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New owner: 05 VUE not cooling vry well

caveeagle on Sat May 05, 2012 5:00 PM User is offline

Year: 05
Make: Saturn
Model: VUE
Engine Size: 2.2
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Ambient Temp: 92
Pressure Low: 44-45
Pressure High: 260
Country of Origin: United States

I just bought an 05 Saturn VUE from a private party. I got a pretty good deal on it, so I was not too worried that the A/C was not cooling great. It does OK when you are moving down the highway. When parked or when its really hot, it does not get the car very cold.

>11k miles, dont know if it has ever been serviced or worked on. (look stock)
>Guages hooked up to High and low sides. side knobs closed.
>engine held running at ~2k rpm (i was told that this is how to read the Saturns)
>windows down and fan blowing at #4 (of 5 setting)
>outside air temp 92 degrees

>Blue guage reading 44-45 psi
>Red guage reading 260 psi
>center vent temp is 55-56 degrees (cheap dial guage I bought at AAP)

I have used an R134 'sniffer' and have not found any obvious leaks yet. I will break out the UV light tonight when it is dark.

Any advice? Ad some R134?


GM Tech on Sat May 05, 2012 5:08 PM User is offline

Scroll compressors need high engine rpm to pump and cool well--- as you have noticed...They are rotten at low speed as when engine is idling...I don't like the Saturn Vue for this very reason. You can replace the compressor and have the same results- been there done that. Just my opinion.

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......

bohica2xo on Sun May 06, 2012 7:25 PM User is offline

Uh 11k miles? on an '05?

I am going to guess you meant 111k miles.

Do not add refrigerant. First step would be to clean the condensor carefully - this means pulling the front cover off of the car. I own an '07, and it has 65k on it - I have cleaned the condensor once already.

Make sure that both fans are running at idle when the engine is at operating temp with the A/C on highest fan speed with both doors open.


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

caveeagle on Mon May 07, 2012 2:13 PM User is offline

Yea, i meant 111k miles.

I will check again, but I think it only has one fan motor. This is the 2.2L ecotec motor. Not the Honda V6. (FWIW)


caveeagle on Tue May 08, 2012 2:03 PM User is offline


caveeagle on Tue May 08, 2012 2:07 PM User is offline

It only has one fan.

I will try to clean off the condensor this weekend. Do you really have to pull apart the whole grill to do this?

Is it best to clean it with compressed air or water?


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