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2004 Dodge Stratus Poor Cooling @ Idle Speed

69Sixpackbee on Wed May 14, 2014 12:23 PM User is offline

Year: 2004
Make: Dodge
Model: Stratus (sedan)
Engine Size: 2.4
Refrigerant Type: 134A
Ambient Temp: 92
Pressure Low: 40
Pressure High: 200
Country of Origin: United States

Hiya, folks.

The compressor clutch was shot on my wife's '04 Stratus sedan (not Mitsubishi) so I had to fix it. I just finished installing another pump (used), a brand new rec/drier assy. and a brand new TXV block. The compressor is a Sanden TRS scroll type and is in very good condition that was removed from a sealed system. All proper protocol was followed in the R & R stages. I filled up the system with the proper REPLACEMENT amount of oil and the recommended amount (22.5 oz) of 134A. This car has the manual controls and they all work as expected. The outside temp was at 92 degrees when I performed the work. There is a 2-speed condenser fan that is designed to cut in at around 275 PSI and cut out at around 230. I notice now at idle speed of 700 RPM the hi-side comes up to the 275 and as soon as the fan kicks on the pressure drops very rapidly and the fan cycles off. This on and off happens about every 15 seconds and the low side pressure never really drops below 40. The vent temp is at around 58-60 degrees. BUT...if I bring the idle speed up to around 1500 RPM it is a whole 'nother ball game! At that speed the hi side pressures go a bit higher and the fan stays on quite a bit longer and the low side then dips down to the 15-17 PSI range and the vent temps plummet. The compressor cycles and all is well. I was driving around yesterday afterward, fan speed on 3 (of 4 speeds), in RECIRC mode and the vents stayed between a balmy 35.7 to 40.6 degrees! When I came home and after the cabin temp was pulled down the vent temps remained pretty steady at around 42-44 degrees and the clutch was cycling. It was nighttime and the ambient temp was 82 degrees. I did not have any gauges on it at that time so I could see what was going on. I guess a rapid pressure drop once the fan kicks on would indicate (to me) that the condenser is really doing it's job.

Prior to all of this work the car had sporadic cooling issues primarily due to a bad clutch and bearing. The pressures were considerably higher--above 300PSI at idle and the cooling fan would be on "hi" speed right after the system was engaged on a warm day sitting at idle. This car is considerably different now and I am concerned that possibly the pump is weak because the pressures seem to reflect that, yes? I seem to remember that the fans 'should' kick on a stay on at low engine speed but it has been a long while and quite frankly I do not remember.

What do you folks think?

Thanx for your time!


Edited: Wed May 14, 2014 at 12:24 PM by 69Sixpackbee

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