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2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:03 pm
by ShaneSimon
Hi guys.

I own a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Special Edition (4 Litre/V6) and let me start off by saying that when it comes to cars I’m a basics guy...tire, oil, fluids and general upkeep...so that is why I’ve come here...

In August 2018 I had the evaporator replaced in the Jeep and at the time that was the only suggested work be done...so being a basics guy I accepted it...the work was done and the air was the coldest it had been but slowly started getting warmer...

Fast forward to February (two months ago) I was back at the shop because being a basics guy I didn’t even think about replacing the compressor (again...basics guy)....so we went ahead and replaced the compressor.

It hasn’t even been two months and the air is already starting to get uncomfortable. Keep in mind that both trips to the shop the diagnoses were made rather quickly but I knew the evaporator was full of leaves based on where I used to live/park.

So...I showed both receipts to a friend who lives in New York and happens to be a former Jeep service manager and he was curious why the mechanic didn’t replace or suggest replacing the condenser...After doing some research (remember...basics guy) I found that it most likely would have been beneficial to replace the condenser at the same time as the compressor.

Fast forward to today...8 month old evaporator, less than 2 month old compressor and a new radiator that’s 2 years old (maybe a touch older) and the AC works but it’s nowhere near as cold as it should be. It’s very uncomfortable at times.

My basic question is do you think I can have the condenser replaced on its own (since the other parts are new) after a flush and recharge and get my AC back to normal?

Sorry for the long post...Appreciate any suggestions!

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:58 pm
by Tim
Sounds like a refrigerant leak for starters. Suggest taking to a shop that can do a proper leak check. Tossing parts at the vehicle is a basic guy approach!

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:40 pm
by ShaneSimon
Tim wrote:Sounds like a refrigerant leak for starters. Suggest taking to a shop that can do a proper leak check. Tossing parts at the vehicle is a basic guy approach!


Thank you Tim...Will have my regular mechanic (not the one who did the AC work) check it out...Appreciate the response

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:51 pm
by Tim
Follow up after you get it checked out.

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:27 am
by Cusser
To me, your story sounds like a refrigerant leak from Day One. Your parts might have been replaced when not faulty.

A dirty evaporator (leaves) can be cleaned without dismantling or replacing it.

Good-working AC which gets worse over time typically means refrigerant is lost; a shop can evacuate and weigh the refrigerant and confirm this. And their next step is to find and fix the leak.

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:48 am
by ShaneSimon
Tim wrote:Follow up after you get it checked out.


Will do. Most likely taking it in on Thursday. Much appreciated.

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:08 am
by ShaneSimon
Cusser wrote:To me, your story sounds like a refrigerant leak from Day One. Your parts might have been replaced when not faulty.

A dirty evaporator (leaves) can be cleaned without dismantling or replacing it.

Good-working AC which gets worse over time typically means refrigerant is lost; a shop can evacuate and weigh the refrigerant and confirm this. And their next step is to find and fix the leak.


Appreciate your time, Cusser. Thank you.

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:48 am
by ShaneSimon
Hi guys...

Was just informed the car passed the vacuum test and there’s no visible refrigerant leak to the naked eye.

I was given two scenarios...either there’s a minor leak that can’t be seen as I said (although I’m unsure how likely that is - hence why I am here)

OR

The mechanic who did the compressor replacement just didn’t fully recharge the system the last time.


I will be returning in about 500 miles as my mechanic added a dye to the system to see if the potential leak can be located.

Curious for your thoughts folks...thank you very much!

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:45 pm
by Cusser
ShaneSimon wrote:Hi guys...

Was just informed the car passed the vacuum test and there’s no visible refrigerant leak to the naked eye.

I was given two scenarios...either there’s a minor leak that can’t be seen as I said (although I’m unsure how likely that is - hence why I am here)

OR

The mechanic who did the compressor replacement just didn’t fully recharge the system the last time.


I will be returning in about 500 miles as my mechanic added a dye to the system to see if the potential leak can be located.

Curious for your thoughts folks...thank you very much!


1. No leak under vacuum USUALLY indicates that there won't be a leak under pressure, but not always.
2. UV dye and a check for leaks in 500 miles is a good idea.

Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee...

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:50 pm
by Tim
Cusser wrote:1. No leak under vacuum USUALLY indicates that there won't be a leak under pressure, but not always.
2. UV dye and a check for leaks in 500 miles is a good idea.


Or use a good electric leak detector.