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Clutch isnt Engaging

mepatten on Sat August 08, 2015 7:42 AM User is offline

Year: 2002
Make: Mazda
Model: Protege5
Engine Size: 2.0
Refrigerant Type: 12a/134a
Ambient Temp: 75
Pressure Low: 45
Country of Origin: Canada

My 2002 protege5 is giving me issues, I put a can of R12a in till the gauge reached 30psi. Then started the car turned the A/C on and the blower on max and emptied the rest of the 6 oz can in. Initial reading when I hooked the gauges on was 0 psi. Now I would expect the clutch to engage but hasnt thus far. Last night i seen a post that if the high side has no pressure the clutch may not engage and to bypass it for a few minutes to pressurize the high side. So I have done that, my readings now are 40- 45 psi with the clutch engaged and 70- 75 psi when its stopped. The problem I still have is when i reconnect the harness and remove the bypass, the clutch still will not engage. thoughts?

p.s. - I put in Red Tek 12a which is advertised as a suitable replacement for 134. Previously had this post in the wrong thread where one reply stated that with 0 psi on initial hook up means there is a major leak. I agree, however if I cant get the compressor working first then I cant find the leak. So the main question in this post is regarding the issue with the clutch.

mk378 on Sat August 08, 2015 9:04 AM User is offline

6 oz may not be enough to keep the switch closed. Or it is leaking out as fast as you put it in.

You can check for leaks with compressor not running. With the system under pressure it will leak out whether the compressor is running or not.

RedTek is a mixture of propane and butane. A "flammable gas detector" can be used to sniff for leaks. A regular refrigerant leak sniffer does not respond to hydrocarbons. RedTek may be an excellent leak finding agent but you really should use actual R-134a for operation.

mepatten on Sat August 08, 2015 6:50 PM User is offline

Originally posted by: mk378
6 oz may not be enough to keep the switch closed. Or it is leaking out as fast as you put it in.


Its maintaining pressure. The only drop in pressure is when I connect direct power to the compressor vise through the relay. Its the only way atm I am able to get the clutch to engage. Once I remove power, the pressure builds back up to 70 - 75 psi. I cant find anywhere what the low side pressure reading should be at, I only have the instructional video from RedTek.

JoshuaSulwer on Sun August 09, 2015 3:09 PM User is offlineView users profile

How many oz's does your vehicle take? Autozone or equiv should be able to tell you if you don't have a book on it that does. I've seen the shradder valves fail( the valves under the service caps (red and blue caps generally for the high and low pressure connectors).

When you check the pressure the next day or half hour or whatever seems appropriate is the pressure gone? If not you need to add more. Most vehicles take 16-24oz from what I heard, but I am not an expert. Not to state the obvious, just to speak, but in case you overlooked it from being so focused on pressure and possible leak. There is at least 1 relay and 1 fuse for the AC compressor and generally 2 fuse boxes. 1 in the engine compartment and 1 in the drivers compartment. On my chrysler, there is a 2nd relay box in addition to the other 2 fuse boxes hidden under the cold air intake hose that can't be seen at all unless removing the cold air intake large hose.

Opps I just see your latest post about jumping the relay. So for you disregard the last paragraph, but I think overall your system is drastically undercharged. All my vehicles I can't (or really feel I shouldn't) connect the low pressure manifold without the ac system running because mine always have spiked passed the max of 90psi all the way around to wanting to start over. But when I turn on the system and connect the low side they have read anywhere from 0 to 70. BUT PLEASE KEEP IN MIND I AM NOT AN EXPERT. And please wait for one to second my logic or condemn my logic. There is other factors like humidity and elevation I hear that effect the readings. I am at sea level (0) and in Arizona with 110F and generally 0 humidity and maybe 10% of the truth, from personal observations and blogs and vids.

Thank you

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