PT Cruiser Maintenance

by Deborah L. Alexander
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The PT Cruiser is a fun car to drive. It's retro styling and inexpensive price range make it accessible to a variety of people. Many PT Cruiser owners add custom details to their cars to play up its 1930's styling. Maintenance and upkeep of the engine and mechanical parts of your PT Cruiser makes sense as well.

Every 6,000 Miles or Six Months

Your first service on your PT Cruiser comes at 6,000 miles. Change the oil and check/top off your transaxle fluid and coolant. Brake and coolant hoses should be visually inspected for wear. Rotate your tires and inspect the CV joints and front suspension components. Repeat these items every 6,000 miles or six months---whichever comes first. If your PT Cruiser is from model years 1999 through 2001, complaints have been made about oil consumption. Check your oil more frequently for these model years.

18,000 Miles or 18 Months

After 18,000 miles, add inspecting the brake linings to the above list of regular maintenance. Brake linings need to be replaced when worn to within 1/32 of an inch from the rivet heads. Replacing the brake pads as soon as needed can save you from replacing the brake rotors. Newer PT Cruisers have rotors sized of 26 mils. The older models have 23-mil rotors. The older models go through brake pads somewhat faster.

30,000 Miles or 30 Months

In addition to the regular maintenance, replace the engine air cleaner filter, the spark plugs and the make-up air filter. The generator drive belt tension should be adjusted if needed. Inspect the tie rod ends, boot seals and the exhaust system.

60,000 Miles or 60 Months and Beyond

At 60,000 do everything listed for the 30,000 mile maintenance and flush and replace the engine coolant. Continue with the maintenance listed in the above steps with 60,000 serving as "zero" miles. Most tires should be replaced at around 60,000 miles as well. Check the tire tread by slipping a penny into the groove with Lincoln facing down. If the tread does not cover any of Lincoln's hair, your tread is less than 2/32nds of an inch and your tires should be replaced.

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