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2008 Kia Spectra No cooling

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  • 2008 Kia Spectra No cooling

    This is my wife's car. I need to get her AC fixed now, so she'll quit stealing my Eurovan! (I got it's AC working thanks to advice from this forum a few months ago!)

    Anyway, I think she said it "suddenly" stopped cooling, but it's hard to know if it just one day quit or perhaps was starting to wear down.

    At that point, I assumed the charge was just a little low, so I used one of those cans from Wal-Mart and tried putting in a little (I didn't put much in, because it clearly wasn't doing anything). That was a few months ago; I haven't done anything since.

    Until today when she asked again for me to get it fixed.

    The engine was still a little warm when I put the gauges on (with my IR thermometer most of the engine bay was between 100 and 115 degrees; the block was still around 145. Ambient temp is 82. Under these conditions, the high side reads 100 psi, low side 115.

    With the engine running and AC turned on (and the compressor clutch does engage), the pressures evened out to about 100 on both sides with steady needles on each gauge.

    I'm thinking probably the compressor needs replaced, but wanted to get you all's opinion.


  • #2
    From what I see, the compressor isn't doing anything. However, the condenser will need to be changed if the compressor has shed metal into the system. I'd want to know why the compressor failed.


    • #3
      From your pressures, it appears that the AC compressor drive plate is not turning (not engaging), just the outer pulley is; determine this visually. If so, check voltage to the AC clutch wire. At this point, could be several possibilities, need more information.

      Your static pressures are high enough to activate a functioning pressure switch. NEVER add any sealer or refrigerant containing sealer.


      • #4
        Well hey there Cusser! I recognize your name/pic from The Samba where I'm vwwestyman.

        Anyway, it is engaging, confirmed visually. And verified by checking with AC switched off to note that it was no longer engaged.

        Static pressures right now are 89 low side and right at 80 high side. Its currently 75 degrees outside. I started it up earlier and they were similar, and they evened out right around static pressure like yesterday-basically the middle of the two static readings. (Unfortunately, wife took her keys with her when she left for work, and I didn't write the pressures down when I started it earlier.)

        The compressor does not make any kind of noises when it's running.


        • #5
          If it were mine, I'd pull the compressor, pull the clutch, and if nothing seamed out of place, disassemble the compressor to find the source of the failure, before replacing.
          Remember, we can only react to what YOU observe, If you say the clutch is turning the drive plate, we have to assume it is.


          • #6
            The drive plate is definitely engaging and turning.

            Sounds like really the only option is the compressor is not able to compress for some reason. The question is why?

            As someone who likes VWs and German cars, my first inclination is to chalk it up to being a cheap Korean car... But that's probably me being a little judgmental. I suppose it can't hurt much to pull the compressor and try to open it up.

            Anything else I should look for while I'm in there?


            • #7
              Originally posted by davevw
              Well hey there Cusser! I recognize your name/pic from The Samba where I'm vwwestyman.
              Yep, that's me !!! When I saw VW after your name here I suspected you might have VWs.

              After recovering refrigerant, you might try removing the high pressure connection at the compressor, then turning the compressor drive plate with a wrench and feeling with your finger if there's pressure there.

              If you do need a new compressor, I'd go brand-new, not remanufactured.


              • #8
                After an argument last night about whether the car's AC should be fixed first, or the rusted front suspension of my VW Bus... I pulled the compressor this evening.

                Thankfully, I did not observe any signs of internal destruction. The lines and ports appeared clean, the oil that dribbled out was clean, etc. I turned the clutch by hand and noticed that there did not appear to be any notable suction produced. That certainly aligns with zero change in pressure.

                Now, I am looking for a replacement compressor. While looking at options on Rock Auto, I see a listing for an AC Compressor Control Valve, which is a part of the compressor.

                Based on the symptoms I described, is there any chance that this valve could be the only problem? Now that I've taken the compressor out, is there any way to check that valve?



                • #9
                  Yeah it could, I missed that it had one. I don't have a list of what cars use what, so often just go on line and look and see what comes up. Sorry if I missed that somehow, Some compressors use a valve to "control compressor displacement" and if it sticks in a low output setting you will get little if any compression.


                  • #10
                    This is the valve I saw:

                    Is there any way to check/test it? Especially now that the compressor is not installed...


                    • #11
                      Not that I know of, but I deal mostly with old stuff so have never worked on a compressor with one. I'd take a chance and change it out if it is not too expensive. but I am cheap.


                      • #12
                        Well, that part is about $18, vs a whole new compressor that is close to $300. It's just the idea of putting it all together, filling the system, etc etc just to test the part that is unappealing to me. That's why I was hoping for some kind of check test for the valve being the problem and not letting pressure build properly.

                        But I suppose for the cost difference, I can "buy" a good amount of time and all that, if it does turn out to be the fix.

                        Is it possible to open the compressor up very far and look for any obvious internal damage, without damaging it in the process? It seems that if the insides look good, that would be a good sign for the valve being the issue.


                        • #13
                          Well, you need a gasket or seal kit on hand before opening. If the oil drained looks good, no metal or plastic debris, I would take the $18 bet over the $300 without disassembling the compressor.
                          As I say, I work on older stuff, Gaskets for the York or Delco A6 aren't too hard to come by and I have the special tooling for the A6. If you are doing one, just to have A/C, I would think trying the valve isn't going to cost much more than trying to get a gasket kit to open the compressor.
                          Keep in mind, there may need to be pressure in the system for the valve to shift the compressor to see output. I guess theoretically you could make an adaptor plate to pressurize and test on the bench,
                          The hard part of doing one system or compressor over seeing hundreds is: Hard to justify the parts and tooling to fully test all function before replacing.
                          If putting a new valve, new oil and recharge is more work than you are willing to gamble, than it would seam the $300 compressor would be the alternative.
                          I'm cheap, so I'd try the valve 1st.


                          • #14
                            That makes sense to me with regards to taking it apart and resealing and all that. Hand't really thought about the fact that it might need special tools and such to put together. I do have a cheap endoscope, so I suppose I could see if I can use that to look in there for anything obviously cracked/broken.

                            For new oil, would you suggest just draining what I can from the compressor, installing the valve, adding the same amount of new oil, and reinstalling and testing?

                            Thanks, I appreciate the thoughts and help!


                            • #15
                              I'd drain as much oil from the compressor as I could, might need to rotate the shaft while draining to the most out, I'd measure what came out and compare with how much the system is supposed to have. If not too far off, I would go back with the same amount that I drained. If further off I add more to be around an oz or so less than the total spec.
                              Far easier to damage from lack of lube than too much.
                              My experience is if the compressor is damaged enough to be a problem it will show in the oil. All of my stuff you can rotate the compressor shaft and be able to feel some suction and pressure with your fingers over the outlet. That may not be the case on these newer compressors.
                              We have had several now with the electrically controlled valves that have been successful repair similar symptoms to what you are having. It gives me reason to think the valve would solve your problem as well.


                              • #16
                                I could maybe feel very very slight suction but almost zero noticeable pressure yesterday with my fingers over the ports yesterday. I haven't poured the oil out yet, but the bit that did dribble out looked clean and clear.

                                The FLAPS couldn't find the part at all in their systems, and neither could the dealer. Dealer said they would just swap a whole compressor. ($900+ from the dealership, too!)

                                So for $22 it certainly does seem like a good idea to get the part from Rock Auto and give it a try.


                                • #17
                                  Well, the valve arrived today, so I picked up some refrigerant and fresh belts (I noticed they were all pretty worn looking) and put it all together this evening.

                                  And the end result was.....

                                  I'M A HERO!

                                  That is to say, it seemed to fix the problem. Awesome!

                                  Incidentally, I couldn't see anything obviously wrong with the old valve, but perhaps the spring inside wore out or something. I don't know. But it was pumping cold air out again after it was all together.


                                  • #18
                                    Great news, and Thanks for letting us know how it turned out. $25 beats $399 for a new compressor.


                                    • #19
                                      Absolutely! I hate looking on forums for help and not finding what the eventual solution was (or if there ever was a solution, I guess).

                                      At some point, I'll be back asking questions related to AC in my old VW Bus, but that will probably be a while. It does have some higher-priority needs first.


                                      • #20
                                        With valves like that, it is almost impossible to test or even see what the problem is. I worked on hyd valve that was similar and we could clean, inspect and really find no problem, put it back in, and it would work for a while than stick again, just turned out to be quicker to replace and toss the old one, rather than try and figure out why it would malfunction. It went against the grain to do it, but it was cost effective.