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2008 PT Cruiser AC Adventures

 
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Old 02 Jan 2015, 07:06 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Default 2008 PT Cruiser AC Adventures

My wife reported, a year ago, that her AC in her 2008 PT Convertible wasn't working. We don't have any money so I searched out cheap alternatives at first until we had money to fix the AC, i.e. she drove my Tacoma and I drove her PT. I found a mechanic that advertised a free AC checkup. It cost me $100 and I was told I have a leak. This was true but I later found out that the leak was the compressor venting freon. This happens when the 2 stage radiator fan stops working when the AC is turned on and the compressor builds pressure. My wife owned a 2001 PT before this and I knew to check the radiator fan. The fan turned on when the AC was turned on but the fan was dying and I foolishly ignored it. The AC worked, after the mechanic refilled it with freon, for about 2 days. I took the PT to Pep Boys the next weekend, hoping that they would have better luck. 4 days and $220 later, they said they had found the leak and had fixed it. My wife went on a overnight trip in the PT but on the way back the ac gave out (it was 95 degrees that day). I decided that the mechanics didn't know what they were doing and I probably would spend $1000+ and still not get the AC fixed. Over the course of 3 months, I changed out everything but the condenser and the evaporator. I had bought a vacuum pump and a set of gauges and made sure that the system would hold a vacuum for 30 min. The radiator fan finally stopped working and I did a forehead slap as that is what I should have changed out in the first place. Even with the new fan, the AC would not charge. I had to rev the engine up to 3k rpm before the compressor would take any freon. I got the AC working and the charge held for about 6 months.

Now when I attempt to charge the system, the compressor vents the freon with a loud whistle. The system holds freon but not enough to get cold. I'm thinking the high pressure sensor is faulty.

Bottom line is that I should have changed out the radiator fan at first and I'm certain that this would have fixed the problem in the beginning. I'm sure that, with all the work that I have done, I've damaged the system. I'm thinking that i should put the old compressor back on, as there was nothing wrong with it. The Car has 130k miles on it and needs a timing belt replaced. Maybe it's time to trade it in? Sad, because it was a good car.
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Old 02 Jan 2015, 07:56 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Default Re: 2008 PT Cruiser AC Adventures

When I first heard about this website and started reading the threads I remember about the radiator fans failing and damaging the A/C system if not taken care of immediately. Thanks to all the experts on this forum I saw the warning signs of a failing radiator fan on one of my PT Cruisers and replaced it.
My question to you is didn't you get engine trouble codes P0480 and/or P0481?
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Old 03 Jan 2015, 04:04 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Default Re: 2008 PT Cruiser AC Adventures

That was the other thing. The engine light never came on and when I did check the codes I got the generic ones. This forum has been a huge help but you have to be patient. With my wife's 2001 PT, I went straight to the radiator fan as the problem but only because it used a one stage motor. This meant that the fan stopped cooling the engine as well as kept the A/C from working when it failed. I had to search high and low to discover that the 2008 has a 2 stage fan meaning that if the low(?) stage for the A/C stops working, the high(?) stage can still cool the engine. My only complaint about the PT in general is that the engine is too small. A 3.0 liter engine would have served it better.
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Old 03 Jan 2015, 05:13 pm
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Default Re: 2008 PT Cruiser AC Adventures

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortattentionspan View Post
That was the other thing. The engine light never came on and when I did check the codes I got the generic ones. This forum has been a huge help but you have to be patient. With my wife's 2001 PT, I went straight to the radiator fan as the problem but only because it used a one stage motor. This meant that the fan stopped cooling the engine as well as kept the A/C from working when it failed. I had to search high and low to discover that the 2008 has a 2 stage fan meaning that if the low(?) stage for the A/C stops working, the high(?) stage can still cool the engine. My only complaint about the PT in general is that the engine is too small. A 3.0 liter engine would have served it better.
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a/c, air condition, cold air, compressor, freon


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