Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Hank [OP] » August 14th 2015, 4:00pm

Looking for some thoughts here.

My van has chewed up A/C compressors since new. Granted we live in FL so the A/C is always on and the van has 165k on it but I just don't get why I'm going through so many.

Doesn't seem to matter who installs is, dealer, myself or mechanic. Where the hardware comes from doesn't seem to make a difference either, dealer compressor, eBay compressor, Advanced Auto, NAPA.

Each time the system was flushed and on the last one I also put in a new condenser. I will say that compressor #4 died from all the crap blown out of the condenser.

Receiver/dryer and O-tube replaced each time as well.

Any thoughts or conspiracy theories appreciated.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby 97cargocrawler » August 14th 2015, 4:44pm

Chewed up in what way? The turbine disentegrated or? The system was evacuated each time before refill? I also assume the oil was carefully measured each time?
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Hank [OP] » August 14th 2015, 4:50pm

Sorry, chewed up was a frustration description.

Various failures, stop blowing cold at all, cool only at speed, rattle and no cold but no lockups.

Yes cleaned every time and vacuum pulled, I know oil was good when I did it, have to assume the shops did as well.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby 97cargocrawler » August 16th 2015, 7:30am

I did an entire fresh install with my a/c. New everything. I regularly have 42*F at the vents on the hottest days sitting in traffic (albeit with jet engine e-fans blowin) and sometimes I've seen 39*F! Maybe just shotgun it. It's not too expensive...over a grand though.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby chevymaher » August 16th 2015, 12:55pm

It got to be shavings in the system. One of your compressors nuked. Once it gets into the new compressor it is a time bomb.

There was a thread where a idea was place a inline filter between the accumulator and the compressor.

Take it apart and severely thoroughly clean it. Take the accumulator off and flip it upside down and hose that baby out. That is a good place for crap to hide.

Or cargoes solution.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Hank [OP] » August 16th 2015, 2:58pm

Ancient debris is most likely the issue. But on each compressor replacement I've done the accumulator as well.

Two compressors ago I replaced the condenser as even after cleaning the new compressor blew all crap out and grenaded again in 6 months.

This past failure was most likely a cheep ebay compressor issue. It was fine on the drive home and when I hit my driveway it started making noise. Was still blowing cold but some massive ticking/clanking.

I'm going to talk to my buddy tomorrow about the inline filter. 70 bucks is good insurance, has anyone had issues with leaks? But in this case I may be in better shape as this compressor has a 3yr warranty. I help him out with the computers at his shop and I tend to get a real good buddy rate.

Now on the full replacement topic, I had a post on that two compressors ago and the respondents thought I was nuts and said, clean the heck out of it. :)

I'm going to start pricing the bits and pieces. The plan is to keep the van another year. I might get lucky and have A/C that long.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby sfeaver » August 16th 2015, 3:15pm

Have you replaced your condenser? If your old compressors have started throwing pieces into the system, they usually get stuck in there. Parallel flow condensors have small passages unlike the older style.

As for inline filter, I ran one on a older Buick and it never leaked. ACDelco makes them. I had it on the output of the condenser.

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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Meterpig » August 16th 2015, 3:54pm

I asked my mechanic what it would cost to replace my compressor. After picking myself up off the floor upon hearing the price, he reminded me that the entire system had to be replaced. Everything but the lines. Otherwise, he knew, it would be coming back for warranty work.

Those were his words.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Hank [OP] » August 16th 2015, 5:32pm

Condenser is one compressor old.

I am going to see if my guy will do the filter.

I'm sure that even with flushing the lines and evaporators that there is a bit or two of crap in there.

Now fwiw the o-tube was spotless coming out this time.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby sfeaver » August 16th 2015, 11:02pm

Have you changed any AC parameters with HP tuners? Just curious. I have EFILive, I know you can change a few things regarding how soon it engages based on load.

Also, clutch fan in good shape? I just replaced one on the wifes van that seemed just fine most of the time, but when first started up it didn't move enough air and the compressor cycled off on high pressure. Eventually that will wear a compressor.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Hank [OP] » August 17th 2015, 2:18pm

Yes, HPTuners lets me get at A/C stuff.

I have kicked up the in gear A/C on idle in gear by 25 rpm and the A/C on idle in neutral by 75 rpm. The later for when my wife is sitting in car line.

I also have a disable at WOT and at some percentage of TPS, can't remember the exact number but for hard accel.

At this point, even though I know it is going to fail again at some point, I'm going to roll the dice with the shop warranty.
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Re: Getting about 2yrs on an A/C compressor, on #6 today.

Postby Mmusicman » August 18th 2015, 2:07am

Sorry to hear about all your A/C troubles! I'm going to agree with the others that it sounds like "previous" debris in your system that is probably doing the damage each time. I suspect the "method" used to "flush" the system is not adequate.

Many years back I once had a compressor implode and blow crap into the system. The orifice tube was caked in metal. I was poor and needed to try to fix it myself. Believe it or not, I actually flushed the condenser and evaporator with water... "'shocking" it by building pressure (with my thumb) then releasing it over and over. This was done to "dislodge" the embedded debris. Then I blew it out the water with compressed air (shocking it as well)... then I properly "re-flushed" it again with some kind of flushing chemical... then blew it out again. I wasn't worried about moisture in the condenser since I was going to flush it out, then vacuum the system. I was MORE worried about the tiny slivers of metal and debris that would would destroy the next compressor. I watched the mess blow out. The end result for me was successful!

Maybe a pulsing high-pressure sprayer could work, I don't know. Ironically, I know nothing about how the professional a/c guys flushing systems work, since I've always done my own.

I doubt this is a "recommended" method for "flushing"... but it worked for me. I've been on the same compressor for over 10 years now. I don't necessarily recommend doing it the way I did.. but I would look into what various "approved" methods may or may not work well.

For my wife's car... when I installed a new compressor I simply added an inline filter on the return line to the compressor... and it too has been going for almost 10 years now too. Cheap insurance.. easy to install.

Be sure to completely clean the lines as well... replace orifice tube and dryer.. and vacuum down the system of course before charging.

I've been through several bad "cheap" compressors as well.. bad straight out of the box! Some leaked, some made noise... all replaced under warranty, except my time, other parts, and freon. I finally decided my time was worth more than saving a few bucks, and I bought high-quality name-brand compressors the last few times. Money spent well worth it now!

On a side note: one thing I do under high-rpm acceleration, I always temporarily switch off A/C. I don't know if it's necessary... but it can't hurt. Knock on wood, I've been pretty fortunate. Living in South Florida... my A/C is ALWAYS on... and has been going strong for many years!

Good luck!
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