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Old 05-26-2014, 01:43 PM   #1
locke32
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Default AC not blowing cold air

Hey all,

I've been dealing with an AC issue for quite some time now and my AC is finally just blowing ambient-temperature air. About 2 years ago, the AC stopped blowing cold air and it was recharged with refrigerant, which was also a leak-sealer. For about 2 or so weeks after that, the AC was blowing cooler air, and then it started to progressively get warmer. Recently, the air coming from the AC is just the ambient temperature of the air (essentially, the AC is just acting like a fan now).

I checked the compressor and the clutch on the compressor is spinning (although, it is making rough sound, like the bearings are clogged up). There's no slip on the belt or no other noticeable issues with the compressor.

Any ideas on what can be the issue?

Thanks in advanced for the help.


Car information: 1999 SL2 with about 180k miles; the car is driven in Florida for about 8 months of the year and in the Northeast (during the summer) for about 4 months; no other work on the AC, compressor, condenser, or AC lines since I owned the car (for about 6 years now).

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Old 05-26-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: AC not blowing cold air

Most likely the quickie recharge w/sealer simply didn't work, period. No matter what anyone says, due to lack of refrigeration knowledge, sealer simply doesn't work. You system leaked and sealer didn't fix it. If it did, your system would still work. Any refunds labeled on the can? Guess why?

Sealer more or less damages repairs and adds to the costs compared to finding and fixing the source of the leak. Far too many people every year enrich the quickie refill can industry only to find out sooner or later the false advertising and costs involved for correct repairs. Correct repairs; find and fix the source of the leak first. If a leak didn't exist than there's no need for refilling a leak no different than a leaking tire refilled with air. While some tire leaks can be repaired (temporarily) with canned tire inflator/sealer, this isn't recommended for expensive a/c systems (as you found out). You don't have to take my word, just go to ackits.com and search for how sealer ruins a perfectly repairable a/c system before sealer ruins it.

Unfortunately your system is contaminated with sealer that gets in the way of a repair as the only correct repair is a system flush to rid this system of sealer and oil plus any damaged parts sealing flow of refrigerant; condenser coils, evap coils, thermal expansion valve, filter/drier, and compressor. A rebuild. This is not to scare you but to make you and everyone else aware of amateur repairs using a/c sealer that causes more grief than imagined. This is a worse case scenario with little good news. Any other short cuts to repair this system is at your risk as no one can guarantee 100% repairs. No one.

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Old 05-26-2014, 02:17 PM   #3
mikelife85
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Default Re: AC not blowing cold air

One of the first things would be to check for leaks.. they have dye kits at advance and az... that wiuld explain it all.. the ac dryer is a part that should be changed regularly, probably clogged up at this point... its a cheap part.

...
1998 Saturn SL2 w/ 270k miles

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Old 05-26-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
fdryer
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Default Re: AC not blowing cold air

And how does a dryer become clogged? Amateur refill attempts avoiding the correct methods of a/c troubleshooting? If what you say is true then every room, whole house HVAC, refrigerator/freezer in the world needs to have their filter/driers replaced. You couldn't be more wrong. They're in there to filter out minute debris and moisture that may have escaped factory assembly when a system is new. Every a/c system is presumed clean when new and free of debris, air and moisture when evacuated prior to charging with refrigerant. Refrigerant and oil are the only two things circulating for the life of every a/c system - car, truck, suv, refrigerator, freezer, etc.. No one replaces a drier unless a system is contaminated, from amateur repairs not done correctly. Sealer does more damage than imagined as it done behind view. The reason I suggest anyone to see how damage occurs (with pictures) when visiting ackits.com.

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Old 05-26-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: AC not blowing cold air

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelife85 View Post
the ac dryer is a part that should be changed regularly, probably clogged up at this point...
Why would it be clogged? I purchased my car new from the dealership and have never done a single thing to the AC system. It still blows as cold as when I purchased the car.

LEAKS are what cause most issues in an AC system. How these leaks occur is subject to debate. I've concluded that often it is caused by parts not being lubricated due to LACK of use. In my new car owner's manual (nothing in the Saturn manual), it clearly states to use the AC approximately 10 minutes every month to keep these parts lubricated. Of course, living in the south, it is much easier for some of us to do this.

...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 07/25/18: 229,023 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
As of 07/25/18: 51,495 Miles

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Old 05-31-2014, 08:40 AM   #6
locke32
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Default Re: AC not blowing cold air

Thanks for the reply, fdryer. I figured it might be the sealant, but wanted to make sure. I don't have much experience with working with AC systems, so what are my options in fixing this? I know replacing all the components in the AC system would probably solve the problem, but short of that, is there anything I try before putting the money into that fix?

Thanks again.

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Old 05-31-2014, 09:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: AC not blowing cold air

Post #2 pretty much laid out what you need to know. A system contaminated with sealer along with it being older doesn't leave you with many options. It's either a complete rebuild or taking a small gamble to buy an inexpensive UV blacklight and using it to find the source of the leak first before continuing. Dye was installed and remains dissolved in oil. Become familiar with its color when illuminated in the dark by training the light on the service valves. Dye is greenish yellow. Service valves can leak if caps aren't secured tightly. Use the light on every part of the a/c system to find a leak. If you find a leak you can determine whether or not you are capable of repairs. Replacing damaged parts means opening this system and an opportunity to sample what's inside; oil and sealer. Sealer reacts to moisture so the moment a system is opened, air and moisture come into contact right there and then. No avoiding the possibilities until you get this far into examining the system for leaks with a UV light.

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