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Old 06-06-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
dsieme01
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Default AC issue - Electrical help

I have 2002 Saturn L200 that the AC will not work in.

The fuse is good. Swapped out the relay.

At the compressor the two pin plug does not have voltage at it when the AC system is turned on.

So given that I have no power to engage the clutch that tells me I have a problem with either low or high pressure switch, ecm, temperature sensor or broken wire.

From from scan tool I was able to tell it to cycle the ac relay, I did not get it to turn teh clutch on. At the pressure switch I have 5 volts on one line and 0 on the other two. Makes sense.

Pressure are fine for a not running system. So not a problem with low charge. Gauges are up about 140psi not on.

Is their a test on the safety switch?
Is their a common failure that I dont' know about on the AC system in the Saturn?

Any ideas as to what to look for or a diagnostic test procedure?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-06-2010, 01:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

140psi static pressure? Are you sure about this reading? Or is it 14psi?

Acknowledging a leak has finally occurred is more likely to explain this as well as 95% of all a/c problems. Chasing down other parts like the pressure switch will only get you into more trouble than you know unless you're thoroughly familiar with a/c systems. The time you spent already looking over the system can still be useful if you look for the source of any leak; dye was added and this will help to mark the spot where refrigerant leaks out along with oil that circulates throughout the system. An inexpensive uv light can help illuminate fluorescent dye. Since almost all of the a/c system is in the engine area, leaving the txv and evap coil on and behind the firewall, look everywhere over and under wherever the plumbing goes; dye and oil will mark the spot of a leak, often underneath a/c parts.

If you read 14psi, then the low pressure switch worked to save the compressor from ruin by disabling power; R134a moves lubricating oil so if there's no R134a there won't be any oil to lube the compressor - eventual damage if allowed to run low on refrigerant. Static pressure rarely goes above 70psi when a system has been off awhile.

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Old 06-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

No 140 PSI. The low pressure side of manifold guage is pegged, High pressure side shows clearly 140psi range.

I have never seen that level of charge. Note that the AC has never been worked on before this.

About a year ago the ECM was replaced due to no AC and other problems. It is not a problem with low charge. I could see overcharge but not low charge.

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Old 06-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

There is a temperature pressure relationship with R-134. So if the engine compartment is at 140 degrees and stays there then the pressue of the system (compressor not running of course) could/should be at about 140 PSI.
On a cold engine, IE ambient temperature, then the pressure shoud be close to ambient.
If it is not then you have gauges that are not working properly or more likely you have a contaminated system.


I don't have the factory diagrams but 140 PSI should be letting pressure switches let all of the right power signals through to where they should be going.

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Old 06-06-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

I believe I have things diagnosed down to a problem with the compressor clutch.

I will have to see if I can just get a clutch or is a a complete compressor only.

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Old 06-06-2010, 10:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

How did you determine the clutch failed? Measuring resistance or applying 12v directly?

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Old 06-07-2010, 10:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

by applying 12volts.

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Old 06-07-2010, 11:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: AC issue - Electrical help

Ok, this is getting interesting.

Your 1st post says "At the compressor the two pin plug does not have voltage at it when the AC system is turned on." With 140psi on the low and high side, this is way beyond minimum pressure (30psi) to keep the pressure switch from activating and preventing clutch operation. This means there should be 12v on the connector. The opposite of what you stated.

Now you say that the clutch coil is blown because 12v won't power the clutch for the loud "click" as the magnet is powered up and pulls in the clutch plate to the pulley. This implies that if a blown clutch coil is what you found then why isn't 12v on the compressor connector? Its not possible to have a blown clutch coil and 12v missing on the connector. Its either one or the other, not both. Perhaps you can explain this?

Be absolutely sure that 12v applied directly to the clutch coil (dark green is the 12v input, black is ground) isn't powering it; either the clutch plate is jammed already against the pulley or the coil is blown. With power to the coil you can stick a screwdriver tip anywhere near the plate as a good coil is magnetized and will attract the screwdriver, making it stick. Remove power and the scredriver tip will fall away. Looking for a clutch coil replacement might be hard but it may be harder to remove one if you've never removed one without the special puller needed and a three-jaw puller to pull the pulley off.
Look in my picture album, you might get some hints otherwise it may be easier to just buy the whole compressor/clutch combo. Your choice.

Last edited by fdryer; 06-07-2010 at 11:09 PM..

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