Question about 1996 Chevrolet K1500
The fan clutch should only be engaged on the hotter days of the year or under heavy sustained loads, if that is not the case the fan clutch may be defective
Posted on Feb 13, 2012
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Your A/C system may be running low on R134a.
To diagnose problems, an A/C manifold gauge set is needed to read high and low side pressure readings. Avoid adding refrigerant with a simple charging kit like the ones sold at parts stores. Don’t add any stop leak, this can cause problems in the compressor, expansion valve or condenser.
First, on a 134A system the high and low side service ports are different sizes. AC gauge sets have color coded hoses, the blue color coded hose has a connection that fits on the low side service port and the red hose has a connection that will only fit onto the high side. The yellow hose won’t hook up to anything if just checking the readings; it can be used to connect to a vacuum pump or attached to a refrigerant can or tank.
Normal readings on high and low side with AC OFF (static pressure) – Depends on outside temperature, but normally is between 80-105 PSI
Normal low side reading with AC on high speed and MAX & engine at 800-1000 RPM’s – Ranges from 25-35 PSI – Note that on many Chrysler products a normal reading on the low side may be 15-25 PSI
Normal high side reading ranges from 200-350 PSI
Don’t assume that if adding little Freon is good that adding a lot is better! Overcharging just a little can decrease the performance of the system and possibly damage the compressor.
With the AC on the coldest setting, use a thermometer in a middle vent. Normal vent temperature readings will vary depending on the (ambient) outside temp. The vent temperature should range from around 42-55 degrees in my experience. If normal gauge readings are obtained and the vent air is cold – STOP don’t overcharge the system. The only proper way to remove refrigerant is with a AC recovery machine so if this is being done at home I can’t emphasize enough not to over charge the system. And actually the best way to insure the proper charge is in a system, is to use an AC machine to recover the freon and then evacuate and recharge the system with the correct amount. Most cars have the specified amount on a decal under the hood.
Both low and high side readings are lower than normal, this indicates a cars AC system is low on refrigerant and is under-charged.
If both low and high side readings are too high, this indicates an overcharged system – too much refrigerant. This also can indicate that the condenser fan is not working, is too slow or the car is overheating and heat is transferring from the radiator to the condenser.
When the low side goes so low that it’s reading shows it is in a vacuum, the most likely cause is a bad expansion valve or blocked orifice tube. Another possibility is a restricted condenser. Blocked condensers are not as common as they used to be but if a compressor fails and comes apart inside the remnants can end up in the condenser causing it to restrict the flow of refrigerant.
When the compressor clutch is definitely engaged and the low side is high and the high side is low, the most likely cause is that the compressor is failing – it is not pumping sufficiently. Rarely an AC clutch could be slipping but usually this will be accompanied with a squeal or chirp. Also be sure not to overlook the obvious, like a loose belt
Note: The line going from the compressor to the condenser is the discharge line – it is normal for it to be very hot to the touch. The other line going from the drier or accumulator to the compressor is normally colder. The liquid line can be hot up to the point an orifice tube is in place. Just remember that LOW Pressure = COLD and HIGH Pressure = HOT.
If you do want to recharge the system your self, make sure you do not over charge and use the thermometer at the vent and when it's cold enough, turn off the valve from the recharge line and disconnect from the low pressure service port. Good luck
Posted on Nov 04, 2009
Have you checked the low side and high side pressures? The compressor might be bad. Does one line to the compressor get cold and the line coming out get hot?
Posted on Jul 02, 2010
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