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Chrysler PT Cruiser Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • Thanks for the replies to this inquiry. I will check them out today and see if they are in there. I figured they were something like the removal of the cover on a 2 barrel carb of the past, what a cool throaty sound THAT
    Later on,
    Bill :D
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    I have a 2006 pt marine blue Touring with auto trans. I bought the k&N air filter. Today, I reset the trip calculator. While it does show the previous amg at first, it does reset it. Going 15 miles on the highway, It got up to 30.5 mpg. On the way home, it showed 28 mpg.
  • Do you say that the 30.5 was before the K&N? I have been thinking about trying anything to up the mpg, but if your experience is an example of what a K&N does, maybe that is not the choice.
    Keep us posted please of your further results.
    Willie D
    2002 PT Limited
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    When I first got the car used with 16,000 on it, a couple of times going to the same location. I got the same results.The car does for me average in the high 20's. I can not understand how people claim to get such low mpg's. The car is not a sedan, it is classified as a suv or wagon. So, the mpg will not be as good as a sedan. One thing that people need to understand about the trip calculator. Is that since it shows the average since it was reset. Is that the actual amg on the highway is higher than what it shows. I can tell that the K&N filter does help.
  • robmanrobman Posts: 7
    I have a 2003 Touring 5-speed with 102k miles on the odometer...
    Although there is no trip computer on this model I do keep mileage records on both of my cars.
    This car has consistantly returned 26 MPG on mixed driving with no significant deviation year after year. I believe the 5-speed has a lot to do with my numbers but I set the cruise-control at 72 MPH on the highway (too noisy above that - LOL) and I drive around town in 4th gear.
    It remains fun to drive and has proven to be one of my all time favorite utility vehicles. My wife hates it, though...
  • Me and my wife currently have a 96 suburban which is really bad on gas im talking 13 to 14 in the city we are getting rid of it next month and are looking at an 03 pt cruiser, i see alot of people saying they are getting more gas mileage than the epa says it should and some are saying theres gets worse...i want a vehicle that gets at least 16 or 17 in the city and at least 20 on the highway would a p.t be good for us? we have a 1 year old so take that into account as well..we have sat in the one we want and love it..just want some opinions first..thanks. Nathan
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    From what I understand, no car gets what the EPA says. I have a 2006 touring with auto. The trip calculator says from 26-30 highway. I don't know about the 2003, But, what you mentioned should be no problem based on what I have, anyway.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    i want a vehicle that gets at least 16 or 17 in the city and at least 20 on the highway would a p.t be good for us?

    My wife drives an 03 Cruiser turbo. She gets around 19-20 mpg in stop-and-go traffic. I've gotten 26 on the highway. I would think that the non-turbo version would be even higher.

    BTW, she loves her Cruiser. It was a complete surprise Christmas present in 2002. :D
  • The mpg indicator on the dash "computer" just has to be connected with the amount of gas in the tank---When gas tank full says--18.6----when tank begins to empty the mpg calculator increases. Got it to read 30.1 just by leaving it get to near empty---car now has 23,000 on it---K&N cone filter--(standard air box removed )and installing a fuel cell with components- Wednesday going to have the " computer " connected to factory computerand tuned. I expect a minimum of 50% increase in mileage by using distilled water to make hydrogen gas. Will report on outcome.
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    I would be very interested in hearing about your attempts at the distilled water/hydrogen gas experiment. I know it works in small toys. Let us know how it works, and the potential cost factor. You may be on to something that will perturb the oil companies tho, so expect a buy out or pressure to stop your attempts.
    Good luck!!
    Willie D.

    2002 Limited w/73K full package except positioning...'cause I always know where I
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    I would be very interested in hearing about your attempts at the distilled water/hydrogen gas experiment.

    Especially since he just joined the forums today and that was his first post.

    On another forum here there were several new users who joined at the same and all promoted the water/hydrogen idea. That was last month and after some people challenged them to prove their results they suddenly vanished but not before posting a link to a certain website where we could purchase our own water/hydrogen kits. ;)
  • 2005 PT Cruiser, 4 Cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic 4-spd

    All city driving - 22 mpg

    Calculated by the (miles traveled per tank) divided by (gallons used to fill up) method.
  • yaya97yaya97 Posts: 1
    2001 PT, automatic

    All city driving very soft, non aggressive driving ( but a short 4 mile distance between work and home) : 13 MPG at best!!!!

    I have tried everything( over inflating the tires, coasting in neutral and tried once not going over 2200 rpm on a tank.....
    I have it maintained very often
    Its not made for short city drives. Period.

    I am going to try the K&N cone filter...
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    2006 touring with auto, traveled about 14 miles across town on the interstate. Got 29 miles average. Then, while I was waiting for the green light. The on dash computer went from 29 ampg down to less than 27. Traveled 3 miles on city streets. The ampg went to 23. Wether a person uses the on dash computer or the old fashion way of miles traveled and amount of fuel needed to fill the tank. It always shows worse than actual average mpg.It is affected by stopping at intersections, letting the car warm up, drive thrus at fast food restauarants, etc.The most accurate method is to reset the computer and as soon as you do that, get on the highway for as far as you can. The K@N filter helps. (And, don't speed!)
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    That seems really bad compared to others on the forum...even with an automatic. May want to do a "tune up" by changing out your O2 sensor, PCV valve and spark plugs as it appears you're burning way more gas than you should...
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    I din't know about that. 29 miles per gallon, most people are complaining about getting 13 -20 miles per gallon.
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    Did a little test on my '06 Limited 5-speed...seeing how much I could squeeze out of it in-town. 190 miles & 6.737 US gal for 28.2mpg (computer showed 25.8mpg for the tank).

    Lots of work though...light on the throttle and little to no brakes...lots of coasting when coming to stoplights. Makes me think enough to give you a headache...thinking I'll stick to the normal 24mpg. :P
  • colteaglecolteagle Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 PT Touring and I find it is hard to completely fill the gas tank everytime. Sometimes if you wiggle and shake the car and wait awhile you can get almost 3 more gallons in the tank. This means that from tank full to tank full your MPG goes up and down from 30 to 17. I think this is the reason people get such a wide range in reported gas millage.
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    Just traded my 2002 Limited for a 2003 GT Turbo today. I'll have to see how it does on MPG compared to the "old"
    Ref the tank filling question. the tanks are a very standard size, and the manual says to shut off the fuel as soon as the auto off clicks. I always round it up to even money. The factory has told us salesmen that people shouldn't overfill the tank as it can lead to run off when the gas heats in the tank during warmer days, and run it out the overflow tube on the fill line. That might affect mileage. They also warn that due to it being a pressurized system, it can splatter out if someone opens the gas cap shortly after it has been over filled, creating a highly dangerous explosive/fire condition. Sounds logical. However, even if you fill it completely, everytime, the variation cannot be much between fill ups. I don't think that would be the culprit to the wide variations in MPG. I would bet it wouldn't make a 1/2 MPG difference from one to the next time.
    I think there must be something else causing the vast differences. I know the cars are very sensitive to diffenrnces in driving styles, so accelerating harder over a part of one tank may affect mileage quite a bit.
    Who knows! I just know I love driving a cool little "hot rod"!
    Willie D :)
  • lil_fritalil_frita Posts: 1
    I inherited my 2002 PT from my stepfather last November, and I have to say it is as bad as an SUV or truck when it comes to mpg. I get at best 16 mpg. I've gotten as bad as 10! 10!! I spend most of my driving on the freeway, and there haven't been any problems before with the car. Is there anything anyone can suggest to make it a little bit better?

    Right now I'm looking into trading it in or selling it myself.
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    I don't know what is going on.Could it need a tuneup? My 2006 touring gets 20.5-21 city and 27-31 highway. I do not accelerate rapidly, etc. About filling up the tank past the auto shutoff. I saw on the news that it is harmful to the charcoal filter.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    Is there anything anyone can suggest to make it a little bit better?

    You didn't mention how many miles it has or what regular maintenance was done on it before you took possession. My wife's aunt seems to think that all a car ever needs is gas and maybe an oil change every few years.

    The previous suggestion of a tune-up is a good idea, if it hasn't had one lately or if you don't know the condition of the plugs, air filter, wires, etc. A can of a quality fuel injector cleaner in the tank might help (ask the auto parts guys). Pay attention to the recommended mixture ratio on the can and don't overdo it.

    There's also a simple and free solution you might try first. Disconnect the negative battery cable and leave it off for at least an hour or more. After you reattach it start the car and let it idle for 2-3 minutes while the computer relearns the idle. After that, drive at varying speeds for the first hour or so.

    The objective is to let the computer learn your driving habits and adjust accordingly. Your step-father may have driven it entirely differently for many years and now if you are driving mostly highway miles things could change by resetting the computer.
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    I only got about 22 mpg, but when I sold these they all seemed to get MUCH better than yours is! I would suggest a check and replacement of the spark plugs and wires. You might have a vacumn leak or an O2 sensor going bad as well. Could be any of, or all of those things. Check your tire pressure carefully and keep them near the max for best mileage too. The PT is sensitive to throttle application as well. If you drive them hard they drop down pretty severe in MPG.
    My new 2003 I wrote about earlier had plugs and wires put on it, and new rear tires, and the initial check indicates around 30 MPG!! Blew me away! I'll have a better picture for reporting on the actual MPG after a 600 Mile round trip I'll be taking on June 11th.
    Good luck, let us know if plugs and wires help.
    Willie Welch :) :shades: :lemon:
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    I've noticed that about the throttle applcation. Before, I got about 18-19 in the city.Now, I get in the 20-21 city miles.
  • sfabearsfabear Posts: 1
    I'm surprised at all the folks who have been getting below the EPA suggested mileage for the PT Cruiser. I purchased a new, Base Cruiser, about a month ago. Standard transmission, no A/C. I live in Northern Idaho and have put about 1300 miles on the car already. It is about 10 miles into the nearest town over rural roads with 6 to 7 stop signs/lights on the way. With about 10% of my driving on freeways, my overall average has been in excess of 30 MPG (checked using both the onboard computer and dividing gallons used into miles driven) for combined city and highway driving. I drive the speed limit and use the cruise control as much as possible. I am easy on the throttle during acceleration and try to anticipate stop signs by stopping without excess braking. The worst mileage I have gotten for a single trip was 25.5 MPG driving at 75 MPH on the Freeway into the wind. No wind freeway driving at 60 to 65 yields about 31 MPG. Don't know if I am just lucky, or if it is the way that I drive. All I know is that I am getting roughly the same overall mileage with this car as I did with the '99 Mazda 626 that I traded and having a lot more fun.

    Hope this helps and good luck with yours.
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    I think it's a combination on the Cruiser and the way you drive!
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    Well...time for an update about the 2003 Turbo GT Cruiser I traded for. I got an average of 23.8 MPG highway and city at speeds of 70-74MPH for 600 of 800+miles total. The best was almost 26 mpg, and the worst was right at 20.5, using the gallons into the miles recorded. This car does not have the mileage computer readout. I always topped the car to even money on fillups, but did not try to top it off full each time, as that isn't possible really. Baffles in the fuel cell and oxygen trapped there will cause some minor differnces in volumn, but not enough to make a single mpg, in my humble opinion. This was also in very hot weather with the A.C. on constantly, so...
    I feel that is about right for the Turbo and my style of driving which I would consider to be mildly aggressive. I like the Auto-stick tranny and the surge when the Turbo kicks in about 3000 RPM. The little beast gets up to 70 mph VERY quickly! I used to drag race a 1970 Dodge Challenger, all metal body, with a tuned/polished carb on a 440 C.I. Hemi. Slow out of the hole but strong at the end of the track, and this little beast appears to be turning similar 1/4 mile times based on feel. Maybe I will run it thru the local strip for a timed pass one of these Saturday evenings.
    I think the mileage is acceptable for me to keep this, and I LOVE to drive the little monster!

    2003 Inferno Red GT Turbo Cruiser, stock.
    Willie D. Welch
    aka camshot2
  • I own a 2006 cruiser with 8200 miles. I only get 13.2 in city and highway. Dealer says live with it. They do not get good gas milage. I told my daughter not to buy one since chrysler does not stand behind there product.This is my first and last Chrysler product.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    I own a 2006 cruiser with 8200 miles. I only get 13.2 in city and highway.

    Something definitely wrong there. My wife gets 19-20 mpg in her turbo Cruiser in the city and she drives herky-jerky as it is.

    Have you ever taken it on a long drive strictly on the highway? Even if it's a turbo you should see at least 26 mpg under those conditions.

    You might try some simple things like disconnecting the negative battery cable for an hour or longer to reset the computer. Maybe it will "relearn" with better fuel economy.

    If you've read through this thread you've seen that your mpg results are not typical.
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    My 2006 Touring with auto and a\c shows 29-30+ on the highway. In the city, about 20-21mpg. I don't hot rod it and I try to drive more conservatively. (No speeding to get on the highway,etc.
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