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No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

 
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Old 16 Jul 2011, 02:22 pm
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Default No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

Hi All! I have a 2006 PT with 82K on it (bought in 2008 w/18K on it).

Our A/C started blowing warm while on the highway. We've had problems with the A/C every year since we got the car (the car is on it's 3rd fan control module and 2nd compressor) and this is different than every other time. I thought maybe it was low on freon or we had a leak, so we took it for a performance check.

They found that there is no power going to the compressor. The fuse and switch are fine, the levels were fine, etc, but there is just no power. They thought it was a problem somewhere in the wiring (they don't fix stuff like that there, so that means a trip to the dealer).

We have had some other weird electrical glitches this year, and I'm wondering if they are all related?
1) In the winter, the radio occasionally did not come on when you started the engine. If you turned it off and restarted, it still wouldn't come on, but if you came back a couple hours later, it worked fine.
2) The windshield wipers sometimes turn on by themselves.
3) And strangest of all, my husband reports that a couple of times the headlights came on when he unlocked the car!
4) And now the A/C is out.

Any suggestions on what I should have them look for? Electrical problems sound like an expensive fix, and of course our extended warranty ran out at 80K...
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Old 16 Jul 2011, 02:25 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

Where do u live in pa? i live in altoona.
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Old 16 Jul 2011, 02:26 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

Allentown
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Old 16 Jul 2011, 02:31 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

Eh.. About 4 hours away? Otherwise I could help u find it the issue
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Old 16 Jul 2011, 04:24 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

From an on-line search:

The first thing that needs to be done is check the system charge. This is best done by recovering the system and recharging it to the proper level, measuring how much comes out. Second best would be a gauge set to check the pressures. The most common cause of a compressor not engaging is low charge.

If charge is ok there are still quite a few things it could be. The low pressure switch on the accumulator, high pressure switch on the compressor, a/c control head, TIPM (module/fuse box under the hood), and wiring to any of the components is all suspect. Some electrical testing will need to be done to see what is going on, a scan tool may be needed depending on where the problem is.
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Old 21 Jul 2011, 04:40 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C

Took the car to a dealer today and they said the low pressure switch needs to be replaced. Does what they said make sense? They said something about 'the switch thinks the compressor is going to overheat, so it turns it off'.

If the switch turned off the compressor because it thought it was going to overheat, would that be an intermittent problem (it turns off when it gets too hot, but turns back on if the engine is cold)? Or once it's off, it stays off until it's replaced? The A/C does not blow cold at all now, not even when you first get in the car.

And if they say it's the low pressure switch, does that mean they were able to test the compressor and everything else, and everything is fine except the LPS? Or are they not able to test anything else in the system until the switch is fixed, and they might come back and say, whoops, it was really the compressor, here's another bill?

Thanks!
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Old 21 Jul 2011, 05:02 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

That'll be a first if your problem is the LPS but tell them that if it's still not working after they replace it, your not gonna pay for it. In my understanding, the high pressure switch (located on the compressor) will stop the compressor if your low in Freon (R134a) ...not enough pressure. The LPS switch (or recycling switch) makes the compressor turn on and off so it won't freeze up the system. If that's bad, the system will run but nothing will get into the interior because it freezes up. Happen to mine twice.

Were your levels checked to see that both high and low side were correct? When the compressor overheats (mostly because the fan isn't working) it pops the valve and blows excessive Freon into the atmosphere to relieve pressure. Nothing stops it from "almost" overheating" Too many owners have come here telling us about a popping sound and white smoke venting into the air. If something would stop the compressor from doing that when it's about to heat up and build pressure, you wouldn't have that condition.

This of course has nothing to do with your electrical issues. You might have a problem with the multifunction switch but that's mostly with the older PT's. The biggest problem with the 06+ PT's is the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) and that has to be diagnosed with the newer OBDII or Starscan handheld computers that some mechanics and all the dealers have.
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Old 22 Jul 2011, 06:40 am
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

I called and spoke to the guy directly this morning, and he said that they pulled up a code when checking it that led them to the A/C LPS saying it was open? It was the only thing that showed anything wrong. He said it shut off when the system freezes to keep the compressor from blowing, so it blows warm air. They didn't find any leaks and the system is full. I asked if that means the compressor and everything else is working, but he said they don't know that until they replace the LPS.

Does that sound plausible?
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Old 22 Jul 2011, 07:08 am
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

Yes and no. I had the LPS go bad twice but both times you get NO air into the interior cabin (you said you were getting warm air) but the system is still running. The switch recycles the compressor so it doesn't freeze up.

Anyway, it's a cheap part and extremely easy to replace but your dealer will probably charge you half an arm and most likely they will find something else wrong.

Last edited by CREWZIN; 22 Jul 2011 at 07:21 am.
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Old 22 Jul 2011, 09:34 pm
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Default Re: No Power To A/C; Other Electrical Glitches

Got the car back and the a/c is working again! The paperwork says:
Found code P1274 A/C Control Open. Performed diagnostics tests found a/c low pressure switch faulty. Readings are incorrect. Recommend replacing a/c low pressure switch.

I was expecting them to come back and say something else was broken too, since every time we go to the dealer there is ALWAYS something else, but that was it (though this is the first time at this dealer, so maybe they're better). Now to hope it stays fixed because today it was 104 in Allentown!

Last edited by NewPTCruiserInPA; 22 Jul 2011 at 09:53 pm.
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