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#4672934 - 02/21/18 09:48 AM Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid
Sunnyinhollister Offline


Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 724
Loc: Hollister, CA
I'm looking for a inexpensive car for my son. I found a 2003 PT Cruiser with the non-turbo engine and a manual transmission with less than 50k miles. Any known issues or things to look for?
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#4672968 - 02/21/18 10:02 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
BAJA_05 Offline


Registered: 02/04/18
Posts: 289
Loc: Pennsylvania
Friend of mine who is a mechanic says to run nothing but synthetic oil in those 2.0L or 2.4L engines.


Dale
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#4672977 - 02/21/18 10:09 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2745
Loc: USA
Don't the kids make fun of those cars?

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#4672995 - 02/21/18 10:17 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Reddy45]
Sunnyinhollister Offline


Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 724
Loc: Hollister, CA
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Don't the kids make fun of those cars?


Maybe, but then there is always walking which is no fun! Price is right.
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#4672996 - 02/21/18 10:17 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1331
Loc: USA
Better be really inexpensive. It's a terrible car all around-- appearance, comfort, performance, gas mileage, longevity. Thus an ideal first car.


Edited by mk378 (02/21/18 10:18 AM)

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#4672999 - 02/21/18 10:18 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9830
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I'd be humiliated driving a PT Cruiser to school.

They're also terrible cars.
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#4673001 - 02/21/18 10:19 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2886
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
How experienced is the kid? Also how tall?

The visibility may not be OK for a newbie driver. (Big A-pillars + back-window visibility)

disclaimer: Last I drove one of those it was 2009 and it was an automatic.

It has a lot of space inside. I think the HHR cousin has a better reputation.

Now, generally they have a bad reputation, but I would look at the chrysler PT cruiser forums first. The guys there found some aftermarket replacements for some problems (motor mounts), or better procedures than some OEM (replacing back sparkplugs?)

Even with the bad reputation, I still see some running around here in rust territory.

How many miles? (belt replacement?)
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#4673008 - 02/21/18 10:23 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2745
Loc: USA
I can agree on the sentiment that a first car doesn't need to be great.. and most kids nowadays are.. meh they're kids.

But driving a PT Cruiser is a prophylactic in itself.. and OK yeah maybe that is also the intent here. LOL


But man.. I'd rather be seen in a Kia Soul than a PT Cruiser.

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#4673017 - 02/21/18 10:28 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3150
Loc: Somewhere
Buy him some Nikes instead.

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#4673018 - 02/21/18 10:28 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 3824
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
PT Cruiser engines are an interference engine, which means if the timing belt breaks the pistons will hit the valves that are open. The timing belt generally breaks somewhere between 80 K miles and 95 K miles if it is not replaced before then. Doing the timing belt on a PT Cruiser is a major job that cost a lot.

If the timing belt breaks the damage to the engine is so severe that the cost to replace the broken parts is more than the vehicle is worth.

So if you get a PT Cruiser replace the timing belt every 80 K miles.
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#4673040 - 02/21/18 10:40 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
pandus13 Offline


Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2886
Loc: Chicago,IL,USA
Guys, anybody missed, the OP wants to get the kid in a stick-shift/standard car as the first car?
I think is pretty good for momentum, gears, just drive with no other distractions....

OP, is this also meant as a mechanical learning first car?

Please type "pt cruiser site:bobistheoilguy.com" in google for everything pt cruiser on BITOG over the years.

Also my thread asking about them: here
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#4673101 - 02/21/18 11:22 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: pandus13]
Sunnyinhollister Offline


Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 724
Loc: Hollister, CA
Originally Posted By: pandus13
Guys, anybody missed, the OP wants to get the kid in a stick-shift/standard car as the first car?
I think is pretty good for momentum, gears, just drive with no other distractions....

OP, is this also meant as a mechanical learning first car?

Please type "pt cruiser site:bobistheoilguy.com" in google for everything pt cruiser on BITOG over the years.

Also my thread asking about them: here


Basically an inexpensive car to get him from point A to point B. He will be learning to do his own maintenance on it. Yes, it looks ugly. But, it is less than $3k, has new tires, recent tune up, manual tranny, and under 50k miles.
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#4673105 - 02/21/18 11:26 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
bruckus Offline


Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 275
Loc: Minnesota
My son had a lady run a red light into his Civic about a month ago. Airbags deployed, alot of front damage but cockpit remained intact. He was fine. The young lady in a PT had to have the FD remove her from the PT and helicopter her to hospital. Cockpit crumbled on her. This is just my take on it. I'm glad my son was in a civic when I saw the 2 vehicles. PT has a bad safety record and safety is a priority with young drivers. Just my take!

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#4673113 - 02/21/18 11:30 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11846
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Rebodied neon design IIRC. Poor design all around. Almost as bad as the new Dodge Dart.

Get a mid seventies dodge or chevy pickup. Something that can be fixed with JY parts on the cheap.
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#4673159 - 02/21/18 11:59 AM Re: Looking at a 2003 PT Cruiser for the kid [Re: Sunnyinhollister]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 334
Loc: MN
Do NOT buy a PT. Just don't. They're horrid cars on every level.

It's not even worth elaboration. Just... Don't.

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