Excessively lousy in-town gas mileage on 01 PT Cruiser


My 01 PT Cruiser get only 12 miles per gallon when driven in the city. Can this be possible? Is there anything I can do about it? It gets about 22 mpg on the highway. I bought this car used, so I’m not sure if it has always been this way. It currently has 100,000 miles on it. Help!


If you just bought this car used, the first thing to do is change the thermostat. You know how many vehicles I’ve seen get lousy mileage from a bad thermostat?



Tester has a very good recommendation. Some un-informed people even remove the thermostat.

In any case it is time to get all the maintenance up to date, that includes all the filters, plugs, oil and plug wires, plus anything else listed in the owner’s manual. Don’t assume the prior owner did any of it.


Thanks to both of you. I will replace the thermostat and all that other stuff!


I agree that the thermostat and spark plugs are two areas to be checked/replaced. You might also check the wheels after driving for a few miles to see if they are unusually hot. If so, that would indicate a dragging brake caliper. How about the air filter? Is it due to be changed?

Clearly there is something wrong mechanically, because even the highway mileage that you report is not good. A PT Cruiser should certainly be capable of much better than 22 mpg on the highway.

Also–Have you checked your tire pressure lately? Are you carrying a lot of extra stuff in the cargo area? If your tire pressure, thermostat, air filter, and spark plugs are good, then you have to look at issues such as carrying around too much unnecessary stuff in the cargo area.