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My A/C went out over the weekend, as far as I know that's the first time it has gone out on the car. Can anyone give me some tips as to how to troubleshoot the air conditioning system? Keep in mind here that we're working with an amateur mechanic(me) so the more descriptive...the better. Thanks in advance,
Eric
 

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First thing is to make sure your compressor turns on. Watch the compressor pulley as it spins. When you turn on the a/c, the clutch should engage and spin the compressor. If it doesn't, then check for 12v on the wire going to the compressor. You should get 12v when hitting the a/c button. If you've got voltage, the clutch on the compressor is shot. If not, check for voltage at the a/v switch, etc, to track down where you're losing the voltage (can't remmeber if the a/c system has it's own fuse or not, but check all your fuses too).

If your compressor is coming on, then you could have a bad compressor, lack of freon, or a number of other things. I'm no a/c expert, so when this happens I just take it somewhere to have diagnostics done on it. About the only other thing I do is take the lines off the a/c compressor and spin it and see if it builds pressure. But you'll lose your freon if you do this, and it would cost ~60+ dollars to fill it back up...more than the price of a diagnostic service.

Christian
 

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I just spent many months bringing mine back to life.....so there could be many, many thing causing it to fail.......most likley its a leak in the tubing, did you do any repairs in the engine where you might have kinked the metal AC tubing??

Also check the compressor as stated in the post above me.......remember it is 18-22 years old.....when I was look ing for a compressor for my system......99% of them were bad....and one of them I installed failed after working fine for a week.

Good luck......Its damn hot here in VA....don't know what I'd do with out it.
 

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If it just quit working you most likely are low on Freon, this is typically what goes wrong on AC systems. To check this you'll need a set of pressure gauges (or you can sort of see if from the sight glass on the drier). The system has a low pressure switch so the compressor won't kick in when the system is low. 1st thing to check is if the little light comes on when you push the A/C button. If not you have a blown fuse (behind the pass kick panel in a little fuse box). If the system pressure is good you'll need to investigate the mag clutch. If thats Ok then you are into rarer more exotic problems like blockages, bad compressor, etc. HTH
 
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