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Chrysler PT Cruiser (2005 and earlier)



  • This was on a 2004 model. What model is yours? I was thinking about buying the car but when I looked under the hood, I was concerned about the way some of the wires were attached/routed through the maze of the engine with the black tape instead of using a clamp, etc. I only looked under the hood of one car.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617 mischief. Chrysler doesn't use no steenkin' electrical tape. Just the usual plastic clamps etc.
  • My Cruiser has black tape around some wires - just like my MDX and Avalon. There is plenty on all three cars.

    Yes, the engine space is tight on a Cruiser, but does that matter? Routine service items are not a problem to reach.
  • What model year is your cruiser? What kind of highway gas mileage are you getting? Do all PT Crusiers require Premium gas or is just the GT Turbo models?

    I was surprised to read that the Avalon had black tape on some wires. I have a Camry and it does not have any.

  • My Cruiser is an 03 GT automatic. Mpg is rather poor for a small car. I keep a log and over the two years I have owned the car overall mpg is about 18. Freeway speeds are very high around here (75+) and A/C is used year round, so my highway mpg may be significantly less than others see. The norm is in the 22-23 range, though I have seen as high as 25. I rented a new Cruiser while on a trip (rented at EWR) last year a found the non turbo got better mpg, but that was checked only for a couple of tanks and the speeds, even on the NJ Turnpike, were much lower than around here. In addition there was no A/C use.

    You can run a turbo on regular, but performance and mpg will be reduced. If you are concerned about the extra cost of using premium instead of regular you are looking at the wrong car. Consider this: If you drive 18,000 miles per year you would use 1000 gallons of gasoline, based on the mpg my Cruiser gives for my combination of near gridlock and high speed driving. The difference in cost for a year by using regular, if one can get the same mpg on regular as with premium, is just $200.

    Based on testing I did with another car that has the recommendation to use premium, running regular instead of premium reduced mpg by 8%, showing there was essentially no dollar saving using regular. Performance was reduced using regular, so using regular instead of premium was a net negative.

    We like our Cruiser very much, but don't use it for trips. It is used locally, with an occasional freeway drive of not over 75 miles one way. We did try it for a 250 mile drive and found the seats comfortable, and the ride okay too.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    PT with a manual is quite capable of getting a 25 MPG average. Mine has a Cat back, K&N and TB spacer and I get 24 MPG day in and day out going up and down the mountain from Lake Arrowhead to San Bernardino. That is a 3500 foot climb every day. However if have to remember to keep my foot out of it or it drops to 22 MPG. Shifting at 4000 rpm just to hear the exhaust is not a good method of fuel conservation.
  • I had my spark plugs replaced at 29K miles with platinum-tipped ones. The car's average MPG increased by 2-3 if not more. On one highway trip (going through the mountains with the defroster running even!) I averaged 27.5mpg as a high. Might be worth a shot to try it.


    My 03 PT Limited now has 35K miles on it. The only problem I've had thus far is the heated seat switch indicator burning out for the 'low' position on the driver's side. The switch itself has been replaced 3 times, and it's currently on order right now. Weird. That, and the gear shift knob (auto) came loose a few times as well.


    I had the 30K done, and also had the brake pads in front replaced and the fuel injectors cleaned. I just had to have the serpentine belt replaced (the NA 2.4 actually has 2 of them) for a total of $159 from a private garage (dealer quoted $200).


    All in all, I have been extremely happy with my choice. It's rommy, comfortable, very versatile, and a good value. The only thing I would change would be depreciation (which is a bit steep), and maybe give it a little more merging power.
  • I still have the stock Goodyear Eagle LS tires on at 35K miles. They still seem to have a good amount of tread left, as well as good traction. How long have these lasted usually? I was just wondering so I know when I have to start deciding on which tires I would like to use to replace these.


    Also, a few suggestions wouldn't hurt either. ;)
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Hi all, my sister is considering an older PT cruiser, and I was wondering what problems have been had and are common with the PT? What are things to look for when test driving a used one? I appreciate any feedback.


  • I'm interested in buying a PT Cruiser for my next vechile because I just love the way they look, and have heard nothing but great reviews about them. However, in the not to distant furture I will be moving to Northern Michigan where there will be loads of snow. Since I can't afford the turbo charged model, I will be stuck with the regular 4 cylinder and was wondering if that has enough power to survive the winters, or should I just go with an older SUV in my price range? Anyone back east have any advice? Thanks!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    The regular 4 cylinder would be preferable in the snow than the turbo because it has higher aspect tires, which provide greater traction in snow, than the low aspect rubber on the turbo model. It's also possible that the naturally aspirated (NA) Cruiser has a little more ground clearance in front than the turbo model, which would be a good thing, but I'm not certain about that.

    For additional traction, you could mount snow tires in winter, which would also aid in turning and stopping, something 4WD doesn't do. For the vast majority of driving in snow country, FWD, especially when combined with winter tires, is very adequate.

    As far as power is concerned, the power requirement isn't dependent on whether or not you'll be driving in snow, in that the NA 2.4 has more than enough power to spin the drive wheels wildly on a slippery surface, something you probably wouldn't want to do anyway. My point is that you need to decide whether the NA 2.4 is adequately powered for your general needs, since the snow issue is irrelevant, as it relates to power.
  • I have an 03 Limited with traction control and the standard tires that came with the car. I find that the traction isn't as good as other cars I've had, particularly when turning. In the wet it's fine, but the car has a tendency to break loose and also fishtail in the snow. I'm on the East coast.
  • vanaticvanatic Posts: 2
    I have an '01 Limited Edition, with the original style rear headrests.
    Two questions:
    1) Will the newer, low-profile rear headrests fit my '01?
    2) If so, where can I purchase them?

    Many thanks in advance!
  • zbjzbj Posts: 3
    About a month ago I purchased PT Cruiser, GT convertible. List of standard equipment on the web includes “Universal garage Opener” for GT, however, my vehicle is missing that option. I contacted Chrysler, as so far I was told what I already new that my car does not have it. I am trying to work through my dealer to get it, dod not hear much yet.
    Does anyone know if that is a standard equipment on GT convertible?
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    Are PT Cruisers really made in Mexico?
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Yes they are. For a brief while in 2002, they were also assembled in Europe, however sales never warranted the two factories and I believe European production was discontinued quickly.
  • bobr3bobr3 Posts: 1
    Dark and Lite Side of PT

    My 01 Limited has tens of paint chips on the front end,being lower in the front,and like our noses,take it up front.I do live on a gravel driveway,but don't speed on it!!!!!!!!
    I don't know what all you race drivers ,do but I just checked my mileage and am getting 29.3MPG,for both town(small) and highway(up &down) driving,since gas prices,and try and average 55MPH.Thats not bad for a heavy" little car" I LOVE IT!!!!
  • sapansapan Posts: 6
    Hi, new to this board. Have been reading this board for some time. also read the reviews in other websites. it seems most owners are happy with their PT. My wife and I are graduate students. We want a versatile and economic car. After looking at some compact suvs, we finally decided to try PT. The car we test drove is base model with 5 sp and AC. We like its performance. It has enough power and it is fun to drive. Right after test drive, we talked to the salesperson to get a deal which is 2000 below invoice price. we will get our car today. My concern is the paint, looks like the paint job on PT is not that good, especially black car. Ours happens to be black. We couldn't find a similar around the area. Do you guys recommend simoniz treatment? How good is it? Thank you in advance for your suggestion and comments.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You said:

    My concern is the paint, looks like the paint job on PT is not that good, especially black car. Ours happens to be black.

    I happened to take a flight back sitting next to a car detailer. He told me black is the hardest to maintain (from any brand) although it does look beautiful.

    I don't think there is any magic finish to protect the car.

    Maybe get it detailed once a year (clay to remove deposits, then apply any good wax or polymer).

    Please keep us posted on the 5 speed manual. I had a 4 speed automatic and was disappointed with the acceleration and gas mileage, but hear very good things about the manual. You can search old test reports on the car magazine websites.

    Beware of invoice pricing, it is not a reliable indicator of actual selling prices. You need to look at the "factory" sticker; factory incentives; and dealer discount. I got mine much more than $2,000 below invoice (invoice was only a grand less than factory sticker) after adding up the dealer discount ($1,800) the rebate ($2,000) and the Chrysler Financial extra rebate for financing with them ($1,000). This late in the model year, you should get a great deal.

    Finally, word is out now on the 2006 PT Cruiser. The interior looks worse imho, the exterior changes seem neutral to me, but they are improving the sound proofing quite a bit (my PT Cruiser was plenty quiet as it was). At least you owe it to yourself to Google 2006 PT Cruiser and see what you come up with, so you don't feel let down in a couple of months when the 2006's hit the dealers.

    Like you, I got the PT Cruiser in lieu of a small SUV, and liked it a lot for that purpose.
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