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Old 06-28-2018, 11:42 AM   #1
randomlywicked
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Default AC Compressor Help

Hello all,

I've had my Astra a little over 4 years now (only 67k miles on it). I've been fighting to keep the AC working since I bought it. I first took it into a shop because I couldn't figure it out. They found a kink in a wiring harness and the AC worked for about a year. Then it would go out intermittently but I could just reach under there and wiggle the wires to get it going again.

This spring I went to use it for the first time this year and it didn't work. I wiggled the wires and I still couldn't get it to go. I went under the car and discovered the problem; the black wire was pulled free right were it comes out of the compressor. Touching the wire back to the hole where it was supposed to come out of made the compressor work so I jammed it in there and it has worked for the last two months that way, until yesterday. My AC is out again.

The two questions that I have are:
1) Anybody know off the top of their heads if the black wire is power or ground? I know how to figure that out but haven't done it yet.
2) Anybody know if it is possible to repair a wire when it is broken off at the source and you don't have anything to crimp onto? I really don't want to have to buy a new compressor if I don't have to.

Thanks!

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Old 06-28-2018, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

A two wire connection to the compressor usually means one wire is power and the other is ground. Ground is usually a black wire but if both wires from the harness are black.... The easiest way to determine which wires are power and ground is turning on ac, disconnecting the compressor wires and measuring the two terminals for voltage on the harness. Negative probe is grounded to the compressor frame or engine block, positive prove touching each pin on the harness connector. Since each connector is keyed to prevent reversing physical connections, only one pin will be power/12v and the other is ground. Once each harness pin is identified, the matching connector on the compressor will help sort out the broken wire.

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Old 06-29-2018, 07:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

Which plug has the wired pulled out of it - the side attached to compressor or the side attached to engine harness? If it's the harness side plug, cut it off a few inches upstream and try to find a replacement plug with the pigtail already there, then solder that back into the upstream part of the harness where you have more wire to work with.

The hard part will be finding a pigtail plug, but it might be a universal size. Or if you find an Astra in a junkyard or craigslist/facebook part-out, cut out its plug+pigtail and solder it into your harness.

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Old 07-02-2018, 12:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

It's right where it comes out of the compressor, unfortunately. I think my only hope is to try and use my dremel to grind back enough of the plastic housing to find something to solder to.

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Old 07-05-2018, 10:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

Ok so the black wire (which is the one that is pulled out) is power. I can stick the wire back into the compressor and it will work, until I hit a bump and the wire falls back out. I have nothing to crimp or solder to. I tried soldering to a pin and sticking that in there but the pin won't stick into anything. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-05-2018, 04:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

I think you're mistaken about the black wire being power. Did you measure this wire from the connector to ground with a multimeter. What color is they other wire? Did you measure that wire to ground? Black is usually ground while every other color is power. To determine which wire is power and which is ground, measure each pin but keep the negative probe on chassis ground. This way, each wire is measured for power and only one will have 12v. The other one will be ground. It was suggested back in post #2.

Unfortunately, if there is nothing to solder to wires coming out of the compressor, you'll have to replace the compressor. If you're very skilled and know your way around ac compressors, you may be able to replace the clutch coil if the compressor can move enough to use tools for removing the clutch plate, pulley bearing and clutch coil. This is advanced repairs and not for the average person. Refrigerant is under pressure and any damage to soft aluminum tubing can crack tubing easily, rupturing and releasing refrigerant, oil and dye everywhere. Either you're experienced at this or not. If not, seek out professional help; removing refrigerant into reclamation canisters, removing and replacing compressor and receiver/drier canister (next to the condenser coil) adding calculated makeup oil to replace what was in the original compressor (drain to determine amount to pour new oil into the replacement compressor), use new seals on new parts, use gauges and vacuum pump to evacuate a repaired system before refilling with refrigerant. A guesstimate might be between $400 and $800.

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Old 07-06-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

fdryer makes a good point here about this potentially being a ground. If a "power" wire just fell out on a bump, I would expect a momentary short to ground on the metal housing which would trip a fuse etc. . .

I don't know what that connection is like but you might be able to use soldier paste and a heat gun IF you can see where the connection is broken. If you can't see and control the paste that would be dangerous.

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Old 07-12-2018, 11:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

I have a test light. I grounded the test light and touched the probe to the exposed black wire. The light lit up.

I ended up using a small screw to screw into the plastic part of the compressor. I screwed into the hole where the wire came out of. Jamming the wire in there and filling the hole with dielectric grease before putting the screw in did the trick. I realize it is a band-aid, but it works and that's all I care about.

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Old 07-12-2018, 11:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomlywicked View Post
I have a test light. I grounded the test light and touched the probe to the exposed black wire. The light lit up.

I ended up using a small screw to screw into the plastic part of the compressor. I screwed into the hole where the wire came out of. Jamming the wire in there and filling the hole with dielectric grease before putting the screw in did the trick. I realize it is a band-aid, but it works and that's all I care about.
I am not near my Astra now. Is there a way you can fasten that wire so that vibrations over time do not work it out? Maybe some plastic zip ties would make your fix more permanant?

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Old 07-19-2018, 04:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: AC Compressor Help

You may need to change the compressor..

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