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Compressor Lifespan ?

bjolly on Sat June 29, 2013 10:46 AM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 03
Make: Dodge
Model: Durango
Engine Size: 5.9L
Refrigerant Type: 134a
Ambient Temp: 90-95
Pressure Low: ?
Pressure High: ?
Country of Origin: United States

Could anyone tell me the average lifespan (milesK) for the compressor for the 03 durango w/rear ac ?
also how muck and kind of PAG for the system & amount of freon.
If I replace the compressor , receiver/dryer, orings & both expansion valves is it ok to drive it to get the freon recharged ?
Is there any thing else I need to do ?
Should I put in "plain" PAG or use the stuff w/dye ?

Edited: Sat June 29, 2013 at 11:02 AM by bjolly

mk378 on Sat June 29, 2013 11:13 AM User is offline

No one could possibly quote a number of miles since the actual usage of the compressor varies widely based on climate and personal preference.

You can drive with the system not charged, by disconnecting the compressor clutch to be sure it won't engage. Don't leave connections open any longer than necessary, and certainly don't drive with any lines disconnected as water and dirt will get in.

iceman2555 on Sun June 30, 2013 12:37 AM User is offlineView users profile

If your OE compressor has failed....along with all these parts...seriously consider the purchase of a new condenser. Clean the system also.

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

NickD on Sun June 30, 2013 6:13 AM User is offline

In theory, an AC system should last forever, my old 65 Buick AC system was still working trouble free after 330K miles on it, couldn't put up with body rust anymore. But see many new vehicles only driven a few miles with major AC problems, just like a stone hitting a windshield, can hit a condenser just as well. Some of these Chrysler had an evaporator recall, not sure if yours falls in that class or not.

Also its possible to have just an oil leak that defies the safety mechanisms in an AC system, with refrigerant still in a system, still runs, and without sufficient oil, compressor becomes toast. Another stupid thing is mounting the compressor on the ground where it is exposed to road salt, they use to mount the compressor on the top of the engine. PAG is another bad invention, can't be exposed to any moisture that quickly forms sludge. Yet another stupid move is to depend on O'rings for sealing that with heat, dry up and change into powder. Then using low grade aluminum alloys that corrode like crazy.

I will go one more step than Iceman, just replace the entire system, neoprene is also used in those stupid quick connect service ports. Yet another throwaway item. Kind of an old engineering saying, if you start off with sh!t, can computer optimize it, machine in, mold it, polish it, but its still sh!t. History proves, they did at one time have the knowledge to build an AC system right.

iceman2555 on Sun June 30, 2013 8:41 AM User is offlineView users profile

Nick, I agree with the total system replacement. Most of the systems today are designed for maximum cooling efficiency and this make cleaning/flushing the systems very difficult. Honda has had the
total system replacement with the CRV for years and this type/style compressor is used in multiple vehicle models.

The life blood of the system is maintaining refrigerant level and flow within the system. Even most shaft seal leaks can be traced to lack of refrigerant and maintaining lubricant within the suction side of the compressor. Assisted a friend a couple of weeks ago with a older Tahoe, over 250k miles with the OE compressor still pumping away. He made the change simply because he was completing other under hood work. We conducted an evaluation of the OE unit and it was perfect inside. The case looked like heck...but the inside was pristine inside.

Typically the AC is the last system that appears to need periodic service, and no one pays attention to it no longer cools. At this time, internal damage has already occurred and the cost factors can be quite expensive. If the systems were serviced, say every two years with an evac and recharge only, wonder how long the systems would stay operational.

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

wptski on Sun June 30, 2013 10:53 AM User is offline

Low refrigerant means low lubricant flow. Evac doesn't remove the oil. If you don't know the vehicle history, what do you normally do? Full flush?

GM Tech on Sun June 30, 2013 11:55 AM User is offline

I'd rather have too much oil than not enough-- my record on oil recovery is 41 ounces in a C/K truck-- and it was working- so I always err on the heavy side-- so a recharge with an ounce or two of oil added is okay.

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 Sun June 30, 2013 12:23 PM User is offlineView users profile

Excessive lubrication can be a major contributor to compressor failures also. Excessive lubrication can lead to reed valve problems and other pressure related issues. Adding an ounce or two may not seem to be an issue as long as one is the only tech servicing the system. Compound this ounce or two with several techs servicing the system over a period of time and a serious overcharge could occur. This is especially true as the total amount of lubricant used in the system diminishes.
The gov't had this problem with the AC units utilized on the Hummers in the Middle East. They saw compressor failures and decided they were lubricant based issues and simply begin to add lubricant to the system to offset this perceived problem. Some of the units we received has very serious reed valve problems.
The key is not only how much lubricant is in the system, but the ability of the system to move this lubricant.

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

NickD on Sun June 30, 2013 12:43 PM User is offline

How does this sound? Sounds good to me. Did they ever prove R-12 was poking holes into the ozone layer? Seem to me proving R-134a is causing global warming.

Automotive air conditioning lubricants are specially formulated because of how and
where they operate. Air conditioning oils must be “dry” (having little or no water
content) and mix with the system’s refrigerant so they can circulate. They must
lubricate system components under temperatures ranging from -30°F to 200°F.
Refrigerant oil is circulated throughout the system by the compressor.
Different oils are used in automotive A/C systems, based on the type of refrigerant.
Polyalkylene Glycol (PAG) oil is used for R-134a refrigerant.
The three types of PAG oil are:
PAG-R for rotary compressors
PAG-S for swash plate compressors, and
PAG-F for the FOT system on the Quest.
Refer to the service manual for the correct oil for the system you are servicing.
PAG oil is very hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) and should be exposed to the
atmosphere as little as possible while charging an R134a system.
Oil contamination, including moisture, can cause system failures. Improper
lubrication can cause abnormal wear to the compressor as well as corrosion to other
system components.
Different types of refrigerant oil (even PAG oils) are not interchangeable and should
never be mixed. Because vehicles with R-12 systems continue coming in for service,
it is important to remember that R-12 systems use mineral oil instead of PAG oil.
Adding PAG oil to an R-12 system (or vice versa) can cause seal failure and
refrigerant leakage.
In the old R-12 systems, lines and hoses relied on refrigerant oil to maintain seal
integrity and prevent leakage at hose and line fittings. Newer R134a air conditioning
systems use barrier-type hoses that are self-sealing and prevent refrigerant leakage
with or without refrigerant oil.
Insufficient oil in the system will damage the compressor due to lack of lubrication,
but excess oil will collect in the condenser and prevent proper cooling performance.
When working with the ACR5 AC Service Center or replacing components, make sure
to replace the exact amount of oil required. The best way to be certain is to drain all
the oil, then refill with the amount specified in the service manual.
If the compressor sounds as though it needs lubricating, it probably does. Check the
system for debris, and replace the compressor if needed.
If cooling performance is poor despite several recent repairs, the system may contain
excess lubricant, especially if oil was added to the system without draining and
measuring all the oil. "

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