SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a 2001 saab 9-3 turbo, base model. when i first bought the car, the a/c didn't work, so i took it to a dealer and they said i needed to replace the "DICE" unit. it fixed my problem, but only for a few months, so i've been driving without a/c for the last year or so...

i recently took it to my new mechanic to get the a/c diagnosed again, and after a recharge didn't get it going, he thinks there is likely something stuck somewhere inside the vents... maybe leaves, etc. it seems like it's going to take quite a bit of time to rip things apart and check for this issue, so i was hoping to get some more opinions before going through with that...

could it possibly be a bad heater/ac unit? or maybe another bad DICE unit? it's manual climate control (mcc) and i know it's not the blower motor because the fan speed works fine... and the heat works fine.

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
Generally if you had a leak in your AC system, the recharge would have it working for at least a day or two. The compressor could be a culprit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
compressor seems to be turning... and hot air is blowing fine which is why he thinks there might be a block somewhere
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
compressor seems to be turning... and hot air is blowing fine which is why he thinks there might be a block somewhere

I would think if you can feel ANY air blowing that there is no block. If there is R134 in there and your getting hot air, the compressor is most likely the culprit. Check to make sure it is clicking on and turning. If it is not their is either a leak and so low pressure that it will not click on. This is a safety pressure switch to make sure not to burn it up, or if it really is turning on and still hot air than somethign is not right with the compressor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,161 Posts
It's unlikely to be a problem with the vents but it is likely to be a blockage in the A/C system itself. If the high pressure side of the system gets blocked then the compressor will be turned off because of over-pressure in the system and you won't get any cold air. You can check this by having someone hookup a pressure gauge to the high-pressure side and taking a reading.

I've heard that the expansion valve is the most likely place to get a blockage and this is particularly likely if you've had any work done to the system e.g. compressor replacement, recharge, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Did u have a shop do a vacuum and suction then refill it or did u just buy a can from the auto parts store and put it in?

If u put it in yourself you may not have added enough or the system is contaminated.
Also with the air turned down to full cold and the fan on full blast if u pop the hood can you hear the compressor clutch click on and off then back on?
The AC compressor will cycle while in use, the clutch engages and disengages about every 10-15 seconds. If this isn't happening u either are low on refrigerant, bad compressor or bad compressor clutch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
adding too much refrigerant can be worse than not having enough. A recharge ALWAYS involves a vacuum of the system first to check for leaks. If it's charged properly then check the high pressure and low pressure lines. The high pressure line should be hot and the low pressure line should be cold and have condensation. If it does not, there is a problem with the recharge or inside the system.

Any professional will always connect the gauges to check the system before and after for immediate diagnostics. If you system is low on coolant before the recharge, the most common cause are the hose connection gaskets. Replace all those, recharge the system and your good to go.

If the expansion valve is clogged inside the system then that has to be cleaned, then the next question is why did it clog? Usually that means there is debris, metal flaking, inside the system, which clogged the valve, which could mean your compressor is beginning to deteriorate and fail, if not already.

Next, if the A/C system is working fine and you don't have cold air, it could be the A/C evaporator is clogged with debris and needs a chemical cleaning. Also, check your cabin air filter. Sometimes they disappear, then the dirt gets in and clogs the A/C evaporator, which means it needs a chemical acid rinse. Unscrupulous mechanics will remove the filter when the customer complains, then not replace it. Problem solved, but then in a year or two the problem returns for mechanic service again and a bigger bill. This also usually means less airflow out the vents. A clogged filter or evaporator always means less air is flowing than normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I am having a very similar issue. I replaced my AC compressor two summers ago in my 03 9-3 convertible, when the bearing seized, and it worked fine for the next few months. The Cleveland winter means I didn't use it for the six months after that, but when I did have to use it next, it was not cold until I used a recharge kit. That held for about two months then it was hot again and another recharge did not take, and did not read high pressure. I took it a week ago to a mechanic who owed me a favor. When he hooked it up to his recharge machine it didn't work because of a "blockage" in the system somewhere, and he left it at that.

I have noticed that the clutch on the compressor is not engaging on its own, but I did hotwire it for a test and it does kick in, and I was able to vent some pressure by the drier, but it still blows hot air. My friend is bringing a pressure gauge tomorrow to test the high and low sides.

My questions are, where is the expansion valve, and what is the easiest way to track down and unclog the block if that is the case? What should I expect to pay to get my AC in order (especially before I move to Florida) if it is something i cannot do myself?
Thanks for the help guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,176 Posts
About the only two things that can cause a blockage in an a/c system is the expansion valve and the receiver drier.

I've seen "leak seal" kits plug up a receiver drier - some sealants react with moisture and that is what the desiccant in the receiver does.

Not on a SAAB, but I've seen the desiccant bag burst and flood the liquid line going to the expansion valve with the of desiccant. Those beads likely won't make it past the expansion valve and will cause a blockage.

Always possible the thermostatic element on the expansion valve has died and the valve is stuck closed.

Expansion valve is beneath the rack and pinion unit, pretty easy to get to from under the car. Receiver drier is that round can sort of thing next to the left front head light behind the grill.

If the system won't engage the a/c clutch on it's own, first guess is one of the pressure switches is not happy. Either not enough refrigerant in the system or the switch has gone bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
About the only two things that can cause a blockage in an a/c system is the expansion valve and the receiver drier.

I've seen "leak seal" kits plug up a receiver drier - some sealants react with moisture and that is what the desiccant in the receiver does.

Not on a SAAB, but I've seen the desiccant bag burst and flood the liquid line going to the expansion valve with the of desiccant. Those beads likely won't make it past the expansion valve and will cause a blockage.

Always possible the thermostatic element on the expansion valve has died and the valve is stuck closed.

Expansion valve is beneath the rack and pinion unit, pretty easy to get to from under the car. Receiver drier is that round can sort of thing next to the left front head light behind the grill.

If the system won't engage the a/c clutch on it's own, first guess is one of the pressure switches is not happy. Either not enough refrigerant in the system or the switch has gone bad.
When I recharged the AC for a second time, I did use a recharge kit that stopped leaks. I know where the drier is, maybe I should take a shot and try replacing it? Or is there something simpler I can try with the expansion valve?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Expansion valve is the very first thing to check. You've got to vacuum the system out and capture your coolant. Then you take apart the connection leading into the evaporator inside the car. This is usually right where it is and most cars are designed this way for easy access. You have to pull out the expansion valve and check it/clean it. If you see metal filings or particles, then YOu may have a bad compressor.

Saab did make some things simple like where the A/C connections are and the drier located in the front for easy access and viewing. A sign of the drier going bad is the A/C cools fine and then begins to get warm. Vacuum on the system is supposed to remove all moisture before charging. If your system was open for any extended time, then some HVAC people say that you should change the drier before Vacuuming and recharging the system to prevent any future failures.

If you do find foreign debris in the system by the expansion valve remember you'll have to blow the entire system clean before recharge, all the pressure lines, condensor and evaporator. You'll also want to know where the contaminant came from. If it's the compressor, you'll want to fix that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Thanks a lot. I hope this is the end of my woes. I will check the valve tomorrow and see where I can get the system vacuumed. Is the drier a pain to change? Last time I looked at the alldata instructions, it looked like a pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I had this problem and after my guy telling me I needed to change this and that. I diconnected and cleaned the sensor (sorry but I don't know it's name ) Its attacthed to that black AC thingy that has that little glass window on it to check if you have freon...usually looking in it will show a green color.....anyway, I just pulled that sensor off, cleaned it and now I have ice cold air blowing.
If I had listened to those mechanics I would have bought a compressor, drier etc..and it still wouldnt have worked.
Hope this helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
That little glass thingy with the window is the Drier. That sensor is a pressure switch. That is the switch that controls the A/C compressor. It doesn't turn on the compressor when you don't have enough Freon. It also turns the compressor off when the pressure is too high. IF yours was clogged with debris, that would be a reason your compressor wasn't turning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I can't buy the expansion valve anywhere locally. Everyone needs to order it and can't get ahold of it until the 6th at the earliest. Any chance i can clean it and solve the problem that way? How would I go about cleaning it properly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,938 Posts
I'm in here a little late today... too bad,. If you had ordered from eeuroparts.com you would probably have gotten Saturday delivery. You could still order and get it Tuesday (earliest) now. If you open the system you will need to put a new drier in in addition to the expansion valve.

I would suggest that if you have debris in there, you really need to have the lines flushed out... there's likely more elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
A/C is weirdly intermittent

Sorry, this is not a reply, i just couldn't figure out how to start a new thread...

I have a 2003 Saab 9-3 Linear. The AC works intermittently, meaning sometimes it blows cold and sometimes not. It can be fine when I start the car then start blowing non-cold air after driving for a while--either a short or long distance.

We were recently on a trip and it would not work from the start. After about two hours of driving, I stopped at a stop light, turned off the ignition and restarted the car, and it worked.

Can anybody make sense of this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,938 Posts
First, you need to be in one of the 9-3 Sports Sedan forums. We only cover the 9-3 '03 convertible, which is the older generation.

GO here, pick the appropriate forum: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/index.php

Second, at the top of the forum you select there will be a "New Thread" button on the upper left side. Click that and you can start your own thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Hello all. Giving life to a dead thread. I have a 2002 93 Viggen. The a/c is not working. My father inlaw took the Viggen to get a service done before he drove to us from MN to ID. I also had his mechanic check the a/c. System help vacuum and they charged it. A/c worked then and it did not when he left later that week. So, I thought I would look into it more myself. I took it to work and connected to a/c machine. Recovered 1.7 pounds witch is 770cc. I did a 30 minute vacuum check with a 10 minute leak test. It passed. I charged my system and started her up. Turned the ACC on and to low. I heard the compressor kick on and a/c was working. Let it run a few minutes. I shut off the ACC and turned it back on again. No a/c now. I am not sure why I have no a/c again. I removed the right headlamp and turn signal. I removed the connector to the a/c compressor. Turned her on and ACC set to low and high speed. I checked for power at the connector (wire is blue) and I have power. I used my power probe to push power to the a/c compressor to see if I can hear the clutch engage. Mined you the car is not running while doing this. I do not hear the clutch at all. Could I have a pressure sensor going out that could cause the a/c not to kick on now? Is the compressor grounded through the mounting?
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top