You are good to go with one exception but the answer to your last question is NO!!! I am assuming that the manual PT, like the automatic, locks the steering wheel when the key is in the off position. You must leave the key in the ignition and turned to the first position to unlock the steering wheel and the steering wheel must be unlocked to avoid damaging your front tires and steering assembly. I have the wagon PT GT and keep the key in the ignition turned to on and lock the doors with the remote control (the interior door lock switch will not work with the key in the ignition). With the convertible, I would get a duplicate key made that isn't programmed. That way, you can unlock the steering wheel but the key will NOT start the car.
Now to the one exception. I would HIGHLY recommend a Toad-Charge. The brake buddy will run your battery down without it. Obviously, the parking brake should be down before towing also.
I use padlocks in lieu of the pins to attach the towbar to the PT to further reduce the potential for someone to 'remove' the PT. A last minute check should include verifying that the parking brake is off, the steering wheel unlocked and the transmission is in neutral. A good friend blew up the engine on his manual tranny PT by accidentally leaving it in gear.
also, there are a variety of braking options. from the brake buddy kind, to the ones that are permanently installed. i have the m&g with the breakaway kit and all i do is hook in the air hose and safety cable and i am off. there is the air force one which is similar. and a variety of others.
you should look at them all before deciding which one and see what works best for you.
and the guys are right. if you lock the car and take the key out, you will drag your car around in a way you will not like how it drives afterwards. that big ol newell will do it with no effort too.....
michael is right on the charge line. i have one run and with my new honda CRV with the navigation system, it will run the battery down in a matter of hours without the charge line and that happened at first with mine. the charge line had not been connected properly in the plug and when i fixed it then it worked fine.
Good point Tom. There are many choices when it comes to auxiliary braking systems. Unfortunately, the M&G is not available for the PT Cruiser. If it were, I would have one on mine because they are a really great system. However, there are still many choices. I have been reasonably pleased with the Brake Buddy but any that you have to remove prior to driving the car are somewhat of a pain if you tow your car a lot. I have mine turned to a fairly low sensitivity. I don't have any desire to have a 3,500 pound car trying to stop a 45,000 pound coach.
I tow a 2006 Subaru Outback 2.5 XT, manual transmission. I put it in neutral and make sure the emergency brake is off and then put the ignition in ACC position. This allows for the steering wheel to turn and the power to work to the Brake Buddy. I use the same system as Michael. Once, before we had our checklist, we hooked the car up and didn't release the emergency brake and the Newell pulled it with no problem. Luckily our son was nearby and he flagged us down. In addition, I had 12 guage wire installed to the Brake Buddy from the battery. This allows for better power to the air compressor. We burned the first Brake Buddy out because the standard wiring that Brake Buddy provided, didn't register shutoff to the Brake Buddy when full of air and the internal compressor burned out. Luckily it was under warranty and that is when we put in the heavier wiring in the Subaru. No problem since. Our battery has never gone dead even after towing 7 hours a day for three straight days. Maybe just luck.
We are towing a 2002 Honda CRV. The Owner's Manual states how to prepare the CRV for Towing. I made a Light Plate that mounts where the Spare Tire normally mounts and we are using a DEMCO Tow Bar. We have a Tow Shield that worked very well but the CRV must be cleaned prior to using it.
I ran the wires under the CRV and are completely separate from any of the cars wiring. The idea with this is to stay away from the CRV's Computer.
The '82 didn't even know that the CRV was back there and with a quick look from the rear view system, I feel comfortable.
Steve & Tricia
1982 Newell 38' Classic
Two years ago I was coming from Quartsite, Arizona back to Gold Canyon, Arizona and did not unlock the inition with the steering wheel slightly turned and after 70 miles was waved over by a truck driver. Both front tires were tossing rubber all over the road and I did not notice it. They were very near blowing out but for some reason it did not happen. I had to replace them the next day and I do a double check when I leave anyplace now.