1999 Chevy Lumina A/C wont stay charged

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 112,000 MILES
Hello. A friend of mine is a mechanic and we put a new a/c compressor in. The system was evacuated and was charged with refrigerant with dye to check for leaks. It was successful but the days following it got progressively warmer. I charged it again but the results were the same. I haven't been able to get a hold of my friend. Am I missing something? Could it be the core in the dash?
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 3:24 PM

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Your A/C system may have lost its charge of refrigerant, or the compressor may not be engaging when you turn on the A/C, or the blend air door inside the HVAC unit may be stuck in the HEAT position so no air goes through the A/C evaporator.

Start with the compressor. Does it engage when you turn on the A/C?

If so, the compressor is working and the A/C system probably contains enough refrigerant to make cold air, so the problem is inside the HVAC unit. Replace the motor that controls the blend air door (this is a difficult job and best left to a professional since it involves tearing apart the HVAC unit -- about an 8 to 10 hour job!).

If the compressor does not engage when you turn on the A/C, see if it will run by jumping the compressor clutch wire directly to the battery (use a fused jumper wire). If the compressor works when you jump it, and the A/C blows cold air, the system contains refrigerant and the fault is likely a bad A/C compressor clutch relay or a bad clutch cycling switch or pressure switch.

If the compressor does not engage when you jump it, the problem is a bad compressor clutch.

If the clutch engages but the compressor does not turn (the belt will start to slip and squeal), the compressor is loced up and you need a new compressor.

If the compressor clutch engages and turns the compressor, but the A/C still does not blow cold air, the system is probably low on refrigerant and needs to be recharged. If you Have an A/C gauge set, hook it up and see if the system has any pressure.

If it is out of refrigerant or is low, check for leaks, then have the A/C system vacuum purged to remove air. After the air is out, it can be recharged with the specified amount of refrigerant. It is important to get any air out as this will reduce cooling efficiency and may make the compressor noisy.
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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 AT 3:56 PM

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