Engine Size: 2.2L
Refrigerant Type: R134
Country of Origin: United States
About 140k miles on the car and it's always been in warm southwest environments so the AC gets a workout. From what I've read 150k miles in a hot place seems to be the life expectancy of this AC system.
AC was working great, but there was a small amount of rattle type noise from the compressor. Nothing really loud and just barely noticeable from inside the car. One day the AC quit. Upon pressing the AC button it would light up for a few seconds and then start flashing. Looked like the compressor tried to engage as it turned just a little. System is full of Freon and I can turn the compressor by hand.
Read about relay issues so I took a look at the inside of the OEM relay. It did not look good. Tried a generic replacement and the AC came back to life. A week later it quit again. Upon initial activation I can hear the clutch click, but it slips massively and the compressor makes about 1 turn before the AC system gives up and starts the flashing light.
I'm thinking that the clutch is done and needs replacement. There is zero space in the engine compartment so the compressor has to come out. Since a whole new compressor with clutch is only a little more than just a clutch I'll replace the compressor. Since it was making some noise should it be treated as a failed compressor and go with a system flush, new condenser, TXV along with the mandatory drier? Could I just get away with replacing the compressor and drier with some make up oil? If so how much make up oil?
Before spending any $$$ on parts I do plan on putting 12V from the batter to the clutch directly to make sure that it still doesn't work. It seems like a straightforward case of a clutch no longer engaging properly, but I like to be sure of that before buying parts.
Try the direct feed from the battery first. If it stays engaged you have a wiring issue. It's stranded wire so if there is a place wire some of the strands are broken, it won't be able to handle the current needed to operate the clutch.
The system is detecting the slip and shutting it down, so you won't burn out the pulley bearing and be walking home.....it works quite well- so it is new compressor time.
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......
Be very careful jumping the compressor, if it does run when the condenser fans are not on it will overpressure. And you've disabled the pressure switch.
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