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  • Aircon missbehaving

    Hi all,

    I just had my aircon refilled or topped up, whatever one would call it, after owning the car now for 4 years.
    Not that the aircon didn't cool anymore, rather more because we were traveling from Townsville to Darwin and just wanted it to be good to go.
    Must have ended up with one of those cowboys, because the aircon started acting up ever since we were 50 klicks from home.

    Different scenarios:

    Started off as it should be: Air is blowing cold in idle and whilst driving and revs around 2500 also cold as hell.

    Then suddenly we had "smoke" blowing from the vents. Turned off the aircon and on again after about 10 minutes. Cooled fine and no more problems. Outside temperature around 28 degree.

    Traveling along the road, then suddenly it stopped working. Just blowing warm and humid air. Turned a/c off and on again after 10 minutes and all was good for the next 300 klicks.

    Next day I noticed that the a/c wouldn't cool properly when the car was idling. As soon as we hit the road and driving again with around 2500 rpm, blowing cold as hell. Then after a while (maybe 100 km) the cooling effect stopped. Turned the a/c off again and on after 30 minutes and cold air again.

    That's sort of what happens now. Hardly any cooling effect when the vehicle is idling. Cold when driving along for a while and then stops. After turning off for a while, able to work again. Outside temperatures around 38 degree.

    That cowboy played around with the aircon for a while and to me it seems as if he either overfilled it or put too much pressure in.
    I was thinking along the line of the a/c maybe icing up and when turned off, able to defrost and able to function again. But that doesn't explain why it doesn't work when idling with low revs.

    I'll need to get it checked out properly anyhow, but would just like to know what could be wrong, as we are driving through some hot parts of OZ and it's shit without a/c and two kids.

    Cheers

    Tim

  • #2
    Perhaps the cowboy has just done his/her job and this has shown up another issue?
    Im reluctant to assist in case my guidance isn't perfect and I too am labelled.
    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pops70 View Post
      Hi all,

      I just had my aircon refilled or topped up, whatever one would call it, after owning the car now for 4 years.
      Not that the aircon didn't cool anymore, rather more because we were traveling from Townsville to Darwin and just wanted it to be good to go.
      Must have ended up with one of those cowboys, because the aircon started acting up ever since we were 50 klicks from home.

      Different scenarios:

      Started off as it should be: Air is blowing cold in idle and whilst driving and revs around 2500 also cold as hell.

      Then suddenly we had "smoke" blowing from the vents. Turned off the aircon and on again after about 10 minutes. Cooled fine and no more problems. Outside temperature around 28 degree.

      Traveling along the road, then suddenly it stopped working. Just blowing warm and humid air. Turned a/c off and on again after 10 minutes and all was good for the next 300 klicks.

      Next day I noticed that the a/c wouldn't cool properly when the car was idling. As soon as we hit the road and driving again with around 2500 rpm, blowing cold as hell. Then after a while (maybe 100 km) the cooling effect stopped. Turned the a/c off again and on after 30 minutes and cold air again.

      That's sort of what happens now. Hardly any cooling effect when the vehicle is idling. Cold when driving along for a while and then stops. After turning off for a while, able to work again. Outside temperatures around 38 degree.

      That cowboy played around with the aircon for a while and to me it seems as if he either overfilled it or put too much pressure in.
      I was thinking along the line of the a/c maybe icing up and when turned off, able to defrost and able to function again. But that doesn't explain why it doesn't work when idling with low revs.

      I'll need to get it checked out properly anyhow, but would just like to know what could be wrong, as we are driving through some hot parts of OZ and it's shit without a/c and two kids.

      Cheers

      Tim
      Pity you aren't in Brisbane or I would look at it for you.
      The symptoms mostly indicate icing up. "smoke-mist" "very cold" etc. This indicates undercharge or malfunctioning TXV. The TXV presumably has been working OK for the last 4 years so he might have used a different gas which the TXV is not calibrated for, or simply undercharged it
      Send me a PM & we can talk by ph to get more info. I will update the forum as appropriate. John

      Comment


      • #4
        I have seen it before where the evaporator is freezing up and thus the "smoke" as you describe and then it cuts out as there is a temp switch as such in the evaporator box, i would have it checked, there are some cowboys out there still charging a/c's with LPG, i know a guy who almost got caught ou doing a regas a few weeks ago and almost contaminated his r134 bottle. LPG is very efficient in cooling hence freezing and why i say get it checked. As good as it as at cooling, its very unstable.

        2003 Silver NP DiD Exceed Auto, MMA alloy bullbar, GME TX3440 UHF, 2DIN GPS unit w/ Reverse Camera, DBS w/ RedArc SmartStart w/ overide, 82AH AGM & HD 20A Sockets in rear for WAECO 60LTR, ARB on board Air Compressor, RedArc Remote Head Brake controller, 2" HD/F, SD/R Lovells & OzTech shocks with Firestone Coil-Rites, 265/70R16 Pirelli Scorpion AT's, ProRack Crossbars & Awning

        2012 Black ASV50 Toyota Camry Atara SL

        2006 Jayco Destiny 16.51-1

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DiDExceed View Post
          I have seen it before where the evaporator is freezing up and thus the "smoke" as you describe and then it cuts out as there is a temp switch as such in the evaporator box, i would have it checked, there are some cowboys out there still charging a/c's with LPG, i know a guy who almost got caught ou doing a regas a few weeks ago and almost contaminated his r134 bottle. LPG is very efficient in cooling hence freezing and why i say get it checked. As good as it as at cooling, its very unstable.
          Your points are correct but using propane based (its not LPG as such) gas does not make a cowboy. It has been incorporated in certified refrigerants for years, i.e. FR12, 34M, Hychill, etc. A cowboy is a cowboy regardless, & if he uses any gas, or takes shortcuts, or doesn't follow press/temp charts, he will get out of his depth.

          A more constructive step is to get more info on sightglass, clutch cutout, etc.
          So if you can PM me Pops70 I will contact you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks guys for the replies.

            As I'm currently traveling to Darwin and we are driving most of the day, I can't really troubleshoot right now.

            I was after some input and ideas. To me it still looks like freezing up, as when it starts to cut out, my wife get's "wet" feet on the passenger side.
            It starts dripping in between. Just a few drops, but too much for my like.

            I'll see if I can get it checked when we arrive in Darwin.

            Turning the a/c off for 10 minutes seems to be the workaround for the moment, as it woks for a while after that.
            Still doesn't work when the car is at low revs.


            Cheers

            Tim

            Comment


            • #7
              OK .... little update.

              We arrived in Darwin with the issues as before. I got straight on the phone to get the car booked in for a checkup of the aircon.
              Luckily there was one workshop which had some time just before christmas.

              Took the car there early in the morning and waited approx 45 minutes for them to tell me what they found.
              Apparently the viscus hub for the fan is broken and needs replacing. Not enough air is being sucked in through the condensator because the hub is not engaging enough. Apparently the aircon itself is good to go.
              So far that makes sense to me. Repair is supposed to cost $1000 and the hub is currently not available in NT.

              After I went to REPSO and got one for $111 (should have been $368 but was on special), I completed the $1000 repair for far less money.

              Outcome so far the aircon doesn't cut out anymore whilst driving. In my opinion the air is too cold though and that tells me that it is still icing up or nearly icing up.
              Idling is no change to before. After a while it starts blowing warm air.
              The electric fan kicks in as soon as the engine is started and the aircon switched on. I have to check again, but I believe it might cut out when idling and that then makes sense to the aircon overheating.

              Question: When I start the engine and switch the aircon on, the condensator gets very hot very fast. Is that normal or does that sound like too much pressure in the system?

              I still don't believe that the pressure has been checked properly, as filling the aircon actually kicked off the problem which wasn't there before.

              Anyone any ideas? I now have some time too, to check sightglass and any other things.

              Thanks so far.

              Tim

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Tim,
                Sorry to hear of your problems.
                Suggest that you get the system evacuated completely, change the receiver dryer for new & recharge with with correct qty of r134a gas or equivalent to gas as recommended.
                After that the pressure temp relationship should be checked & outlet temp performance checked.
                I think the only solution is to go right back to step one!

                Cheers Macca

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes the condensor should start to get hot straight away and after a minute or two it should almost burn your fingers (around 50c-60c). To check if system is working correctly, start car with air con on and let idle with doors closed for around 10minutes, the pipe from compressor should be hot to touch and pipe exiting the liquid reciever should be quite cool, sight glass should show a steady liquid stream and normal to see some thick foam or bubbles at idle with aircon flat out on a hot day. If at idle after 10mims the sight glass shows only just a little bit of foam it is slightly undercharged. Should be mostly liquid, at most some constant bubbles.

                  If you see foam then raise revs to 1200rpm, there should be nothing but liquid stream!

                  Common air temps at vents is around 10c at idle and down to around 4-5c when driving. This should be tested after at least 14mins of driving.

                  The compressor will cut out if the air output temp from evap is to low, this is to prevent freezing. The condensor fan on most cars will cutout when this happens as it's a signal from the air con control unit. From experience on pajeros and other vehicles the times the condensor fan stays on is from overpressure or overheat. Anything to do with evaporator under dash turns the whole ac system off except for cab fan.
                  97' NK 3ltr GLX LWB Manual | 3" lift | Wildcat headers | K&N air filter | 2.8 crawl gears | 4Terrain clutch | 2.25" exhaust | Factory locker rear | TJM 10,000lb winch | TJM snorkel
                  97' NL GLS LWB Auto | 6G75 3.8ltr | Redback Headers

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                  • #10
                    Sounds like I'll still need to get it serviced properly.

                    Just looked into the sight glass and I could see one bubble with the aircon turned off. Didn't have anybody to switch it on for me, but after I looked back at the sight glass, I can literally see nothing. Well, looks like fluid, because it has the same colour as before. What I can't see is any bubbles or foam when aircon is running.

                    When does this freezing occur? I still believe that the aircon freezes and then shuts off but couldn't replicate it today, as it's not very hot and the a/c doesn't have to work very hard ....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Also, where can I get some foam from which is used in between condensator and radiator to force airflow through the condensator and not being sucked in between the two, preventing the condensator to be cooled to maximum capacity when standing?
                      That was another thing the aircon guys where I went the other day mentioned?
                      Is that something which REPCO would have on stock?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I got Clark Rubber to cut some foam up for me as I could not find the right size.
                        Rick
                        Old, NP Exceed 3.5 petrol, ARB Bull bar, Warn winch, Bush Skinz Bash plates ,2inch lift, Safari Snorkel. ***Now Sold***
                        New, RG Colorado Dual Cab Tray

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by my.paj View Post
                          I got Clark Rubber to cut some foam up for me as I could not find the right size.
                          Rick
                          Hi Rick,

                          How is the foam from Clark Rubber reacting to heat? Also, did you just have it cut slightly larger and jam it in place, or did you glue it in?

                          Tim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had company Commodores that would intermittently "mist" as you described, but other than that, the aircon was fine.

                            The "wet feet" sounds like the condensate drain is blocked, so the system is overflowing into the footwell.

                            The cutting out sounds like my shorty when I bought it. Would start out fine in the morning, but after 30 minutes or so, not cold. Fortunately, it was under warranty (bought from a dealer) and they eventually diagnosed crud in the system was intermittently blocking the TX valve. I think you need more than a simple re-gas.
                            NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 ST Maxx, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

                            Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

                            Scorpro Explorer Box

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nj swb View Post
                              The "wet feet" sounds like the condensate drain is blocked, so the system is overflowing into the footwell.
                              Though about that for a while, but we have tons of water under the car when parked, dripping from the drain and it only occurred when driving long distance and working really hard.

                              But I'll still go with a full refill with correct amount to get a baseline and work from there.

                              Currently I'm more interested in getting explanations, as I hate not knowing what's going on or how things work / don't work.

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