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Discussion Starter #1
I'm moving to California soon so I figured it was time to get the A/C working. I don't have a clue when it comes to the components/faults with an A/C system, having never touched one, so I brought it to a highly recommended Swedish repair shop for a diagnosis

They evacuated and recovered 0 grams, tested for vacuum and it passed the test, but they tried to charge it and it didn't take a full charge. They told me this was likely because of a block in the system somewhere, and they recommended replacing the compressor, the receiver dryer, and the expansion valve, as they are the most likely culprits (they mentioned the condenser wasn't likely to be blocked)

They also confirmed the compressor was toast, I told them beforehand how I tried to jump the relay and it didn't kick on but I did no further testing

Just wondering if anyone can confirm that this all sounds plausible and if I should replace those 3 parts. Any other tips would be appreciated (like what else should I buy other than just those 3 parts: seals?)
 

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you might want to replace the tube/pipe from compressor to condenser, the one at the bottom of the cooler.
It gets highest pressure and highest temperature, therefore it will fail first.
For sure all seals should be replaced.
 

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If they recovered nothing, I wonder how it passed the vacuum test, as there's apparently a leak. Have they proved to you the compressor is toast? If you volunteered that you couldn't activate it, you may have given them an easy additional job. Investigate compressor reconditioning - either get a recon or perhaps all your old one to such a business.

I'm such a cynic.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have reason to believe their words because I think I made it clear I just wanted a diagnosis and that I would be doing the work myself

I’ll try and jump power to the compressor

I am also confused by the vacuum results. Don’t really know what to make of it

I also tried to fill the Freon with one of those cans with a pressure gauge like a ~week before I brought in the car so I don’t get how there was 0 grams but no leak?

They seemed to think a block in the system explained this result

eEuro has a ‘OEM’ compressor new for like $300 I think it was? I was just gonna buy that.
I told myself I wouldn’t spend more than $700 fixing the AC and I’m well within my budget if I buy all those 3 parts and pay for a refill. What would be very unfortunate is if replacing those parts doesn’t fix the problem
 

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There's no point in jumping the compressor it won't tell you anything, the compressor will not engage unless the system pressures are correct or at least close to correct.

The expansion valve is a blocking point for sure especially if someone tried to recharge with a kit that included leak stop.

If it passed a vacuum test (I don't see how it would if the system was empty) but if it did normal course of action would be to recharge and include a dye to aid in detecting the leak....or throw parts at it like they seem to want to do. :rolleyes:

Maybe you aught to seek a second opinion.

Also regarding your budget..I do ninety percent of my own work, A/C is a specialized area, I paid my Saab shop $1500 last year for a new compressor and expansion valve job.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I may be wrong, but I feel like I have been able to jump a compressor and it will spin no matter the content of the system (provided the compressor actually works). I think it’s the ECU that won’t send power to it if the pressure isn’t right, so if you bypass that you can see if it’ll turn on and isn’t dead. Please correct me if I’m wrong

$1400 is what they quoted me to replace all the parts for me. They evacuated it for me, so my thinking is I’ll just replace the parts myself and then bring it back to them to be recharged properly. I do admit I would rather them do it but I can’t afford/justify 1.4k for A/C

I will definitely consider getting a second opinion
 

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You could overrule all safety measures by directly applying 12V to compressor clutch. It should engage.
But I do not know if it would make sense to run a compressor completly without any refrigerant and maybe without any lubrication left.
You could try this without belt but I do not know if you could turn an engaged compressor by hand or if this would already be a hint that it is broken.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep I’ve heard of people turning it by hand to see if it’s locked up, which mine does turn
The tests I’ve heard about involve jumping pins 30 and 87 on the relay. If it doesn’t turn on there’s either a problem between the relay and the compressor or the compressor itself. Jumping power right at the compressor would tell you if it was just a wiring issue
I don’t think running the compressor for a couple seconds can harm it, definitely shouldn’t run it for a extended period of time
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Haha good point, but with a probe it’s easy to just test it for less than 1 second, just to see if it kicks on at all

Whether or not it’s worth the risk it to each their own I guess. I don’t know another way to confirm if the compressor is dead

I think ive decided I’ll get a second opinion before throwing all these parts at it
 

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I see the (maybe acceptable) risk that the belt will torn apart or damaged if it gets stopped by the blocked compressor.
Maybe jumping the compressor directly and then only engage the starter (without fuel pump fuse and without DIC connected) would reduce that risk. 200rpm starter speed might be better than 900 rpm at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I’m not really sure what the risk is. I know that what the belt connects to on the compressor isn’t the actual part that spins when the compressor kicks on. I assume it must be a failsafe if that were to ever happen. Compressor can lock up but the belt can still spin something

But the compressor isn’t locked up either way, considering I can spin the front of the pulley by hand (the part that actually spins when the compressor kicks on)

when the shop said something was wrong with the compressor, I assume they meant it was dead, not locked
 

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If jumping the coil doesn’t produce the clutch to pull in, the coil itself could be toast or you need to shim in the compressor clutch. I don’t know Saab specs but I did a new clutch on a Lincoln towncar and I wanna say it was 30 thou on the feeler gauge. You added or removed various thickness of washers to the center bolt to get to that point. I love eeuro and fcpeuro but you can honestly buy a new compressor, expansion valve, drier, and the clean-out spray for under $500 from rockauto. I wanna say most of the parts I priced out was nissens too.
 

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correct.
test for continuity / resistance of the coil directly at connector.

test for distance:

When the compressor inner part is turning by hand there is not need to test it with a running engine.
It seems to be an electrical problem if jumping the relay does not help.

The free spinning wheel driven by the belt will be connected to the inner part of compressor when the clutch is closed. If the compressor would have been blocked there is no safety measure except that the belt will slip, the clutch will slip, the blocked compressor stalls the engine or the belt brakes.
 
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