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Old 12-15-2018, 05:23 PM   #1
eclipsor
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Default Did my A/C compressor just break?

Hey everyone, the past few days I noticed my A/C doesn't blow cold air anymore.

So yesterday I took my car in to get a freon refill. The mechanic gave it one gallon of freon and even put in some dye in order to be able to spot any leaks in the future.

He also showed me how my A/C compressor was making a loud buzzing sound and told me its way out and down the road I'll probably need to replace it.

So today, my car is already no longer blowing out any cold air, so I figured there's probably a massive freon leak going on. When I popped the hood though, I noticed my A/C compressor isn't making any noise at all like it was yesterday, even with the A/C turned up all the way.

Is it broken already within 24 hours and needs to be replaced? or is there anything else I should check.

I tried looking around near it for green dye but can't find anything.

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Old 12-15-2018, 05:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Did my A/C compressor just break?

First off, did he even pull a vacuum, use a UV light?
If not, all he did is put in a 12 oz CAN of R134A and take your money.

Y'all have a massive leak and there is no way I would take it back to that shop for anything EVER.

Sounds like he either had a boat payment coming up, or needed CHRISTmas present money and you were his easy pick.

By the way, whereabouts are you that you still need AC for cooling?
Most of us in the rest of the USA right now only use the AC whenever we need to defrost the old windshield- Ha.

Last edited by toggenburg; 12-15-2018 at 05:47 PM..

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Old 12-15-2018, 05:47 PM   #3
eclipsor
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Default Re: Did my A/C compressor just break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
First off, did he even pull a vacuum, use a UV light?
If not, all he did is put in a 12 oz CAN of R134A and take your money.

Y'all have a massive leak and there is no way I would take it back to that shop for anything EVER.

Sounds like he either had a boat payment coming up, or needed CHRISTmas present money and you were his easy pick.
No, I mean I just went in there for a freon refill, not for a leak diagnosis.

Although I assumed there was probably some kind of leak I didn't think it would be this big since the A/C was fine months ago and I haven't used it since.

But now I'm unsure if the problem is a leak or the compressor.

I'm in Los Angeles so it's always hot here, I was traveling for the past 3 months too which is why I haven't used the A/C in a while.

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Old 12-15-2018, 05:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Did my A/C compressor just break?

You've been fleeced. Other than reefer trucks or commercial hvac systems cooling buildings, vehicle ac systems do not have a gallon of refrigerant. In your Saturn, factory specs are 24 ozs or 1.5 lbs of r134a. Not a gallon. The shop knew a leak existed but will refill anyone's car, truck, suv or mobile home as long as your willing to pay for it without any guarantees. You should have stopped and did some research before paying any shop to top off a system just because everyone does it. Topping off simply means a system that was sealed when it left the factory suffered damage during ownership. Every ac system is sealed and relies on being sealed to operate correctly. No different from your refrigerator, room ac unit or freezer. All sealed for life. Vehicles rattle, hit potholes and suffer extreme temperature swings as well as the hot environment under the hood so vehicle ac systems eventually break down. The leak is the reason your ac isn't working since the repair shop took your money and expect you to return so they can pad a repair bill with a diagnosis of a bad compressor. If it was bad then why didn't they tell you before taking your money for an expensive refill? And now that you found ac is dead, you're still looking at a repair bill. Whether you determine where and how to repair this all on your own or can make repairs and leave the technical part to a shop depends on which way you want to proceed.

All Saturns have dye, greenish yellow permanently mixed in with refrigerant oil. Unless you see massive dye markers from a major leak from refrigerant oil, the most likely places for leaks are; loose, missing service caps on the compressor, loose, damaged fittings, damaged compressor. Compressors are big profits along with labor charges as compressor and drier are replaced as a pair if a compressor is proven to be a failure. 98% of all vehicle ac system failures are the leaks no one wants to acknowledge but will run to a shop or buy refill kits to refill.........a leaking system. Find and fix the leak and ac can be restored back to factory condition. I don't preach. I perform my own repairs when necessary and have never found a defective compressor when condenser coils, fittings, and service valves remains as common faults. Not compressors where repairs shops make the most profits from ill informed owners.

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Old 12-15-2018, 05:54 PM   #5
eclipsor
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Default Re: Did my A/C compressor just break?

Thanks guys for your help so far.

The freon refill was only a $40 groupon so I'll live and won't go back to them.

But what should I do now? should I try to find the leak from the dye?

The only thing that is confusing me was that the compressor was buzzing yesterday, but today it doesn't make any sound.

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Old 12-15-2018, 06:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Did my A/C compressor just break?

The compressor buzzing is one hint of losing refrigerant. As refrigerant leaks out, there's less to compress with less oil to lubricate. Less oil means less lubrication and you're hearing it. Once 'topped off', oil is circulated to lube the compressor. No more noise. A sudden loss of refrigerant as it occurred to your system simply means too much was lost and a pressure sensor detected the loss and sent a disable signal to the pcm to prevent the compressor from running. This is a self protect sensor against running too low on refrigerant. Your compressor isn't turning (the center portion) anymore. Until this leak is found, any other suggestions avoids the obvious - your system suffered damage, leaked out most of its refrigerant quickly and a sensor is protecting the compressor from further damage. A compressor without refrigerant will not have oil for lubrication and will quickly destroy itself if allowed to run this way.

You can buy an inexpensive uv blacklight and search for dye in a garage away from sunlight or after sunset if outside. Dye will glow brightly with a uv blacklight. This is the first task any real repair shop will perform but away from vehicle owners lest they give away their 'secret'. It's no secret when you're informed.

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