Question about 2005 Chevrolet Equinox

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Air conditioner only blows cool while driving. When car is idle it blows heat. Does this mean there is a leak in the line or is a new compressor needed?

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  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte May 25, 2011

    check to see if the radiator fan is coming on when you turn the A/C on. If not, troubleshoot the fan. Let me know if you need instructions.

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It's possible that there isn't enough air flow across the AC's condenser while your in idle. Take it in to an auto specialist and have the relays on your AC fans tested.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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Sounds like a low charged to me the leak could be line or just about anything
including compressor look for residual oil on a/c sysetem will somtime indicate the leak
but sniffer the best tool to use to detect or have it dye injected and blacklighted

Posted on May 25, 2011

  • 4 more comments 
  • dn_triche May 25, 2011

    Isn't it true that if there is a freon leak then the a/c would NOT be blowing cool air at all?

  • DON MAJOR May 25, 2011

    depends on amount still in system but it will eventually go empty until repair are made
    but a/c will continue to work until low pressure swith shuts the system down

  • dn_triche May 25, 2011

    Approximately how much am I looking at if the compressor is the issue? And how much if I just need a line replaced or freon?

  • DON MAJOR May 25, 2011

    get a few quotes they can vary lots in price
    new verses reman
    complete or minus clutch
    my guess 300 to 500 plus instalation
    lines also depends on witch one would be affected
    condensors in front are also bit pricy at dealers so look aftermarket

  • dn_triche May 25, 2011

    Thanks a bunch!

  • shdarnell May 30, 2011

    Having the same problem... just checked freon level and it is well within the range it should be in (45 to 65psi). Cools perfectly while driving but may as well have the heat on while sitting still.

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1. Check Drive Belts - The air conditioner utilizes a drive belt that supplies power to rotate the compressor, which is basically a refrigerant pump. If the belt fails the compressor has nothing to drive it, inspect and replace as needed to restore operation. If belt is intact proceed to the next step.

2. Check for Compressor Clutch Engagement - Turn the air conditioner to the "on" position and set controls to the coldest setting. Start the engine and allow to idle. Then open the hood and inspect the clutch at the front of the compressor, is it turning? "Engaged" if so, the system has enough refrigerant to activate. If the system is low on refrigerant it will not work properly. In this case an air conditioner recharge kit is needed to recharge the system. If the system is low on refrigerant it could cycle on and off, making a ticking noise. If the compressor clutch is not turning proceed to next step.

3. Inspect for Refrigerant Leaks - If the system has a large leak and no refrigerant remains it will not activate. First test system for a static pressure charge, with the engine off attach an ac gauge to the low side pressure port and check the state of charge. Depending on outside temperature there should be between 50 psi and 80 psi. (Cool and warm). A refrigerant leak detector is needed to inspect for leak, but if you do not have a leak detector there is an alternative method. The air conditioner system is designed to run with oil suspended in the refrigerant to lubricate the system. Check for oily residue outside the system by inspecting all hoses, compressor, condenser, evaporator or receiver drier and replace any component that has failed.

4. Inspect Fuses - Check under dash panel and under hood power distribution center. Replace failed fuses as needed, recheck system. If the new fuse fails when reinstalled a short circuit is present and requires diagnosing with a wiring schematic, follow circuits to locate short, repair as needed and recheck system.

5. Check Temperature Control Vents - The vents inside your car are controlled by a cable, electrical servo or vacuum servo. If the temperature blend door is not functioning properly it will cause warm air from the heater to exit the vents. To check this start the car and allow the engine idle, next turn the blower motor speed on low, switch the temperature control from warm to cold while your ear is close to the vents. You should hear the door move inside the heater box as it swings from open to close. If not, insect for a vacuum leak or a shorted motor in the servo, repair the leak or replace the servo motor...

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1 Answer

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HI. Here is a complete check list that will help you trouble shot this issue. You will find the problem in one or more of these areas stated below.

1. Check Drive Belts - The air conditioner utilizes a drive belt that supplies power to rotate the compressor, which is basically a refrigerant pump. If the belt fails the compressor has nothing to drive it, inspect and replace as needed to restore operation. If belt is intact proceed to the next step.

2. Check for Compressor Clutch Engagement - Turn the air conditioner to the "on" position and set controls to the coldest setting. Start the engine and allow to idle. Then open the hood and inspect the clutch at the front of the compressor, is it turning? "Engaged" if so, the system has enough refrigerant to activate. If the system is low on refrigerant it will not work properly. In this case an air conditioner recharge kit is needed to recharge the system. If the system is low on refrigerant it could cycle on and off, making a ticking noise. If the compressor clutch is not turning proceed to next step.

3. Inspect for Refrigerant Leaks - If the system has a large leak and no refrigerant remains it will not activate. First test system for a static pressure charge, with the engine off attach an ac gauge to the low side pressure port and check the state of charge. Depending on outside temperature there should be between 50 psi and 80 psi. (Cool and warm). A refrigerant leak detector is needed to inspect for leak, but if you do not have a leak detector there is an alternative method. The air conditioner system is designed to run with oil suspended in the refrigerant to lubricate the system. Check for oily residue outside the system by inspecting all hoses, compressor, condenser, evaporator or receiver drier and replace any component that has failed.

4. Inspect Fuses - Check under dash panel and under hood power distribution center. Replace failed fuses as needed, recheck system. If the new fuse fails when reinstalled a short circuit is present and requires diagnosing with a wiring schematic, follow circuits to locate short, repair as needed and recheck system.

5. Check Temperature Control Vents - The vents inside your car are controlled by a cable, electrical servo or vacuum servo. If the temperature blend door is not functioning properly it will cause warm air from the heater to exit the vents. To check this start the car and allow the engine idle, next turn the blower motor speed on low, switch the temperature control from warm to cold while your ear is close to the vents. You should hear the door move inside the heater box as it swings from open to close. If not, insect for a vacuum leak or a shorted motor in the servo, repair the leak or replace the servo motor.

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Are you sure the compressor is engaging? It normally wont engage if the line pressure is to low(meaning the system is out of freon.)

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