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da324
New User

Apr 21, 2019, 9:34 PM

Post #1 of 6 (218 views)
AC vacuum Sign In

I have a 1996 Cadillac Seville. The air wasn't blowing very hard, so I had the system drained and checked my orifice tube and it was filthy. I replaced it and the accumulator also. A vacuum was pulled and it sat for about 45 minutes. Both gauges were pegged negative and didn't move, so it was not leaking. I had a friend put new refrigerant in and he stopped about an ounce short of what my manual said because it was blowing very cold and very hard and he didn't want to over charge it. I drove it about 6 miles home and it worked flawlessly. I live in Fl and this was at the end of the summer. I didn't use the AC again for several months as it's not a daily driver and the weather was very nice. When it warmed up, I switched it on and got a very low refrigerant warning which shuts my compressor off. I checked the system and it was empty. If it held a vacuum and was fine when I drove it home, what could have happened for the refrigerant to leak out in the interim? Thanks for any help!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 22, 2019, 12:03 AM

Post #2 of 6 (208 views)
Re: AC vacuum Sign In

Sounds like you were off to a decent attempt for last season on now a very old car and very costly system for A/C they all are this one just worse. Please know holding a vacuum is just the lowest clue that you can proceed and is NOT proof there are no leaks. Vacuum is absent of pressure we don't figure that we are living in pressure just FYI of just about 14.7 PSI so it's only holding OUT that much has to hold in up to and over 300 PSI of a gas, follow me?


The "O" tube trashed is a deadly clue, system is not lubing compressor and doesn't without a proper charge. It's cute, it warns you after the damage about none on time to save compressors are not really up to lasting if any chance 1996 is original in Florida use. Rock and hard place they don't like sitting around either so either can be catastrophic failure just take my word for this car would be a wild expense for a long life fix.


What to do? I'd just try again to get this season out of it. Same as you did now with the warning high bet this car you must reset it so compressor can engage it has been shut down it light is on. Should say to disconnect battery (negative post) will give it a grace period on a sticker! That works TMK for this vintage. Do know any security features, alarms or passwords car has factory or aftermarket things will lose memory doing this.


It's leaking as you know it's telling you and is so common it's the #1 reason for failures. Double trouble is lube to compressor quits but system comes on no matter what you request all year long at times and when defrost/defog is active runs dry and burns up compressors. They also don't like just sitting still either so a rock and a hard place.


So if you try again and it does last the season again you need to find the leak and get an estimate of total repair costs to make a decision to fix or forget it! I know, Florida that's barely a choice to be realistic.


Another what to do: If cost estimate I expect you'll get would "gag a maggot" I mean that with no harm meant but bet system is just gone now car is still worth it but not for the worst of hot or humid days.


I'm based in New England. Lots of people scramble to find clean, rust free southern cars with lower miles that just run well and are good in general. Cost to get them up north wipes out value to someone in that deal. Point is that it's not necessarily finished as a car but the value drops to the lowest.


Try and see what you find. Do avoid using any products with sealers or non professional type equipment YOU or anyone else.


Good luck and think you'll need it to work again another year/season can only be IMO this car isn't worth the total "cost is no issue" fix for this system is a problem for high end cars and systems like it with age on top,


Tom



da324
New User

Apr 22, 2019, 11:48 AM

Post #3 of 6 (195 views)
Re: AC vacuum Sign In

Thanks, I bought the car 18 years ago with 50k miles from the original owner, but did sit a couple of years at one point due to another issue that I wasn't willing to pay for, so, I finally fixed it. She only has 100k miles and is in great shape. I'm comfortable replacing anything other than the evaporator. It's behind the dash and the motor has to come out, or the body needs to be raised off the motor to get to it. 10 minute fix from that point, but I'm not playing that game.

"Double trouble is lube to compressor quits but system comes on no matter what you request all year long at times and when defrost/defog is active runs dry and burns up compressors."

Interesting as the system does turn on automatically when I turn the car on, every time and i have to turn it off. Would that be a faulty compressor? If not, does that indicate another issue? The car runs like a champ and I'm more than willing to replace anything I need, other than the evap as it's damn hot here on the gulf coast. Good thing is it's not my daily driver, but I just love the car;I'd love her more if she was cold. Thanks for the reply!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 22, 2019, 1:12 PM

Post #4 of 6 (185 views)
Re: AC vacuum Sign In

I'm actually VERY familiar with FL, both coasts but longest time spent in Sarasota at one time. Doesn't matter really it actually gets lots hotter W. of Boston and of course insane cold can last. Vehicles don't like those extremes never mind A/C stuff.


OK: Nice car so you say. Try this since you did before is pull that "O" tube some call those a filter but they don't stop enough. If trashed again compressor shed particles is the issue. Know that high efficiency condensers are fine passages are a filter too you can't clear out. If dirty "O" tube that should go to and on probably moving engine or some project you didn't want. It may go down and out or up and out I just can't know everything ever made.
Yes the A/C runs here if just left over engine heat asked for or not does in my own model year '97 Chevy truck. WTFun! Quit that it's below zero out I hear it! I unplug the thing at the LPCO (switch on accumulators) you don't have one on accumulator it's a "thermistor" set up. Not sure if you unplugged the compressor itself if that would just light a light to put tape over or what on this? It still knows pressure is enough and temp under the hood and your case sensor inside no doubt climate controlled is warm - sun or just gone stupid? Don't put paper on dashboards on cars with automatic heat and air it's pulling interior air up or down to keep you happy.
All that the strongest clue is a look at the "O" tube. If clean find leaks if static pressure is up enough should be about same in PSI as temp in F. Charts up at top post bore anyone to tears but is info.
Lube with PB now the accumulator dang metal welds itself. If that is trashed IMO this is serious. Know that a NEW no rebuilds compressors will warranty them if you replace accumulator too might bust the dang evaporator fussing with it! Buy it separately and don't use it unless you really think you can without busting it.
There's desiccant in that to dry any moisture is the big scare. IDK can't test it unless you cut one open see what it's like or just leave it and roll the dice - take the gamble vs busting stuff.
Start there it isn't working anyway so not much to lose just stop if things are going to bust taking things apart to get at stuff and think hard how to avoid that.


Sorry - I also think salted roads not FL sea salt it's this sh*t that would bore a hole thru an aircraft carrier in no time eats anything it stays on worse get to wiring plugs and the grease inside it's just a nightmare to keep after an older vehicle and I do!


Hit back with what you find,


Tom



da324
New User

Apr 22, 2019, 10:02 PM

Post #5 of 6 (169 views)
Re: AC vacuum Sign In

Thanks man, will do. It'll be a couple/few weeks as my step dad just dropped dead at 86 from cardiac arrest. Picture of health and had just had a stress test done a month ago, so it was shocker. He's been in my life since I was 8 and I'll be 56 this year. He was more of a dad to me than my real one ever was. So, we have all that to deal with. As soon as I'm done, I'l get on with the car and let you know what I discover. Thanks again!


(This post was edited by da324 on Apr 22, 2019, 10:03 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 23, 2019, 1:56 AM

Post #6 of 6 (157 views)
Re: AC vacuum Sign In

Sorry for your loss. The car can wait, do what you need to do,


Tom







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