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First post, A/C issue

 
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Old 15 Aug 2010, 07:07 pm
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Default First post, A/C issue

Been reading on here from time to time but this is our first post. My wife has a 2005 PT, non-turbo automatic. A few weeks ago she started noticing a rough idle at the stop light etc when the a/c was on. I started doing some reading and learned about the fan issue, so I thought I'd start with that. Last night downloaded the info on how to remove the fan (man its tight in there) and today started searching, found the replacement fan and relay locally. I thought I'd test things first so I started the car up.

At idle put on the a/c, and it was cycling again, rough idle when he compressor kicked on. Looked and no fan on. I increased the rpm to about 1200 and a/c started blowing cool, then I heard a loud hiss and saw a plume of fog-like gas shoot out from under the car, straight forward about 10 feet. I quickly shut things down, had a faint metalic smell for a lack of better descriptors.

I then visually inspected everything, and at quick glance couldn't see anything wrong. I wondered if I had just lost all the R134A, not having experienced that I wasn't sure. I decided to go ahead and run to the store and pick up the fan relay and install that.

When I returned home I switched out the relay, and decided to take a look at the locations of the bolts for the fan unit, could see the top and sides, and figured out how to get to them, got out the creeper to check out the bottom ones and noticed the lower a/c hose going from the condensor to the compressor had clear oil all over it where it makes the bend, but no visible break.

I confirmed that oil was the smell I was getting after the blowout. I thought I'd see if it still cooled, perhaps a pressure valve or something, but when starting it I got chatter under the hood, either an oily belt, or the compressor wasn't happy, I quickly turned the a/c switch back off and the noise went away. I am presuming the pressure in the system must have blown this hose? Has anyone dealt with this issue before?

I'm planning on taking it into the shop but wondering if people could let me know if I'm dealing with something easy or something that I should pay to have done. I have worked on cars a lot, replaced a/c parts (years ago on R-12) but don't want to just start buying parts chasing the problem.

Thanks!

- Scott
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Old 15 Aug 2010, 07:21 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Well you need a fan no doubt, as far as the blow out your going to have to wait for help from someone else more experienced with that issue. Good luck
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Old 15 Aug 2010, 07:28 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

The blowout is the compressor letting out pressure because it was getting hot. It's a way of stopping the compressor from burning itself out. You should be OK once you get the fan replaced (if nothing else is wrong). You might need a top-off of R134a and whoever does that should put some dye in there too in case there's any other leaks.
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Old 15 Aug 2010, 07:45 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Thanks for the info, the weird thing is that the car was cold when I started it up, and we'd been driving it for days with the a/c just blowing warm at lights etc. Wondering why it wouldn't have blown its contents sooner, is there a pressure relief valve somewhere or did it likely blow it through an o-ring or something?
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Old 15 Aug 2010, 08:03 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Yes, pressure relief valve.
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Old 15 Aug 2010, 08:39 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

while you're still working on it, it wouldnt harm if you check the low pressure switch (located at the silver canister) they tend to go bad for some reason

the way to check it, is to observe the compressor and see if compressor is recycling(stops for a while and then work again), it should recycle when rpm at 1000 about once a minute, if it recycle more often check your R134a level as it may be low. if it is'nt recycling at all then you have a bad switch and needs replacment
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Old 16 Aug 2010, 08:25 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Ok now totally confused.

Took the car in this morning to the shop to have them look things over.

A few hours later I got a call from the shop saying they can't find anything wrong. I went down, the A/C machine showed correct refrigerant levels, good pressure, good vent temp, working fan, smooth idle at both park and underload in drive w/brake. Tested it several times in the shop and on the road with no issues.

They did confirm it most certainly vented refrigerant and some oil. So now the new question, the car was damaged in an accident before the first oil change and was repaired by the dealer, at which time the radiator and condensor were replaced. That was 37k and some change ago. All the shop can figure is that perhaps the system was overcharged and the fan wasn't kicking on and spit out, but either suggest the fan is only failing once and awhile, and the extra heat and rpm without additional airflow created just the right pressures/heat to blow that extra material out. They are keeping it over night to test again with the car having set and cooled down.

Anything else that comes to mind? Fan was performing fine on low and high speed at the shop today, but after the discharge yesterday no cool on idle or higher rpm, still had rough idle. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 16 Aug 2010, 09:34 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Now that's confusing. No cool on idle or higher RPM ? So it's only cool in the middle while driving normally?
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Old 16 Aug 2010, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Sorry at reread my post wasn't clear at all.

diagnosed, it blew r134 yesterday, after that at no rpm would the vents blow cold.

Today system appears completely normal as per rest of post, including fan running, smooth idle, correct freon levels, pressures, vent temps, tested several times over the afternoon from near cold start to been running almost an hour, both still and in traffic.
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Old 16 Aug 2010, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: First post, A/C issue

Well, hope tomorrow and the rest of the week will be like today.
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