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1992 cavalier compressor leaking oil?

70monte on Mon June 16, 2008 3:47 PM User is offline

Year: 1992
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Cavalier
Engine Size: 2.2L
Refrigerant Type: R12
Country of Origin: United States

My 1992 Cavalier RS AC compressor seems to be leaking oil out the side of it. I cannot find an engine oil leak so I'm assuming its coming from the compressor. The AC still seems to work fine. This car still has the original R12 in it. I hate the fact that its leaking because the R12 works a lot better than the R134 in my other 92 cavalier that I converted over. Is this a common problem with these V5 compressors?

If it is the compressor leaking, I assume I need to fix this soon or the compressor has a good chance of locking up due to the fact its losing oil. I do have a sqeaking noise coming from the engine compartment but I don't know if its the alternator or AC compressor since they one on top of the other.

I see that this site only has a reman compressor for this car. How good of a compressor is it? I'm generally leery of buying reman parts as I have not had good luck with them in the past. Thanks for any info.

Wayne

marvin-miller on Mon June 16, 2008 8:40 PM User is offline

Hi Wayne;

I'm not sure which compressor your vehicle has but I ran into a smiliar issue with a V5 compressor from a Pontiac Grand Prix a few years back. The client had put a reman compressor in it (at another shop) and it leaked oil right where the compressor case halves come together (there's a large o-ring there).

The original shop wouldn't warranty it so I looked into it for him. It seems that if the compressor mounting bolts are not torqued down properly the case can distort a little and cause a leak. In his case the symptoms were that he would park the car and overnight he would see a puddle of oil under the compressor :-(

Anyway, what I did was this, I reached up under the car and tightened the through-bolts located right behind the clutch (as best I could). I think I managed to get maybe half a turn on most of them (one or two I couldn't reach). I then added a few ounces of oil and gave it back to the customer so that he could tell me if it was still leaking (the idea was that if it was still leaking I'd put another compressor in it)

Surprise, surprise - no leaks and it worked for years :-) What seemed to fix it was tightening up the compressor through-bolts - hopefully you'll have the same luck :-)

-------------------------
Best & Thanks;
Marvin

70monte on Mon June 16, 2008 8:57 PM User is offline

Marvin,
Thanks for the reply. I do have the V5 compressor on this car. The compressor is the original one on the car. Mine has been leaving a few drops of fluid on the ground under the compressor. I will try and tighten up the mounting bolts to see what happens. I assume I will have to evacuate and recharge to add any oil to this system? This car still has R12 in it and I don't know what it would cost to recharge it with this again. Thanks again.

Wayne

marvin-miller on Mon June 16, 2008 9:09 PM User is offline

Hi Wayne;

Actually, what cased it for me (pardon the pun) was tightening the compressor through-bolts (that hold the two halves of the compressor together). They have a small head located behind the clutch. It's just a guess but it costs nothing and worked for me :-) It would be a good idea to check the mounting bolts too.

You can add oil to a charged system. You need to have a tool to do it though. In your case I would probably try tightening the bolts and if that works (or seems to) then just take it to a decent A/C shop and ask them to install a couple of ounces of mineral oil (r12 oil) to the system and remind them it's under pressure :-)

If all goes well you'll have a cheap fix.

-------------------------
Best & Thanks;
Marvin

joe_mn on Mon June 16, 2008 9:16 PM User is offline

you have 2 92 vintage cavaliers? and the a/c works on both? you are a dedicated car guy. i don't think there are any left in MN from that era.

70monte on Tue June 17, 2008 3:15 AM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: joe_mn
you have 2 92 vintage cavaliers? and the a/c works on both? you are a dedicated car guy. i don't think there are any left in MN from that era.

Yes, I have two of them. One was given to me with a blown engine. We put in one from the junkyard and two years later its still running. My Girlfriend drives it. I fixed the AC because she wouldn't drive it without it. This was my first attempt at AC repair and it went well. Its converted to 134a. This car is kind of rusty and is the basic VL model.

The second one, which this post is about, I bought wrecked with only 76,000 original miles. I got this one about a month after getting the first one running. I had the unibody straightened and put another front end on it and it still runs great. It still has the original AC system intact and working great accept for the leak. This one will freeze you out of the car. This car has no rust at all and is a RS model.

Both cars have 2.2L engines. The one I drive is an automatic and the GF's is a five speed manual. Both cars get over 30mpg. Both are red and are two door models. There are tons of these years of cavaliers running around in MO. You see them everywhere. They are pretty reliable and cheap to maintain.

I will probably end up putting on another compressor and converting this car over to R134a. I really hate to lose the R12 though because it works a lot better in these cars then R134a. Thanks again for the info guys.

Wayne

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