New member needs some advice - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-18-2003, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default New member needs some advice

I have just purchased a 99 SSEi, loaded to the gills. Bought in FL, drove it 750 mi to MD with no major problems. 2 wierd things happened, though, and I was hoping someone could shed some light. About 3/4 of the way through the trip the low coolant light came on, didn't stay on, came and went a few times. I stopped and checked and level in the res was right on the full hot line. After getting it home and cooling off (the next day), res level right on the full cold line, rad filled to the cap. Bad sensor, maybe?

Next hiccup. When I stopped to check the coolant level, I noticed that the A/C lines and the cannister thing on the firewall (drier?) were completely coated in ice. Temps were in the upper 40'* and low 50'* the whole trip, CC on Auto. Is this a problem clue or normal ops? I read in the manual that the compressor runs continuously under 40, seems a bit odd to me. Any insights appreciated.

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Old 11-18-2003, 03:30 PM   #2
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For the coolant issue, I had that exact same thing. It was an electrical thing. Coolant was fine.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: New member needs some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkipps
res level right on the full cold line, rad filled to the cap. Bad sensor, maybe?
Yes, they have a little reputation for doing that.

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Next hiccup. When I stopped to check the coolant level, I noticed that the A/C lines and the cannister thing on the firewall (drier?) were completely coated in ice. Temps were in the upper 40'* and low 50'* the whole trip, CC on Auto. Is this a problem clue or normal ops?
I'd call it normal. They're colder than atmospheric temperature, condensation builds up on them, and on a chilly-enough day, it'll freeze. As long as it'* just frozen on the outside, it'll do no harm; in fact it'll help the heat exchange.

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I read in the manual that the compressor runs continuously under 40, seems a bit odd to me. Any insights appreciated.
Can you give us a page reference on that? Normally the compressor does _not_ run (at all) around 50 F or lower (or 49, depending on which page of the '93 manual you look at); a temperature sensor blocks it from doing so to prevent internal damage.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:12 PM   #4
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Looking at the 1999 Manual, page 3-6, right column, 2nd paragraph.

"When the air conditioning system is in AUTO mode, the
A/C light will always be on. When the ambient
temperature outside the vehicle reaches 40F (4C), the
compressor will remain on continuously."
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkipps
Looking at the 1999 Manual, page 3-6, right column, 2nd paragraph.

"When the air conditioning system is in AUTO mode, the
A/C light will always be on. When the ambient
temperature outside the vehicle reaches 40F (4C), the
compressor will remain on continuously."
Strange wording there. But I assume that "reaches" in this context means "is as high as," not "is lower than." Like you said, it would make no sense to only run the compressor continuously _below_ that temperature, unless there'* some useful property of R134a refrigerant at that temperature that I'm not aware of. (The '93 used Freon/R12, not R134a.)

Fuddy?
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:12 PM   #6
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ok, as far as the coolant light coming on, dex-cool is the most crudiest coolant ever.
it get a sludge in it. the sensor in the coolant coverflow bottle is a float design and has a tendency to stick. sometimes you have to tap it to get it to go out . this mostly acures when you drain it to do a repair and then refill it. but they do get sludged up inside the bottle.
the ac line freezing...... low freon will defintly cause this. or a bad pressure switch will cause this too. the compressor cycles on and off according to the line pressures. usually it will turn off when the low side hits around 30-32 psi and back on again when it reaches around 50-60 psi. the desired pressure is 40 psi on the low side and 150-200 psi on the high side. you could also have an orfice tube partially plugged too. this will cause the high side to be hi and the low side to be too low.
i hope this helped.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:47 PM   #7
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I am thinking that the A/C may possibly be overcharged. Need pressure levels, especially the high side.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:00 PM   #8
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Well, here is my experience with A/C systems. I have a brother and brother-in-law who are certified A/C repairmen.

On 95% of automobiles when you acivate the DEF system to clear the window of frost/fog the A/C compressor will kick on. There are two reasons for this.

1. It helps remove moisture from the air to help more efficiently clear the fog from the window. You dont want moisture being thrown at the window that you are trying to remove moisture from.

2. It helps keep the oils in the A/C system moving so it does not become sedate and go 'POOF' in the spring when first activated.

I know from my dad owning (4) GM Products with ACC (Automatic Climate Control) that the A/C compressor is engagued in DEF and AUTO modes.

Same goes for my 99. (Unless I take the A/C off in AUTO mode).


Hope this helps.

Jay
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrey10x2
ok, as far as the coolant light coming on, dex-cool is the most crudiest coolant ever. it get a sludge in it. the sensor in the coolant coverflow bottle is a float design and has a tendency to stick. sometimes you have to tap it to get it to go out .
To tell the truth, I wish my '93 had the float design, because I could fix it. Instead I've got the plug-in sensor that goes in the side of the radiator, has no moving parts and likes to give false alarms a lot.

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the ac line freezing...... low freon will defintly cause this. or a bad pressure switch will cause this too.
Was there really a problem with the A/C here? I thought the question was whether ice on the outside of the plumbing was unusual (under the right circumstances I don't think it is unusual), but I don't remember reading about having the A/C stop blowing cold air at any time.
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:37 AM   #10
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anytime the lines freeze up on the outside, the low side is too low.
and you are correct about the A/C turning on in defroste mode too, they do this to keep the oil moving in the system so the compressor doesnt sit dormant for long.
when it is borderline being low, it will freeze up the outside of the lines, but then kick off for about 10 -20 secs and turn right back on till the pressures gets too low again. sometimes you wont notice it blowing warm air till it gets lower
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