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Old 07-24-2007, 01:08 PM   #1
Zvolen
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1998 SL1
Default AC/Recharge

So I live in sunny, think hot, California and currently my AC does not work. Well, it doesn't get cold but blows "colder" air. I am in the process of trying to get it looked at but would rather save the money I would spend on getting diagnosis for the repair. I have checked the compressor and it engages when turned on. Does this mean I JUST need a recharge?

I know this means the previous fluid went some where but is it logical to think it has just evaporated over time? I have only had this car since Nov and the AC has never worked.

Any help or comments would be appreciated.

--Z

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:57 PM   #2
Dr B
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1993 SL2
Default Re: AC/Recharge

Has it been converted to 134-A/or is 1995 or newer ?
if so you can probably re-charge ,safely one can of freon .
since the compressor clutch is working ,you must be just a little low.
you can get these tune up type recharge , cans with hose attached.
they have some oil ,some seal conditioner ,small freon charge
just enough to put a system down a little back on track !
or you can probably buy or borrow a hose and install one 12 oz can.

...
Have A Great Day , it is YOUR choice !

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Old 07-24-2007, 01:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: AC/Recharge

First, what are you driving and second, look for a label in the engine compartment for the type of refrigerant used, either R12 or R134a. Then, you can do some homework (refrigerant leaks out eventually or from loose fittings, cracks in the soft aluminum, not evaporate if the system is kept sealed as it came from the factory). And if it never worked then how can it cool? Someone must have recharged it. Neverless you can read the following; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80107 to alow you some savings if you take the time to visually inspect the entire system carefully. If you insist on home do-it-yourself with the refill cans at least buy the ones containing dye so the leak will be appropriately marked for easy detection. This is assuming you're using R134a refrigerant. A way to tell for which type of refrigerant is used is to remove the service caps covering the refrigerant valves near the compressor; the outside appearance of the valves will indicate which refrigerant is used - external threads = R12, no external threads = R134a, quick coupler type similar to the quick connectors used for air tools.

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Old 07-24-2007, 06:09 PM   #4
Zvolen
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Default Re: AC/Recharge

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
First, what are you driving and second, look for a label in the engine compartment for the type of refrigerant used, either R12 or R134a. Then, you can do some homework (refrigerant leaks out eventually or from loose fittings, cracks in the soft aluminum, not evaporate if the system is kept sealed as it came from the factory). And if it never worked then how can it cool? Someone must have recharged it. Neverless you can read the following; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80107 to alow you some savings if you take the time to visually inspect the entire system carefully. If you insist on home do-it-yourself with the refill cans at least buy the ones containing dye so the leak will be appropriately marked for easy detection. This is assuming you're using R134a refrigerant. A way to tell for which type of refrigerant is used is to remove the service caps covering the refrigerant valves near the compressor; the outside appearance of the valves will indicate which refrigerant is used - external threads = R12, no external threads = R134a, quick coupler type similar to the quick connectors used for air tools.
Has far as I know it hasn't been "converted" but it is a newer 1998 SL1 so I imagine it already has the 13A. When I mean it never worked, I meant that it never cooled just blew air. I will go ahead and read the thread listed.

So from the sounds of this it can be a do-it-yourself gig with little problem? Look up the can and retighten the screw afterwards and if there is a leak the dye will later show and I can then get it repaired at a shop, or should I go straight there for a recharge? Any other help would be helpful

If you need any other specifics from me just ask.

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Old 07-24-2007, 06:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: AC/Recharge

fdryer - After reading the thread you listed it got me thinking, when I do turn on the AC system I hear a "sucking" noise as the system is sucking in air as you mentioned in the thread. I am not sure if this is normal or not but could mean I have a leak? So obviously a recharge would be worthless without first fixing that. Anyone have an estimate of how much this and a recharge would cost, as I would have to save up for it and if its a lot will wait till next summer or this winter as prices may be cheaper.

Also, if anyone else has any ideas/comments feel free...

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Old 07-24-2007, 07:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: AC/Recharge

Ok, you have R134a, the latest. Sucking sounds is not good when turning on the a/c. If you find the time to look around the engine, in front of the radiator where the condenser coil resides and most of the a/c plumbing you may see visible evidence of any leak from refrigerant, oil. The refrigerant oil circulates throughout the system and will mark the area where refrigerant and oil leaks out. The R134a will evaporate as it returns to its natural state, a gas, while the oil stains the leak spot. A sealed a/c system is always under pressure even when not used. Typical pressures when not used will be around 90 psi; refrigerant wants to leave this sealed system at the first opportunity. When running there will be two pressures, one at 30 psi and the other at 250 psi+, depending on outside temperatures.

I couldn't guess what damage there may be with sucking sounds coming from the a/c running and you shouldn't run the a/c anymore if there is a vacuum sound. Dirt and moisture will enter ruining parts of the system requiring extensive repairs if this is the case. Don't run it until you or someone familiar with car a/c systems can visually go over the entire system. There may be a possibility that you're hearing the compressor running w/o oil, not good at all for the compressor. Oil is moved around the system with refrigerant and w/o refrigerant the oil won't go where its needed the most, the compressor.

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Old 07-25-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
Zvolen
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Default Re: AC/Recharge

Thanks for the heads up, I actually haven't been using it at all since it wasn't even working but heard the noise to see if the condenser was working. Which is when I heard the noise. I will visually inspect the system but it sounds as if I just need to take it to a shop, guess that won't be this summer and will have to save up for the repair. Thanks, if I do take it in I will report back the findings.

Appreciate the help...

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