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05 PT Cruiser AC Troubleshooting

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Old 01 Jun 2017, 06:27 pm
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Default 05 PT Cruiser AC Troubleshooting

Got one of them hi & low pressure gauges, hooked up to low side and it was reading about 5 psi... no wonder the compressor wasn't turning on. I was going to also connect the high side, but the high side connector is not only located in an extremely hard to reach location, it also has some other metal pipe directly above it making it physically impossible to remove the cap let alone attach the hi-side gauge connector (I've tried to move the metal pipe, but it doesn't want to move).

Based upon the lack of compressor function & low lowside pressure, I figured the best I can do at the moment is add refrigerant.

After adding refrigerant up to 45PSI the compressor kicked on! Yay! Still no cold air. Now the compressor turns back off, and intermittently turns on and off. Meanwhile the low-side pressure fluctuates with the compressor activity.

While the compressor is on, it would drop to about 15 psi and then the compressor shuts off at which point the PSI increases to 45, and repeat.

I figured that since the gauges are only intended for use during compressor operation, that the inactive (static) readings were not really relevant.

So whenever the compressor was on, added more refrigerant until at one point the compressor remained consistently on. Yay!... Still no cold air.

After some time, the cycling returned, although instead of cycling between 15 and 45 it now cycles between 25 and 60.

I continued to raise the minimum PSI, until a point the PSI was too much and this cased the clutch to slip and immediately shutoff the vehicle and released pressure.

On a random google search I learned that a vehicle with a working AC system has a static low-side PSI of about 90 PSI so I decreased to that, turned on the car to make sure the compressor didn't completely get fubar'ed or that I didn't ruin the engine or something... everything works fine from what I can tell... except there is still no cold air.

At this point, the most useful piece of information would be to get the High-side reading... but how do I do that if there is a literal other pipe in the way?

Will take a picture, of the close proximity of the pipe and high-side access port and upload it momentarily.

Until then I would welcome any thoughts.

Some forums are recommended releasing some pressure from the high-side port to clear out linger gas or something and it seems to work for a lot of people. (I will probably try it if I get access to the high side port) If there are other means of releasing a bit of pressure from the high side tubes, I'm all ears to try this.

Other useful information:

There are no hissing sounds, pressure in the system remains constant when turned off suggesting no leaks.

I realize that without the high-side reading we're lacking a key piece of info, but if you have ideas I appreciate them.


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