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2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed


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timwilde
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Jun 13, 2012, 5:57 PM

Post #1 of 17 (3980 views)
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  post locked   2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed  

Hi, This one's got me stumped I hope someone can point me in the right direction.

here's the info from the sticky thread:

Year of vehicle 2005
Make of vehicle Chevrolet
Model of vehicle Cavalier
Engine size 2.2L EcoBoost
Mileage/Kilometers 130,000

The AC stopped working abruptly during idle. At idle the ac still blows, but warmer and warmer air comes out until I accelerate and reach road-speed. Once I'm at speed, it blows ice cold. There is no difference in the volume of air through the vents (blower is consistent) At idle, I can hear the ac clutch clicking to engage the compressor, however, it pauses for a moment and clicks off. It runs for a moment then tries the cycle again. So at idle only, there's a click, pause, click, pause, click, pause that is constant as long as the AC is turned on.

I thought it was low on fluid and needed a simple recharge so I did that but no change to AC function other than some squeaks went away.

The serpentine belt looks to be in good condition with some minor wear on the smooth side, so I'm planning on replacing that soon, but otherwise, feels tight and doesn't appear to be cracking.

This did happen quite abruptly, AC was working fine until last Friday, Saturday afternoon it started blowing hot (yes, hot) air when waiting at a stoplight.

Prior to this a squeak appeared only during acceleration. Once at road speed, the squeals stopped and would only happen intermittently. Couldn't determine the cause of the squealing. Checked the belts and pulleys and didn't see anything that was obvious. About a week later, the AC stopped working at idle, not sure if this is related but figured all info would be helpful for troubleshooting. Since the AC recharge, the squealing has stopped completely.

Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.


Discretesignals
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Jun 13, 2012, 6:03 PM

Post #2 of 17 (3967 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

Cooling fan running when this problem is occurring?





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timwilde
Novice

Jun 13, 2012, 6:04 PM

Post #3 of 17 (3963 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

yes, the cooling fan is running

Something to note as well; it's not based on RPM. I've tried sitting in park and running the rpms at about 3000, ac still blows warm/hot. So it has to be in drive and moving the car/under load.


(This post was edited by timwilde on Jun 13, 2012, 6:08 PM)


Hammer Time
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Jun 13, 2012, 6:09 PM

Post #4 of 17 (3954 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  


Quote
I thought it was low on fluid and needed a simple recharge so I did that but no change to AC function other than some squeaks went away.


Did you entirely evacuate it, put it under as vacuum and recharge it with a weighed amount of refrigerant?




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



timwilde
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Jun 13, 2012, 6:12 PM

Post #5 of 17 (3950 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

No. I just got the AutoZone can of charge. The gauge on the can showed low pressure, so I filled it based on that. So no this wasn't a full evacuate.


Hammer Time
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Jun 13, 2012, 6:14 PM

Post #6 of 17 (3943 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

You cannot do that. The car requires a very specific amount of refrigerant and the only way to do that is completely evacuate and recharge. Nothing can be diagnosed until you know the exact amount of charge.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



timwilde
Novice

Jun 13, 2012, 7:24 PM

Post #7 of 17 (3914 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

Not meaning any offense, but this is *exactly* why I'm online seeking guidance. I would like to be armed with possible knowledge before going to a shop.

This is *NOT* the only way to tell, unless you're admitting that your set of $200+ gauges are 100% worthless.

It's sitting at 56.5PSI at the low side right now standing in the shade at 105 degrees Fahrenheit (pressure reading is ambient temp sensitive)

And ultimately since the "charge" didn't do anything to change any behavior, we're still back at troubleshooting the initial symptoms. So diagnosis tends to lean towards not a charge issue in and of itself.


Hammer Time
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Jun 13, 2012, 7:35 PM

Post #8 of 17 (3903 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  


Quote
This is *NOT* the only way to tell, unless you're admitting that your set of $200+ gauges are 100% worthless.


Yes, that is exactly what i"m saying. Unless you know exactly how much refrigerant is in the system, then the pressure readings mean absolutely nothing because all diagnosis done with pressure gauges is unreliable without knowing it has a full charge. Gauges aren't used to tell you how much charge is in the system. I can show you a overcharged system with a restriction in the dryer and you will swear it has low refrigerant but you would be completely wrong and you can't find that issue without the exact correct charge.

Some of these newer systems are so sensitive that the charge being off by as little as two tenths of a pound can take out your compressor.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



timwilde
Novice

Jun 13, 2012, 7:44 PM

Post #9 of 17 (3898 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

Would a restriction in the dryer allow the AC to not work at idle but work perfectly normal at cruising speed? And yes, I've tried several speeds. On the highway at 75MPH and going 15mph in a parking lot. There's no change in temp blowing into the cabin. All ice cold.

As soon as I stop at a stoplight, if I'm idling for more than 1 minute the cool air disappears and warmer air comes in. If I sit for 2 minutes, then hot air blows in, however I'm not sure if the heat is just ambient temp of the engine compartment or not.

Cooling fan is working, coolant temp is registering normal operating temps (approx 195) And short of hearing the clutch attempt to turn the compressor and promptly switching off, there's no obvious symptoms.

Again, the charge changed nothing about any of the above behavior other than the cold air blowing at cruising speed got a little cooler.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 13, 2012, 7:50 PM

Post #10 of 17 (3892 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

OK, this isn't going to be a debate. I merely used the restriction example to show you you gauges tell you nothing without knowing what is in the system.

Look, I have been a tech in South Florida for over 30 years. I spent many years working at a shop that did nothing but A/C. I've probably repaired the A/C on more cars that you have put gas in. Until you evacuate and recharge that system and then tell me what the pressures are doing, we aren't going to diagnose anything.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



timwilde
Novice

Jun 13, 2012, 8:03 PM

Post #11 of 17 (3884 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

thanks for reaffirming my distrust of the autoservice industry :(

Here in AZ, EVERY AC shop i've ever been to or seen has only used gauges to tell if the levels need to be topped off. A full evac is a huge waste of useful fluids that are very damaging to our environment.

Dont worry, I'm banning myself since I obvously cant find useful info here.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 13, 2012, 8:10 PM

Post #12 of 17 (3878 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  


Quote

thanks for reaffirming my distrust of the autoservice industry :(


And you have the balls to complain about the free help we give here?



Quote
Here in AZ, EVERY AC shop i've ever been to or seen has only used gauges to tell if the levels need to be topped off


Then you're dealing with fools that don't know what they're doing.



Quote
useful fluids that are very damaging to our environment.


And that proves how little you know about this industry.

Since 1993 it has been federal law for any shop that repairs A/C to own an recovery/recycle machine. It's against Federal law to vent refrigerant at all.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
Veteran / Moderator
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Jun 13, 2012, 8:33 PM

Post #13 of 17 (3863 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  


Quote
Here in AZ, EVERY AC shop i've ever been to or seen has only used gauges to tell if the levels need to be topped off. A full evac is a huge waste of useful fluids that are very damaging to our environment.


What?! LMAO.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Discretesignals
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Jun 13, 2012, 8:52 PM

Post #14 of 17 (3854 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

Let me finish this:

Not trying to be insulting, but you really need to take this to a shop that is certified to work on automotive ac systems. They should have the recovery machine to recover the refrigerant from the system and weigh it. Since you may have overshot the system with the DIY kit, it may have an overcharge. You might not notice a difference in performance, but I am sure your compressor isn't going to be happy about the added refrigerant it has to compress.

If you notice there should be a sticker under the hood that informs the certified technician how much refrigerant is supposed to be in the system. The amount of refrigerant put into the system is done by weight and not pressure and the sticker reflects that.

It is extremely important that the correct weight of refrigerant is in the system. Once you know the system is charged to the correct weight, then you watch your low and high side pressures to see what is going on when your problem is occurring. You only get half of the picture if your only monitoring the low side of the system. A good tech with a scan tool watching the pressure transducer and AC relay command while monitoring system pressures with his/her gauge should be able to tell what the heck is going on.

The old days of topping off Grandpa's Buick that had an A6 compressor on R-12 in the driveway with a can tap bought from Montgomery Wards are gone. Today's vehicle ac systems are much smaller and more sensitive to charge amounts.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 13, 2012, 8:58 PM

Post #15 of 17 (3848 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

This fool thinks we are somehow trying to rip him off. Not sure how that is even possible with free advice but I'm betting this guy is going to have A/C problems for a long time to come and he's going to make it worse every time he tries to fix it himself.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 14, 2012, 8:47 AM

Post #16 of 17 (3820 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

Let me finish this again DS............

Quote ">>"The gauge on the can showed low pressure<<" -- That speaks of a 'Death Kit' which just may have screwed the whole show up. AZ is loaded with competent techs and shops - use one before it's too late but think it is too late,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


nickwarner
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Jun 14, 2012, 6:44 PM

Post #17 of 17 (3789 views)
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  post locked   Re: 2005 Chevy Cavalier AC Works only in acceleration/cruising speed [In reply to]  

All techs in AZ use justs gauges huh? My brother lives an NV and a few friends of mine came from AZ. Mexicans set up cheap labor shops on every corner, even in storage units! So I'd like to know exactly where these "shops" are and if the tech even speaks english.




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