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Unread 02-23-2014, 09:29 PM   #1
IcemanYJ
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Wrangler A/C Not Engaging

Hey!

Let me start by saying- Yes, I have searched the forum, and I have read TONS of pages on this subject- but I'm still not quite sure about the problem, so I thought I'd ask directly...

Okay, so my heat works perfectly. My a/c does not work. Warm air will blow into the cabin, and each speed setting works. I've looked under the hood, and it appears that the clutch is not engaging. I can physically move it(so its not completely locked up), but it will not move on its own.... So, with that being said, in all of your great Jeep knowledge, I ask you all- what is wrong here?

Thanks!

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Unread 02-23-2014, 09:39 PM   #2
ACs98tj
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Possible loss of refrigerant charge. At pressures below about 30 psi in the refrigerant system the low pressure switch will open and prevent the clutch from engaging.
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Unread 02-23-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
IcemanYJ
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That's what I thought last fall, so I added refrigerant via the low port using one of those overpriced cans from the auto zone... But I know that it won't really do much unless that high-port is also addressed(right?)
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Unread 02-23-2014, 10:02 PM   #4
ACs98tj
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High port is mainly for diagnosis and repairs when using a manifold gauge set with both a high and low side gauge. All refrigerant adds are done by low port. When system is not running the pressures should be the same on both ports. On average a fully charged system, while not running, with a moderately warm engine compartment will be in the area of 100 psi. If old charging hose had a gauge you can use it to get a baseline charge pressure while A/C is off.
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Unread 02-23-2014, 10:12 PM   #5
IcemanYJ
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Gotchya...
I don't remember the exact PSI, but I do remember that it was not low when I went to add last fall.

So, are you suggesting that it's may just be in need of a recharge, and that the compressor/clutch is not failing, but rather preventing the system from running in order to protect it?
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Unread 02-24-2014, 09:48 AM   #6
IcemanYJ
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bump
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Unread 02-24-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
Dave02TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanYJ View Post
bump
The ac system uses a low pressure cut off switch, so yes if you do not have the proper refrigerant charge, your compressor clutch will not engage.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 05:05 PM   #8
IcemanYJ
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Okay- So should I take it to a shop and just have them recharge it? Sorry, I'm just not very a/c savy, if you can't already tell lol
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Unread 02-24-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanYJ View Post
Okay- So should I take it to a shop and just have them recharge it? Sorry, I'm just not very a/c savy, if you can't already tell lol
It needs a gauge set put on it to see what's up. If it's low, it has a leak you may want to fix.

Step one is seeing if it has a full charge really.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 06:40 PM   #10
IcemanYJ
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Okay- now, when I check it, do I need to check both the Low and High? Or does just the low side matter for this?
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Unread 02-24-2014, 06:56 PM   #11
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Do you have a low and high side gauge? If you do use them.
If you dont, while the compressor is running you need somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 psi on the low side. This depends on ambient temps outside.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 07:16 PM   #12
IcemanYJ
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I just have a low pressure gauge(from one of those refrigerant cans...)
I'll get back to you on the PSI in the morning- but if it's not around 30, would it be in my best interest to just take it to a shop?

From what I've gathered, it seems like I have a leak somewhere, and that leak is enough to tell my compressor to not engage the clutch in order to prevent damage. Should that leak be addressed, and the refrigerant pressures be adjusted to proper levels, then my clutch will engage again, and my a/c system will actually produce cold air- correct? Assuming, of course, that what we have said so far is actually the problem...
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Unread 02-24-2014, 07:20 PM   #13
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You could bypass the low pressure cut off switch if you wanted, just to see if the compressor works, but dont run it long it needs the refrigerant to move the oil that lubricates the compressor.

If your compressor clutch is bad then no, recharging it wont help.
If the fuse is blown for the ac clutch, then no, it wont help.
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Unread 02-24-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
Dave02TJ
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If you bring it to a half way decent shop they will put it in a vacuum to see if it holds, they could also add a die and use an electronic leak detector to find leaks.
They could also charge it to the exact proper level. So a shop isn't the worst idea.

Or you could charge it and see what happens right...
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Unread 02-24-2014, 10:34 PM   #15
IcemanYJ
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Okay, thanks bud! I appreciate all of your advice!
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