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Old 09-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
aerial_22
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2007 VUE 2.2L
Wrench 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Good afternoon! I am new to this forum. I am experiencing an issue with my a/c system. The system blows warm air when the rpm's are below 2,000. I had the a/c system tested and the issue is the compressor is going bad. It has a small leak at the high side service port, and the pressure are low at both the low side and high side. As long as the vehicle is running above 2,000 rpm the system still blows cold air. I know I need to replace the compressor, but the service center that diagnosed the issue also said I need to replace the accumulator, expansion valve, and high side service port. Do you know why all of this would need to be replaced and not just the bad compressor and the leaking high side service port?

I know this is a very common issue with the 2007 VUE, and I'm trying to limit my cost to have the system repaired. I made it through a brutal Texas summer with it this year, but I need to get it fixed before next summer.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Who told you that '07 Vues have a/c issues? I'm not going to say that GM makes superb vehicle a/c systems but losing a/c in general is expected sooner or later in any car/truck/suv.

Any repair shop will tell you that a/c repairs require this, that, and anything else you're not familiar with to pad the bill to support their business. Without a visual inspection and no accompanying explanations of crash damage or front end collision that would tend to affect the a/c system if the front end caved in, A leak anywhere in the system is more likely to occur. Dye and oil from the system will leave markers (greenish yellow). Valve cores may leak and require nothing more than replacing the valve cores but this system will need its refrigerant reclaimed into a reclamation canister under EPA regulations. If refrigerant completely leaked out then replacing both valve cores becomes easier.

Once a system is opened, the full complement of refrigeration equipment is needed to evacuate all air and moisture from a repaired system, leak test done once more before recharging this repaired system with R134a and any make up oil. Replacing parts can be done by almost anyone with tools. Finishing repairs with refrigeration equipment/tools requires full knowledge of refrigeration. Those that repaired their system brought their vehicle to a shop to perform the technical a/c evacuation, leak test and recharging. Much money is saved this way.

At worst, after more tests are done, the compressor and accumulator together are recommended for replacement if its proven that the compressor failed. As of now there isn't any reason for replacing expensive parts. A leak prevents full a/c operation so finding and repairing the leak is first.

You may need to read some posts on whether or not your compressor needs to be replaced because there are very narrow circumstances to justify replacing one. Without more info and more testing, replacing it may not be necessary. If not necessary then the accumulator and expansion valve is warranted for replacement. The accumulator is the canister next to the condenser coil that absorbs any minute moisture to prevent freezing at the expansion valve (just inside the HVAC box where both a/c lines connect to). This becomes a very expensive repair for the benefit of the repair shop, not you.

If you can find the leak and verify it, repair/replace what caused the leak then this may allow restoring your a/c system back to factory condition. The difficulty here is determining the leak and repairing this first. Once a leak is found then this system is capable of holding refrigerant under high pressure without leaking out - a sealed a/c system is required similar to refrigerators; both operate in the same way by holding refrigerant permanently. Cars tend to abuse a/c systems due to the everyday driving that inflicts heat, cold, and vibration refrigerators don't suffer.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Look for dye on bottom of compressor. That is the most common places. I filled my up for first time awhile back and know I have a slow leak but can't afford or justify cost for 20.00 freon every 2+ years. Not the best way nor is it long term. I filled my up until high fan came on which was 1 lb. 40 degrees out of vent at idle and mid 90's in Louisiana.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Thanks for the replies!

My vehicle has never been in any type of collision that would affect the front of the vehicle.

You can go to the forums on Edmunds and find many pages of Saturn VUE owners like myself experiencing similar issues with the a/c across several different model years.

My problem started earlier this Spring. I noticed while sitting idle that the vehicle started to blow warm air. Once the vehicle was on the move again the air would return to normal. I took the vehicle in for an a/c service in May. Listed below is what the technician had to say regarding my a/c system.

Found the system is 6 oz low on freon and the high side service fitting is leaking. After charging the system, the compressor has an internal pressure concern. High side is 100 psi and the low side is 44 psi. Good pressures should be 200-250 psi on the high side and 30-35 psi on the low side. The compressor works better while driving due to the higher rpm's turning the compressor faster. Requires replacement of the compressor, dryer, expansion valve, flush, and high side service fitting and complete system evacuate and recharge.

Based on your post it sounds as if it may be possible to find and repair the leak, or replace the internal valve cores. The question would be who I could find to do either, and if you can order just the valve cores for this style compressor.

Based on the technicians report what would you recommend?
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Just remember that this is strictly my personal opinion and not of a 'professional'.

What this so-called 'professional' didn't tell you (and most likely doesn't know ) is that Saturn service (by GM) requires some tests to determine a/c issues. A procedure will lead to raising engine rpm to 2k and reading temperatures and pressures. Varying engine/compressor rpm also varies the pressures read on gauges - a technicality lost on many unfamiliar with refrigeration that can be used in a write up to mislead. I cannot speak for the shop you went to but I find their assessment questionable. Unlike other car manufacturers, Saturn uses a variable displacement compressor that allows it to run all the time when a/c is needed - this allows the compressor to vary its output according to heat load. Other vehicles may still use the older style compressor that cycles on and off with a distinct bump in engine idling that can be annoying to some. GM decided to alter compressor design to eliminate cycling compressors. While there are pros and cons to this type of compressor, for all intents and purposes, Saturnfans here have not posted any more unusual complaints outside of what's considered normal wear and tear. Despite reading Edmunds and overall opinions leading to conclusions of what appears to be 'common' a/c issues, Saturnfans members have not voiced similar complaints. As I tried to convey, a/c is a/c on any vehicle and 98% of all a/c issues are about the inevitable leak that no one acknowledges but will run to the auto store to buy refill kits. If a refill kit is bought then its already assumed that a leak exists but nothing is ever done to attempt any thoughts about fixing the leak first. And the vicious cycle begins - topping off with varying results, most requiring refilling again and again without ever accepting the simple fact that a leak is releasing refrigerant as soon as its put in. Find and fix the leak to restore full a/c function. Its that simple.

All a/c systems on any car, truck, suv, will have varying pressures in direct proportion to engine rpm. In other words, idle rpm = low pressures, (Saturn) specified rpm levels = service manual pressures. Confused? You're not alone. This is the technical side of refrigeration.

Another issue to question is how anyone can determine that your system was low by six ounces. Technically, the only way to determine how much was lost was to remove remaining refrigerant and weigh it. If you're wondering how, don't. It can be done but only by those equipped with the full complement of refrigeration equipment. Its most likely that six ounces was injected into your system and was pressure checked that allowed this shop to bill you and write up the estimate of their opinions of what's needed. Unfortunately, unless you are completely familiar with refrigeration and techniques to test and troubleshoot issues, most will grudgingly go along with (questionable) estimated repairs. I'm not one of them. I did my homework long ago and even though I am literally giving advice as an 'armchair quarterback', I am doubting 'professional' assessments.

There's much more to do before I would accept this 'professional' advice. Troubleshooting requires extensive familiarity in refrigeration and having refrigeration tools on hand to make assessments as to what's needed. In all honesty, more troubleshooting is needed before concluding the expensive repairs are justified. Remember, repair shops are in business for profit. "Its just business, nothing personal."

Valve cores can be bought at almost any auto store along with all the refrigeration items that sells. The valve cores reside in each service valve. These are called schrader valves because they work exactly like the tire valves. Replacing it requires a valve core tool but more importantly the system must be empty otherwise discharging refrigerant can be hazardous (freeze burns and oil spray) if not aware of pressurized systems. Its also illegal to discharge refrigerant but not illegal if a leak caused the discharge....................

Replacing parts is easy. Once a system is opened for any reason, this system must be evacuated with an electric vacuum pump and pressure gauges used to determine if any more leaks exists. This is now a technical issue only persons familiar with refrigeration repairs are capable of performing.

Finding honest repair shops is like finding gold; you have to know how to separate fool's gold from the real thing. Everything is negotiable and members here have dealt with a/c repair shops by performing the lions share of mechanical parts replacement and leaving the technical a/c work to a shop. Technical; evacuating, leak testing (simply observing both gauges for any vacuum leak), refilling with R134a and any make up oil - for less than $150.

With all that's been posted just remember this. You have a normal a/c issue that's most likely a leak that needs to be found and repaired. Only one member here can speak about replacing his compressor on his Vue but only because his never leaked. His system never leaked and performed below specifications. Knowledge of refrigeration played a large role in determining compressor replacement. He's also not a professional but did his homework and performed all repairs with the end result justifying his assessment with cold a/c at idle where the problem was first found. The difference between his issue and yours is that your system leaks and his doesn't. You can search the forums for his thread as it occurred during this summer.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerial_22 View Post
I noticed while sitting idle that the vehicle started to blow warm air. Once the vehicle was on the move again the air would return to normal.
aerial 22 - This is another in a continuing series of excellent posts by fdryer.

I could add perhaps 10 cents worth of thought.

You say AC cools when moving ... so, when conditions permit - try to determine if "normal" cooling is because engine is at/above 2000 RPM or due to airflow through the radiator/condenser (coasting in neutral, etc).

The 2.2 has a single fan to cool condenser/radiator. The fan is controlled by the ECM and is capable of operating on two speeds (decided by ECM).

So, if you determine the problem is related to air-flow you'll know where to concentrate future effort.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Well it has been a few years since this original post. Needless to say two years later I am still having the same issue. I have done a little more research that maybe will help someone here to a possible diagnosis. To recap, my a/c system blows cold air like it was new as long as I am above 2,000 RPM, even when sitting idle and not moving. If I rev the engine to above 2,000 rpm it's like a snow blower. The minute it drops below 2,000 rpm it begins to blow warm air. When the a/c is set to high the clutch is engaged. I checked the pressures and when sitting idle the pressure reads 100. As soon as I rev the engine to 2,000 rpm the pressure reads 45 as it should. I did crawl underneath the car and put my finger along a bolt that is on the bottom of the compressor and I did detect a small amount of oil. Any advice would be great!
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

You may be in luck since delaying repairs. Search for scroll control valve issues or this link; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191521. Your descriptions seems to about scroll valve problems.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Funny you mention that After I posted my message I saw the other thread. I haven't made it all the way through it yet. One quick question I had was whether or not this scroll valve is available for the 2007 Saturn VUE with the 2.2 4 cylinder engine. The link I saw early in the thread was only for the V6 version. Also, how hard was this to replace? I was thinking worst case I buy the part and have a mechanic install it for me. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Yes, it is ok for 2.2.
The instructions are there to do it, you will need some A/C related tools.
If you need the valve, I have one that I can sell to you. I got the part but sold the car before installing it, PM me if interested.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Quote:
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Yes, it is ok for 2.2.
The instructions are there to do it, you will need some A/C related tools.
If you need the valve, I have one that I can sell to you. I got the part but sold the car before installing it, PM me if interested.
Thanks for the info! I have already ordered the part, and found a local shop who is willing to evacuate the refrigerant, remove and replace the control valve, and recharge my system since I don't have the proper a/c tools. I was fortunate to find this shop through a sports message board I am a member of. I called around town, and none of the shops were willing to do it. They all wanted to replace the entire compressor and drier.

Any tips on the ration of oil and refrigerant that needs to be put back in after the part is replaced? I know the shop will know how much freon to put in, but wasn't sure if any oil needed to be added as well.

Wish me luck! I really hope this fixes my issue I have now suffered with through two Texas summers.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

This is just a guess on my part but hypothetically speaking, if the scroll valve is the only part removed and replaced with little oil loss, either leave things as is or only add between 1/2 to 1 ounce of PAG oil as make up for lost oil. Use only an amount needed without going overboard. If the instructions for scroll valve replacement doesn't say anything about oil replenishment, adding too much can be worse than doing nothing.

Labeling on the car lists refrigerant and oil amounts. Service manual procedures lists how much oil is replaced when major parts like compressor, condenser coil, evap coil and drier are replaced but nothing about scroll valves.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:57 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
This is just a guess on my part but hypothetically speaking, if the scroll valve is the only part removed and replaced with little oil loss, either leave things as is or only add between 1/2 to 1 ounce of PAG oil as make up for lost oil. Use only an amount needed without going overboard. If the instructions for scroll valve replacement doesn't say anything about oil replenishment, adding too much can be worse than doing nothing.

Labeling on the car lists refrigerant and oil amounts. Service manual procedures lists how much oil is replaced when major parts like compressor, condenser coil, evap coil and drier are replaced but nothing about scroll valves.
Thanks! I think to play it safe I am going to skip adding any oil. I don't feel that much will be lost removing and replacing the scroll valve. As you mentioned, adding too much oil would be worse than adding none. My part will be here on Wednesday and I hope to have cool air again at idle by the weekend. Thanks to everyone on this thread! This find is a game changer for many like me
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Well I received the scroll valve, spring, O-ring, and a small plastic piece that appears to be some sort of filter. To recap, I have a 2007 Saturn VUE with the 2.2 L engine. I have a friend who owns a transmission shop in town who is going to help me evacuate the R134a, replace the parts, and then recharge the system. Can someone provide any additional details such as how much R134a needs to be put back in the system, proper oil amount (assuming half an ounce since very little will be lost), and what the proper pressures should read at the low side and high side ports at both idle and with the engine above 2,000 rpm. Also, is the small plastic piece a filter that fits inside of the scroll valve. Anything else you think I may have missed? Many thanks!
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerial_22 View Post
Can someone provide any additional details such as how much R134a needs to be put back in the system, proper oil amount (assuming half an ounce since very little will be lost),
Some help attached (Pg.2).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 134a & Oil Chart.pdf (125.4 KB, 190 views)
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2007 Saturn VUE A/C Issue

Many thanks Chazberry!
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