This is a repair log for Peter, my Cool Vanilla 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT.
- July 20, 2015 (Mon): Purchased the car from P. Bush in Denver. Mileage: 68,015.
- August 7, 2015 (Fri): Installed Cellex magnetic phone mount and jewel vent knobs (quantity 4).
- August 14, 2015 (Fri): Installed new windshield wiper blades: Valucraft VCB20 for the left and VCB21 for the right. Mileage: 69,588.
- September 28, 2015 (Mon): Oil change with 5W-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil. Mileage: 71,097.
- December 21, 2015 (Mon): Replaced right headlight bulb (low-beam) with Sylvania 9006XS Basic (55W)—the same part as the burnt out one. Used bulb grease to prevent corrosion. Mileage: 73,455.
- December 29, 2015 (Tue): Check engine light came on while driving in 2F weather on Interstate 25. Followed procedure on YouTube to get the code. Code was P0551, which corresponds to power steering sensor switch. Good resources on this code for PT Cruiser is here and this video. Mileage when light came on: 73,492.
- January 4, 2016 (Mon): Jacked up car and applied dieletric grease to contacts of power steering sensor switch. Reset check engine light by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery ground cable. Check engine light did not come back on after 12 miles of driving. Mileage: 73,508.
- January 4, 2016 (Mon): Opened fuse box and found that fuse for fog lights was missing. Purchased 20A fuse for it, but fog lights still do not work. Turns out that a fog light fuse is only needed for PT Cruisers in other countries. Most likely culprit is the multi-function turn-signal stalk per this thread.
- January 4, 2016 (Mon): Checked oil level and it was at max, meaning that the car did not burn any oil in 2,323 miles. Mileage: 73,520.
- January 19, 2016 (Tue): Check engine light came back on again while driving back from Denver airport. Same code as before: P0551. Mileage: 73,620.
- May 25, 2016 (Wed): Determined that proper tire pressure for the 205/55R16 tires is 35 PSI for all four tires per this website and inflated them to such. Also noted that check engine light never came back on since resetting 1,400 miles ago. Mileage: 75,0xx.
- June 19, 2016 (Sun): Washed and waxed with Permaseal. Mileage: 76,364.
- June 21, 2016 (Tue): Reglued chrome strip on lower part of right rear door, and license plate frame holder, with Loctite silicone adhesive. Mileage: 76,364.
- October 29, 2016 (Sat): Washed and waxed with Permaseal. Mileage: 78,574.
- March 21, 2017 (Tue): Engine flush, oil change with 5W-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil, radiator flush, and new air filter. $278 total. Mileage: 79,990.
- March 21, 2017 (Tue): Transfered tire ownership from previous owner of car to myself at Discount Tire, then got a free tire rotation and rebalance. Mileage: 79,998.
- May 26, 2017 (Fri): On way to Colorado Mesa Double Century near Glenwood Springs, was trying to pass a truck when heard a pop followed by an incessant whistling noise. Car can no longer accelerate well. Suspect intake leak somewhere.
- June 8, 2017 (Thu): Replaced PCV breather hose, which was split at the end that went to PCV valve. There is no more faint smell of gas or stumbling at startup or low idle anymore. However, whistling/hissing noise is still present under acceleration and acceleration is still bad. Mileage: 81,674.
- June 18, 2017 (Wed): Washed and waxed car with Permaseal on the top surfaces and front before running out of Permaseal. Waxed the sides of the car with Meguiar’s Yellow Wax. Mileage: 81,677.
- June 19, 2017 (Mon): Brought in car to Mr. Mechanic and shop found lower intercooler pipe mounting bolt missing, which caused piping to fall off the turbo. Shop re-torqued mounting stud, replaced nut and re-secured intercooler pipe to turbo. Car now accelerates quicker than I ever remembered and seems quieter as well. Mileage: 81,681.
- June 27, 2017 (Tue): Car very easily passed emissions test. Mileage: 81,734.
- July 18, 2017 (Tue): Replaced wiper blades using Bosch Icon 20A & 20B for front windshield left and right; and Michelin 16″ blade for rear. Mileage: 82,094.
- March 8, 2018 (Thu): Washed and waxed with Meguiar’s Yellow Wax. Finally used up the bottle of #26 Yellow Wax after 22+ years! Mileage: 84,265.
- March 19, 2018 (Mon): Disabled auto-locking of doors when car exceeded 15 MPH. Procedure: cycled key from off to accessory position four times, then press the lock button on the left door, which causes a beep to sound. Procedure to reactivate auto-lock is supposedly exactly the same.
- April 17, 2018 (Tue): Engine flush and oil change with 5W-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil. $149 total. Mileage: 84,562.
- April 29, 2018 (Sun): Radiator has been making gurgling noise ever since driving back from Grand Junction to Fort Collins despite temperature and power being normal. Added half-gallon 70/30 Xerex 5 coolant/water mixture and replaced radiator cap with new 7718 Duralast Safety Lever Radiator Cap (18 psi). Seems to have solved gurgling problem. Mileage: 85,380.
- April 29, 2018 (Sun): Exterior and interior detailing by RC Auto City Detail.
- July 17, 2018 (Tue): Check engine light came on a few days ago with codes P1604 and P0700. The first one related to transmission shifting, and indeed, car would not go into Autostick mode. Reset the codes, drove to Denver and back the next day, and check engine light did not come back on.
- July 19, 2018 (Thu): Replaced left front armrest with one I found on eBay since the original one had a 2″ tear in it (was like that when I bought the car).
- November 5, 2018 (Mon): Replaced gas cap with an OEM one, but check engine light still comes on. Also replaced the upper “lock power windows” decal in power window switch module, which was presumably vacuumed up accidentally by detailer in late June. Mileage: 89,158.
- November 19, 2018 (Mon): Replaced the PCM/TCM with a refurbished one. Seems to have solved the check engine light issue. Mileage: 89,958.
- November 21, 2018 (Wed): Oil change with 5W-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil and headlight restoration. Mileage: 89,998.
- January 10, 2019 (Thu): Replaced both windshield washer nozzles. Both of the old ones had become extremely brittle and snapped at the stem. Mileage: 91,863.
- March 8, 2019 (Fri): Stone cracked windshield near line of vision on I-25, after which I made an immediate detour to Novus Glass. Repaired windshield crack before it could grow larger than the size of a quarter. Novus did an amazing job—the crack is invisible now, with the only tell-tale signs being three 2mm drill marks that were injected with epoxy. Mileage: 93,750.
- May 7, 2019 (Tue): Added Chevron Techron Complete Fuel System Cleaner (12 oz.) to a full tank as a preventative measure. Mileage: 95,268.
- May 21, 2019 (Wed): Oil change with 5W-30 Mobil 1 synthetic oil. Also had Grease Monkey replace the air filter with the one I purchased. They also added some engine additives that were probably a rip-off considering how good Mobil 1 synthetic already is. Mileage: 95,622.
- May 30, 2019 (Fri): Wash and wax with Car Guys Liquid Wax polymer sealant, which is supposed to last one year. Mileage: 95,957.
- June 26, 2019 (Wed): Passed emissions test. Mileage: 96,612.
- September 23, 2019 (Mon): Replaced battery (which was six years old and dead) with new Duralast one from AutoZone. Mileage: 98,035.
- November 27, 2019 (Wed): Installed 4X new Kumho Solus TA11 205/55R16 tires. Also had 6X new wheel studs installed as Discount Tire/BG Automotive said they were worn, cross-threaded, or seized due to normal tire rotations. Mileage: 98,715.
- December 4, 2019 (Wed): Installed cabin air filter, which was missing, with Ecogard XC15857, following instructions at https://youtu.be/HKQbS1CtmUE . (Note: the four screws holding in the black plastic guard popped out/pressed in, instead of being screwed out or in, since the plastic anchors they go into are worn.) Waxed windshield with Car Guys Liquid Wax polymer sealant. Replaced make-air filter with Duralast BF2310DL from Autozone, located inside the engine air filter box on the left hand side, where PVC pipe inlet is (old was was missing). Replaced PCV valve, spark plugs, and spark plug wires with Mopar 0048884479AB, Denso (4717) ITL16TT Iridium TT, and VMS 10.2mm Racing spark plug wires (was: unknown PCV valve, Champion RE16MC Copper Plus, Belden Edge Premium 7mm spark plug wires). Mileage: 98,758.
- December 5, 2019 (Thu): Replaced windshield washer nozzles with Dorman 58115. Also took apart driver’s seat to diagnose why heated seats weren’t working. Turned out to be a bad heating element. Removed heating element; can replace with new one at a future date in a couple hours. Mileage: 98,767.
- December 6, 2019 (Fri): Had Hawker’s Automotive replace timing belt. Mileage: 98,774.
- December 7, 2019 (Sat): Sold the car to Maureen. Mileage: 98,779.
- December 22, 2019 (sun): Maureen went through an automatic car wash, which caused both of the brake lights (which double as tail lights) to shatter! Replaced both brake light bulbs. Mileage: 99,745.
- January 8, 2020 (Wed): Installed new heated seat pad in driver’s seat (OEM part number 05000025AA) for Maureen. The driver-side heated seat now works!
- June 23, 2020 (Tue): Hawkers Automotive recharged the A/C. I brought it to them after I failed in my attempt to recharge the A/C, thinking that it must have already had sufficient charge and the problem was a result of the timing belt change. They said it was about a pound low in refrigerant and that it probably wasn’t caused during the timing belt change, but said we trusted each other and didn’t charge. Mileage: 102,639.
Photos by Felix Wong are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.