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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to help out a friend who was quoted $1600 to change out his ac compressor on his 2016 Cruze LT. The dealer told him the ac compressor needs to be replaced. When I hooked a my manifold gauge to it, there was no refrigerant in the system at all. Is there a risk if I just vacuum out and recharge the system? I don't want to have the compressor fail catastrophically and require a complete system rebuild later on. The dealer did not mention low refrigerant at all in the report, just a generic message saying the compressor needed to be replaced...

I have a vacuum on the system now to check and see if it's holding. So far it's dropped from 29inHg to 28 in two hours.
 

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If it holds a vacuum, charge it up (make sure to do by weight, not manifold gauges due to the variable displacement compressor) and see what happens. Might want to put some leak dye in it - the refrigerant had to go somewhere unless the shop removed it. Could be a bad Schrader valve or something. Smashed condensers are the only real common leak point, but if it's holding a vacuum, it ain't that.
 

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The compressor won't run if there's no freon. Need 50 psi.

If you've only lost 1 inch in 2 hours you're good to go. But that don't mean the valves themselves might not leak.

Always look at the valves before hooking up. If there's any green in there. They're probably leaking. And should be replaced before going further. A complete kit with various Schrader valves and tool is $25 on Amazon. I have 2 kits.

Engine at 2000 rpm gives you an idea of pressures. Your engine spends more time driving then idle and it charges faster.

Depending on outside temps. There should be a label tell you how much it takes.

1st gen takes 20 oz. Second gen takes 17 oz. Both were made in 2016.

Don't charge it over 250 psi high side with fan on. If it's over 100* 225 - 250 is a good range.

I did the drain, evac, and recharge and 250 is what I got. My sons mazda car got 275. IIRC it was mid 90s that day.

The cans may contain pag oil which is also died. I'm not sure. I buy the 30 lb. Cylinders and those do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got the compressor, valves, and 134a ahead of time. When I noticed the lack of refrigerant it made me question why the dealer didnt try that first unless they were just taking advantageof the situation. I'll replace the valves, vac it out, charge it and see how it goes. I just went through this on my suburban and noticed the high port leaking so I was prepared for the valves. I'll measure the 134a to make sure I've got the correct amount. Thanks for all the advice, we'll see how long it lasts. If the compressor starts complaining then that it's back to plan A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I got it up to 80inHG of refrigerant and the ac compressor never kicked on. I went to swap out the old ac compressor with the new one my friend picked up only to realize they are not the same. The new ac compressor has the wire connectors in slightly different locations and there is a screw boss right in the way where the wire harness bracket connects to the mounting bolts. I could remove the bracket and secure the wire with a zip tie... not sure what else is different internally with this compressor. Any ideas?
 

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Well, I got it up to 80inHG of refrigerant and the ac compressor never kicked on. I went to swap out the old ac compressor with the new one my friend picked up only to realize they are not the same. The new ac compressor has the wire connectors in slightly different locations and there is a screw boss right in the way where the wire harness bracket connects to the mounting bolts. I could remove the bracket and secure the wire with a zip tie... not sure what else is different internally with this compressor. Any ideas?
Could be a the wrong generation compressor. The 2016 model year is confusing.

Compare the part number for a 2015 Cruze if it's the old body style (Limited). If it's the new body style, check the part number for a 2017 Cruze (they switched them mid-year to 1234YF, but not sure if the compressor changed or not).

Edit: black one is a Gen 1; blue is a Gen 2.

Car Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, looks like I'm dealing with a gen1 cruze 1.4L LT. Refrigerant 134a with 1.38lb(22.08oz) of refrigerant per the sticker under the hood. The original GM part# for the compressor is 13412250, and appears to be an oddball part. Rockauto does not have an equivalent part. The compressor looks more like the 2015 version. Would the gen2 compressor work that I currently have? It bolts up and the wire connections fit, it works with 134a, it's just the wire harness bracket would need to be removed...
 

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Ok, looks like I'm dealing with a gen1 cruze 1.4L LT. Refrigerant 134a with 1.38lb(22.08oz) of refrigerant per the sticker under the hood. The original GM part# for the compressor is 13412250, and appears to be an oddball part. Rockauto does not have an equivalent part. The compressor looks more like the 2015 version. Would the gen2 compressor work that I currently have? It bolts up and the wire connections fit, it works with 134a, it's just the wire harness bracket would need to be removed...
The 2015 version should be the exact same PN. A 2016 Limited is basically a built out 2015 model year.

I honestly don’t know if the Gen 2 one would work or not. Almost nothing was the same between the two versions, so I don’t know if the wiring itself is different to the compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As a follow-up, I tried the gen2 ac compressor and it worked fine. I had to remove the thin metal bracket that held the wire harness and the connectors were at slightly different angles but it bolted up and ran after being charged. I'm calling it a success.
 
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