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The Saga continues- 02 U-van replacement condenser leaks too!

GM Tech on Thu April 01, 2010 8:43 PM User is offline

Year: 2002
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Venture
Engine Size: 3.4L
Refrigerant Type: 134a

So I've replaced about 30 condensers in '01-'02 Ventures, Silhouettes, Montanas, Azteks, and rendezvous-and now I have the seen the replacement condenser fail twice-- this one I did not do the first condenser replacement- so I as of yet do not know the manufacturer- the leak location is also different from OEM failures (they all leak in bottom passenger side corner) in that it is at every solder joint where the plates connect to the manifold on the passenger side- as seen in the photo below-- the dye is all telling-- just hope my current source of condensers doesn't start bringing them back in......



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The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

TRB on Thu April 01, 2010 9:25 PM User is offlineView users profile

That looks like a solder and or heat chamber issue.

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Edited: Thu April 01, 2010 at 9:26 PM by TRB

Chick on Thu April 01, 2010 10:37 PM User is offlineView users profile

Great picture.. Nice even leak though...

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

GM Tech on Fri April 02, 2010 9:46 AM User is offline

Yes, I've seen aluminum corrosion sometimes glow, that thought would have entered my mind, except, I saw the drips of dye oil on the floor first! Then, upon investigation, saw the liquid at each joint. Amazingly, this unit held a good vacuum for at least 15 minutes, then I ran it for about 5 minutes, until I saw the small puddle on the floor. I always look for the "big leak" when they come in "dead flat" - that is with absolutely zero pressure......Then I evacuate, add oil and dye, charge and run system to be sure all electricals work, pump works and it cools fine- then look for the leak. I fixed one or two in my life where I failed to run compressor and it bit me in the butt-- no one wants to replace a condenser, then find out the pump is trash also! So I always confirm system operation first.

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The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

iceman2555 on Sat April 03, 2010 9:55 AM User is offlineView users profile

We encountered this issue earlier. Saw it in several different market areas. We were a bit perplexed when the calls stated coming in, of course, the issue that resulted was a failed compressor due to lack of lubricant. When we were addressing this issue and finally getting the techs to conduct a total system evaluation prior to releasing the vehicle, these leaking condensers started to show up. Contact was made to a OE source and our assumptions were discovered to be well founded. The issue was in the 'heat chamber' process. The tubes were not being bonded properly.
It seems that this issue was on the OE condensers, however, it is quite possible that this would be evident with 'aftermarket' units also, since most OE units are actually derived from various manufacturers.
GM are you encountering this issue with known 'aftermarket' condenser mfgers or are these failures on known OE condensers? Like you, it could be a serious problem if this issue begins to spread into our side of the street.
By the way, great photo.

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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

GM Tech on Mon May 24, 2010 10:06 AM User is offline

Got my second one this morning-- failure mode is exactly like photo in first post-- I believe this was a dealer installed replacement condenser- I'll confirm when I confer with owner. This is getting old-- first OEM's fail, Now replacement condensers fail.....

I highly suspect this one was done at a dealer because the bracket that holds the lines secure to the radiator is missing- they normally leave this off since it is such a PITA to put on -- when you short cut the install and do not remove the radiator/condenser as an assembly- and leave the radiator and lower hose and tranny cooler lines attached.

Anyone else seeing replacement condensers fail? on these U-Vans?

-------------------------
The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

Edited: Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:39 AM by GM Tech

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