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    Thread: A/C compressor kicks on and off, no cold air, with video

    1. 06-24-2012 05:22 PM #1
      Trying to get some cool air in my 99 4.0L wrangler. The compressor will kick on for a second, then off for 10. I thought it was just low on R134, then i hooked the gauge up. Is this normal? How can i get cold air back?

      BTW, when it gets to the red and drops, that's when the compressor kicks on.



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    3. 06-24-2012 07:31 PM #2
      no A/C gurus in here?

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      06-24-2012 07:41 PM #3
      This isn't an old R12 system, you cannot judge the amount of refrigerant in the system based on pressures. You have a leak somewhere, and don't have enough of a charge left in the system for it to work.

      You can get your cold air back by taking it to someone who has the equipment necessary to properly service the a/c.
      It may be slow, but at least it's ugly!

    5. 06-24-2012 08:24 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Trike Kid View Post

      You can get your cold air back by taking it to someone who has the equipment necessary to properly service the a/c.
      would rather not. if it needs some charge so be it, no biggie.

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      06-24-2012 10:06 PM #5
      It's kicking off because of high pressure, You need to evacuate the system and charge it with the correct WEIGHT of R134A not by pressure alone.

      Then see if the problem persists. Also make sure your fans are working correctly, if they don't come on or your fan clutch is toast then you'll get high pressure as well.

      A compressor clutch failure will not cause a quick cycle like this. The pressure guage is evidence that it's a high pressure issue.
      Last edited by Brendon1098; 06-24-2012 at 10:25 PM.

    7. Member mm3's Avatar
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      06-24-2012 10:10 PM #6
      Had the same problem in my GTI. Turned out that the AC clutch was bad.

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      06-25-2012 12:13 AM #7
      Is your condenser fan coming on? If not the system will build pressures rapidly and then cycle itself off. One way to tell if it is your condenser fan is to drive about 50 - 60 mph steadily on the highway, especially with the sun down; if your a/c blows cold then but constantly cycles at idle you likely have a bad fan.
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    9. 06-25-2012 11:19 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      Is your condenser fan coming on?
      IDK. i thought the wranglers only had one thermostatic fan. i'll look though

      BTW i don't think it has ever got cold, even on the highway

    10. Member roccostud's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 11:25 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by robhurlburt View Post
      no A/C gurus in here?

      Happened with a truck at work. The desiccant bag in the dryer ruptured and clogged the little orifice tupe ( tiny little thing in the line that creates the pressure drop necessary for the system to work). The system would cycle on and off but would not blow cold. Just an idea.

    11. Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      06-25-2012 11:26 AM #10
      you need a manifold to read BOTH high and low side pressures. without this it's impossible to accurately diagnose an AC system.
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      06-25-2012 11:28 AM #11
      Too hard to diagnose with a $20 PepBoys "Fill Yer Own AC Gauge Thingy." I would start by taking it somewhere that can properly diagnose it.... most likely just needs evacuated and refilled to the proper weight.

    13. 06-25-2012 11:47 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      you need a manifold to read BOTH high and low side pressures. without this it's impossible to accurately diagnose an AC system.
      i'll try and get a hold of one of these. autozone USED to rent them, doubtful they still do though

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      06-25-2012 12:44 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by robhurlburt View Post
      i thought the wranglers only had one thermostatic fan.
      The 4.0L Wrangler has a mechanical fan, not an electric one. If the fan were to blame, he'd have already started a different thread about his engine overheating.
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      06-25-2012 01:31 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by mm3 View Post
      Had the same problem in my GTI. Turned out that the AC clutch was bad.
      This. The clutch is a wear item and when the gap gets too large, it never engages.

      On my Saab, you can remove the AC clutch and pull out a few shims (washers) and then the clutch can engage.

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      06-25-2012 01:32 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
      This. The clutch is a wear item and when the gap gets too large, it never engages.

      On my Saab, you can remove the AC clutch and pull out a few shims (washers) and then the clutch can engage.
      It's pretty obvious the clutch is engaging.... that isn't the problem.

    17. Geriatric Member @McMike's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 01:44 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      you need a manifold to read BOTH high and low side pressures. without this it's impossible to accurately diagnose an AC system.
      Yes.

      Having a gauge on both sides will allow him to see what's going on and how the hi and low side are behaving.

      This is a simple example of what you can diagnose if you have both readings

      Last edited by @McMike; 06-25-2012 at 01:53 PM.

    18. Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      06-25-2012 01:45 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by robhurlburt View Post
      i'll try and get a hold of one of these. autozone USED to rent them, doubtful they still do though
      you may have a restriction in the system, and the only way to find out is with a manifold....once we have high/low readings, we can better diagnose the problem.
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      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      The boobs. I am waiting on the boobs here.

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      06-25-2012 01:45 PM #18
      AC guy here....you have too much of a charge in your system. the compressor kicks in and starts to build up the pressure. the system is then shutting off on a high pressure limit switch. the system needs to be evacuated and charged correctly.

    20. 06-25-2012 02:43 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      It's pretty obvious the clutch is engaging.... that isn't the problem.
      it is engaging

      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      you may have a restriction in the system, and the only way to find out is with a manifold....once we have high/low readings, we can better diagnose the problem.
      will do

      Quote Originally Posted by sublimesurfer1.8T View Post
      AC guy here....you have too much of a charge in your system. the compressor kicks in and starts to build up the pressure. the system is then shutting off on a high pressure limit switch. the system needs to be evacuated and charged correctly.
      the pressure drops when the compressor clutch engages

    21. Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      06-25-2012 02:58 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by robhurlburt View Post
      it is engaging



      will do



      the pressure drops when the compressor clutch engages
      which is normal, but we need to see both pressures.....
      Larry
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      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      The boobs. I am waiting on the boobs here.

    22. 06-25-2012 03:20 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by sublimesurfer1.8T View Post
      AC guy here....you have too much of a charge in your system. the compressor kicks in and starts to build up the pressure. the system is then shutting off on a high pressure limit switch. the system needs to be evacuated and charged correctly.
      Quote Originally Posted by .LSinLV. View Post
      which is normal, but we need to see both pressures.....
      i was just explaining that the pressure is NOT building when the A/C clutch is engaged as sublimesurfer was suggesting. it builds, hits red, compresser kicks on, back down to under green, kicks off, repeat

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      06-25-2012 03:25 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by robhurlburt View Post
      i was just explaining that the pressure is NOT building when the A/C clutch is engaged as sublimesurfer was suggesting. it builds, hits red, compresser kicks on, back down to under green, kicks off, repeat
      That's how it should work.... just based on your video, I would guess that it needs more refrigerant in the system, but there's really no way to tell.

    24. Senior Member .LSinLV.'s Avatar
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      06-25-2012 03:45 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by djsheijkdfj View Post
      That's how it should work.... just based on your video, I would guess that it needs more refrigerant in the system, but there's really no way to tell.
      no.

      it's either:

      A) Overcharged

      or

      B) has a blockage

      again without seeing the high side pressure we are all just guessing.
      Larry
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      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      The boobs. I am waiting on the boobs here.

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      06-25-2012 07:32 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by sublimesurfer1.8T View Post
      AC guy here....you have too much of a charge in your system. the compressor kicks in and starts to build up the pressure. the system is then shutting off on a high pressure limit switch. the system needs to be evacuated and charged correctly.
      I think I saw similar performance (tho I never looked at a gauge myself, but the compressor was turning off/on and luke-warm/half cool air would come out) on my Volvo when the water separator/dryer was blocked. The Volvo AC mechanic said it's a common problem on older AC systems, most people tend to not think about it, ignore it and refill yearly until the system destroys itself. Could have been fixed for a $80 separator, $20 in seals, and $100-200 in time and refrigerant. Could this be a problem on his car too?

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