Mechanical Advice

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Feb 19, 2008
daughters car broke down today on way home from her job....on side of I-26. Said she was merging into traffic and it just lost any, radio, lights all work...just no power when she pushes compression of engine.

get it towed to Altman Dodge as it is a crappy PT CRUISER but hey, that is what I can afford for her until she gets out of school and buys her own. It turns over but no spark or of two. Was going to pull fuel line and see if pump was working...but shop would not let me. If not fuel pump then guessing timing belt since car has 70,000 miles...bought it two years ago with 40,000 and of course the extended warranty was past 5 thousand miles ago...LOL

So if it is timing big a pain in ass is i need to pull engine to do it..or can I attempt with it in car.....and oh...never done one before should I just pay Altman Dodge to do it for me or one of you...if that is the case?

If I was mechanically capable would do myself once found out what is wrong. I am going to pay the $75 diagnostics fee to have them tell me what it is in morning...then decide so any comments before I go up there to talk to them and decide to fix or tow it home or somewhere else would be greatly appreciate.

2002 PT Cruiser, Auto, PWR Win and Locks, LTD model. Been trouble free until 70,754 miles...LOL

or another thought....could it be ECU? That would be big money I am thinking...crappola....dangit. :(

Fluids are good...already checked.
That's what you get for buying American
I take my daughters Toyota Corolla immediately to Toyota when something goes wrong....(although its not often...)...I have to bow to the professionals on things that I'm not comfortable with.....I'll get the "education" on the things I drive....
Go to this PT forum and post the same question.....They should be able to give you some valuable info....

PT Cruiser Forum

Let us know how it goes.....we could always throw it in a hamom too!
It is timing a matter of if it was just timing belt or if the lifters and valves got damaged...hopefully just timing belt. Wish me luck...I will know on Monday. Told them to fix timing belt as I dont have the skills I dont think.....nor tools.
I was gonna say definately timing belt before I read your last post. Luckily your PT is a non-interference engine, so when the belt broke, no pistons slamming the valves. You should be fine with just a belt swap. I would be pissed if I had to buy a timing belt at 70,000. But it is a Dodge. Timing belts are one of those maintenance items. Like brakes, tranny fluid changes, radiator flush, plugs, O2 sensors, serp. belt, etc. So your little Cruiser is still worry free, technically.

okay cuz the shop said it WAS interference engine...I am going to have to look it up to make sure they dont try to screw me. I will go see them Monday on my lunch break I guess. :D
Brock, i have had the pleasure (NOT) of replacing a broken belt on a 03 pt cruiser, that belonged to one of my good friends. The belt broke at a low speed driving so there was no engine damage. From what i understand this is an interference engine.(bends valves) The quote from the dealer should most likely come in around $1000 to $1300. depending upon if the water pump is replaced during the t belt replacement and if your vehicle requires the updated timing belt idler pulley kit which if i remember runs about $350. just for the kit and that does not include the other idler pulley or the new timing belt.
This is a bitch of a job as there is absolutely no room to work on the front of the engine
Good Luck
Wow, that sucks! Sorry, I was misinformed. I guess now you know to change the timing belt on an interference engine every 60,000 miles or when the extended warranty runs out. When my Camry hit 60,000 that was the first thing I did was check to see if it was a zero-interference engine. It is, so I haven't worried about the belt. Damnit, I just jinxed myself and now it will go out tomorrow morning on the way to Charleston at 6am on hwy 701.:mad:

Good luck with the repair, hopefuly the engine can be saved without too much expense.

some research shows it is non-interference engine in regards to valves hitting pistons.....but there can still be valve on valve damage due to their placement. usually at low speeds not a problem but can run into thousands ....but we shall see.

they quoted me $600 for timing belt change so maybe they are hurting for business....I am going by there on Monday to see. Belts are suppose to last to 90,000 miles so this was quite premature in my opinion but the new idler pulley helps with longevity so guessing this one is old style. :(

Hope this does not cut into my Colorado money :(
600 for just the belt change sounds right to me....I'm sure they're not hurting for business.....The automotive repair business should be doing great since people are fixing instead of buying.....Thats how it is around here anyway....

I hope thats all it ends up being....Unexpected things can really stink up things....Good luck with it....
Sorry I was out of town for this one. Some timing belts are not that hard, but on the bigger engines, Glen is right. There's just no room in there to work. I wouldn't even attemt one w/ out a lift. I think 70,000 is low milage for a belt, Toyota's go for 120,000 I think. I like chains myself.or gears as w/ the f,2f, or 3fe. Hope it doesn't run into too much $$$:crybaby::crybaby:
belt snapped and wrapped around the pulley.....cams got out of sync but there was no valve to valve damage. New belt installed and diagostic scan ran to make sure everything was good for $499.33 out the door.

He said water pump was good and so was tensioner pulley.....said that if he had to replace them it would have been about $750 total as he does not charge very much extra since it is all opened up and only a couple bolts difference. He said some shops will charge you labor on each part individually as if that is only thing they are fixing rather than subtracting labor already expended on timing belt repair.

First time I felt good when I left a dealership for a repair even if it was nearly $500.....:D :D
Sounds great, glad to hear it all worked out.

I can see you are not a "While I am there" kind of guy. I unfortunately have that syndrome, which is why my cruiser is still in pieces. Hell I would have walked out of there replacing just about every moving part that had to be removed while he was in there. But that's just me.:cheers:


I would be most the time....if it is reasonable that it will fail in the next 30,000 miles but showed no signs of wear or propblems. Hopefully, daughter will be out of college and working and can sell it for a newer car by then.
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Most shops replace the water pump and tensioner pully anyway. Its only a couple more bolts, but it pushes the price way up w/ parts.

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