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PT Cruiser Air Conditioning Questions/Problems



  • marcaseymarcasey Posts: 1
    My PT has only 50K miles. A/C would blow warm air at stop signs, rough idle and lurching. When A/C not on, no problems. Took it in for a diagnostic and after 2 days they recharged the system and said the valve on the liquid line was the problem and they replaced it. Also replace a motor mount which they said was causing the rough idle and lurching. Picked it up and the A/C seemed to be working fine. Over the weekend put a total of 30 miles on, was a cool weekend so didnt't need A/C. Tried it on Monday and no A/C. Took it back in and they looked it over for 2 hrs. and came back with me needing a new compressor! Why wasn't this looked at during the first visit??

    Took it to a different mechanic to get a second opinion and they said there was not a drop of frion in the system so they wouldn't be able to do any testing until it was recharged.

    Asked the 1st shop why no frion in the system and of course they said because a leak in the compressor had all of the frion escape.

    The second mechanic will check it out for $200, which includes replacing the frion and do a oil/dye test.

    Seems like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. Have to spend more money to have someone else verify where the leak is and if in fact I need a new compressor.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm a female and unfortunately always feel like mechanics are taking advantage of me.
  • Start with the well documented LPS paperclip test described in threads on this forum. (I had the same initial symptoms that you describe at about 48K miles.)

    If the LPS tests bad, it is a $19 part that is super easy to replace in ten minutes with a crescent wrench.

    If the LPS is engaging the compressor clutch, then invest in an A/C kit from AutoZone that includes freon/lubricant/dye. A decent kit will have a freon pressure gauge affixed to the freon hose. Find a friend who can at least get a little freon and the lubricant/dye mix into the system. Then see if the compressor really is leaking.

    I use the term "invest" because you going to be betting about $50 for the kit against a $600 repair.
  • gbellant3gbellant3 Posts: 2
    i have a 2006 pt crusier and so far we can see that the compressor is not getting juice ,, now what could it be a electrical problem, short or the compressor??
  • gbellant3gbellant3 Posts: 2
    i have had my 2006 pt checked by machinacs and so for the compressor is not getting juice to kick on, so does any one know what is wrong with it and how much a new one will cost, last yr i had to put in fan and motor, that was over $300 hope i don't have to put that mauch in this yr.
  • What are the results of the paperclip test? (See this forum thread, many references.)
  • In browsing the posts here I found #203 to provide what could be the solution to my problem. I took my Cruiser in for diagnostics today because the a/c stopped working several weeks ago and I just did not have the money to get it repaired. My question is whether the statement in post #203 about there being a valve stem shutoff under this low pressure switch or not on the 2007 year model. Post #203's title refers to the 2006 model while the opening line of the post deals with a 2007 model. Hoping what is stated is also true for the 2007 model year vehicles.
  • For those who may be skeptical, this really works. The low pressure switch on my 2007 PT Cruiser Convertible is on the top of the grey/silver canister attached to the firewall on the passenger side. Simply undo the electrical connector on top, pull it up enough to be able to insert an opened paperclip firmly in the two connections. Start your engine and turn the a/c on. I had to readjust the paperclip a couple of times to get a good connection. This is a fantastic and free way to check the low pressure switch. Wish I had some idea to check this and how before I dropped $75 for diagnostics.
  • Thanks for contributing another validation.
  • maw1125maw1125 Posts: 1
    edited August 2012
    I have a 2003 pt cruiser 5 speed with 164,400+ miles. I have been having alot of overheating problems over the last few months. I have replaced the radiator and hoses, thermostat, and cooling fan. I have had the AC system pressure checked a couple times and have been told there was nothing wrong, they also said the compressor was ok. For the most part my car will not overheat unless the AC is on. A couple of times it over heated the AC started blowing warm air and I heard a buzzing/grinding noise just before it started to run hot. After i heard the noise i saw smoke coming from the front of my car on the right side. I have had 2 different shops check it out they keep telling me they cant find out why it is overheating still, they cant get it to overheat when they have it and it only does it to me at night when the shops are closed! Is it my AC compressor?? Most of the time it overheats my AC is on but there has been a few times it has overheated without the AC being on.
  • patman1patman1 Posts: 1
    Had the same problem with my wife's car. The smoke was white. All I had to do was replace the fan, $80 for a new assy online. About an hour to replace. The fan has 2 speeds, high speed is for when you are running a/c. To see if it is the fan, run the car till the fan kicks on. Watch the fan and have someone turn on a/c. You should see and hear a difference. If not, the high speed is shot. order the fan assy. Pull the grill off, 2 bolts on top then slide it up and away. take loose the radiator, Its only 3 bolts if I remember right. Now you can move the radiator and get more room. 4 bolts on the fan assy, 2 up 2 down, unplug the fan and slide it out the top. Put the new one in and your good to go. I hate working on cars but this was an easy job.
  • beckert1beckert1 Posts: 1
    edited December 2012
    Ok I was really sceptical about this but when the air con on our 2006 PT Cruiser (bought in 2008 ex demo with only 27,000 currently on the clock) went. Just as summer kicked in and 2 weeks before Xmas, we didn't want to take it in for fixing not knowing how many hundreds it would cost.
    So decided to give this paperclip test a go yesterday... 5 minutes later, air con back on. Well worth giving this a go. Thanks so much for posting it!
    My husband is now calling himself Macgyver
  • Thanks for sharing. The test costs nothing and it can save hundreds - not to mention the frustration and hassle.
  • Have been meaning to get back on here for weeks, since I first posted here my earlier concerns about the truth of a cutoff valve underneath the low pressure cut off switch. In my search for an answer, I learned that this is not only the low pressure cutoff switch but the CYCLING SWITCH as well. Once I had tried the paperclip test and had my air conditioner up and running in seconds, I knew this switch was the problem. As a backyard mechanic with 38 years experience, I was very concerned about whether there actually was a cutoff valve beneath this switch or not on the 2007 year model. I bought a new low pressure/cycling switch at the local auto parts store for around $17 and him-hawed around for several more days, all the while using the paperclip to keep my air conditioner running (something that I and other knowledgeable people would not recommend doing as a semi-permanent or permanent fix, but this vehicle is usually used sporadically, and I knew that my Freon level was fine as there had been no problems immediately prior to this switch going bad). One day, rather frustrated, I happened into a recently opened repair shop in our small town, popped out of my car and asked the very young mechanic headed my way if he had time to answer a question for me. I popped the hood and showed him the new switch and asked if in fact there was a cutoff valve underneath. To which he replied yes, and offered to put the new valve in for me for $5. Can you believe it? The dealership had quoted me a price of $225 to do the same thing only they insisted the system would have to evacuated of Freon and recovered, the switch replaced, and the Freon put back in the system, AT WHICH TIME, they would also top off my Freon level. I gladly paid the $75 diagnostic fee that day, but had no access to the amount of money, real or plastic, that they were wanting to charge me. At any rate I now can attest under oath that there IS a Schrader valve underneath the low pressure cut off switch located on the silver canister mounted to the firewall on the 2007 PT Cruiser, and for a grand total cost of $17 and less than five minutes work, ANYONE can make this repair! See the picture I posted on my Facebook wall: for the proof!
  • Here is the url for the picture of the Schrader valve underneath the low pressure cutoff/cycling switch on the 2007 PT Cruiser. No one should be afraid of attempting this repair given this proof that such a valve exists: 42.100000790024714&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf
  • shobudsteelmanshobudsteelman Posts: 7
    edited December 2012
    Oh, last post for a while, I promise concerning this issue! FYI replacing this switch requires a 17mm wrench or SAE equivalent. (See posts 209, 210, 216 and 218 for a record of my journey.)
  • FIRST OFF, WHAT AN LPS ? I have done many car repairs myself but not encountered the "LPS"
    Where is it located? Is it hard to access?
    Thx Dave
  • The LPS is the Low Pressure Switch that cycles the A/C compressor on and off during normal operation. In the case of the PT Cruiser and other Chrysler vehicles, it also enables the low-speed radiator fan (replacing the fan is a frequent mistake). It is located atop the accumulator (firewall, passenger side). It is easily accessible and replaceable. Carefully unclip the connector and test compressor engagement with a paperclip. You can get the Sentech LPS at AutoZone (etc.) for under $20. No hose, vacuum, or freon required. The LPS is screwed onto a valve fitting to prevent loss of freon gas (just unscrew and re-attach quickly).
  • Dave

    The LPS stands for Low Pressure Switch, which, on the PT Cruiser is one and the same with the air conditioner cycling switch (a nice tidbit of information to know since some mechanics as well as auto part store clerks refer to by the first and others by the second, leading you to believe there are TWO different switches). It is mounted atop a silver-colored metal canister which is attached to the firewall on the passenger side of the vehicle.
  • I have a 2007 PT Cruiser and 2 or 3 years ago the A/C stopped blowing cold air unless I was driving. It would blow hot air and make the engine sputter when stopped at a light or stop sign, or when idling. Within the past few months it started gurgling when parked. Then, yesterday, it started blowing smelly smoke out of the vents, so I turned it off and haven't turned it back on. Now, it is dumping hot liquid into the drivers side of the car burning my feet when I am driving. It leaks more liquid as the car gets hotter, and when I make a right turn. It smells awful, and is filling my floorboard with liquid. The engine is not overheating, and I checked the fluids in everything I could find under the hood, but I am not exactly car savvy. I know it has something to do with the A/C, but where do I start?

    Thank you,
    I took a picture of where it's dripping/pouring from, but there is nothing there that looks like it has a leak.
  • bronzedartbronzedart Posts: 1
    We own a '04 pt, the air is blowing warm. The compressor isn't working, I tried the paperclip to jump the cycle switch and it came on but still warm. Replaced the switch but it still doesn't come on unless I jump the connection, and still warm. I noticed the ac control fan switch inside the car doesn't light up blue when you turn it to the cool settings also, it does on the white side. Any help out there? Also I don't have a lower side port in my line to recharge it as pictured online and in the book, help?
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