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almost dies while idling

 
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Old 08 Jun 2011, 04:27 pm
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Default almost dies while idling

Hi there, My pt cruiser idles at about 750RPM (not sure what it should be idling at may be the problem). When i'm idling with the A/C turned on my car seems to choke and almost die, if i rev it a lil bit it's fine. I changed my sparkplugs and wires recently the sparkplugs were white indicating what i believe that it is running really lean. Even after changing them it continues to slowly get worse. I clean the Fuel injectors regularly as well. No codes show up either when tested. A buddy suggested that maybe it's idling low and the throttle cable may have gotten streched out over time any ideas? it's an 05 regular pt cruiser. thanks
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Old 08 Jun 2011, 05:04 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

Throttle cable will have very little to do with idle. And you are correct, you're plugs show you're running lean, so look to aspiration and possible settings for your problem. Any obstructions to the intake airflow? Is your air filter clean?

One item that directly affects idle is the throttle body, if it's not clean, you're not going to get a good idle. The other thing is your Air sensors. If one is burnt, it will be reporting improperly back to your engine's computer, causing it to mal-adjust your throttle speed. There are many, many issues that can be related to poor idle.

My suggestions would be to check your air filter, clean your throttle body, run a can of Seafoam in a tank of 93 octane gasoline, check your plug wires (probably not the problem if you're running lean but always a suggestion), etc.
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Old 08 Jun 2011, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

Chao, does your motor idle okay when you don't have the A/C on? If so, then your fan may be shot ....

Tim
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Old 09 Jun 2011, 05:44 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

Ya I changed the spark plug wires with the plugs. I've cleaned the throttle body and put a new kn air filter. I used to put fuel injector cleaner every oil change but I started using Lucas every gas fill up to see if that would help any. And ya it seems to idle fine with the a/c off.
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Old 10 Jun 2011, 12:30 am
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

Well, if the engine idles fine with the A/C off, then the A/C system seems to be the culprit. In particular, in many cases with the PT, the part of the A/C system that is the radiator fan. If the fan's not coming on fast enough--or not at all--then you probably just need a new fan. Without the fan cooling your A/C's condenser and "high-side", the pressure builds up and makes the compressor very hard to turn. You feel this at idle when the engine is having to strain to keep the compressor running at very low rpm's. At idle--with the A/C on--under a bad-fan situation, you'd be getting warm air from your vents, by the way ... even though your A/C is on. And when you take off down the road, your A/C will start blowing cold air once again because your increased speed is blowing air, naturally, through your condenser.

If your A/C blows cold at idle, then you have another problem.

Concerning your white plugs, could it be the additives you're putting in the gas that makes it seem like it's running lean? If only it were that simple, right?

Tim
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Old 12 Jun 2011, 05:01 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

Ya it's still cold when idling
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Old 14 Jun 2011, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

750 is the right RPM without air on. The IAC - Idle Air Controller - bolted to back of throttle body - should bump up the idle when air is on to about 850 - you can take it off and clean it, I don't know what it costs to replace.
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Old 29 Aug 2011, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

ya the rpm doesnt jump no 100rpm when the ac is turned on while idling. i've checked the fan it turns on fine. I'll look into the IAC i suppose and how to clean it hopefully that'll take care of the prob.
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Old 14 Nov 2011, 07:30 pm
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

well didnt know that the fan for the a/c is seperate from the radiator fan! noob mistake, guess i gotta figure out how to see if that fan is going bad on me. also anyone know any forums similar to these for town and country's?
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Old 15 Nov 2011, 05:54 am
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Default Re: almost dies while idling

our fans are two speed fans.
some say three counting off as a speed.

low is usually for just normal driving....high speed usually comes on under hard driving and/or if a/c is on since now more air needs to be pulled through the radiator to get teh same cooling effect since its going through the condensor cooling the air in your cabin first.

as for the running lean issue.
lots of things could cause this.

inadequte fuel pressure or fuel delivery.
this could be a fuel pump not pumping enough
a clog in teh system restricting flow (maybe a clogged fuel filter)
dirty injectors
injectors not getting a strong (or long) enough electrical signal.

Sensors goin bad.
#1 would be oxygen sensor detecting the wrong conditions and/or sending the wrong signals to the computer.
air flow sensor (do our cars run a map sensor I forget)....not detecting all the air thats entering teh eninge.....aka sending the wrong signal to the computer.
the computer could potentially be sending teh wrong signals to the injectors.

unmetered airs entering the engine.
aka vacuum leaks(anything from hoses to have small cracks in them to intake manifolds having cracks in them to seals not sealing properly) or maybe the IAC valve is stuck open.

this usually causes a rich condition but cracks in the exhaust manifold?!?!


out of all of that I would say the most common is vacuum leaks.
and luckily its easy to detect.
with the engine idling take a can brake clean and spray where ever hoses are that connect to the intake track or intake manifold. do the same for any places where a seal should be. and give the intake manifold a coat to.

what you are looking (more accurately is listening) for is the engine to noticably increase in rpms without touching the gas pedal or throtle.
if you hear the engine up the rev while you spray spary in teh general area you sprayed when the engine increased in revs. and narrow it down to a small and small section until your relatively sure you've located the leak.....fix as nessicary.
if no up tick in revs occurs vacuum leak is not the culprit...time to look at other things.
(I might guess this one since to get to the spark plugs you have to remove or unbolt a section of the intake manifold....potentially the seals didn't go on properly when the person before you changed the plugs....might be missing a bolt/stud/nut thats suppose to create a tight seal.)

again out of that list the 2nd most common thing I would imagine would be worn out oxygen sensor(s). normally in todays vehicles there can be anywhere between 2-4 oxygen sensors.
luckily we only have 2 sensors. and the primary one involved with fuel delivery is the first oxygen sensor (the one between the engine and the catalytic converter) the 2nd one after teh cat is usually just there to make sure the cat is doin its job correctly.
from my understanding these 2 oxygen sensors are the same part. a potential easy test might be to switch the two sensors and see if conditions improve.

If nothing after that its time to speak with a reputable mechanic since alot of stuff to test fuel pressure and computers requires specialized equipment.
you can install or fit a pressure guage into the fuel line if you so wanted though....personally I don't think its worth the hassel.

as for the engine not increaing rpms at idle when a/c is swtiched on that most likely could be an IAC problem....I think they cna be cleaned but I unfortuntely do not know the procedure....might be better just to replace.

how regular do you clean your injectors?
personally I usually only use a can of seafoam before a smog test or when the evap code shows up.

your friend is right that over time the throtle cable could have stretched and gotten lose....unfortuntely this shouldn't be causing any driveability issues
also unfortuntely there isn't an adjustment to take up the slack like there is on alot of different vehicles.
most people don't care or worry about this issue. though if you did the only correct way to fix it would be to replace the cable...I have heard an old hot rodder mention tkaing a bolt and nut and looping the cable once around the bolt and thne tightening the screw to keep it in place to take up slack.....I have yet to try this but if this was a concern of your it might be worth it.
only thing would be finding a bolt who circumference takes up the slack in your line without over tighening the cable and causing your thotle to always be partially opened.

anyways I know this alot to read and I've probably made numerous typing and gramatical errors but hopefully this info is helpful.
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