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Air Conditioner Not Working

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jul 2016, 05:20 pm
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Default Air Conditioner Not Working

We brought our 2003 PT Cruiser to the shop today to get the A/C looked at. They completely charged it and filled it but it still doesn't work. The compressor works and the fans work, but they said the car is not communicating with the fans. Any ideas?

They said the diagnostic would be $100 and then, obviously, however much it would be to fix the problem. We declined.

When I was paying, the guy told me that the mechanic thinks that it might be the computer itself ($500-$700 fix). What do you guys think?
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Old 19 Jul 2016, 05:51 pm
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisap View Post
We brought our 2003 PT Cruiser to the shop today to get the A/C looked at. They completely charged it and filled it but it still doesn't work. The compressor works and the fans work, but they said the car is not communicating with the fans. Any ideas?

They said the diagnostic would be $100 and then, obviously, however much it would be to fix the problem. We declined.

When I was paying, the guy told me that the mechanic thinks that it might be the computer itself ($500-$700 fix). What do you guys think?

I think that they should've charged you if they didn't get it to work...they should have checked into that beforehand. JMO
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Old 19 Jul 2016, 05:59 pm
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I was paying for an oil change and air filter. They didn't charge for anything else.
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Old 22 Jul 2016, 09:06 am
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Does anyone have any ideas about what could be going on with our a/c???
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Old 22 Jul 2016, 03:18 pm
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisap View Post
The compressor works and the fans work, but they said the car is not communicating with the fans. Any ideas?
Did you ask which fans?
You can easily tell if the AC/heater fans work because the car would blow air out the vent so I guess these fans work.

If the mechanic meant the radiator fan, then that is a problem (seems like it's about the #1 problem with the PT Cruiser). If the radiator fan is not working then the problem in most likely order is:
  1. Worn brushes on the fan motor, replace the fan assembly ($85 mail order, $200 local store or $??? from a repair shop)
  2. Worn/melted wiring or connector. Replace fan assembly or fix connector if your handy at that type of work
  3. Bad relay. $20 per relay but be sure the relay you have is bad or you've wasted $20 and didn't fix it.
  4. Something wrong with the Power Control Module (PCM) or wiring from it to the fan. $$$, but not likely.

Does the coolant temperature gauge rise considerably above 1/2 way at a stop light on a 15+ minute drive?

Does the A/C blow cold air when driving at highway speeds but stops after a little while at a stop light?

After a 15+ minute drive, if you lift the hood with the engine on, do you hear the radiator fan running or if you put your hand in front of the radiator (not near the fan side), can you feel air being drawn over it?

This would help to determine if the mechanic meant the radiator fan or not. Of course you can simply ask him if that's a possibility.

When the radiator fan quits working, it causes the A/C compressor to overheat and stop working. At first, you'll notice the compressor is short cycling (turning on and off fairly quickly). As it gets really hot, it simply stops until it cools down enough.

Last edited by rsrocket1; 22 Jul 2016 at 03:21 pm.
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Old 22 Jul 2016, 03:52 pm
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Talking Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Another clue that the radiator fan is not working is when you are idling and turn the AC on, the engine rpm drops and it starts to struggle to run as the pressure in the AC starts to build without proper cooling.
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Old 23 Jul 2016, 08:12 am
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Wow! Thank you for all of that!

The air conditioning hasn't worked for a few years now, but from what I remember, it slowly started dying and then just stopped working entirely.

I didn't ask which fans (I don't know anything about cars, so I didn't know I needed to), but air does come out of the vents. Just never icy, cold air conditioning.

The temperature gauge stays in the middle - that never really moves.

Another thing we've noticed since taking it to the shop - all of a sudden the light behind the gas gauge doesn't work. WTH.
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Old 23 Jul 2016, 09:18 am
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

I just spoke to a friend that used to work on cars, and they said to start with replacing the low pressure switch. Any idea if this is hard to replace? I found one for $17 at Carquest here in my city, so it'd be easy to get...
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Old 23 Jul 2016, 09:26 am
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Talking Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

As I recall, I replaced the low-pressure switch on my 2006. It was easy and the system isn't opened up in any way.
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Old 23 Jul 2016, 09:32 am
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Default Re: Air Conditioner Not Working

Yeah, that's what I'm reading too. The low pressure switch is fairly easy....it's the high pressure one that gets difficult. Having to empty everything before switching it and filling it back up afterwards. If I'm understanding car speak correctly. LOL
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