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Old 08-14-06, 08:20 PM   #1
cuda2k
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Any Auto Mechanics in the FOO? A/C problem!

The short of it, I am experiencing a loss of cool air in my truck after about 15mins of driving. I picked up a pressure gauge to put on the low pressure side of the coolant line and it went something like this:

1) idle for 1min: Pressure at the low side of the 'good' section

2) idle for 5mins: Pressure at the high side of the 'good' section

3) after 10min driving, A/C temp no longer cold: Pressure in the 'Warning' section

4) after 10min driving, A/C turned OFF: Pressure still in the 'warning' section


Also, I can't hear the A/C clutch turning on/off when I turn the A/C on and off in the cab. Appears that it's likely that the clutch isn't disengaging when the pressure reaches the proper level.

So either:

A) Bad Clutch

B) Bad sensor which is supposed to control the clutch.

C) orifice valve clogged causing increasingly high pressure.

D) ???
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Old 08-14-06, 08:28 PM   #2
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I used to do residential HVAC, but I never did do much on cars outside of patch a few leaks, evacuate and refill. My first thought is that its probably that sensor if it works right at first but then stops working, but its of course highly possible I'm wrong.

Do you have a pressure temperature chart? If you don't, google and print yourself one, and use a thermometer in conjuction with the gauge. Simply wrap the thermometer around the refrigerant lines with pipe insulation or something to get your reading. Thats the way I would begin to trouble shoot it.
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Old 08-14-06, 08:32 PM   #3
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Cut the belt that's driving your AC. Roll down your windows.
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Old 08-14-06, 08:40 PM   #4
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explody pup: it's a 2003 GMC Sierra with a serpentine belt. Cut belt = NO BELT AT ALL = no water pump = no alternator = no power steering = ???

Just actually got a hold of a long lost friend of mine who's a GM trained mechanic. (didn't actually think he'd call me back). He thinks its a low pressure switch that is sticking. $20 switch is going to be a lot better than a $1000 A/C job.
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Old 08-14-06, 08:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cuda2k
Cut belt = NO BELT AT ALL = no water pump = no alternator = no power steering = ???
Pfffft... whatever, man. Quit complainin' and just drive downhill everywhere you go.
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Old 08-14-06, 09:54 PM   #6
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Pfffft... whatever, man. Quit complainin' and just drive downhill everywhere you go.
If I could do that I'd just take the bike... that's currently without a crank...
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Old 08-15-06, 03:21 AM   #7
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What happens when you manually disconnect the power to the compressor clutch?
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Old 08-15-06, 05:51 AM   #8
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coolant has nothing to do with your a/c. what most likely what is going on is you dont have enough freon in your system, which doesnt blow cold air. if you hear the compressor turn on t could be the clutch on it, or some compressors dont even make a noise. If i were you i'd go get my unit filled up. Also the compressor not turningon could be an elctrical problem, meaning the on/off button for the a/c could either be dirty or not working. In some case's the wires running to the compressor itself may get damaged from heat. Plus knowing what truck you have can help
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Old 08-15-06, 05:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey
What happens when you manually disconnect the power to the compressor clutch?
the power to the compressor is the belt, if you disconnect that you lose the alternator,water pump, etc..all the stuff needed
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Old 08-15-06, 05:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by russiankdi
the power to the compressor is the belt, if you disconnect that you lose the alternator,water pump, etc..all the stuff needed
I believe Stacey meant to disconnect the electric plug to the clutch for the comp[ressor, effectively bypassing the AC Compressor.
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Old 08-15-06, 06:08 AM   #11
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^^^

Exactly. Thanks Tom
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Old 08-15-06, 07:10 AM   #12
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No problem!
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Old 08-15-06, 08:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
The short of it, I am experiencing a loss of cool air in my truck after about 15mins of driving. I picked up a pressure gauge to put on the low pressure side of the coolant line and it went something like this:

1) idle for 1min: Pressure at the low side of the 'good' section

2) idle for 5mins: Pressure at the high side of the 'good' section

3) after 10min driving, A/C temp no longer cold: Pressure in the 'Warning' section

4) after 10min driving, A/C turned OFF: Pressure still in the 'warning' section


Also, I can't hear the A/C clutch turning on/off when I turn the A/C on and off in the cab. Appears that it's likely that the clutch isn't disengaging when the pressure reaches the proper level.

So either:

A) Bad Clutch

B) Bad sensor which is supposed to control the clutch.

C) orifice valve clogged causing increasingly high pressure.

D) ???
Delete your post about your HIGH SCHOOL band being better than The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band and I will tell you how I sabotaged your A/C.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 08-15-06, 12:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharr
Delete your post about your HIGH SCHOOL band being better than The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band and I will tell you how I sabotaged your A/C.
LOL. I'll let you decide after I find the tape.

Sorry, I used the word coolent for freon in the above posts. I had a the equivalent to a couple shots of rum in my at the time I was typing that.

On this particular truck the A/C compressor is burried on the bottom right hand side of the engine, requiring the removal of a few things to really get to easily. Mostly the air intake hose, but who knows what else is in the way. I'm headed over to the parent's place tonight to swap out the switches. Everyone cross their fingers for me.
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Old 08-15-06, 12:29 PM   #15
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Sounds to me like an A/C problem.
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Old 08-15-06, 12:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
Cut the belt that's driving your AC. Roll down your windows.
Yo popping dog, come to Texas and get in Cuda's dark colored truck after it has sat in our wonderful sun all day and say roll down the windows! It is HOT here my brother, HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT. Did I mention HOT? Dang, I would not wish no A/C in Texas in summer on anyone.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 08-15-06, 08:02 PM   #17
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I'd say a switch, probably the cheapest thing to do so might as well give it a try. If not, then a clog. But you probably figured this out already.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharr
Yo popping dog, come to Texas and get in Cuda's dark colored truck after it has sat in our wonderful sun all day and say roll down the windows! It is HOT here my brother, HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT. Did I mention HOT? Dang, I would not wish no A/C in Texas in summer on anyone.

Haha, I just flew back from Houston, and 9am it was way hotter than I was used to. Time for you to move north.
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Old 08-15-06, 08:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k

Just actually got a hold of a long lost friend of mine who's a GM trained mechanic. (didn't actually think he'd call me back). He thinks its a low pressure switch that is sticking. $20 switch is going to be a lot better than a $1000 A/C job.
It sounds like your friend is right. Sorry, I do work as an auto mechanic, and I do work on A/C systems, but I absolutely hate trying to diagnose other's car problems over the phone, online, or by description without having my head under the hood and/or hooked up to diagnostic equipment.
In 1967, you could do literally everything to a car from your garage, but those days are long past. I would recommend taking your vehicle to a shop that specializes in A/C work and can perform adequate leak tests to make sure your system is not spewing r-124 all over the place. That stuff is not as harsh on the ozone as the old "freon" was, but it's still a pretty heinous greenhouse gas. (If you believe the "Rapture" is coming soon, disregard this last advice. )
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Old 08-15-06, 09:22 PM   #19
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That stuff is not as harsh on the ozone as the old "freon" was, but it's still a pretty heinous greenhouse gas.
I've got EPA Universal Certification, albeit from 3 years ago, and as far as I remember, R134A is supposed to be harmless to the ozone. Granted it will kill idiot kids who huff it, but I thought it was harmless to the ozone.
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Old 08-15-06, 09:33 PM   #20
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I've got EPA Universal Certification, albeit from 3 years ago, and as far as I remember, R134A is supposed to be harmless to the ozone. Granted it will kill idiot kids who huff it, but I thought it was harmless to the ozone.
But it is still a greenhouse gas, and is regulated as such. Sorry I wasn't clear about that in my post.
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Old 08-15-06, 09:39 PM   #21
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Is it regulated? I don't know about a 50 pound can, but any idiot can go to Murray's and buy a little can of it. As I'm sure you know, with the other refrigerants you have to be licensed to even hook up the gauges.
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Old 08-15-06, 09:47 PM   #22
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Is it regulated? I don't know about a 50 pound can, but any idiot can go to Murray's and buy a little can of it. As I'm sure you know, with the other refrigerants you have to be licensed to even hook up the gauges.
It's extremely regulated, as far as techinicians go. EPA's got a huge fine for anyone found dumping it into non-approved receptacles, or even A/C systems they know have leaks. As tree-hugger, I don't have a big problem with it. At the same time, a regular joe can go to Walmart and buy a can to dump in his leaky system. Funny, that.
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Old 08-16-06, 02:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
I believe Stacey meant to disconnect the electric plug to the clutch for the comp[ressor, effectively bypassing the AC Compressor.
oh gotcha but still whats the point of disconnectiong the connector?
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Old 08-16-06, 03:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
If I could do that I'd just take the bike... that's currently without a crank...
well at least you would have to still go downhill wherever you go...
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Old 08-16-06, 07:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russiankdi
oh gotcha but still whats the point of disconnectiong the connector?
Cuda2k said in the OP "I can't hear the A/C clutch turning on/off when I turn the A/C on and off in the cab"

If you electronically disconnect the compressor clutch and it's still engaged that indicates a frozen clutch, if the clutch disengages than all is ok at that point. It's all part of the troubleshooting procedure... once you eliminate all the things that it isn't, the only thing left, no matter how redicilous it may seem is the cause of the problem (appologies to Sir A.C. Doyle)
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