Front view of PT with blacked out emblem
The PT Cruiser is back at Bob’s Garage!
Just like with any of the other vehicles it was time to take a closer look at just what condition it was in now.And it didn’t take long to see some not-so-good issues.
In it’s time away there had been some front end damage and it appears to have had a wheel hub replaced and some brake work. No biggie. Just normal wear and tear. Kinda sorta.So now it was on to the basics.
On pulling the oil dipstick I was kind of confused when it came up dry. So I said “OK, let’s try this again”. And on the second check it was identical. Not good. Then I moved on to the trans dipstick. No way! It was also not showing any thing! Way not good! A quick look under the vehicle showed some obvious evidence of a trans fluid leak. And with the documented front end damage there is a good chance one of the soft lines is gonzo. That explains the low trans fluid level. But 3 quarts down? Not good.
And the power steering felt way tight and it looks like there may be some damaged lines there too. A bit of detective work produced a couple of bottles of PS fluid in the vehicle. he noteworthy part of this was that it was generic PS fluid. Unfortunately the PT actually used a ATF+4 synthetic trans fluid in it’s system. And sadly it is a Chrysler documented fact that if this is not used it will take out the pump. I believe this to be the case. So another project in the making.
Getting it back right
A quick run to the parts store and I picked up an oil change and some trans fluid. No biggie once again. And for good measure I threw in a bottle of Lucas oil stabilizer. Then it was back to the house to make it all good. The trans fluid was not a problem . Fill, start, run through the gears and check! Sweet! One down. One to go!.
After getting the car up in the air because these PT’s are way low, I went after the oil drain plug. What is normally a quick twist of the wrench turned into a very aggressive attack with a long bar to get the little bugger loose! WTF! It took 80 ft pounds to break it loose! Way bad! I was actually fearing the worst of a stripped plug before it released. But the car gods were with me and it came out intact with no damaged threads.
And with that fiasco over I went after the filter. You guessed it! This bugger was frickin jammed tight. It actually spun my cup type remover. So in desperation I resorted to the stab and turn scenario. It worked but it took two full turns to get this SOB loose! With that out of the way I put the new filter on correctly, touch plus1/2 a turn, and added the oil. Totally uneventful.
A quick trip at the back pretty much confirmed what I already suspected that the big muffler had seen it’s better days so it needs to go. It’s easy to get to and is not that big a project
But the tattle tale here is that it was a Valvoline filter. That means that the goomba’s at the local quick oil change are nothing but paid gorillas when it comes to oil changing.This is why I have had a long standing distrust about oil change places. Low buck mechanic wanna-bes working on your high dollar car. And, No, my oil plug didn’t just “strip out” and/or fall out after all this time! End of rant!
All being done it actually turned out OK. I will have to chase down the trans line leak but that won’t be that hard just time consuming. And I will probably end up replacing the soft lines of that system. The oil thing may be an issue but I don’t really have a line on that yet. And the PS pump will be a R&R project. And I will replace the lines too if I go to that trouble. Things to do Things to do.