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A/C causing car to jerk.??

 
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Old 11 Jul 2010, 10:24 pm
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Default A/C causing car to jerk.??

Hi guys, problems seem to pop up when least needed, anyways.. I've been doing a little research but haven't found quite what I was looking for.

My wifes 2002 P/t cruiser has been jerking for no apparent reason at idle in park, while driving slightly at mid to low rpms.

The A/C is pretty cool. it works. It just got this bad jerk as if it was the torque converter is shuddering like. But thats been ruled out because when the A/c or even the defrost button/switch is OFF it doesn't do it.
So if i want to ride without it jerking I have to cut these devices off.

The A/c is pretty cool but not the ICE cold as it was but very cool and tolerable any ideas? No cycling of the compressor that I can tell but once its on its ON and blowing good cool air.
Can it be the compressor or slightly going low in freon? Never seen this before.....]

Also standing above the car looking under the hood which is the low port side; they are side by side one is larger slightly than the other but not by much. Is it the one on the right or left that I MAY need to recharge the line on? Should be about time for the plugs but I wouldn't think that would be it, done it @45,000 mi. I have 94,000 mi. now with autolite plugs and wires. Using Pennzoil Platinum with pure1 filters done a filter change on the tranny last week. (Cars been Jerking before then just seems to get a little worse now). Yes I used the right fluid ATF+4 Valvoline. Other than that, Thats's it, as far as all of the recent things i've done to the car except for the plugs.

But like I say the jerk was there before the recent mechanical tune ups.

Any ideas on this jerk with the a/c on?


Also this is a base N/A model.
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 06:16 am
marvinsc's Avatar
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

The clutch on the compressor may be going out and the jerking it trying to lock. If it locks up, you will know it from all the smoke and godaweful squeeling from the belt. (one clue is that it stops with the defrost button off, the a/c compressor is engaged when fefrost is on on these cars)

Last edited by marvinsc; 12 Jul 2010 at 06:18 am.
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 06:33 am
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinsc View Post
The clutch on the compressor may be going out and the jerking it trying to lock. If it locks up, you will know it from all the smoke and godaweful squeeling from the belt. (one clue is that it stops with the defrost button off, the a/c compressor is engaged when fefrost is on on these cars)
OK thanks that's what I was dreading, I believe all cars are engaged with the defrost is on, my 96 Silverado does the same. thx.

Is there a shorter accessory belt.--- length--- that I could buy that I could keep in the car as a spare in case I'm out of town on the free way that I could just toss on to bypass the compressor until I save up enough money to buy one? Any one know the stock length and a shorter length that would work?
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Old 12 Jul 2010, 07:33 pm
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

OK I've found something of interest , so disregard my first post as I will keep an eye on the fan. Does good while it's cool but in the heat of the day is when I have to keep an eye on the fan, I noticed it does a lot better driving around than parked hot and this thread covers most of it , thanks for the help, I haven't changed anything yet but I will keep these points in mind:


Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?
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Old 13 Jul 2010, 11:05 pm
mdfrodolives's Avatar
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

Clark, when my fan went out and the a/c was on--and at idle--the engine would "stumble" then it would run a few seconds normally. This "normal" condition would make the car "jump forward" a little. Not much, but I wonder if the "jerk" you fell is the same as my "jump".

At idle--with the a/c on, do the rpm's seem to go down a bit--more than the tiny bit that occurs normally? Then the rpm's return to normal? If so, the culprit is probably your fan not cooling the freon in the compressor properly--thus the rise and fall of the rpm's and the "jerking" and the a/c not running as cold at idle.

Let us know what happens.

Tim
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Old 13 Jul 2010, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

Ok Tim, I will; been keeping an eye on it, Thats what I'm looking for as of now. Once I read the post that I highlighted, I said ok check the fan first...



It was cool outside but anyways... I go out side crank the car ... watch the fan as it get up to temp. no fan on...
I cut the A/C on in park idling. the fan comes on I assume hi speed. I don't see the low speed deal as of yet. It was blowing cold air.
I get out check the fan again its on hi.. I cut the a/c OFF. the fan goes off.

so far so good. I guess I figured low speed would come on first i guess not, maybe because I didn't let it get up to temp as I was suppose to? the temp gauge was in the middle.

Today another day, its hot and decided to drive the car down town drove ok, I parked still listening I hear the fan then I switched off the car went in the store and came back out, its good and warm now; (a/c on) I hear the fan put it in REVERSE it shudders a little bit like bogging down but still backed out.

Went to another store put it in reverse and it did the same thing. Going forward seems to be ok for the moment but now, it's not but --trying-- to do the shudder shake down in reverse now. I'll keep ya posted.

concentrating mostly on the fan right now.

Prognosis so far is the fan does come on at hi speed once the a/c is switched on, it takes about 4 seconds maybe.


I didn't notice that much of a rpm change with the transition from on to off as of now it doesn't really move that much.

However, the other day when I was out of town with the car parked for 30/45 min in the hot parking lot when it did stumble then yes the rpms jumped. So I decided to wait until I get back home and get on the PT forums to see what I could find out.
My wife noticed it a while back, didn't know what it was then it happened with me and it seems it was really bad that day.
I had been driving 2.5 hrs and stayed out of town. I do know now that no air moving across the condenser is a no no.

Last edited by clark6; 13 Jul 2010 at 11:45 pm.
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Old 14 Jul 2010, 03:19 am
mdfrodolives's Avatar
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

Clark, apparently the PT fans come on at High Speed from the moment we turn on the A/C. It doesn't waste its time starting out at low speed when you have the A/C going, in other words. It's kinda like skipping over the "Double-Dog-Dare" and going straight for the "Triple-Dog-Dare" in the movie A Christmas Story.

When they replaced my fan recently, and I turned on the A/C--and the car was just at idle--the fan made a definite (almost loud) whirring sound. When it's on low speed, it's not making much to do at all.

I suspect your fan may not be working at all times, however, since the symptoms you mention are so much like I and so many other PT owners have had to deal with.

Well, keep us posted.

Tim
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Old 02 Aug 2010, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

UPDATE.
I had not had the time to catch it like I should have, my wife's been driving her car and I had other things going on with my other vehicles.

Well, finally had to drive the car out of town again. Gassed up at the station and noticed the jerk putting it in park.
So I put it back in reverse as I eased off the brake is when it stumbled with the a/c on.
So I told my wife to get in put in in reverse and hold the brake to lets see if we can duplicate it while I listen out for the fan...... nothing, fan still runs.

I popped the hood and looked VERY carefully over the engine and saw #1 plug boot was 1/2" raised as the others were flushed.

I slightly lifted it up jerk/pop/pop/(spark firing sound) car was jerking horribly, I said AHAA!!! If you were not paying attention you never would have noticed. I got home and pulled the plug off completely and got in and put it in reverse and there it was. I guess the raised boot was making it miss just enough NOT to make the engine light come on to read a misfire code.
So I put it back as tight as I could get it, drove it from Georgia to Tennessee and it didn't miss a beat. So I assume the problem is solved in my case

I thought about the plug wires but they weren't that old, sooo.

Also unknown to some out there make sure they double check those boots a slick, underhanded, sly deviled mechanic could do this on the center plugs under the intake contraption and a lady or someone not mechanically inclined could get takin by this underhanded trick. just sayin....
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Old 02 Aug 2010, 02:04 pm
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

Now next on the agenda, now I have 94,600 miles on the Pt. (Timing Belt time soon)

Should I tackle it myself or cough up the $1100 that I so reluctantly should.

I've pulled engines, transmissions in my other cars but this, I dunno...This is a whole different Animal!
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Old 02 Aug 2010, 03:23 pm
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Default Re: A/C causing car to jerk.??

Here's the Parts from RockAuto.Com - $129.89 - then add shipping.
Part # TCKWP265C.
That's for a Gates belt, the stock (Stainless impeller) water pump, new idler pulley & new tensioner.
Ask around - should NOT be $900+ labor!
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