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Chrysler PT Cruiser (2005 and earlier)



  • 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: 4,600
    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.
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    We purchased an '03 PT new. 5 spd, base model and it is black. We have close to 60,000 miles on it and it has been an excellent and versatile vehicle.
    We have had a bit of trouble with the paint in the front. We had it part of the front repainted (warranty). However, my wife drives it to work daily and her path (except in the dead of winter) has a high concentration of bugs. One would have to clean it twice a day at least to keep the bugs from becoming an integral part of the paint job.

    Other than that, she gets a bit over 30 mpg and it is still tight and quiet even though the roads she travels (120 miles round trip) daily are backroads and notably rough.
  • My 2003 PT is red and doesn't have any damage to the paint at all. Chysler charges about $120 extra for red probably becuase they use an extra clear coat on top to give it the pearl coat, I'm guessing. It's too bad they don't just add another clear coat to all the paint colors.
  • I have a 2003 GT Turbo edition. I love my car and have enjoyed it for the past two years with no major problems. Until my air conditioner went out September 18 and I live in Illinois and we were still having temperatures in the 90's and was stuck in construction traffic with no air. They installed a new compressor and then told me they were going to have to install new hose lines. The problem with that was the hoses are on recall and now they don't know when they are going to get the hoses to install. Yes they have given me a loaner car but it's not my car and like I told the mechanic if you have given me a Chrysler 300 to drive around in you probably would never hear from me. First it was a Neon and now they've given me a Dodge Stratus. I'm really upset and I want my car back and running good.
  • mrzipmrzip Posts: 1
    When I bought my 2004 PT it was summer and never thought about winter. I have a turbo charged high output model. Last week we had 8 inches of snow and ice and I was had nothing else to drive but the PT. I was pleasantly surprised and had no trouble going where I wanted. I realize with the low front end I could not push snow but with the four wheel traction I had no trouble at all. My wifes 2005 PT has studded snow tires on it but I feel very confortable with out them.
  • I live in the uk ,i have a 2002 2liter pt. I am thinking of fitting a induction kit,has someone fitted one and are they any good?
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    induction, yes. It is easy and it breaths easier. But you need an exhaust system to make it work like it should. If it breaths easier it needs to exhaust easier as well.

    Like some others here I have decided to move to better plugs and like many have installed Platinum plugs. I just got back from a road trip to Texas from California and back and got a low of 25 mpg in a head wind and holding to 80 mph to a high of 35 mpg on the flat with no head wind and 75 mph.

    I got my PT in 2002 and still love it. Take out the back seats and you can load a lot more into the car than I could in my old Cherokee. I have 17 inch rims and have lowered it by 2 inches in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear so it rides flat.
  • Were is the battery at in a 2001 PT I need to replace it, I see were I jump it off but is that also were the battery is?
    I was told it is under the left fender
  • illini4illini4 Posts: 140
    Under the air filter box.
  • I am seriously considering buying a PT Cruiser convertible. I really like the new style and think the convertible style is so awesome! The only thing that concerns me is the engine. The engine seems to be kinda small for such a large vehicle. I don't want a huge car with a small get up and go. I have drove a Sebring before and was very disappointed at the engine size in that large car. Can someone tell me if the engine suits the car?
  • carlahcarlah Posts: 1
    JUST bought PT Cruiser and I'm having a whole host of ELECTICAL problems.

    I've had it for only a week and 2 days.

    I gave it back to the dealer after CLOCK WOULDN'T KEEP TIME
    and I COULDN'T SHUT OFF THE HEADLIGHTS. the keys where out of the ignition and the dumby bell was sounding when I opened the door. I finally got it to go off when I put the key back into the ignition and turned slightly.

    then I tried to open back door and THE REAL TAIL LIGHT FLASHED


    My car salesman told me they found a loose wire connected to the fuse box and they fixed it.

    When I picked it up tonight, the service dept. told me that it still had the "fuse"? that the floor models have in them and that they where supposed to take that out when they sold me the car and switch it out.

    Then on my way home in the dark I was listening to the sterio when it felt cold and noisey. I turned on the dome light to find that THE PASSENGER REAR WINDOW HAD ROLLED ITSELF DOWN!!! i COULDN'T GET IT TO GO BACK UP.

    After parking it and putting the key back in the ignition a few times, I was able to roll the window up using the rear seat window things.

    I feel at this time that I want to return this "lemon" and get a car that isn't a Chrysler product.

    I had a Dodge Shadow 92 that also had electrical issues that where never resolved.
  • illini4illini4 Posts: 140
    Sounds like a bad body control module.
  • My Mom bought a 2001 PT Cruiser new. It's got a whopping 2200 miles on it since.(82 years young!) I've not gotten great gas mileage when I've driven it to keep everything working right. I did 40 miles and used 1/4 tank. Shouldn't I do better than that? Or is it because we haven't broken it in yet? Suggestions?
  • can you really improve the gag miles by putting platinum tip ones in? what is your gas on 2005 or 2006?
  • thinking about buying a 2006 pt are they still having problems with the oil leaks ?any other major problems with the 2006 or 2005 ?
  • PT Cruisers are not noted for getting good mpg. You can't go by what fuel gauge says, You must check based on actual miles vs. amount of fuel used, as shown at the pump. Depending on how the car is driven, mpg on a 2001 automatic will usually vary between 15 and 30. With so few miles per year, mpg should not matter from a cost point of view.

    Our 03 averages only 18 mpg, but I have seen as much as 27 on a long freeway drive.
  • In a word, no. However, the standard plug gaps tend to widen quickly and regapping may increase mpg slightly. I changed to platinum plugs so I wouldn't have to change them again. The OE plug gaps had increased significantly (over 20%) in 24,000 miles of use.

    Yes, I have seen a small increase in mpg (about 1 mpg) and the engine idles a little better too. It also seems to start more quickly. All of these observations would probably be the same with new standard plugs too.

    Because I also put new tires on about the same time as the plug change, the increase in mpg could be due to the new tires. The new tires are far superior to the OE tires with a better ride, less noise, better wet handling, and a higher tread wear rating.
  • Hello all,

    I'm a PT newbie--we just bought a 2003 PT Cruiser Classic and we love it. However, because it's the base version, it doesn't have power door locks. Does anyone have a recommendation for aftermarket keyless remote system installers? I live in the L.A. area (Redondo Beach for you L.A.ers). Any help you can give will be sincerely appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

  • I have a 2005 Cruiser currently at 18,000 miles. I get 24 mpg running the A/C and 29 mpg without. Mileage goes down when you let the air cleaner go more than 6,000 to 10,000 miles, also I use a good fuel injection cleaner every 15,000, both fixes have brought the mileage back up to 24/29. The replacement OEM air filters are $15 a pop, either at the dealer or NAPA. Please make sure it fits. After market OEM filters from Discount Auto Parts/Advance Auto Parts for all years are a half inch short on the width..... Currently I have on back order an Airforce One intake/airfilter which can be cleaned over many times and it supposedly increases 8 to 18 hp.(I should get in two weeks) AirForce One cannot keep up with the PT Crusier demand for these intake/filters.... I will let you know how it works out.
  • rtimacrtimac Posts: 4
    This is kind of an old post, but if you're still here then my opinion is to go for the Cruiser convertible, but get one of the turbos avaialable. The turbo "lite" gives 180 horsepower and does a nice job of zipping you around town. The turbo "High Output" is available on the GT models and has 240 horsepower. This is like a little race car! The downside is the high output turbo needs premium fuel.

    Go for it and have fun. The convertibles are a blast!
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