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Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

 
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Old 23 Apr 2008, 03:22 pm
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Default Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

Hi! I am new to the forum. I'm hoping someone can help me out with our first problem! We purchased a 2006 PT Cruiser at the end of March with 19,182 miles on it, and with the warm weather this past week we turned on the A/C for the first time. We went to Philly and back with no problems, but then a couple days later we noticed the car starting to shudder/stumble, like it wanted to stall, when the A/C was on and you were idling at a stop sign or light. It did this several times, but didn't actual stall. I had my husband drive home from work with it off and he had no problems. Later we went to the store with it on, and it was the same thing. So we kept it off for the whole weekend and had no problems.

I called the dealer to have it looked at and it went in yesterday. They said the diagnostic code led them to a bad compressor, and it had to be replaced. They said they put it up on the rack and topped it off and they could see it leaking. I asked if we would have seen it leaking (we didn't) and he said Freon evaporates, so not necessarily. The car was blowing cold, so I assumed it had Freon. He said they test drove it and it is fine.

The funny thing is, he said you DO feel it when the compressor kicks on and off, and that it's completely normal, but it shouldn't get to the point where it would stall.

Is this true? We didn't pick it up yet to know if it is still like it was yet, but when we first drove it with the A/C on, it didn't do any stumbling. Is this something that is normal for a PT Cruiser, or are we probably looking at some other problem and NOT a compressor problem? I checked online and saw other people complaining of the stumble when idling, and there were several theories for it: A/C, crankshaft/camshaft sensors, wires, etc. Would you think it was the compressor if they actually found a bad compressor? I am worried we are going to continue to have problems...

Last edited by NewPTCruiserInPA; 23 Apr 2008 at 03:25 pm.
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Old 23 Apr 2008, 03:50 pm
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

A/C saps a lot of power from the engine and when idling your engine is not producing much torque hence you can hear it lug momentarily untill the on borad gizmo's realise what's going on and compensate.

I'd love to hear what was 'bad' about the compressor, they only have two settings, on/off so unless the system was realy low on fluid and the compressor was pulling air and spinning too fast, it should either work or not.
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Old 23 Apr 2008, 04:12 pm
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

If you are still running with stock OEM plug wires then replace them. The stock wires are total junk. They would definitely cause a miss. You may not notice a miss until the AC is on as the plug wires are just starting to go bad. I've had three PTs (still got one) and I never had that problem.
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Old 23 Apr 2008, 07:40 pm
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

My husband picked it up and he ran the A/C the entire time way home and said it didn't do the shudder/stumble at all. Here's what the paperwork says: "Checked for sputter when a/c kicks on. Found low freon. Top off and recheck. Freon blowing out at compressor. Checked for update. None related to a/c. Flashed PCM to newest number. Checked and cleaned throttle body. Reset memory and retested. Still sputtering. Replaced compressor assembly. EVAC/recharged and rechecked. Ok. Road test. Ok. If sitting in traffic for long period, you can feel a/c clutch engage and disengage due to lack of air flow. Normal condition."

They also did a 16pt check on all the fluid levels, tires, hoses, lights, etc, which I didn't ask for, so glad for that. Sounds like they did a lot. Does all that sound right? We'll be keeping an eye on it for the next couple days, but hopefully everything is fixed now.
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Old 23 Apr 2008, 09:43 pm
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

Two 2006 models here; nonturbo stick & turbo vert. Don't really feel all that much surg when the A/C kicks in on either. Had a 1997 Cravan that you could really feel the decr RPM when it kicked in.
(Just a thought - wife's Grand Marquis just went to the shop with a similar problem, including stalling at stop lights - she runs the a/c all the time - was a loose Mass Air Flow Sensor).
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Old 24 Apr 2008, 05:05 am
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

From your description, it looks like the dealer did a fine job checking everything. Was it covered under the warranty? To me it sounded as if you have a good dealer to work with. Don't look for problems if you don't have any, enjoy your PT!!!
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Old 24 Apr 2008, 06:25 am
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

Yes, it was still under the original warranty. We also got the Chrysler extended warranty for when that runs out in October (8yr/80K), and that one has a $100 deductible. So far so good with the dealer!
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Old 24 Apr 2008, 07:30 am
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

It could be the compressor..... I would be more concerned about the radiator fan not working right. That's been my experience.
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Old 24 Apr 2008, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

Well, looks like replacing the compressor wasn't the problem. My husband came home for lunch, and when he got back in the car, the shuddering immediately started again. It's like a cycle, every couple of seconds. We lifted up the hood and the whole engine shakes when it does this.

And now, to top it all off, when the car is in idle it blows hot air! When you are driving it blows cold. At least BEFORE we took it in to get looked at it blew cold air in idle! So every time you come to a stop sign it blows hot, then cold in drive, then hot when you stop again.

There is no WAY this can be normal, that the a/c is supposed to blow hot and cold every time you stop, and shudder the way it does. The whole car shakes. So now the car goes back in to the dealer on Monday. Any other ideas what the problem could be since they've already replaced the compressor and all that did was make the problem worse?
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Old 24 Apr 2008, 01:46 pm
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Default Re: Really? A/C Compressor Stumble Is Normal?

Radiator fan (s)
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