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Can you "break" the A/C Pump

 
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Old 12 Oct 2010, 12:19 pm
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Default Can you "break" the A/C Pump

My wife has a '06 PT with A/C.
The car has under 30K miles, and the A/C stopped working while she was driving down the freeway (the lights etc seem to come on indicating the pump is working and there is no noise I can detect.). We took it to the dealer and he said the pump needs replacing claiming it was struck by a curb while parking. I looked under the car, and I can't even see the pump from underneath, and Carol is a pretty good and careful driver, I doubt she hit a curb with enough force to break the pump, or has been practicing for the Baja 1000.
Of course they want more than $2K to replace, but they also wanted $600 to replace the front brakes saying that the pads and rotors were worn out.
I bought new pads and rotors and did it myself in about an hour including all the cleaning and stuff, and BTW the rotors were well within spec, even though I put new on.
So is the pump that fragile? It all sounds sort of bogus to me. Is this a common failure? What should I look for and check before having the pump replaced?

I have an '85 BMW 325e which I've had since new; it has 450K miles and the A/C pump still works.
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Old 12 Oct 2010, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

You've already seen that the dealer is just trying to get as much work out of you as seen by the brakes. Get another opinion. Most shops, especially those that work on A/C will give you a free diagnostic hoping that whatever you find you will have fixed at there shop but yo don't have to. At least you'll have a second opinion. We have a lot of owners coming here for A/C questions and I can't remember when someone needed a new pump and actually I'm not sure what they are calling the pump unless they mean the compressor itself and that's usually the last thing to go bad.

If what you say is true about the wife being a careful driver, and she'd really have to hit something awful to get to the compressor, definitely get a second opinion. Sure is funny how they picked the most expensive part of the A/C system to say is bad.
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Old 12 Oct 2010, 01:58 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

Lotus, Welcome to the Forum!!! If you fill in your profile letting us know where you are from, maybe some of us could direct you to someone to go to. Thanks
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Old 12 Oct 2010, 02:29 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

I dont believe that ive ever had a problem with an A/C pump. On any car ive owned. Nor have i heard of one going on anyone elses
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Old 12 Oct 2010, 03:40 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

Thanks for all your help and replies. You guys are really fast.
I have an old fashioned family owned gas station near me that helps me with my older cars ('66 Dart). I asked if they did A/C, and they directed me to a Radiator, A/C, and Heater shop in town.
I took the PT in, and they ran it through their diagnostics box, and said the compressor is fine, and the oil is fine, but a hose had been rubbing against something moving and wore a small pin hole leak.
They have ordered the hose (Unfortunately from Chrysler), and with installation and after hookup check, it will be about $300 (might be cheaper other States, but California has very stringent rules to handle A/C).
I was shown a high pressure and low pressure side to the system, and there are ports to hook up the test/fill equipment. He said the the Chrysler guys had left the port covers off which is not a good idea, so it really sounds like they did a H/A job of it.
As a note, although you guys probably know all this, he said my power steering set up was different from other PTs he had worked on. The mechanic said usually the pump lines are in the way of the A/C making it harder to work on it, but on mine were routed out of the way. He also said he has had a fair number of PTs come in with bad power steering lines (That's why he knew about the line locations). Mine were OK, but he said it was more failures than you would usually expect on a car.

All the best,
Tim '06 PT
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Old 12 Oct 2010, 06:05 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

Tim,

Those power steering lines were also the cause of one of the recalls for the PT. The automatic PT had the lines running from the pump underneath the car across the transaxle and sometimes the lines rubbed (like your A/C line did) and the fluid from the power steering leaked and started a fire. The recall was for an inspection and rerouting of the lines if needed.
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Old 13 Oct 2010, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

Even if you needed new brake pads and rotors (the old rotors couldn't be turned?), $600.00 is outrageous.

Sounds like the new mechanic you have is the guy to go to. Have him check your power steering hoses, too and see if he can protect them from rubbing. It's a bitch when turning a corner, and you power steering suddenly goes out.

And $300.00 to fix your A/C and line is reasonable.

Good luck,

Tim
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 08:55 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

It sounds like you boys have had good luck with the A/C compressors. I'm having a different experience. My A/C didn't work when I got my PT. I had a friend check it, he is qualified. He put the machine on it & it had 1.08 kg in it. It calls for 1.56 kg. So, he put it on vacuum for 30 min. to check for leaks..found none, he refilled it and put some dye in it to watch for any leaks. It worked great!..For about 3 days, then it started to "hammer" when it came on..it's really loud. Does this mean the compressor is toast?
Or, could that be caused by overfilling the system?
There did seem to be a bit of confusion about kg or lbs.
But, like I said he is qualified..he works on transports and does this all the time.
BTW, the friend I got the car from said the air hasn't worked in @ least one yr..probably two.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 09:06 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus14 View Post
My wife has a '06 PT with A/C.
The car has under 30K miles, and the A/C stopped working while she was driving down the freeway (the lights etc seem to come on indicating the pump is working and there is no noise I can detect.). We took it to the dealer and he said the pump needs replacing claiming it was struck by a curb while parking. I looked under the car, and I can't even see the pump from underneath, and Carol is a pretty good and careful driver, I doubt she hit a curb with enough force to break the pump, or has been practicing for the Baja 1000.
Of course they want more than $2K to replace, but they also wanted $600 to replace the front brakes saying that the pads and rotors were worn out.
I bought new pads and rotors and did it myself in about an hour including all the cleaning and stuff, and BTW the rotors were well within spec, even though I put new on.
So is the pump that fragile? It all sounds sort of bogus to me. Is this a common failure? What should I look for and check before having the pump replaced?

I have an '85 BMW 325e which I've had since new; it has 450K miles and the A/C pump still works.
Ah, is that the Dodge dealer in Fremont over near the Pontiac dealer? I think it is just west of Fremont Blvd.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Can you "break" the A/C Pump

Blade, I once had my A/C compressor overfilled, and it made a terrible hammering-type noise while venting out of the pressure release valve ....

I never went back to those guys for anything ....

By the way, I have had four different A/C compressors go out on four different cars.

Tim
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