By on February 4, 2016

2006-2009_Chrysler_PT_Cruiser

Kenneth writes:

Which cars and trucks that have throwaway motors? I was one payment from finishing my debt on a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser and my timing belt came off. Immediately, my valves were destroyed. I would not want to buy another engine like that. I am now $20,000 in debt buying another car. (Toyota Corolla)

Thanks Sajeev

Sajeev answers:

Oh no, sorry to hear this!

Use this as a lesson: always read the owner’s manual to see what maintenance items are required at what mileage/time interval. 

While few (very few?) engines in the last decade still run a timing belt with an interference setup, I still default to modern engines being of the throwaway variety. (For reasons discussed here and here.)

Your case aside, that isn’t a bad thing. It’s cheaper to buy a factory reconditioned or junkyard engine than to rebuild, machine, and replace torque-to-yield bolts on modern engines.

I am confident all Corollas in the last decade used timing chains (go ahead and correct me, Best and Brightest) but read the owner’s manual to ensure you’ll get years of healthy motoring.

[Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons]

Send your queries to [email protected] Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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157 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Truth About Throwaway Motors (Part III)...”


  • avatar
    Joss

    Some 2016 Civic owners may get the chuck engine light. This will put some noses out of joint.

  • avatar
    Thatkat09

    The 2.4l in the PT Cruiser may not be a great engine but ive seen specimens with well over 200,000 miles, hardly a throw away engine.
    Also im 90% sure the 2.4l in the PT Cruiser is non-interference.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      conveniently “Kenneth” didn’t mention how many miles said car has. Probably one of those “what, you mean you have to replace the timing belt?” situation.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        One friend’s hand-me-down Corolla ran for 7 years until the engine seized, at which point I learned he had not once changed the oil or filter in that time. I wish a camera was present to record the look on my face when he mentioned that detail.

        • 0 avatar
          Willyam

          I have a story just like that. It was a roommate’s 83-ish SR5. He delivered pizzas in it as well. I had no idea a car could survive such abuse. When it seized one morning, he bought something else and left it in the apartment parking lot. Years later, they tracked him down and he had to pay to have it dragged to salvage.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Exactly my thought – seems like a victim of deferred maintenance given it is 10 years old.

        And how does one go $20K in debt on buying an aged pt Cruiser, or did I miss something?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think the “(Toyota Corolla)” after the claim indicates he bought a Corolla to replace it but would have avoided such debt if the Chryco had sucked less and used a chain as Dog intended. Yes he should have RTFM and handled his maint but at the same time I hate timing belts with a passion.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If you get 10 years (I assume many miles) out of a PT Crusier that probably had the original timing belt, well, that’s not bad. The change interval for the timing belt is supposed to be between 60K and 90K miles.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Even more punishing than losing the motor to a PT Cruiser would be driving a PT Cruiser for 10 years.

            Good lort.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            Cory– I understand you sit at the popular girls’ lunch table, but please do stop being such a mean girl.

            Subprime doesn’t mean subhuman. I do rather resent the popular indictment that owning Mopar is somehow a pitiable position to be in.

            neon<PT<Dart– I've owned them all over the course of my 20 years driving. They're averaging a worry-free 120k miles over the decade I've driven each– at an approximate cost of $40,000.

            Is that so bad for 3 new/near-new vehicles?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            First time anyone’s ever called me popular, I feel very spayshal.

            But I hate the PT Cruiser because it’s awful to look at, wasn’t made well, and isn’t good to drive. That doesn’t mean the owner is sub-human or that it’s not reliable.

            Also, sarcasm font isn’t available when commenting.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Wait he sits with us… does that mean we’re the popular girls in skweel? As if!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The 2.4 Chrysler-Dodge motor is a relatively durable/reliable one and was a “world motor” that was also (in basic block form) used by both Hyundai/Kia and Mitsubishi.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        The PT never got the GEMA engine, it stuck with the 2.4 “Neon”‘engine to its end.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I thought MY 2008 through 2010 PT Cruisers had world engines, but am prepared to be wrong:

          http://www.allpar.com/mopar/24.html

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think Jim is correct, I don’t think the world motor came out until the mid 2000s.

            Yup: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Gasoline_Engine

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            The car transitioned to CAN in ’06, but they soldiered on with the carryover engine. The PT was a model of “lack of investment.”

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            Most PT Cruisers had the standard 150hp 2.4l DOHC engine which was designed for the cloud cars.

            Sturdy little stump pullers. the timing belts stretch and they get a little lumpy, but my Mother snapped the belt in her previous Stratus and all it took was reinstalling and re-timing the thing. It was a revelation as compared to my neon’s needing a new engine(the 2.4, apparently, is just a stroked 2.0 neon engine)

            My Father always said one never messes with an engine’s timing– Mother and I just went with it.

            The OP’s vehicle has to have over 125,000 miles, or to have been revved like the dickens to rip the belt at lower mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      Junkfixer

      The 2.4 isn’t a freewheeling (non-interference) engine, but I concur with you overall. I’ve got an ’06 P/T 2.4’B’ in my service bay right now with 319,000 on the clock (burned valve, cyl 4) and the customer wants it repaired because it’s been a good car. I’ve seen many of these 2.4L hockey pucks pass the qtr million mark and all have a few things in common:

      Timing belt service every 75k,
      Synthetic engine oil use, 10k or less svc interval
      Regular cooling sys maintenance.

      It’s really not that hard to make one last.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      If they’re maintained, they last. The 2.4L is solid.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I am going to drop off my IS300 for a timing belt change after work today since the 2JZ-GE with VVT-i is interference. It has fewer than 70k miles on it, but being 14 years old I feel that doing it 20k miles early will provide extra insurance – especially since I’m giving it to my mom in a couple months.

    “Lucky” people will have the water pump fail prior to the timing belt. I can’t imagine the sinking feeling of having the belt go.

    I have a belt on my 07 Legacy and my wife’s 09 Legacy.

    The 2016 STI has a timing belt. I am not able to confirm if it is interference or not – I’m assuming it is but someone here will correct me if not.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      There’s usually a time interval specified as well as mileage. Just because it hasn’t run as many miles, doesn’t mean theverything rubber isn’t getting old.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Agreed MBella, a common mistake. Especially with people selling older low mile creampuffs that get bent out of sorts when I ask them the timing belt was last changed.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      $1400 for the change? Having them do the water pump with it?

    • 0 avatar
      sightline

      I just did the timing belt on my IS300 a few months ago – 40k miles, 10 years old. My water pump was weeping so I did both of them together. After some research, it appeared that the best practice is 100k miles OR 10 years, whichever comes first. Having owned a 944, I am religious about TB/WP replacements now.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      @LandArk

      Have you done the belts in either of your Legacys (what is the plural of a proper noun that ends in ‘y’?)* and if so, where and how much was it?

      thx

      *apparently just adding the ‘s’ is correct, according to grammarbook.com

  • avatar
    bikephil

    $20k in debt = stoopid. Next time buy a $3k car with CASH dumbo.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I thought they sprayed your neighborhood.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Not necessarily. I’ve run the numbers on buying new and holding for a long time vs buying used and paying for repairs, and the savings for driving an older car instead of a new modestly priced car aren’t that great, especially if you have to pay for someone else to do repairs. With new car loan rates so low, there isn’t that much of a penalty for financing a car.

      While I’m not a moderator, I would think that name calling is sufficient justification for Mr. Phil here to get banned.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Personally I’d rather have a payment on a new car, and know that I have a reliable car with the latest safety equipment, tech features, etc, then take the moral victory of milking a beater forever and have an unreliable car with unpredictable repairs that smells and has tattered upholstery. Just me.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        I used to be buy it used camp. My MO was to buy a 6-7k car for cash and keep 5-6 years, selling for around half. With repairs/ maintenance budget of about $1,000 for year. So if you broke it down my monthly cost was about $150 a month.

        Then my Brother in Law bought a new at time 2010 Honda Accord. Drive it for 4 years and sold it His monthly cost ended up being $170 a month. Financing is so cheap and cars have higher resale value buying new not so dumb anymore. Car needed only oil changes and had 0 down time. Me, I had the satisfaction of supporting many local businesses.

        So I may go new next time for first time in a long time.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Absurdly high used car prices make used cars a bad propositioname unless you’re buying something that has massive depreciation. A used camcord that costs as much as a new one with some incentives is asinine.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “A used camcord that costs as much as a new one with some incentives is asinine.”

            Agree, I went out and bought a brand new vehicle, something I said I would never do, because the prices people wanted for used Toy compact PU’s (mostly junk) were so insane it made going new a no-brainer.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I haven’t found CPOs to be worthwhile since back in ’02.

        • 0 avatar
          Zackman

          “So I may go new next time for first time in a long time.”

          A TTAC’er buying something new? The sacrilege! Say it ain’t so!

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          I’ve noticed that we consistently talk of the monthly payment aspect of new vs. used, yet no one has seemed to mention the insurance value of a 5-6 year used vs. a new off-the-lot. One would assume that would be a concerning factor as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Because insurance varies so much between cars. My new $42k 4Runner is cheaper to insure than the 2005 MINI Cooper S that I was offered $4500 trade-in. Replacement cost of the car in question seems to have very little to do with insurance rates at State Farm. The rates haven’t dropped on our MINI since we first got it, either. They’ve hovered around $900 since we bought it in 2005.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            $900/yr.

            In my experience, dropping collision doesn’t save much money either. We still have full coverage on the 2005 MINI because the $60 or so a year saved isn’t worth giving away $4500 should we get in an at fault accident.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You’d save $60 a year, or $600? That sounds like real expensive “liability” so I’d shop around. The insurance industry is fat for a reason. Free money basically.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            $60 was from memory, so I just looked it up.

            $90/6mo. Regardless, I’m still not willing to risk losing $3500~$4500 over $180/yr particularly when a simple low speed bender could total the car. If I drop collision and the car needs $2k to get back on the road from a fender bender, I’m left sinking $2k into a car that is worth just a hair more than that. If I keep the collision coverage the insurance company totals it and I get a check for the value plus taxes less my deductible. The collision coverage (same deductible) on the 2016 4Runner is $240/yr.

            Premiums on collision with State Farm make up ~30% of my overall insurance bill.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Even if you had to eat a $4,500 total loss, it wouldn’t kill you. A small setback from what I can tell about your level of living. But the chances of a total loss is next to zero for you. But your thinking is exactly what your agent is banking on. When you can take the loss, self insure, above liability. It’s like becoming your own insurance agent, and you’ll drive more defensively to boot.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Such a ripoff. When your agent wants $720 for liability, per car, he’s telling you to shop around. No, screaming it! Clearly your agent only wants full coverage rape dollars. Insurance companies make me sick. I speak from the auto body industry. But have an accident and they want a deductible on top of the cash they already owe you?

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            If we were talking $300 or $400/yr, I’d consider that. At these rates and the cost to do a good job repairing — this isn’t some hoopty; It is mint — I’m OK paying $180/yr to get it fixed right or get the full replacement value of the car. Regardless, my point is that you aren’t saving a ton of money by dropping collision in the grand scheme of car ownership.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The $720/year has to be liability + medical + under/uninsured + comp + property protection. If you take collision out of my auto insurance, I’m still paying $1000+/year per vehicle. But I also live in Michigan. Collision is around $500/year per vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            But you get to stroll along the shoreline, basking in the Pure Michigan sun. Your children run ahead, spreading your hopes and dreams in front of you like so many beautiful tapestries of life, on sale now in Ann Arbor.

            -Tim Allen

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            What bball said. It isn’t just liability. Medical, comp, under/uninsured, etc make up the other bits. The total premium is $740, BTW. The $900 number was, again, from memory. I didn’t realize that my State Farm app had the policy cost breakdown until after the first post.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So $720 a year and you get to fix your own car? How much just for what your state requires with a flawless record and lowball insurance?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            It depends so much on who you are and where you live that trying to compare insurance costs is nearly meaningless. For example, I pay $535/yr for full coverage with high limits and low deductibles on my ’16 M235i in Maine. But nobody in Michigan is going to pay anywhere near that little. And I live in one of the highest cost areas of Maine. If I lived out in the woods it would be cheaper.

            You should shop around though. I use a broker who does it for me, but I used to at least get quotes from the majors every year. The advantage of the broker is they have access to companies and plans that you will not find on your own. I never would have thought I qualified for AIG Private Client car insurance. Sadly my house isn’t worth enough for them to cover it or I would save even more.

            You also need to look at the whole package of homeowner’s, car, life, banking, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The only cheap car I’m willing to milk is a car that my wife or I love. If I could get hold of the E30 M3 that is sitting under a tarp near my old house, I’d deal with the breakdowns — or more accurately, I’d drive it when breakdowns can be afforded and drive my reliable newer cars to work every day. The same thing with the 2005 MINI that my wife drives. She loves the car, so we will continue to repair and maintain as needed, but it has only seen 2 trips that were longer than 2 hrs since 2014.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Only rich people can own a $3000 car. Jack wrote an excellent piece that explains why, and I have to agree.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Privilege!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Wait, does that mean I’m rich?

        I checked my bank book, it sounds like you’re peddling fiction.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah I always thought that Jack piece was one of his more pointless ones. I understand his point but it ignores that the vast majority of the working poor rock 15 year old POS and get by OK. Buying used depends on the model Toyota and Honda late models have little point but the less liked brand can have very good values. Used big three cars tend to be a very good deal (with certain exceptions) And used luxury cars tend to depreciate like a rock. I’ve been driving old cars for my entire life when you figure insurance tax and reg (property tax here in CT can add up quick with a new car) I have run the numbers and I run less the 1/2 cost of a new economy car and a 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of the same model car I drive new. I have only called in late twice from car issues and once was a flat tire (this is over almost 20 years). I had coworker once with a brand new legacy lemon who called out every other month with car issues. So new can’t always save you. If I had more in the budget I would by newer (under 8 years old and for certain cars (say a new 4runner) I may by brand new. But with 3 kids I have better uses for my resources.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Well looking around my neighborhood, I must be surrounded by millionaires! Down on my street we have: one Plymouth Breeze with light front end damage, one second gen Taurus with a pretty serious front/side hit that cocked the driver’s front wheel at a funny angle, a pretty clean 1st gen Saturn sedan in bright turquoise, a purple 93-97 era reg cab Ranger, a rusty U body Venture with plastic wrap instead of a side window, and equally rusty 95-99 body Cavalier, and finally a tinted out beat looking 01-ish Galant on steelies. These ‘millionaires next door’ must be true DIY enthusiasts with nice reliable new cars stashed away in the garage!

  • avatar
    ckgs

    The PT had a non-interference engine.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      in the traditional sense, but some stuff I’ve read said when the belt lets go, one cam can rotate backwards and the intake and exhaust valves in one cylinder can “catch” each other. depending on the engine speed that would be enough to bend them.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    ALWAYS READ THE OWNER”S MANUAL!

    Shouting intentional.

    However, I never had a Chrysler engine that was an interference engine. The 2.2L in our 1984 E-Class popped the timing belt and no damage. You should have been OK, far as I know.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Music Director at my church had the belt go on their Cruiser while on a surface street within sight of a Fiatsler dealer — no damage to the engine (but some to his pocketbook) — two hours wait, pro opera singer wife still got to her audition on time!

  • avatar
    tedward

    I thought that belts were creeping back into favor amongst the oems. I have no data points to back that up. Same with interference engines.

    I am not an expert at all on timing systems so I may understand (or have been told) this wrong, but belts and chains have both been described to me as giving advantages to the oem drivetrain guys in respect to nvh and efficiency. I was under the impression before this that belts were cheaper to manufacture but was corrected several years ago on this by a powertrain engineer. He may have been just defending host own product, it would be nice to have that confirmed.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the 1.0 liter Fox engine in Fords (both Ecoboost and NA) have a wet timing belt.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Belts are coming back because they’re lower friction than chains. What’s a $800 shop bill for the second owner when there’s 0.8% less soda bubbles in the air at stake?

      http://tinyurl.com/zde6d3z

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The worst case scenario is when you need to do a timing chain replacement. And it happens all the time. The guides go bad, or the chain stretches, or the sprockets wear.

      At least the belts are designed to be fairly easily changed, despite most $tealers seeing them as a profit center and flat pricing them accordingly. Saab wanted $1200 to do the belt on my ’00 9-5SE, local mechanic charged me two hours ($120), and that included replacing the idlers that Saab wanted extra for.

      Change the belt when the book says and you will be just fine. Change it a little early for peace of mind.

  • avatar
    TR4

    The car is ten years old, probably has >100K miles, and so was likely overdue for a replacement timing belt.

    From what I’ve read, the 2.4l is semi “non-interference” in that the pistons won’t contact the valves however the valves can contact each other when the two camshafts get out of sync. Result would be valve damage but not piston damage. Seems like repairing/replacing the head would have fixed the problem for <<$20K.

  • avatar
    Irvingklaws

    $2500 to repair my wife’s 2005 Honda CR-V when the timing chain jumped due to worn tensioners at 80k miles. Once repaired (by the dealer) it consumed oil at an alarming rate. Shortly thereafter traded on a new CX-5.

  • avatar
    sproc

    My most annoying breakdown ever happened when I threw the timing belt in my 1993 Integra in the middle of the northbound tube of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Fortunately, it was early on a Saturday morning so it didn’t cause a backup and the recovery truck just pushed me straight through to the service area.

    What made it spectacularly annoying is that the car was not only about 400mi short of the 90k interval, but I was driving north to NY to replace it that weekend in my father’s garage, where he had a brand new belt and water pump already on hand! Amazingly, the valvetrain was unharmed, and went on to run another 50k before my sister totaled it. It just cost me at least 3x as much over DIY for the tow, having a shop do the work, and the rental for a few days.

    Since then, I’m totally paranoid about replacing timing belts well short of the mfr interval.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    I had a 1993 Audi 90 back in the late 90s, and timing belt skipped a tooth, bending intake valves in one half of the engine (it was V6). The independent shop charged me $1500 to replace the valves, timing belt/water pump/pulleys and machine the cylinders in question. I don’t know what the cost is to do something like that now, but i’d say it depends on the vehicle. If you’re talking about something like econobox, yeah it’s cheaper to swap a new motor in, but if the vehicle is expensive, chances are there’s not much selection and what you find on junkyards will likely need work too (i don’t put much trust in mileage reported by junkyards). So it may be worth it to spend couple thousand and fix something you already know, instead of buying a cat in the bag.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Yeah it’s hard to say without context, but I’m seeing a full rebuilt head online for $450+100 core charge, that is a fully assembled head with new valve seats, valves, valve stem seals, etc. Just put on a new headgasket and t-belt, and have a shop put it back together. I’m guessing a decent indie place could have had you back on the road for $1500ish all in as andyatl stated. Then again if the PT was worse for the wear and higher mile in other areas then it is understandable. Now, paying a full $20k for a Corolla is less so. Is it a very loaded variant? I would have just bought a Camry SE for $20k.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The service for the belt itself now is about $1500, so it’ll be much higher than that.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Maybe at the dealership, and even then I wouldn’t pay $1500 for a t-belt and water pump job unless it was at a Toyota dealership doing the job on a quad cam 1UZFE V8 or some such more involved beast. A little transverse 4 banger at a local shop? $750 with parts tops IMO. Repairpal (for what it’s worth) lists a range of $570-$760 for this job spanning the country and all years of PT Cruiser.

        Some people have an irrational fear of timing belts, driven in part by strangely inflated figures for their replacement that have been circulated. Timing chains and their tensioners and guides can get much more expensive very quickly. My brother recently had to call it quits on an already expensive head gasket job on a 04 Explorer with the crime against humanity that is the 4.0L Cologne in SOHC guise. With the head off, it was discovered that the whole timing chain guide set was basically toast, and it’s an engine-out job on those trucks to get it fixed. The customer, rationally decided against the cost of throwing even more money at this 166k mile truck with a trashed interior. Luckily my brother had an ’02 explorer with a blown transmission sitting around that he simply swapped the working trans out of the cat pee smelling ’04 and sent the lady on her way with a functioning Ford Explorer one way or another.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Cars that can use throwaway motors are awesome. I can get a long block for my Civic for like $300. It’s cheaper to buy a used ILX motor than to stroke it out with new OEM parts too. Once my Civic is up in age I might do that swap if I don’t get rid of it.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    You know, I’m looking at the pic of that PT Cruiser and I still can’t believe how popular they were.

    Looks are subjective, BUT, it’s kinda hard to imagine that the Cruiser had ADM stickers affixed to it’s windows.

    So what was it about the PT that struck a chord? Was is the great performance from that fire breather of an engine, the exceptional Chrysler build quality, the supple ride, or the fantastic interior?

    Or were buyers taken over by an alien life form which forced them to enter the dealership and place their hard earned money on this car?

    • 0 avatar
      gasser

      It was the styling. In those ancient times, Retro was hip. Also the weird shape and fold down seats allowed it to carry a lot of bulky items; that attracted some buyers. I drove several of these, due to a really cheap rental company nearby. They all lacked comfort, power and (at 17 mpg around town) any real economy. Not my cup of tea, but each to his own.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        In those ancient times.

        Lol your killing me. These aren’t from the 1950’s you know and this vehicle just turned 10, hardly ancient! And in case you haven’t noticed retro is still in with many car enthusiasts. Does the Charger, Challenger, Camaro, Mustang and Beetle ring a bell for examples?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      People like different things than you do. I can’t understand how this is such a difficult concept. I guess I can just chalk it up to arrogance.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        Yes, people have “subjective” tastes and believe it or not it’s not a difficult concept at all to understand. Maybe I didn’t make that clear in my above comment.

        So, what color is your PT Cruiser?

    • 0 avatar
      Notadude

      Hey,hubcap, my son and I wonder about the PT love too. My daughter thinks they are cute, and we know a woman with one in a pretty shade of blue. I think the car looks different from the norm and appeals to ladies.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        You can also fit an 8′ ladder inside if the driver is the only person in the car. You could also get it with a turbo and add the Mopar kits to it for some serious horsepower as well.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You could also get one with wood and a fake continental hump in the rear hatch!

          …Doesn’t mean it was a good idea. :P

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I hate to say it, but I kind of like the Woody Cruiser. There is one around here. I’d never buy one, but it makes me smile.

            A few cars ago, my Tesla owning friend had a PT for quite a few years. No particular issues, and he is the kind of owner that can tear up just about anything. It was just a kinda crappy cheap car that was roomy and didn’t look like every other car on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Krhodes likes wood panel PT!?! I should look out the window, because surely swine are flying by!

            The interior of the PT always offended me the most. I remember the first time I really looked inside one. It was around 2003, and I was with my grandparents at KFC and one parked next to them. Even at age 17 it was a disappointment.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Speaking for myself, the woody PT Cruiser is so awful it goes all the way around to being desirable again, so I guess it’s kitschy.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’ve found for you the picture of the worst PT I ever did see. It featured altered rear lights, continental tire chrome impression, AND faux split rear window. I saw this in June of 2014 in Cincinnati, it belonged to an employee of a US Bank branch. Enjoy.

            http://postimg.org/image/sg4g0xe0z/

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Hey, the “Dream Cruiser” was the one PT Cruiser I would have bought!

            We actually test drove one in 2001, but decided it was too small for our (Wifey’s) needs. We also test drove a Jeep Liberty (whew!).

            I managed to hold off buying her a new vehicle for over a year after those drives!

            Y’know, even though the PT Cruiser was typical of another “unfinished” design and execution of a new car from Chrysler, it did have chrome door handles… Does that count for anything?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The whole dash is just a can’t.

            http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Chrysler/chrysler-PT_Cruiser_2008_i01-1024.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          mik101

          One of my older coworkers has a turbo one as a weekend car, and an older truck he uses as a work truck/DD. Just enough fun for him and he loves the styling that reminds him of when he was young.

          Not my cup of tea even though I’ve owned beater Neons, but to each their own. At least the turbo model was interesting and tuner friendly.

          Where I’m from many seemed to end up at buy here pay here lots like most of Chryslers car products at the time. For interior space per dollar, unless you wanted a minivan, it was definitely an understandable choice on the used market. I’d have never bought one new, but unless some folks do, there wouldn’t be used examples to buy cheap later.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Believe or not, a lot of people loved the retro styling, and Chryslers were not looked down on as being that unreliable by most folks. (Even the OP’s example is ten years old, and has probably had a minimum of maintenance.)

      Retro styled cars were very popular at the time, and there were lots to choose from — Ford Thunderbird, Fiat 500, Chevy SSR, VW New Beetle, just to name a few. I even have a book in my library devoted to retro styled cars; which pictures of the current car next to classic that inspired it.

      What is kind of funny is that the PT Cruiser was inspired by the Chrysler Airflow; a car that was too far ahead of it’s time and too awkward for many folks, so it did not sell well. Though many of the features of the Airflow were copied by less radical cars by other makes, and are popular even today.

      https:[email protected]/18559038228

      A couple or so years ago I found the remains of Chrysler Airflow in a field. After reading about them for so long, it was neat to see it in person. I think the person that owned the field is with the Airflow club and has a restored example locked up nearby; the one in the field disappeared a short time later.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Instead of the Fiat 500 (which didn’t come out until 2007), you would be better off including the MINI (which came out in 2001).

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          That is correct; I was thinking more about the contents of that book I mentioned than trying to remember which ones came out when. It included the Mini as well as the others; my library is scattered all over the floor as we repaint and re-arrange the house, so I could not just grab it off the shelf and look.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        @jhefner

        Yeah, my SIL purchased a PT Cruiser and like I said above it’s definitely a subjective thing (as most things are).

        I didn’t find it or the SSR, New Beetle, Thunderbird, or various other cars attractive. I understand the nostalgia play, but many seemed to stack the deck on those wanting to remember the halcyon days of yore while delivering cars that lacked substance in various other areas.

        Again, its all subjective and I know many of the things I like, others wouldn’t. That’s perfectly fine.

        Also, has Chrysler been considered a purveyor of well screwed together products anytime within the last 40 years?

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          I DD a 2007 Durango with 200K+ miles on it that has given us no trouble at all, and my 1990 Dodge Spirit also went well past 14 years and 200K miles, so I have had good luck with them. But I also realize that there are more reliable cars out there; the bar has been raised so high now.

          Just my personal rambling, but retro designs have a lot going against them. You are constrained by the limitations that the original design had; for example:

          * The original Thunderbird was a two seater which was not popular; sales took off when they added another pair of seats, and every generation until the last was a four seater.

          * Both the Mini and the 500 were tiny cars, the Beetle somewhat less so. The latest generations of the Mini have ballooned so big that to call them a mini is a joke now; but that makes them more popular.

          In addition, with the exception of the New Beetle and Mini; most of these were one generation examples that did bank on the nostalgia factor more than anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            I think the current Beetle is a vast improvement over the old Beetle. And I mean the old, New Beetle, not the original Beetle (Type 1).

            What was I talking about?

            Seriously, the new Beetle is way better inside than the first car. More of the feel of the original, with a small dash and upright feel. None of that 5 acres of plastic dash nonsense. It’s a shame, as you alluded, that they sold all the ones they were going to sell in the first gen, even though the second one is much better. What’s the “buy again” rate on the Beetle I wonder?

        • 0 avatar
          bryanska

          Believe it or not, but that retro styling WAS substance from about 1999 to 2004. It was the dawn of pop product design. Companies like IDEO and Apple began to put a new generation of design cues into their products. They were human-centric, or retro-cute, or both. See the iMac. It was a kind of proto-iPhone era. We knew design was important but the smartphone hadn’t made a new language possible yet. So the S-type, Thunderbird, Mustang, PT, SSR, and the New Beetle offered design as a feature.

          I can tell you why people are sensitive about knocking the PT. There’s a trend in car culture now to actively hate cars that were well-received in the past but seem silly now. The PT achieved every measure of success but racing (including critical, sales, longevity, and adoption success). Everybody was fine with it for many years. Sure it wasn’t a classic, and it wasn’t the Viper, but what’s wrong with a small practical hatch that sells a lot?

          Sometime after its discontinuation Jalopnik really started to hammer it. The final review was a middling-to-positive look at the Turbo GT. Yet soon after, the editorial voice at Jalopnik turned the PT into a hatecar. Maybe because of Top Gear, maybe because of gawker influence, but what can be said for certain is that “hate gets attention” and every year or so, they write another 1000 words of bile about the PT Cruiser. Which is funny, because nobody can point to a single quantitative measure of failure for the PT besides average reliability. It’s just hate from a new generation of “some cars guys”, who are very different from “car guys”.

          When I defend the PT by listing its points, in less than 5 posts I’m deemed “butthurt” and not a “true Jalop”.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            You know– The PT really wasn’t so bad, and I lived through it (miraculously, with the way people treated me online for having bought/driven it) unscathed.

            Mine was the basic black LX manual shift and I drove it from 20 to 110k miles with one door lock replacement, two sets of tires, one set of front brakes– one tune up, a dozen oil changes– and a set of shifter bushings.

            Bought it for $7,900 and sold it for $1,500 to my Nephew as his first car.

            I’ll never say a bad word about the car, beyond that the (relatively) massive torque and lack of traction control combine to make clutch dumps with the wheel turned quite exhilarating! The car is tuned for torque, not sprinting.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            it’s mostly because enthusiasts staunchly believe what /they/ think makes a car “good” is a universal, indisputable truth. Anyone who disagrees or likes something else is clueless and stupid.

          • 0 avatar
            scottcom36

            Thanks, bryanska, you nailed it! It’s a cute but practical car that drives well enough to satisfy most people.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Pretty much this – the PT was a Chrysler (strike one) that was in production too long (strike two), that saw a lot of fleet sales(strike three), and was most popular with your baby boomer aunt (strike four). It’s easy to reduce it to a punchline and overlook that it was also a small wagon you could get with a stick and a hi-po engine (isn’t that pretty much Jalopnik catnip? I know it wasn’t really brown, and certainly wasn’t diesel, bu it was a step in the right direction).

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          The Chevy “Heritage High Roof” (HHR) was supposed to harken back to the 1940s stuff more so than the PT Cruiser.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnster

        In my neck of the woods, the car was especially popular with senior citizens who really seemed to like the retro-styling and the relatively high driving position. The older owners tended to baby the cars, drove them conservatively and maintained them well (regular oil changes).

        The engines were neither particularly economical nor had very much performance. Most of them have automatics. There are now a lot of well-maintained, fairly low-mileage used ones showing up on CraigsList and in newspaper classifieds as their owners are either turning in their car keys or passing on.

        It’s not a “great” car, but a good car that’s fairly roomy and you can usually find one in decent shape for a very reasonable price. If you need a cheap beater, you could do a lot worse.

        • 0 avatar
          SP

          I agree with bryanska, iNeon, and Johnster. The PT Cruiser was really a decent car.

          I had one as a rental for a while, back in the mid-2000s. I did not expect much from it. But I was actually quite pleasantly surprised with the way it drove. It was no sports car, and it wasn’t fast, but it was pleasant.

          I found it amusing that, even while the car was currently on sale, when I dropped off the car, I made a comment that I liked the car, and the mechanic at the rental place sort of gave me a puzzled look. Evidently, he was not a fan.

          I have heard that long-term quality was not the best. I believe that, having seen a few other recent Mopars in need of major service.

          Wasn’t the 2.4L the car that Chrysler screwed up mid-run by switching to half a thrust bearing, instead of a full one, to reduce friction? Which led to a significant rash of engine failures, if I recall correctly.

          I think it’s also worth pointing out that timing chains can fail, too, especially with the new and more complex variable valve timing arrangements. I am thinking of Mazda’s 2.3L turbo in the CX-7 and Mazdaspeed 3 and 6. VVT actuator failure and tensioner failure = timing chain failure = engine destruction. I am also thinking of recent Audi V8s in the S4, etc.

          Manufacturers are finding new and interesting ways to mess up established technologies. This for progress in fuel efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs.

          (Another Mopar secret is that the Dodge Stratus triplets were actually some of the best driving cars in their class for most of the 1990s. It was the 2000s update that lost it. Check out some archived reviews from that time. But a lot of people dog the cars now.)

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Wife and I call them PT Barnums, because another buyer was born every minute.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    A quick Google search for a list of common interference engines:

    http://www.agcoauto.com/content/List_Of_Interference_Engines

    For some reason, I always thought manufacturers used interference engines because they didn’t know how to design a non-interference one. It never occurred to me that they do so intentionally for whatever performance benefits.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Back in early 90’s my first car was a ’78 Volvo 242 and its timing belt snapped late at night about a kilometer walk from a phone booth on one of the coldest nights of the year. Years later I had a w-body Supreme International and its timing chain broke during a snowstorm-induced traffic jam on the DVP in Toronto. I guess what I’m trying to say here is winter sucks.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    I’ve heard many bad things about the PT, most revolve around the transmissions failing, and other miscellaneous quality problems.
    Personally, I don’t look at a car as a disposable appliance, to use until it dies. I’m a firm believer in maintenance. Following a reasonable maintenance routine, is key to getting the most out of your vehicle. Many people like to only fix things when they are broken, sometimes resulting in higher cost to fix, or a complete loss of the vehicle. Cost over value.
    The owner’s manual is a good place to start, as well as various sites and blogs. Why throw your money out the window neglecting your car?

    • 0 avatar
      bluegoose

      The PT was initially recommended by Consumer Reports for several years. It was on the Car and Driver Ten Best List. The automatic transmission failures were largely relegated to the GT. I think the initial popularity of the PT was generational. The baby boomers went bonkers over it. I think that made it “uncool” in the eyes of younger generations. It is a love it or hate it car but it was screwed together pretty well. In a sea of bland cars, the PT still stands out. Not every person should be driven to conform and not every car should be designed to conform. It was neglected in its second generation. The refresh was lukewarm. It wasn’t updated and it was eventually criticized. The GTs..especially the manual GTs..offered a fun rocket of car that you could haul a lot of stuff in.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    So my older sister manged to kill a 71 Beatle, and a 74 Valiant with a slant 6, but her 02 PT is running great. Not one problem, she bought it new and does less than minimal maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      Wow! You have to really work hard to kill a slant 6; it would be like killing a Toyota 22R. Although, my brother killed an early 1980’s Corolla engine. His idea of maintenance was keeping the snuff cans and beer bottles out of the floor board.

      • 0 avatar

        I killed a 22r OK partially killed it bent a valve at 215,000. I still drove it for 3 weeks on 3 cylinders and sold the thing for $600 running on 3. My friend windowed a block on one with a failed connecting rod and still drove the 3 miles home on 3 cylinders with no oil in it. Amazingly durable things.

        Slant 6 I have actually never seen one of those killed. Even the one I worked on a crane running the hydraulics where it spent it’s entire life a 3,000 RPM still ran like a top after 30 years of that.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I’d like to know how, exactly, a slant-6 was killed! I honestly have never heard of such a thing.

      Mom & Dad had a 1970 Duster and never maintained it. Finally it just wouldn’t start one day. I finally got it started and managed to get it to our mechanic. Later, he called me to come down to the shop. What he showed me was horrendous: The inside of the valve cover was packed tight with sludge, and the rocker arm was barely visible. Pretty much the entire engine was sludged!

      He cleaned up the engine and it ran perfectly until Mom had to trade it on a new car when it became so rusted out it was unsafe to drive in 1979!

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        To be fair it might have been the rest of the car that failed and not the slant 6. I was only 10 at the time but I remember my dad taking it to his mechanic and the mechanic being amazed. He told my dad to get rid of it. It was only 7 – 8 years old.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    “Throw away engine” has a distinct meaning in commercial engine applications, referring to parent-bore engines that do not have replaceable cylinder liners. Virtually all industrial diesels and some high end gasoline engines are of the wet linter type, whereby the engine’s cylinders are held in place with a flange and can be replaced to stock during an overhaul. Bentley’s 6.75 litre engine is one example of this design. As long as the engine is not overheated, a wet liner engine block has no limit on its service life. Theoretically, you could continue to drive a wet lined engine for the rest of your life, provided you performed the appropriate overhauls and don’t overheat the block. Many Series 71 Detroit Diesels (actually a dry liner design) are still in service after 60,000 hours (which would be equivalent to millions of miles on a car).

    “Your case aside, that isn’t a bad thing. It’s cheaper to buy a factory reconditioned or junkyard engine than to rebuild, machine, and replace torque-to-yield bolts on modern engines.”

    I don’t think so. Modern engines aren’t particularly more or less difficult to work on than older engines. An engine is an engine. If you’re referring about electronics, that’s a different story. Reconditioned engines are of varying quality. I know plenty of people who purchased reconditioned engines that had catastrophic failures within a year.

    Maintenance is everything. There is a Volvo P1800 with over 3 million miles on its original engine block. There is no reason for not performing regular maintenance. Timing belt issues are avoidable.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Modern engines may not be harder to work on, but they are more finicky about everything. You could overheat the hades out of a iron block iron head american car engine and get away with replacing just the head gasket, reusing the original head bolts. Now with all-aluminum motors, even a tiny bit of overheating can ruin the entire motor (I’m looking at you, Volvo and BMW).

      Add in the special fasteners, plastic components, and so on, and the detailed knowledge it takes to put things together properly (Ford 3.8l intake manifold gaskets, make sure you get the correct thickness, there are three different versions), and it makes modern engines much more difficult to successfully repair, especially from an economic standpoint.

      And adding insult to injury, on most modern cars you have to drop the entire front subframe to replace the engine, which adds several hours of labor to the job. Adding that labor to the cost of actually repairing the engine, and it often tips the scales toward simply installing a different, lower-mile engine instead of repairing the existing one.

      I started out working on a 1941 Chevrolet back in the 1970s, and have worked on everything from that up to modern day cars. There is a lot less maintenance now, but when you do have to do maintenance or a repair, it tends to be much more costly and time-consuming. There are no more $20 water pumps on a Chevy inline 6 or V8 that you can change in an hour. Now it’s a $150 water pump that you have to take half the engine apart to get to.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Check the used parts market for its engines and trans’. If unobtainium on a popular car, stay away. Run away.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Honda’s J-Series 3.5 V6 has a belt still. As does their 3.7 or whatever is/was in Acuras. Interference?

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    Sad that junkyard engines are becoming the recommended replacement. Spending money (and time) replacing your eingine with one that you know NOTHING about seems a lot more foolish than putting one in that was professionally rebuilt. This is especially true if the car is older, and virtually every engine in a junkyard has some serious mileage. It’s sad that it’s coming to this.

    If a car is 4 years old, it’s easy to find a good junkyard engine. In the realistic case when your car is 10 years old and the cars in the yard are every bit as old as yours, not so much.

    [I bought a reman engine for my old ’89 Jeep (@240K), it gave me a fresh start for a fraction of the cost of a low mileage replacement vehicle–I’m just about to top 300K now]

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I don’t see it as so sad at all. The fact of the matter is that modern engines are, on average, so durable, that they often outlast the rest of the car. As a consequence, you can get an affordable, still-good engine out of a wrecked car at a considerable cost savings to paying for a rebuild (which usually isn’t as well done as OEM assembly, anyway). If, like in this case, you’re talking about a 10 year old car, especially in rust areas, it can make sense to take a slight gamble on a used engine which will last as long as your car’s aging body while costing maybe half as much as a rebuild.

      If you’re talking about keeping a car for the long haul, by all means, spring for a rebuild, but in a lot of situations, a known-good junkyard engine is the economically smarter choice.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        Some truth, but I’d still not be fully comfortable with junkyard stuff.

        BTW to the typical reader here, I guess 1990 qualifies as an old car, and without a doubt there were some pretty crappy American engines in that era (thanks to fuel economy restrictions.)

        The Jeep engine I mentioned earlier (which I replaced at 240K but still running pretty well) is an old school design, first introduced in the 1964 Rambler American. This basic engine continued production in Jeep until about 2005. Before the US companies made their disastrous move into 4 cylinders, the classic large displacement designs of the 60s really were pretty durable with reasonable care much better than the engines that followed. They were not technologically advanced but they were so understressed.

        In the late 60s most of my friends were into Euro cars, but when their Euros broke down (often) they got towed home by our parents’ Detroit behemoths which seemed to be always working.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      It worked for me with a Corolla motor, it had about 100k miles and it was in good shape, it cost about $500 and it’s been 9 yrs since I put it in.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If you have a Japanese car, there are often JDM replacement engines available with low miles. If from a reliable provider those are usually a pretty good bet. They typically have about ~60k on them so can be expected to last a long time if given a new timing belt/water pump/etc. at time of installation.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    My Iron Duke in my bare bones 87 S15 had compressed powder timing gears. When I got it it had 200k kms and was very reliable, but had a crazy distinctive “knock”. One day, it just stopped running, it had stripped a tooth. Towed it home with a strap and my Dad’s Olds, and replaced the gears myself. Set the timing, and it ran quiet all of a sudden!

    Im generally a fan of chain or gear driven timing. The only time it went wrong for me, I had a super cheap Sunfire, it had a knocking slapping noise, so my dad and I tried to change the tensioner. Didn’t realize it had to be “primed” first. Sold the car for parts.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      The first timing job I ever did
      did was on a sunfire with a quad 4. I was in the high school vocational program at the time and this car was towed in, crank no start. After we set the timing the thing knocked and shook. Mthe friend and I panicked. “What did we do to this guy’s car?” We thought. The owner came by and was extatic. He said it has never ran that great. It thought me one of the most valuable lessons of auto service. Perception is everything.

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      I would agree that I prefer a chain or gear driven. Have had a bunch of both but the only one that ever snapped and froze an engine was a chain on a 2002 Ecotec in my Saturn Vue. Never lost a belt. Probably too paranoid about changing them. Current car has a recent belt and is non interverence (3.0 Toyota).

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    All engines are of the “throwaway” type if you don’t do the scheduled maintenance on them. “Kenneth” doesn’t offer details, so I have to guess that the 10 year-old timing belt was original, at which point the engine failure is firmly in the “it’s your own damn fault” category.

    Furthermore, it’s pretty weird logic to blame $20k in debt for a new Corolla on a failed timing belt in a 10-year-old car. A junkyard motor, a rebuilt head, or another used car of similar age/value are a few alternatives to going balls-deep in debt on a brand new car, especially when you’re still making payments on a 10 year old PT Cruiser (holy crap!).

    It sounds like “Kenneth” may need to educate himself about the realities of auto maintenance and finance management.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Ken is the name of a man you borrow a step ladder from.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      That assumes you have the $500-1500 in cash laying around to pay for a junkyard engine install. Most shops don’t work for $0 down and $150 a month, but the new car dealer does.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        This is why God invented credit cards. 18%+ interest for a few months is still better than $20K over five years. And that is assuming you have crappy credit. If you have good enough credit to qualify for the super cheap auto loans, there is no reason to be paying more than about 6-7% for a credit card these days.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Are credit card rates really that high nowadays? Mine’s 8.99.

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah average is about 18% I went with out credit cards for a few years ( got pissed at the system and closed all my accounts) and then got a new one that cut my accounts to just my house which caused my credit to take a hit. The new one is 18% but I only keep a small balance then pay it off to keep the credit gods happy and rebuild it for when I buy a new house.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Timing belts are the work of the Devil, even in non-interference engines. Scheduled replacement is probably the most expensive routine service item. Unscheduled replacement is worse in additional ways. Cars with belts should have big, yellow, permanent notices under the hood warning of the consequences of delaying replacement.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    I don’t like timing belts.
    Yes 2016 Honda Acura V6 has timing belt. Must be saving money not going to a timing chain. V6 Honda all interference engines with valves that need adjusting too. Even Honda 4 cyl engines are timing chain lately.

    Link is for 2016 Acura.
    http://www.oemacuraparts.com/auto-parts/2016/acura/mdx/base-trim/9-speed-automatic-engine/engine-cat/camshaft-timing-belt-scat

    Had the non pleasure of changing my Honda timing belt. Owners manual recommends change at 105K or 7 yrs compared to no definite timing chain replacememt interval on my timing chain cars.

    A real pain in the butt getting the Honda crankshaft bolt off. A real pain in the wallet if you can not do it yourself. Pay to get it replaced. It is one of those concealed things in the engine. If it was replaced or not, you cannot tell by looking at it. But you pay the bill.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is why I had the timing belt in my 08 MDX done at the dealer. I knew it was overpriced, but I wasn’t going there myself in the driveway. The truck is overall pretty good, and paid off, so….

  • avatar
    wibigdog

    PT Cruiser==Neon station wagon

  • avatar
    Mathias

    I am shocked. I thought I’d let this fester for a while, then see what people had to say about the Chrysler 2.7 V6 — the ultimate throwaway, 100k-if-that engine.

    It hasn’t even been mentioned until now.
    B&B, I am disappointed in you.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    The only car that I’ve experienced that gave up the ghost was a 2.2 Cavalier. 218k miles and oil with the conistency of Oreo pudding. I doubt the first owner was too interested in changing the oil as he would have been in every 2 weeks, it was 7 years old at the time. My brother bought it used after he killed the thirsty-for-oil 94 Corolla (still very bitter about that) putting 150k miles in 6 years, and maybe changing the oil properly 6 times.

    *it was so bad that a Walmart tech almost didn’t bother with it because there was no oil on the dipstick and figured there was more wrong than needing oil. My brother would rather smoke a dubie than pay for basic maintenance (crying poverty).

    I have people tell me that with proper care the 2.2 is decent enough, but I just can’t deal with it.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    6.4 Powerstroke pretty much checks all the boxes for throwaway…

  • avatar
    John

    Dude – your PT cruiser had a throwaway timing belt – as in, you were supposed to throw it away and replace it with a new one at about 7 years – not a throwaway motor. While I am by no means a FCA fan, don’t blame your motor for not surviving your neglect.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    There is a website dedicated to CARCOMPLAINTS that gives you the opportunity to look up ANY vehicle to see if it is problematic. It also includes NHTSA reported complaints, as well as any recalls. You can even check crash ratings. I have found the site very useful. I have been able to even check manufacturer bullitens regarding any vehicle.
    If anyone is shopping for a used car, you shouldn’t purchase, until checking out this site. Search for CARPROBLEMS and search away. I hope this information is useful.
    PS. Just add .com to my words in caps. Good luck!


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