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Discussion Starter #1
Hi people,
Nice to meet you all.
Am in NZ, which is ok, but not fantastic, from the COVID perspective, and I really do not get how this thing has gone so berserk, apart from selfish individuals who don't give a rat's-**** about anyone else.
Anyway, I've been a MOPAR fan for years, having owned, amongst others, an Australian VG Valiant, (245 Hemi, with unboosted drum brakes all around - THAT had a few interesting moments). a '69 Chrysler Newport hardtop, imported into NZ from American Samoa. 383 ci, crap Carter carb, but only 64k miles on it.
Bought it by accident, really, as I was only at the seller's home to buy a weird, savagely damaged, Japanese import Toyota Starlet with a really weird multiple injected engine, and rear wheel drive for my Starlet-addicted partner.
Repaired the T-boned body at work, once I found a l/h door for it, and it was crazy-fast.
Anyway, I was a bit of a Japanese car fiend for a while, especially really boring ones like P910 Nissan wagons - they were great loaner cars for the business, but died of rust, as they all did back then.
480,000km of neglect and abuse is not to be sneezed at, but the later Japanese cars started to become very disappointing - I liked Camrys, not that they were a thrill a minute, but they killed the wagon off, so what was the point?
I trade my last Camry on a 2005 PT Cruiser, with some misgivings, I admit, but I loved the look of it, it had only done 141,000km, , which is 88,000 miles or so, ( it was in great shape, and drove well. On the same day, I also bought a 2004 Peugeot 307.
Went like the clappers, but was really a nasty car. Sold it the same week.
Then the PTC threw a fit. Wouldn't start, wouldn't lock or unlock, idiot-lights on all over the dash, and I thought - Oh ****.
Searched all over the net for advice, got multiple quotes from around town for OBD testing, (even though I have a tester, but the instructions are just a bit weird), and finally took it into a guy in town who diagnosed a faulty cam-angle sensor, and it's been running like a dream ever since. $550 NZ, but seeing as I only ended up paying $1700 fo the car, road-legal, I think it was worth it.
Next thing, a ****-load of rocks fell out the back of a very big truck in front of me, at 3am in the middle of nowhere, and the front end and r/h side paint is wrecked, but insurance will cover it. These things are still fetching over 10 grand here, as long as they aren't overheating.
My question is, FINALLY!, since the rock/truck incident, the A/C slowly started to crap out - I can see any damage to the radiator, condenser or hoses, and you can hear it kick in when it's switched on, but NOT VERY COLD. Even that rotten Peugeot made a better effort.
Panelshop have promised to investigate, but from what I've read online, is it possible that its a coincidental electrical fault, such as a relay? Maybe it got knocked loose, because these were some serious rocks - needed a new windscreen, and the r/h headlamp is intermittent ever since.
Any opinions would be appreciated, (apart from the obvious fact that I talk too much - this I do know).
And, lastly, is it correct that I should not top the trans up with Dexron? 7176E Penrite, I'm told, but they all also say that they're suitable for Dexron trans top-ups.
OK.
Thanks for reading/listening, and I'd love to get some facts about these interesting and nice-to-drive vehicles, and if anyone has a link to where I can get an owner's manual, that would be excellent - beats me how the back seats work!.
Cheers, Andy.
 

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Welcome from the US :cool:

That's quite a yarn you put out :)

Is the truck that dropped the rocks insurance the one covering the damage? If so, I'd contact that insurance company and report possible additional damage to the a/c and see if they will add that to the claim. ;)

You can get a copy of the Owner's Manual from this website:

Download 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser - Owner's Manual PDF (368 Pages) (at https://carmanuals2.com/get/chrysler-pt-cruiser-2005-owner-s-manual-31253 )

Please post some pics of your PT when you get a chance :)

If you have trouble posting pics, I use the website Imgur to host and post pics, works great and is free :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome from the US :cool:

That's quite a yarn you put out :)

Is the truck that dropped the rocks insurance the one covering the damage? If so, I'd contact that insurance company and report possible additional damage to the a/c and see if they will add that to the claim. ;)

You can get a copy of the Owner's Manual from this website:

Download 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser - Owner's Manual PDF (368 Pages) (at https://carmanuals2.com/get/chrysler-pt-cruiser-2005-owner-s-manual-31253 )

Please post some pics of your PT when you get a chance :)

If you have trouble posting pics, I use the website Imgur to host and post pics, works great and is free :)
Hey there,

Thanks for your response, and especially the link for the Owner's Manual - man, do I need that - just shifted house, and ended up have to hire trailers and so-on because I couldn't get the rear seats to behave. Was getting terminally angry, and decided I'd end up breaking something, which would have been stupid. Again.

Re the insurance and the truck, I was too busy trying to avoid rocks and so-forth, while at the same time attempting not to run off the road and into the river, so, nope, I have no idea of his license plate. Fortunately, my insurance company is in damage-control mode, having wrongly declined a claim on my SUV in 2015, which did NOT work out well for them in court. Good thinking from you, though, and much appreciated all round.

Yup, I'll stick up a couple of pics, but the poor old thing isn't looking it's best at the moment - I guess it would tell the story if I could get before and after images. Got a funeral to attend this week, and am busy trying to organise someone to feed my cat, because I do NOT want to do a 600k return trip on the same road with dodgy lights. Panelshop have a courtesy car, but it can't be taken that far out of town,

GRRRR!

Really cool to hear from you.

Take care, Andy
 

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. . . My question is, FINALLY!, since the rock/truck incident, the A/C slowly started to crap out - I can see any damage to the radiator, condenser or hoses, and you can hear it kick in when it's switched on, but NOT VERY COLD. Even that rotten Peugeot made a better effort.
Panelshop have promised to investigate, but from what I've read online, is it possible that its a coincidental electrical fault, such as a relay? Maybe it got knocked loose, because these were some serious rocks - needed a new windscreen, and the r/h headlamp is intermittent ever since. . . .
If there is a refrigerant leak in any connection in the system, typically you can feel and see an oil film at the connection. If there is a leak in the evaporator in the HVAC plenum under the dash, it will take a refrigerant sniffer to detect that. The lack of cooling in the air conditioning system may be attributable to the encounter with road debris or just be coincidental due to vehicle age.

I would suggest you have a performance check done on the system. Attach suction and discharge pressure gauges and monitor. The system may just be low on refrigerant. See attached chart for performance criteria for similar vehicle. You must have the correct refrigerant charge in the system to start any performance cooling problem diagnosis.

Air Conditioner Performance.gif

. . . And, lastly, is it correct that I should not top the trans up with Dexron? 7176E Penrite, I'm told, but they all also say that they're suitable for Dexron trans top-ups. . . .
It appears that Penrite is a marketing brand name for automatic transmission fluid (ATF) that is available in New Zealand. You should ONLY use Chrysler ATF+4 fluid in the automatic transmission in your PT Cruiser. Dexron is NOT a suitable replacement. Transmission shift quality and/or transmission failure may occur if ATF+4 fluid is not used.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If there is a refrigerant leak in any connection in the system, typically you can feel and see an oil film at the connection. If there is a leak in the evaporator in the HVAC plenum under the dash, it will take a refrigerant sniffer to detect that. The lack of cooling in the air conditioning system may be attributable to the encounter with road debris or just be coincidental due to vehicle age.

I would suggest you have a performance check done on the system. Attach suction and discharge pressure gauges and monitor. The system may just be low on refrigerant. See attached chart for performance criteria for similar vehicle. You must have the correct refrigerant charge in the system to start any performance cooling problem diagnosis.

View attachment 30121



It appears that Penrite is a marketing brand name for automatic transmission fluid (ATF) that is available in New Zealand. You should ONLY use Chrysler ATF+4 fluid in the automatic transmission in your PT Cruiser. Dexron is NOT a suitable replacement. Transmission shift quality and/or transmission failure may occur if ATF+4 fluid is not used.
Hi Allan C,

Thanks for the info re the aircon system - there's apparently someone in town who is an ace on this subject, but as yet, I've been unable to track him down.

The panelshop said that they'd check for debris damage while the front of the car is apart, and if there's nothing obvious, then I'll obviosly have to find this guy.

Re the ATF issue - it's all very confusing, as the Penrite site and the containers all state that the particular fluid recommended is 7176E and ATF+4, but also states that it can be used in transmissions requiring Dexron. It has a different part code to straight-out Dexron, but I don't feel comfortable with this. If I lunch the trans, then basically the car is scrap. Can't afford major repairs at this time...

I plan to head back downtown, and check out Castrol and others to see what they have on offer.

I really appreciate your response, and have no plans whatsoever to put the incorrect fluid in.

Cheers, take care, and I'll let you know what I find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Penrite states 7176E and ATF4+.

Why does it then state on the container that it's also suitable for Dexron transmissions?

Maybe GM, etc can live with different ATF, but I've spent the bulk of the day trying to get answers to this, and I do not trust the local transmission shops, as they nearly ruined our Nissan Tiida/Versa CVT by using incorrect fluid, and saying that the external filter "is never replaced, because nobody bothers".

I realised that there was an issue after picking it up, as it drove oddly. Did about 6 miles, and immediately dumped all the fluid, I think I flushed 12 litres through it, changed ALL the filters and gaskets - LOTS of bolts and hoses, and it's been fine for over 2 years.

Problem is, since I suffered some wicked neck and back injuries, I probably can't do this on the PT, and in any event, it shouldn't be so damn difficult to top up the trans - is 7176E ATF4+ gonna do it, ignoring the supplementary Dexron specs on the container, or do I drive 600ks to this funeral with a low level showing on the A/T dipstick? Fluid is clean. just lower than I'd prefer. Probably 1/2 or 3/4 a litre would get it back to where it needs to be.

This is ridiculous.
 

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ATF+4 is the recommended fluid for all Chrysler electronically controlled transmissions (41TE, 545RFE, 62TE). ATF+4 superseded ATF+3. Note, the ZF8 uses an entirely different fluid (very expensive).

Why does it then state on the container that it's also suitable for Dexron transmissions?
Back in the day ('80's and early '90's) the Chrysler 3 speed transmissions which were hydraulic came with ATF+3 as the factory fill. Dexron could be used in those transmissions with no ill effects. I had a '86 GTS, a '92 Acclaim and a '90 Acclaim. All had the three speed with ATF+4. In a pinch Dexron could be used. I ran ATF+4 in all of them.

Simply put, ATF+4 is "slippery" and allows the proper slippage in the electronically controlled transmissions. Dexron is not as slippery and doesn't allow the proper slippage which will ruin the transmission in relatively short order.

Problem is, since I suffered some wicked neck and back injuries, I probably can't do this on the PT, and in any event, it shouldn't be so damn difficult to top up the trans - is 7176E ATF4+ gonna do it, ignoring the supplementary Dexron specs on the container, or do I drive 600ks to this funeral with a low level showing on the A/T dipstick? Fluid is clean. just lower than I'd prefer. Probably 1/2 or 3/4 a litre would get it back to where it needs t
You'll probably be okay if it is only down by a half a liter or so. Definitely DO NOT ADD DEXRON. Dexron in a Chrysler electronically controlled transmission equals death to the transmission. Have ATF+4 added as soon as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ATF+4 is the recommended fluid for all Chrysler electronically controlled transmissions (41TE, 545RFE, 62TE). ATF+4 superseded ATF+3. Note, the ZF8 uses an entirely different fluid (very expensive).



Back in the day ('80's and early '90's) the Chrysler 3 speed transmissions which were hydraulic came with ATF+3 as the factory fill. Dexron could be used in those transmissions with no ill effects. I had a '86 GTS, a '92 Acclaim and a '90 Acclaim. All had the three speed with ATF+4. In a pinch Dexron could be used. I ran ATF+4 in all of them.

Simply put, ATF+4 is "slippery" and allows the proper slippage in the electronically controlled transmissions. Dexron is not as slippery and doesn't allow the proper slippage which will ruin the transmission in relatively short order.



You'll probably be okay if it is only down by a half a liter or so. Definitely DO NOT ADD DEXRON. Dexron in a Chrysler electronically controlled transmission equals death to the transmission. Have ATF+4 added as soon as you can.

Hey Doug D,

You've certainly explained all the whys and wherefores around the reasons for sticking to the correct spec fluid, and I truly appreciate it.

From what you're saying, it sounds like ATF4+ won't harm a trans that uses Dexron, (which the specs on the container say can be used on your average trans - kind of like reverse -engineering), but there's no way that I'm going to add ANYTHING that doesn't meet the ATF4+ specification in my poor old girl.

From what I can make out from down here in the underside of the globe, the Penrite is really my only option. I have the choice between ATFFS, or ATFMHP. One's fully synthetic, and the other is "partially" synthetic.

Gonna go for the full-on synthetic, as this is not about cost, just not destroying the trans.

Considering that my GM's and Toyotas dating back to the mid-sixties used Dexron, I can't really see how adding a more modern fluid to them would be problematic. Plus, and I truly hate to admit this, I drove a parts car home that had an already dud Powerglide in it, running on 4 out of 6 cylinders, and when it finally lost all forward motion, I dumped a bottle of, (CRINGE!), brake fluid into the trans filler, and made it all the way home.

Yup, I was young and stupid, and what was then a "parts car" would now likely be a valuable restoration project. Which is probably why I'm broke these days. I mean, it was a nice car, but was worthless back then. You wouldn't get one now for under $40K, in any condition.

So, again, thanks for the info and explanation.

I'm going with what you've suggested, and feel comfortable with my decision.

So cheers, man!

Take care, and watch this space on Friday when I have a trouble-free trip to report.

This forum is way cool, and so are the members, BTW.
 

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I looked up the fluid you mentioned. It says it meets Dexron standards, but no where did I see it say it met the Chrysler standards despite listing the standard on the label.
 
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From what I can make out from down here in the underside of the globe, the Penrite is really my only option. I have the choice between ATFFS, or ATFMHP. One's fully synthetic, and the other is "partially" synthetic.
I neglected to mention ATF+4 is "synthetic.

I agree with Valiant - if the specs of the fluid don't neet Chrysler standards, I would not use it.
 

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Oh hell.

Thanks Valiant 67.

I think I might borrow my friend's tiny Mazda Demio, and try to get this sorted in Auckland on the way back north, because Ali won't drive anything but the Nissan. Rotten woman....

Or start hitching in the morning.

Like I said in an earlier thread, this should not be so effing difficult. What I can't work out, given the amount of PTs on the road up here, what the hell are they using, or are they all manual trans???

Thanks for the heads-up.

Seriously appreciate that - I'd decided to go with the Penrite synthetic, as you likely saw.

The car was sold new in Auckland by Continental Cars, who sell all the upmarket brands such as Bentleys and Ferraris, so maybe they'll have some clues - or some correct fluid. Probably about $400 per litre through them.

GRRRR!

Thank you, even if I didn't really want to hear it.

Take care, and all the best.
 

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I agree - why the rubbish specs on the label?

Really good way to put customers of your product.

Hey, thanks again for your input.

I'm going to bed and probably stay awake all night.

There has to be a solution, and I'll find it, then let you guys know the outcome.

Cheers.

zzzzzzzz
 

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Since a lot of other members have addressed the issues, I'm just going to say WELCOME TO ALLPAR.
 
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You might want to start a new thread under the PT Cruiser section. This is really just for introducing yourself and telling us about your rides. I'm not being rude, just letting you know that if you go to the PT section, you'll probably get a lot more help and replies. Not everyone looks at the welcome posts.
 

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I've had issues with Castrol ATF+4 and had to drain it out and install real ATF+4.
My sister's Liberty developed a torque converter shudder after I refilled with Castrol ATF+4, which it didn't have before.
No where on the Castrol bottle did it say that the contents met Chrysler MS-9602, a necessary spec.
I installed the Walmart SuperTech which does meet MS-9602 and the shudder vanished.
The correct fluids are necessary.
 

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To add to Imperial's post, I've used Walmart SuperTech ATF+4 and had no issues.

It's also cheaper than any of the ATF+4's at the local auto parts retailers (Advance Auto, AutoZone, NAPA).
 

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You might want to start a new thread under the PT Cruiser section. This is really just for introducing yourself and telling us about your rides. I'm not being rude, just letting you know that if you go to the PT section, you'll probably get a lot more help and replies. Not everyone looks at the welcome posts.
Ok,

Will do!

Thanks.
 

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I've had issues with Castrol ATF+4 and had to drain it out and install real ATF+4.
My sister's Liberty developed a torque converter shudder after I refilled with Castrol ATF+4, which it didn't have before.
No where on the Castrol bottle did it say that the contents met Chrysler MS-9602, a necessary spec.
I installed the Walmart SuperTech which does meet MS-9602 and the shudder vanished.
The correct fluids are necessary.
Hi, and thanks.

Looks like a bit more homework to be done at my end, then. I'm not big on Castrol either, for reasons that now escape me, but thanks for the MS-9602 info.

Cheers, and take care.
 
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