2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring 2.4L from North America
This car sucks and I warn everyone to stay away
At 24,000 miles the front seal went bad. The dealership replaced it. 30 days later, it blew out again. The dealership put a new short block engine in it. However, they wouldn't give me a loaner, which caused a lot of inconvenience.
The passenger front window stopped working. Of course it stuck down so I could enjoy the weather. The dealership replaced it, but again, I wasn't provided a loaner vehicle.
Next was the back hatch latch. It quit working. Back to the dealership. When they repaired the latch, somehow they dented the hatch, so they had to put it in their body shop to repair that before they could give it back to me, so a few more days inconvenienced without a loaner car.
There was a recall on the "opera" windows. Something about they might blow out at highway speeds. So, back to the dealership.
The A/C started having problems. It would cool fine going down the highway, but wouldn't keep the car cool at stop lights. The dealership said it was the fan motor. Another couple days in the shop. By this time, I'm thinking the car is having an affair with a mechanic.
The cruise quit working properly one day. I commute 80+ miles a day, so this is not a good thing. Now I'm wondering if I've purchased a lemon. The Mississippi laws don't agree. I have too many miles on it. I thought I was trading my old car in to get better gas mileage. I did. The PT gets 3 miles more a gallon than the Jaguar XJ6 I traded. I think I got the short end of the trade. Oh, by the way, the cruise control problem - they replaced the computer in the car.
Now it's time for the 60,000 mile service. We are informed that the car needs brakes. Okay, I buy into that. So, a few more days without the car, and $800 later... At this point, my husband and I are very frustrated with the attitude of the dealership. They don't seem to want to back their product, and I guess we were just supposed to go away after they made the sell. They have seen us at least every 6 months since we bought the car in August 2005.
At 72,000 miles the engine light comes on. Oh great!! Now what? Back to the dealership. They put it on the diagnostic machine, and it reads misfire on the third cylinder. We are told that it is the plug wires. Wait a minute, didn't you just do a tune up at 60,000 miles? Yes, but that doesn't include wires. Huh? You replaced the plugs, but not the wires? That's correct. You had to take the plug wires off to replace the plugs, but you thought the old wires were okay. It cost $800 for the brakes and service 12,000 miles ago, what would another $50 for wires would have hurt?
We are told it is not policy for them to replace plug wires unless the engine light comes on. Okay, so how much to replace the plug wires? With the cost of diagnosis, parts, and labor, about $200. I DON'T THINK SO!!! Close the hood and park it in the lot, I will be after it when I get off work. And the dealership still wanted me to pay $60 to diagnose the problem. I was not a happy camper.
The service manager was kind enough to lower the price to $30. My husband and I decided that at this point we are done with that dealership. So we go to the local parts store and pay $35 for plug wires and put them on.
After installation, we go back to the local parts store, and their diagnostic machine still reads misfire on the third cylinder. Not a good sign. We decide to replace the spark plug. Maybe it's possible they had a defective one. Doesn't help. So now what? My husband says that the only other thing it could be that extended warranty wouldn't cover is the coil. So back to the local parts store. A coil is about $100. Yikes! But the auto parts guy convinces me that coils rarely go bad on PTs and that I should take it for a compression check.
So we take it to a different Chrysler dealer and request a compression check. Which is not covered by the extended warranty. The compression check is fine. Uh oh! The service writer calls me and asks permission to pull the valve covers. Okay. The mechanic finds that the exhaust valve on number 3 cylinder is burnt. Covered by extended warranty. So the dealership replaces all the exhaust valves. All should be well, right?
The service writer calls me to tell me my car is ready after most of a week has gone by. But my battery is dead. For $100 plus, they can replace it. I told him to put it on the charger. He said they already tried that, but it is so dead it won't take a charge. I told him jump start it and move it out, I'm not paying $100 for a battery. The car is three years old, so I can see the battery dying.
The service manager calls back a half hour later and tells me the car is ready, but that the engine coolant temperature sensor is bad, so the engine light is on again, but for $100+ they can replace it. I don't think so! The local parts store sells it for $20. The dealership says it won't hurt to drive it with the sensor out. We go pick the car up after work.
On the drive home, I notice the A/C isn't working. By that time the dealership is closed, so I call the next day to see if the sensor could make the air not work. I am told by the service department, that yes, if the sensor stuck open, the air wouldn't work. Okay. We replace the battery for $50, and the sensor for $20. But the air still doesn't cool, so back to the second dealership we went. They charged $90 to check the freon - which they found none they said - search for the leak, which they couldn't find, and fill it with freon and dye. They said that if the air quit working again, bring it back. The next day, the air wasn't working again. Imagine that!
We took the car in for one thing to get fixed, and it comes back with three others not working. Is it bad luck, or coincidental? Anyway, the car is currently back at the second dealership for the air to be fixed. My extended warranty will cover the evaporator, but the dealership won't take the $50 co-pay out of the $90 I already paid them for NOT fixing the air. This will be the last time this car goes to that dealership. Fixed or not. What are the odds of taking your car in to get one thing repaired, and it comes back with three other things not working? When I asked the service writer to put himself in my shoes to see my frustration, he asked me if I thought they broke the stuff. Mighty big coincidence, don't you think?
I tried to trade the car in at another dealership, but I owe so much more than the car is worth, that I would have to have a huge down payment if I intend to use the car as a trade-in.
You can look at this experience from two different angles: 1) The payments are going to outlast the car, at which I will have a payment on a car that is a yard ornament, or 2) Everything is new, so I should be good for another 70,000 miles.
The bad thing is that the extended warranty expires within 1,000 miles, and they want $4,000 to extend it past 75,000 miles. The car is barely worth $4,000, so that doesn't make good financial sense. I guess all we can do is hope. Chrysler certainly has no intention of standing behind their product.
This car must have been built on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend, because it has had enough problems for 10 cars.
I was hoping for a good commuter car, but am disappointed in the gas mileage and dependability.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 26th October, 2008
Incredible, I have the same car but never had those problems. I did pay over $600 for the tune up and learned they didn't replace the wires. Now my battery is suddenly dead and I don't know how to replace it or what battery it takes. I don't have a way to get it to the shop so I have to hire a mobile mechanic to replace it eech.