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Climate Control Problems (Air Conditioning, Heat) - All Cars



  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    You need a manifold gauge set to correctly charge an R134a system. On R12 you can use the sight glass method but having the gauge set is better.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    but of course, there is never a high-side gauge in the consumer-store recharge kits. probably a really, really good idea. bad news to have no clue and try to hook the high-side line up with a system running. they might not be able to save your fingers after the escaping gas freezes 'em.

    since they've tightened up the standards, this is history for me. why fight to get the tools when I can have a certified tech get it right the first time? but knowing the basics of the process at least helps me discuss the job with the mechanic when I take mine in, someday, for this problem.
  • petraspetras Posts: 6
    Just had my a/c serviced with 134a and dye on my 96 caravan. Assuming it's a small leak, how effective are those 134 cans with leak stop included?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    depends on where the leak is. if it's at the crimp of a rubber hose, ain't worth a darn, the rubber is going away, and that thing is going to fail hard. if it's a slightly munged flare on a connection, that might fix you up until somebody disturbs it some years down the road. if it's a valve body gasket, depends on how much damage has been done to the gasket.

    worth a try if you are tight this month.
  • kbd3kbd3 Posts: 1
    I am having an A/C problem with my wife's 1996 Grand Voyager. It makes a squealing sound at times. I have replace the belt and the tension is good. When I turn on the A/C the Fan/Blower does not come on. I was told by mechanic (over the phone) that if the fan was not operating when the A/C was on then head pressure could be problem and cause the squealing sound. I checked the 2 40 amp fuses. Do you thing the relay for the Fan/Blower could be bad/ Any suggestions? I am taking to mechanic on Monday afternoon but thought maybe it might be an easy fix and I could say myself the expensive labor costs.

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there is a clutch pack between the front of the compressor and the pulley, and when air is on, the front plate that covers the front of the pulley should also be turning. if it isn't, and the belt is squealing and dusting on the pulley, the compressor and/or the a/c clutch is shot. clutches are not nearly as expensive as compressors, and anybody can change one out in about $150 to $200, assuming there is clearance to work on the thing.

    high head pressure could be causing compressor blockage, and preventing it from coming to speed; likely causes could be plugged fins on the evaporator or overheating at the condenser. that might be interesting to deal with. possible it could be a stuck valve or too much refrigerant, too.

    now, there is another issue in the blower fan, and potentially another yet in the a/c controller module. neither of those are any fun to wave a wallet at.

    you need a good thorough professional diagnosis of the issues; a/c is simple at its core, and rather a stinker when you tuck it inside a car, and soup it up so the car temp drops in minutes, instead of the hour or more it will take at home to get the edge off a hot house. even worse with limited access to the parts, and it seems engineers are nowadays trying hard to make it impossible to get to anything in the a/c chain to fix it.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    The A/C on my 2000 Olds Intrigue runs intermittantly. The light on the A/C switch goes off and the air is no longer cold. It will switch back and forth every couple of minutes. Just started doing this at the end of last summer. Does this sound like a simple recharge is needed or something more serious?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    could be a recharge issue. If the freon is low, most systems will shut the compressor off. As you accelerate the pump turns faster and might build up enough pressure to allow the compressor clutch to engage again.

    Certainlh a good first step is for a qualified AC person to check the refrigerant level and if it is low, then have a machine suck out whatever is left, test for leaks and recharge the system.

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  • norrmanndonorrmanndo Posts: 81
    I bought a used car that had a moldy smell. After checking the seals etc. I noticed that it was coming from the A/C so I just turn off the A/C about two blocks before arriving at my destination and it tends to dry out the A/C system better, so that it's not sitting wet so long. It's kind of an anal habit, but it works for me. I guess the other option is to spray lysol into the intake occasionally.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,396
    If the tube that dumps water from the evaporator gets blocked the water will sit and mold will grow. Ream the tube.

    Water should puddle under the car if it sits with the A/c on, quite a bit on a humid day.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • rajdtrajdt Posts: 7
    Recently my A/C broke on my 2000 Daewoo Nubira. I was told A/C compressor and drier must ne changed. Compressor didn't bild enough pressure in High Pressure Line, and Low pressure line had readings 65-70 Psi. I changed A/C compressor and Drier, vacumed and recharged with proper amount of R134 but air is not cold enough (berely cool). Now they say (service Tuffy) I need to change Expansion Valve to have it right! Does anybody know what the problem is??? Please help, it is very hot in Florida this (and every) SOMER!
  • j_eddyj_eddy Posts: 8
    I have a 1988 Buick Park Ave with 3800 series engine. I got this car from my father in law and need to keep it. I have been trying to get the a/c to run properly with some assistance from the previous owner. He has replaced 2 compressors already and has been servicing r134a about once a year. The a/c does not cool in hot Florida weather. The clutch seems to be working properly and there is no irregular noise from the compressor aside from a pulley\bearing chatter once in a while. The pressure gauge registers at the top part of the blue line for low pressure side. The car has had problems in the past with the vacuum/solenoid? louvres for the air mix, but I do not suspect this as main problem. We replaced the expansion valve yesterday: Vacuumed system -28psi seemed to hold ok. There was a considerable amount of build up on the screen of the valve. I thought it looked like graphite mixed with glitter. I suspect the compressor is going, but want to know if there is a way to flush the lines out to avoid another costly repair in the near future after possible compressor replacement. I would like to replace the whole system but that is probably not too easy on my wallet. I would also like to know what would cause build up in the lines. Any advice would help. The previous reservicings used to fix the poor performance,but that is not the case anymore. Thank you for any advice you can give. I would like to do the work and cheaper.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the system can be flushed with dry nitrogen; the dessicant/filter should also be replaced when the compressor is. the "carbon" you are building up along with metal shavings is indeed that, from the main bearings of the compressor.

    what I would do in a case like this is remove the EEVIR valves and bolt the receiver back up to the head, pull the compressor, blow everything down with dry nitrogen until nothing more comes out, then add a half pint of oil and do it again. don't mix up the two valves, or this will freeze up inside and never cool. clean the EEVIR and valves and reassemble with new gaskets, or just buy a rebuilt unit, adding the proper amount of r134a rated oil for all major components in the equipment list except the compressor. get a rebuilt compressor or a junkyard unit that is known to meet output, fill with r134a oil, turn it over by hand a couple of times, drain it, and repeat a couple times. drain it over a pan until dry, and add the proper amount of r134a oil for that unit. connect it with fresh gaskets to the mating block after mechanical installation. pump the system down for 2 to 4 hours, shut off the gauge set to the pump, and insure you hold vacuum overnight. if so, recharge the system using one shot of leak-find fluorescent dye. if not, find the bad hose/connector/fin coil, and replace as needed until you can hold vacuum overnight.

    the reason I'm stressing the refrigerant oil so much here is that you likely have been roaching compressors by too little oil. the only way to really know how much you have is to blow it all out, and then refill to spec.

    this is going to be a lot of work, and no mean expense, and if you have a damper-door motor shot, may still mean no a/c until you fix that. but the sealed system is in awful shape from what you're saying, and needs a thorough cleanout.

    the CHEAPEST fix is to convert to a r255 system or r455 system. pull the a/c fuse, roll down windows (2 or 4, depending on car configuration,) and do 55 mph.

    due to the differences in refrigerant operating profiles, this car will never cool like it was new, unless you put a ThermoKing truck trailer unit in it, with a diesel tank, and reinforce the roof so it doesn't fall in on you. not affordable or practical.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and with a/c, you may have to make a return trip or two if there are a number of issues (probably all caused by one failure, in this case I would suspect of the compressor.) sorry, it comes with the territory. hope they blew down the system to get contamination out of the lines... a mild case of lazy compressor probably didn't leave enough slop to cause future problems, but a full-bore internal failure could.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    If you have debris in the system you have a problem. It could be that the dryer has internally disintegrated. This dissicate will contaminate the expansion valve pretty soon.

    If it is compressor debris, that's also a big screw-up, but I kind of doubt this since the compressor would be protesting pretty badly if it is throwing metal.

    Yeah, you can clean the lines and the screen that protects the compressor but you need to find out what this debris actually is. An A.C. man should know. Maybe a new dryer would fix you up.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    If your A/C system has been badly contaminated, then you sometimes have to bite the whole bullet. The expansion valve will not tolerate debris. The usual symptom of a bad expansion valve (sometimes) is that the air blows kinda cold and then warmer and then kinda cold---but never really cold.

    Expansion valve shouldn't be a big deal, and if you take it apart it should show debris might ask them to show you this so you know they were on the right track.

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  • rajdtrajdt Posts: 7
    Did I say that all readings are OK?!! Low side is at about 30 Psi and High Side at 175 Psi. I was told that this is perfect reading. Problem is that there is NO DRAG on the engine when A/C compressor starts! How is this possible?? Could be the promblem too much oil? They put 8 oz. of oil in compressor. Oil is synthetic and viscosity 100. Does this help a little??
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    Well your AC clutch is a separate component from your AC compressor. The amounts of oil, pressure, etc. should not affect its operation. Does your clutch actually fully engage?

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  • rajdtrajdt Posts: 7
    well, clutch tuns on but never OFF. I guess that's because the compressor never bilds enough pressure or because a/c never get's cold enough. What do you think? Tomorrow i'm going to Daewoo service...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    I think someone has missed something here definitely. Without being there to read the machine, it's hard to say what the heck is going on. But keep us informed. This is interesting.

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  • rajdtrajdt Posts: 7
    Here are the news! I was at the Daewoo service and they fixed problem with my A/C!! There was only 1 Lbs. of R134A in the system!!! There was no leak, but still only 1 Lbs. Someone messed up at Tuffy where I originaly did the work! They filled A/C with 2 Lbs. of R134A and A/C is really chilly now. I have only one concern now. I didn't notice that my A/C compressor turns off and on. It looks to me like it is ON all the time. Could that cause the problem for compressor since on my other car compressor is cycling (turning off and on) while the engine is running. P.S. Should I go back to TUFFY and tell them about poor job they did?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you could go back and rail, but I personally would tell all my friends instead.

    I did let my dealer know when they missed (or hosed up by rotating the loose calipers) impending failures in both front brake flex hoses, as well as a rusted-shut ebrake cable which left me with next to no options on a saturday afternoon recently. that's a life-safety item, and IMHO that they need to know.

    not recharging an a/c is not a life-safety issue, but it's really sloppy ( ), and I wouldn't go back there on a bet. the good news is they fixed your heavy problem. the bad news is, if they can't get gas in the a/c, you have to wonder if they put in the few ounces of refrigerant oil that is required when replacing parts.

    next time you have to have the system serviced, have them put in oil-charged refrigerant if they use cans, or blow it out and fill to spec if they use bulk gas. probably isn't low enough to kill your system, but I wouldn't trust tuffy's recordkeeping to know whether they did that right.
  • 2k1olds2k1olds Posts: 98
    I have a 2001 Olds Aurora (3.5)and the a/c generally works when you first start the car, but then cycles off and on after about the first 20 minutes. It starts blowing warm, a/c light starts blinking, even the speed of the blower changes back and forth. I noticed the guy with the Intrigue having the same problem. What was the outcome?? I am taking it for a recharge this morning. I have a mechanic at work who says if these cars are low on freon they will shut the compressor down to avoid burning it up. Any other advice??
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    I'd look at the expansion valve, as the symptoms suggest this, except I'm not sure this would cause the compressor to disengage. Perhaps. The fan speed changing would be consistent with the compressor going off, as would a lack of refrigerant; however, the a/c wouldn't blow cold at any time if there wasn't enough refrigerant, but if the expansion valve didn't work after a few minutes, maybe this would explain all the symptoms.

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  • 2k1olds2k1olds Posts: 98
    Just in case it helps anyone else, the Aurora needed 2 pounds of freon; total cost-$68.70. Heck of a lot better than a $900 compressor.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,784
    Great! Good news for you!

    Keep us posted on how it's behaving.

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  • 2k1olds2k1olds Posts: 98
    I spoke too soon. After a good start this morning, it went back to cycling on and off this afternoon(more off than on, since it's 90 degrees today). It seems to act up more with stop and go driving than on the highway. Any clues?? GM says without seeing the car that it's the compressor. I will have who did the work check the expansion valve.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    most cars now have an acceleration cutout, either run off the computer by a harness, or by a vacuum switch, if you are demanding extra engine power to move the car, and the a/c gets in the way, it is cut out so you don't get into an underpowered-crash situation. that control could be failing... or it could be working as usual. if you drive like granny with hemmorhoids, it's less likely to be a failure than if you accelerate smartly (or hammer the gas at the far extreme.) I finally noticed mine doing that on a humid 90s day last friday.

    it could also be your charge leaked out again, and you have a connection to be replaced, probably a pressure hose.

    could be worse... exploders with the trailering package also have a heckuva big alternator, and the field coils for THAT can be interrupted by the engine computer if you really have to hammer the gas to get out of a situation, thus freeing up another 10 horses or so. hope I never have to replace that alternator, it's going to be pricey....
  • I have a 02 Mitsubishi Galant and when I turn on my A.C. with the temperature control dial on the highest cooling setting I hear a clicking noise coming from my dash. Could anybody tell me what this is and what to do to fix it?
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