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Is everything wrong with my car?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28 Jul 2014, 04:07 pm
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Default Is everything wrong with my car? UPDATE 8/19/2014

I have a 2005 standard edition PT Cruiser and I need some advice/help. This car has been problem after problem this last year and half, and right now the mechanic is quoting me $3000 to fix it.

According to him I have the following problems:
-Low coolant due to a coolant leak.
-head gasket needs replacing/gasket leak
-radiator is clogged
-radiator fan is only working intermittently
-cylinder misfire which they now think needs the wires replaced because they already replaced the other parts.
-pcv vacuum hose needs replacing.
-radiator cap replacement.

I think that is everything he is quoting for the $3000. Is that reasonable?

The symptoms of my car I took it in for this time:
-overheating on highway.
-exhaust smell.
-continued heavy idle.
-heard a "shifting" noise under engine at a stop. Felt it in brakes too.

The symptoms I took it in for this past month (which I don't know if they actualy fixed):
-very heavy idle with stalling at lights.
-cylinder misfiring (code comes up).
-car feels like it is surging sometimes and losing power at other times at low speeds.
-smelling exhaust fumes while driving.
-Seems like I can feel something shift through my foot on the brake and/or gas. Shifting or clunking together when I first go to use the car.



Car has had its timing belt and water pump replaced within the last two years (they keep asking and wanting me to replace them. It has been done.). Car has also had the camshaft sensor replaced multiple times over the year. Finally seems okay after using Chrysler camshaft part and totally resetting the computer.

I am just not sure if it is time to give up on my car or if I should go somewhere else for a better estimate. It seems like a heap of problems that never get fixed. I am going to get another estimate from a different mechanic but as much as I want to hold onto my car (and I do), I just don't know if I am going to continuously sink money into it and the problems will never get fixed. Has anyone had these issues with their car? And is $3000 a bit too much. I am afraid I might be that "repeat customer at the dealership who you throw every fix at and get them to spend what it would cost me to go out and buy a used 2005 car".

Last edited by Marisol; 19 Aug 2014 at 08:51 am.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 28 Jul 2014, 04:32 pm
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Posts: 27,744
Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

Welcome to the forum.

My guess, that's too much for what's needed, on the other hand, the dealers around my area are up to $100 an hour so from what I've seen people that come to this forum pay, it's about right.

-Low coolant due to a coolant leak.

Hard to estimate since he/you don't say where the leak is.

-head gasket needs replacing/gasket leak

From what I've seen, this job with parts is somewhere around $1100. + or -

-radiator is clogged

If it doesn't have to be replaced, take out and flush $50 - $100.

-radiator fan is only working intermittently

Common problem. New fan costs $100 but delaer wants high $3-$400 to replace

-cylinder misfire which they now think needs the wires replaced because they already replaced the other parts.

Plugs and wires, Maybe $100 or less, an hour labor.

-pcv vacuum hose needs replacing.

PCV valve and hose shouldn't be more than $30

-radiator cap replacement.

Maybe $15.
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Last edited by CREWZIN; 28 Jul 2014 at 04:34 pm.
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Old 28 Jul 2014, 08:46 pm
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

You didn't mention how many miles you have but I assume it's over 100k since the timing belt and water pump have been replaced.

If you are a driver you might want to dump the car and move on.

A pt enthusiast would stick with it


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 28 Jul 2014, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

Just under $120K miles. CREWZIN thank you for the breakdown. They are charging $1100 just for labor alone on the head gasket plus $200 parts. If it is cracked an extra $1000 which seems not to be added into my final cost. So if the head is cracked the total bill would be $4000. The clogged radiator is going to be $500 total. $400 for the fan. I forgot they said an engine mount is broken too ($200).

Part of my reluctance to just move on is because I love PT Cruisers. My whole family had/has them. I don't really want to let it go and I can't see driving another car. It's the only modern car I love on the road, and I want to keep it. Otherwise I doubt I'd be in here seeking advice.

But I am also a driver. I need a car that will get me places and I don't want to worry that my car will break down on me even if I get all this fixed. I also don't want to spend several thousand only to have it die on me. I don't know anything about cars. I'm just someone who likes PT Cruisers a lot, and I want it to run and take me places. I don't want it as my pet who stays home and looks pretty. I can only afford one car and it needs to be drivable. It's just a bonus that it is so fetching as well.
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Old 28 Jul 2014, 11:51 pm
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Location: Dallas Texas
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

Yeah my garage is not pretty but it serves it's purpose

I wish I could have a garage that looks like a museum/shrine





Quote:
Originally Posted by Marisol View Post
Just under $120K miles. CREWZIN thank you for the breakdown. They are charging $1100 just for labor alone on the head gasket plus $200 parts. If it is cracked an extra $1000 which seems not to be added into my final cost. So if the head is cracked the total bill would be $4000. The clogged radiator is going to be $500 total. $400 for the fan. I forgot they said an engine mount is broken too ($200).

Part of my reluctance to just move on is because I love PT Cruisers. My whole family had/has them. I don't really want to let it go and I can't see driving another car. It's the only modern car I love on the road, and I want to keep it. Otherwise I doubt I'd be in here seeking advice.

But I am also a driver. I need a car that will get me places and I don't want to worry that my car will break down on me even if I get all this fixed. I also don't want to spend several thousand only to have it die on me. I don't know anything about cars. I'm just someone who likes PT Cruisers a lot, and I want it to run and take me places. I don't want it as my pet who stays home and looks pretty. I can only afford one car and it needs to be drivable. It's just a bonus that it is so fetching as well.
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Old 29 Jul 2014, 08:44 am
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

I think it's time to take it to another place.
From what I gather, they changed your spark plugs but not the wires? Plugs and wires should be replaced at the same time.
If they did your timing belt, they didn't notice motor mount?
Leaking head gasket AND clogged radiator AND engine fan AND radiator cap?
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Old 29 Jul 2014, 09:10 am
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

If they are useing Chrysler parts I guess it could get to be tat much. But that isn't really necessary. Anyone can through parts at a miss. But tests can rule out other thing like week cylinder. Before spending money on parts. Not to say that's what is wrong just that thes guys are parts replacers. Find a different place. Ask around as much as you can before you go. Then ask them questions to see if you fell comfortable with there answers.
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Old 29 Jul 2014, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

Thank you!

The timing belt was done at a different place about 2 years ago, and I am pretty sure I had broken motor mounts fixed around that time too (or shortly thereafter). I guess the other shop could have done a poor job or lied.

The dealership does have A LOT of "ands". I also got a call from them not too long after first taking it in about trading it in for a new car so I am not really excited about them overall.

I am going to take it elsewhere.
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Last edited by Marisol; 29 Jul 2014 at 11:54 am.
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Old 29 Jul 2014, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

I see a lot of DIYrs posting daily on various forums always giving advise to members without knowing how much the person can do for them self. Or really not getting complete and accurate information about the vehicle they are so fast to give out the advise about?

May I recommend this?

Try to find a shop that first and foremost has ASE level certified Technicians. Ask because shops that do will be happy to brag about their employee's that have them working for them!!!!

What ever anyone says these people who have ASE Technical certification know what they are doing. It ain't easy to get this kind of certifications which requires not only text book learning but hands on experience and training. These people are also required to retest after a number of years to keep there certification active.

DO NOT use a shop that only has "Mechanic's" or some other form of mechanical certifications other than ASE.

Ask the shop if they do a complete vehicle evaluation and mechanical assessment. Generally the cost to perform this is around 100-175 dollars in most places across the US.
Once you get the information you can than talk to some of us and some can tell you by personally experience what it takes to correct the issues?
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Last edited by NitroPT; 29 Jul 2014 at 12:13 pm.
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Old 29 Jul 2014, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Is everything wrong with my car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
What ever anyone says these people who have ASE Technical certification know what they are doing. It ain't easy to get this kind of certifications which requires not only text book learning but hands on experience and training. These people are also required to retest after a number of years to keep there certification active.
What about us DIY's that are ASC certified?
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