Replacing A/C compressor on '96 Saturn SL2!

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-14-08, 02:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Buttcrack of Arizona
Posts: 3
Replacing A/C compressor on '96 Saturn SL2!

The A/C compressor on my '96 Saturn [email protected] is dead. Dead, dead, dead...Bearings squealed for quite awhile, then it quit working entirely when I refreshed the refrigerant (yes, I used R-134a.) I'm afraid I've gummed up the works by having used a recharge can with sealer in it...So I'm down to replacing the compressor.

What must I know to accomplish this?

Aside from knowing that I have to de-pressurize the high and low sides, I'm not at all familiar with A/C repairs. Can I clean out components, such as the orifice, accumulator, and other assorted units?
I cannot afford to have this done at a shop, so I need information on doing this properly!

Thanks in advance,
Stuart ([email protected])
 

Last edited by RocketmanVT; 03-14-08 at 04:18 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-14-08, 08:00 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 9
There are so many elements to consider.

First when you say your compressor died did you perform a direct voltage connection to the clutch actuator? Was it the bearings that was squeeling or the belt because of compressor lock up? Putting sealer or even a large amount would not cause the bearings to go out. The system can be flushed and the accumalor has a moisture absorbing material in it that can become saturated and can be freed of moisture if the system is put under a really deep and lengthy 24 hour vacuum.

Even if things are not done to perfection certain reductions in efficiency will yield exceptable cooling. Also you will not need to both the high and low sides as opening one or the other will discharge the sytem pressure.
 
  #3  
Old 03-14-08, 08:57 PM
carguyinva's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 1,147
let's assume that you DO need a compressor...i'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion but lets assume a worst case. If that compressor gave up and broke internally, it's very likely that stuff has circulated in the system. When you open the system to replace parts, it's always best to replace the accumulator/receiver drier (whichever it has) AND the orifice tube. they will both be contaminated. the fact that you used a recharge with a sealant makes that even worse. i repaired a Nissan Xterra system last summer....the sealer clogged the receiver, replacing it helped the pressures, but not the cooling, the condenser also had to be replaced. the original cause of low refrigerant was a leaking line that was less then 100 bucks...all parts was about 350...my cost, not retail.

before the new parts can be installed the system should be flushed and this will help determine if anything else has been plugged up by the sealer. so...bottom line is this...from DIYer perspective you need to determine the root cause of the low refrigerant; replace the certainly failed part(s), evacuate the system and try it...if the pressures are abnormal or it doesn't cool further diagnosis will be needed. this may take some patience and funds...
 
  #4  
Old 03-15-08, 09:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Buttcrack of Arizona
Posts: 3
OK, let me clarify...

Carguyinva and Solutionsbob,
The bearings in the compressor were squealing long before I used the recharge can, although the squealing would stop after awhile, presumably (in my estimation) because things warmed up and expanded sufficiently? It wasn't long afterward that the cooling system stopped cooling. The coolant pressure wasn't even very low, but below what I understood to be optimal pressure - thus my adding the extra refrigerant.
As it turns out, this may have been a very bad idea...
Can I, as a shadetree wrench, do anything myself in terms of opening, inspecting/cleaning any of the components (orifice tube, drier, accumulator, etc?
I need to rehab as many of the components as possible - my finances are severely limited...
 
  #5  
Old 03-16-08, 10:53 AM
carguyinva's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 1,147
based on the limited info, i'd say probably not. here is where i would start if your vehicle came to me for diagnosis.

first, bad bearings don't squeal, they growl, roar and sometimes whip. belts are usually what is causing squealing, so make sure the belt is in usable condition, no glazing, chunking or fraying and besure that the tensioner is applying pressure constantly. i've seen them that look good, but when i put a wrench on it, you could move the pulley away from the belt and it didn't spring back.

second, theres no knowing how much refrigerant is in the system at this point and more is never better even if it makes the system cool more. what's in it should be taken out with a recycling machine and the correct volume put back in. once that is done, correct pressure and touch/feel diagnostics can be performed.
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-08, 09:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Buttcrack of Arizona
Posts: 3
Carguyinva,
Oh, jeez...I would have sworn that bearings were causing the horrible, high-pitched sqeal - and another mechanic believed that to be the case, also.
I replaced the belt about 6 months ago, but the horrendous squeal had stopped before then. I kept expecting the bearings to seize up and destroy the belt, but that never happened.
I'm afraid to learn what I've done to the A/C, but I live in central Arizona, and summer here without A/C is akin to living in your oven - set on BROIL.
today
On a happier note, I saved myself $150 or so by cleaning the pintle on my EGR valve with carb cleaner, which immediately cleared the SES light on my dash! And the dealership wanted to sell me a new EGR so very much!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes