dead compressor


Old 07-28-03, 03:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 52
dead compressor

I have a '93 Chrysler Concorde, 3.3L V6, Automatic, 4 door. The compressor made rattling noise for couple of months and now does not kick on and will not take a charge (134a). I have searched for hours and the only thing I can be sure of is that I should not replace my dead compressor myself. The problem is that the car is not worth the cost of replacing the whole system. I plan to take it to a mechanic for an estimate, but could you please tell me what you would do in this situation. I was planning on selling it in 6 mos. I have done all the work on it for years but no AC work.
-What would I have to replace to have a decent chance of it working for a good while? compressor,drier, condensor.. what else?
-Do I need to put vacuum on system before charge? if so, can it be done without special machine?

Thanks for your help, Nick
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Old 07-28-03, 04:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 469
I assume you have checked for both voltage and ground at the compressor clutch?
Assuming that the compressor is actually bad, you'd have to replace the compressor, dryer bottle, and I'd recommend the expansion valve, flush the system with an approved flush, put in the proper type and amount of oil for your system, then pull a vaccum before charging the system.
I've been doing A/C repairs for MANY years, and wouldn't do it at home on my own car/truck without hauling all the right stuff home first..(yes I am ASE and EPA certified).
The amounts of oil and refrigerant are very touchy on the newer cars, especially Chrysler's... (the oil part..) It's very possible to spend a few hours doing it yourself, and still not have cold air, all because of a couple ounces too much oil...

I'll let Joe tell you abou the legal aspects of dealing with refrigerants... **SMILE**
Old 07-28-03, 06:21 PM
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If you're going to unload this winner, I'd suggest that you leave it alone. Sell it when the heat works.

Seriously, it will cost you more than it's worth if you're going to sell it. These cars have had evaporator failures in some cases. "Ain't" worth it if you are pitching it.

Yes, MSA is correct. A/C work requires specialized know-how, tools and service information to service safely and correctly.

MSA: It is not illegal to charge with R134A in most states at home---here in NYC you can buy it in any store. R12 is the problem and is restricted to licensed folks to buy (in the trade).

I do agree you cannot effect a good home repair without the proper stuff.
Old 07-28-03, 11:14 PM
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like msargent said, you need power and ground to the electrical connector(engine running). try to turn the end of the compressor by hand(engine off!), it should spin with some heavy resistance. if it's seized, it might have burned out the fuse that supplies the clutch, that's why you need to turn it too. try to take a jumper wire from the battery to the clutch wire and listen for a loud click, that's an easy test. remember you need to ground it at the same time

the pressure transducer is a known problem for corroded connector wires, it should be right below the compressor(get it from the bottom) on the high side line(to the condensor), unplug it and look for a green coating on the pins or wires, you don't need to discharge the system to replace this, but you will get an updated connector with it, that must be soldered in, the only true way to see if this is bad is with a scan tool though.

drive with the windows open, cars used to never have a/c.
we get close to 100 degrees F and with the humidity our heat index is over 115 sometimes, i still drive with the windows down. just picture how hot the shop is that a 115 index doesn't bother me!
Old 07-29-03, 12:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 52

Thanks to all for the quick response. FYI - I replaced the clutch about a year ago. The connections look fine, and I don't believe it could be seized as the belt is fine. Two more questions if I might...what does it mean if the compressor won't take any r134a - I know it was a little low because it wasn't blowing very cold when it was working. Also, what would be a rough estimate to have compressor, drier replaced and system flushed and charged. Thanks again for great info, Nick
Old 07-29-03, 01:20 PM
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Depends on the shop, their labor, parts prices etc---frankly, more than it's worth.

Again, you are selling the vehicle. Leave the A/C alone. You'll never recoup that money into the selling price of the vehicle. Sell it as is with the A/C not working in the winter time. Tell the next guy it doesn't work and give him a few hundred off of it. Done, end of story.

Do not attempt A/C repairs without the proper tools and know how. You cannot just add R134A, you have to be reading it through a gauge set and know what's going on in the system.

Bottom line: Leave it alone, as is and don't worry about it. Another month of summer and the A/C will be moot for you---you're getting rid of this vehicle .
Old 07-29-03, 06:25 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 52
I hear you

Loud and clear - I really appreciate it. Nick
Old 07-29-03, 11:34 PM
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it won't take r134a if the compressor isn't engaging, like you said, it isn't coming on. when the compressor is on, the low side pressure is around 35-45 psi and freon will flow into the system. if it won't fill, that means the pressure in the line is higher than the pressure in your bottle, simple pressure dynamics.

what would it hurt to have someone look at the car and diagnose it, then you'd have an 'estimate' to decide on to fix it or not(and a warranty)

what if it was the notoriously bad a/c pressure transducer, parts and labor under $150?

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