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Compressor Short Cycles

Freak4Dell on Tue April 22, 2014 8:56 PM User is offline

Year: 2007
Make: Mazda
Model: Mazda6
Engine Size: 2.3
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Country of Origin: United States

I think I may have posted this in the wrong place. Sorry about that. Mods, please move it if necessary.

I've been having some trouble with my A/C recently. For the past year or so, the air hasn't been cold. The system was recharged last year when the problem was first noticed, which temporarily fixed the problem, but it didn't last long. Towards the end of last year, the compressor was cycling on and off every 5-10 seconds or so, and the air was mostly just warm or ambient-temperature air. Winter came, so I didn't bother to look into it. Now that it's warming up again, I tried the A/C a week or so ago, and the compressor wouldn't kick on at all. I bought a hose with a gauge and a can of R134a to check pressure and refill if necessary. The pressure was reading zero today, so I put in a can. The compressor now turns on, and I get cold air, but I don't think my problem is fully resolved. The compressor still cycles (about 5 seconds on, 25 seconds off, repeat). The pressure readings fluctuate with the cycling. If the compressor is off, the pressure rises to about 40-43. The compressor kicking on makes it fall to around 22-23. My can is empty, so I couldn't put more in, but even if I had more, I'm hesitant to keep putting more in because I'm not sure if it would result in a high pressure when the compressor is off. Some things I read seem to indicate that it will balance out and remain steady if I keep adding so that the lowest is in the green zone, but I wanted to confirm with somebody who actually knows what they're doing first. I'm also thinking the compressor might just be on the verge of death. I don't know anything about A/C systems, though. Ideas?

A video if it helps:
https://mega.co.nz/#!wIlFiT5a!4RuI63_y0hRCRtAqlJW1pVh3F5-V16GK4KKQphIsoJY

Edited: Tue April 22, 2014 at 8:58 PM by Freak4Dell

TRB on Tue April 22, 2014 9:35 PM User is offlineView users profile

Sounds like the system has a leak that needs to be addressed.

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mk378 on Wed April 23, 2014 7:59 AM User is offline

Starting from empty, you would charge by weight (specified amount is almost always on a sticker under the hood). That amount is going to be more than one can.

But it is just going to leak out again, need to find and fix the leak first. Do not use "leak stop", it doesn't work but does cause severe damage.

Freak4Dell on Wed April 23, 2014 8:15 AM User is offline

Thanks! I think the weight for the 6 is 16oz, but I'll double check. I just didn't want to risk overcharging. Hopefully I can get some time to take care of this soon.

Is finding the leak something I can easily do myself with limited tool access? Unfortunately, I don't live in a place where I can easily work on my car at my leisure. I guess if I need somebody to fix the leak, I might as well just have them find it in the first place.

Lastly, anybody know any good, affordable shops that do A/C work in the NYC/Westchester area?

mk378 on Wed April 23, 2014 9:04 AM User is offline

If you have UV dye in the system you may be able to see where it is leaking out. You will know there is dye because it will be in the charging ports, bright green-yellow liquid. Look at the compressor, condenser, connections and lines for evidence of dye. Wait for darkness or go into a garage with the lights turned out, then you can use an ordinary flourescent "black light" bulb to make the dye much more visible.

Also this leak is fairly large, putting soapy water on suspected leaky places while there is pressure in the system (compressor doesn't have to be running) may show up as bubbling.

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