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Biggest Mistake of My Life

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02 Nov 2019, 04:38 pm
dougs's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: los angeles, california
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Ya' know, somewhere I've got a list of things about three times longer that I did to my 2001 Limited. I didn't keep as good a score on the 05 GT or my current 07 modified vert. Just to say, this list above is not that long.

I guess the point is that these little inexpensive cars are getting old and they weren't design to last that long to begin with. They are cheap to buy, cheap to modify/repair and cheap to own. But it does take a little effort. You might get a good one that you can just drive and change the oil. But most will need some repairs now and then. The good thing is that most repairs only have to be done once if you read up on the parts and repair recommendations offered on this forum.
You motivated me to take a look at the costs of ownership of the red 2008 Turbo. Now has 93,000 miles. At around 40,000 -60,000 mile time period, needed to replace lower control arms(bushings), new brakes/rotors, radiator, thermostat, two engine mounts, valve cover gasket. At 85,000 miles, performed the timing belt replacement, including sensor seals, water pump, etc etc, also another new radiator, and engine mounts. Total 'real world' cost is about 47 cents a mile. That's still below the cost of most other cars....
Black base 2006 NA, dented front bumper, scratched rear bumper. 2008 Touring, one of 385 red Turbos built in 2008. Limited grill, body-colored mirrors, grab handle deleted, dual-tone horn, shorty antenna.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 03 Nov 2019, 09:34 am
thecabinguy's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Prescott, AZ
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Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Wow, that's a lot of fixing and replacing. My two PTs have 118,000 and 112,000 miles on them and at least 50% of your work have not been done on them. Maybe you have a "Monday" or "Friday" car???
Prescott, Arizona, home of forested mountains, 5 lakes (well, four lakes and one big pond), and Arizona's Christmas City (my home 6,000 feet elevation) - 2005 Touring & 2002 Limited - both patriot blue & factory stock

Last edited by thecabinguy; 03 Nov 2019 at 09:39 am.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 03 Nov 2019, 01:00 pm
soonercruiser's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
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Talking Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

In retrospect.....and now on my 6th Cruiser.....thinking about #7....

If having a car with maintenance problems is the "Biggest Mistake" of one's life.................
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2003 PT Cruiser GT Panel Van Conversion as new day driver.

Have now owned 6 PT Cruisers = Me PT Crazy!
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 13 Nov 2019, 12:37 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 94
Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

Bought my 2005 GT in September of 2006 with 6k miles on it. It now has about 130k on it. In that time the only failures were the passenger half shaft, front calipers and instrument cluster. I have had to replace brakes and rotors. Fronts lasted to 98k and the rears 105k. I have not replaced the timing belt or accessory belt yet and know I am on borrowed time. Rims were leaking so I just replaced them.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 13 Nov 2019, 01:10 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 77
Default Re: Biggest Mistake of My Life

I have been maintaining the cars of my family for the past 25 years. I have worked on cars, mostly American, built from the 60s through the 2000s. These cars include all major American auto brands. My family has owned three PT cruisers as well as a Neon. Just this last month I revived an 02 PT Cruiser my brother had bought by doing an engine swap (out the top), a full brake and suspension rebuild/replacement, and various other repairs to the interior. I have done cylinder head, head gasket, timing belt, and water pump replacements on the Neon and all three PT Cruisers my family has owned.

On average, I will say that older american cars, especially pre-1980 American cars are vastly easier to work on than the PT Cruiser. However, most of that is simpy a function of packaging. I always marvel at how the Chrysler/Daimler engineers were able to pack so much technology into the space available in the PT Cruiser. It is a masterful example of CAD. Once you understand what items need to be removed to get more room to work, I find the PT Cruiser is actually quite simple to work on. I was even able to remove and install the engine in the PT without removing the radiator and AC condenser.

I am fortunate in that I have the luxury of a garage to work in However, most repairs on a PT can be done "in the field" if you find somewhere you can work without being bothered. I have found that a very basic set of metric and hand tools will accomplish most repairs on the PT. All in all, other than working space, the PT Cruiser is actually one of the easier cars to work on I have ever dealt with. But it does take a bit of a shift in mentality when you start working on a PT if your background is working on older vehicles.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the original poster got a lemon. Every car line ever made has issues with quality control and variances in build quality. Some are much worse than others.
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