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Discussion Starter #1
I accomplished something today that I didn't think was possible in a modern car: using the AC in hot and very humid weather, I froze the evaporator up solid.

I was driving with two friends to visit a water park about an hour away. On the highway, we had the air conditioning on recirculate and maximum cold because we were driving into the sun. I notice the air started to get lower and slower coming out of the dash vents to the point that there was a very weak stream of cold air being delivered. Changing to different vents did nothing. I thought maybe the cabin air filter could be clogged, but it was changed recently and this came on too sudden to be that. I thought it could be something to do with the vents inside the dash and I was going to wait to have the dealership check it out Monday.

After parking at the water park, I returned to the car about 30 minutes later to stow some things in the car. I found a HUGE puddle of water under the car. Like, absolutely huge beyond anything I had seen and not normal. After 3 more hours at the water park, the AC started right up and blew a hurricane of air out of the dash vents like it can normally do.

So, my question is as follows: I thought modern cars were about impossible to freeze up the AC evaporator?

I know my father owned some older cars where the AC controls on the dash had a recirculate setting titled "DESERT ONLY" because you could only use it in low humidity or the AC was actually powerful enough to freeze up the evaporator. But my understanding of modern cars is the AC is computer controlled and it will only chill the evaporator down to about 38-40ºF to avoid freezing like this happened.

Is there something wrong to get checked out? I'm planning to ask the dealership on Monday.
 

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Drain is clogged or its low on refrigerant.

A properely working A/C system will not freeze however if its low there just isn't enough mass to prevent freezing as the gasses expand and cool further.

It should also switch between recirc and outside air on the fly for efficiency automatically. For some reason GM allows people to disable that so make sure you aren't doing that.
 

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Clogged drain. Wrong or improper cabin filter. Expansion valve. Are other possibilities also.

Need to know what your hi and low pressures are doing. With motor at 2000 rpm.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Drain is clogged
Drain works fine. This past week we were on vacation in Kentucky during a very hot & humid spell and the AC running in a convenience store parking long was draining a lot of water. It's running clear without any clogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It should also switch between recirc and outside air on the fly for efficiency automatically.
My AC has manual control over recirculation. I turned it on because it was so humid outside that straight air blowing through the cabin was still noticeably moist.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Clogged drain. Wrong or improper cabin filter. Expansion valve. Are other possibilities also.

Need to know what your hi and low pressures are doing. With motor at 2000 rpm.
The cabin filter is the proper one. I replaced it myself.

I'll take it to the Chevy dealership on Monday to see what they can do because I don't have a gauge set to see what pressures are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A properely working A/C system will not freeze
It's $160 to evacuate the system and refill with refrigerant that has the UV leak detection stuff. Dealership service writer suggests run it some more and see if it's a one-time thing or maybe getting worse.

To be clear, it was a combination of circumstances: an extremely humid day, we were cranking along at highway speeds so the compressor was pumping steady with lots of airflow over the condenser, and we had the interior fan on notch 6 of 8 because we were driving into the sun and wanted lots of cold air blowing on us.

I'm going to let it go a few weeks to see what happens before I throw money at this problem.
 

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Shops buy the 30 lb cylinders.

I buy the 30 lbs.

They all come with oil and the oil contains the uv.

The only time my fan sees speed 4 is when the car sits in 100+ degrees. Most of the time it's 3. Or lower. And I NEVER use recirculate. But I'm in the dryer west coast air.

It drives me nuts to use hi fan speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The only time my fan sees speed 4 is when the car sits in 100+ degrees. Most of the time it's 3. Or lower. And I NEVER use recirculate. But I'm in the dryer west coast air.

It drives me nuts to use hi fan speed.
It's hot here in the Midwest, and HUMID. Air so thick you can feel it clogging your lungs on some days.

When it's humid enough, the air coming straight into the car isn't dried enough. You can still feel it is a little bit clammy. That's when you want recirculate on so you can get about 90% of cabin air (I think about 10% of the airflow is fresh air from outside) and get that air really dehumidified.

We want that fan on about stage 6. I think 7 and 8 make more noise without much more cooling, so 6 is the highest I usually go. I use 8 if the car has been parked and I'm starting it to walk away for a few minutes while the passenger compartment cools down a bit.
 

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Shops buy the 30 lb cylinders.

I buy the 30 lbs.

They all come with oil and the oil contains the uv.

The only time my fan sees speed 4 is when the car sits in 100+ degrees. Most of the time it's 3. Or lower. And I NEVER use recirculate. But I'm in the dryer west coast air.

It drives me nuts to use hi fan speed.
Even the OEM refrigerants are suppose to have UV dye now from factory.... But I have not seen it personally yet.
 

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It's hot here in the Midwest, and HUMID. Air so thick you can feel it clogging your lungs on some days.

When it's humid enough, the air coming straight into the car isn't dried enough. You can still feel it is a little bit clammy. That's when you want recirculate on so you can get about 90% of cabin air (I think about 10% of the airflow is fresh air from outside) and get that air really dehumidified.

We want that fan on about stage 6. I think 7 and 8 make more noise without much more cooling, so 6 is the highest I usually go. I use 8 if the car has been parked and I'm starting it to walk away for a few minutes while the passenger compartment cools down a bit.
My personal experience from I've been seeing with ac. And I've been playing since 1988.

Weak ac. Same with heater. Cold thermostat.

Mine is fully charged according to new epa guidelines. Done last year.

I don't need a high fan speed. Same with heater.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I never had a problem with the AC being weak. I bought a GM product because they make the best AC (they founded and owned Frigidaire for 60 years). The AC blows very cold, and a huge volume of air like I enjoy it.

I don't need a high fan speed.
Oh GOD, I absolutely do. I close the vents on the passenger side and crank the AC to coldest temperature setting and fan speed of about 4-6.
 

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I love high speed fan. LOL.

The Cruzes problem is that the condenser heat soaks at idle, because of the jet hot mf'in turbine 6" behind it. LOL. The fan is too small and the engine bay too tight to evacuate heat when stopped. That's when AC can't keep up, while in motion that sh!t is ICE cold.
 

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Meanwhile I set it to 72F auto because anything else is too loud or too cold.

Now I also wear sweatshirts in 80 degree weather so.
 

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Meanwhile I set it to 72F auto because anything else is too loud or too cold.

Now I also wear sweatshirts in 80 degree weather so.
Mine is set to 72 all the time as well, auto fan unless I need the defrost/defog for the windshield. 70 seems way too cold and 75 feels way too hot lol
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
So, here is something beautiful. I found a TSB on this problem:

#18-NA-260: Air Conditioning (A/C) Not Cooling, A/C System Low or Empty of Refrigerant
August 23, 2018 (updated March 14, 2019 to add model year 2019 vehicles to the TSB)
Condition: Some customers may comment on the A/C not cooling. Technicians may find the A/C system being low or empty of refrigerant.
Cause: This condition may be caused by the A/C refrigerant leaking from the A/C condenser plug.
Correction: Perform an A/C system leak test to verify that the leak is coming from the A/C receiver and dehydrator plug. If there is a leak coming from the A/C receiver and dehydrator plug, replace the plug.


I took this TSB to the dealership and basically asked them to do me a favor to see if we could resolve this. I was asking if they could check if that's where the leak is (if there is a leak) and if so, see if we could get this issue resolved for a reasonable cost. Their quote was $320 to evacuate the system and recharge it with 1 pound of refrigerant. I can only imagine what the repair cost is to replace the plug if it's leaking. Maybe someone could give me an estimate on that?
 

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So, here is something beautiful. I found a TSB on this problem:

#18-NA-260: Air Conditioning (A/C) Not Cooling, A/C System Low or Empty of Refrigerant
August 23, 2018 (updated March 14, 2019 to add model year 2019 vehicles to the TSB)
Condition: Some customers may commend on the A/C not cooling. Technicians may find the A/C system being low or empty of refrigerant.
Cause: This condition may be caused by the A/C refrigerant leaking from the A/C condenser plug.
Correction: Perform an A/C system leak test to verify that the leak is coming from the A/C receiver and dehydrator plug. If there is a leak coming from the A/C receiver and dehydrator plug, replace the plug.


I took this TSB to the dealership and basically asked them to do me a favor to see if we could resolve this. I was asking if they could check if that's where the leak is (if there is a leak) and if so, see if we could get this issue resolved for a reasonable cost. Their quote was $320 to evacuate the system and recharge it with 1 pound of refrigerant. I can only imagine what the repair cost is to replace the plug if it's leaking. Maybe someone could give me an estimate on that?
R1234 is super expensive. Check sticker under hood near fan for refrigerant type and capacity info.

If R1234 you can find an independent shop to retrofit the system to R134. It’s not illegal...Yet... But it is significantly cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
R1234 is super expensive. Check sticker under hood near fan for refrigerant type and capacity info.

If R1234 you can find an independent shop to retrofit the system to R134. It’s not illegal...Yet... But it is significantly cheaper.
It is definitely R-1234yf. I have seen the sticker under the hood.

If retrofitting, I could possibly do it myself and charge it with R-290 (propane) from a BBQ bottle. I've done that before on other cars I've owned.

Filling it with any refrigerant doesn't fix the problem of the leak, though. If it's a slow leak that I could live with, I'd just retrofit and top it off once a year with R-290.
 
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