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PT Cruiser Brake Problems & Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,895
Having an issue with the brakes on your Cruiser? This is the place to give and get advice!

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  • I recently had to replace the brakes in my 2001 PT Cruiser Limited Edition. It only had 20,000 miles on it and that seemed way too early for a brake job. The dealer told me that they are seeing Cruisers come in for new brakes between 15,000 and 20,000 miles. If so, there must be others out there who have had to replace brakes. I am considering trading my 2001 in for a 2003 turbo, but if the brakes really are failing this early then I will reconsider my decision. Thanks for any and all input.
  • ldollarldollar Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 PT Cruiser with 26000 miles on it. I took it in yeaterday and was told the right caliper was totally worn and that the left was perfectly normal. Any one else with uneven brake problem????
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    I have a 2003 PT, but have had no notable wear on the brake components at 45,500 miles.
    In fact, only problem we have had was a power steering problem which was taken care of by Chrysler.

    Ours is the base model with manual transmission.
    We average just a little over 30 mpg (mostly highway).
  • sisusisu Posts: 2
    The driver's side front caliper had to be replaced on my '01 Cruiser after locking up. Unfortunately, I was going 75 mph on the freeway at the time. Fortunately, no damage was done. After the problem was diagnosed, the dealer assured me that the other front caliper is fine. But it does make one a bit paranoid. The mileage at the time was higher than yours, around 47000. There were no brake problems prior to that incident.
  • Rare problem and not limited to PTs. My Toyota had a sticking front caliper (pad wore out fast on one wheel).
  • peach1peach1 Posts: 2
    Had to have my brake pads changed at 19000 mi. Also had to have my emergency brake changed 4 times and adjusted 2 times and my car only has 25000 mi. I'm now taking it in for ABS and STeering problems. Love the idea of the car but they sure don't make cars like they use to.
  • Not many miles for Cruiser brakes. Have over 20K miles on mine and there is very little brake pad wear. Looks like the pads should last several times what you got out of them. Mine is an 03 driven mostly around town - no long trips.
  • bstackbstack Posts: 3
    Since my 02 Touring was new, the rear drum brakes have a noisy, "rotating" squeak when the brakes are applied. Had it to the dealer once, aftermarket place as well. They clean and adjust them, which improves it a little. Just had new tires put on, the mechanic there also cleaned and adjusted to no avail. Any thoughts? On the other hand, brake wear has been phenomenal. At 47k miles, still have 50% on the fronts and 60% on the rears.
  • dd5717dd5717 Posts: 1
    Can you tell me what the problem with your emergency brake was - I had my care in nuetral with the emergency brake on (car running) - jumped out to get the mail and the car rolled into a tree. Have had my 2001 PT Cruiser for 36 days and this is the 3rd problem - first was a sensor replaced, then the gear shift cable snapped. Love the look of the car, but getting concerned about its performance. Thanks.
  • You need to put some muscle behind pulling the emergency brake. Mine stops tight when I pull it, but it will roll when my wife pulls it up.
  • bmw85bmw85 Posts: 5
    We own a 2002 touring ed. and we have had a squeeking noise in the brakes since 2000 miles. At 30,000 we were told that the problem was worn out pads and shoes. We paid to have the dealer fix it and 20 miles later it was doing the same thing. It was returned to the dealer and they said there was no problem they all sound like that.
    Now we are having battery cable problems. When will it end. :(
  • You need to do as I did with my 2001 PT Cruiser. Pure Trouble Cruiser get rid of it!
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    The brake replacement was probably unwarranted. The PT brake pads have a "cleft" in the center that dealerships use as a standard measure of wear, but the pad maker, and any properly trained mechanic considers the "squeeker clip"(properly called the "wear indicator") the proper wear marker. The wear indicator is a sheet metal tab that scrapes the rotor (and causes a squeeking noise) when the pad is worn to a thickness close to the rivots, or if glued, close to the pad backing. If you explain this to the dealer mechanics, they'll say you run the risk of rotor damage from the pad rivots, but the pad material isn't rivoted, it's "glued" to the metal. Most pads should last anywhere around 30,000-50,000 miles depending on the driver, and driving conditions....But keep in mind to have the rotors checked when the brakes are worn. If the dealer mechanic says that the rotors are worn, you have the right to have the mechanic show you, with a micrometer, that the rotors are worn to a thickness less than the acceptable wear thickness, this measurement is cast into the rotor center. And do have the rotors turned.....Jimmy
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    What you're saying is unacceptable to a mechanic. The brake replacement was probably unwarranted. The PT front brake pads have a "cleft" in the center that dealerships use as a standard measure of wear, but the pad maker, and any properly trained mechanic considers the "squeeker clip"(properly called the "wear indicator") the proper wear marker. The wear indicator is a sheet metal tab that scrapes the rotor (and causes a squeeking noise) when the pad is worn to a thickness close to the rivots, or if glued, close to the pad backing. If you explain this to the dealer mechanics, they'll say you'll run the risk of rotor damage from the pad rivots, but the pad material isn't rivoted, it's "glued" to the metal. Most pads should last anywhere around 30,000-50,000 or more miles depending on the driver, and driving conditions....But keep in mind to have the rotors checked when the brakes are worn. If the dealer mechanic says that the rotors are worn, you have the right to have the mechanic show you, with a micrometer, that the rotors are worn to a thickness less than the acceptable wear thickness, this measurement is cast into the rotor center. And do have the rotors turned.

    Second, you've had your "emergency brakes" changed 4 times?It's impossible that they could be worn even once within the period of front pad wear. The emergency brakes are the rear brakes, and almost all braking systems are 65/35 systems, meaning that the braking power is 65% front-35% rear. Braking systems are made this way because momentum and steering are foreward, otherwise cars could spin out upon braking, even worse in rain or snow....Do you drive with the emergency brake on? That's the only reason to replace them early or have them adjusted even once within the front pad life.
  • pj2067pj2067 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Limited PT Cruiser and have had a problem with squealing brakes ever since I bought it with 13,000 miles.I had ythe brakes done when I first noticed it and it was fine for about 2 weeks the it began squealing again.I took it back to where I had brakes done and they cleaned both front and rear and it was fine for about 2 weeks then it began again.I then took it to the dealer and spent the money to have them do the brakes and they were fine again for about a month and then the squealing returned.The car has been garage kept and maintained well so this is very frustrating.I now have 53,000 miles and still deal with the constant groaning and squealing.Any ideas on how I can stop this once and for all as I really am trying not to dislike my PT but I am getting really annoyed.
  • I have a 2001 PT Cruiser and the brakes started squealing soon after I bought it. I paid the dealer twice to check the brakes and they said they were fine. They finally gave me the number for DaimlerChrysler and I called them and was told that all brakes will squeal after a while since the government has outlawed using asbestos in brakes. I don't know if I believe that, but that is what I was told.
  • lisaleelisalee Posts: 1
    My PT cruiser started making a wretched squeaking noise shortly after I bought it. I've taken it 3 times to the dealer and each time, they said they were dirty, cleaned them and they were ok for about a month. I'm so tired of it and the noise is unbearable. I'm going to contact the dealer to see if there's anything they can do, but I doubt I will ever buy a Chrysler again after this experience.
  • My car is a brand new 2006 base model I bought this November. At 1,000 miles, I started hearing the sqeeking noise and thought it was the jeep next to me. I then noticed while pulling up to my parking lot at work, it was my car.

    So I took it to the dealer, amongst other problems I am having, and they checked them out. Nothing was wrong they said. Just dirt most likely the cause. 2 days later, they're sqeeking again.....

    I think I'm going to have to trade this car in, in a few months for something else. I do love the car as far as looks and the interior go, but I can't afford to have a car with problems brand new.
  • I have the brake problem also. I told them it's a shame you pay $16,000 (PT Cruiser Limited 2004)for a used car and it squeaks, no not squeaks but it's more like a grinding noise and it's embarrassing. I also had problem when I was coming to a stop that the car felt more like an airplane taking off or landing on a runway, vibrating. It turned out after I took it back several times that the roaters were warped. Finally got that one fixed. They still insist that it's because the brakes get dust in them and that's why they squeak, my son is a Master Mechanic for Classic Toyota and he said that's bull. ;)
  • fred0149fred0149 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 ptCruiser, and I have the same problem. I generally get the locks opening and closing, when it's cold outside. If I turn, speed up,and sometimes, just driving,and you start hearing the locks, locking and unlocking. The dome light comes on, and sometimes it's constant. I don't think it's a broken lock, but I have no idea what it is.
  • I have a similar problem on a 2000 Dodge Neon. The rotors had warped only with 2500 miles on it. The dealershiped turned them and replaced the pads and I had not really had any issues since.

    Had the dealership checked the brake calipers. Any grinding sound or feel could mean the ABS is engaging for some reason? It is rare for that to happen but it is electronically controlled so it could also be electrical or an on board computer issue? Just some suggestions or ideas to throw out there.

    Another suggestion maybe to upgrade in the brakes. Meaning, purchase a higher quality rotor and calipers with excellent quality pads. I know The Tire Rack sells Brembo rotors and calipers, you may want to check and see if they have a set that fits your PT Cruiser. You will pay more than you would at Autozone or a Advanced Auto, but it still should be cheaper or about the same if you bought Factory stuff, but it would definitely be of a much higher quality. Good luck on your PT.
  • a1ca1c Posts: 1
    I've encountered all the brake problems mentioned here. I have an '02 Limited Edition.

    So far, I've had a bad caliper.. which required new calipers and new pads...

    Also, for the squeaking... for most of the car's life, the rear brakes had a HORRIBLE squeal.. it was a wretched sound. Chrysler mechanics are morons. They consistantly wanted to clean and adjust.. clean and adjust and it never solved the problem. Finally, a random mechanic suggested having the shoes resurfaced. So, instead, I had them replace them. So, the squealing is now gone, but they still squeak when they're cold.

    I've spent close to 1500 bucks on brakes since we got the car in 2003. And I'm so sure that chrysler was dodging the real problem when it was under warranty.

    Now, there's a strange grinding sound on the front brakes... I just had, a couple of months ago, new calipers... new pads.. and a resurface, and now they're grinding...

    It never ends :mad:
  • kpepperkpepper Posts: 2
    Hello everyone, I have a question...

    Can anyone tell me why does my dash "break light" turns on, and a single ding sound can be hear when I accelerate.

    Most common when I leave a dead stop traffic light... or when the car down shifts on a hill climb.

    thank you.

    Kitty.
  • kpepperkpepper Posts: 2
    Well I solved my problem... as the break pads wear down, the break fluids levels drop... if it goes too low, you will get a break light.

    thought you might like to know.

    Kitty.
  • Sounds as tho we Americans are being made to swallow bull about the cars we purchase. I bought an '07 in July '07, just 1650 miles on it as of today. I am going to fight until I get some type of result, either my money back or another car. There is not an equal car of value to swap for, so guess I will have to write "lemon" on my bright silver PT. I was told the KIA brand car I traded in, is low on the food chain of cars, but I did not have a problem with it, silly me for trading for a Chrysler made product. We all should write Chrysler, e mail or other mail, band together and demand results.
  • I have read several people had or still has the same problem with their rear brakes grinding. I have taken my car to 4 different mechanics and they all say my brakes- pads, rotors and drums - are fine. The grinding is driving me crazy and it seems that it is just NOT normal for a car to make that kind of noise without causing some kind of damage. Has anyone found a solution?
  • after getting the same chrysler dealership that i worked for! i finally upgraded my wifes 2001 PT limited breaks to the thermal ceramics. no more squeals so far, and going on 12,000 miles.
  • just noticed mine grinding a few days ago. dealership said they were dirty. huh, whatever. still grinding. i replaced the front brakes with thermal ceramic brake pads and they are working great. if you get an answer please tell me.
  • :confuse: 2 issues-I took my car in because I was getting a creaking sound when steering-only sharp turns like backing or parking, I was told it is the struts. I was also told my right front caliper is sticking even though I didn't have an issue with the brakes. They do make kind of a squeaky grindy noise. I had my car looked at in late Nov. for that. I was told the pads are good, just dirty and that they flushed the brakes. Well, I took it is for an oil change-different place-and they commented on the dirty brake fluid! No one else mentioned the caliper.
    Issue 2-I was told I needed a new thermostat, radiator hose and flush. Okay, the hose and flush I can understand. They wanted to charge me almost $600 dollars for this because they said it is hard to get to the thermostat. Is this true???
    All in all I was told I had $3000 worth of repairs I should get done. I had no troubles with this car until now. For the money I may as well trade it in.
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