The PT Cruiser was a unique looking vehicle that struck a cord with some. The unemployed surfer or even some of the American hot rod enthusiasts took to them and made modifications to make this a bit of a cult vehicle. Unfortunately for all the unique looks they carry they are the mechanical equivalent of letting a curry fart go in a quiet cinema complex. There is little good about these cars mechanically and the most common grievance both mechanics and consumers have is the task that is involved to replace the timing belt.
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In the case of the PT Cruiser the engine has to be removed for the timing belt to be replaced. The reason for this is the bracket on the front of the timing cover. There are actually a few different ones with the difference being how the power steering pump mounts. One design is possible to have the bracket removed without removing the engine however like it or not Its easier to drop the motor and transmission down.
Chrysler did take this into consideration and the motor is actually relatively easy to remove. Some things to consider are listed below
The air conditioning system has to be removed, compressor and confessor it will need to be degassed.
The power steering cooler, pump and high pressure line all have to be removed so new power steering fluid is required.
Both drive shafts need to be removed ad the transmission drained. New transmission fluid is needed.
Radiator, grill and bonnet latch have to be removed before you remove the engine. make sure you do this or the dip stick tube punches a hole in the radiator. true story.
All in all don’t charge any less than $3K to do the water pump and timing belt and if your the owner don’t expect It or any less.
Its not a simple task.
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