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Chrysler PT Cruiser Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • The car has had some minor problems since day one. It had 108 miles on it when I bought it for $26.000. It is a turbo with automatic,all power,sunroof. It is a pretty car but a headache. Plastic control box below drivers seat has broken twice and wires were dangling. Battery was replaced at 6000 miles.The mileage has always been bad. The dealer said they can not do anything until the check engine light comes on. I called main Chrysler customer control. I was told the car had not been broken in and would probably not get better until it had over 12,000 miles on it. I have friends that own PT Cruisers and they get decent miles per gallon. One friend went on a trip from California to his family home in New Mexico. He averaged 30 miles per gallon on the trip. I suspect I may have a lemon,but Chrysler would not admit it.
    :lemon: :lemon:
  • krfkrf Posts: 4
    i own a 2006 touring model and the best i have gotten in gas mileage is 28 hwy 23 city just came back from fla. and thats when i hit 28 mpg. the cruiser runs great i have 59000 miles on it keep synthetic oil in it and bring it in for tune ups :shades:
  • schas1schas1 Posts: 5
    Hi Explorer806,
    I am interested in your conversion to the water/hydrogen . I did get the work book, however I returned as the last two items said- best used with a caborated engine and 2 suggest that valves be changed to stainless steel as the the originals my rust.
    I didn't know why it wouldn't work for FI as the hydrogen was introduced into the air intake. The valves rusting I could understand as after the engine shuts down, the left over moisture may rust the valves over night.
    I have been using EthosFR and increased mileage by 20% on average! If you want info on this product go to my web site- .
    Let me know how you make out with the conversion.
    Great Luck!!!
  • schas1schas1 Posts: 5
    Hey yaya97,
    I have a 2001 Cruiser, was getting 18-19mpg, did all the things to increase mileage- changed plugs, air filter, air in the tires, oil and filter got me to 20-21 mpg. Recently I have been using EthosFR- this product works- increased my mpg by about 20%, I get average 25 mpg couple of times got 28-29!!
    If you want more info go to my web site
    I love the my Cruiser- now with the increased gas mileage I can keep it.
    Best to ya,
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    Recently I have been using xxxxxx this product works- increased my mpg by about 20%,

    Scam alert!!! Scam alert!!! :surprise: :surprise: :surprise:
  • I have a 2006 GT Turbo and am getting 11-14 mpg! After reading these messages, it appears that I am getting the lowest.
    Have tried to reach someone in charge at Chrysler, but the only published phone number for EVERYONE goes to Customer Service in Bombay (Mumbai)!!! It's infuriating.
    Have written to Michelle Krebs about the Customer Care VP and have not received an answer.
    Any suggestions?
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    I have a 2003 GT Turbo Cruiser. I get about 20-21 city and 24-26 highway. The weight of this car, and the Turbo, should get about this fuel efficiency. Consider the Dodge Neon, same chassis, same motor, but the mileage is much higher. Why? It is due to the weight difference. If I drive mine in auto-stick mode I get a little less MPG, becasue I like to get the powerband a little higher before I shift. It hurts the gas mileage a little. If you have a standard shift you SHOULD get much better than what you report. I sold these cars for a few years and loved the concept of them, so I am happy enough with the mileage.
    To find out more about yours, have you tried a local dealership that also does work on these? Some of their mechanics know the little tweaks to get your mileage up. I know that little differences in driving styles seem to have a profound effect on these little cruisers. Good luck and I hope you find a solution.
    Do you accelerate it strongly, and do you gently ease it up to speed? Those have quite an effect in my experience.
    Willie D "the cat in the PT Cruiser" Welch
  • schas1schas1 Posts: 5
    I changed the plugs to iridium, that helped, I used the EthosFR and that actually did increase mine by about 5 MPG-Email me at for further info-It may help, from all the other postings- seems like it has been the luck of the draw- of course the assumption is you are driving conservatively and that may mean it is a manufacturing issue of all the parts and this what you got,
  • Do you have an address for Michelle Krebs for me,so I too can write.My mpg is getting worse. Customer service said to call them back when I got over 12,000 miles on my two year old car. I have 9500,since I do not drive it that much due to the poor mpg. Chrysler does not seem to care and their dealerships are even worse. It is a cute little car but expensive to drive. A hummer gets better mpg than we do. Kind of sad. I have friends that are getting better mpg on their Cruisers.
  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    Some of you who are experiencing unusually low fuel economy might try simply resetting the computer.

    Disconnect the negative battery cable for 15 minutes or longer (overnight if you want). After you reconnect it start the car and let it idle for 2-3 minutes while the computer "relearns". Drive it at varying speeds for the first hour after that.

    My wife gets 19-20 mpg in the city on her 03 GT Turbo Cruiser, even with her herky-jerky driving style. She uses regular gas but only from a Top Tier certified retailer. It was specified in my owner's manual on my new Chrysler and I suggested that she use it as well.

    Of course, there are common things to check that can improve gas mileage such as a clean air filter, fresh spark plugs and good plug wires.
  • Sorry it took me so long to get back here. I sent an e-mail to the journal "Auto??" for which she works which I found on the Edmunds website. After writing my original text, I sent one directly to Edmunds & have not heard from them either.
  • resh23resh23 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 PT Cruiser, 5 spd manual transmission, std. 4 cyl. with approx. 130K miles. I drive approx. 180 miles/day, almost all highway and fill up every day. Until about 6 mos. ago, I was buying whatever gas was cheapest. When gas reached the point where there was only a penny or two difference between the cheap gas (Clark, Citgo, Casey's, Thornton's, Speedway, etc.) and BP, I switched to BP. There was no other change (no tuneup, same oil, same air filter, same driving habits, same route, etc.), but after about 3 fillups, there was suddenly a significant increase in MPG. I went from 24-26 MPG to 28-30 MPG for my 180 mile/day trip. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced an increase like this.
  • schas1schas1 Posts: 5
    Good Morning,
    I have a 2001 PT automatic, was getting about 19-21 mpg, using any gas, I began using Ethos and my milage averages 24-26 MPG unless I use the air then it drops down to 22-23MPG. I go about 5000 plus miles between oil changes, used to change at 3000 miles, when I change, the oils is still not as dark as it was at 3000 miles.
    If interested, go to my web site for further information-
    I will see if there is a BP gas and try that as well.
    Thanks and good luck.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I would recommend trying higher octane fuel as well. If you use 93 octane, the knock sensor will allow the ignition timing to advance more, resulting in better performance and better MPG. Also, stay away from no name brand gas stations and cheap gas!. Sometimes they use additives that will lower your MPG.

    There are many reasons for poor MPG. Such as dirty air filter, dragging brake calipers, underinflated tires, defective sensors, such as MAF and oxygen sensors, Improper ignition spark advance, low fuel pressure, etc.
  • ive got similar problems wire harness has been replaced twice, both cv axles and even more. chrysler wont take responsibility. they dont care. they have lied about these cars pt looks are great but not worth the hassle. bought mine new and have never got more than 21 mpg. bad gas mileage. dealers ? some say one thing and some say other. as for me i will never buy another chrysler
  • schas1schas1 Posts: 5
    Good Morning,
    I have concluded that mileage is a luck of the draw type thing, I have heard of Cruiser owners getting 28 mpg and doing nothing and like you in the low teens and doing lots of stuff. I also agree the car looks great, does have a variety of issues.
    In terms of mpg, I have used EthosFR, a fuel reformulator and actually increased my mpg from 18-19 to 22-24mpg on average.
    I was amazed at the results from this product, add it to the crank case and the engine runs quieter and smoother- used to change oil every 3000 miles, now every 5000-6000 miles and the oil is still cleaner than when I used to change every 3000 miles without the EthosFR.
    I ended up becoming a distributor for the product and continue to use it myself-
    Company is going through a reorganization so product not available at this time other than from distributor stock- should be back again in the next month.
    And to add insult to injury, my teen age daughter says the car looks like a hearse and Chrysler says they will stop making them this year.
    MY oh my how the world is truly changing...
  • Same thing happened to me..I specifically told my dealership I wanted a car that was small yet good with mpg...& I love my limited edition pt cruiser but the millege is just horrible. Im only getting like 17mpg in mixed highway and city. I found an article on line that says an average pt cruiser with 100k miles will cost you 18,065 a year in gas. Thats not much lower then what Im actually making a year with this economy. Include car payments,plates, insurance, and maintenance on my car a year and that would mean Im already in debt just from having this car in my possession. Its very sad because I do Love its look and the way it drives. I came to this site in hopes in finding others with this problem (unfortunatley) ..and apperantley Im by far not the only one baffled by what this car is guzzling in gas..sadley I love it too much to give it up just I guess Im stuck with the crappy gas millege and buying lots and lots of fuel injector cleaner a year. :cry:
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    18,000 of gas for a year. At 52 weeks a yer, that's over $345.00 a week.How can any car cost that much? Have a 2006 Touring car. I get between 28 and a little over 32 miles on the highway.That's using the on car computer. In the city. With stop and go driving. I get between 18-20 miles per gallon.
  • Hello,
    Back in December I wrecked my Jeep Grand Cherokee it was a 1997 Laredo and it had an inline 6 cylinder, it also got like 20mpg. Now I'm currently looking into the Pt Cruisers. So I was wondering how do they do in the snow and is maintenance cheap for them? Cause see I drive about 40 miles a day and like the first 10 is highway considering stop signs and lights and the rest is mainly thru town so I'm jus wondering if the pt is a good choice for me? Also I was wondering how is the acceleration on it? does it get up and go like a v8?
  • naomi223naomi223 Posts: 4
    I have a 2006 GT PT Cruiser & because of the turbo, I get terrible mileage. You're used to driving a 6-cylinder, as I was. Pt Cruisers have 4-cyl & that is why I got a turbo. I really love the car, but do not drive much. For you at 40 miles daily, there might great disappointment.
    I live in Dallas & although it does snow here, it is quick & over. I do not drive in snow at all.
    Maintenance is not expensive.
  • naomi223naomi223 Posts: 4
    Hope you got my message!
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    Hey people!
    Just to let all know here, I recently noticed a sharp drop in fuel mileage, from 20-21 mpg avg/city, to 15-17 mpg city. Driving style having not changed, made me curious.
    THEN, I was on the way to college one afternoon and the little beast popped a solid backfire and began to act as if it was running on 2 or 3 cylinders. I returned home that eve, made it somehow without the computer shutting her down completely, and the following morning made these discoveries.
    1) The ignition module was shorting on 2 corners straight to the block, not much spark getting to the spark plugs I'll bet.
    2) Bought new module and as I was replacing it found that 3 of the bolts were extremely tight, and one was completely loose! I pulled the spark plugs and 3 of the 4 the insulators were cracked, again causing a short to the side of the plug, NOT the way for a clean burn or good mileage
    3) The plenum bolts were loose also.
    After re-installing new parts, plugs/ignition module/ and tightening the plenum bolts to spec, I began to see a big decrease in the fuel gauge drop as I drove. It is just about time for a fill up, and I will have to see if the changes are as good as the gauge indicates.
    Just remember, these little Turbos and small 4 cylinders run HOT, and do a lot of power creation in small cramped areas, so checking them regularly for things like bolts tightened to proper specs and good spark wires and good spark plugs, and a non-shorting ignition chain are critical! ANY variations can, and will, affect the performance/mileage a LOT!
    Good luck with solving the unusual mileage reports I read here. I can't help but wonder how much is mechanical and how much is human computing problems? Get you fuel mile averages over say 3 or 4 tanks of gas, not just on one, and check the tune-up procedures carefully. I NEVER fully trust mechanics to do the job right, and either do it myself, or at the least re-check the things they tinkered with. I had it in for a tune-up about 4 months before, and this is what I found, and more than likely the plenum bolts loose were the cause of careless workers.
    Keep on Cruisin' all!

    Willie D. "the cat in the PT Cruiser" Welch

    :shades: '03 Flamin' Red PT GT, auto Power stick, with all the accessories except the mileage computer. ;)
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    OOOOPS! About forgot to mention...When I replaced the spark plugs as mentioned in this replacement message, the old plugs had a gap of about .042, which not being too far off, made me curious, so I perused the forums on spark settings for PT Cuisers, and found reccomendations from .040, to .060. With an ignition module of good quality, AND copper, not aluminum, contacts, the wider gaps are suggested, so I set mine to .045 first, and then the next day set them to .055. Cannot see a lot of difference in the performance, except for a tiny bit of "pinging" as I accelerate HARD to merge with traffic here in Wichita. Will try Premium fuel next to see if the boost is there, and the ping goes away. The difference in cost of .20 per gallon isn't good, but we'll see if there is a lot of benefit.

    Willie D Welch

    03 Flamin' Red PT GT w/ Autostick
  • ok thank you for replying :)
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I have a 2007 PT Cruiser convertible (non-turbo). Here are my comments:


    1) a fun car to drive.

    2) routine maintenance only (oil changes); no warranty claims.

    3) roomy interior for a small car

    4) convertible top easy to use

    5) inexpensive to purchase; I paid about $15,000 for the car and it had only 5,500 miles on it


    1) mediocre gas mileage (20 to 25 MPG)

    2) not much acceleration, but the turbo engine probably has a faster pick up

    I can't comment on the snow driving becuase I live in the southeast, but with steel rims and 4 good snow tires you should be fine. Good luck.
  • camshot2camshot2 Posts: 12
    Additional on gas mileage and an addendum on snow and tires.
    Used to get 20 mpg in city, dropped to 16-17 or so as mentioned in previous blog. The repairs and the good plugs, new ignition module, etc, and the fuel mileage is up to 22MPG on first tank. I expect it to get better slightly, and can't wait to run it on a long trip as opposed to the around Wichita trips this tank was used on. I expect 25-26 mpg highway. Will advise as I get results.
    As for snow, I live in Kansas, and we have had a very snowy winter this year and especially last. Both years I had not a bit of trouble getting around in 6-8 inches of the frozen water. Even drifts of 1 - 1 1/2', if handled carefully, were no problem. Now my cruiser has the Traction control set-up on it, I would imagine yours does, but let me know here if it doesn't. That might make a bit of a difference. Icy roads were not an issue either, but if I was in heavier snow/ice conditions, I would buy an extra set of cheap wheels and put a good set of snow tires on the drive wheels. Rears you probably won't gain much by snow tires there as long as you have a good tread pattern for grip and moisture "sloughing off".
    The main thing is, it is a fun car, and versatile interior set-up that will let you change it to your hearts content. Mainly, buy it and try it is the best advice I can give. These little putts are known for slightly lower mpg than some of the "economy" cars out there, but they drive very well, perform fair to excellent depending on what you demand of them. I love my little PT GT Turbo, and will continue to cruise it until I can't
    Willie "the Cat in the PT Cruiser" Welch
    :D :shades:
    '03 Flamin' netal flake red PT GT w/ autostick
  • 2006 PT Base model.
    Running new Falken ZR912 tyres with nitrogen fill, 18.5mpg town with 25mpg highway.
    Drove Rio Grande Valley, South Texas to Dakota and back down through Wyoming and Arizona total just under 5000mile in ten days.
    TX-OK 23.6mpg
    OK-KA-NE-IA 24.5
    IA-SD 22.1
    SD-WY 25.9
    WY-CO 25.3
    CO-UT 26.8
    UT-AZ 27.0
    AZ-NM 25.2
    NM-TX 25.9mpg
    All driven near top limit, more to come!!
  • jwelshjwelsh Posts: 19
    Have a 2006 with 43,000 miles. Have found that straight gas is better than E10. Have found that I get 27 to almost 32. miles on the Highway. Combined driving is 20+ With E10 combined is 18-19.
  • ptcruiseptcruise Posts: 1
    66KM costs me $4.96 @$1.19 per leter
    it all works out to 44 MPG Canadian
    at 63.5 Miles per hour, or 100KM

    us old system
    $4.96 / $1.19 = 4.136 leters
    tiny us gallon = 's 3.78 leters
    66 km to US old system (x.6215)= 41.049 miles
    Tiny US gallons used, = 4.136 / 3.78 = 1.094
    US mpg = 41.049/1.094 *37.54 MPG highway NOT US interstate.

    Here is what other people say they read their car computer which reads total average. They drive really fast on interstates with their air on
    and we Canadians send you sick gas to burn (if you believe that kind of stuff)
    PT Crusier gets Greats mpg get your collector's item today get a PT
  • Hi everyone! First of all, I live in Florida, which means the highest "hills" we have are the curbs and bridges. Also very light footed. Bought my 2001 Limited used, one owner. Only two issues I have had so far, is the last owner carried his dogs in the car, (lot of cleaning to get out all the dog hairs,) and the gas mileage. I was getting about 16 in town, maybe 20-22 on the highways.
    Got a friend that was a Chrysler mechanic for years. He got his 2001, and went thru it with a fine tooth fishbone. (Those are common here in Florida!) One night he calls, tells me had was buying a part, and have to enter his credit card three time to get it to work.
    Naturally, he got 3 MAPS valves. My mechanical experiences include changing a tire once, and some fuses, but this was a easy one. Press the lock, release and unplug the connector. Then take out two Star bolts. (I think they were #15s.) Pull out the sensor, carefully press the new one in, put the two bolts back in and plug in the wiring.
    Bingo! My in town mileage when to 26-27, and highway was at about 29-30. Two tanks of gas later, I mentioned it to my friend, and he looked confused! He said all the Chrysler mechanics know to change that sensor, (which is on several Chryslers,) about every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. Sooner if you drive in hot locations. Hope this helps someone improve their gas mileage. I remember him mentioning the price to be about $40, but sure you can find them on the internet. Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor. (He just gave me the full name, :D )
    A fast google will show you how to install the MAPS. If this helps someone, please let us know, so we can help others get better gas mileage. Have a great one!

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