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Troubleshooting Air Conditioning in a 5th Gen

 
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:04 PM
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Troubleshooting Air Conditioning in a 5th Gen

So when I bought my car the air conditioning was clearly on it's way out. If you turned it up to full blast it was only slightly cooler than it was outside. Now it's completely useless. About a year ago I bought one of those R134 refill cans to refill the system but it didn't seem to do anything.

I'm going to borrow some R134 gauges tomorrow to see if there's any pressure in the high and low lines and if there's a difference between the two. A friend said the high pressure line should be about double what the low is and that if it's not then the compressor is not on or working. He mentioned something about a low pressure switch that you can jump to force the compressor to run, if it's not running because the line pressure is too low.

Does anyone here have experience troubleshooting their AC on a 5th gen? If so what did you do to fix your and what was the problem? Is there any known common issues with the AC systems on 5th gens?
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:34 PM
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well i just fixed my by removing it, never use it anyways..even though i live in kansas. but gives a little bit more power. Does the ac even kick in at the moment? if not then it is compressor. i believe if i am thinking correctly. or could be something wrong with hoses,
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:57 PM
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Well hopefully tomorrow my coworker will bring his gauges and I'll check the pressure in the lines and see if the compressor wants to compress anything.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:57 PM
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Where do you connect the hose for the refill cans? Is it the pipe that runs right in front of the radiator?
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:30 PM
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when i recharged mine, i empty it out first then refilled it w/ 2 and half cans.
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Old 07-10-2008, 01:26 AM
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:07 AM
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Turn your lude on and do the following:

Turn to Max A/C
Turn the blower to maximum output
Turn the knob to Vent

Rev the lude to 1600 RPM's and keep it there, you will hear a clicking noise and the RPM's will rise slightly, to about 1750-1900, this is the compressor kicking in. IF you get no click, try revving it to 2000 and holding, if you still get no click, the compressor is not turning on. The compressor should be off more then it is on, if it turns on, so count how many seconds the compressor is on and then count how many seconds it is off, then figure out how many cycles there are per minute (ex: 8 seconds on, 22 seconds off = 2 cycles per minute)

Also, I don't know if you can get either one of these, but we used either an infared temperature gun or a temperature probe hooked up to a DVOM. You need to check the temperature of the high and low pressure lines to make sure that there isn't a restriction anywhere, for the High Side measure right before the Expansion valve and for the low side measure just after the Reciever/Dryer. Also, if you have a thermometer, like you would stick into a turkey in the oven or something, put that in the center vent inside the car and let it sit, take it out after about 10-15 minutes and check the temperature. It SHOULD be cold, right around 40 degrees, but you have already pretty much said that it doesnt come out cold, so you just need to find out what the temperature is (shop purposes).

Lastly, if you can check the pressure inside the lines that would be the best too. The High side pressure should be 150 p.s.i - 250 p.s.i and the Low side pressure should be between 10 p.s.i - 20 p.s.i. If those pressures are off, then you could have problems within the line such as restrictions or leaks.

If you can get most or all of these tests done and let me know the results I can most likely find your problem for ya, just let me know what you get as compared to the Specs for our Ludes (I had them somewhere but I think it's buried in the 40 pound stack of school paperwork...)

In regards to the switch -
There are 2 types of switches used to cycle the clutch on and off - Evaporator Temperature Switch or Evaporator Pressure Switch, either one of these can be bypassed and the switch is located on the Compressor.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:13 AM
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In regards to refilling, it is highly recommended you follow the procedure and use the correct equipment. Technically, the procedure is to:

1.Identify Refrigerant with an Identifier - important to find out if you have 100% refrigerant in the system
2. Purge the system using a recovery unit
3. Evacuate the system
4. Charge the System

I have the exact procedure on how to do this, the hardest part is getting the correct devices for use such as the identifier and the Refrigerant Recovery/Recharge unit, but it is the best way to do it, rather then using those recharge things (i personally dont trust them...)
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skterelement03 View Post
In regards to refilling, it is highly recommended you follow the procedure and use the correct equipment. Technically, the procedure is to:

1.Identify Refrigerant with an Identifier - important to find out if you have 100% refrigerant in the system
2. Purge the system using a recovery unit
3. Evacuate the system
4. Charge the System

I have the exact procedure on how to do this, the hardest part is getting the correct devices for use such as the identifier and the Refrigerant Recovery/Recharge unit, but it is the best way to do it, rather then using those recharge things (i personally dont trust them...)
Damn, back last year or whatever I just tried to refill it. I didn't purge the system or anything... Yeah the compressor kicks in for sure, I can hear the extra load on the engine when the AC compressor clutch engages/disengages, but my coworker skipped work today so I can't check the line pressure. Maybe all I needed to do was to follow these steps...
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiayu View Post
Damn, back last year or whatever I just tried to refill it. I didn't purge the system or anything... Yeah the compressor kicks in for sure, I can hear the extra load on the engine when the AC compressor clutch engages/disengages, but my coworker skipped work today so I can't check the line pressure. Maybe all I needed to do was to follow these steps...
Well, here is the deal - If you are just going to purge, evacuate and re charge the system, don't worry about the identifier. In fact, you can skip that first step with the identifier because it sounds like you need to purge the system anyways. IF you can get all the proper equipment together let me know, and i will take 15 minutes and type up a procedure for you to do everything you need to do to get the AC system working again
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:42 PM
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He showed up and brought his A/C manifold gauge set after all. He's only a few hours late for work, lol. Seems simple enough to hook up and check pressures. I just want to verify that the high pressure rail is in the engine bay closer to the driver's side and then the low pressure rail is on the passenger side and slightly out of the engine bay just behind the bumper.
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:53 PM
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yes sir it is. To make it even more simple for you, the High Pressure side has a red cap and has a big "H" on it and the Low Pressure side is blue and has a big "L" on it
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skterelement03 View Post
yes sir it is. To make it even more simple for you, the High Pressure side has a red cap and has a big "H" on it and the Low Pressure side is blue and has a big "L" on it
My caps are both blue but still have a L and H on them. I was worried that you could easilly swap them since the valves are of the same size and that before when I tried to charge the system I might have done it backwards because the caps were on wrong...

Edit: LOL, caps are different size. PSI was 60 in both lines, with engine running and AC on full for about 10 minutes. Compressor isn't working, guess I need to try again with pressure/temp switch to bypass.

Last edited by xiayu; 07-10-2008 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiayu View Post
My caps are both blue but still have a L and H on them. I was worried that you could easilly swap them since the valves are of the same size and that before when I tried to charge the system I might have done it backwards because the caps were on wrong...
also wrong, the high side pressure is larger then the low side. You will even notice that when you hook up the gauges, the high side attachment is bigger then the low side so that you cant possibly get it wrong, it's Idiot "RESISTANT"
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