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2002 Saturn LW300 A/C Just Quit

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    2002 Saturn LW300 A/C Just Quit

    I have a 2002 Saturn LW300 with AC that rocks. I drove it to the store. AC was running me out of the car. Shut the car off, went inside the store, came back out, started it up and the AC is warm. No compressor running and no radiator fan running. The fuses all appear fine. If I allow the car to idle until the water temp rises, the radiator fan does come on as it should. The radiator cools down and the fan shuts off. No issue. The blower fan in the car works fine. The A/C button that engages the A/C system lights up as it should. Everything looks fine, just no cold air.

    Suggestions on why it worked great and then quit? Is there a way to test the relay other than replacing it? Where else do i look for a problem?

    Thanks for any help.

    #2
    Try a couple first steps first: Either order when car is cold just check static pressure not running compare that with temp where it is not a forecast. If lower in PSI than temperature in F. it just decided time to leak out just that fast leak to be found if any pressure a sniffer is my tool of choice.

    Check fuses with a test light not appearance suggest get an LED one $10 bucks or so. Both side of involved fuse should light up when ignition is enabled to allow power to them probably when idling controls set to make it run A/C or course.

    If all checks out and your first notes show true see if the outer hub of compressor is even engaged when A/C on of course again. If not AYOR it will be tight watch how you push outer hub when it should be engaged with rubber or wood something beware it may snap to working and kick back your tool for that is checking clutch is able to pull in.

    Need that much and let's go from there,

    Tom
    MetroWest, Boston

    Comment


      #3
      I would test for power at the clutch wire when the A/C is "on". 1st. If there is power do Tom's test with a stick to see if the clutch will hold in if push in. Some newer stuff has a fuseable link buried in the clutch coil winding. It is supposed to open if it gets too hot like a slipping clutch. If you have power to the clutch than I would say the clutch is bad and has to be replaced. If no power than check backward up the line until you find the problem.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes - Just do not know which ones it's on some "Asian" designs like Toyota I think trips/burns in high heat would cut power off to clutch right near it I think. Another that's never done that to me since GM pulled that trick one time burn-out fuse thing in the 70s for goodness sake!
        Tom
        MetroWest, Boston

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          #5
          Okay, back to this project. This Saturn was a toad so I had to remove some heavy tow brackets to get to the compressor wires from under the car.

          I have voltage on the green wire going into the compressor.

          I tested the coil, I think. I say that because the terminals are recessed and the access is poor at best. I made some insulated alligator clips to bite the terminals down in side the compressor female plug. I either get no reading, as in one of the wires is not connected, or I get zero resistance on the ohm meter, which could mean the alligator clips are touching..........or the coil is bad. I would think I'd get some resistance from a good coil, correct?

          There's not enough room in there to do Tom's test with rubber or wood. Whatever I used is at high risk of winding up in the serpentine belt and back in my face given the tight clearances. Not worth the risk to try.

          Thoughts?

          Comment


            #6
            If you power on one of the feeds to the clutch, I'm thinking you should have a good ground on the other. Not to say they couldn't switch the ground side of the coil, but haven't seen that done in the stuff I work on.
            If you have good power to the clutch and a good ground on the other wire it sure looks like the coil is open. Coils should have some resistance, I think they pull around 4-8 amp generally.

            Comment


              #7
              Perhaps. I would think the compressor would chassis ground through the brackets so no ground wire needed. So even if the ground wire is bad, it should still have a ground. Regardless, I'll test using both wires as you suggest.

              I ordered a plug pigtail so I can test thoroughly and know I have isolated connections to the compressor terminals.

              http://www.wiringdepot.com/store/p/5...1996-1-Pc.aspx

              Comment


                #8
                If it has two wires the coil is isolated from the compressor and needs a ground wire.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have voltage when using the two wires feeding the compressor.

                  The pigtail arrived today so I was able to accurately test the compressor coil. I get no reading on the meter. If the coil has an integrated fuse that blew, I would expect to get no reading since there would be a break in the continuity loop. I'm concluding I need a compressor coil. Opinions on my conclusion?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Does ACSource have the clutch/coil kits? I didn't see them on the ACSource website.

                    Looking elsewhere for a coil kit. Looks like there were two compressors in this car, CVC and DCV14J. Not sure which I have. Regardless, some of the coil/clutch kits I'm finding are more then a reman compressor.

                    GM shows pt# 21018761. which is $148 at Rock Auto. Does Four Seasons or some company offer an aftermarket solution?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you have infinite resistance across the two coil wires than you have an open clutch coil and it needs to be replaced. No idea what is available, but Rockauto carries the 4 season brand, if they don't show it then I would guess not.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        After quite a bit of Internet searching, I found a clutch kit from Jensen Auto Parts for $50, their pt# 57546. They also offer a coil only option but I may as well replace the whole thing while I have it off given it's age and 107K miles on the car. Phone is 810-679-9845 for the next person that needs one of these.

                        Once the kit arrives, I'll post back whether it fixed it or not.

                        Thanks for all the help.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We always like to hear about results, both good or bad, it is how we all learn.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I had a bad coil. The Jensen kit fixed my problem. The AC now works as it should.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks for the follow-up and glad it's fixed,
                              Tom
                              MetroWest, Boston

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Just quit again. Exact same symptoms. I will guess that means the thermal fuse in the coil is overheating and blowing, as designed. That said, what causes the over heating? The compressor going bad? Perhaps a marginal compressor bearing that is getting hot? Is my next move to replace the compressor?

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  ok, lets go back to basics and look at high and low pressures when the system is running.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Can't do that if the compressor clutch won't engage due to a bad coil. Ran great for five days or so and would run you out of the car.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Shoot! OK, back to top it worked and now same things. At least a known static pressure since it wont engage. It wouldn't if it had dropped lower than pre-set perimeters of acceptable or same problem that seemed to be fixed happened again - the coil drawing way too much current.

                                      If you can, get an ohm reading for the last two wires that activate the clutch's coil. Wide range is like 2-5 ohms just sitting there I'll suggest it should be as low as the #2 two of that closer to 3.5>5.0 perhaps.

                                      No room for the bump it trick isn't helping. IDK - can you get thru a wheel well to do that if it's so hard to get at?
                                      At some point this needs both ruling out basics that would shut it down and if nothing found may need some live watching what is or isn't happening when it does work again if it take another pig-tail that seemed to work what failed if it did again? Too hot there? Any melted wiring insulation? All that stuff.

                                      Back - lots is known by knowing actual temp under the hood and static pressure just be accurate.

                                      One more. If just a couple model years older it would reset defaults to NOT engage with just battery disconnect but may take a scanner/code reader to do that.

                                      Do remember defaults are to shut it off and stay off so it doesn't self destruct or leave this not able to drive it at all is the idea not always so perfect.

                                      Chart here is super helpful...….
                                      Last edited by Tom Greenleaf; 08-06-2018, 04:37 AM.
                                      Tom
                                      MetroWest, Boston

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Because a clutch coil fixed it (temporarily) last time, I will go out on a limb and say it will again. The cutch coil failure is a symptom, and not the problem, which I will guess is high head pressure. Some coils have a fuseable link buried in the coil and a slipping cutch, whether from high head pressure or a compressor that seized, will open and prevent further damage. The whole reason it is there is to prevent further damage.They can get old, and over time fail prematurely, but with a new one failing so quickly, something else must be going on.
                                        1st step will be to replace the coil again, then diagnose from that point. It could be overcharged, it could be low on oil, it could have a bad condenser, it could have bad air flow over the condenser, but almost impossible to say without running pressures to tell what is going on in the system.

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