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Old 05-14-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
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Question 99 Park Ave Leaking A/C Compressor

Hi,

I have a 99' Park Ave that I bought used a couple of years ago (75k mi at the time, in the northeast). The A/C has not worked since I got the car. Soon after buying the car I added the appropriate amount of freon with dye to the system. The A/C was Ice cold for about 2 or 3 days and then it was warm again. Upon further inspection of the A/C system with a black light I discovered that the compressor had quite a bit of dye on it. The rest of the A/C system that is visible from under the hood showed no signs of the florescent green dye. The system has sat without a charge since then due to financial constraints. I am aware that these Delphi V5 compressors are notorious for leaks around the case o-rings seals and the front shaft seal. The A/C clutch also has a miserable rattle while disengaged. This leads me to believe that I should replace the compressor. I know I should also replace the accumulator and orifice tube.

Given the fact that the compressor isn't seized up, am I correct in thinking that I do not need to replace the condenser? I believe these are parallel flow and can not be flushed.

Assuming I remove the orifice tube and see no signs of contamination, should I bother with flushing the other parts of the system out or is this an unnecessary waste of time/money? Do I risk more by doing a flush vs not doing one?

Given that the Delphi V5 compressors are noted for leaking what other brands of compressors are recommended? The local Advance Auto has several (Factory Air, Tough One, Driveworks, AC Delco (expensive)). Does re-manufactured vs new matter on A/C compressors?

Any other concerns with the PA air conditioner system I have missed? Any special tools for this job other then the vacuum pump and gauges. I know this job is a risk, but hopefully the result is rewarding.

The shop quoted me $750 for this and I just can't justify that big of repair to this car. With only 100k miles on it, it should have several more years of great cruising.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Last time I had air serviced on my olds, it was really expensive but job quality done right.
They used a Delco compressor (seals & clutch were toast) evac, flushed & they installed a real in line filter, to rid they system of any left over particles. I would like to know if you have any stored codes in the system.
If it comes down to saving cash, just install a new/rebuilt Delco Compressor & recharge.
AS long as there are no other leaks in the system, you will get back to cold air again.
I know I hate having a car in the summer without working cold air.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:04 AM   #3
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As far as I know there are no codes in the system, there is no check engine light. I can put a code reader on in later, but I'm not sure how this relates to the A/C.

Any ideas where to source an inline filter from or how difficult to install?

Are the other brands junk? The AC Delco is $100 more then the other three. I can source the original Delphi for less then the Delco.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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Luckily I have a mechanic with a pro scanner, the basic ones, may not read all the stored codes. The check engine codes are generally emission sensor type codes that a basic scanner will note if there is a problem and light is on.
I know that on my Buick I have a low voltage code stored from the AC clutch, and no lights will come on for those, and a high end scanner will read them. You could try one of the shops like PEP Boys and see if they can do a scan check on their scanner for instance.
IMHO any new rebuilt compressor will last a few years. Nothing wrong with a Delphi.
I was just referring to what I chose for the olds.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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I have the Actron CP9575 I not sure if that will read the code you mention, but when I've put it on there in the past no codes showed up for the AC clutch. I know the clutch is bad because for the couple days I had the A/C working, each time the compressor engaged the rattle would go away.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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The only code you may end up getting is something related to low A/C pressure.

If its just leaking at the compressor, only thing you would need to do is, replace compressor, vacuum the system, (I would leave the manifold gauges connected over night to see if you still have a leak) and put new oil/R134 back in.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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Good Call on leaving the gauges on overnight.

Anyone want to recommend what type of inline filter to use? Wondering if the filter is more hassle then it'* worth. I introduce two more joints into the system, which means two more places that it can leak from.

Also still wondering if flushing the system is necessary?
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:42 PM   #8
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Flushing? I'd say no considering the system has been pretty much under pressure and closed the entire time. That'* about the only time you need to flush it is if its been open for a long time. Otherwise, its a completely closed system where nothing gets in.

Not sure on the filter though. Anything is better than nothing I guess.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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Saying that the system has been under pressure may be a stretch. If you put a gauge on the low side it reads as no pressure and when I did have a shop look at it they said there was no pressure in the system and that was why the accumulator and orifice tube need to be changed when the compressor is replaced (although I'm sure this is an opportunity for them to make money too.)

As for saying the system has been closed, this is true, I haven't opened it. It is closed beyond what air has leaked in through through the compressor seals. This contamination should be removed with the vacuum pump.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:21 AM   #10
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As an aside, I believe with most of the new and reman compressor purchases, the seller won't guarantee your purchase unless the system cleaning and orifice tube/accumulator replacement is documented on a receipt. At least that'* been my experience.
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