2009 Kia Rio A/C

Tiny
DBROWN01
  • MEMBER
  • 2009 KIA RIO
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 64,000 MILES
Vehicle parked for a few months. When started, The A/C is not working.
Thermostat turned to coldest setting. The blower fan works on all speeds.
When the A/C switch is pressed it appears to operate normally (locks in and the light comes on).
The compressor clutch does not engage, Nor does the condenser fan.
The radiator fan also does not run.
Looking at the fuse box under the hood - no fuses appear to be blown.
Swapped relays. No change.
Don't know if a low refrigerant level will cause this condition
BTW: The A/C is not factory. This is a base model Rio that came without A/C (dealer would not install) and I had an aftermarket unit installed. Has worked great up till now.
Thanks.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 4:49 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
ED-WEEZY21
  • EXPERT
Unfortunately we aren't going to be able to locate schematics or diagrams for aftermarket equipment but I can tell you that the AC compressor will not engage if there isn't enough refrigerant in the system. Now I'm not exactly sure what was installed but there should be some sort of pressure sensor for the ac system that tells the computer (if its wired into the computer) to kick on the ac compressor. If thats defective and is always showing a low pressure, the computer will think there isn't enough freon in the system and never kick on the compressor. My advice to you is to go back to the place that installed it because they should have manuals and diagrams showing them how the aftermarket setup operates.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
DBROWN01
  • MEMBER
I will have to do some homework to track down the info. I bought the kit from a company in San Antonio Texas that specializes in aftermarket A/C,
I am in Houston and had a local company install the unit. I believe the tech who installed the unit is no longer there but I believe the install is close to factory (compressor, dash controls, wiring harness etc). The fuse/relay box under the hood has relays marked for the A/C.
I was hoping someone with Kia experience and factory electrical/AC manual would point me in the right direction.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 8:51 PM
Tiny
ED-WEEZY21
  • EXPERT
Well first off. I work at a dealership and can tell you for certain that dealerships will never install aftermarket equipment into one of their own vehicles because they don't know the quality of the aftermarket equipment. This would be somewhat of a major job and then if anything faulty occurs, now they are stuck having to try to diagnose equipment that isn't made by the manufacturer. I hope you understand that part I'm saying. For example, I get vehicles that come and customers complain about water leaking through the sunroof but when I inspect the car, the sunroof was not OEM equipment and was installed by some who "specializes" in installing sunroofs. So we refuse to diagnose equipment installed by third parties due to the fact that we don't want to take the liability of non OEM equipment or the installation of the components. But the setup for aftermarket and OEM is sometimes completely different even if you can make it fit. I work at a Hyundai dealership which would make some hyundais and Kias the same. The Kia Rio is the equivalent of the Hyundai Accent so I'm familiar with the setup of the vehicles that don't come with factory air conditioning. So from that experience, I'm giving you advice on some options on what it could be. It could easily be that its low on refrigerant and just needs a recharge but keep in mind that the ac system is supposed to be a "sealed" system and isn't supposed to lose any freon. We all know thats not always the case. Some vehicles will just naturally seep out over a long period of time and just need a simple recharge. Others have leaks that cause the freon to dissipate into the atmosphere and will require repairs to be made. All this will need to be done with special tools for recovery and performing leak test and vacuuming out the system or perform by a local AC professional. The second cause like I mentioned before could be a faulty pressure sensor giving the computer an improper reading. To find this out, you will need a scan tool that can monitor live data. The pressure should be around 80-100 at idle. If its lower than that, and you know for certain that the ac system is properly charged, I would go ahead and replace the pressure sensor. It could also be the compressor is internal failed. Test for power at the AC compressor connector and you should be getting battery voltage of around 12 volts. If you have 12 volts at the compressor and its still not kicking on, then that means the computer sees the proper conditions to command the AC compressor on but the compressor doesn't. Replace the compressor at this point. Lastly, I know you mentioned looking only in the fuse box under the hood, but they're may also be fuses for this system inside the vehicle. Some models do and some don't. I would check that out first before anything else.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 10:05 PM
Tiny
DBROWN01
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply.

As I recall, this was the low end loss leader model (we won it in a Band raffle). The dealer would not even install a factory unit because Kia would not allow it

I always thought the car was pre-wired for an AC. There was a factory kit available for the Hyundai that year that looked the same to me, but a Hyundai tech who had done a "how to" install on the internet wasn't sure the wiring harness would work.

The kit was pretty simple. I took it to a local shop that specialized in custom AC work and they didn't have much trouble putting it in.

I have an electronic repair background and am comfortable working under the hood. My initial thought was that it might have had a low refrigerant condition and after setting a few months had lost enough to trigger the condition.

In prior times, I would have picked up a Chiltons or other repair manual and tracked it down. However, age and higher priorities made me rethink the issue. I was hoping to find an experienced Kia tech who would know the "go to" diagnostics to isolate the problem.
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Sunday, July 19th, 2015 AT 6:37 AM
Tiny
ED-WEEZY21
  • EXPERT
I'm not exactly sure why a Kia dealer would prevent a Kia technician from installing a factory unit. And the Hyundai technician might have said he's not sure if the harness will work because its a Hyundai kit that you're trying to install into a Kia and the PCM may be different and the parameters will be different. Only way to truly find that out is by checking the part numbers of the PCM. If they are the same, then it should definitely work. As to the the vehicle being pre wired, I believe you are correct. Its not so much that its pre wired but the fact that they use the same engine harness for vehicles equipped with air conditioning so the connector isn't separate. But as you mentioned twice already, you want a Kia technician to tell the ins and outs but they may just tell you the same things I've already mentioned so ill give this up to someone more experienced that may add more information on your problem. Best of luck.
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Monday, July 20th, 2015 AT 1:58 PM
Tiny
DBROWN01
  • MEMBER
I apologize if I came off as rude.

My expectations may have been unrealistic. My best guess is that the unit is low on refrigerant. I don't have a test gauge set so I figured I could run down to the parts house and get the refrigerant/fill hose kit and add some refrigerant. If that fixed the problem - great. If not, I might have an electrical problem.

When I decided to try the online option, I was trying to save some time and money but I wasn't trying to get something for nothing. Some of the sites had schematics and wiring diagrams available for purchase or as part of the paid solution.

When I found 2carpros, I liked the donation option I thought that by paying up front I would be in contact with a factory trained Kia A/C tech who could quickly and accurately point me through a Step-by-Step process and quickly isolate the problem. Then I could decide how to best proceed.

Unfortunately, the weekend has passed, I am out $10.00 and no closer to a solution than when I started.
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Monday, July 20th, 2015 AT 2:47 PM
Tiny
ED-WEEZY21
  • EXPERT
No it's not problem. I understand frustration totally. I myself may not always have the correct answer but I base my answers on past experiences and the knowledge I have up to this point and the resources available to me. Unfortunately this site may or may not have Kia specialized technicians. Some of us may be retired technicians and some of us may still be working at dealerships or independent shops and we are all from different parts of the country. We try our best to give you information I would also really hope for a Kia technician to help us get through this problem together.
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Monday, July 20th, 2015 AT 3:15 PM

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