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TOPIC: Air-Con stops at idle?

Air-Con stops at idle? 3 years 11 months ago #82996

  • cosmichobo
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My 05 PT Cruiser has lovely cold air-conditioning... so long as the vehicle is in motion. When it is idling (ie stopped at traffic lights), the cold slowly disappears, and is replaced by external ambient temperature air - IE not HOT, but not A/C cold.

I have done some googling to try figure this one out, and the 2 likely causes appear to be

a) Loss of gas pressure in the A/C - need a re-gas, BUT also suggests there may be a leak in the A/C system...
b) Electric fan is not blowing air over the condenser, thus at idle when there is no air motion due to the car being stopped, the A/C starts to lose its cool.

I tried to look today to see if the fan is engaging at idle, but I guess I'm out of touch with car engine bays, or maybe the PT's engine bay is just too small for me! I couldn't get into a position to see the blades of the fan to see if they were moving... and couldn't readily tell from vibrations if it was on either.

If it is the fan, does anyone have an estimate on what it would cost to repair? I'm guessing a re-gas will be around $400... plus tracking any gas leak....

Thanks kindly

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Air-Con stops at idle? 3 years 11 months ago #83006

  • QuicksilverDon
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The fan is a common fault. You should be able to hear it, as it is quite noisy. Keep an eye on your temp gauge so you don't overheat engine. Try starting engine with aircon off, listen to engine, then turn aircon on, and you ought to hear the fan.
No idea what it'll cost you in Oz.

As to the charge - I suspect it would give poor cooling whether you were moving or stopped - the symptoms point to the fan.
Silver \'05 Limited w/turbo auto, sunroof; K&N FIPK, BTG Dual exhaust, E&G grill, lowered rear 1.5\", LED washer lights, catch can, Aoogah horn, sunroof deflector, hood struts, 7/8\" rear sway bar,...
traded in Silver 2002 Touring Edition w/87,000 + miles
Last Edit: 3 years 11 months ago by QuicksilverDon.
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Air-Con stops at idle? 3 years 10 months ago #83022

  • Richie
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Hey Cosmic, Yep, just went thru all the aircon problems with our 05 model. Initially just put it down to the extremely extreme heat up here (45 degrees the shade!!!) Our Cruiser aircon wasn't handling anything. As QSDon types, you should be able to hear the fan, turn your AC on and the low speed fan will turn on with it, that will confirm the system is operating ok initially. The hi-speed fan will come on when things become hotter later on. The AC system fan ops are controlled by a computer, I am led to believe the settings for the fan op can go awry and can be reset. I thought my fan wasn't working at all as my temps went way above what I had normally seen on the gauge a la no AC, just on the bottom of the temp icon and AC operating brought it up to just over half. In the hot temps my AC chucked it and my temps were half way all the time. I checked my fan op by just sliding a piece of paper onto the blades and getting the Missus to turn on AC, the paper will click like the old days pushbike wheels and footy card trick (if you are old enough, perhaps ask an old guy if not aware). Anyway, found my pressure hose had blown and fan had somehow decided to run backwards (?), so a new fan, computer reset and regas saw the gauge running lower than normal with or without AC, and icey cold cabin. Mind you, go find a good AC mechanic as they are few and far between. If they ONLY think you need a regas, that's normally around $150 - 180 anywhere, but they will usually fine something else to take the cost past $1000!
Good luck.
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