Q: engine light on 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Rookie cbe0621eac06868b3efe0d8d1d3611e23c60d3114864ea2ec19a68cfbd3eebab
never had codes checked.does autozone have a machine that cheaks codes?when AC is on it feels like a heavy load comes and gos like the compresor locking up. light comes on just when it starts to stall but engine trys to recover surging car forward.drove car 45mile today without AC on with no problem knock on wood. AC was losing freon a year ago and i put in a can of superseal witch seemed to work,but now i wonder if its causing the compressor to lock up? i will run without AC for some miles to see what to run to western PA shortly and dont want to get stuck on my way there.Wife will cry the whole way there without the AC! thats the way it goes at times.thanks for your responce.light only comes on near stall but goes out as engine recovers from stall.thanks Bill
(2) Answers
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Your car and all OBD2 cars from approximately 1996 have a common 16 pin diagnostic socket under the dash board of your car. There are many scan tools on the market that read the diagnostic trouble codes stored in the on board your car some are better than others.
Your observation about the air conditioning may be normal ac compressor operation. The compressor engages and disengages when the air conditioning is working and it does put a load on the engine each time, but the idle air control should bump up the idle speed when the air conditioning is on.
If you have a Check Engine Light/Service Engine Soon Light it may store a code for a problem with the idle control system. Please let us know the out come.
Yes they do and it's free. Also if they do not carry the part, they will refer you to Pep Boys who have a large inventory of parts for cars.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, I know of a mechanic who will assist you and don't worry. He doesn't charge an arm, leg and/or thigh.