SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-08-2020, 12:49 PM   #1
1999saturnsl
Junior Member
1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 49
Default Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

So I had an accident last week and ran into a tree at about 35 mph. Car still drives, but there is a pretty quick coolant leak that I don't want to go anywhere with.
Looking at the front situation, unable to really identify the source of the leak, I decided to replace the radiator due to obvious warping.
When I took the radiator out, I noticed it was actually the ac condenser that took the brunt of the damage. My ac already has a leak that I haven't bothered to fix, but bypassing the condenser seems above my head. Is replacing the condenser feasible? Or should I throw in the towel and take it to a shop
Extremely reliable 99 saturn sl1 with 280,000 miles. Getting older, minor issues but a lot of attachment to this car that has been very good to me. Any help would be great
1999saturnsl is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 11-08-2020, 01:14 PM   #2
Waiex191
Master Member
Waiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to beholdWaiex191 is a splendid one to behold
 
Waiex191's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Posts: 2,844

1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

If your AC already leaks, and you don't intend to fix it, why not just take it out? Or bend it back into shape? Bypassing makes no sense.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
Waiex191 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2020, 01:34 PM   #3
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 44,525
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

If you didn't know until now, every ac system puts the ac condenser coil in front of the radiator except evs. There's no telling where Tesla puts their ac condenser coils because it uses the heat from it to warm its batteries in freezing weather with an octo-valve configuration, channeling heat wherever its needed for efficient use of wasted energy. The crash damaged the condenser coil but more importantly how's the radiator since the engine needs it to cool off hot coolant, summer or winter.

If your radiator didn't suffer at all and you can't find any lowering of coolant since the crash, be certain the radiator and the engine didn't suffer or else youll be revisiting this repair soon enough. The ac system is a luxury, for human comfort but we do like cooling in hot/humid weather. Replacing the condenser coil is just the first part as there are several things to do if 1) you're doing all the ac repairs or only party of it or b) elect not to repair it.

If you're fine without ac then either remove it to lighten the front end (plug openings in house ends or not) or contemplate the serious steps in ac repairs; complete repairs using an electric vacuum pump and refrigeration gauges and all the info necessary to make diy home repairs after replacing damaged parts or replacing only the damaged parts and leave the technical work to a repair shop reputable in ac repairs.

First things first. If you weren't aware, GM put dye in every ac system when r134a replaced r12 refrigerant. This greenish yellow dye glows under an inexpensive uv blacklight to reveal the source(s) of typical leaks occurring to 98% of all vehicle ac system failures. The leak everyone thinks is solved by using store refills with leak sealer. In plain language, sealer doesn't work and makes repairs more expensive to those finding out the hard way. Buy and use an inexpensive uv light to find the source of your original leak before considering replacing the condenser coil of you want to restore ac back to factory condition. No one repairs ac systems half assed because the leak returns on half assed repairs. Not only does the condenser coil need replacing, the little canister next to it, the receiver/filter/drier is replaced. And add any other part(s) found damaged from uv light detection. Dye should remain long after a leak occurs by either a dark garage or night time so dye can glow long after it leaked out a system. The service valves are examples of refrigerant oil and dye.

Remember, replacing condenser coil and drier are only partial repairs. Unless you spend the time looking for the original leak, this repair may end up leaking because of failure to address the entire ac system. Every ac system is sealed when it left factory assembly. Every ac system is under pressure at all times whether used or not. Service valves allow repairs because the chances of damage to rolling vehicles is greater than home refrigerators, freezers and room ac units. All of them don't have service valves and sealed for life. Once anyone attempts vehicle ac repairs, they become the ac tech with all the requirements needed to make repairs equal to dealer or repair shops using the same equipment except they're trained and certified for EPA repairs against releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere. Since your system already leaked out, you didn't cause the leak and can repair or just replace parts and either complete repairs or leave the advanced work to a reputable shop.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2020, 07:58 PM   #4
454cid
Advanced Member
454cid is a jewel in the rough454cid is a jewel in the rough454cid is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 707
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

It sounds like you know you have a coolant leak, but it's not obvious where it is. I would guess that it's the radiator since you hit a tree. It's probably a crack in one of the black plastic coolant tanks on the end. You can either get the car up to operating temperature and look over everything carefully with a flashlight, or rent/borrow a coolant pressure tester. The pressure tester would be better since you would avoid the heat that could boil the coolant away before you spot it.

If you also took out the right side fender with the tree, the leak could be in the surge tank over on that side.
...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 19X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500
454cid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2020, 09:48 AM   #5
1999saturnsl
Junior Member
1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 49
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

Thank you so much for all the info! I am going to replace the radiator here shortly and see what that does to the leak situation. Out of curiosity, if I took out the ac condenser, what would I do with the 2 lines running to it? And would I have to take the compressor off?
1999saturnsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2020, 09:53 AM   #6
fetchitfido
Super Member
fetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant futurefetchitfido has a brilliant future
 
fetchitfido's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 14,705
 

2001 SC2
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

IMO GM 90's A/C is junk and should be removed for the minimal amount of weight savings. If it's not working it's likely due to a leak or some component failure and fixing it will cost more than the car is worth (I've yet to see an S-Series worth more than $500...)
It's easy on the S-Series, especially the SOHC models, as you can just ask the parts store for a "no A/C" belt as both A/C and Power Steering were optional on the SOHC's.

I'd leave the compressor on for now, just unplug the wire connector to it so it can't engage the clutch and lock up the compressor from lack of oil then remove the rest of the lines and condenser from the car. It's either a 10mm or 8mm bolt on the firewall.
fetchitfido is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2020, 10:55 AM   #7
Highmile
Senior Member
Highmile will become famous soon enoughHighmile will become famous soon enough
 
Highmile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 1,273

1995 SL1
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1999saturnsl View Post
Thank you so much for all the info! I am going to replace the radiator here shortly and see what that does to the leak situation. Out of curiosity, if I took out the ac condenser, what would I do with the 2 lines running to it? And would I have to take the compressor off?
If you never plan to fix the a/c you can do anything with the lines. Tape them off or leave them open, it won't matter.

You can leave your compressor in place.

Highmile
'95 SL1 718k and counting
Highmile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2020, 11:43 AM   #8
1999saturnsl
Junior Member
1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 49
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

I took out the ac condenser and disconnected the electrical switch to the compressor. Now i have these two lines dangling here that used to go to the condenser. One is attached to the ac compressor and one leads to a small reservoir/tank on the right side of the engine under the fuse box. You are saying I can leave them open, do I need to cut them down the line? I assume I have to do something with them to keep them out of the way, maybe i am wrong?
1999saturnsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2020, 12:48 PM   #9
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 44,525
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

Just plug the ac fitting ends with anything around; napkin rolled up to fit into the openings then taping it off to keep it from falling out if you intend to repair the system. Refrigerant oil remains and can be absorbed by the napkin to expand it. If you're not repairing the broken ac system ever, any hose left loose can be tied off against a nearby chassis using plastic ties or enough tape to prevent the tape from breaking or string in the same amount. As suggested, buying a no-ac drive belt will allow removing the compressor for some weight savings. Refrigerant oil is distributed within the system so everything is oiled with the bulk of it returned back to the compressor. Removing parts will have some oil dribbling out hoses, condenser coil, etc.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2020, 03:02 PM   #10
1999saturnsl
Junior Member
1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough1999saturnsl is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 49
Default Re: Hit a tree, condenser damage to 99 SL1

I installed a used radiator from the junkyard, and filled up the coolant again. No leak! Drives like new. Thanks yall, you're the best
1999saturnsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
tree vs. astra bone151 Astra General 8 11-04-2010 08:41 PM
tree sap removal ajosey S-Series General 10 08-05-2008 08:38 AM
Pine tree sap Tethys Ion General 13 07-28-2006 10:09 AM
Saturn 1, Tree 0 wizardPC General Saturn Discussion 4 07-13-2005 08:16 PM
Removing tree sap....... shaftcam Vue General 4 05-17-2004 11:46 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:01 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.