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Discussion Starter #1
okay here's my dilemma. i bought a 2003 cruiser in february and didn't think to check the ac since it was february and still cold. my mistake, and dumb one at that i know. when i was getting ready to make the twenty hour drive back to utah from texas and the ac wasn't working quite as well as i'd like, i decided to go ahead and see if it just needed to be recharged. i took it to a buddy's house because he had the vacuum system to do the job properly and we went ahead, vacuumed it, refilled it, and still no cold air. shortly after, with the car still idling and the ac on in hopes that something would change and it would miraculously start working right, it begins to splurge everything i just put into it. it sounded like it was coming from the front passenger side (close to the ac compressor) and it ejected the free on (sp?) in short blasts. i shut off the ac and it stopped. my buddy says it could be some pressure valve on the compressor itself? and recently i had to take it to a transmission shop, (lost reverse and it would throw itself out of gear every hundred yards or so) and asked him if he could tell me more or possible fix it. he said he wouldn't fix it, but would be willing to bet that it was some small filter inside the ac lines? he showed me one for a different car or part. its very small, maybe an inch or so long and about as wide as the tip of a pen, needle like in shape. he said that he thought that filter was clogged and causing my ac to either release backed up pressure from a release valve or from a leak in the system. i also had one more friend who swore up and down that it was the hvac pressure switch.

i need some help from someone who knows because ill be making that same 20 hour trip across the dessert next month. please help?!?!?!?!?!?
 

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This is very difficult to diagnose remotely, but it sounds like what happened to you is that it self-vented through the high pressure relief valve. On older cars, it would sound like a shotgun blast and vent all at once.

Do you know how much freon was used to refill it? The factory fill amount is on a sticker underhood, and is typically anywhere from 20 to 30 oz or so (about 2 to 2 1/2 cans). If it wasn't overfilled, then probably there is a clog or similar malfunction that caused pressure to build. If so, you would need to find the source. There is a drier canister filled with dessicant inside a plastic baggie in a metal can, and if it leaks, it will clog the system. Or, if these systems still use a needle valve as the expansion valve, that can stick and cause pressure to build.

If you can get a set of gauges, you can verify if this is happening. Pressure on a very hot day should not exceed 300-350 psi, and it may release around 400 psi. For cooler ambient temperatures such as 80F or so, high pressure should be around 250 and low maybe around 30. These are rough guides. If there is a wider difference, and low pressure is 10 or less (or even suction), there is a definite malfunction.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you so much for replying, do you have any idea where i might find that drier canister or the needle valve on my particular car, im really hoping for a simple solution like this. i tried another forum but they were telling me i may need to replace the fan and housing and that i needed to check upper and lower line pressures. i dont have the tools to do that and i don't have the money to take it to a shop since i just had the transmission rebuilt, i literally picked it up from the tranny shop today so i need to try to find a cheap solution.
 

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Welcome to Allpar. The high-side A/C pressure is too high and triggering the safety relief valve so that the compressor isn't damaged.
Is your radiator/condenser electric cooling fan coming on with the A/C switched on? If the condenser in front of the radiator can't cool the high-side refrigerant, the pressure will sky-rocket and dump out the relief valve.
If the car is moving down the road with air blowing through the radiator/condenser then the high-side pressures should fall to safe levels and the A/C may even blow cool. You need to diagnose this with high-side/low-side gauges before anything else.
What did they find on the transaxle?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i cant remember what he called them, i want to say planetary gears maybe? i had lost reverse and when i put it in drive or the lower gears i could get it to limp for about a hundred yards and then it would throw itself out of gear and just rev up with no acceleration. i don't have gauges to check for the high/low side pressures. any clue how much it could cost to get it diagnosed at a shop?
 

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Call around. Many offer an A/C service coupon or special, but you probably have to ask for it over the phone or at the desk. The A/C season is upon us.
Some offer a $29.95 service that is basically a diagnostic fee and applied to your final bill. People just don't ask for an A/C service unless it is blowing warm air.
A/C work can get very expensive if something major has failed.


SERVICE SPECIAL



A/C PERFORMANCE CHECKUP
Check A/C Outlet Temp
Check A/C Vents
Check A/C Fan
Check Cabin Air Filter
Check A/C Belt
$29.95
Plus Tax​






Does not include refrigerant or Air Conditioning dye.​
 

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Discussion Starter #7
okay i took it to a shop and had them check the pressures and then they confirmed that it is the fan. so now my questions are, the fan the sits between the radiator and the engine, is that the ac condenser fan? cause that doesn't work and when i look up the condenser fan assembly at autoparts stores there are no results, but when i look up radiator fan assembly, that pops up and it looks like the fan thats not working in my car. the other thing is, when i look it up on autozone's website, they have the entire fan assembly, a relay switch, and the motor itself, assuming that is the same fan assembly i need, how can i trouble shoot the relay and the motor so i can save money by only needing to purchase one part as opposed to the entire assembly?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
so funny thing, and a lesson to be learned from this. the relay for the ac under the hood behind the battery was sitting half popped out and leaning to the side. i pushed it in all the way, turned on the ac and blasted the cold air. i sat there for about ten or fifteen minutes and it stayed blowing cold, no ejected air, no crazy noises , no compressor kicking off and on. the lesson is, look for all the easy fixed before you start paying people to check things and buying parts and what not, luckily, and thanks to the people on this forum, i was able to fix my problem before spending more than forty dollars (for the pressure check and freon recharge). thanks a bunch to everyone who replied and helped. this site is awesome.
 

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Glad to hear you got her fixed and now you're chillin down the road. It's amazing what a little research can turn up sometimes, isn't it?
 
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