Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Car dies alot & ac not working

I have 1988 Chrysler Lebaron. It dies after I first start it and now it is doing it any old time. If I tromp on the gas it sputters and keeps going. It is really bad at stop lights, stop signs or slowing down for corners. Also the ac is not cooling. The blower is fine, but no cool air coming from vents.

Any suggestions?

With a 23 year old car, there is a litany of possibilities, unfortunately.
Most likely, this is a case of lax maintenance, but of course I could be wrong about that point. It could be something as simple as a dirty Mass Airflow Sensor or a clogged air filter or fuel filter.

Could you give us a rundown (in detail) of the car’s maintenance over the past 3 years? Statements such as “it has been well-maintained” are really not helpful, so we need details.

My best suggestion at this point is to take the car to a trusted independent mechanic for a full inspection of the air intake, the fuel system (and possibly the ignition system), and for a check of the refrigerant charge in the A/C system.

Kitty, Grab Your Keys And A Pencil & Paper (You Don't Need A Partner), It's Time For The Ole "Key Dance ! " Are You Ready ?

Pssst . . . Let's work on getting the engine running correctly, first. You won't need air conditioning if it dies or you get in a major wreck because it stalls out in the left turn lane. Then we'll talk about air conditioning.

Put the key in the "ignition." Turn the key to "ON" (don't turn to "START," just "ON"). Then turn it "OFF."

Repeat this so that you're doing it 3 times in just a few seconds and end with the key "ON."

Go: ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON with the key. The engine never has to start. Leave the key on.

Now watch the "check engine" or "power limited" light on the instrument panel. It should start blinking. Their should be short pauses between blinks and longer pauses between blinks. Count how many blinks there are between the pauses. What you are looking for is "codes" (sets of two numbers). Confused ? So am I. Anyhow blink -long pause, blink, blink would be 1 - 2 or 12. Blink, blink, blink -long pause, blink, blink, blink, blink would be 3 - 4 or 34. You may get several codes chained in a row for instance: 12, 34, 42, 55. Write them all down. You might have to turn the key off and start over, maybe several times. It takes a little practice.

Try it and post the codes here. All codes are exactly 2 digits. There are no 3 digit codes or 1 digit codes. They could be clues as to what is going on with car. The car keeps codes as part of a computerized on-board diagnosis system.

We'll be standing by.