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 06-13-2021, 11:45 PM   #1
Mister_Cee
Member
Mister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 427

1996 SW2
Default A/C question

1996 SW2

My A/C works okay if engine rpms are up as when driving on the freeway. Since the pandemic, though, I have been driving mainly short distances on city streets.

At relatively low RPMs, and short distances, the air isn't all that effective when it's 110°+ (supposed to be 118° a couple of days this coming week).

Is there an alternate compressor or something to "hot rod" the A/C system or was the SW's system just not designed to work well on the outskirts of Hades? lol
Mister_Cee is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 06-14-2021, 12:03 AM   #2
El_bell
Junior Member
El_bell is on a distinguished road
 
El_bell's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: New England
Posts: 19

1997 SL2
Default Re: A/C question

My A/C starts getting weak between 90 and 100. Vent temps barely hold under 65 at that point while idling. Driving around will drop to maybe 55. 118 sounds brutal
El_bell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 07:11 AM   #3
onlinebiker
Senior Member
onlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of lightonlinebiker is a glorious beacon of light
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: sw michigan
Posts: 1,405
Default Re: A/C question

Kludgy - but this would work -
(Channeling the Magliozzi brothers here..)
....
Use some stiff wire and Gorrila tape - and form a wire that fits up against the headliner- down to the plastic trim behind the back of the front seat.

Then - use a window insulator kit - the transparent type for increasing house window thermal efficency - and build a wall behind the front seats separating the front from the back of the car.

By reducing the volume the AC needs to cool - you will gain efficiency......

...
Currently owned
93 SC2 M(anual)
96 SC2 M
98 SL2 A(uto)
99 SC2 A
01 SC2 A
01 SC2 M
02 SC2 M
02 SL2 A
02 SL2 M
parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.
98 SL2
onlinebiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2021, 03:41 PM   #4
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: 45,091
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: A/C question

Mister_Cee, do you know if your car ever worked well in conditions "not designed to work well on the outskirts of Hades"? 118F is beyond the upper range of temperatures for adequate vehicle ac operation, especially in wagons with green house windows for infrared heat to penetrate every part of a vehicle interior. Add black or dark interiors to add to heat loads to overload ac use. A common temperature spread of 40 degrees sometimes helps. If its 120F outside then center vent temps may be as high as 80F. Good ac systems will output lower temps but may vary. All Saturns (and virtually every other vehicle) using thermal expansion valves (TXV) controls evaporator temperatures by precise metering of refrigerant released. Since hvac box temps should not go below 32F/freezing temps to form ice resulting in blocked airflow, txv regulation ensures at least approximately 35F evap temps with center vent temps around 35F-42F in most temperatures. A typical outlet temperature of 45F on a 95F day/high humidity would be considered normal. Higher than 95F would raise vent temps higher (a temperature/pressure chart from service manuals lists ranges along with humidity levels) accordingly.

My L300 service manual chart shows 100F maximum with corresponding expected high and low pressures and vent temps between 52F-56F, high humidity. My guess is most service manuals don't list expected ac performance above 100F. Interpolating from one chart, a 4 degree variance occurs for every 10 degree increase so increasing outside temps to 118F may have outlet temps around 64F, the best possible under high temperature conditions. Measure center vent temps when comparing to outside temps. Using the 40 degree temperature differential, 118F outside with vent temps around 64F is a 54 degree differential - better than the 40 degree differential. What's your center vent temps with ac on?

Some issues not addressed; debris blocking evaporator coils, condition of ac system (repaired or not), humidity and area of use (region). In your case, a temperature extreme well above 100F places a greater load along with any other deficiencies on your ac system. Leaving windows cracked open, dark tint on side windows, parking in shade reduce ac loads on startup and initial drive. Saturn compressors use variable displacement configurations - lower speed requires higher displacement, higher speed requires lower displacement. A service bulletin addressed low cooling at idle/stops by adjusting a calibration screw/plug on the side of factory compressors less than a quarter turn to increase idle/low speed cooling. Original compressors have a paper disc covering this calibration screw/plug with "Do not Adjust" printed on it. Eventually the label falls off. Many begin leaking as the O-ring wears with oil and dye marking the leak. A uv blacklight reveals dye as it makes dye glow in darkness. Two members here found theirs leaking. One cleaned then added an additional plug with epoxy to seal it. A recent member reported the same leak but never replied if he attempted the same fix.

The chances of a refrigerant leak is high with older vehicles from wear and tear. This might be an initial guess without more info. Ac cooling is optimal while driving; the condenser coil is air cooled by a combination of forced air and cooling fan operation. If the cooling fan isn't blowing hard then a worn out motor may be contributing to lower cooling in local traffic. A worn out cooling fan is another guess.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 12:30 PM   #5
hholbein
Senior Member
hholbein will become famous soon enoughhholbein will become famous soon enough
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,587
 

1997 SW2
Default Re: A/C question

I have a dark green wagon with that black dash and I would say that the AC works sort of OK when it gets 95F and above, but not as good as my Toyota.

When it sits in the sun, I carry a gallon of water and then I drizzle it on the roof right before I hit the road. This cuts down on the initial cooling load and gets the car to an OK level 5-10 min sooner than otherwise. Cheap fix, might be worth a try.
hholbein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 01:43 PM   #6
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 173

2000 SL1
Default Re: A/C question

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
Kludgy - but this would work -
(Channeling the Magliozzi brothers here..)
....
Use some stiff wire and Gorrila tape - and form a wire that fits up against the headliner- down to the plastic trim behind the back of the front seat.

Then - use a window insulator kit - the transparent type for increasing house window thermal efficency - and build a wall behind the front seats separating the front from the back of the car.

By reducing the volume the AC needs to cool - you will gain efficiency......

It really did take me a couple times reading that to understand the image being conveyed...
...
Check out my current SL1!

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268456
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 02:01 PM   #7
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 173

2000 SL1
Default Re: A/C question

Quote:
Originally Posted by hholbein View Post
I have a dark green wagon with that black dash and I would say that the AC works sort of OK when it gets 95F and above, but not as good as my Toyota.

When it sits in the sun, I carry a gallon of water and then I drizzle it on the roof right before I hit the road. This cuts down on the initial cooling load and gets the car to an OK level 5-10 min sooner than otherwise. Cheap fix, might be worth a try.
You know, you got me to thinking about something.

A couple years ago I converted a large cooler to use special ice packs instead of straight ice. In order to do this I needed to line it with something to keep the infrared light down. I bought a roll of silver radiant barrier to line the cooler, it looks like bubble wrap, but has a reflective silver surface on both sides. I can run for three days straight before the ice packs begin to melt, maybe a fourth day as long as the cooler stays mostly filled, but even as they begin to melt, it still keeps things really cool (in fact, if I put one of the ice packs in actual ice, the ice will begin to cling to it and form a solid mass because they get so cold).

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Reflecti...6025/100012574

I'm wondering if you put some of that up under the headliner to cut down on the amount of radiant heat filling the cabin and some under the dash to block the vents so it doesn't have to fight the heat to cool down. It has a fairly low R rating, but the idea is that it reflects the infrared light rather than keeping the cold in. I'd be willing to try it once my new compressor arrives and I get the system charged.

I understand that light coming in through the windows also contributes to the warm air in the cabin, but every little bit would help, right? Especially if you have a window shade up in the windshield like I usually do. My truck is really bad about heat/cooling exchange if I don't have my shade up and the A/C will fight to cool things down until the heat can be exchanged on really hot days.
...
Check out my current SL1!

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268456
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 11:44 AM   #8
Marty605
Member
Marty605 is a jewel in the roughMarty605 is a jewel in the roughMarty605 is a jewel in the rough
 
Marty605's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lake Worth Beach Florida
Posts: 144
 

1996 SL1
Default Re: A/C question

Rebuilt my AC system in my 96 SL1 SOHC New compressor,Condenser,Dryer,Expansion valve, lines and got it working really good! Thanks alot to FDRYER and few others here for the techie support! Blowing out 39 Degrees out the center vent. So i had my old tint taken off and redone with the NANO Ceramic darker on the back windows and legal on front windows in Florida.
New sunshade for the front windshield...Limo tint strip on the top. It's helped alot keeping the inside of the car. It was So HOT when i opened the door you can see the air wrinkle!
A/c takes much less time to get the inside temps down now. Rainy season starting now in south florida. We were in a drought!
Good idea on the Insulation under the headliner! Maybe in the door panels as well?
...
1996 SL1 SOHC 1.9 232K - Best car I have ever had!
Marty605 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 04:05 PM   #9
Mister_Cee
Member
Mister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 427

1996 SW2
Default Re: A/C question

fdryer,

Thanks for the in-depth post. That explains a lot.

To answer your question about whether the air ever blew cold...I lived in Las Vegas prior to moving to Mesa, Arizona, and I've always noticed the air had a tough time "keeping up" when things got above about 105°. I was more inquiring if there was a hotrodded type compressor unit made (obviously I have very little idea how a compressor works lol)

Probably the only reason I started wondering was that, prior to moving here, I had nothing to compare it with. Since moving here (my mom lives close-by) I've had the opportunity to ride in her car which gets cool fast and stays that way. Of course, her car is a Cadillac (albeit a 2006 model) and cost about three times what I paid for my SW2, new, but there is SOMETHING in that system that causes it to be more efficient.

Marty605,

Blowing @ 39°? Wow! That's cold.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did it run you to get it that cold and which compressor (or is there only one that fits)?
Mister_Cee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 06:17 PM   #10
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: 45,091
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: A/C question

Mister_Cee, I remember hot, humid days after being outside for several hours. On a drive home, in about 20 minutes or less with cold ac, so cold I had to lower the blower speed. This was with a relatively new car, my L300, back in '05. Mine broke after ten years of reliable cold. My repairs are no different from dealer or repair shops. I use service manuals for reference, not hearsay/suggestions/guesses. Gauges, electric vacuum pump and miscellaneous items - everything for proper repairs, no shortcuts. I practice on every repair. I referred to service manuals in the past, relative to S-series with most values similar for almost every Saturn model. The slight differences are from two different compressors - vane or scroll. Each one has its peculiarities but all do the same thing, make cold air. Meddling, second guesses, adding sealer, tend to make things worse. A few have replaced r134a with HC-12a, also called ES-12a, OZ-12a, DURACOOL 12a and Hydrocarbon Blend B, a "drop-in" replacement refrigerant for Freon-12 and R-​134a systems....its use in public transport vehicles is illegal in the United States since 1990. Contents; propane (R-290) and isobutane (R-600a) - flammable as a gas, more hazardous when under high pressure. Vehicle ac pressures easily exceed 150 psi. I don't recommend substitutes for r134a. Shortcuts in repairs and using flammable gases that can leak into the engine or cabin are recipes for an explosive accident from diyers.

My guess is the S-series were adequate in temperatures less than 95ish but suffers in desert regions. Having a reference with another car like the Caddi is great but more money is spent for cold air in Caddi's than S-series. Since Caddi's have surplus horsepower, it isn't felt while driving. The S-series have no excess hp so turning on ac is felt immediately. If there were 10 more hp, my guess is cold air would be equal to Caddi's. The S-series is a low budget car so compromises are made, similar to many things in life. No super compressors to boost cold air. I have zero engineering knowledge in hvac systems to consider modifying vehicle ac systems.

Illegally and at your own risk as well as anyone in your car and anyone nearby if a catastrophic explosion occurs, using HC12a/Duracool/ES12a/OZ12a by a few resulted in boosting ac performance - colder air. One example years ago of diy substitution of r12, using hc12a resulted in a fire under the hood of an old Jaguar (distributor ignition system) - the result of a longer than normal replacement high pressure hose chafing until it ruptured. Old news but reported and highlighted in one of the mvac sites as a warning against substitute refrigerant. Another example ended in a disastrous experiment to prove hc refrigerant isn't dangerous when releasing hc refrigerant inside a car. This resulted in a fireball that wasn't expected. Anyone using hc refrigerants assumes all risks.

As suggested, mods of tinted windows, leaving windows cracked open, parking under shade, etc, helps reduce the greenhouse effect of heating the interior, reducing the ac loads as it tries to remove excess heat that can be avoided by simple mods and parking in shade. Guessing, the S-series compressors use approximately 7-10 hp. Vehicles with excess hp suggests (to me) better performing ac using more than 10hp. More energy used to create cold air in greater volume, not colder air. My L300 has 180 hp, no slouch so more power can be used for better ac without becoming a turtle when the light turns green.

Last edited by fdryer; 06-16-2021 at 06:30 PM.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 06:50 PM   #11
Marty605
Member
Marty605 is a jewel in the roughMarty605 is a jewel in the roughMarty605 is a jewel in the rough
 
Marty605's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lake Worth Beach Florida
Posts: 144
 

1996 SL1
Default Re: A/C question

Mister Cee:

I spent a little over $400 total all the parts from Rockauto and got the tools Manifold gauge $39 and Vacuum pump $70 from amazon. Bought everything i needed a few items at a time according to paychecks LOL.
Did tons of research from youtube and on this site and i learned allot!!!

Biggest expense was the compressor! UAC CO10723C {#19130487} (New) w/ Clutch DCV14G Style $195 and the Condenser was VARIOUS MFR GM3030149
Odds and Ends i bought an extra O ring kit. Lost the bolt for the High Pressure side hose to compressor. Matched one at O'reilly's. IT just disappeared LOL
EVAC it really good, No loss of vacuum!
2 cans of freon!
BAMM

Here is the whole thread with pics
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=268276
...
1996 SL1 SOHC 1.9 232K - Best car I have ever had!
Marty605 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2021, 01:25 AM   #12
Mister_Cee
Member
Mister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the roughMister_Cee is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 427

1996 SW2
Default Re: A/C question

Love this site. So much good, shared knowledge. Thanks everyone.
Mister_Cee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2021, 08:32 PM   #13
cujoe_da_man
Member
cujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nicecujoe_da_man is just really nice
 
cujoe_da_man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 173

2000 SL1
Default Re: A/C question

Mister Cee, if you're curious about how A/C systems work, the absolute short version is that it's not truly blowing out cold air, it's exchanging hot air and replacing it with cold air.

This is why they say to run your car's A/C for a short while on normal and once you feel cool air, switch it to "MAX" (also called recirculate) because it closes off the outside vent and cycles the air inside the cabin only. It pulls warm air in, runs it through a condenser (like the radiator for the coolant) and expels cold air.

It's also why you may hear your cooling fan on more often than other days because it needs to keep a constant rush of air running through the condenser to dispel the heat from the refrigerant.

If you're interested, check out this vid here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J52mDjZzto

The vid is actually about heat pumps, but it's literally just an air conditioner in reverse. It also explains how many hotels now can have the heater and A/C in the same unit.

Also, another bit of trivia. Ever wonder why your cooling fan comes on when you have your heater on defrost? The system turns the A/C on to let cool, dry air blow over the window so it doesn't get condensation on the inside of the window. I also read that this allows the window to gradually warm up instead of just blasting it with hot air which could cause it to crack from the sudden expansion.

Sometimes if it's really wet out in winter and my windows are fogging up, I'll turn the heat down a bit and turn the A/C on to help mitigate the moisture in the cabin, especially side windows.
...
Check out my current SL1!

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268456
cujoe_da_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 07:32 AM   #14
bumpdraft
Master Member
bumpdraft is just really nicebumpdraft is just really nicebumpdraft is just really nicebumpdraft is just really nice
 
bumpdraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: A full day’s drive from St. Louis
Posts: 4,193
 

1998 SC2
1998 SW2
Default Re: A/C question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cujoe_da_man View Post
...
Also, another bit of trivia. Ever wonder why your cooling fan comes on when you have your heater on defrost? The system turns the A/C on to let cool, dry air blow over the window so it doesn't get condensation on the inside of the window. I also read that this allows the window to gradually warm up instead of just blasting it with hot air which could cause it to crack from the sudden expansion....
Another endearing feature of the S-Series is that the designers gave us an option to turn “off” the A/C with a push of a button, conveniently located next to the shifter. Linear-thinkers, they were.
...
Competition Clutch 10Lb. Flywheel. 14 stalls to date (and loving it).
Oil use is 1 ounce per 100 miles with ~230,000 miles on the engine
bumpdraft 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
Horn question...(Possibly a dumb question) ninetynineSC2 S-Series Mods 8 02-18-2013 10:01 PM
Tranny Question and Splash Guard Question axslinger S-Series Tech 2 03-19-2007 06:25 PM
Newbie Question - Size of Air condenser compared to radiator? Also airbag question. 2002SaturnMan S-Series General 9 04-18-2006 09:53 AM
Ring job question and timing chain question Preachermannn S-Series General 5 03-10-2005 02:40 PM
Question on replacing differential cover gasket ( non-Saturn question) Mark G Miscellaneous Tech 3 10-27-2002 01:50 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:35 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.