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Compressor Replacement - 89 Geo Prizm

RSTrider on Wed March 12, 2008 7:36 PM User is offline

Year: 1989
Make: Geo
Model: Prizm
Engine Size: 1.6L
Refrigerant Type: R-134a
Ambient Temp: 70 F
Pressure Low: ?
Pressure High: ?
Country of Origin: United States

First, some background:
Summer 2006, I hear refrigerant (R12) leak out when I bump hoses to compressor while replacing my cracked exhaust manifold. I took the car to an independant shop who could not find the leak (dye test) and just recharged with R12. By end of the summer, A/C stopped working due to loss of refrigerant (pressure safety switch cut out).
Late summer 2007, I took car to a large dealer nearby to fix the A/C. The dealer could not find the leak using a sniffer or a dye test. They converted the system to R-134a, replaced the accumulator, and verified everything was functioning properly. About 3 months later, while working on the car I heard the refrigerant escape again. This time I am certain it came from the compressor area. I thought it was from the hose connection to the compressor. So again, the A/C was inoperable.
Yesterday, I took the car to the same dealer to try again to fix the A/C. This time they said the compressor is leaking and needs to be replaced. They wanted more to replace it than I can afford. More than the car is worth. So I would like to try to repair it myself.

My questions are:
1. I plan on replacing the compressor, accumulator, suction hose, and pressure hose. Do I need to replace the expansion valve also? Anything else?
2. Will I need to flush the system? When the dealer retrofitted the system to R-134a, they did not specifically state that they had flushed it. Could I assume they did? Even if they did, would I need to do it again?
3. If I don't need to flush it, do I reduce the amount of oil I put in? If so, by how much?
4. If I do need to flush it, and get the pulsating flusher, how much flushing solvent do you think I'll need?
5. Do I need to be able to measure the amount of R-134a I put in (by weight), or can I recharge it accurately enough based on the pressures shown on the manifold gauges?
6. There are a number of different compressors shown for my vehicle. How do I know for sure which one to order? They all seem to be variations of the 10PA15C compressor.

Thanks for the help.

TRB on Wed March 12, 2008 11:01 PM User is offlineView users profile

First I would get a second opinion and find out where it is leaking, not just the compressor. Seems pretty odd that by working on your vehicle and hearing the refrigerant leak that a compressor needs replacement.


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RSTrider on Thu March 13, 2008 11:35 AM User is offline

I agree that it seems odd that the compressor would be the culprit. I still think the leak is at the hose connection to the compressor (o-rings) or the flexible hoses themselves, which is why I want to replace them also. This car is in great shape and runs well, but it does have 305000 miles on it, so it might be prudent to replace the compressor anyway if the system is open.

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