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Chrysler PT Cruiser Owners: Problems & Solutions

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  • My 2003 PT is manual and the brakes still have a lot of life. My PT hasn't had any problems whatsoever. My Mazda Tribute(Ford Escape) had to get new brakes and rotors at 20,000 miles and it's an automatic, so that's part of the problem. I was shocked when they told me it needed brakes. Rotars are built soft these days for better braking. You get a shorter stopping distance, but have to pay for replacements more often.
  • I have now a another problem with my 2005 Pt same thing as yours. I have replaced the brakes 2 times, and replaced the rotors and calipers. The bearings have now gone out 2 times and I now need new hubs, the only problem is they are on back order. The dealership can not get them for 2 weeks, over 2500 are on back order with the same problem, I asked if there was a recall and was told no, I too have have 2 sets of tires the first set was the set it was sold with the goodyear and the metal came thru. Repleaced them and I am now on new tires again. I am told that I might need a new axel, I have never had to replace so many parts in such a short time, and never an axel. So what do I do now? I need my car, its the only one i have and have to get work, but was told the car is not safe to drive since the hub and bearings are really bad the axel will break. anyone have any ideas????
  • thekingtheking Posts: 107
    How much mileage do you have??? Has service dept. documented all your problems ???? Has a Chrysler rep come in??? Have you talked to the owner of the dealership??? I was planning on buying a new Route 66 edition..not now........Have you talked to a lawyer???? You should also DEMAND a car to use at no cost to you....You have to stand up for your rights!!!!!! :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • I have a 2004 pt crusier limited in 4 times for oil leaks,first time oil preasure sending unit,ha ha I knew better,second time they cleaned it off and put die in.Third time I got mad and showed them the head gasket leaking.now they retorqued the head with the old gasket whitch is wrong I think. there is problems from mid 2004 to early 2005 that I know of. It's a nice car if they would just fess up and fix it.there is a lot of them out there leaking you just don't know about them.good luck! mike.
  • taw1taw1 Posts: 1
    The grease monkies at the local lube shop managed to strip the threads in the aluminum oil pan. Has anyone been successful in tapping the hole to the next size up? Does anyone know what the thread specs are for the oil plug - I seem to have misplaced it. All ideas are welcome since I have been driving around for a few months with something they called a 'butterfly' plug.
    Thanks for any input,
    Terry
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Why are you changing oil at 7,000 miles? the service contract calls for 3,000mi/3months...you're doing your car a great disservice.
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Actually rear drum and ABS do work. your PT is ABS equipped, even the chevy HHR is ABS with rear drum. All ABS is is a system that in an pumping occilation removes braking power to keep them from locking up, and this can easily be done in disc/drum system.
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Have someone check the wiring to the O2 sensors. There might be a kink in the wiring, that will intermittently kill the sensors, giving the computer faulty air/fuel mixture readings, and cause this exact problem. It affects not just idle, but acceleration. What you described is exactly the problem my 2003 GT was having. Trust me, I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and the dealer still couldn't find the problem (my car spent 7 weeks in 3 months in the shop). I took it to another dealer and they found the problem only after their diagnostics found 2 faulty O2 sensors(what are the odds of that happening?).
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Have someone check the wiring to the O2 sensors. There might be a kink in the wiring, that will intermittently kill the sensors, giving the computer faulty air/fuel mixture readings, and cause this exact problem. It affects not just idle, but acceleration. What you described is exactly the problem my 2003 GT was having. Trust me, I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and the dealer still couldn't find the problem (my car spent 7 weeks in 3 months in the shop). I took it to another dealer and they found the problem only after their diagnostics found 2 faulty O2 sensors(what are the odds of that happening?).
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Have them check the vacuum return line. It may have been leaking, causing the origional problem, but when they recharged the system, the "new" higher pressure may have blown the hose within a short time, causing the quick relapse.
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Have someone check the wiring to the O2 sensors. There might be a kink in the wiring, that will intermittently kill the sensors, giving the computer faulty air/fuel mixture readings, and cause this exact problem. It affects not just idle, but acceleration. What you described is exactly the problem my 2003 GT was having. Trust me, I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and the dealer still couldn't find the problem (my car spent 7 weeks in 3 months in the shop). I took it to another dealer and they found the problem only after their diagnostics found 2 faulty O2 sensors(what are the odds of that happening?).
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Have someone check the wiring to the O2 sensors. There might be a kink in the wiring, that will intermittently kill the sensors, giving the computer faulty air/fuel mixture readings, and cause this exact problem. It affects not just idle, but acceleration. What you described is exactly the problem my 2003 GT was having. Trust me, I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and the dealer still couldn't find the problem (my car spent 7 weeks in 3 months in the shop). I took it to another dealer and they found the problem only after their diagnostics found 2 faulty O2 sensors(what are the odds of that happening?).
  • jlawyerjlawyer Posts: 12
    Use premium, or you'll notice engine knock. What many people don't understand is that you have a tiny high performance engine, and fuel octane really matters. Thirty years ago, only stock V-8's (not the muscle cars) were getting this horsepower, before smog laws, and now you're getting this kind of power from a smog restricted 4 cylinder. FUEL MATTERS!

    Higher mpg does happen, last summer my wife (a lead footer) followed me (in a slow motorhome) and she got 34 mpg, which was rare for our GT. On no other long trip did our PT do that good. but never before was constrained to the speeds of a motorhome.
  • geaunaegeaunae Posts: 1
    Wow! I got on the interstate this evening, with AC on and windows all closed. Got a couple miles down the road and heard an air noise, like one of the back windows was still open. I hit the buttons to close the windows, but nothing changed, so I looked back . . . just in time to see the little back window blow away. It's the little one behind the right side back seat window. I stopped to look at it - no evidence of anyone trying to break in there - no scratches or anything - it's just gone! Guess I'll have to put off my road trip and go to the dealer tomorrow.
  • minman55minman55 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 and it sounds like the same thing. You go to start it and nothin' honey. I had replaced my starter motor which it was recommended. After that it was fine for about a week and then it happened again. I was POed!! I did some surfing and found that in at least the 2002 models the battery cable harness was made by a different manufacturer. It corroded quicker and made it hard for the juice to flow from the battery to the starter. Once I have replace this cable ($100 part) the problem has resolved it self.
  • lcmaclcmac Posts: 3
    I have purchased a 2005 PT Cruiser with 13,279 miles. I have 2 1/2 weeks and, as we speak, am waiting for the dealer to call me to tell me that my car is ready as they are in the process of replacing the head gasket ?!?!?! I have always wanted a Cruiser as I like the Deco styling BUT did I make the right decision? Please if someone could tell me what I am in for it would be greatly appreciated. Belive it or not I traded in my 1998 Plymouth Breeze with 125,000 miles and the only reason I traded it in was because it was JUST starting to leak a bit of oil. Please advise ! :cry:
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    According to Consumer Reports, the most reliable independent survey, PT Cruisers have been very reliable. Sounds like a one-off problem in your vehicle (or perhaps a few before it and behind it on the assembly line). So your PT should be VERY reliable long term. That having been said, I would negotiate with Chrysler to extend the warranty on the head gasket issue to 6 years/70,000 miles (which is in line with the free extended warranty on the power train they used to give out; since you will only be asking for an extension on the head gasket, hopefully they will agree). Otherwise shop on the internet for the cheapest extended power train only warranty you can find, from a Chrysler dealer online, from Chrysler (not a third party company).
  • lcmaclcmac Posts: 3
    Thank you for your prompt response. I actually have the extended warranty but don't want this to be an on going thing! Thanks again and have a great day.

    Laraine :)
  • lbenhamlbenham Posts: 1
    Hi,
    My window has not blowing out but it is about ready to fall out. The glue holding it in place is not doing its job. Mine wasn't the right but the left rear window. Same thing as you, there was no evidence of a break in. Out of curiosity where did you get your car. I got mine in AZ.
  • interstateinterstate Posts: 3
    I purchased a 2005 Touring edition. About a week after I had the car I noticed a popping noise from the rear. The noise happens when I change direction and brake. Sometimes when going forward it will make the noise several times but eventually stops until I backup and then it makes the noise again. Car has 4200 miles on it and has been to the dealer 3 times for 6 days. The dealer and 5 star advisors can not find the problem. I would appreciate any input. :lemon:
  • peg3peg3 Posts: 1
    I am the original owner of a 2001 PT Cruiser Limited Edition that has 71,000 miles. In the past 18 months, I have gone through 6 or 7 bulbs in my right rear brake light, about 3 in the left rear, not to mention one cargo area light and one high mounted brake light. I have had the electrical system of the car checked out a couple of times and the mechanics cannot find any problems with it. Has anyone in this forum had similar problems like this?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    This is off topic, but Walmart will replace these bulbs with no installation charge if you buy the replacements at their usual discounted price. Just in case you are paying a lot at the dealer for replacements.
  • engraphicengraphic Posts: 4
    I recently replaced the spark plugs (exact replacements) on our 2001 limited, 33,000 miles, and afterward noticed a throaty sound when accelerating heavy on the gas pedal. I didn't notice any loss of power because it never had much in the first place. My wife, however, thinks there is a decrease. She is the primary driver of the car but I think she noticed it on an incline with the A/C on.

    Any thoughts??
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I would replace the brake switch, which could have a short in it, causing excessive current draw. You can also use dielectric grease in the bulb sockets, which helps prevent burnouts.
  • I have a 2001 Limited Edition PT Cruiser. First of all the automatic locking system kept engaging every few minutes even though the doors were locked. Then, it started beeping when driving down the road of when parked (the sound it makes when you lock the doors with the keyless entry). Now, at random times the alarm with go off and I am not able to shut it off. When I have any of the above problems, the remote keyless entry and the locking mechanism on the front doors won't work and so there is no way to stop the honking or the alarm. I have called the dealer and Chrysler and they act like they have not heard of this problem. Has anyone else had this problem? And if so, what was the problem.
  • The sound is probably from the top of the air cleaner box not being sealed. The top has tabs on the side closest to the firewall. Kind of like tab A into Slot A. Either that or the air cleaner cold air tube is loose at the clamp at the MAF.
  • engraphicengraphic Posts: 4
    You were right, schreiner23. The simple oversight of the air cleaner housing tabs not being inserted properly was the reason. Adjustment was made and now it's fine.

    Thanks for your response.
  • berner2berner2 Posts: 2
    This is unbelievable - I just had my oil changed and the guys at the shop (Wal-mart) I take it too told me the same thing. Actually to be honest for the last 3 changes before this one - they've mentioned this and have been able to fix it - not sure what they did until I came back in but on this visit they said they could no longer do a quick fix and told me that I would have to go to a mechanic who does more than oil changes and have this fixed. They said I should look into seeing if it can be re-threaded if that makes sense as opposed to getting a whole new oil pan. I would love to know if there are others out there who have had this problem.

    The mechanic said that they have had numerous complaints on Chrysler cars with this exact same problem and that is why they are starting to refuse working on them so they are not liable - I guess.

    I too could use some insight.
    Debbie
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Tell us who has been doing your oil changes. Was it stripped before Walmart got it? Stripping threads on drains plugs is due to overtightening by aggressive mechanics. It's not a PT Cruiser problem (although in my opinion it IS an industry problem - the pans should have a steel thread insert, the BOLTS should be aluminum, but currently it's the other way around, with steel bolts that easily strip out aluminum oil pans.

    The oil changer that stripped your pan should pay for the replacement. If you change shops regularly, that can be hard to prove. If Walmart did all your changes, take in your receipts, talk to the manager, and they should, with little prodding, replace your oil pan for you. Or at least rethread the pan.
  • berner2berner2 Posts: 2
    Actually with the exception of going to Goodyear twice since I've had my car - 2 1/2 years now - Walmart has been the only ones doing the oil changes so I may have an issue with them if your thoughts are that it is the fault of the mechanic over tightening. As for rethreading the pan maybe that is the route I should look at. I see from a PT mag I get that there is an Oil Drain Valve - once I get the pan rethreaded do you think this is something that would help alleviate any future problems? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.
This discussion has been closed.