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AC Issue - Help if possible

 
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Old 16 Aug 2011, 06:32 am
falconut's Avatar
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Default AC Issue - Help if possible

Hey guys, the last two days my '07 Cruiser has had a weird thing happening. I have about a 45 minute drive to and from work. After driving on the highway for a little while with the AC on (usually only on the lowest or 2nd lowest fan setting), a fog/smoke started to come out of the middle two vents. And no odor. As soon as I turn the AC off, it stops. It also doesn't do it all the time.

The 2nd time, it was still doing it when I got home, so I opened the hood. I could immediately see that one of the two AC lines was frozen. See the photo for which line was frozen. I was thinking that I was low on freon, but after reading, there is apparently a switch that can cause this to happen too. If it was low on freon, wouldn't both line freeze or could just one freeze. Any help would be appreciated. My car is still under warrenty, so I'm hoping it's a covered item or an easy to replace switch. I just don't want to get ripped off at the dealership.

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Old 16 Aug 2011, 06:49 am
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

From what I've experienced and seen for myself, what you need is a new low pressure/recycling switch. It's located on top of the accumulator.

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Old 16 Aug 2011, 06:51 am
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

Icing is a classic symptom of low refrigerant (used to be freon).
Only the one line will ice.
Have them recharge with a ultraviolet die in the refrigerant so that they can find where the leak is.
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Old 16 Aug 2011, 10:39 am
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

OK. So, it should be either the low pressure switch or low refrigerant. Is there a low cost gauge to check the pressure of the refrigerant or does this need to be done by a professional?

This way if it's not low, then I know it's the switch. But, if it's low, then I can just get it charged. Or do those recharge kits at the part stores work? I plan on keeping the car, so if they're junk, please let me know.
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Old 16 Aug 2011, 10:50 am
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

The guys who use the kit seem to think it works. I don't know the pressure you need so you have to find out how much to put in.
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Old 16 Aug 2011, 02:25 pm
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

As Crewzin' suggested, the low pressure switch should be checked. If you think the refrigerant is low, you can add some using the simple recharge kits but you run the risk of putting in too much. The recommended procedure is to recover, evacuate and charge with the specified weight of refrigerant.

Also, the smoke/fog was likely water vapor condensing when the cold, slow moving air from the vent hits the moist air in the cabin. This is not uncommon even in properly functioning AC systems (given the right conditions). In your case, it was likely occuring due to the freezing up of the evaporator.
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Old 16 Aug 2011, 07:49 pm
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT_Patriot View Post
As Crewzin' suggested, the low pressure switch should be checked. If you think the refrigerant is low, you can add some using the simple recharge kits but you run the risk of putting in too much. The recommended procedure is to recover, evacuate and charge with the specified weight of refrigerant.

Also, the smoke/fog was likely water vapor condensing when the cold, slow moving air from the vent hits the moist air in the cabin. This is not uncommon even in properly functioning AC systems (given the right conditions). In your case, it was likely occuring due to the freezing up of the evaporator.
My system works great most of the time, so I find it hard to believe that the refrigerant is low, but I could be wrong. The dealer has a low pressure switch for $30, so I'm going to try that and hopefully it works.
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Old 16 Aug 2011, 07:55 pm
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

OK, you can do it yourself. Take off the electrical connection and find a wrench that fits the switch/valve. Now, there's a tiny black "O" ring on the threads of the valve. On the new switch there should be a new "O" ring. Be very careful not to over tighten the new valve because the "O' ring can squash very easily.
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Old 17 Aug 2011, 06:23 am
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
OK, you can do it yourself. Take off the electrical connection and find a wrench that fits the switch/valve. Now, there's a tiny black "O" ring on the threads of the valve. On the new switch there should be a new "O" ring. Be very careful not to over tighten the new valve because the "O' ring can squash very easily.
I believe I read to hand tighten it. Is that correct?
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Old 17 Aug 2011, 10:23 am
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Default Re: AC Issue - Help if possible

Well, you don't want to squash the "O" ring so yes, you can hand tighten it. The book says "tighten it securely" and also to lubricate the "O" ring with clean refrigerant oil of the correct type. I'll leave that part up to you.
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