L200 A/C quit; $800?

Discussion in 'Saturn L-series' started by WLS, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. WLS

    WLS Guest

    2002 L200 w/83K mi. A/C was cold one day - hot the next day. Saturn says
    "must be the compressor" after diagnosing the problem; estimate-$800! Took
    it home, hooked up the pressure gauges and a can of R134. 100 lbs on both
    sides; wouldn't suck in the refrigerant. Compressor runs continuous,
    blower blows hot air full blast (automatic climate control), engine
    cooling fan doesn't run. I'm A/C illiterate. Can something be blocking the
    refrigerant path?
    WLS, Aug 25, 2007
  2. WLS

    BläBlä Guest

    Uh...Radiator fan should be on if the ac is on and the compressor clutch
    is "engaged".
    If you're a/c illiterate then you shouldn't mess with it. Could cost you
    more than 800 by the time you take it back in. Saturn isn't the only
    place that can give you repair quotes and a diagnosis.
    BläBlä, Aug 25, 2007
  3. WLS

    Joe F. Brown Guest

    sounds more like a stuck TVX to me, but it's possible that the swash plate
    in the compressor is stuck, which isn't uncommon in saturns.

    I only have one thing to try, sometimes you can unstick it by reving it up
    to 3000 rpm in neutral and cycling the A/C compressor on and off about 10
    times. (one second on - one second off, repeat). You may need a helper if
    you have to resort to unplugging and plugging in the clutch wire to cycle
    it, but usually the a/c button works well.

    engine cooling fan won't kick on until high side pressure gets up around
    350, don't worry about that.

    Take it to a independant garage or firestone (yes, firestone, cause they
    have national warranties and do good work at fair prices)

    no, I don't work for firestone.

    Joe F. Brown
    Master Auto Tech
    L1 Certified
    Joe F. Brown, Aug 26, 2007
  4. WLS

    BläBlä Guest

    Which compressor(s) would that be?
    BläBlä, Aug 27, 2007
  5. WLS

    WLS Guest

    Maybe "A/C illiterate" was a little strong; I'm not familiar with Saturn
    A/C. I replaced the compressor & convrted my 90 Ranger over to 134a and it
    worked till I sold it(5years). I liked the one second cycling @ 3K rpm
    idea. I went out with high hopes but it didn't help. I used the relay to
    cycle it on/off(rather burn up a relay than my hand). Tried about 50
    on/off cycles twice, but still have hot air. Still open for suggestions.
    Plan to get 2nd opinoion this week.
    I go to Firestone a lot; never thought of them for A/C. Thanks for the
    WLS, Aug 27, 2007
  6. WLS

    WLS Guest

    Dumb time: What's the "TVX"?
    WLS, Aug 27, 2007
  7. WLS

    WLS Guest

    final result: Used compressor $100; local reputable A/C shop installed
    w/drier $350. Didn't have time to do it myself. Works great for $450.
    Saturn wanted $850 to replace compressor only - they didn't recommend repl
    drier - that would be extra $200! Also didn't tell me compressors had been
    on backorder all summer. Hope the used compressor holds up.
    WLS, Sep 1, 2007
  8. WLS

    WLS Guest

    final outcome $450: got a used compressor from junkyard -$100; had A/C shop
    install it with a new drier - $350. Works great. Also found out Saturn
    dealer doesn't replace drier for $850 - that would put their bill over
    $1000! They don't think its necessary to replace drier. Got compressor
    from Williams Auto Parts in Portland IN. Excellent place to get late model
    parts if they have it. Cleanest junkyard I've seen; good folks there.
    WLS, Sep 29, 2007
  9. WLS

    Oppie Guest

    Everybody I know replaces the dryer when servicing the sealed system. If
    there is moisture in the system, you can get away with a good pump-down
    vacuum that will purge it. If there was a bad compressor especially, the
    system is 'swept' with a flush solvent to remove any nasties and a new
    receiver/dryer is installed. This has filter screens and a dessicant.

    I made the mistake of going to get a used auto part and calling this
    facillity a junkyard. I was politely informed that they were an 'auto parts
    recycler'. Place was so clean and well orgainzed, it was amazing. Totally
    unlike the junkyards I've been to where you slog through oily mud to get
    your parts - and often get good parts too. similarity ends there.
    Oppie, Oct 1, 2007
  10. WLS

    BläBlä Guest

    Not even a 24 hour 400 micron vacuum will pull moisture out of the oil
    or out of the desiccant. A vacuum pump can only boil out remains of
    certain solvents and the moisture in the atmosphere that still remains
    in the lines. Any moisture that has bonded with PAG stays bonded until
    the desiccant removes it. (If the desiccant isn't used up...)
    The receiver-dryer/accumulator desiccant bags are also more prone to
    failure with age. (not really a good filter then.) If the system is
    open, it gets replaced reguardless. If the system is just being
    replenished GM recommends it is replaced reguardless if it is 5 years
    old or more.

    Accumulators are cheap...receiver-dryers cost a little more.
    Not replacing them can cost way more depending on how long you intend to
    keep the car.

    @localhost.talkaboutautos.com>, says...
    Very cheap but I stay away from junkyard compressors and especially
    "refurbished" compressors. My first choice is either a Sanden or Seltec
    aftermarket compressor if and when possible. If none are available then
    even a brand new Chinese copy may have a better life expectancy IMHO. Do
    you know if they used Double End Capped PAG?
    BläBlä, Oct 2, 2007
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