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Anybody ever have a timing belt replaced on a PT Cruiser or Neon?

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  • Anybody ever have a timing belt replaced on a PT Cruiser or Neon?

    Anybody on here ever own a PT Cruiser or Neon and had the timing belt replaced? It's a regular-maintenance item at 102,000 miles per the manual, but the dealer says it's a $1,600 job to replace! Hate to do that on a $2,500 car, but on the other hand, you can bend valves if it breaks. Part of me wants to try an independent shop to try and save some $$, but I'm sure the Chrysler dealer has done the most of these jobs around here and would probably stand behind the job. Has anybody had an independent garage do this job and if so, any issues afterwards? I've heard that you should also do the water pump once you're in there. Thanks.
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

  • #2
    In 2012 , I had the Timing assembly and water pump replaced , using NAPA parts , (except for the Mopar sourced water pump ) , at a friends shop .
    Parts were about $200 , and the labor etc was about $450.
    This on a 1999 Neon sohc .
    Depending on the year of yours , check the TSB's , as mine had previously had a head gasket replaced with an upgraded set , due to some inherent
    O ring problem , that was addressed in later production .
    Its still in use by me .
    A repair of this cost even once or so a year beats the heck out of monthly payments .
    I just had him blitz the entire brake system as well . 148,000 miles and counting

    I do not get a special price , and expect to pay a fair price .
    Bill H
    Daytona Beach
    SDC member since 1970
    Owner of The Skeeter Hawk .

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes. Also, the water pump is internal, run by the timing belt. Our 2001 had about 140K in 2007, and the scope of work or cost to repair when the water pump started leaking made me think twice. I ended up trading it off for a new T&C Minivan because our kids were growing and we needed more room. And, the scope of the repair shocked me.

      I'd initially thought I'd just stop and get a new water pump and change it over the weekend. Wrong. Ours was one of the earliest and highest mileage PT's at the time, and the repair even gave the dealership I traded it off to fits because it was the first such repair they'd done at the time. I'm sure some here could do it easily, but I didn't fool with it.

      I bought my daughter a 2006. Dread when this comes up, as it just turned 90K.

      As to independent shops now performing the repair today, the cars are very common, and I'm sure most have done some.
      Last edited by 556063; 02-28-2016, 11:18 AM. Reason: Add Answer

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      • #4
        I'm sure you can find independent shops familiar with the job at a lower price. If you lived in my vicinity I would make a recommendation. The dealership probably charges flat rate and if their tech has done enough of them to do it in half the time, you're still paying full admission. So, the question is, around Kent, who do you ask for recommendations?
        As far as the water pump is concerned, once the tear down for the belt is done, 95% of the labor for a water pump is already done, and the pump is cheap. Replacing the pump now is just cheap insurance against having to pay all that labor all over again. Foolish not to do it.
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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        • #5
          ..........

          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Bill, having looked at Jeff's first video posted above, I'd say you and Joe Kastellac(spelling?) ought to be able to knock down that job in an easy afternoon and save some big bucks.

            Sheila wouldn't mind you fellas having a little male bonding out in the garage, would she? BP
            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

            Ayn Rand:
            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

            Comment


            • #7
              That'd be a big 'negatory' on attempting that job in my garage, Bob!
              Bill Pressler
              Kent, OH
              (formerly Greenville, PA)
              Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
              Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
              1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
              1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
              All are in Australia now

              Comment


              • #8
                My daughter's PT needed tie rod ends recently, and remembering what this job entailed made me think twice about even spending that money on it again. I've reasoned, that all the new iron has some extreme PITA repair procedure. Just about all new engines have internal water pumps. The PT was the first I'd owned with that lovely feature. Trying to buy something you can repair yourself out of warranty is getting harder and harder. My daughter or myself have no business taking on a newer vehicle with payments, etc. right now. I'll probably step up to the plate and have someone do this when it's time. Too much arthritis now for some of those moves.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tie rod ends aren't a big deal, right? I've had that done on the PT before and don't remember it being very expensive. But I am not a do-it-yourselfer by any stretch. A Stude buddy kidded when I asked an older couple in our region if I could sit in their Avanti, "You don't have to worry about Bill having a screwdriver in his back pocket"! LOL
                  Bill Pressler
                  Kent, OH
                  (formerly Greenville, PA)
                  Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
                  Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
                  1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
                  1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
                  All are in Australia now

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This was a big deal because it happened 130 miles away on a Thursday afternoon. She turned out of her apartment building, and the right side let loose. I had just had new tires installed 10K miles ago, and all checked fine then. So, this failed quickly. A weak spot on all Daimler era products. I had it towed to the dealer in Muncie, IN. Asked that both sides be replaced and an alignment done afterwards. OEM parts were only $100 or so per side. I caught them on my Sebring Convertible before they failed (they would actually separate and pop back on, on that car). I know they are particularly weak on that vintage Dakota and Durango, too. Both sides, with alignment and done at a Dealer, $400 total. Could have got by with just one side, but didn't take the risk since it isn't me driving it. Probably less than half that price under a shade tree without an alignment. If you have one of these 1998-2008 cars or trucks, keep an eye on them!

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                    • #11
                      Had the right tie rod come off just after pulling on the road. 07 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel. 125,000. miles.

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                      • #12
                        One other thing that has concerned me about this PT, which is an '08--starting two years ago, when it is cold out, you had ZERO power brake assist, rock-hard pedal, for a few seconds while moving down our driveway. Dealer eventually replaced the brake booster as it had oil in it. They did it again a year later when it was happening. Free both times. It's my daughter's car and she is four hours away at college and is the typical young owner about cars (not caring much as long as it starts), but when she was home at Christmastime, I went out in 22-degree weather and noticed the pedal was hard when I went to push it to take the car out of park--then after that I had assist, which makes me think the problem is happening again.

                        I noticed that they recalled Darts a few months ago for the same exact problem.
                        Bill Pressler
                        Kent, OH
                        (formerly Greenville, PA)
                        Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
                        Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
                        1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
                        1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
                        All are in Australia now

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have done several WP/timing belts on PT even after doing several they are still a pain, By the way 2400 will not bend the valves but the 2000 will.
                          A local repair shop will be able to save you some money, the dealers usually charge more and if your area is like mine most of the techs ARE IN TRAINING, after learning the will ether move on to a independent repair shop or open their own. Good luck

                          Johnny

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                          • #14
                            Our 01 or my daughter's 06 have never presented the power brake issue. With all the cost cutting going on in those years, wouldn't surprise me if they switched vendors on the brake booster between 06 and 08.

                            The 07 Town and Country was the most troublesome vehicle I ever owned. We only kept it 2 1/2 years and about 75K miles. A record low time of ownership for me, but I'd had it and I replaced more electrical and body components on that thing both in and out of warranty. Window regulator and motor, HVAC control pod, leaking headlight assembly, three door latches, sliding door wiring harness, peeling grille and decals, etc,, etc. When the rear A/C failed and took out the whole system, and Daimler refused to pay because I had 73K Miles and the letter admitting a problem said 70K, that was the last straw. It was a leap of faith for me to buy the 06 PT for my daughter, but it was 07 when Dieter Zetche sent his bean counters over from Germany to cut $1500 in cost per vehicle. I'd say they should have saved more than $1500, and likely got taken, because every component was compromised to junk in some way after that. Sorry to be so blunt.

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                            • #15
                              Belated thanks to everybody who gave me pointers on this question.
                              Bill Pressler
                              Kent, OH
                              (formerly Greenville, PA)
                              Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
                              Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
                              1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
                              1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
                              All are in Australia now

                              Comment

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