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The system is a "closed" system from the factory and therefor not made to enable a refill..I have the same problem with mine and there is a it is...key element here is that when the power top system is activated there is NO pressure in the resevoir..all the resevoir does is enable a transfer of the fluid. That being said what I did is drilled a hole through the TOP of the plastic resevoir and when to Home Depot and bought a small rubber "V" shapped plug to plug the hole after I added hydrolic fluid. Caution here as go slowly while drilling the hole as to make sure the plastic shavings do not get in the resevoir as the drill bit cuts through the plasic tank housing. Then grab a turkey baster, suck the fluid up from the new quart of fluid and carefully squirt it through ht e hole you made in the resevoir (make sure the hole you drilled in the resevoir is big enough to accomidate the size of the hole n the end of the turkey baster or you will make a mess. After the resevoir is filled work the system WITHOUT the plug on to emable the system to bleed tha air out. Continually check for leaks in the system as if you have one, you will see the fluid pour out where ever there is a leak. If there is a leak, the leak myst be fixed (an entire new process) if there is no leak, refill until you are about 3/4 full in the resevoir tank and place the rubber plug over the hole you drilled in the tank and you will be good to go...

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I will make a response to your question, as nobody else here has a comment. There doesn�t seem to be any history of top motor problems. Eventually this will probably change. I have not had any problems of this sort and do not have a service manual; the ones that are available are for pre-05 models it seems. I have had to work on other convertible hydraulic systems, so I can make a few general statements that may start some discussion. Most of what could be causing your problem will be something you can probably not fix for yourself.

As a generalization, If the motor runs and the top doesn�t move, you have a hydraulic problem. Every convertible top mechanism I have seen that was not 100% electric consisted of a pair of double acting cylinders, one on each side of the rear seat, a pump unit, and a few plastic tubes. Some but not all cars have had a valve that can be opened to bypass the pump which will allow manual top operation. The PT convertible has such a valve which is operated from inside the trunk. When the pump runs normally, the oil on the top (or bottom) of each cylinder is moved to the opposite side of each cylinder. This flow path eliminates the need for a large oil tank, as the oil is just shuffled around in place. If you can easily lift and lower the top by hand using one person on each side, The oil is bypassing somehow, I�ve had other convertibles in the past where the top could be moved slowly and steadily by hand, and had ones where it could be done, but would take five minutes to do so, as the oil had to slowly push past the seals to do the lifting. Both these cases had normal motor operation. If you can just whip the top up and down like it�s a manual top, then there is excessive hydraulic bypassing going on, or the system is very low on oil. (And where did it all go?) Slow, jerky motor operation is also a low fluid problem.

Getting to the pump unit on a PT is an area that has not been discussed here yet. The pump is on the lid over the trunk, but is under what I would call a package shelf. The cover over the pump will be delicate and will need to be removed for any further investigation. It will most likely be serviced best with the top up and possibly with the non moveable section of the rear seat removed. There will be some snap clips and possibly some screws required to be removed. If anybody has an 05 or later shop manual at home, they can chip in here at any time.

The method of filling the hydraulic system as a general rule is to pry a small rubber plug out of the top of the pump. I would use a toothpick or lollipop stick as a temporary dipstick to get an idea of where the standing level would be initially. You add auto transmission fluid using a turkey baster of some sort of squeeze bottle. You will have to cycle the top up and down a few times after it"s back together to get the air all out of the system followed by adding more oil until it all works. If the reservoir is full, then the pump has probably failed or possibly, is sucking in air from a loose fitting.

If the system is bypassing oil, it could be going though a manual bypass valve that has become open, or through a burned out pump or through a hydraulic cylinder that has a bad piston seal leak. The cylinders are normally not a problem, and normally will not fail in pairs, so If one hydraulic cylinder moves and the other one lags behind, then that cylinder is bad.

If you have to replace the hydraulic pump or other components, you will need to break the hydraulic fittings. I haven�t done this sort of work, but they are probably swage type joints that can be loosened and retightened. If not, you will have to piece the system back together using tubing fittings from an automotive store or Chrysler dealer. After system is reassembled, refill and purge air as described above.

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Chrysler | 2004-2008 PT Cruiser Convertible Rebuild/Upgrade service for main lift cylinder(s) using Top Hydraulics" proprietary seal upgrade, or replacement of hydraulic lines, or rebuild service of the pump, or any combination of the above. If your convertible top is moving slowly or not at all, you likely have one or both of the hydraulic cylinders leaking, which emptied out the pump"s reservoir. This is normal for a convertible of this age, as the seals in the hydraulic cylinders are decaying. The seals typically decay first on the bottom of the cylinders, where you would least expect it. Top Hydraulics replaces and upgrades all seven seals per cylinder, with an expected service life of several decades! The PT Cruiser convertible has two lift cylinders for the convertible top. Top Hydraulics" seal material is far superior to the OEM"s. Please send in your cylinders to be rebuilt, or use our core exchange service, also known as up-front shipping. Optional up-front shipping is more expensive, but very convenient. It includes a $150 core deposit plus a $40 surcharge per cylinder. When removing the hydraulic lines from the cylinders, please retract the cylinder shafts first. That way, you avoid that any accidentally slipping tool might damage the polished cylinder shaft. Top Hydraulics can replace the shafts with some from our own production, but we would have to charge extra. These cylinders typically fail first in the rear (bottom) of the cylinder. The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cylinders have front and rear caps that are sealed from the cylinder bodies with a seal material that decays over time. Top Hydraulics replaces those seals with a far superior material that is not sensitive to water and is resistant to most additives in hydraulic fluid. Our seals have a larger cross section for a superior static seal. The OEM cylinders rely on a tiny o-ring to energize a very thin, flat rod seal. The o-rings loose elasticity over time, and the OEM rod seals wear out. Top Hydraulics manufactures and installs its own precision CNC machined front caps in these cylinders, so that the tiny OEM rod seals can be replaced with Top Hydraulics" own u-cup seals for a far more reliable seal and much longer service life. In addition, the size and geometry of Top Hydraulics" u-cups is forgiving to tiny scratches and imperfections in the cylinder rods (aka piston rods or shafts), caused during the original manufacture, during removal from the car, during installation into the car, or by impurities in the hydraulic fluid. Top Hydraulics replaces the port seals (where the hydraulic hoses attach) and ships spares with each cylinder, in case your mechanic accidentally pinches an o-ring while installing the hydraulic hose. Note: if you have Top Hydraulics rebuild only one cylinder, or both, but not the full system, then you will have to refill the hydraulic pump with fluid. The system is self venting, and the air from the cylinder(s) will eventually end up in the reservoir. It can take several cycles to get all air out of the system. Keep topping off the reservoir until the fluid level does not drop below the fill mark any more. You can fill the pump slowly with a syringe or a squirt bottle through the fill plug in the middle, on top of the pump. You may need to use pliers or vise grips to loosen the plug if you end up stripping the 5-mm inside hex. The filling process through the fill plug is slow. You can speed it up a little by manually pulling up one or both of the cylinder shafts while filling the pump - this creates a vacuum in the reservoir. We recommend against taking off the reservoir, because you might damage the reservoir or its o-ring in the process. In particular, we recommend against drilling a hole in the reservoir. You will be introducing foreign particles into the system, plus the reservoir gets pressurized when the hydraulic cylinders retract. Possible fluids to use: FeBi 02615 Aral Vitamol Mercedes fluid p/n A 000 989 9103 (10) Pentosin CHF-11S Mopar 05127381AA Univys 26 All fluids above will mix with each other or with the original fluid in the pump, and they are safe to use in the system. Owning and driving a convertible with an automatic top is prestigious, convenient and exciting - let Top Hydraulics help you enjoy your beautiful car even more by making your convertible top system truly better than new!

Includes $400 refundable deposit. Rebuilt & upgraded cylinders, new & superior hoses, rebuilt & upgraded pump. System ships fully assembled and filled with hydraulic fluid. This saves you a lot of labor and frustration, compared to replacing the components one by one. Outstanding value, far superior to original OEM quality.

In your Chrysler PT Cruiser, there are two lines/hoses routed to each hydraulic cylinder. The hydraulic top system has a total of four hoses.  Each hose has a two-digit number stamped on it. Please identify the hose number when ordering.

Service of all moving parts with three years warranty. The pump goes through extensive testing of flow, pressure in both directions, and extended load testing to make sure it exceeds the manufacturer"s specs before we ship it back.

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Sonnenland® is a German-made 3-ply topping made up of an acrylic twill-weave facing, a rubber inner-layer, and a polyester "dobby backing." The dobby backing is a knit-like weave original to many high-end foreign cars. Customers who value originality over cost often pay top dollar for Sonnenland, just to have that authentic "dobby backing," seen only when you look up at the roof of your convertible top from inside your car. Sonnenland canvas is a top-of-the-line material original to various Audi, BMW, and Jaguar convertibles, among others. Sonnenland Canvas can vary in terms of surface weave and/or weight for acoustic performance, but all Sonnenland Canvas promises elegance and long-lasting durability.

Twillfast®, also called Sonnendeck Canvas, is an American-made canvas - a cost-effective substitute for Sonnenland. Twillfast is usually a 3-ply topping (though some versions are 5-ply) with Polyester and/or Polyester/cotton backings. This material, original to certain Camaro, BMW, Mustang, and VW Beetle convertibles, among others, varies in terms of surface weave and/or weight for acoustic performance. Twillfast Canvas is identical to Sonnenland Canvas - elegant and durable - only it"s less expensive. This is a top-notch convertible top material, one we often recommend to savvy customers who like a good buy and a quality product.

Stayfast Canvas is an elegant, durable canvas original to cars like the Mazda Miata and the Nissan 370Z. Stayfast is commonly used in replacement convertible tops. Stayfast canvas has an acrylic square weave facing, a rubber inner-layer, and a cotton backing. As with other canvases, the rubber core gives the fabric long-lasting durability. Stayfast canvas is a sleek, beautiful canvas, usually less expensive than Twillfast, but it does not have the dobby backing offered in Sonnenland and Twillfast (Sonnendeck). Stayfast is a popular upgrade to vinyl convertible tops, and as with any canvas, is richer looking and has a higher wear rating than convertible tops made of vinyl.

Chrysler Sailcloth is featured on many late LeBarons, Sebrings, certain Mustangs and other cars. It is structurally (wear quality) equivalent to the Haartz Pinpoint but has a different surface grain. The grain was designed to imitate the look of canvas. As you can see from the scan of this fabric, it is an exceptionally rich looking material. It is sometimes chosen for replacing convertible tops that originally featured pinpoint vinyl.

British Bison Vinyl is the most popular British roadster convertible top material. It is American made Haartz leather grain vinyl and is an imitation of the British Everflex vinyl top fabric. The British Bison Vinyl convertible top fabric is often referred to as "crush grain."

British Everflex Vinyl We are now pleased to offer British Everflex Vinyl for classic English tops. This is the original material used on British convertibles including Jaguar, Rolls Royce and many others. Imported from England, British Everflex vinyl is a supple vinyl with a rich appearance and is more durable than other vinyls. A good, less expensive alternative is Colonial grain vinyl. Colonial has the same texture but is less durable.

Trilogy Acoustic Vinyl A heavyweight vinyl that is often used on SUVs like Jeep, because the two-ply composite has the capacity to reduce noise by about 20 percent compared to standard vinyls like Sailcloth. The vinyl material is durable, promises long-lasting wear-and-tear, and resembles the sleek twill cloth commonly found on luxury convertible cars.

Haartz Twillfast RPC This American-made canvas has a twill weave pattern and resembles German-made Sonnenland canvas. It is a great all-purpose canvas and, according to Haartz, is used on 99 percent of convertibles. It is stronger and more durable than Stayfast Canvas and offers more sound protection. Haartz rates Twillfast RPC as a mid-level acoustic product, compared to the low-level sound reduction offered on other top materials like Stayfast

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In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your PT"s stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We"ll tell you all about:

Early in the 21st century, though, Chrysler introduced its new PT Cruiser, a compact wagon (the ragtop came later) that combined Airflow style with minivan utility in a package that was anything but "normal looking." This time, the risk paid off. In a world full of dull, grey sedans, the PT Cruiser"s cheerful combination of retro form and modern function quickly attracted a large and loyal fan base. Today, the PT is one of those rare designs that still stands out, even after a decade-plus on the road. Perhaps the secret to aging gracefully is looking a little bit old to begin with.

Whether you"re sticking with the stock look or, like many owners, adding your own custom touches, a PT Cruiser can be a pretty nifty way to go about your daily business. If you want your car to sound as nifty as it looks, the PT is a great platform for an aftermarket stereo system.

The PT was available with several different factory radio options. The base unit, familiar to anyone who"s ever rented a PT at the airport, was an AM/FM/Cassette radio with six speakers. Upgraded AM/FM/Cassette/CD receivers were also available.

In 2005, The PT Cruiser added optional Sirius satellite radio and Chrysler"s UConnect system, which used the audio system as a hands-free, wireless link to cell phones. If your "05 is so equipped, you"ll lose those features when you install an aftermarket stereo. Thankfully, there are aftermarket solutions.

Removing the PT Cruiser"s stock radio isn"t terribly difficult, but the process is a bit labor-intensive. You"ll start by removing the four climate control knobs, which should come off with a firm, but gentle pull. Next, you"ll use a panel tool to gently pry out the top of the power window control panel, which is located in the dash, between two HVAC vents. Disconnect that wiring harness, remove it, and remove the Phillips screw you"ll see when you remove the panel.

There"s obviously a lot of stuff going on in the PT"s center stack, which means you won"t have room for a big 4" double-DIN receiver. Perhaps it"s all for the best. Accidentally lowering a rear window every time you took a swipe at a touchscreen receiver would soon grow tiresome. That still leaves you a wide selection of powerful 2" single-DIN CD receivers or, if you"re travelling disc-free these days, digital media receivers.

Installing your new stereo is largely a matter of reversing the steps you took to remove the old one. Insert the factory DIN sleeve into the mounting bracket and secure it by bending the tabs. Connect the wiring adapter to the factory wiring harness and plug into the antenna lead. The mounting kit and wiring harness are available at a very nice discount with stereos purchased from Crutchfield. We highly recommend testing the stereo before you re-install the dash panels.

The PT Cruiser"s front doors house 6-3/4", 4-ohm speakers. These "oversized" speakers are found frequently in Chrysler and GM vehicles, so same-size aftermarket speakers are plentiful. You can also use an adapter bracket to install 5-1/4" or 6-1/2" speakers. The brackets are free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase, along with a Crutchfield MasterSheet that contains detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to remove and replace stereo equipment on your PT Cruiser.

Removing the originals involves removing the door panels, which is a relatively simple process on the PT Cruiser. You"ll need a few tools and some patience, but it"s totally doable.

Now get your new speaker out of the box. Connect the speaker wiring adapter of the new speaker to your PT Cruiser"s speaker harness. Secure the speaker (and adapter bracket, if needed) with the screws you just removed and test it out. If it sounds good, re-install the door panel by reversing the removal steps.

The PT Cruiser has a pair of 4-ohm tweeters located in the dashboard. You"ll need to remove the radio trim and the dash pad to access them, so if you really want to replace the tweeters, it would be easiest to do it while you already have the dash apart.

Another option is to install aftermarket tweeters in this location. You"ll need to fabricate a mounting bracket for the new tweeter, and our universal back strap can help with this. Again, this will take a little work, but it"s much easier than trying to fit new 3-1/2" speakers.

The PT wagon"s rear speakers are 4-ohm 6"x8" models located in the rear pillars. A set of new 6"x8" speakers will fit nicely, as will a set 5-1/4" speakers, with help from the adapter brackets included free with your Crutchfield speaker purchase.

Once that"s done, pull out the speaker, disconnect it, and put it aside. From there, all you have to do is connect the wiring adapter on your new speaker to the PT"s speaker harness. Secure the speaker with the same screws you removed and test it out. If it works, you"re ready to button up the trim panel and start enjoying the sound.

In 2005, Chrysler added some fun and sun to the PT Cruiser line with a new convertible model. The drop-top was essentially identical to the wagon from the nose to the dashboard or so, so the instructions we"ve covered so far will take care of your receiver and front speaker installation needs. The rear speakers, however, are another thing entirely.

In the convertible, the rear speakers are 6"x9" speakers, and they"re located in the rear seat side panels. And they are tough to reach. Stock-size replacements will work, of course, and you can also use an adapter bracket to install 5-1/4" or 6-1/2" speakers. You"ll need to remove the rear seat and several trim panels, though, plus there"s a roll bar to deal with.

If you"re interested in adding big-time bass to your PT Cruiser wagon, there"s plenty of room to work with in the rear cargo area. The space available for placing a subwoofer box measures 39" W x 18" H x 19"-24" D, so if you’re thinking about boxing up a good-sized set of component subs, you’re in luck.

On the other hand, if you"re interested in adding a reasonable amount of bass without losing an unreasonable percentage of your PT"s cargo capacity, you can also add a more compact powered subwoofer. We offer several standalone units that will give you the thump you want without devouring the entire rear compartment.

Installing a security system in your PT Cruiser isn"t easy (security systems rarely are), but it"s definitely a good idea — especially for the ragtop. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and new gear to a professional installer.

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“ImperialCrown” wrote: ‘The problem with the Neon and PT front control arm bushing is that the rubber insulator is "bonded" to a metal shell that is pressed into the control arm. In damp or salt belt geographic areas, the bond comes apart from surface rust developing between the rubber and steel. The rear of the control arm then drops down and rests on the crossmember resulting in a "clatter" over bumps. It is never a dangerous condition and would never come apart as it is a captive assembly. The caster might change very slightly, but other than that it will not significantly affect alignment. I have shimmed mine with 1/8" plastic shims to keep it from rattling against the crossmember.”

Bob Sheaves replied: “The bushing shell adhesive is not the issue; XJ (Cherokee) and others have used them since long before Neon and PT. If the bushings were not preloaded, you would never have the strain of shear force against the adhesive to start with. You have to have a load to seperate the adhesive so the corrosion can start to begin with. Wear doesbecome a safety issue when you let the metal parts bang against each other and wear through. ... Aftermarket ‘bushings’ that I know of all have the same issue, but worse, due to the stiffness of the urethane does not last as long as the stock rubber before wearing out due to this loading. The onlyway to effectively eliminate the issue is to use uni-ball (heim) joints, not bushings.”

I just changed the the lower control arm bushings in my PT and the banging noises persisted. I didn"t think much about it when I was taking the LCA"s off but the bushings for the sway bar had became hardened. They are supposed to be soft, but road chemicals and the like harden them, which can cause noise.

Raven wrote: After a time, the spring in the radiator cap looses strength and no longer maintains the abililty to keep all of the water in the anti-freeze from escaping. The overflow tank doesn"t replenish the loss and eventually it overheats. Badly.Like mine did at 70 mph! The cap double locks: when you think you have it closed you have to push it down hard and keep turning until it stops or you will have slight fluid loss again resulting it the same problem... It looked like a bomb hit my engine compartment; I thought it was big bucks but it was only the result of a bad cap. Maybe when people have their water pumps changed mechanics neglect to replace the cap and the overheating still exists.

Run the engine for a minute or two, so the sensor and surrounding area will be hot and easier to remove without damage. This means you need to be extra careful that you don"t burn yourself on the dangerously hot catalytic converter or exhaust manifold when working. Then disconnect the battery, jack up the vehicle, and place it securely on jack stands (or rent a hydraulic lift). Unplug the sensor (you’ll need to trace the wires for a while on the downstream one) and unscrew it with the special socket. The upstream sensor is on the top side of the exhaust manifold, the lower one is on the side of the catalytic converter.

Opinions on whether the PT uses an interference design or not vary. In any case, the timing belt tensioner design was changed in 2003 to provide greater durability. “Shadetree” wrote that he replaced his 2002 PT’s timing belt using a Gates kit purchased at a regular parts shop; the kit includes the old-style belt tensioner and an idler pulley (dealer kits include a newer design tensioner, but are far more expensive). The flat-rate cost is eight hours; it may take experienced mechanics less time.

I found the cause for the loss of dash lights and loss of led on the radio/clock of my 2002 PT: moving the steering wheel up and down while adding side pressure (either direction) causes the lights to go out. Remove the bottom steering wheel cover; turn the ignition key on so the dash lights and the radio/clock led are on, but not the engine. Next move the wheel up and down slowly while applying pressure to the left and right to encourage an electrical open condition. If the lights go out you now can fix the problem as I did.

Scotit1 wrote: “If you are experiencing problems with the air conditioner, check to be sure that the two speed radiator fan is working correctly. The first symptom is lack of cooling in the a/c. It is controlled by the largest relay in the black box under the hood on the drivers side. The fan may fail intermittently. It is controlled by the sensor near the thermostat on the passenger side which has a slide mechanism as well as a clip like the radiator fan to secure it. High speed operation can be checked by disconnecting the sensor, while low speed can be checked while engine is idling without disconnecting it. It is noticeable when standing in traffic as the engine will "stutter" while idling if it"s failing intermittently. Check to make sure your oil change guys haven"t been hanging their drop lights on the fan wires first!”

[Introduction: the PT uses an anti-theft system where a small radio transponder is built into the head of the keys.] My 2001 PT Cruiser ignition cylinder locked up and caused me to crack my key when trying to start it up. Later the key broke off (not in the cylinder, thank goodness!) The locksmith replaced the cylinder but when he tried to reprogram the new keys, the code wouldn"t work. He gave up and left me with the 2 new keys that weren"t programmed, and the one old working key. Thanks to this forum I realized I might be able to program the new keys myself, but I needed two keys to proceed. Solution? Tape the head of the old key to the "courtesy key" (a key with no transponder head). The car thinks it is key #1; then used my one working key as Key #2. I then proceeded two program the 2 new blanks and saved around $75 to $100.

GT Cruisers commonly go through their first set of tires in under 20,000 miles. Most replacement tires are far more long-lived and many also have better performance. We found Goodyear"s own Eagle F1 All-Season (be careful not to get the F1 "summer tire") to be quieter, better in wet and dry weather, and cheaper than the original Eagle RS-A, despite a much higher treadwear index.

The automatic transmission in Chrysler"s PT Cruiser can only be used with Type 7176 transmission fluid. Do not use Dexron. Make sure mechanics and oil change places use the right fluid. For evidence and horror stories, click here.

2. Attach (tightly) Miller Special Tool, 9688 onto the pump reservoir; then attach a hand vacuum pump (Miller Special Tool) C-4207-A, and apply 68-85 kPa (20-25 in. Hg) of vacuum to the power steering system for at least 3 minutes.

The Watts linkage on a number of PTs appears to be breaking with age, causing a clunking sound from the rear. Price to replace at the dealer appears to be roughly $200. “EngineJack” wrote: “I tried to remove the pivot with the PT rear wheels on ramps but could not break the taper on the arms. (Not enough room to apply leverage). So I removed the arms from the chassis and the pivot bolt from the link and worked on the pivot on the bench. The left hand arm-to-chassis bolt was unbelievably hard to remove. I had to remove the left rear wheel to be able to add a long bar to the get sufficient leverage to start it turning.

Having intermittant/hot start problems with your PT? The factory battery came with a "thermal wrap"--an insulating heat shield ($13). This sometimes gets lost but the high temperatures in the engine bay can shorten the life of your battery. Check to see if you have the wrap around your battery. It is a black plastic insulated sleeve. If you need a new battery, install a heat resistant type.

Next, the battery/starter wiring harness is located where corrosion can be a problem. Mine had corroded connections which led to high resistance and melted the terminal end at the starter. When I replaced it ($75), I noticed the new harness was built to a higher standard of quality with terminals that were not only swedged but soldered as well. (Telemachus’ PT was a 2002 model.)

Joe Adams II reported: “I started having an oil pressure problem last month. The oil filter gaskets would blow out after increasing the rpm"s a little bit. I tried many different oil filters and called many repair shops including the dealership. They all told me that the oil pump was bad. [I got a new pump for $80 and when installing it, noticed that] the spring had broken into about 15 pieces causing my oil pressure to build. I replaced the valve, spring, and new cap into my old pump. The plunger, spring, bolt and gasket are $26 from the dealer (not available from a regular parts shop).”

Steph from Florida noted: “I love my 2004 PT Cruiser - it"s the second one I"ve owned. But the re-occuring problem with both has been the driver"s seat. There"s currently nothing under the seat to prevent anything in the back from rolling right under the driver"s seat and then under the pedals! Quick stops especially highlight the problem. I had my nephew in the back with a bottle, and when he dropped it on the floor, it ended up underneath my brake pedal as I was trying to stop. Luckily, I wasn"t going fast and was able to get the bottle out before hitting anything. I tried to report this to Chrysler, but none of their phone operators seemed to understand that I was trying to report a problem, not find out about existing recalls. I did report this to NHTSA, but so far, no recalls that I"ve been notified of. Right now, I"m driving with a towel under the seat to block any stray items.”

The PT fascias from (2000-02) were injection molded with a TPO plastic using a technology called MIC (Mold In Color), where when they come out of the mold, they are that gray color, giving the PT that one-of-a-kind look. Well, as you know, the sides of the fascia are painted body color in a bake oven. Consequently, the gray part had to be taped off so the sides could be primed and then painted body color. When the part is heated in the baking oven, the tape on the fascia interacts with the plastic pulling the UV resins out, mainly due to the high temp of the oven. DC did much Xenon accelerated weather testing to solve this issue for us PT owners. They understood the problem was caused by the interaction of the tape, heat, plastic, and UV exposure, but could never quantify how much of what actually caused the failure. They were lead to believe that there was another element out in the field that was not being accounted for (wax, polish, chemical, etc...that accelerates the problem) They were able to optimize the tape to reduce the problem (some tapes cause it more than others). But in the test labs, they could never duplicate the nasty failures we see on our cars.

So, the conclusion in April of 2003 was to run the fascias through the paint line a maximum of 2 times. But bear in mind, that by 2003, they were already onto the painted fascias and there wasn"t a whole lot they could do, except try to make sure the fascias in MOPAR were acceptable for service. Which, they are having problems with those because there is something out there that is causing this and they can"t find it. Also, keep in mind, engineers move on to new and upcoming projects and don"t always stay with one car, so issues sometimes get lost as new people step in. So, that kinda explains why its been so long and nothing was done. Personally, I think DC should have wrote a TSB two years ago when complaints started coming in.

The hatch supports - liftgate props, as they"re called - may last only four or five years before they start needing more help to go up. PT Cruiser liftgate props are part number

Recalls are "enforced" repairs - the manufacturer must do them - whereas service bulletins are "optional" - dealers can charge you. For recall related questions call 800 853 1403.

Many people have noted that, to get above the work done, they needed to tell their dealer it feels sluggish from standing starts with the a/c on (that"s the symptom on the PT) or that there is audible knock under high load at high altitude. Otherwise, TSB or not, the dealers would not do it.

Adam W. Broadaway wrote: "I read your paragraph about hoods getting damaged by careless/hurried mechanics. I brought my PT Cruiser in to a body shop after slightly damaging the bumper when I slid across an icy bridge last year. I went to pick up the car and noticed a large bulge in the left part of the hood. I asked the manager about it and he seemed surprised. I told him it looked like someone had tried to shut the hood with the prop rod up. He got very angry at me for accusing his guys of that but there it was, a huge bulge in the hood. Two months later, I got a new hood out of the deal. I did not realize this was a common problem until I read your story."

3) my dealer had a different part number for the intake manifold gaskets--4884648AA--but those were nowhere near the gaskets needed to connect the PTC"s upper intake manifold to the lower intake manifold. My advice is don"t bother with getting any gaskets. The valve cover cost $149 and it took about four hours to do the job; now that I know how to do it, it would probably take about two hours to do another. The Haynes manual was adequate enough although it said nothing about loosening the power steering reservoir bracket or reattaching the ignition coil!

I recently had the original battery on my 2003 PT Cruiser GT finally go bad and I replaced it. In the process of it dying, I lost my interior lights, the memory on the trip odometer, my power locks, my remote key fob capability, my radio/CD player, and the odometer display showed a "NO FUSE" message alternating with the overall mileage reading. The car still ran fine, but it was obvious I had blown a fuse or fuses.

Most PT Cruisers have an antitheft key (SentryKey) with a radio transponder built in to avoid theft. The cost of a new key varies from $25 (Sears) to $40 and up (dealer). To code the key yourself (after it has been cut to match your

put in the new spare key, and turn it to the ON position. After about ten seconds, you should hear one more chime. Only a limited number of keys can be programmed, and you only get a few attempts to get it right, so be careful and wait to hear the chimes when doing this process. We have now done this ourselves. It is the same process as on many other Chrysler vehicles. Not all PTs have this key - some have a plain key that costs about $1 to replicate.

Roy Thigpen wrote: “My 2002 PT Cruiser had an electrical short caused when the wire from the battery to the distribution block was rubbed through by a sharp edge on the engine block, where the bracket is secured. This blew out the starter and the battery and could have caused a fire.”

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The retro-styled Chrysler PT Cruiser, first introduced in 2001, is an American icon. PT Cruiser gas mileage ratings typically range from the mid to high twenties on the highway, depending on the engine configuration. City gas mileage ratings fall below 20 miles per gallon (MPG) in some models. Although the PT Cruiser it is not available with AWD, it’s classified as a compact SUV. The PT Cruiser went through a minor cosmetic redesign in the 2006 model year.

The limited edition 2008 Chrysler PT Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Edition (shown above) features “Sunset Crystal” paint, extra brightwork, 16-inch chrome nine-spoke wheels, and special interior trim. The domestic 2008 PT Cruiser is available with two engine choices based on a sixteen-valve DOHC 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine. The turbocharged version is rated at 180 horsepower (HP) on premium fuel, while the naturally aspirated version is rated at 150 HP on regular. An economical 2.2 liter common rail diesel (CRD) engine is available in the PT Cruiser overseas. It is highly unlikely that the CRD will ever be available in a domestic PT Cruiser, however, as the model is nearing the end of its run.

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With the PT"S they have some issues and some repairs that are common. The thermostat is cheap and should be changed yearly no more than two. The cooling fan is electric and changed or checked every 60,000 or so. If either fails you will face huge repairs if you blow the motor. If it overheats; stop and get towed; don"t blow motor!!! The timing belt and water pump together are a scheduled replacement at 80,000 -100,000 or depending on age!!! If older like 6-7-years 80-90- thousand is realistic!!! Motor mounts are a problem!!!

I started using synthetic oil at 90,000. Change the transmission fluid at 60,000 to 90,000 later if all highway. 60,000 if more city or rough driving. Batteries do not last forever; If you are buying or have one with 2yr warranty it is a 2yr. battery!!! Mine has same alternator. Done the water pump/timing belt scheduled recommended; twice... This is some advice from someone who knows from having, driving and loving the "02" PT cruiser and giving some common sense advice for the type of people that drive these cool little cars!!! One other thing; I installed an Alpine deck; blue tooth; a 10" alpine factory subwoofer with 250 watt amp for the sub together with my iPhone 6 and Spotify app; kept the original 8 speakers and it totally rocks; studio sound!!!! This is my buddy.... Brian

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Driving to Chrysler to pick up the PT Cruiser Convertible GT, I was looking forward to it, but not completely thrilled about the prospect. After all, the PT Cruiser convertible has been around for a number of years now and I personally am getting a little tired of the car. To me it feels like it’s been around for a decade or more – but actually it’s only been available since 2005 – really?! Yep it’s still new. Oh ooh, this isn’t going to be good. However, thirty seconds after climbing inside, I was grinning from ear to ear – I LOVE THIS CAR!!!! It’s sooo cool. I couldn’t wait to spend the next week driving this Retro-mobile!

I love the push button door handles, so very retro. Getting into the PT Cruiser is very easy with the large doors swinging open to seats that are large and sit high, much like bucket seats of the ‘50’s, but firmer and with the added bonus lumbar adjustment – something you couldn’t get back then. Using the power adjustments on the leather seat (8-way driver seat and 4-way passenger), it was very quick and easy to get comfortable. The cabin feels very retro, yet very modern. Reminiscent of the past, the chrome-ringed tachometer and speedometer dials sit directly in front of the very large leather-wrapped steering wheel. The wiper stalk sits at the 3 o’clock position and the turn signal/light switch stalk at the 9 o’clock position. Although quite large, the steering wheel is thin – just like the cars of yesteryear, keeping it perfectly in character. Another retro feature is the trunk release – it’s in the glove box. When was the last time you found the button there? I think Chrysler would really have topped off the retro theme perfectly if they’d have put the horn button in the spokes like the old cars. At present, it’s on the centre where the airbags is and it was quite hard to get it to work – it was very stiff. By the time you actually got the horn to blast, the danger had passes.

The cowl is low, with a short distance from the dash to the base of the front window, and with the seats sitting fairly high it gives the sense that the car has come right out of the past. Just as Ford did a great job of making the new Mustang very ‘60’s retro, Chrysler have done an equally superb job of making the PT Cruiser look and feel like it came out of the 1930-1950’s era. To the right in the center console is an analog clock and power window buttons, with the audio system below that, and the climate control further below. Between the audio and climate controls is a row of buttons where the bum warmers, rear window defogger, power roof, traction control off and hazard lights are located. Lower still, on the floor there are 2 cup holders and a power outlet. The gear lever is very tall by today’s standards, but again in perfect keeping with the whole look and feel of the car. It’s 10 inches tall and finished in chrome with a large round knob on top. Between the seats is a sliding armrest that incorporates two storage areas and an additional power outlet. The vents are round and close completely, as well as rotating 360 degrees to make it the air blow where YOU want it to blow – very well thought out.

The 4-spoke steering wheel offers a modern touch with the cruise control buttons inside the spokes to the right. The steering tilts, but doesn’t telescope which I didn’t find a necessity since it was perfectly placed. The steering is quite good, being sharp and weighted properly – giving enough feedback, without being light and sloppy like steering of the past. Because the shift lever is so tall it took a couple of shifts to get used to, but the Getrag 5-speed manual transmission is a treat to use. The clutch/shifts are silky-smooth and easy to use with nicely balanced take up of the clutch as you let it out. Unlike a number of gearboxes I’ve used this year, this is a superb fit making the PT Cruiser a fun and easy car to drive – if only all gearbox/clutches worked like this one. An interesting feature – and my first experience with something like this – was a ringing bell when you got the shifter into reverse, and it turns out a very necessary warning. It was always a problem to get the shifter into the reverse slot because it was so close to the first gear slot. Pushing down and to the right didn’t always get you into the required reverse gear. When the ringing came on it was like: Congratulations!! You’ve found reverse!!! I’m glad someone at Chrysler decided on that warning bell because it was very useful. However, I should say that with practice, locating reverse became easier and easier. While we’re on the subject of clutches and shifting gears I should mention the foot pedals – they’re metal with rubber nibs on them for grip and they work perfectly – very cool!

Power from the 230 hp turbocharged engine is smooth and certainly doesn’t overpower the front wheels. Driving around town or on the freeway, I always got the response when I needed it, with very little turbo-lag. With the low cowl/high seat/long gear shifter combination there was a feeling that I wasn’t driving just any car – it was different. It’s hard to explain, but I did catch myself smiling for no apparent reason while driving. Sitting at the lights I caught myself looking around at the bored drivers in their boring cars thinking: “You have no idea how much fun I’m having!” The PT Cruiser is a blast to drive without the need for excessive speed – or maybe it was because it has just the right amount of speed/horsepower for the car. Torque-steer wasn’t a problem; it was very easy to modulate the power going to the front wheels. However, on one occasion I did have a problem and that was in the rain. I goosed the gas and was surprised to find the front end heading off towards the curb. It could have been the power to the front wheels or it could have been the Goodyear RSA Eagles that were the problem in the wet. Other than that one occasion, I had to dump the clutch to get the front end to break away and lose grip.

Driving at speeds up to 90 mph, the car was incredibly quiet. It was so quiet I didn’t even have to turn the stereo up once I got on the freeway! It was hard to believe it was actually a drop-top. Compared to convertibles costing almost twice as much as the PT Cruiser, THIS is the noise level all manufacturers should be striving to attain, there’s no excuse for them not to match the PT Cruiser.

As for trunk space, it’s very usable whether the top is up or down, and unlike the Mustang, the seats fold – making the cargo area exceptional. The trunk is surprisingly large and very deep with 13.3 cu/ft with the seat up and a very impressive 62.7 cu/ft with the seats folded. As a comparison, the Mustang’s trunk is 9.7 cu/ft. The middle section of the rear seats split 50/50, fold forward and lock in place, but they also tumble forward creating a very large cargo area behind the front seats, with even more when combined with the trunk. Additionally, the front passenger seat folds forward and locks flat for even more cargo convenience. The PT Cruiser is without a doubt the most versatile convertible I’ve found so far, with more than ample room for people and cargo. This is about the only convertible that I would consider to be perfectly acceptable to own as a one and only car. Most convertibles compromise so much, they are only practical if you’ve already got a practical car.

After dropping the top and going off for a drive – a big grin is mandatory in this car – the PT Cruiser convertible is very civilized. There is a bit of wind buffeting, probably more to do with the large roll bar than anything else, but it’s not annoying in any way. It’s very easy to have a normal conversation without raising you voice too much. It’s almost as quiet as when the roof was up! Cruisin’ down the road with my woman, the tunes cranked up, and the wind in my hair – is there any better way to enjoy a summer evening?

Factory installed stereo systems have come a long way in the past few years, and this one is no exception. Cranking up the tunes using the optional in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 player, with a 368-Watt amplifier and 6 Boston Acoustics speakers, adds to the pleasure of open top driving. What a fantastic set up! There’s no shortage of bass, while the highs are nice and clear.

The suspension is quite firm, but very compliant, not passing road imperfection through to the passenger compartment. After having driven several convertibles this summer, I wasn’t surprised at the solid feel of the body and suspension even going over railroad tracks. Designers and engineers of modern convertibles have done an incredible job of making topless driving a shake-free occasion. The PT Cruiser’s roll hoop probably helps better than a car without one, but the quality of convertibles is nothing short of amazing when compared to cars of only a few years ago. If you were to blindfold someone and drive them around in the PT Cruiser, there would be no way to tell if it was a convertible or regular car – that’s how good this car is – it’s a solid and quiet ride.

Standard features in the GT convertible include: Cloth fully lined convertible top with glass rear window, sport leather trimmed heated seats, power 6-way driver’s seat with lumbar control, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and low-speed Traction Control, tilt steering wheel with cruise controls, fog lamps, 17” painted aluminum wheels, and an AM/FM stereo system with a single CD player and 6 premium speakers, keyless entry, air, one-touch down windows (front), HomeLink universal garage door opener, side air bags, rear 50/50 split fold and tumble seats, and a Vehicle Information Centre (trip computer) tells you how much fuel you’re using, average speed and how much fuel/miles you’ve got left in the tank before you run out, as well as the exterior temperature. There are power outlets in the lower dash, inside the centre console, and in the trunk.

Options added to the test vehicle were: Boston Acoustics Audio Group (368-watt amplifier and 6 Boston Acoustic speakers) $547 [$730 Cdn]; AM/FM CD 6-disc MP3 Radio $276 [$455 Cdn] and 17” Aluminum Chrome wheels (P205/50HR17) N/C [$650 Cdn], Heated front seats $230 [N/C Cdn].

It’s a great looking car with no compromises, and yet it’s within reach of almost any budget. It’s fun to drive and is so adaptable it makes for a great every day car – unlike many convertibles out there. One potential minus point, or just a point of note: when opening the trunk lid in the rain/snow, there’s a possibility for the rain or snow to go right into the trunk because of the way the lid is designed. It cantilevers up, whereas if it went down, like the old Mini trunk lid – it wouldn’t be an issue. Unlike virtually all the convertibles I’ve driven this year, the PT Cruiser got many things right; the swiveling sun visors; plenty of storage compartments; comfortable seats and a good-sized glove box. The PT Cruiser is a true 2+2, not a pretend 5-seater.

“Very comfortable and plenty of room, however the arm rest – is basically useless – it’s too low and too shallow to be of any use to anyone – you end up putting your arm up on the window ledge “ / “The wind is very acceptable when the top is down – much better than the Mustang convertible” / “You sit nice and high, so you can actually see out the front window” / “There’s plenty of room under the front seats for my feet”

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