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Old 07-21-2003, 07:23 PM   #1
Woogeroo
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Question 1995 Saturn SL2 - A/C problems - questions

Hello folks...

so my mother has a 1995 Saturn SL2. The A/C is not getting cold. With the engine on, when the switch on the ac controls is turned on, it blows air, but is not cold at all. While looking under the hood while the engine is on, you can see the compressor engage and disengage as you turn it off and on.

I thought that if a newer modern a/c compressor was out of freon/refrigerant there was a safety doodad to stop it from engaging, to keep it from burning up the compressor. Is this incorrect?

I found one big square looking fuse in the fuse panel for the HVAC next to the passenger seat on the center console... I have no idea hwo to check this or if the ac would work at all with this fuse damaged or broken. The 15 amp fuse on the same panel marked as for the HVAC, tested fine.

So, any ideas on further trobleshooting?

Thank you,

-W

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Old 07-21-2003, 07:51 PM   #2
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How long does it stay on? It trips off at @20 psi so during the off cycle pressure may build up enough to let it start, but it immediately shuts off. This would be short cycling and the air would never get cold. If the clutch engages the fuses are okay. Does the cooling fan come on when you start the a/c?

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Old 07-21-2003, 08:06 PM   #3
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Welcome to the board.

Chances are the system has enough R-134 to run the AC but not enough in the system to pull the heat load out of the cabin of the car. A recharge will likely get you on your way to a cold drive.

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Old 07-21-2003, 08:12 PM   #4
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A/C in a saturn does not "cycle" per se... It will come on and off in respose to inputs: the a/c button in the hvac control head, the High/low pressure switch, the throttle, and the coolant temp sensor. The variable displacement compressor/thermal expansion valve is designed to come on and stay on (not cycle), as long as all other inputs remain in their normal ranges

R134a is similar to r12 in that it's pressure roughly equates to the ambient temperature in the system. If there is still enough r-134a in the system to reach 25 psi (not much), then the compressor clutch will still come on. The compressor is not likely to "burn out" as the oil that lubes the compressor is still inside the system.

The only way to diagnose your mother's car properly is to have the running pressures checked, and/or the refigerant evacuated and weighed to determine if you have a full charge - me-thinks not...

My guess is that you have a slow leak that needs to be properly diagnosed and repaired before the system can be re-charged (mandated by law in several states/provinces).

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Old 07-22-2003, 05:26 AM   #5
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I ran the Saturn in the driveway... seeing if the compressor would engage. I did not notice if the cooling fan came on or not. I can check that later.

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

-W

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Old 07-22-2003, 09:25 AM   #6
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Have you considered the "re-cycle" button on the dash -- above, left of the radio (I believe). If it is open, then the car would be drawing in the hot air from outside (as you knwo) and would result in the perception that the A/C is not working as one would like.

...
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:41 PM   #7
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Re-Cycle button eh? Hmn. Is that the one with the lines and arrows in an oval pattern with a image of a car? I rarely drive the Saturn as I'm 6'1" and it's a bit small for me... so I havent' had reason to really mess with the controls in awhile... the mother unit just informed me that it was not working.

I'll fire it up and try it with it off.

Thank You.

-W

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Old 07-22-2003, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default okie - here is what I did

Ok.

I ran the '95 SL2 - for a bout 10 mins in the driveway.

I made sure that recycle air button was off.

The compressor was engaging, as it has been.

I ran the a/c at the various fan settings, with the temp control on as cold as it gets.

The Cooling fan came on... (someone asked about that, the last time I messed with it.)

No coolness at all.

So, leak of the refrigerant somewhere?


thanks everyone...

-W

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Old 07-23-2003, 10:56 AM   #9
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Ok, by engaging do you mean cycling on and off or stays on and still blows warm air. If cycling then it is probably low because as Saturn-Eh pointed out the compressor is only supposed to cycle off and on by the switch not the (normal) pressures.

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Old 07-23-2003, 08:12 PM   #10
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The compressor stays on... as long as I leave the a/c fan-blower switch on. it turns off as soons as I turn the switch off.

So the compressor stays engaged... and still blows hot toasty air.... or, whatever the outside air temp is...

whihc... it being July in GA, is hot. hehehhe.

Thanks for all the helps and tips everyone.

This seems to be a good Forum.

-W

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Old 07-24-2003, 12:42 AM   #11
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I checked the AC on my SL1 Sunday, and discovered it's not working.
When I hit the AC button didn't notice any sound or loss of power. Since I'm selling the car I'm not interested in repairing it, but so I know what to tell a prospective buyer, is it as simple as getting a recharge? Or is there more involved?
Oh yeah, and the AC on my brother's '92 SL1 doesn't work either. Believe he said it hasn't really worked since about 1995.

...
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Saturn owner no longer as of 12/21/05, sold my SC2.
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Old 07-24-2003, 09:04 AM   #12
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Fm W
Quote:
I made sure that recycle air button was off.
Actually, you want the button pushed in, in which case the re-cycle door would be closed -- preventing air from coming into the car.
Quote:
The compressor was engaging,...
and
Quote:
So, leak of the refrigerant somewhere?
No. If in fact, you are absolutely positive that the compressor clutch is engaging, the system would most likely not be low on freon. The reason for that analysis is: The system has a "low freon" shut off switch which would become active should the pressure drop below a given level/reading.
The picture you are giving us is not complete.

I'm sensing that the compressor clutch is not engaging, and therefore, if that is accurate, then the system may be low or empty of freon -- a leak in that case would be probable.
But only if the clutch is not engaging.

...
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:27 PM   #13
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Not true...

Many A/c systems have a low pressure cutoff at ~25psi. An 1/8lb charge is enough for most a/c systems to come above this threshold. You need at least 3/4lb for most systems to start to become cold, so between 1/8 and 3/4lb could turn the compressor on, but not deliver any cooling to the cabin.

This doesn't mean that there might not be other things wrong with your car (a compressor stuck at zero displacement or a bad txv could cause the same symptoms, among other things) But a running pressure check is the only way to tell for sure.

My money is on small leak/low charge.

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