Front End Problems on PT

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 86,000 MILES
I am having continued problems with the front end of my 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Within the last 3weeks I have replaced:

1. Tires have been rotated, checked, and balanced.
2. New Engine mounts all the way around
3. New Front stablelizer links and tie rod ends
4. New Front Struts

After all of that here is the problem;

At low speeds, when I make a turn coming out of a parking lot I hear a knock that once I complete the turn is gone.
First thing in the morning on the highway on the way to work the car runs great for the first 30 minutes (can not notice much of a front end problem). After that I notice a terrible shimmy in my steering wheel as if my tires or tie rods are bad, it is really noticeable over 55 mph. The problem is that when I take it to be inspected, the shop can not find anything as almost everything has been replaced. Sometimes I also hear what sounds like some rubbing sound. Could this be a wheel bearing issue?

Is there anything on the car that has fluid or gas in it that once it is warmed up can exhibit the problems I am describing? Could there be something wrong with the steering column? The front end has given me so many problems over the past couple of weeks I am thinking about getting rid of the car but I can not afford it. Any suggestions?
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 AT 1:01 AM

1 Reply

When the shimmy gets bad, stop on a small incline, shift to neutral, release the brake pedal, and see if the car creeps downhill on its own. Or see if you can push the car by hand. If the car won't move, one of the front brakes is likely sticking. If you crack a steel brake line open a little at the master cylinder and the brake doesn't release, try opening the bleeder screws on the brake calipers. If one of them lets that brake release, suspect a constricted rubber hose. There is a bracket crimped around the middle of the hose. Rust builds up inside that crimp and squeezes the hose closed. Brake fluid will get through from pedal pressure but it can't release. That WILL cause a shimmy, but because the suspension system is designed to handle a leak in the brake hydraulic system, you will usually not notice a pull to one side.

If you do find a caliper that releases when you open the bleeder screw, use a large channel-lock pliers to peel that crimp open just a little. That will remove the constriction.

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Sunday, February 20th, 2011 AT 5:10 AM

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