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Old 05-04-2009, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a general AC question as I am a Police Officer and not a mechanic. My AC stopped blowing cold air. The dealer looked at it and said it needed freon. I went the next day to pick it up and it still blew warm air.

Long story short is the dealer now says I have a leak and need a new evaporator ($$$$$$$$). I chose not to get the repair completed at this time so I picked up the vehicle.

I checked the system just now in my driveway and the system has freon but the AC does not blow cold air and the AC compressor does not engage. Does this sound like a leak in the evaporator or a bad compressor.

Like I said I'm a police officer and not a mechanic. It seems to me that if there is a leak the system would not have any freon in it. Also if it was a slow leak the compressor would function until the system loss pressure, right???

What do you think???? Should I have someone else look at the AC system?

Thanks
Rich
Westminster, Maryland
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had a similar problem with my '97 CR-V, and it turned out to be an intermittent electrical connection on the wire to the compressor relay.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How could you tell the system had freon in it?

It may be that it does contain freon (R134A) but in an amount that will not compress enough to get the refrigeration cycle going. It's not that you're down a bit in freon, so you're cooling a little less. You can reach a level that, although freon is present, it's not enough to get any cooling going. It doesn't take a loss of a lot of freon to get to that point.

I noticed that the weather where you are was in the lower 50's, with light rain, today. It may be that the compressor did not turn on because of the low outside air temp. Try this: turn on your defroster. That will force the compressor to turn on down to about 35F.

Also, car a/c systems will not turn on if the freon level is low, in order to protect the compressor from failure. It does that because the compressor is lubricated by a special oil that is combined with the freon. Therefore: no freon, no oil circulation = compressor failure.

Sounds to me that you very well may, indeed, have a freon leak. Maybe a second opinion?
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a gauge and I measured the Freon level and it was within an acceptable range -- I even added a little to see if I could get the compressor to engage. I tried the defrost method you mentioned and still nothing.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by R1Peacock
I have a gauge and I measured the Freon level and it was within an acceptable range -- I even added a little to see if I could get the compressor to engage. I tried the defrost method you mentioned and still nothing.
Never top up a Honda AC. They are VERY temperamental about the fill.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by R1Peacock
I have a gauge and I measured the Freon level and it was within an acceptable range -- I even added a little to see if I could get the compressor to engage. I tried the defrost method you mentioned and still nothing.
The only "acceptable range" that Honda lists in the service manual is a set of graphs conducted with the compressor running. Nowhere does it list any static line pressure as being normal, or out of limits, or anything.

Without a set of a/c gages and highly accurate a/c thermometer and the compressor running at 1500 rpm, whatever you are doing to troubleshoot the systems boils down to just a guess.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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just my thoughts, but does the green light on the a/c switch comes on at all
or it could be a fuse maybe or relay problem, since is something that uses power it's gatta have one of this altleast...
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Am confused; you took it to a dealer, they topped off the freon (refrigerant), presumably it WORKED for them, and the next day is was not working/warm air? If that's the story, then that's quite a leak, and it's empty for sure NOW....

That leak didn't develop overnight after the dealer, and if it really had that bad a leak to begin with, it would have used darn near two pounds (it would have been nearly or totally empty), which should have raised a flag even in a dimwit.

Did they disconnect the pressure switch to initially charge it and forget to reconnect it?

Something doesn't add up....

Do take it somewhere for a second opinion.
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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AC systems are charged by weight not pressure.

Usually what happens with a slow leak is this:
1) After some R134a is lost, the compressor runs and the AC will be sufficient at lower temps (let's say at 84F and lower) but won't cool enough at 95F or higher.
2) As the loss continues, the compressor will still run but the system is now not cooling at even lower temps.
3) As the loss continues, the compressor will "short cycle" (run for very short times and turn off) and cooling is almost none.
4) As the loss continues, the compressor will not turn on at all.

AC pressures are NOT a good indication of charge.

If the system still functions, a "performance check" is a good way to test the system.
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