256 miles.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2014, 02:46 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Deland, fl
Posts: 334
Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

Here are some maintenance specifications for your car. I use Amsoil as it outperforms, outlasts and out warranties all other products and saves me time and money.

2003 CHRYSLER PT CRUISER 2.4L 4-cyl Engine Code [B]
LUBRICANTS & FLUIDS:
Engine Oil
Grade 1......API*
Maximum Performance SAE 5W-30 Signature Series 100% Synthetic Motor Oil (ASLQT)
Performance Plus XL 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLFQT)
Performance OE 5W30 Synthetic Motor Oil (OEFQT) Above 0 F......10W-30
Below 100 F......5W-30 [1]
Manual Transmission,A578 (5-SPD)......AP4
All TEMPS......
Signature Series Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) (ATFQT)
OE Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (OTFQT)
Automatic Transmission,41TE......AP4
Signature Series Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) (ATFQT)
OE Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (OTFQT)
Fluids
Power Steering Fluid......AP4
Signature Series Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) (ATFQT)
Power Steering Fluid......AP4
OE Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid (OTFQT) [2]
Brake Fluid......HB
AMSOIL Brake Fluid DOT-3 (BF3SN) [3]
[1] SAE 5W-30 is preferred.
[2] ATF+4® Automatic Transmission Fluid
[3] Hydraulic Brake Fluid, DOT 3
P/N 04318080AB or 04318081AB, meeting MS-4574
FILTERS:
Oil Filter Absolute Efficiency Oil Filter (EA15K51) [1]
Oil Filter WIX 51348 Oil Filter
Air Filter WIX 46699 Air Filter
Transmission Filter WIX 58934 Trans Filter
[1] Replaces the Ea15k33, which will still work for this vehicle
NGK PLUGS AND WIRESETS:
GPSERIES PLUG LZTR4AGP
IXIRIDIUM PLUG LZTR4AIX-11 NGK2313
PREMIUMPLATINUM PLUG PLZTR4A-13
VPOWER PLUG LZTR4A-11 NGK5306
WIRESET WIRESET RC-CRX047
WIPER BLADES:
Blade Class Driver Passenger Rear
ExactFit T201 T211 T161
NeoForm T16200 T16210 T16160
Winter T37205 T37210 T37160
CHASSIS LUBRICATION:
0-2 Fittings, 0 Plugs..........LB
Series 2000 Synthetic Racing Grease NLGI#2 GC/LB (GRGCR)
Synthetic Multi Purpose #2 (GLC3P)
Synthetic Water Resistant #2 (GWR3P)
CAPACITIES:
Engine, with filter..........5 quarts [1]
Cooling System, Initial Fill..........6.3 quarts
AMSOIL Antifreeze and Engine Coolant
Automatic Transmission, 41TE Initial Fill..........4 quarts
Automatic Transmission, Total Fill
4 speed 41TE..........8.6 quarts
Manual Transmission, A578 (5-SPD)..........5.1 pints
[1] After refill check oil level.
TORQUES:
Oil Drain Plug.....20 ft/lbs
Manual Transmission G288
Fill Plug 29-35 ft/lbs
Drain Plug 29-35 ft/lbs
Manual Transmission T350
Drain Plug 10 ft/lbs
OTHER TOP QUALITY PRODUCTS:
Mothers® Car Care Appearance Products
By-Pass Oil Filters
Diesel Fuel Additive Concentrate
Cold Flow Improver
Cetane Boost Diesel Fuel Additive
PI Performance Improver Gasoline Additive
Product Recommendations and Drain Interval Chart
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2014, 03:08 pm
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 85
Default Re: General Maintenance Tips

I'm not a fan of extended warranties, but I am able to work on my own vehicles for the most part. If you're not sure if the timing belt was replaced at 100,000 miles, the extended warranty might be a consideration for you. The warranties don't cover scheduled maintenance, but it would cover a broken belt and the resultant damage.

BTW - your mechanic will not be able to look at the belt or the water pump without considerable labor and visual inspection of the pump will not reveal it's longevity. One is usually replaced along with the other due to the labor involved in the job, it just makes sense.
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