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PT Cruiser Air Conditioning Questions/Problems



  • I believe the previous posts covered just about all the bases. It sounds as though you may have a problem with your high-speed radiator fan but I would expect to see the engine run hot if that is the case. When you charged up the Freon, did you do so with a gage? With the gage attached and A/C on, you should see the change in pressure as the compressor cycles. An over-charge might cause the high-pressure cut-out switch to trip at higher RPM. If all else fails, use the free coupon for a diagnosis and then return to the on-line posts for the DIY repair.

    Good luck.
  • I bought a 2006 base PT cruiser in '08. Since I bought the car, I have had a/c issues and overheating issues. Here's how my story goes. Within the last year, I have replaced about 3 fans, one a/c cut off switch and other things I can't even remember. Nevertheless I have taken it time and time again to have the same problem occuring. Let say my car comes out of the autoshop with the a brand new fan and the whole nine yards, 3-6 months later, I'm stopped at a red light and all the sudden my car starts shaking, my fan turns off, and BAM!!!!!!!!! my car fricken overheats on me. It never fails, I fix my car and then it messes up. Can someone please help me?!?!?!?!?!? What does my a/c have anything to do with the car overheating????????????
  • Oh oh oh!!!! not to mention now I have a dying cat under my hood when I start the effin car. Please I can't anymore. I am in desperate, desperate need for some experienced opinions here.
  • Hi Sad Girl:

    It is more likely that your overheating problem is the cause of your A/C problems.
    In order to attempt troubleshooting via the form, we will need more information.

    1. By fan replacement, I assume you mean the radiator fan/cowling assembly(?)
    2. By A/C cut-off switch, do you mean the Low Pressure Switch (LPS) or the High-Pressure Cut-off?
    3. What other parts/compnents have been replaced?

    It is possible that the root cause is electrical related and not component/part related. If that is the case, perhaps not all three fans were bad. The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) activates the high and low speed radiator fan relays by grounding one side of the relays. Faulty wiring or a PCM issue can prevent this. Does the ar ever travel through coastal salt water?

    Are you having this work performed by a private mechanic(s) or a Chysler dealer?

    The more information that you can provide, the easier it will be to determine the root cause.
  • Well, I'm back next step is to replace the fan, the new LPS switch is no longer blowing cool air and the freon is good. Uggg Why can't we raise enough H*LL to get Chrysler to fix the problems.
  • Before you let a shop take your money, do these two checks first (assuming that you are correct and your Freon is as it should be):

    1. With the radiator cool (in the morning or before driving for the first time of the day) and the PT in Park and at idle, turn on the A/C on low blower speed. Use a flashlight to see if the radiator fan is running. It should always run if the A/C is on. If the fan is not running (on Low Speed) it may be defective IF the fuses are good.

    2. If the radiator fan is running then return to the LPS paperclip test (see my previous posts). It only takes two minutes to check. The OEM LPS devices seem to be problematic, the replacement switches available from Auto Zone are reported to be better.

    If shorting out the contacts in the LPS connector (connector and NOT switch)produces cool air, then you have found the source of your problem (perhaps for the second time).

    Hope this helps.
  • Another person with an A/C problem... Less than two weeks after I purchased my 2006 PT Cruiser the a/c stopped working after driving about 20 miles. I brought it to the dealer and they said the a/c was actually freezing, that ice build up on the a/c and the ice was blocking the air from coming through the vents. They told me to turn off thew a/c so the ice would melt then it would work again. They then said it would cost $690 to fix it, replace the part that was broken. I reported them to consumer affairs for this and other issues because I purchased the car less than two weeks before all of the problems... Any suggestions? Why doesn't Chrysler recall the car for this? It seems many people have a/c problems.

    And has anyone ever heard that you cannot use burned CD's int he CD player? The dealer told me to only use store bought CD's when I told them the CD player was not working.

    And finally, Only 39,000 miles and the clutch went. The person before me obviously could not drive a stick shift... Or is this a known problem? :mad:
  • Swing, That was my first sign before my AC went out completely. But it was the low pressure control. Which should not be that expensive. And has been discussed on here over the past month or so.

    Good luck Karen.

    Rich :lemon:
  • Hi all my AC uniton my 2005 PT convertible, just statred blowing warm air,but not all the time,i noticed a puff of what i thought was smoke come out from under the hood.but,it turned out to be a blow back or preasure release i could smell freeon/refrigerent.This is a new problem.The engine starts ideling very rough when this happens.Any ideas ?

  • It's probably the low-speed radiator fan. Review previous forum posts for troubleshooting/replacement instructions.
  • Even though i am not haveing any over heating,
  • Yes, you may not experience engine over-heating even though the low-speed fan has failed. The high-speed radiator fan eventually kicks in and prevents an over-heated engine. But, in the mean time, the lack of a low-speed fan causes the A/C compressor to build up excess pressure and vent Freon. The extreme compression also causes an excess load on the engine which makes it idle rough or causes "shudder".

    Once the low-speed fan is eliminated as an issue, you will then need to verify the Freon charge level and also verify correct operation of the LPS (see previous posts). The fan and LPS failure seem to go hand-in-hand. I suspect that the excess pressure caused by the lack of low-speed fan causes the LPS to fail as well. And, the Freon venting causes the charge to fall below normal levels.
  • Thanks for the Info,We are traveling in our Motorhome we live in FL.and are now in PA.This seems to be covered on my extended warrantee,this looks like and expensive venture,any Idea what this will cost me ?

  • well it was determined at the dealer it was the low speed fan,but it will cost 800.00 and of corse my extended warrentee dosen't cover this,Does any one know where to get the part,how much,and how to replace,i'm pretty handy.

  • So yes i went to have it checked out by the dealer,they said the fan assembly motor is not working,they wanted 800 to fix,Now is it called the low speed fan or fan assembly is it one fan and the relays decide when it is on low speed/high speed?I found fan assembly's on ebay for around 90.00
  • You will be replacing the "Radiator Fan Assembly". It includes the fan, motor, two relays, cable w/connector and the shroud. See my previous posts for replacement instructions.
  • Thanks once again,since every thing else checked out,i guess i only need to replace the motor not the whole assembly correct ?,i found the motors only on ebay for about 52.00
  • jkas1953jkas1953 Posts: 8
    edited September 2010
    Confuesed,when i look up the part,i find 2 different fans,one says replacement A/C condenser fan and one says,replacement radiator fan,one is 100.00 more than the other. here is the link, xt=1589&model_text=10004,found them both .Now to make me even more confused,i go out to look at the fan/fans,i turn on the air while ideling and it is working,now if the fan motor was shot like the deales said how could it be working now.
  • Fan-/310244346285?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item483c0109ad

  • Thanks Junkman.

    That fan assembly will work - as will others in the same price range. Just Google "PT Cruiser Radiator Fan" for a selection. I do not recommend going for the ultra-cheap solution of replacing only the fan motor. A complete Radiator Fan Assembly will include a centrifugally balanced fan blade (important for any long-term fix), a new shroud, new relays, new cables, new connector, and, of course, a new two-stage motor. And, replacement of the entire assembly is actually easier and less time-consuming than replacing the motor alone. The difference in price is about $40.00 but the difference in value will exceed this amount. Consider also the fact that a typical dealer will charge between $800 and $1,200 for replacing an assembly that you can acquire in the $100 price range.

    But, its your time and money.
  • Just want to thank everyone for all your insight.
  • My 2005 PT Cruiser has been shaking the whole car and not cooling when idleing. My son-in-law was visiting from TX and charged it. It worked for about a day in the hot FL temps in the high 90's. Started blowing hot air. Thankfully I was at a gas station and had just got gas and started to pull away from the pump when the car looked like it was on fire from all the smoke. I got out and the station attendent came over and said I lost my charge. My family had to go back home and I am a 69 year old female. Now what do I do? Take it to the dealer or try to sell it and let people know the ac doesn't work? Any suggestions other then leaving it on the railroad tracts? Thank you. :lemon:
  • I had the same trouble and it was a hose way down on the bottom. It cost me $400 to get it fixed and I have not had anymore problems with it. They had to take the whole front end apart to get to it. link title
  • HI there, I have been reading through this thread and like many others I to am having A/C problems. It started with the A/C being cold but over a longer drive the blower speed would gradually decrease that I had to turn the A/C off to let it melt?

    then it would work then not work, turn on with acceleration shut down when idling.

    now it just stopped

    I did try the LPS paperclip trick and the compressor does seem to come on but not cold. Could be low freon. The LP side reads in the normal when the A/C is not on and very low when it is running. IS that normal for low freon?

    If it is low freon then I am going to charge it, check the low speed fan to see if it is operating and also change the LPS.

    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated

  • Based on the information provided, as is always the case, the answer is: it depends. There are often a combination of symptoms and causes; quite frequently, there are more than one. Since you say that the low-speed fan is proven, and the paperclip test proves that the compressor runs, low Freon is the most likely culprit. I had a low-speed fan failure, AND an LPS failure, AND low Freon. My first flakey indication after owning my PT for a year was a frozen coil! (which is what you also seem to indicate).

    My intuition tells me that you should go ahead and risk the $30 for a new LPS (eliminate it from the factor list) and then, if there is no improvement in performance, have your system professionally charged (this will also ensure that you are getting a Freon/lubricant mix). Agian, this is based on the assumption that your low-speed radiator fan is functioning properly.

    Good luck! Let us all know your results.
  • Does anyone know of a site/thread that has the info on how to change a cooling fan assembly on a 2006 turbo? just might need it
  • ash22ash22 Posts: 2
    After reading several of these postings i realize we probably all have the same problem.

    When i turn my A/C on my cars idle goes down. My A/C works fine when i am driving and if i rev my engine while im stopped. if i stop with out reving the engine while my A/C is on my car almost stalls out and the RPMS dip down and then go back up and the air gets warm. I have had so many different diagnoses i just want this problem fixed. WHAT IS IT?
  • ash22ash22 Posts: 2
    yeah it def. sounds like we are having the same A/C problem. i have a 2005 pt cruise i bought it at 42000 miles and the a/c was doing this since i bought it . Maybe your right they arent meant to last over 40000 miles.
  • dwjmd79dwjmd79 Posts: 2
    I purchased a well maintained 2007 pt cruiser at 75k miles. has been well kept and in great condition. now at 85k miles the AC stopped blowing cold air. the night before it was working fine. I replaced the radiator fan and fan relays when I first got the car. so far I have checked all the fuses and they seem to be in good shape. i also checked the relays by the fuse box and they seem to be fine as well. the radiator fan comes on when the AC button is pressed or when the car gets hot. the car does not overheat or run warm. I also released freon pressure from the low pressure end of the AC. then I refilled it to about 40psi so it was in the green on the pressure guage. i went to auto zone and the guy checked my low end pressure and it was over 80psi and way high. completely in the red, all the way until the pressure guage was maxed out. so he said i have too much high low end pressure and that the freon was not cycling thru the ac compressor. i also have found that the compressor will not kick on no matter what. it doesnt kick on when driving, and it wasnt giving me trouble when i came to a stop either. the AC was working fine last night and then this morning it just wouldnt come on. the AC button does light up when I press it however the compressor does not kick on. i have a few ideas. can someone tell me if its the compressor, the low pressure sensor or the high pressure sensor??? like i said before, the low pressure end has too much pressure and the AC should have plenty of freon because it didnt start getting warmer over time, it just stopped blowing cold one day and it was fine the day before. i also pulled the the low pressure sensor and put a paper clip in its place (the LPS paper clip trick). but that didnt cause it to kick on either, but Im not sure if I even did the LPS trick right. anyways can someone advise me on what to do or what they think it might be. its definitely not the radiator fan cause i have had it replaced and it still comes on when the AC button is pressed. PLEASE HELP!!!
  • If you are sure that the low-speed radiator fan is coming on when you engage the A/C and cuts off when you disengage (assuming a cool engine), then the LPS is working. I am unsure of operation with high-pressure switch failure (which would be my next guess).

    Double-check fan operation, and, if necessary, double-check the paper-clip test. The fact that you measured excessively high freon pressure indicates that the compressor must be running at some point. The pressures you describe can occur when the low-speed radiator fan does not operate, and this usually occurs when the LPS fails (yes, I know, vicious circle).

    A good A/C mechanic can check all of this in short order. However, a crappy A/C mechanic will replace the entire radiator fan assembly before replacing the LPS when necessary.

    Good luck!
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