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Weird Air Conditioning Preeures and Dash Temp.

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Old 19 Apr 2021, 11:32 am
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glendale, AZ
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Question Weird Air Conditioning Preeures and Dash Temp.

Hi, everyone. Although I've been away for a while, I still have my 2001 PT Touring. It doesn't get driven much, but it's still a good, low-mileage car with 87K miles.

We bought it used in 2009 with 81K miles. I have never had the A/C serviced.

Here's the problem:
--The air conditioning will work for a while, putting out air at about 40 degrees F (+/- a few degrees depending on the outside temps. It's been in the 90s here.)

--Then it began to blow warm air.

--I checked the refrigerant levels with the engine off. It had 30 PSI.

--I added 12 oz of refrigerant using a jumper wire to activate the compressor. The dashboard air dropped to 40 F.

--That worked for 2 weeks. Then when the engine would get fully warmed up, the cool air stopped. It was as if the compressor stopped working.

--(When the compressor is ON, the high speed radiator fan is operating.)

--I rechecked the system pressures yesterday, with ambient temps at 92F. 50 PSI.

--I added another 12 oz of refrigerant. Dashboard temps dropped to 38 F (really). High side was 50 to 60 PSI. Low side was 30 PSI, all at idle speed.

I suspect that the performance will taper off to the same "stops working when warm" with hot smell of rubber within a few days.

What can be going on? The system pressures make no sense at all, especially when getting 38F at the dashboard! So far as I know, the entire system may be original.

Any thoughts and ideas are welcome and appreciated!
1996 Dodge diesel 4X4, 2001 PT Cruiser Touring with rear disc brakes, [Now gone 2004 PT Cruiser Base 5 speed], 2007 Chrysler T&C Touring
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Old 19 Apr 2021, 02:44 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rochester, Michigan
Posts: 748
Default Re: Weird Air Conditioning Preeures and Dash Temp.

Those readings indicate low refrigerant. That along with the fact that you had to add refrigerant twice in the last two weeks seem to suggest a leak in the system. Those readings also could be a compressor that isn't compressing. The burnt rubber smell may be a loose drive belt... the tensioner may need replacement.
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