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MikeNW 08-13-2019 03:53 PM

A/C prob
1997 SL
197,000 miles

A/C won't kick on (again).

Charged it in May this year. Worked for a while. Then I did the 2nd head gasket fix this year. I might have bumped the pipe- I checked all connections, then noticed that the pipe coming out the back of the compressor is a little loose at its "block". Hmmm. Uh-oh.

Which line is that? It goes from compressor to firewall connection. Suction or discharge? Can buy from RockAuto for reasonable $$$$.

Should I unbolt it, install new one, and get it charged? Would a shop have to pull a vacuum on the system, before charging, if I had unbolted parts of it?

fdryer 08-13-2019 04:35 PM

Re: A/C prob
The rear line to the compressor is the low side suction hose. You can replace it with new, used or use the original line if its not damaged. A flat seal needs to be replaced. Examine this line carefully. Did it leak, leaving dye and oil marks or not? Usually when damage occurs to vehicle ac systems in Saturns, invisible refrigerant (always under pressure) simply leaves from any pinhole, crack or loosened fitting. Once a leak begins to release pressurized refrigerant, dye mixed in with oil leaves to leave visible markers. Elusive leaks are found using a uv light to make dye glow in the dark after sunset or dark garage.

If you expect cold air, either perform your own repairs or pay someone to do it right. no matter who does repairs, every system that's opened must be evacuated of any remaining refrigerant, air and moisture. Simply tightening the fitting then refilling is not considered a repair even if it works because no one can guarantee how long this works. As mentioned many times, ac repairs are unforgiving of mistakes.

The only way to ensure a repair is correct is after any repairs are made, evacuating a system then final leak check is performed before refilling with refrigerant. Once refilled, the system is restored to factory condition and should remain under pressure until unanticipated circumstances occur to allow another leak. There's no guessing with ac repairs. Either it's repaired correctly or not. The rear hose must be disconnected and examined for damage to both hose end and compressor port. Any wear that interferes with the flat seal preventing a pressure proof seal will simply allow refrigerant, oil and dye to leak out, wasting any efforts, time, money and parts to poor repair methods. The compressor port and hose end must be clean and free of corrosion of mating surfaces to allow the flat seal its role in sealing the connection. The flat seal is basically a soft steel outer ring clamping an O-ring. It's never reused. If reused, it can leak with money thrown away in repair costs. This seal is not lubed and assembled dry with clean surfaces on compressor and hose fitting. Failure to follow procedures as described in service manuals can result in another leak. The target is restoring ac back to factory condition with almost anyone willing to use tools and follow procedures capable of diy repairs. Using gauges and vacuum pump is also within most diy skills otherwise pay a shop to perform this part. Every repair performed by repair shops are negotiable. There are no set costs since parts and labor rates vary.

Waiex191 08-13-2019 04:35 PM

Re: A/C prob
Once you unbolt parts, the system is empty. You will need to pull a vacuum prior to recharging.

MikeNW 08-14-2019 02:57 PM

Re: A/C prob
The hose is attached to a metal pipe that goes into the "block", which bolts to back of the compressor.

The pipe sort of wiggles in its block. Probably not a good thing.

I'm assuming that's where the leak is.

I will go to an AC shop to look at it first.

Waiex191 08-14-2019 06:33 PM

Re: A/C prob
That works. Also you can buy tools and give it a go. Vacuum pump:

Gauge set:

Can adapter:

R134a is $4.88 per 12 oz can at Walmart.

MikeNW 08-19-2019 05:42 PM

Re: A/C prob
After consideration, I'm buying a suction hose and receiver/dryer online, and taking the whole mess to the local trustworthy and knowledgeable mechanic :yes:

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