03 Jeep Wrangler 500PSI+ high side pressure

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zimaconnoisseur
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03 Jeep Wrangler 500PSI+ high side pressure

Post by zimaconnoisseur »

I've got an 03 Wrangler with the 2.4L 4 cylinder. Last summer the AC was working fine. Very recently I noticed that I no longer get cold air through the vents so I plugged in some gauges.

With the engine cold starting on a 60F day, when I turn the AC on the high side immediately climbs to 500 psi and then the compressor clutch disengages.

I don't think it's an issue of airflow overr the condenser I don't get any cold air while driving even when it's not that hot out (around 60F).

The condenser itself looks ok, no very damaged fins (the car does have 180k mi on it so there's a few bent fins here and there). Could there be a blockage in the system somewhere?
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JohnHere
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Re: 03 Jeep Wrangler 500PSI+ high side pressure

Post by JohnHere »

Has the compressor been replaced recently, and was it a brand-new unit? If so, what else was done at the same time, if anything?
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zimaconnoisseur
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Re: 03 Jeep Wrangler 500PSI+ high side pressure

Post by zimaconnoisseur »

There hasn’t been any changes to the AC system. I’m not sure if it’s still all factory parts but for as long as I’ve owned it I haven’t touched the AC system. And it was working just fine last summer.
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JohnHere
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Re: 03 Jeep Wrangler 500PSI+ high side pressure

Post by JohnHere »

The system is bumping into the High Pressure Cut-Off (HPCO).

A few issues can cause that. Foremost is a blocked Orifice Tube (OT) that can prevent circulation of the refrigerant and oil and cause extremely high pressure to build up on the high side, which you noticed.

The OT itself is inexpensive. However, to replace it requires recovery of the refrigerant and then opening the liquid line to remove and examine it. If the OT is clogged with black gunk and/or metallic and plastic particles, that typically means a compressor replacement, as well as the condenser, accumulator, and of course the OT—along with a thorough flushing of the remaining components—a sizable job.
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