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Old 05-06-2021, 10:42 PM   #1
rosie
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Default L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

Hello- I have searched this forum many times over the years and always found answers-not this time!
The a/c is not cooling and while checking the system with gauges, I noticed the radiator/condenser fans not operating when the a/c is 'on'. The compressor turns with the engine when the a/c is on as one would expect.
This happened before and I changed the fan module so I doubt that's the problem. Car runs great otherwise except for loss of the interior lights several years ago that I figure is a bad BCM and have just lived with it.
Ideas?
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

Update your profile to reflect year and model if you don't want to play twenty questions.

When ac runs, the heat generated from compressing refrigerant flows into the condenser coils in front of the radiator so cooling fans are needed to prevent both from overheating. However, if ac fails (compressor isn't turning), cooling fans aren't needed. The cooling system will operate cooling fans as needed.

Although ac may be turned on from the hvac panel, cooling fans not turning on usually means the system lost refrigerant from a leak. Presuming fan fuses are good, once a leak occurs to a system, the ac pressure sensor detects the loss, signals the ecm to disable cooling fans and power to the compressor. The only role for the ac pressure sensor is to protect the compressor from self destruction if allowed to run without refrigerant.

When ac runs (compressor turning), there should be two distinct pressures - low side between 25-35 psi, high side between 125-250 psi. Standby pressures have no value other than showing pressure. This won't tell you if a system has 4 ozs or 32 ozs.

Buy and use an inexpensive uv blacklight to find the source of the leak in the plumbing system. Factory dye will glow greenish yellow under dark conditions (examples at service valves). When and if you find the leak(s), decide on whether you can make partial or full repairs.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

Thanks Fdryer- I see now that I need to 'save' in order to have my profile, well, saved.
My pressures were 35 low and 140 high. I see the large range you state could be in the system, so I will look into searching for a leak; will let you know what I find.
Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

As long as you're on the gauges and observing operating pressures, measure center vent temperatures at medium fan speed. Ideal vent temps should be around 42F. Low pressure (as well as high) gauge readings have temperatures coinciding with pressures to eliminate reading refrigeration charts. Low side gauge pressures should never go below pressures equating to freezing temps (32°F) as this would indicate evaporator coils freezing, forming ice to eventually block airflow. The txv regulates pressures to maintain temps as low as possible without freezing. Outlet temps from 42F to 35F may be seen but don't expect lower. Correlating low, high and vent temps with service manual temperature/pressure charts are recommended for an overall perspective of system operation. I refer to manuals to stay in range without over filling in repairs. It would be nice if I have a scale but since I'm not working in vehicle ac or commercial refrigeration, a scale isn't necessary against experience and practice.

Center vent temps higher than 42F suggests loss of refrigerant, blocked condenser coil, insufficient airflow thru the front grille, one or both fans inoperative, ambient temps higher than 90F, parked outside in the sun absorbing infrared heat, over filling of refrigerant, etc.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:10 PM   #5
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Thumbs Up Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

rosie,

I have the same problem with the A/C in regards to it not working. I was going to use this repair kit to fix mine. If you fix it without having to do a full replacement kit; I would like to know! Best of luck!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JXYFWP2





Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie View Post
Hello- I have searched this forum many times over the years and always found answers-not this time!
The a/c is not cooling and while checking the system with gauges, I noticed the radiator/condenser fans not operating when the a/c is 'on'. The compressor turns with the engine when the a/c is on as one would expect.
This happened before and I changed the fan module so I doubt that's the problem. Car runs great otherwise except for loss of the interior lights several years ago that I figure is a bad BCM and have just lived with it.
Ideas?
...
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16 (KJV)
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Old 05-29-2021, 02:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

So far, no luck. I put in some dye/refrigerant and ran it several days. It immediately worked better but then the 'cooling' again went away. I cannot see any leaks. I have now added another can of R134 and found the cooling works again. Figure that might give me another shot at finding the leak. In the interim, I figure the better odds of leaks are probably the compressor and condenser. Seems the condenser needs to be changed as a condition of compressor replacement anyway and at another $60-80 it's just not much more, only a hassle to change. Certainly, the receiver/dryer gets changed with any opening up of the system. So if I don't find a leak, I might go ahead and change the comp/condenser/receiver-dryer and go from there. One question- does this system have an expansion valve or orifice tube- and where is it located?
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

Did you use a uv light everywhere? Is refrigerant, oil and dye leaking out service valves? Refrigerant, oil and dye leaking out service valves will form bubbles from oil as gas boils out (imagine nitrogen gas bubbling out from a deep dive, surfacing quickly - the bends). Refilling with more refrigerant and dye, cooling then losing cooling repeats what was said from the beginning - a leak in a sealed system. Second guessing along with less than ideal repairs may compound what isn't found - a leak or leaks from a compromised system with dye the best tell tale indicator of where a leak emanates. Spending time and patience with a uv light shined on the entire ac system lines and parts should reveal dye markers.

My first leak came from underneath the car, behind the radiator. A high pressure line failed, leaving dye spots from the crimped hose fitting. Dye was seen on the chassis frame. Overhead, looking down revealed one or two tiny dye markers. Nothing revealed over the engine. Once underneath, it became obvious. This is one example of dye leaking and leaving its mark. Under normal daylight, it's almost invisible. Under darkness, a uv blacklight reveals dye clearly without doubt.

A compressor leak can occur in several areas; case assembly leaks, discharge fitting, suction fitting, front shaft seal hidden by clutch coil/idler pulley/clutch plate. Dye leaking out will leave markers when illuminated with a uv light.

The thermal expansion valve (txv) is in the firewall where the heater and ac lines are connected.

When anyone (pros or diyers) opens an ac system for repairs, not paying attention to resealing against future leaks can provide opportunities for more leaks. Dirt left on sealing surfaces interferes with O-ring sealing. Severe corrosion interferes with sealing against operating pressures exceeding 200 psi.
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Old 05-29-2021, 05:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

Thanks Fdryer. Yes, I used the light everywhere but not in darkness so your recommendation is well taken. The compressor made some noise as I added refrigerant though nothing particularly loud but that made me wonder if that was healthy. You're right though- I need to look some more and under better (darker) circumstances.
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

If you're an adventurous DIY'er, and if you determine the compressor needs replacing, consider using Enviro-Safe 134a replacement when you rebuild the system. It's a propane/butane mix, has 4X the molecule size (less likely to leak 'cus it's molecules are so big), and cools just as well as the standard refrigerants.

Their 8 oz cans are equivalent to 21+ oz of 134a. I used it in my diesel pusher RV where the system uses 44 oz of 134a and had a bad compressor. Plus the system had the black death (black carbon flakes and or balls floating around in the system plugging stuff). Replaced the compressor, did a blow out of the carbon, than a flush with refrigerant (shop had a machine and a way to reclaim that 134a and filter out the carbon), added a can of PEG oil+the refrigerant, a can of stop leak+the refrigerant, then rounded out with what cans of Enviro-Safe were still required. The shop did some of the work, then I did the rest. There's no need to draw a vacuum on the system so easy for a DIY'er.

Stuff is flammable but isn't any less safe than the pressurized gasoline in tubes all over the engine and to/frm the tank.

I went with it because of the loooongg A/C hoses in this 36' RV. Plus I didn't need a vacuum pump. I hoped, and it made sense, that the larger molecules would help reduce the possibility of small leaks over time in this older RV. So far, so good over two years.

When it comes time to overhaul my L200's AC system, I'll be using the Enviro-Safe. I don't own stock in the company.
...
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Old 11-17-2022, 09:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

Sorry about the response to an old post, but FDryer was Right!
I went ahead and put dye in the system way back when and ended up adding R134 as there just wasn't enough in the system for it to run/allow me to trouble shoot. Nothing found so I basically gave up as the a/c was working really well now. Next spring, same thing, so added 134 again, looked again to no avail.
Finally, came time to change the radiator. In doing same, I noticed a small wet spot on the bottom of the condensor but behind the fan shroud. Checked with the light & glasses and sure enough, it had dye there. The hole was hidden behind the shroud, at the bottom. Changed the condensor, recharged and it's been great ever since! Thanks F-Dryer- you called it; it was a leaking system! I guess the lesson is that leaks can really hide. In this case, I think it was the leaves/debris trapped behind the fan shroud that corroded the condensor. I should have made a better effort to expose the condensor knowing that it could have corroded in spots after almost 20 years.
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Old 11-18-2022, 11:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: L300-a/c not cooling & no rad/condenser fans

As you discovered, ac leaks always 'unannounce' themselves by loss of ac use with refilling..............a leaking system. The easiest or most difficult part of diy ac repairs is spending time to search the entire ac plumbing for dye. Your find was in a hidden area not found initially until removing the radiator. Your perseverance paid off by diy repairs and saving money on an expensive repair shop bill.
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