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dfwjim1
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Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Thu May 25, 2017 10:14 pm

Hello,

Today I was driving back from my work and the engine in my 2005 PT Cruiser started to make some knocking noises and then died. I had the vehicle towed to my trusted mechanic and he confirmed my fears that the engine was beyond repair and would need to be replaced to the tune of $2,700. The vehicle is worth about $3,200 USD so I am debating as to whether to proceed with the repairs, buy a "new" used vehicle or try to get along (my wife and I) with one vehicle. I have been saving up over the years for a replacement vehicle so I can pay up to $20,000 cash for a car but now I am having second thoughts about parting with the cash.

Here are the pros and cons of repairing the car as I see them:

Pros:

I drive only about 12,000 KM/7,200 miles a year to work and back, mostly freeway miles. The P.T. is in good shape and the A.C., transmission...etc are all working well and the body is in decent shape. I figure that if I keep the car another 2 -3 years the cost of the engine replacement would be about $100 a month which seems like a good deal. In addition the P.T. gets good gas mileage and the cost to insure it is very low.

Cons:

The biggest risk as I see it is that a major component of the vehicle like the AC and/or transmission goes bad and I will have another expensive repair on my hands. I would have to use some of my car savings to pay for the engine repair. In addition the vehicle is 12 years old and is a bit out of style which is not a huge concern for me.

So, any ideas/opinions as to what I should do would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Dreadnought
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Thu May 25, 2017 11:24 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
So, any ideas/opinions as to what I should do would be greatly appreciated!


I suggest 10 sticks of commercial dynamite, and a scoped rifle from about 150 yards away. Get that travesty off the road!
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Ken777
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Thu May 25, 2017 11:32 pm

If you can get a rebuilt engine installed for $2,700 and everything else on the car is OK there may be no need to swap it out. I assume that it's comfortable to drive and goes well on the freeway in your commute. Maybe look at the tires/breaks first to see if there is maintenance ahead.

The other option is to get a car off lease. 3 years old with deep depreciation already taken. Get one with good reports from CU or Edmunds.. The money saved can be invested for the future.
 
KLDC10
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Thu May 25, 2017 11:52 pm

You talked about a "trusted mechanic". If I were you, I'd pay him to make a thorough assessment of the entire vehicle in order to figure out whether, if you replace the engine, you are going to end up with further costs in a couple of months time. If he's a trusted mechanic, then he should be honest with you about the state of the rest of the vehicle.

If you're not really interested in cars, and you just see it as a way of getting from A to B, then if it is possible to repair the vehicle (if the rest of it is in good shape of course), maybe you can spend that hard-saved money on something else. Something that you'd actually cherish, rather than just using as a utilitarian runabout.

I guess, if the worst happened, and some other component failed in the next year or two, you could always sell it for scrap value and put that towards the cost of a new vehicle. I have had my current vehicle for a few years now; it has had to have a few repairs (new brake lines, tires, alloys (though to be honest, that was a cosmetic thing, and it was my own fault for scraping them on the curb) etc.) and before very much longer it is going to need a whole new exhaust manifold. But I like driving it, I don't want to replace it, it is fun to drive and it has done everything I have asked of it.

The thing is that $20,000 is a good amount of money. If you can keep the majority of it by paying $2700 for a rebuilt engine and perhaps even saving some more in future, then that would be a good plan. It seems that you have engaged in some good financial stewardship thus far, so I'd recommend bearing that in mind as you consider future expenditures.

Hope this helps.
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BreninTW
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 12:24 am

This is from personal experience, so YMMV. My previous car (a Nissan) was 12 or so years old, I'd bought it seven years earlier and put on a good mileage in the years I'd owned it. I was (and am) meticulous about servicing the car and looking after it in general. The bodywork was pretty close to pristine, the engine was good and strong, and gave me no indications of impending trouble. It was reasonably fun to drive and returned decent gas mileage.

Once it passed the 10-year mark, I realized that the cost of maintenance and generally keeping it on the road were increasing significantly. I've always used dealerships because 1) they're not significantly more expensive than the indies, and 2) they generally know the cars and maintenance schedules better than indies. With the overall costs increasing, and showing no signs of slowing down, I was already thinking about replacing the car.

Then came the final straw: I took it in for a routine service, which ended up costing me close to what the car was worth. Things were wearing out and needing replacing more regularly, and the parts weren't getting any cheaper (especially since my car was a small-run version of a popular model). This, combined with the spike in fuel prices at about the same time pushed me to purchase a good new car that returned much better mileage (somewhere close to 30% better around town).

My take on it is that, if you're already thinking about replacing it, then there's probably something in your unconscious mind that's throwing up red flags. I agree with KLDC10 -- if you do trust your mechanic that much, pay him to give the car a complete "physical" and tell you exactly what he's seeing that will need attention in the near future.

Did the mechanic tell you what caused the engine to die? It's unusual for modern engines to just keel over -- usually there's some reason that can often be traced to incorrect or skimpy maintenance (such as a former colleague who's mechanic decided NOT to replace the water hoses when my colleague asked him to ... and a month later the water hoses gave way on the freeway, resulting in a seized engine).
 
Okie
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 1:13 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
Today I was driving back from my work and the engine in my 2005 PT Cruiser started to make some knocking noises and then died

Didn't one of those PT Cruisers set some kind of a land speed record on the salt lake of like 74mph back in those prehistoric times. :roll:

********

Probably time to pony up for a newer appliance since that one is 12 or so years old.
3 year old Toyota's and Nissan's seem to be well priced and reliable in this area.

********

Okie
 
QF29
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 1:51 am

Cons: Another PT Cruiser is on the roads blinding passer-by's
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dtw2hyd
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 2:21 am

Few things are not clear. Did some offer $3,200 for a 2005 PT Cruiser with a dead engine, as-is?? Sell it without thinking twice.

You are very lucky if it ran for 12 years without much trouble, don't waste another $1 let alone $2,700. Those are pretty badly built automobiles.
All posts are just opinions.
 
AirplaneWizard
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 2:31 am

Sell the car if you can get 3K out of it. Then, I highly advice you to buy a Camry if your budget is below 20K. You can get a pre-certified car (less than 3 years/ 36,000 miles) for less than 14K. Believe me, you won't go wrong with a Camry. It isn't the most sold model in America without a reason. Smooth, high reliable, gets 30 miles per gallon, comfortable, and accelerates really well. Also, it has one of the best resale values so you can sell it again in 4-5 years to get a newer model, especially since you don't drive much.

So many of my relatives and family members drive luxury cars, but will settle for a Camry whenever possible. When the gas prices go up, you will be thankful.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 7:47 am

For what you are using the car for, I would go with what many have suggested, grab a Camry that's 3-4 years old and enjoy years off trouble free driving.
t
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 10:12 am

Drive it off a cliff and collect the insurance!
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 10:35 am

Not sure why folks are recommending only Camry while there are several sub-compact crossover automobiles. In used segment 2015 Scion xB and 2014 Nissan cube are good contenders. Kia Soul, 2018 Ford EcoSport and also there are several small hatchbacks like Honda Fit.
All posts are just opinions.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 11:47 am

In my childhood/teens bedroom there is a picture I made of the Chrysler Pronto Cruizer at the 1998 Paris Motor Show. I also own a model of it.

Needless to say I was bitterly disappointed by the production model...
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Calder
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 1:04 pm

AirplaneWizard wrote:
Sell the car if you can get 3K out of it. Then, I highly advice you to buy a Camry if your budget is below 20K. You can get a pre-certified car (less than 3 years/ 36,000 miles) for less than 14K. Believe me, you won't go wrong with a Camry. It isn't the most sold model in America without a reason. Smooth, high reliable, gets 30 miles per gallon, comfortable, and accelerates really well. Also, it has one of the best resale values so you can sell it again in 4-5 years to get a newer model, especially since you don't drive much.

So many of my relatives and family members drive luxury cars, but will settle for a Camry whenever possible. When the gas prices go up, you will be thankful.


Uhh it isn't the most sold model?

Camry places #4 on most frequently purchased vehicle in USA. Admittedly, it is the first sedan on the list.

One of my good friends has a Camry, he's not a car guy, so he just drives it and takes it somewhere to get the oil changed. It's treated him pretty well, although he probably drives <5,000 miles a year.

And let's be honest here, the Toyota was designed to be a "get you from point A to point B efficiently" car, not a hot rod. Ergo, acceleration was not a priority in the design.

Edit because I forgot to add - Let the PT Cruiser die, it only so nobody ever has to see that hideous thing on the road again.
C. T.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 6:04 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Few things are not clear. Did some offer $3,200 for a 2005 PT Cruiser with a dead engine, as-is?? Sell it without thinking twice.

You are very lucky if it ran for 12 years without much trouble, don't waste another $1 let alone $2,700. Those are pretty badly built automobiles.


Sorry, I did not word this part of my original post very well. I was under the impression that my PT would be worth about $3,000 running and in good shape but I looked at Kelly Blue Book today and 2005 PT Cruisers with 115,000 miles on it are only worth about $2,200 in a private sale and $800 as a dealership trade-in. Scrap value is about $400.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 6:07 pm

Calder wrote:
AirplaneWizard wrote:
Sell the car if you can get 3K out of it. Then, I highly advice you to buy a Camry if your budget is below 20K. You can get a pre-certified car (less than 3 years/ 36,000 miles) for less than 14K. Believe me, you won't go wrong with a Camry. It isn't the most sold model in America without a reason. Smooth, high reliable, gets 30 miles per gallon, comfortable, and accelerates really well. Also, it has one of the best resale values so you can sell it again in 4-5 years to get a newer model, especially since you don't drive much.

So many of my relatives and family members drive luxury cars, but will settle for a Camry whenever possible. When the gas prices go up, you will be thankful.[/bquote]

Uhh it isn't the most sold model?

Camry places #4 on most frequently purchased vehicle in USA. Admittedly, it is the first sedan on the list.

One of my good friends has a Camry, he's not a car guy, so he just drives it and takes it somewhere to get the oil changed. It's treated him pretty well, although he probably drives <5,000 miles a year.

And let's be honest here, the Toyota was designed to be a "get you from point A to point B efficiently" car, not a hot rod. Ergo, acceleration was not a priority in the design.

Edit because I forgot to add - Let the PT Cruiser die, it only so nobody ever has to see that hideous thing on the road again.


Thanks for the advice and I am strongly considering a used Toyota Camry. Yes, I have to agree that PT Cruisers are a bit on the ugly side especially when they are not maintained.
 
Ken777
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 6:26 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
Scrap value is about $400.


Take the scrap value as a down payment on another car. There are still be some good rebates on new cars that need to be cleared. A Camry had a $3,000 rebate.

You can find various rebates at:

https://www.edmunds.com/car-incentives/

The benefit of a new car is the warranty protection. It's really nice not to have to worry about that type of expense for some years.

I would do a lot off price research on new and used cars. Also read user comments on Edmunds or similar. Rending a small car while you do this can make life easier without spending a lot of money.
 
KLDC10
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 7:40 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
I am strongly considering a used Toyota Camry. Yes, I have to agree that PT Cruisers are a bit on the ugly side especially when they are not maintained.


Just to throw this out there: http://www.ford.com/cars/fusion/2017/
The 'S' model starts at around $22,000, which is a little higher than your price bracket. However, if you're able to go a little over budget, or perhaps find a used Fusion from, say, 2015 at a lower price, I'd highly recommend this vehicle. It's great to drive, MPG isn't too bad, it's very comfortable and there is plenty of room in the back for passengers. Decent-sized trunk too. Definitely one to consider.
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Ken777
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri May 26, 2017 10:45 pm

Another car line to consider is Mazda. Generally not talked about on forums like this but they are good very reliable cars. My wife had an MX-3 for 17 years (yes, 17) and then traded it to a plumber for a loss of work. They are just very reliable and a bit of fun to drive. The Mazda 3 is worth adding to your research and test driving.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Sun May 28, 2017 10:32 pm

Ken777 wrote:
Another car line to consider is Mazda. Generally not talked about on forums like this but they are good very reliable cars. My wife had an MX-3 for 17 years (yes, 17) and then traded it to a plumber for a loss of work. They are just very reliable and a bit of fun to drive. The Mazda 3 is worth adding to your research and test driving.


I dropped by my local Car Max dealership today and they had a couple of 3s for sale and I liked their appearance. The dealership was still closed so I did not get a chance to take a test drive.
 
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11725Flyer
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Sun May 28, 2017 11:31 pm

Replace it. A 2005 model will continue to give you repair headaches.
 
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Classa64
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Mon May 29, 2017 12:55 am

11725Flyer wrote:
Replace it. A 2005 model will continue to give you repair headaches.


^^^ This.

You can get a really good lower mileage car that's a few years old for 10K, I paid that for My 13 Civic Coupe with 38,000 KM on it. Never put a dime into it other than Maintenance. The PT's that come into our dealership get scrapped or Wholesaled right away, I don't think putting an engine in it is worth it from my knowledge of cars. Good luck whatever you decide.
"Freedom is the miles i'm rolling on"
 
notdownnlocked
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Mon May 29, 2017 3:14 am

If you live in the DFW area 75 percent drive/ride in a Odyssey the other 25 are in a Sienna. I don't fit in here because I drive neither.
 
Ken777
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Mon May 29, 2017 3:58 am

notdownnlocked wrote:
If you live in the DFW area 75 percent drive/ride in a Odyssey the other 25 are in a Sienna. I don't fit in here because I drive neither.


LOL!

Vans and SUVs do have their place. If you have kids and carpools they can be great. Two kids on a long road trip and you do not want a Civic.

At a certain age they are also a LOT more comfortable - especially in getting in and out, We bought a Buick Encore in August and appreciated that ease multiple times. Especially after I had a lung lobe cut out in March. A brutal and painful surgery and I was able to move into the front pax seat with ease when leaving the hospital. So the older you get the higher "Ease of In nd Out" should be on your review list.
 
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BreninTW
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Wed May 31, 2017 2:15 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
Ken777 wrote:
Another car line to consider is Mazda. Generally not talked about on forums like this but they are good very reliable cars. My wife had an MX-3 for 17 years (yes, 17) and then traded it to a plumber for a loss of work. They are just very reliable and a bit of fun to drive. The Mazda 3 is worth adding to your research and test driving.


I dropped by my local Car Max dealership today and they had a couple of 3s for sale and I liked their appearance. The dealership was still closed so I did not get a chance to take a test drive.


I have a 2015 (MY2016) Mazda 6 that I bought brand spanking new ... absolutely love that car. The current 3 is also a very nice car, which I would have taken if not for a couple of (to me) annoying internal design quirks -- mostly related to the dial layout. I have read on some automotive forums where people say "buy a car that puts a smile on your face every time you look at it" -- the M6 certainly does that to me, even after two years. It has its faults, in that the ride is a little firmer than others and it can be a little more noisy, but as a driver's car, it can't be beat (at its price-point). I've driven Toyotas in the past, and they are so insipid (to me) that I didn't even bother test driving one when I was looking.

Mazdas are generally bullet-proof as well and really well appointed for the price point. Downside is that dealerships can be few and far between, and resale value can fall like a rock -- but if you're buying second-hand, someone else has already bitten that bullet.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Wed May 31, 2017 10:42 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Few things are not clear. Did some offer $3,200 for a 2005 PT Cruiser with a dead engine, as-is?? Sell it without thinking twice.

You are very lucky if it ran for 12 years without much trouble, don't waste another $1 let alone $2,700. Those are pretty badly built automobiles.


Sorry, I did not word this part of my original post very well. I was under the impression that my PT would be worth about $3,000 running and in good shape but I looked at Kelly Blue Book today and 2005 PT Cruisers with 115,000 miles on it are only worth about $2,200 in a private sale and $800 as a dealership trade-in. Scrap value is about $400.


How are your automotive DIY skills? Before you trade-in/send it to scrap yard, do little bit of research what components worth selling separately. You could easily make few more hundreds by parting it out.
All posts are just opinions.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Repairhi or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Wed May 31, 2017 3:49 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
dfwjim1 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Few things are not clear. Did some offer $3,200 for a 2005 PT Cruiser with a dead engine, as-is?? Sell it without thinking twice.

You are very lucky if it ran for 12 years without much trouble, don't waste another $1 let alone $2,700. Those are pretty badly built automobiles.


Sorry, I did not word this part of my original post very well. I was under the impression that my PT would be worth about $3,000 running and in good shape but I looked at Kelly Blue Book today and 2005 PT Cruisers with 115,000 miles on it are only worth about $2,200 in a private sale and $800 as a dealership trade-in. Scrap value is about $400.


How are your automotive DIY skills? Before you trade-in/send it to scrap yard, do little bit of research what components worth selling separately. You could easily make few more hundreds by parting it out.


DIY skills are not the best I am afraid. Plus I live in a townhome development that has a very strict HOA which would frown on me parting out a car.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:14 pm

Hey guys,

Just wanted to let you know that I purchased a 2013 Volvo XC60 a couple of weeks as a replacement for my PT Cruiser. Car came off a lease and only had 26,000 miles (41,000 KM) - it's a beautiful vehicle.
 
Ken777
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:24 pm

Pretty solid choice IMO. Volvo is one of those car makers that sued to let you buy milage badges, like a 100,000 mile badge, up to 1,000,000 miles IIRC. Some Volvos last longer than their owners.
 
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BreninTW
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:56 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
Hey guys,

Just wanted to let you know that I purchased a 2013 Volvo XC60 a couple of weeks as a replacement for my PT Cruiser. Car came off a lease and only had 26,000 miles (41,000 KM) - it's a beautiful vehicle.


Volvos are nice and general last forever and a day. When I was looking at my most recent purchase, I seriously looked at the V40 T4 -- but the price was pretty steep up-front (and even then, it lacked many of the safety aids I was looking for) and maintenance on Volvos can be very pricey.

I've always liked Volvos -- even in the days when they truly were 3-box cars. Wish you many happy miles in your new set of wheels.
 
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seb146
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:12 pm

Why all the hatred for PTs? I had one for six years. It was terrific! Roomy, comfortable, reliable. They are odd shaped, but other than that, it was a good car.

If your engine just stopped, find out why. It could be the cause of or cause other major problems which would cost even more money.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Flighty
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:19 pm

Wow! You really upgraded. Great - it will make you happy for years to come. Just get the recommended maintenance and enjoy. The 5 cylinder requires more maintenance at 100,000 than the six cylinder. By 2013 the XC60 should be screwed together very well.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:30 pm

Ha, ha I sure did. Been saving up for a long time!
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Repair or replace my P.T. Cruiser?

Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:06 am

seb146 wrote:
Why all the hatred for PTs? I had one for six years. It was terrific! Roomy, comfortable, reliable. They are odd shaped, but other than that, it was a good car.

If your engine just stopped, find out why. It could be the cause of or cause other major problems which would cost even more money.


I drove my PT for 12 years mostly communting short distances and the car was great. Of course I would get the occasional question asking why I didn't upgrade to a "better" vehicle but that never bothered me.

Water pump went out causing the timing belt to slip which caused the valves to go haywire.

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