PT Cruiser Tires and Wheels

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
Have a problem or question about tires or wheels on your Cruiser? This is the place to talk about it!


  • kaywkayw Member Posts: 2
    At 14,000 miles in my 2001 PT Cruiser I was getting a very discernible shimmy in the steering wheel at plus 65 miles. Took the car to my dealer and had them balance and rotate the tires. At about 16,000 miles the shimmy came back only this time it would start at 45 through 22 mph. This shimmy is so overt you can actually see the steering wheel shake. On the third trip to the dealer on this problem they are now telling me the tires are the problem and they are "out of round". Am a little concerned with the safety issue here and will go see my nearest Goodyear dealer this weekend. In the meantime, has anyone else had a similar problem.
  • duckmanduckman Member Posts: 2
    I thought my problem was a tire problem but had 3 rims bent- no visible damage except some scraps on on rim
  • wkesslerwkessler Member Posts: 1
    I am currently suffering from the shimmy at the 20 to 45 mph range. What was the resolution to your shimmy, or was it ever resolved????
  • jmkamradiijmkamradii Member Posts: 1
    I have 2003 PT Cruiser GT (turbo), with aluminum wheel with chrome outside surface. Because of the corrosion on the inside of the wheels I can't get them to balance. The Chrysler service manager said that they need to be replaced. Has this problem occurred with others? Did you find a remedy without replacing the wheels??
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    I don't know if this will help, but we just got a new 2006 PT Cruiser, base model, and it is costing us less than $700 to get aluminum wheels and new tires from Tire Rack ( ). The aluminum wheels are actually light weight, too. We also stuck with 15 inch size to keep the weight down, but 16's and 17's are available too. Sounds like it might be time to just make a replacement. Compare the price with your dealer.
  • redturboboyredturboboy Member Posts: 25
    I had a 2001 that also shimmied. The tire pressure was critical, the shimmy got worse if the pressure was low. Several people have compained about 2001's bad tires. Try higher pressure but you will probably have to get new tires.
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    If the wheels are so badly corroded that they cannot use rim mounted balancing weights on them, you should not be driving the car with these wheels on! I have hard time imagining something like this though, especially with aluminum wheels. There are other balancing weights, such as stick-on weights, which do not go on the rim, but stick on the flat part of wheel.
  • teach2teach2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 PT Cruiser also. Beginning this summer my tires started losing air. I am topping up every week or two. Last week while out of town I got a flat. The tire dealer told me the internal corrosion caused by the aluminum wheels was breaking the seal and deteriorating my tires. He told me this is a problem he has seen several times. What is Chrysler doing about it? Replacing 4 wheels is an expense I could do without.
  • kaity04kaity04 Member Posts: 2
    I too have the 2003 pt cruiser and loss of air is common. They are also likely to pickup more nails and debris as well. I was told by a tire dealer to go with a wider thicker tire. These goodyears may have 39000+ miles on them, but they are wearing thin and air escapes easier.
  • buroskyburosky Member Posts: 90
    What is the best value to price tire I should get to replace the OEM tires for a 2003 PT Touring Edition? The tire size is 255/55R16. The OEM is a Goodyear tire. At I was looking at the Kumha tires that sells for $64 each and it has a 4 out of 5 star rating. What do you folks think about this tire? Any other brands and model I should consider? I really want to keep the price as low as possible without sacrificing too much on the quality.
  • itsblueitsblue Member Posts: 1
    I had all 4 tires on my PT changed out at Sams club. Now the plastic hubcaps are all making a pooping noise as I drive. It sounds like horse hooves. The faster I drive the faster the popping sound. Anyone experience this problem.
  • buroskyburosky Member Posts: 90
    Are you sure the sound is coming from the hubcaps? That sounds a little odd. How long ago did you have the tires changed? If it has been a while and you are just noticing the sound, check the tire itself. The tire maybe cupping (also known as scalloping). In certain cases, this makes a similar sound. Search the internet to see examples in case you are not familiar with how this looks. I'd try to explain but it is better to see the pictures yourself. Hope this helps!
  • wisslerwissler Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 vanilla PT Cruiser with not quite 19,000 miles on it, and this morning I discovered an egg-sized bulge on one of my original-equipment Goodyear sidewalls. Has anybody else had a similar experience? This the first time anything like this has happened to me. Because it's Sunday, my dealer and all the local Goodyear dealers are closed so I'm left to ponder....
  • jcaplingerjcaplinger Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 PT....bought it used at CarMax. Noticed clicking and popping, so I to it back in to have it looked at. They told me it was the hubcaps. I bought aftermarket hubcaps....same thing....what gives?!? Anyone have a solution? BTW..I took the hubcaps off.....NO noise. :confuse:
  • nfrostnfrost Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 PT limited which over the last 3 months has had problems with the Goodyear Eagle LS tires fitted. First i got the steering wooble which i thought was a balance problem, but the local goodyear dealer diagnosed a tread seperation and so i got a new one. Luckily Goodyear give a credit by pro-rating the remaining tread. This then happened again with another different tire and the same cure. Then this last week a third tire started giving off bad vibrations. When i stopped it was easy to see the problem, a huge bulge in the tire wall about the size of a grapefruit. The local dealer again gave me a Goodyear credit on the remaing tread. So now i have 3 new tires and i'm worried about the remaining one, so i called Goodyear and they have agreed to replace the last tire but again only giving me a credit on the remaining tread.
    Thats a good offer, but i'm a little annoyed with Goodyear, i was expecting them to maybe give me the forth tire for free considering the problems i have encountered.
    For the record all 4 tires had the same DOT number, so i assume they are from the same batch.
    Has anyone else suffered this problem???
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    I'm having the same problem! The folks at Just Tires say this corrosion is well known to them on PT Cruisers. I have had rim leaks due to corrosion on my 2002 PT three times in the past year. Luckily I bought a cheap warranty from Just Tires and so they repair my wheels for free. But Chrysler should RECALL these wheels already!
  • dbcanadadbcanada Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 PT Touring Edition 2.4 Turbo. It came with 205/55R16 Eagle LS tires. After about 25,000 miles they have less than 1/2 the tread remaining. They seemed ok for the first 10,000 but after that the dry pavement traction has degraded; they slip, chirp and spin in place way to easily. Wet weather performance is becoming worrisome. Check this site for lots of helpful tire reviews.

    Based on so many positive reviews for them, I will probably buy Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds in the near future. A second choice might be theYokohama Avid TRZ.
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    Sorry to hear your tire problems. Buy remember my posting was about the damned chromed WHEELS that are causing constant tire-pressure leaks because they corrode all the time!
  • ke72spnke72spn Member Posts: 12
    This happened to me after replacying the wheels on my 05 GT cruiser (they only had 5K on them). At any rate, I hit a rather large pothole on the NYS thruway and this bulge renders the tire a danger and must be replaced. I was told that the tension break could cause a blow out.
  • 4xford44xford4 Member Posts: 1
    I too have tires with egg shaped lumps and one with a slit on the sidewall, and the steering wheel vibrations.
    Chrysler/goodyear need to recall the tires and wheels. I suppose they are just waiting for someone to be all essence murdered by the people at goodyear.
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    Why don't we all bombard Chrysler with protests? I contacted the regional manager, and he wouldn't replace my lousy, corroding wheels. Now I'm going to write my newspaper's "help" column and see if I can embarrass Chrysler into action!

  • buroskyburosky Member Posts: 90
    Looks like this is something that should be reported to the National Traffic and Safety Board or one of those agencies that can force a company to do a recall.
  • corvairbobcorvairbob Member Posts: 27
    i have a 04 pt cruiser that has 205/55/r17 tires and i want to get different size rims. what size can i use besides the 17" rims. the car is a turbo and i have been told 17" is it but the tire store claims 16" will go and he is sure 15" will just fit. anyone have other sizes? thanks bp
  • deputy215deputy215 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having problems with air leaking from my tires , do you have any answers? My PT has the aluminum coated wheels. It takes about 2-4 weeks for them to drop 10-20 pounds.
  • redwagon5redwagon5 Member Posts: 6
  • redwagon5redwagon5 Member Posts: 6
  • lspringerflspringerf Member Posts: 1
    I, too, have purchased a used 2002 Lmt. Ed.PT Cruiser 3 months ago. It's been in the shop, under it's 24K or 24 months warranty that came with the car, for 12-16 lb. air loss in front tires every 3-4 days, suspension problems, and now overheating and bad battery problems. Last night, the battery was replaced and today the Cooling Fan was replaced. They have also replaced whatever holds the sway bar onto the car (supposedly the suspension problem, NOT!), and have supposedly dismantled the front tires, cleaned, and rebeaded both the front tires! The 2nd time was done with some sort of weather glue! Whatever! They STILL loose 12-16 lbs. of air every 3-4 days! I'm exhausted with this problem. And....I only live 1 1/2 blocks from a gas station where I can fill them up! I sometimes only find them with enough air to just put a pressure on the guage! I'm worried that this will not only cause me to have an accident, but that I will break the beading when I drive on them, LOW, to the gas station at some point! The mechanic last night, even said that he saw the glue starting to come out of the sides! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I have read countless entries on countless sites about this tire problem and I am wondering what I can do about it!? I can't believe that Chrysler is still making and selling these cars, without having taken care of that particular problem! :confuse: If anyone that reads this HAS the answer, PLEASE let me know! Thanks :cry: :mad:

    PS: I was told, last night, that I might try to fill the tires with "Nitrous" that a couple of our tire dealers sell! Is this something that might help?
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    It's not your TIRES! It's the damned chromed wheels that are causing the problems. They pit and lose their seal with the tires, thus enabling air to escape. I've had this problem six times in the past two/three years. Thank goodness I have a replacement warranty purchased from Just Tires so my repair is covered. We should make Chrysler respond to these problems as the guys at my Just Tires say they know about this defect.

  • tedebeartedebear Member Posts: 832
    I've had to deal with the air leak on my wife's 03 GT Cruiser with chrome wheels. NTB ended up sanding the rim bead area and adding a sealer along the bead. This solved the problem for three of the wheels.

    The other one was so bad from the chrome flaking off the wheel had to be replaced. Fortunately, I had a spare chrome wheel I purchased on eBay several years ago and they swapped it out. No more leaks for now.
  • lamronh49lamronh49 Member Posts: 86
    We have not (knock-knock) had the leakage problems other complain of. We do have a dented rim and need a replacement or replica for a 2001 16" chrome w/o dimples. Does anyone know a source for under 200 bucks? Wheel prices are absurd.
  • yale329yale329 Member Posts: 3
    Along with my list of pt issues, My 2005 pt rims were leaking at after 2 years. Ruined all tires due to constant air pressure loss. That is when you get a radial shift and tires become toast and you get a shimmy, or separatiation of thread. Chrysler Dealer refurbished them under warranty, but I had to [non-permissible content removed] loads before they did. Any wheel repair shop should be able to turn and refinish them. Also, had wheel weights put on the inside of the rim, for the lead weights corrode the finish and start chapping. So far after a year of cold and salt roads, all is okay. Seal the tiree beads also. Good luck.
  • yale329yale329 Member Posts: 3
    My 2005 rims neede returning at about 48,000 klms. All tires were apparently sparated. A chrysler service tech told me cheap cars, cheap tires. Wheel repairs and turning is about 200 bucks apiece canadian. Warrenty paid for the rims, but if you must, buy your tires elswhere. wayne
  • redwagon5redwagon5 Member Posts: 6
    You have the pothole blues...
    It seems as tho Our friends at Goodyear,have made these low profile,tires
    today with[soft sidewalls]so we can get what the folks at Chrysler.
    Make us think we have a very good handling car.
    The 2001/02 cruisers,had a sway bar for this,in the cost cutting.
    It was left off the rest of the fleet-03-and up.
    If all you want to fix the problem[after buying a new pair of tires]
    go to any junk yard and ask to look over any smashed ones.
    Find a 01 - or -02 get the swaybar for less than a new pair of shoes.

    And the tire problem,Goodyear came out with a new tire with kevlar,on
    the sidewalls[for as my wife puts it ";she can rub the curb now.' oh boy.

    So i got me a Dream series2 with all the factory toys....
    hope this helps your problem..
  • redwagon5redwagon5 Member Posts: 6
    Sorry you listen to the tech's
    My CRUSIER,is not cheap or the tires or rims.The leaking is due to the flacking off of chrome on the wheels,get a tire company[Discount] and they can help you fix your problem for nothing,by wirebrushing your rims before putting on your
  • lamronh49lamronh49 Member Posts: 86
    Providing disc brakes are the same diameter as the 2001, a 15" wheel should fit with no clearance problems.
    If I felt like spending the money I'd go to 15s on my wife's car. 195.65.15 is the correct 15" size, they have a taller sidewall than the 205.55.16 that are on there now. I'd get replacement wheels at Tire Rack or similar.
  • penniepennie Member Posts: 5
    My 2002 PT GT with the chrome, low profile, high performance, high price tires has me at wit's end. I had to fill them at least every week and was replacing tires (all 4) every year, as well as numerous trips to the Goodyear store to grind and seal the rims. I finally gave up and got a nice new Nissan Altima hybrid this March and planned to sell the PT.
    :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick:
    I got my PT detailed in preparation to sell it. After returning from a 2 week vacation, 3 of the tires were flat. I called a new (to me) mechanic and had the car towed there. They are grinding and sealing the rims. They told me my tires have dry rot, which I had never heard of. They are all less than a year old, but I learned that maybe the dressing that the detailer put on them caused that.

    Assuming that I will have to replace many of these tires, if I just give up on the chrome wheels and go with a smaller, pothole friendly, normal tire and wheel, what size do I choose? How much do they cost?

    I want to sell this car. It is too bad. I love the look, the performance and the handling.
  • lamronh49lamronh49 Member Posts: 86
    Are those the 17" wheels?

    No matter, really. Goodyear is about the last place I'd go for anything other than their gumball machine in the lobby.
    "Dry rot" at one year old is almost surely a lie designed to take advantage of you and sell you a complete set of new wheels and tires. Putting tire shine on new tires will not dry rot them.

    As for "grinding and sealing" the rims, I've never heard of that in my many years in automotivedom. If they've done it more than once, I'd say it's another con job that extracts $$ rather than solves the problem, since GY's solution seems to be to do the same thing again.

    Everyone, including you, should keep a couple of tire pumps around. You can get a plug-in for 10 or 15 bucks. I personally use a high volume bicycle pump, it's good exercise and it motivates me to check tires occasionally.

    Time for a new tire shop, and frankly that's a crapshoot since many of them know little about anything, other than selling expensive wheels and tires and keeping their parole officers off their backs. They definitely don't know much about tires.
    Don't be surprised, most car salesmen know almost nothing about cars, either. They know about financing and how to attempt to lead you down the road to a sale...what do I need to do to get you in this car today?

    We have a 2001 PT that has given great service for 60,000 miles and has spent many a-winter in a salty environment. We've had to replace one 16" chrome rim because of pothole damage. We've never had to "grind and seal" anything and again, IMO that sounds like Grade A baloney.

    1.) First I'd check with two or three Chrysler or Dodge dealers regarding wheel problems. DO NOT let them sell you wheels, tires, or a grind job. It is remotely possible the factory will give you some help with chronic air-loss problems. Remotely.

    2.) Then I'd ask around for a reputable tire store. Good luck. I went to one specialty store for new tire mounting and balancing and they couldn't even get the pressure right, all four were well above 32 and there was no consistency to boot.

    I've finally settled on the local Wal Mart for my mount and balance. They have a lifetime balance deal which I've used because occasionally tires will come off balance and it's hard to tell which one it is. They hand torque the wheels, they actually check and adjust the air pressure, and they give an 8 x 11" page readout of what they did including lug nut torque and tire pressure. More than can be said for many tire shops.

    If for some reason you have to replace a wheel or four, I'd check ebay and other sources. If you have 17" wheels, you can likely step down to 16" jobs which are less expensive and so are the tires.

    3.) Finally, check Tire Rack, Treadepot, Discount Tire Direct, etc. if you're OK with mail order tires. TiRak is a good site to do extensive research, they have a lot of customer feedback if you look around. They can sell you a quality wheel-tire combo, but do not let them talk you into huge costs.
    Most of the TiRak folks I've spoken with or emailed have a script they go by and they don't go off script often. However, you can do far better there than at Goodyear, I'd bet 100 bucks on that and I'm not a gambler.

    We love our PT and have had only routine maintenance issues so far. At this point we're probably looking at a new timing belt, but that's SOP for overhead cam engines. Otherwise, PT will probably go to one of the heirs.

    Good luck, sorry you've had such a runaround but IMO a large part of that is returning to the same GY store which can never solve the problem but continues to charge you for something that apparently doesn't do much but cost money. Good deal for them.
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    My 2002 PT was undergoing constant failures of rims. It's not that unexpected. My tire dealer grinds the rims because the wheels deteriorate (flaking), and the air escapes. It is onstant and bothers the hell out of me. You've got to replace two or four of the wheels/tires to make some headway. I finally junked the Cruiser and bought a new Scion xB that offers no trouble. Thanks to Toyota and boo to Chrysler.
  • redwagon5redwagon5 Member Posts: 6
  • tedebeartedebear Member Posts: 832
    My 2002 PT GT with the chrome, low profile, high performance, high price tires has me at wit's end.

    Are you sure about the year? I don't think the GT was introduced until the 2003 MY.

    Anyway, we have a 2003 GT with the low profile chrome wheels. We've had all 4 wheels sanded down and sealer put around them by Midas. That has helped a bit but they say one wheel is too far deteriorated and it keeps leaking air. It hasn't bugged my wife enough to sell the car but she's looking at some aftermarket polished aluminum wheels at around $110/ea from Discount Tire Direct to permanently fix the problem.
  • redwagon5redwagon5 Member Posts: 6
    please call me if you want to sell your factory wheels[817-713-8192]i would like 1 for a spare..i keep a 17 spare but it is not afactory wheel...
  • penniepennie Member Posts: 5
    You are right.. I lost track of time ;D It was the dead of winter in 2002 when I bought the first PT GT this dealer had ever sold. But the model was a 2003.
  • penniepennie Member Posts: 5
    I have decided to sell it with the factory wheels on, but I will pass along your info to the buyer. What state arer you in?

    1 of my 4 wheels is good because I got a new factory wheel and tire about a year ago. That is the only one that didn't leak lol.
  • penniepennie Member Posts: 5
    thanks everyone for all the good advice on my chrome wheels. The new mechanic advised selling the car as is instead of replacing the wheels. That way, he said the buyer could decide what to do , and I would sell it :"factory". I would have bought the cheapest wheels and tires I could just to sell. The buyer might want other wheels. Made sense to me.

    So far, so good. 4 days. I am still skeptical of the whole tire rot thing. I didin't see any disintegration of the rubber. And they told me I needed new brakes front and rear, which I also declined. There isn't any noise or anything.

    New mechanic said the same thing as the old mechanic - that those chrome wheels can really pit around the tire seal and leak air. That sounded legit to me.

    Anyway.. thank you ALL! What a nice helpful bunch of people. :)
  • finethingptlefinethingptle Member Posts: 7
    Great Question !!!!! I have the 2002 Liminted Edition. I had 3 of my rims - chrome w/dimples, that leaked, got dented or split. I just found that the tire and rims are just too damn flimsy. So, for now I just got my snow tires and steel rims put on for the winter. I know that they will keep me safe, and the steel rims are sturdy enough, that I wont have to keep putting air in my tires and stress about it anymore !!! I dont ever want to be bothered with those flimsy chrome rims again. They look great, but I dont want to suffer to be beautiful !!! It seems to be a very, very common problem with 'our' cruisers. Hopefully, the newer models will have evolved away from the flimsy chrome rims. Any suggestions of what rims/wheels I should get in the spring... or should I just get wheel covers?
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    Don't stress about this. Any wheels that aren't the flimsy chrome ones that Chrysler supplied should work for you. It was the chrome that kept flaking off my wheels that gave me the problems that drove me crazy. Interestingly enough, other sturdier chrome wheels might do the trick.
  • finethingptlefinethingptle Member Posts: 7
    Well, thanks for the encouragement. I'm definately going to have to make a decision about what to get to replace those flimsy ones... but that, I wont have to do until the Spring, as I have my sturdy steel winter tires/rims on now (all though not the most attactive).... Do you have any specific suggestions for what would look good on my 2002 Pt Cruiser LE - that is a reasonable price?
  • persialynnepersialynne Member Posts: 1
    I live in Connecticut and I purchased winter tires last year. They were goodrich tires and I had done some homework and they seemed to be good, but they arent. I cant get good traction and i'm slip sliding around in the winter. Can anyone tell me what a good tire would be for winter? I have two small children and need to be able to get around in the winter time.
  • chrytoydogchrytoydog Member Posts: 1
    This fourm dates from 2006. Does anyone notice a pattern. Some domestic automakers have an issue with quality. Corrosion on cast aluminum wheels has been an ongoing battle for many years. "chrome" plating seems to make the issue worse. Steel wheels hold up better in corrosive environments. although steel has rust problems. We are going to purchase new rims & tires for our cruiser. Still trying to decide if they will be steel or cast.
  • roosters940roosters940 Member Posts: 7
    Please save yourself the trouble and expense: don't get chrome/cast wheels for your PT Cruiser. There is some wiggle room here, however, as it is the original-equipment CHRYSLER cast wheels that suck while other after-market wheels may hold up better. Good luck!!
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