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I am going to pick up a PT for my grandaughters first car. In resaerching it seems we should avod the 2006's as they seem to have more problems. I have good mechanical skills and am not afraid to repair things. I need to know what the weaknesses are with these cars and what I might expect. Anything I should look for or avoid? I sure appreciate any advise. Thank you!
 

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First generation PT's don't have the much cursed TIPM. Totally Integrated Power Module. They started using it in 2006. If you can find a first gen in good condition (2001-2005) that's your better bet. You'll want to find out if the timing belt has ever been changed. This is the bane of the PT's as it's a royal pain job. Most shops are charging anywhere from $800-$1,500 to do the timing belt. Other weak spots you'll want to check is the front suspension. Particularly the lower control arm bushings. And make sure you check the lower strut mount. They often break and cause the engine to have a vibration in them.
 

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Lower control arm bushings and head lamp multi-function switch are common issues.
 

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All years of PT's had more radiator fan problems than other Mopars. The newer PT's [2006 and up] had less issues with the multi function switch. The TIPM is a complicated device which is hard to diagnose, but it has some nice added features. The lower rear control arm bushings can be checked visually.

My 2006 has been dependable, and am still very happy with it. I'd be happier if it had a 3.6 in it.
 
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