Weird A/C Problem
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  • 1 Post By jblackburn

Thread: Weird A/C Problem

  1. #1
    turboman1 is offline [OP]
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    Question Weird A/C Problem

    2011 Cruze LS 1.8L.

    Long story short, car sat for about 3 weeks and and A/C was working perfect when parked. Go to start the car up and hear a somewhat harsh sound on initial crank, but car starts and runs fine... however the A/C doesn't even attempt to get cold.

    What I have done so far...

    1) Pressures at 100*F Ambient. 200psi High, 72 psi low. Adding just a little bit of freon to the cold side raises the high side very quickly(up to 300 psi in a couple seconds). Took it up to about 300 psi and still ambient temp air blowing in the cabin.
    2) Checked the voltage to the compressor... was between 12-14V (I don't have an oscope and understand these are PWM modulated compressors, but voltage seems reasonable).
    3) Inserted a temperature probe just after the expansion valve and the air temp is still at ambient (So the blend door is working correctly [I can also hear it when I move the desired temperature knob]).

    With those pressures I am thinking the compressor is damaged or the expansion valve is broken and not restricting enough.

    Any ideas?
    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    2011 Chevy Cruze LS -> 1.8L automatic with flux capacitor and cruise control
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  3. #2
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    Motor running at 2000 rpm for best pressure readings. Come back with results. :-)

    Hi side should be at 250psi at 2000 rpm with fan running. Low side around 35ish.

    The fact that your compressor is running means you got voltage. There's no science needed for diagnosing.

    A bad expansion valve will cause low pressure to be high and high pressure to be low. Your readings indicate bad compressor or overcharged and right now your overcharged.

    Drain it down to what I posted and post what the readings are. Start from there.


    EDIT:::::: Rereading your post. Your initial readings indicate expansion valve. Do the 2000 rpm first though and post your readings. To confirm.
    Last edited by snowwy66; 06-11-2019 at 08:23 PM.

  4. #3
    turboman1 is offline [OP]
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowwy66 View Post
    Motor running at 2000 rpm for best pressure readings. Come back with results. :-)

    Hi side should be at 250psi at 2000 rpm with fan running. Low side around 35ish.

    The fact that your compressor is running means you got voltage. There's no science needed for diagnosing.

    A bad expansion valve will cause low pressure to be high and high pressure to be low. Your readings indicate bad compressor or overcharged and right now your overcharged.

    Drain it down to what I posted and post what the readings are. Start from there.


    EDIT:::::: Rereading your post. Your initial readings indicate expansion valve. Do the 2000 rpm first though and post your readings. To confirm.
    Took the reading at 2000 rpm...

    80 psi Low side, while the high side ranged from close to 300 psi right after startup to about 250 after a minute or so.

    Decided to remove a little from the system, and once that happened the pressures started pulsating with about a 2 second period. Low would go from about 80 psi to 65 psi and high would go from about 250 psi to 300 psi. Keep in mind the ambient temp is about 103*F today and the car was heat soaked.

    The pulsating almost makes me think the pump is failing.

    Appreciate the help.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    2011 Chevy Cruze LS -> 1.8L automatic with flux capacitor and cruise control
    ___
    | |
    (.) (.)
    | |
    || | __
    || | |
    ||_| |

    |____|
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboman1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by snowwy66 View Post
    Motor running at 2000 rpm for best pressure readings. Come back with results. 🙂

    Hi side should be at 250psi at 2000 rpm with fan running. Low side around 35ish.

    The fact that your compressor is running means you got voltage. There's no science needed for diagnosing.

    A bad expansion valve will cause low pressure to be high and high pressure to be low. Your readings indicate bad compressor or overcharged and right now your overcharged.

    Drain it down to what I posted and post what the readings are. Start from there.


    EDIT:::::: Rereading your post. Your initial readings indicate expansion valve. Do the 2000 rpm first though and post your readings. To confirm.
    Took the reading at 2000 rpm...

    80 psi Low side, while the high side ranged from close to 300 psi right after startup to about 250 after a minute or so.

    Decided to remove a little from the system, and once that happened the pressures started pulsating with about a 2 second period. Low would go from about 80 psi to 65 psi and high would go from about 250 psi to 300 psi. Keep in mind the ambient temp is about 103*F today and the car was heat soaked.

    The pulsating almost makes me think the pump is failing.

    Appreciate the help.
    Is the compressor cycling off and on? Or constant? Is the fan also cycling off and on?

    They don't run constant anymore. Not sure on your model year though.

    My sons 16 Mazda stays fan on but my 17 Cruze cycles.

    Expansion valves are more common then compressors.

  7. #5
    turboman1 is offline [OP]
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowwy66 View Post
    Is the compressor cycling off and on? Or constant? Is the fan also cycling off and on?

    They don't run constant anymore. Not sure on your model year though.

    My sons 16 Mazda stays fan on but my 17 Cruze cycles.

    Expansion valves are more common then compressors.

    I'm not sure it is cycling per say, but it is commanding more/less/more/less volume flow... so you could say it has the effect of cycling. I don't think this has a clutch on it as there is never that apparent clutch engagement sound like on older vehicles. I wouldn't think the pressure would spike so high, ~300 psi, before it "cycles" and goes back to 250 psi... that happens quickly and repeats about every 2-3 seconds. That is the first time that has happened also on the vehicle b/c you can noticeable hear the motor pull down for a second and then unload. Started after I removed a little from the system.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    2011 Chevy Cruze LS -> 1.8L automatic with flux capacitor and cruise control
    ___
    | |
    (.) (.)
    | |
    || | __
    || | |
    ||_| |

    |____|
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

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    Quote Originally Posted by turboman1 View Post
    I'm not sure it is cycling per say, but it is commanding more/less/more/less volume flow... so you could say it has the effect of cycling. I don't think this has a clutch on it as there is never that apparent clutch engagement sound like on older vehicles. I wouldn't think the pressure would spike so high, ~300 psi, before it "cycles" and goes back to 250 psi... that happens quickly and repeats about every 2-3 seconds. That is the first time that has happened also on the vehicle b/c you can noticeable hear the motor pull down for a second and then unload. Started after I removed a little from the system.
    If it were me. And I wasn't exactly sure how much was in the system. And thought there was possible air in the system. I'd drain, evacuate, and recharge with the proper amount. And see what happens. BUT. I have all the proper equipment to do that. You don't.

    New regulations no longer allow top offs. NOW, it's a complete drain and refill. And I have no idea what the going rate is these days.

    Sounds like you're stuck with visiting a shop for diagnosis and repair.

    I"m all outta ideas. Someone else may come along with something to look at.

    It could be an electrical issue somewhere in the entire system. Gone are the days of simple power routing. Or a component failure.

    It could be a compressor but I'm seeing expansion valves all too common these days.

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    The expansion valve on mine caused absurdly high high side pressures and a screaming engine fan. Air out of the vents never got much in the way of cool.

    I have no idea what the pressures were; mine was covered under the B2B warranty long ago. That car also had the compressor replaced shortly before - as apparently compressor failures were quite common on the 2011/early 2012 Cruzes.

    We did just have the VW evac & refilled, and a solenoid changed in the compressor that meant removing it to get to the back side of it. It was ~$250 for all of it.
    Last edited by jblackburn; 06-11-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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