AC system
Air Conditioning Problem in 1995 Honda Accord PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I am sending an email on a problem I am having with a 1995 Honda Accord. We have had the car in the shop for air conditioning problems and they have replaced the compressor twice, cleaned the evaporator, cleaned the condenser—then it blew a line going to the compressor. They fixed that; then I got it out of the shop last Saturday and the air conditioner was blowing cold air just like it should; then I get in it today, turn on the air, and it was barley blowing cold air again and blowing warm air. I do not have any idea what is going on and why it won’t keep blowing cold air. Could they be missing something in their analysis? And I sure would appreciate any help you could give.

Thanks,

Joe


Dear Joe,

I would ask your mechanic to stop assuming your problem is just your compressor and start inspecting your car’s whole cooling system—the hoses, lines, clamps, expansion valve… the whole kit and caboodle. It sounds like to me that you have a leak somewhere causing all of your Freon to run out. So instead of spending another $500.00, you may just be looking at a $20.00 fix. You might want to consider taking it to another shop that is more into digging into the problem, not just jumping the gun to take all of the money out of your back pocket by replacing the compressor over and over.

I hope this helps and thanks for writing in,
BT

 
AC On-Off Interval PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

First, let me say how much I enjoy your column.

There are those that are saying to turn your motor off at stop lights to conserve gasoline today. I realize that with the cost of gas, this maybe good advice. My question is this: if you turn your motor off and it's not off long enough for the AC system to equalize, couldn't this possibly damage your AC eventually?

Omar


Dear Omar,

First of all, I can literally say that the exorbitant gas prices have actually put a kink into my fun daily activities!

Any excessive idling over 30 seconds costs you more gas than it does to stop it and start it back up again; but keep in mind that you can quickly put excessive wear and tear on your starter by doing this. The pressure in your AC system equalizes very fast so turning off and on again does not hurt your AC, and your pressure switch is even protected so that it does not come back on until it is internally told to come back on.

I am a huge believer in what goes up must come down, so we all need is to just hang in there and wait this gas crippling crunch out.

Thanks for writing in and enjoying my column in the ‘Houston Chronicle’ because I truly enjoy everyone that writes in!
BT

 
Heating Issue in 2002 Chevrolet Silverado PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I have a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado, 4.8 liter; it has a 3 inch lift on it. The bottom fan shroud is not on it and it has a big slice on the top fan shroud cut out to fit for the air intake tube that is stock. The problem is when I’m sitting in traffic at a long light, the truck will overheat with the a/c on; but it does not overheat when the a/c is off.

I was told that the fan shroud should be put back on and I was also told that this would not matter. I changed out the thermostat and had the cooling system flushed, and this did not help. What can cause this problem?

Thanks,

William


Dear William,

The car manufacturers make their makes and models with certain specs of aerodynamics. When you jack your truck up with lifts and alter the design that first came off of the assembly line, you will more than likely have issues like you are experiencing.

The best advice I can give you is that you need to get the shroud back on and as quick as possible to keep your Silverado from overheating. It needs to be built up enough to the center of the radiator as much as you can, or build a tunnel like you would see in a Dodge truck/V6. To get a visual of how your shroud needs to be built, take a gander at the Dodge V6; you might want to even think about buying a Dodge shroud for your truck.

Thanks for the question!
BT

 
Air Conditioning Problem in 1995 Honda Accord PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I am sending an email on a problem that I am having with my 1995 Honda Accord. We have had the car in the shop for air conditioning problems and they have replaced the compressor twice, and then they cleaned the evaporator and the condenser. I got it out of the shop last Saturday and the air conditioner was blowing cold air just like it should; then I got in it today, turned on the air, and it is barley blowing cold air. I do not have any idea what’s going on and why it won’t keep blowing cold air. Could they be missing something in their analysis?

Thanks,

Bren


Dear Bren,

I would ask your mechanic to stop assuming your problem is just your compressor, and start inspecting your whole cooling system: the hoses, lines, clamps, expansion valve… the whole kit and caboodle. It sounds like to me that you have a leak somewhere causing all of your Freon to run out. So instead of spending another $500, you may just be looking at a $20 fix. You might want to consider taking it to another shop that is more into digging into the problem, not just jumping the gun to take all of the money out of your back pocket by replacing the compressor over and over. I hope this helps!
BT

 
Refrigerant for 2003 Suburban PDF Print E-mail

Dear Barbara,

I am not familiar with air conditioner components whatsoever. I do, however, have a 2003 Suburban, which needs to have refrigerant added. I'm concerned about the following questions:

1. At factory settings, what type of refrigerant is in it now?
2. What type of refill kit would be the best in your experienced opinion?
3. Is there a website I could use for reference to ensure that I am hooking up the can to the proper port?

I would greatly appreciate your knowledgeable answer.

Thank you,

Mike


Dear Mike,

My advice to you would be to take your 2003 Suburban to your local Chevy dealer and spend the money to have the work performed correctly. A little bit too much or not enough 134-A coolant will result in your AC system not cooling correctly and can, at the worst case scenario, damage your system by having too much head pressure; then you really will be crying after balancing your check book. Some of the complex mechanical systems these days are not as easy and basic to work on as they were in the good ole days.

Thanks for the super question!
BT

 
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