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PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08 Jul 2013, 01:01 pm
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Default PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

Guys...

So, whenever we turn our PT's ('03 Ltd) engine on, if the AC is on, the car works for a few seconds, then shakes a little and the engine cuts out. We turn the AC off, and start it, and it's fine.

I googled around, and found people with other cars who had the same issue. One of the respondants to those immediately asked "did you just change your battery" - then went on to say, if the battery had been changed, the throttle assembley would need cleaning.

So...this all started right after we had a new battery put in. I'm assuming i may therefore need to clean the throttle assembley.

To the PT folks out there - does this sound like a likely solution? How do i clean the throttle assembley - is it something I could do or do i need to take it in? Do i need any special tools?

thanks in advance,
Matt
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Old 08 Jul 2013, 03:35 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

Matt,

Never heard of that solution but then again it can't hurt to try it. It depends on what they mean by "throttle assembly". If it's just the throttle body, you can take off the air filter and rubber ribbed hose and check inside the throttle body for any carbon build-up. Carburetor spray cleaner will clean it up pretty well if there is any.

The throttle body assembly could be considered the throttle body, the Idle Air Controller (IAC) and the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) which are both attached to the body. The IAC can be taken off and cleaned, the TPS usually has to be replaced.
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Old 10 Jul 2013, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

ok, so I cleaned the throttle assembley and MAF sensor. Will add, both are incredibly simple to do, 15 minutes with a flat head screw driver, a $5 can of cleaner, and an old tooth brush.

That said, it didn't fix the issue.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what else to try? To re-cap, if I start the car ('03 PT cruiser) with the AC on, it is incredibly rough/shaky, and the engine will often cut. If i start without the AC on, it's fine, smooth, and once you get going, you can turn the AC on/off without it impacting the car.

Any thoughts?

thanks,
Matt
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Old 10 Jul 2013, 08:25 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

ok, so reading around the IAC looks like a good likely candidate. I've watched a few video's on cleaning it and it looked pretty easy. I popped the hood and located it, it's held in by 2 screws, but the screws fash towards the dash and there's not enough room to slip a screw driver in between - how do i get them out?!

thx!
Matt
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Old 10 Jul 2013, 09:20 pm
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Lightbulb Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
how do i get them out?!
This will probably answer your questions the best: Best tool to remove IAC
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Old 10 Jul 2013, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

Is your A/C almost cooling like it should while driving but then feels warmer at slower speeds or at idle? I had that problem along with the engine bogging down and almost dying when idling while in gear ('03 Limited auto trans) with the A/C turned on. No problems while driving but the A/C wasn't as cool as before. A/C systems work with high side pressure from compressor to condenser to orifice tube, where it is changed to a low pressure to the evaporator and then back to the compressor. What I found was the radiator fan was not working so while at idle with the A/C on, the system developed really high pressures from no air flow on the condenser and thus the compressor couldn't pump and would cause the engine idle to almost die. At speed, the air flow from the car moving will help with keeping pressures normal in the system. With the A/C off, in gear idle was fine. Odd thing was that the temp gauge never showed any overheating issues. Must be the cool Northwest weather. Check to see if your radiator cooling fan comes on when the A/C is on. Hope this helps.

Jack
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Last edited by pttd; 10 Jul 2013 at 10:53 pm.
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Old 10 Jul 2013, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

no - AC is good at stopping, had that problem last year also and changed the fan!

OK...so 1 step forward, 2 steps back. I found a tool similar to the one in the link and took a crack at the screws - i started loosening the first one, and moved onto the second one. My had slipped, and i think i gutted out the screw, i can't get any friction on it now. I think i'm screwed..

I think my only option now would be to remove the throttle assembley and take off the IAC from there. Can anyone provide guidance on removing the throttle assembley?

Do i need special tools? HOw long will it take me? Any 'how to guides' and order to take things off etc.?

Appreciate any help!!!
-Matt
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Old 22 Jul 2013, 05:24 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

just an FYI, I took out the throttle body, cleaned it, and took off the IAC and cleaned that also. It took about an hour, and was pretty simple - but now i know my way around i think i could do it in about 35 minutes. That said, it didn't solve my issue, and the car still stalls if it's started with the AC running.

I think we'll just work around it, and be careful not to start it with the AC running.

Could an old drive belt cause this? We're at 95k miles on the original, and i read most go out on the PT at 100k....

-Matt
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Old 22 Jul 2013, 06:00 pm
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Question Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
I think we'll just work around it, and be careful not to start it with the AC running.
I heard years ago that your not really supposed to start your car with the A/C in the 'on' position anyway.......That was so many years ago I don't really remember when,or why......But,I do know it will drag the engine & voltage down;Starting your car 'with' the headlights on drags voltage also,that's why I've been told you really shouldn't do that either.
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Old 22 Jul 2013, 06:08 pm
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Default Re: PT engine cuts out when starting with AC on

I know almost nothing about cars, but i think the whole "don't have stuff on when you start the car" is for the stuff that runs of the battery. What could/would happen is the sudden use of a whole bunch of stuff before the battery had started the car would deplete the battery to the point it didn't have sufficient juice to actually start the car. I think on most modern cars now they have a built in delay on a lot of the electrical gear so it doesn't do that...

I don't think it applies to the AC though, as it runs from the drive and not the battery. That said, we rarely start the car with the AC already running - Iíve really just been obsessed with it really because it *should* work, and it's obviously showing me something is wrong somewhere. The current situation is easily livable, i'm just worried that whatever is wrong will have a more substantial knock-on impact if i don't locate and remedy it......
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