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Chrysler PT Cruiser Owners: Problems & Solutions



  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I won't say it's common but it's not unheard of either. Both my wifes car and my car certainly are within specs for oil use and it doesn't appear to be leaked out.
  • music287music287 Posts: 116 attach the inexpensive higher note horn? If I had that bolt the addition would take 10 minutes because the wiring and bracket is already in the one note horned PT LE I drive.
    Anyone know how to find out what bolt is used? It has a hex head and is threaded into the car frame. There is no access for a nut, btw.

  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The bolt is a self tapping 6mm X 20mm with 1.0 thread. What other installers have done if they can't find the self tapping bolt is to purchase a regular bolt. They remove the self tapping bolt that holds in the present horn and replace it with the conventional bolt. They then use the self tapping bolt from the first horn to mount the second horn.
  • svince99svince99 Posts: 1
    I only noticed one post about squealing brakes. I am considering buying a 2002 Cruiser. I have had 2 Chryslers in the past with brakes that squealed and a friend of mine has had the same problem. Is this a problem with most PT Cruisers?
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    Mine don't squeal or make any other noise I can hear. Have not heard any noise from my neighbor's in three years either.
  • We have a loaded 2001 PT with just under 10K miles on it. It is our 2nd car & quite often it isn't driven for 2 weeks or more. This year it died 3 times. We recharge it and took it to the dealer. He says if we are not going to drive it in a 2 week or more period we should disconnect a fuse. This would mean re setting everything when we re-connect. We thought this was a ridiculous answer to our problem so we called the factory & they said the same thing. Would like to know if anyone else has this problem. Sounds Mickey Mouse to me and poor designing. We love the car otherwise.
  • One would think a battery would last more than two weeks when the car is parked. Did the dealer check to see how big the current draw is when the car is parked for a long period? There should be some data on what is normal. If two weeks is the max there would be a lot of cars on dealer lots with dead batteries.

    If there is nothing wrong (no excess electric draw), your battery may be weak. You might also consider installing a more powerful battery.
  • My 2002 PT has always had a very bad (BO) smell from the air conditioning when first turned on but goes away after driving. What could be causing this? Anyone else experienced it. The dealer could give no explanation except to spray the vents with Lysol. Otherwise fine except for lousy gas mileage and brake dust.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    mold in the ductwork. It is a common problem with A/C units, not just Chrysler and the only solution is to spray a disinfectant into the ductwork.

    I have heard a number of people that claim that if just before you park, you turn off your A/C and run the blower for a couple of minutes, that helps cut down on the smells. Apparently it allows the ductwork to dry out so that mold can't form.
  • Lysol has worked for me. Make sure the Heater-A/C fan is running (A/C off) and the air intake control is selected to outside air. Spray the Lysol directly into the air intake, located behind the window washer tank. Creekhn is correct that this is a common problem in A/C systems. Also make sure the drain is open and water can flow freely through the drain.

    Sometimes where you park can cause water to collect in the evaporator case. If the drain is not the lowest point, when parked, water stays in the case and becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew. For example, if the drain is near the back of the case and you park with the car pointed down hill, some water will remain in the case.

    Brake dust? My wheels used to be chrome color. Takes a day for them to be covered in brake dust. I'd change my brake pads except the factory ones stop well and will probably last 100,000 miles.

    I didn't mind the mpg until gasoline prices went above $2 per gallon. At $2.30 per gallon now common around here mpg will be a major consideration on my next car.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My PT has chrome wheels, and I noticed the brake dust on the front is pretty heavy in normal driving. I bought this wheel cleaner from Pep Boys that's meant to be sprayed on and rinsed off. I used it last weekend after not cleaning the wheels in a month/2000 miles, and they came clean with just spraying wheels with water after the application of the cleaner. The bottle was $6 or so from Pep Boys.
  • Hi we were thinking about buying a pt but I was wondering if you have to haul something like a tv or something bulky how long does it take to remove the seats and how hard is it. Right now we have a base p\u and with a baby there isn't a 3rd seat so we thought this vehicle might work if you could fit stuff in it pretty easy. Would appreciate any comments. Thanks
  • Easy and fast. Suggest going to a dealer and trying it. Consider getting the bumper scuff plate ($20 or so) if you plan on putting large items in back. I've found that most of the time just folding the seats flat is enough.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The PT modular seating system allows you a number of options. The two rear seats remove completely. They are heavy but one person can do it. They also fold flat and if the parcel tray is positioned correctly it will give you a flat floor to the back. They also flip forward against the front seats giving you a deeper flat floor. You also have the option of doing either the 60 or 40 % seat, leaving a single back seat.

    I got a 27" television this Spring, I had my two sons with me at the time. I had my one son up front (he was big enough) and the other son in his booster seat on the 40% portion of the seat, with the 60% portion flipped forward. The Television slipped neatly into place.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The rear seats can fold flat, tumble (and there are 'clips' to hold them in place!), or can be removed completely (took me 5mins. to remove the seats, and they aren't heavy either) for your hauling needs. Even in the cargo area, I have had no problem fitting about $200 in groceries with the rear seats in use and not folded.

    The parcel shelf is very handy as well for tailgate parties. There is also a power outlet back there for pluging in a portable radio or something of that nature.

    Just the other night, I had myself, my best friend, her 2 toddlers, and her niece (who is 10) in the car and everyone had enough space to be totally comfortable. I am totally thrilled, as my last car was an 02 VW Jetta which had no room in the back seat when I was sitting comfortably in the driver's seat.
    After owning this car since July 9 and for 6500 miles, I can honestly say it's the most versatile, accommodating vehicle I have ever had (out of 7 cars, from a Cavalier all the way to a Bonneville).
  • $200 in groceries? Is that three or four bags? Kidding aside, we fit more than a dozen plastic bags on the floor and another ten or so on the package shelf so we don't have to put bags one on top of another.

    We have found that the Cruiser is longer and taller inside than our MDX and as a result has carried items that didn't fit in the larger car.

    My old 1984 Toyota Van was only about 6 inches longer and about the same width as the Cruiser, but it easily sat seven real adults and took their luggage at the same time. It also held 4x8 sheets of plywood without removing the seats. That was my most versatile vehicle. It got better mpg than my Cruiser and turned on a dime by comparison. The Cruiser is a lot more fun to drive.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    my thoughts exactly

    $200 worth of groceries is only a couple of bags, nowadays.

    That said, as a result of Isabel, I have had to make a few dump runs in the past week or so. Between carrying branches or spoiled food or the waste from a closet we cleaned out (not Isabel related), the car has swallowed everything we put into it.
  • We just picked up a used Ltd Edition (no turbo) with 14K miles on it a couple weeks ago. AFter two weeks of carefree driving, the other day when it was raining and very damp, we noticed that the car was running a bit rough when we were stopped at a light. We tanked up and also had a clearing of weather and the car is running fine again. Not quite sure what to make of it yet. It could've been a bad tank of gas or maybe the weather, but weather should not be causing a relatively new car any grief. Waiting for some more rain to see what happens.
    Anyone out there have a similar problem perhaps?
    Solution maybe?

  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Previous years of the PT Cruiser have been plagued by a problem with rough idle. I'm not sure whether it carried over to the 2003. If you have only 14,000 miles on it, it should be under warranty, you should take it to the dealer for service.

    If you search the various internet discussions you should find discussions of the rough idle problem. I believe a number of the complaints have been cured by the replacement of the plugs, spark plug wires or both. The fact that it happened in damp weather would make me suspect the plug wires.
  • I have a 2001 pt le.It has started leaking transmisson fluid, not all the time, about a drop or two every day or so.I think it is the pan gasket but there is no gasket from the factory. is there a after market one ? it has 54000 trouble miles on it till this started. any info would help.
  • I have 54000 trouble free miles on this car
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    My Steelblue 2002 celebrates it's second birthday tomorrow. It already has over 30K miles on it.
  • FYI this applies to PT's too.

    Two weeks ago I took my 1999 300m into Discount Tire to have the wheels balanced and rotated and I learned a tidbit of information about our cars that I would like to pass on.

    Discount removed all the wheel weights and balanced my wheels the first time with tape weights.

    The tape weights did not balance very well so I took it back and asked them to use clip on weights and a dynamic balance which they did.

    My wife was driving the car on the freeway and told me she would hear a loud THUNK and the car would start vibrating which was the wheel weights flying off the rims.

    I took it back two more times to two Discount's with the same results.

    So I did a little research and found TSB 22-01-98 which discusses the proper wheel weights for our cars and called Discount to see if they had these weights, which they did not.

    BTW, The proper wheel weights for the 17" rims is called an LHS weight, it is used on LHS, 300M, Town & Country, PT Cruiser...

    So I called NTB, no weights, and then called a tire equipment wholesaler in town which told me to go to Sams Club.

    Believe it our not my Sams Club has a wonderful assortment of wheel weights for many cars and had the correct LHS weights for the 300m.

    You of course could take your car to the dealer for balancing but Sams is probably cheaper.

    Now my wife is happy and the car drives smooth again.


  • Thanks for the info. My Cruiser has a combination of weight types from the factory. The inside of the wheel has clip on weights and the outside has stick on (there is no lip for clip on weights on the chrome outside surface of the wheel).

    The problem on the Cruiser GT with standard wheels is that the outside stick on weights are mounted very close to the center-line of the wheel. Even though there is no wheel balance like vibrations felt, I wonder if the lack of weights on the outer part of the rim is the reason my standard Goodyear RSA tires are cupped on the outer edge.
  • Costco also has the LHS weights.
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  • Can anyone help me get my radio to work again without the dealer removing it and sending it off to never never land.
    After having a totally drained battery (lights on on a cold snowy morning), the battery was recharged (not jumped) and everything works but the radio/cd/tape player. The 3 equalized lights flash but nothing else. The cd changer has normal power. I tried disconnecting the battery, pulling and replacing fuses, etc. Nothing works. Help is appreciated.
    Thanks email respones appreciated to
  • First, it has no power. Little old lady's were zipping by me on the freeway. Then, both the front and back brakes wore out before the car had 20k miles. 3 months after the warranty was up, at 38k miles, all the brake lights failed & had to be re-wired,& the center brake light housing was burnt out and needed to be replaced. The windshield washer pump to the rear window also failed around that time, it had been previously replaced once already. The transmission developed a slow leak. Then around 40k miles, the power steering pump failed. The mechanic told me that it was the hardest car he ever worked on because the engine compartment is so crammed. The dealer tried to overcharge me & they were extremly rude.I sold it the next day.
  • Sorry to hear you have had problems with your PT, they are usually very reliable. Every manufacturer makes lemons from time to time. DC is not exempt. I've had lemons from GM, Ford, Mazda and Volvo before they became Ford, and Jaguar. I have a friend with a Mercedes lemon and I spent 16 years hearing lemon law cases from these and other manufactures.

    A few notes: The brakes on my 2003 look like they will out last the car. Hardly any wear in 15K mostly local driving. The rear washer uses the same pump as the front washer and it is easy to get at. Many vehicles today have tight engine compartments. My PT is easier to work on than the Jag it replaced or the Toyota that I sold a few months before that.
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