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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 32565
Experience:  20+ years experience as automotive store manager and technician.
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Looking at 2004 PT Cruiser for my 16 yr old sons first car. Runs well, no front end

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Looking at 2004 PT Cruiser for my 16 yr old son's first car. Runs well, no front end shimmy, good oil and tranny fluid conditions, accelerates well for its weight class. AC is very faint, however. Is this a refrigerant problem or is this the fan hi/low speed problem? The AC does NOT improve at highway speeds, as it did in my 2007 PTC when there was a fan speed problem.

does the air come out the vents at about the same rate no matter what the fan speed?

what air does come out, is it cold, cool, or warm?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Cool to warm in 95 degree weather. The interior fan speed control is working. PTC has 95, 900 miles.


Ok, this is an ac concern - ranging from low refrigerent level due to leak, restriction in the expansion valve, restriction in the condensor, or weak compressor.

the only way to know which is to have the high side and low side pressures read. These numbers tell a tech exactly what is going on and where the concern is.

Repair cost can range from the low end of $150 for a o-ring leak, $400 for expansion valve, $550 for condensor, $850 for compressor, up to $1000 for an evaporator leak.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX have verified what I suspected. The asking price is $5850 for this car at a used dealership. Would you recommend that I offer much less due to the needed repair, or pay $100 for a mechanic to check it out before purchase?


I would have an independent tech check the pressures and tell you what the problem is and give a written estimate. Then make your offer based upon the cost of repair or offer the asking price if they agree to repair the problem first.

Many dealers will accept offers such as this as it is better than a car sitting on the lot. Their goal is to move a car within the first 21 days it hits their used car lot. Anything over and they end up losing money.

As long as you are armed with a written diagnosis and repair estimate, you will find them willing to deal - either by lowering the price or making the repair themselves. Consumers have more power in these sales than ever before as long as they are armed with knowledge.
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