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Old 06-21-2018, 12:17 PM   #1
Melissa_M
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Default how does a/c work

It has been a long time since I ran my a/c.
Like, a couple of years.

Anyway, before I try kicking it on this year, I would like to know - if it does have a leak, will using the a/c make it leak more/faster?

In other words, should I check for leaks before running it?

Guess I need to also re-familiarize myself on how to clean the drain line.

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Old 06-21-2018, 12:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: how does a/c work

What's the difference? Either it leaks or not. If it leaks you have to evacuate the system to fix it anyway so it doesn't make much difference how much it leaked.

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Old 06-21-2018, 12:35 PM   #3
Melissa_M
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Default Re: how does a/c work

Do you damage components by running below a certain pressure?

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Old 06-21-2018, 12:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: how does a/c work

No, there is a pressure switch so that if pressure is too low, it is disabled.

So if it is below pressure, you can't turn the AC on and damage anything.

By coincidence, just posted a link to the AC drain video this morning
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234845

edit: couldn't find a definitive answer, but sometime around '99-00, S-series would run the compressor when you turned on Defrost in the winter

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Last edited by alordofchaos; 06-21-2018 at 01:02 PM..

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: how does a/c work

Thread title made me think of this representative diagram (color coded)

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=207909

gas (the Freon) cools as it expands in the evaporator, and your AC system blows air over the cold evaporator in into your car.

The Freon gets pumped and compressed by the compressor and pumped through the condenser, where airflow from the car moving, or the fan blowing, cools it off, then is pumped back to the evaporator where it is allowed to expand, cooling off again

and this actual Saturn diagram (not color coded)

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=231580

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: how does a/c work

Melissa_M, you have nothing to lose by turning on ac. Either it works or doesn't. There's a mid point between where it works but not enough cold air comes out the vents. The pressure switch is a go/no go point where too much refrigerant is lost and pressures drop too low when this pressure switch tells the engine computer to disabled power to the as compressor. This protects the compressor from destroying itself because refrigerant moves lubricating oil. Compressed refrigerant becomes a liquid and a liquid moves oil better than when its a gas. No refrigerant, no oil lubrication. If allowed run workout refrigerant, the compressor won't have lubricating oil and destroys itself so a pressure sensor determines when too disable compressor operation when too much refrigerant is lost. This is the leak no one wants to find but will ruin to the store for refill kits to refill.........a leaking system.

Turn on ac, set blower speed to any setting and either the compressor engages (the center portion turns) or not.

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Old 06-21-2018, 09:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: how does a/c work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa_M View Post
It has been a long time since I ran my a/c.
Like, a couple of years.
From what I've read and heard, this is not good. I've been told to try and run the A/C every few months to keep things lubricated.

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Old 06-24-2018, 01:10 PM   #8
Melissa_M
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Default Re: how does a/c work

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonP1 View Post
From what I've read and heard, this is not good. I've been told to try and run the A/C every few months to keep things lubricated.
Yup, I know. Saturn told us that at the owners orientation.

I engaged it but I think I'm out of luck.
Didn't hear that lovely twang noise, and looking at the compressor, the center part isn't turning.

The compressor was removed/moved when my water pump was done. I see that the elec. connector on top is clicked on (I didn't wiggle it). Are there more?

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Old 06-24-2018, 02:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: how does a/c work

98% of vehicle ac problems are due to a leak in a sealed system meant to hold refrigerant that's always under pressure whether or not ac is used. Like tires, ac holds refrigerant and a lot of it so gas has pressure. A leak occurs from normal wear and tear. Try keeping a refrigerator running in a car and see how long it runs before it fails. Refrigerators use copper, a much stronger metal than aluminum and stands in one position for most of its life.

Two ways to verify a leak - bypassing a pressure switch with a paper clip or buy an inexpensive uv blacklight to find the source of the leak. A paper clip will simply check and verify compressor operation (or not) and verify a leak occurred. A uv light simply shows where the leak is. Once a leak is found, you can determine whether or not you can make repairs to replace parts then decide if you can perform the advanced portion using gauges and vacuum pump to finish and restore ac function or pay a shop to perform this task at much lower cost than having a shop make all repairs. Finding the source of the leak is simple. Replacing parts is simple. Using refrigeration gauges and vacuum pump are advanced skills not everyone is capable of.

The simplest repair may be a leak from one or both service valves requiring valve stem replacement. Examples of dye may be seen in one or both valves and glow under uv light under shade, dusk or night time.

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