Air Conditioning


Old 05-07-02, 11:06 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 82
Air Conditioning

How can I tell if the AC compressor is bad? I went to a Pep Boys to have my system charged, and they told me the compressor and expansion valve were bad. I'd accept that but this store's mechanics typically aren't very careful about what they do. I've experienced some pretty careless errors there. If they are right, can I put those parts in and have them recharge the system, or do I need special tools? Thanks.

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Old 05-07-02, 11:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Unless the compressor is making a lot of noise, you need gagues to tell if it's bad. Generally a bad compressor either locks up, or quits pumping. If it is turning, you need to connect gagues to the system and compare the difference between the discharge (high) and suction (low) sides of the system. You can change it yourself, but you need someone to evacuate the system first. Then when all parts are changed, you need them to flush, vacuum, oil, and charge. When changing the compressor, it is good to change the accumulator/drier and expansion valve at the same time. Most compressor rebuilders and manufacturers will require this to meet warranty requirements. Make sure they flush the system too if the compressor went bad. Pieces of metal and debris gets pumped into the system when the compressor goes out, and it will find it's way into the new one if it isn't flushed out first.
Old 05-07-02, 11:43 PM
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I wouldn't take their word for it. Get a 2nd opinion in writing & make sure the technician notes the system pressures (both High & Low side) on the repair order.

Once you have this info, post it here & we can guide you in the right direction.
Old 05-08-02, 03:50 AM
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I agree with all these guys, but I would say that the Chrysler system is problematic and something's likely wrong at this stage and age.

My friend's 1991 Shadow compressor was toast in 3 years, we had to shim it to quiet it down. Lol. He had other various woes with the HVAC system throughout the years. The hose/muffler assemblies rot and turn to dust because they are steel, not aluminum. Lol.

Get a 2nd opinion on it. Probably not worth sinking that kind of green into an old Kcar/minivan heap at this stage of the game. Worth more than the whole vehicle and repair you're doing .

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