I have an ‘06 pt cruiser, the ac blows AWESOME, when the car is moving. But my car bogs down and has died on me once if I leave the ac on while idling. What could it be?

  • You have two separate questions here - you're much more likely to get a useful answer if you ask them as two separate questions, not both in one.
    – Nick C
    Mar 21, 2018 at 9:54
  • I removed the second question. You will need to post it separately.
    – CharlieRB
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:30
  • Have you, by any chance, got any engine cooling issue or idle issue (with the AC system turned off, that is)? Have you recently serviced your car's AC system (or had it serviced)?
    – Al_
    Mar 21, 2018 at 21:50
  • We put Freon in it thinking that would fix the problem, but other than that we haven’t done anything else to it Mar 28, 2018 at 2:13

1 Answer 1


There are multiple possibilities of your engine dying with the AC turned on at idle. Here are a few.

  1. The idle control system is not functioning. (Can be tested with a professional scantool with bi-directional controls)
  2. The AC system is overcharged. (Has anyone recently added freon for lack of cooling?)
  3. The AC compressor is starting to bind or turn too hard. (Can the faceplate of the compressor be turned by hand with little to some effort?)
  4. The condensor fan is not coming on. (For layman purposes, are the radiator fans on while the AC is on?)
  5. The condensor is partially restricted either internally or externally. (While spraying a garden hose on the condensor, will the AC get cold at an idle?)

Keep in mind these are just guesses, and without knowing the AC systems low and high side pressures, I'm not sure if anyone can give you anymore direction than to take it to a professional technician.

  • The compressor can't be starting to bind, otherwise the car's ac system won't cool at all while moving (and it would go to compressor's heaven very quickly too). However, the faceplate test is a great idea to begin with (provided that the engine is turned off and the key isn't inside the car, that is). It should rotate smoothly (i.e. with a constant and slight resistance to movement), rather than easily in a strict sense.
    – Al_
    Mar 21, 2018 at 21:49

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