Question about 1989 Cadillac Eldorado

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Air conditioner not cooling.....

My parents have a low mileage 1989 Cadillac Eldorado. Just recently, the a/c stopped cooling. My dad has some knowledge on cars and checked the refrigerant level, which was still at acceptable levels. Is it the compressor? The Cadillac dealership told him my dad to replace the compressor would cost over $1100, which is pretty rough to hear, considering the car is only worth double that amount. Any suggestions on anything else to check or what your opinion might be?

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First, I'd try checking your local Library for an AC repair manual. An Ac system has a number of different parts that all work together to cool.

That said, there are some things you can check that are easy.
First, Check the controls. Is the AC on, the blower on, and the temperature selector set on cold? Really check, because this is what is wrong about 10% of the time.

Next, with the car off, find the AC compressor. Is the belt still on it? Have someone start the car and turn the AC on while you watch the compressor. The outer part should turn, and when they turn the AC on, there should be a click, and the inner part will start to turn as the clutch engages.

Next, Look at the fans. If your car has an electric fan, it should come on when the AC has been on for while. If your car has a manual fan, then it might be the fan clutch, but there isn't an easy way to check this.

If it isn't one of the above, then you are probably out of DIY territory. Because of this car's age it probably has R-12, an older type of refrigerant that is no longer manufactured for environmental reasons. The $1100 for the compressor replacement seems high, but that should include evacuating the system and recovering the refrigerant, replacing the compressor, receiver/dryer, and expansion valve, flushing the system of the old refrigerant and oil, replacing the oil some that is r-134 compatible, and installing the updated fittings and o-rings for R-134. You can see how that adds up in terms of time and Parts.

Good luck!


Posted on Jun 26, 2008


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