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post #1 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-02-2003, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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FAQ Info on A/C: please read if not working

Many people are concerned for their A/C now that summer is coming up. A common problem that many of us have come upon is the A/C is not working. Some have tried refilling the R-134A to get it to work, and others have tried other things only to find that there is some wrong with the clutch not engaging. This is NOT the result of a bad relay, etc. It is the fault of the pressure transducer. These cars are notorious for the transducer going bad and it will cause the A/C to not engage. The part will not be available from a local auto parts store (unless you are very lucky) so it'll have to be purchased from the dealer or online. I've heard that they are around $100-$110.

Also, make sure that you do not have any leaks in your system. If you just keep recharging it, its not good for the environment and will probably be better off just getting the leaks fixed or running without the A/C. Any questions... just search the site for the answer. After all, thats what that little search button is for on this site. Thanks.


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post #2 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-03-2003, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Found some more good info from a new member to this site. Another great suggestion if you are having problems and suspect the pressure transducer.

Quote:
Originally posted by xcopterdoc
To check the pressure transducer sw is an easy one. Follow the a/c lines from the compresser fwd to the condensor. You will see an inline sw with a two wire plug. Unplug the wires from the sw. Make a jumper wire and insert it into the plug across both sockets. Now you have by passed the pressure sw. Start car and turn on A/C. make sure the light on the button is lit. See if the clutch is engaged. If clutch is engaged and you have cold air... you win..bad pressure sw. If clutch is engaged and you dont have cold air.. you have no pressure in the system or a bad compressor... If clutch is not engaged, find out why.. wiggle wire to compressor at connection, another known problem often over looked by do it yourselfers. Check for a good connection at compressor. Check for voltage at compressor wire. If you have voltage to clutch and it isnt engaging you have a bad clutch. No voltage... bad wire, or bad relay, bad A/C sw. .
Mike
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post #3 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 02:34 PM
 
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Only about $70

I got mine from a place in WA state, was a link on this forum. They do a 'special' price for 'web orders'. Sorry, I haven't a clue as to who it was. Might find 'em surfing around, though....

Piece of cake to install. Really! The hardest part was soldering upside down, but then, I'm not good at it, and I've sworn off crimp-on connectors for most stuff.

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'95 ES 3.5L, 110K, still on OEM tranny but 4th set of front rotors...
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post #4 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 09:38 AM
 
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Actually, contrary to the posted article, the transducer on my '93 has 3 wires, not two. I tried every combination for jumping with no success - actually, one combination of wire jumping would kill the engine and throw a code.

I purchased a new transducer switch from the dealer for $100 and unfortunately, it didn't fix my problem. So I have on for sale if anyone's interested, complete with an unused wiring harness and heat shrink tubing. I'll make you a good deal on it!

I finally figured out a way to "jump" my compressor clutch, and that was by jumping the relay. Keep in mind that this will activate the compressor regardless of what you have your temperature or fan controls set at, even if in off position. Therefore, this should be for compressor clutch activation testing only, or to allow for the addition of new freon (since the compressor must be activated to draw in the new freon from the can).
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post #5 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 12:54 PM
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Hmmm... my A/C blows cool air.. not cold though, and it takes a long time to cool down the huge cabin. Any suggestions? I don't really use the A/C a lot, so I've never had to fix one before...
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post #6 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Intrepidude
Actually, contrary to the posted article, the transducer on my '93 has 3 wires, not two. I tried every combination for jumping with no success - actually, one combination of wire jumping would kill the engine and throw a code.

I purchased a new transducer switch from the dealer for $100 and unfortunately, it didn't fix my problem. So I have on for sale if anyone's interested, complete with an unused wiring harness and heat shrink tubing. I'll make you a good deal on it!

I finally figured out a way to "jump" my compressor clutch, and that was by jumping the relay. Keep in mind that this will activate the compressor regardless of what you have your temperature or fan controls set at, even if in off position. Therefore, this should be for compressor clutch activation testing only, or to allow for the addition of new freon (since the compressor must be activated to draw in the new freon from the can).
1. Yep, I went and check and it does have three, as do all of the first gens... and yes, jumping the 2 wires next to each other (not the dark blue) shorts out the TPS which is bad, and kills the car. I also tried this and it doesnt work.

2. If your relay jumps the compressor, but the transducer doesnt work, its got to be in the wiring. I know that when I was out yesterday I could take off the connector at the transducer with the car running and sort of ease it back on till I heard the compressor click on. I know something is at fault here but I'm too lazy to like open everything up and just hard wire it.

3. Right now, I'm going with the good ole jumping of the relay. However, what you can do is run a switch from inside the car to the relay terminal. Make sure the switch is hooked up for 12V and connect it to terminal 86 (I believe) That way, when you want your a/c to run all you have to do is hit the switch and your off. Easiest and cheapist thing I have found so far.


1993 Eagle Vision TSi
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post #7 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcman311

3. Right now, I'm going with the good ole jumping of the relay. However, what you can do is run a switch from inside the car to the relay terminal. Make sure the switch is hooked up for 12V and connect it to terminal 86 (I believe) That way, when you want your a/c to run all you have to do is hit the switch and your off. Easiest and cheapist thing I have found so far.
This right here is a good way to destroy your compressor, A/C radiator, and evap core. running it all the time has the possibility to build too much pressure...

and that is bad.


PS. A/C needs to run often to maintain its healthy, 'get cold fast' state. even ifyou don't use it alot... after you fix it... run it at least 15 minutes, once a week (just hit the A/C button.. you don't NEED to have it on cold), 52 weeks a year.
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post #8 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Mike, I know this. It isnt running all the time. I ran a switch with 12V to the relay so that when I want the a/c I push the button on the ATC and flip the switch. It then works. But if the a/c is on, and the switch is off, the compressor is not running.
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sounds like something i need to try...
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post #10 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 04:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcman311
Mike, I know this. It isnt running all the time. I ran a switch with 12V to the relay so that when I want the a/c I push the button on the ATC and flip the switch. It then works. But if the a/c is on, and the switch is off, the compressor is not running.
do you constantly cycle it while driving :-P

just pickin on ya.. but you really should figure out how to get it working before it becomes much more costy.
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post #11 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 07:16 PM
 
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My experience with pressure transducer problems is the compressor siezing up.The problem I have seen is the fan shuts off while the a/c is runnung,overheating the compressor.If you have had to replace the compressor the switch is good insurance.Just out of curiosity JC did you check to see if the feed for the relay is working?I thought the feed was from the ATC directly,but I may be wrong.I also don't know if it is a half relay or full relay(about a 3/4x3/4 square)right now I am too lazy to walk to the car and look.
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post #12 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-05-2003, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by jayrus
Just out of curiosity JC did you check to see if the feed for the relay is working?I thought the feed was from the ATC directly,but I may be wrong.I also don't know if it is a half relay or full relay(about a 3/4x3/4 square)right now I am too lazy to walk to the car and look.
Like I said, I went under the car with it running and played around with the connector at the transducer. I could actually disconnect it and ease it on to the point where the compressor would click on, so I know that it is some where with the switch or the wiring.

Interesting though what you said about the compressor seizing do to overheating. Somehow, I think my a/c had problems before and may have already had the compressor replaced.
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post #13 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-10-2003, 11:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcman311


Like I said, I went under the car with it running and played around with the connector at the transducer. I could actually disconnect it and ease it on to the point where the compressor would click on, so I know that it is some where with the switch or the wiring.
Are you sure it's the actual compressor coming on and not just the fan? I was doing the same thing (engine running while I slightly moved the transducer wiring harness off and on and the fan would kick on and off but not the compressor. This also lead me to belive there was a wiring problem. I still don't know what was causing my clutch to not activate, probably a glitch in the computer which sends a signal to the relay for controlling the clutch based on temperature sensors and engine conditions (WOT, etc).
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post #14 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, you can physically hear the relay click and then a few seconds later, the high speed fan would come on. Also, I would have someone with me to verify that it was blowing cold air. Anyway, sounds like you have a different problem there.
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post #15 of 242 (permalink) Old 06-13-2003, 02:57 AM
 
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Ultimate A/C FAQ

I have been looking into getting the A/C on my car to work and have stumbled across a lot of info and have learned a lot, so I'm going to pass the info on.

First thing is to understand how A/C worksÖ http://science.howstuffworks.com/ac.htm

Compressor failure- Usually this is associated with a clunking noise for awhile and then a smoking belt from the seizure of the compressor. Failure can happen because of two reasons. In most cases it is because oil has leaked from the system over time with refrigerant. The compressor has moving parts and when it becomes starved of oil it seizes resulting in a smoking belt and no more A/C. Also the internals of the compressor are usually spewed throughout the system when this happens. So the whole system must be flushed, receiver drier and the expansion valve must be replaced, and correct amounts of PAG oil be put into the various parts of the system. More on this here
http://www.ackits.com/index.cfm?fuse...=Black%20Death

Reason two is failure of the expansion valve. For whatever reason this happens from time to time. The expansion valve meters refrigerant on the high side before the evaporator. It drops the high side pressure from the compressor down to 10-30psi where R-134a is no longer a liquid and becomes a gas in the evaporator. When the expansion valve fails it lets liquid into the compressor which the compressor cannot pump, so it seizes. In some cars the insides of compressor comes apart but this is not a frequent occurrence in the intrepids because the compressor is a pretty durable unit. Usually when the expansion valve fails the belt on the compressor will smoke intermittently. And when the A/C turned off and back on the system continues to work for awhile and does it againÖ

Evaporator leaks- The A/C system uses PAG oil from the factory. PAG absorbs moisture from the air very very easily. At the factory the system is assembled and moisture gets in it. Apparently dodge did not do a good job with this part and the cars left the factory with high contents of water in the oil. Which the receiver drier is sup post to absorb, but since those things also become filled with moisture easily and arenít sealed well when packaged they have limited abilities to remove the moisture. So the water in the PAG oil over time mixes with the R-134a and creates acid that eats away at the seals in the system, the evaporator and the condenser resulting in leaks. Moisture also gets in the system when it is not properly serviced and oil with a high content of moisture is put in the system. Oil that comes in plastic bottles often have a high content of moisture as well when new. If oil is added to the system, I suggest getting the oil in a oil charge can, that way you know the oil is dry. Make sure the charge is PAG oil because most oil charges sold in stores are Ester. Ester and PAG oils do not get along well. Anytime the system is opened to repair a leak, the receiver drier must be replaced. It absorbs moisture from the system and becomes quickly filled when exposed to air, it should be the last step when servicing because of this. After that a long vacuum must be pulled to try to get as much moisture out. At least an hour, no less. Many shops skimp on this. If the system is open for a long period of time, you should consider either flushing the system and replacing the oil or converting to hydrocarbon based refrigerant. I have noticed that several members on the board have been using a product called Duracool, which is a mix of propane and butane. The hydrocarbons donít form acids and actually increase the efficiency and life of the system, and are larger molecules so they as less prone to leaking. Although they are flammable and illegal, the flammability issue is somewhat insignificant because the amount of hydrocarbons to be equivalent to a charge of R-134a is significantly less. The hydrocarbons also have a smell added to them, so you know if itís leaking. The mix of butane and propane has a lower flash point lower than that of R-134a. There are currently there are 200,000+ vehicles in the USA that are using them with no reported accidents. World wide there are millions. So read up on it anyways though at www.greenchill.org Another product just like duracool is called Envirosafe. One side note that im looking into is that I heard somewhere that when PAG oil is used with hydrocarbons it cannot be used with R-134a again. So this maybe an issue if you want to sell the car with R-134a installed to avoid legal problems.

Leaks- Common places for leaks on these cars are at the fittings on the compressor and the condenser. The fittings on the compressor on the earlier cars (93 and 94 I think) were very prone to being nicked when assembled, which creates a gap that allows tiny R-134a particles to leak out. The fittings were improved after those years, but if you have ever taken one apart the design isnít very impressive, and I can see how it can easily leak. To fix this problem the lines must be replaced.

The condenser likes to leak as well. It is the most common place for a leak to be because of the large opens in the front grill of the intrepid. Stones are easily kicked up and into the condenser creating leaks. To prevent this remove the front bumper cover and take some adhesive and some screen from a screen door and place it across the four openings on the back side. I have done this on my car and I feel that it improves the look of the car because the holes no longer look like dead bugs way back on the dirty condenser...all you see is a nice dark mesh. I should note that my car is black.

Servicing- When replacing any component in the system you must either drain the oil from it and replace the same amount of new oil back into the system or go by a service books recommendation for oil replacement for the part. O-rings associated to the part should be replaced as well. Never have the system open for longer than absolutely necessary since the oil absorbs moisture. This means that when you disconnect a part quickly plug opens with something air tight. Preferably you should use the plastic plugs that are sold at automatic stores for this. When the system is put back together the receiver drier should be replaced along with an oz of oil to replace that which is lost when the receiver drier is removed. Do not add oil to the drier itself either. The drier should be the last step with any A/C repair is which the system is opened for any amount of time.

The lines on the A/C system require a special tool to disconnect them. These tools are available at AutoZone in a package of four for $10. If you canít find them ask at the desk, one of the people there should know what youíre talking about.

When topping off a system- add a few ozís of oil along with a UV dye to detect leaks. If the A/C needs to be recharged this means the refrigerant is getting out somewhere. A dye should be added so that the leak can be found and accessed to see how much it is leaking. If you donít do it make sure the shop does it. This way the oil level in the system should remain high. In many cases it is not worth it to fix the leak as this can lead to a very expensive bill and many more problems than just the leak. If you have to recharge the system once a year this isnít bad, but also isnít good for the environment.

Flushing- if you need to flushÖeither buy a kit with solvent or use mineral spirits. Mineral spirits are a cheap alternative. Just take your time and poor it through the part until it comes out clean. After that use compressed air to blow the mineral spirits out. Let the part sit sealed up with a fitting facing down to let the mineral spirits collect at one end. Then remove the seal and blow it out again with compressed air. Repeat this process until no more mineral spirits come out. Fill the part with the proper amount of oil and draw a long deep vacuum to remove the remaining mineral spirits. Do not flush expansion valves, compressors. Or anything else with a restriction in it. You may come across a line with a muffler in it. I donít know if they use these in our cars, but if you encounter it you cannot flush it and the line must be replaced instead.

Electrical issues- Usually if the charge in the system is fine, then the problem is the pressure transducer. Although the problem can also be the A/C relay, the compressor clutch or in any of the wiring. Start by checking the A/C relay and moving from component to component to find what ones is no longer doing its job. In most cases it is either the pressure transducer, A/C clutch relay, wire to the compressor clutch or the clutch itself. As frustrating as a electrical problem is, it isnít as bad as having to replace the compressor and flushing the whole system, so it could be worse.

see the old FAQ for more. https://dodgeintrepid.net/forums/show...threadid=21466

System maintenance- The A/C system should be run for about 15minutes a week. Which means wither using to defroster or the a/c it self. For the system to work ambient temperature must be a few degrees above freezing. Although this isnít critical, it keeps all the seals sealed, and the system ready.

Recharging the system- to recharge you need three things. Refrigerant, a can tap and a thermometer. Preferably you will have a manifold gauge set, but they arenít 100% necessary. Just back the needle on the can tap all the way back and screw a can of R-134a on. Connect the can to the low side service port and loosen the can a little until you get a spurt of R-134a from your cars A/C system. This purges any air in the can tap and line so you do introduce any air into the system. Next start the car and let it idle and turn the a/c on. The compressor may or may not come on depending on how low the refrigerant charge is. You may need to charge for a while until the compressor comes on. If this is the case, turn the motor off and charge until the can quits getting colder. To charge, turn the pin down on the can tap into the can until it is all the way down. Then back it out and youíll feel the refrigerant leaving the can. Once the can stops getting cooler, it means the R-134a is no longer evaporating from the can. Once this occurs, there should be enough in the system to engage the compressor. So start the engine and turn on the A/C with the blower on full cool with max fan speed with the windows down. And continue charging until the can again quits getting colder. Swirl it in your hand and see if there is any liquid left in it. If there isnít the can is empty. Turn the A/C off and back the can tap pin all the way out again. Take the can off and attach another. Again purge the air out and start the a/c again. Continue this until vent temperature become consistent and in the mid 30ís to lower 40 degrees. Never add more than two cans to the system because it is a 28oz system and each can is 12oz. Preferably charge when the ambient temperature is at least 70-80degrees out. Overcharging not only can reduce the performance of the system, but can damage it.

When the system is properly charged, the inlet line to the compressor will be cool to the touchÖeven sweating if its humid outÖthe out let will be warm to the touch.

Good luck and keep cool.
Oh and here are some A/C related links.
http://www.aircondition.com/ forum with a/c techsÖ
http://www.ackits.com parts, tools and a product called nylog for orings that helps prevent leaks
http://www.caawparts.com/ excellent resource. Have parts and will custom make parts for your car. They have many parts that you cannot find anywhere else, and have some good prices as well.

This is by no means 100% correct and I take no responsibility for anything!

Last edited by 97 sport platinum; 06-14-2003 at 02:32 PM.
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