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New compressor needed?

Odysseus42 on Sun August 11, 2013 10:12 AM User is offline

Year: 2007
Make: Saturn
Model: Vue
Engine Size: 6 cyl

This car has a factory Acura engine & drive train.

Recently the AC became ineffective unless on recirculate,in which case it blows plenty cold except at stoplights when idling. The Chevrolet dealer said it needs a new compressor and some sort of control device for total of $2700.

Firstly the car isn't worth much more than that, if any, but as a layman, I am having trouble understanding why a new compressor is needed if it blows very cold on recirculate.

Does this sound right? Thanks

GM Tech on Sun August 11, 2013 11:45 AM User is offline

Your Chevy dealer has a boat payment to make-- look elsewhere for qualified service- you may have a cooling fan inop.

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......

Odysseus42 on Sun August 11, 2013 6:53 PM User is offline

Thanks, I will take it to an A/C repair garage tomorrow.

Wife was the one who took the car to the Chev dealer and she says that the "control device" that I mentioned is the expansion valve, but again that does not seem like a part that would need to be replaced under these circumstances (i.e., A/C works when on recirculate, but not otherwise).

Just out of curiosity, my guess is that compressors are pretty much on or off devices and are switched on and off from elsewhere, but could there be any sort of switch or controller within the compressor itself that might be defective and which doesn't actuate unless on recirculate?

Odysseus42 on Mon August 12, 2013 1:57 PM User is offline

To further refine this, I drove the car this morning to the AC repair shop, and it blew cold air without the recirculate being on. Mnd you, it was only 73 degrees air temp outside, but the AC was very cold. It just doesn't seem to handle higher temps.

Anybody else got a thought about this?

Cussboy on Mon August 12, 2013 2:08 PM User is offline

I'd check to see if the compressor is engaged (visual examination) or even slipping, when it's at the idle/poor operation condition.

A few years ago on my truck I had poor AC operation at idle, and all I needed to do was tighten the loose AC compressor nut (air gap was too large with it loose).

Edited: Mon August 12, 2013 at 2:10 PM by Cussboy

Odysseus42 on Mon August 12, 2013 7:17 PM User is offline

Thanks for yours.

I just got the car back from an A/C shop who could not duplicate the problem. And it seemed it's old normal self when I drove it home. I think that the Chev dealer inadvertently fixed whatever was wrong with it!

mk378 on Mon August 12, 2013 7:46 PM User is offline

What Cussboy said, if it ever stops cooling again pull over and pop the hood and see if the compressor is engaged. Also note if the condenser fans are running and whether the suction line (from evaporator to compressor) is cold.

Odysseus42 on Tue August 13, 2013 12:27 AM User is offline

Cussboy and mk378. Many thanks. I have printed out both of yours and will put them in the glove box.

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