2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Moderators: Nacho, Tom Greenleaf, ACProf, acsource

2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:09 pm

2003 Pontiac Vibe - System was empty so there is a leak somewhere. There was a sticker showing it had UV dye so I looked at it with the UV light & glasses and did not see anything. I vacuumed it down and started to charge it but the compressor won't engage. There is voltage to the clutch connector but the clutch won't engage. My thought is to replace the clutch coil unless there is something I'm overlooking.

Hopefully, the evaporator is not the leak source...
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby GM Tech » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:09 pm

Do the ohm check first- if coil is wide open- then you'll know bad coil-- if you have 3.5 ohms resistance- then you'll know coil is good- and air gap may be too wide-- so tap on front of clutch when you have 12v to it-- does it pop in?
'95 Chevy 3500 454 Dually 142,000 miles
'94 Chevy Astro Van 358,000 miles!
'86 Buick Park Ave 192,000 miles
'86 GMC S-15 Pick-up 150,000 miles
'92 Chevy Lumina Van - 265,000 miles- given to me to see how far it can go! all above are white!
User avatar
GM Tech
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:23 am
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:51 pm

Forgot to mention - With the connector unplugged, there was infinite resistance from the compressor clutch terminal to the case and also to the negative battery terminal. It pretty much points to a bad coil.

All the compressors I have seen have two wires - it must be due to the fact this thing is a Toyota/GM combination.
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:54 pm

One thing I noticed is the clutch spins very easily - I'm thinking the compressor is shot. Other than replacing the orifice tube and flushing the system, what else should be done to the system?

Thanks!
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:20 pm

Willie: You found this empty so find the leak now while something is in the system - a sniffer may be best or bubble test.

If this help a vacuum doesn't mean it will hold pressure just usually. Doesn't end there with a clutch showing wrong ohms it might have been way too hot and the shaft could be the leak hiding some evidence? Look. OE dye shows up without UV light or has for me.

Ports with ball valve if cap isn't good a place to check and or replace. Must have a good OE quality cap on those especially.

When or if this was slow to lose charge probably didn't quit on time and burning up compressor - look at see but find leak while intact.

What do you mean clutch spins easily? With belt off if so it should and quiet about it as it's just a pulley then. If outer hub spins easily and can't make any compression feel turning by hand it probably is burned out but would need some charge so compress and doesn't have that yet.

All of the above the GM Tech mentioned but would expect compressor is a problem and needs that and done with other items as mentioned and procedures followed.

Ohms wrong could be from baking hot heat while failing? If you can pull outer clutch plate with the layout do so and see clearly that it's been too hot and bet you'll see oil evidence with dye at shaft seal - a good guess,

T
MetroWest, Boston
Image
______________________________
User avatar
Tom Greenleaf
 
Posts: 4529
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:40 am
Location: Marlborough, MA. USA
Favorite Refrigerant: R-12+134a

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby GM Tech » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:14 am

Need I mention- variable stroke compressors turn very easily when at least stroke?
'95 Chevy 3500 454 Dually 142,000 miles
'94 Chevy Astro Van 358,000 miles!
'86 Buick Park Ave 192,000 miles
'86 GMC S-15 Pick-up 150,000 miles
'92 Chevy Lumina Van - 265,000 miles- given to me to see how far it can go! all above are white!
User avatar
GM Tech
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:23 am
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:22 am

Tom,

I could spin the clutch with one finger. The clutch coil is opened. I think the compressor needs to be replaced. I looked at this vehicle 5 years or so ago (my neighbor's car) and it had some weird pressure readings on the high side - never went over 75psi.

Given the fact that the clutch can be spun with one finger and the clutch coil is opened seems to indicate that the compressor needs to be replaced. In addition to the orifice tube, is there anything else that should be replaced?
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:26 am

Willie > What part are you spinning with ONE finger? the clutch's bearing or the compressor?
Where are we/you with this - just go this vehicle and found it like this or when did it have proper working A/C last?

Any history to assist with this? UV dye, even oil evidence if it leaked all out over 5 years ago if it worked then and showed 75 psi was it working then or since?

If not now this time of year do you want to do this all up now or wait till Spring?

This will be key info on what I would suggest based on how long it's been now since it plain worked properly last. If 5 years ago you had some need to check it and wasn't working then or since I'd think hard about bothering fixing it at all.

Different needs for different folks. I personally don't need A/C that much for vehicles anymore. Most of the year is about heat not cooling for me. Do without in one vehicle and use one that works for the few days it matters by some age and condition of vehicle overall.

You could be in for spending thousands on a vehicle if from Michigan rusts about like they do where I am and some other thing rust wise renders the whole vehicle not road worthy at all.

So where do you stand with this?

Tom
MetroWest, Boston
Image
______________________________
User avatar
Tom Greenleaf
 
Posts: 4529
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:40 am
Location: Marlborough, MA. USA
Favorite Refrigerant: R-12+134a

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:30 pm

The clutch face spins with one finger - this is with the serpentine belt installed. To me, that indicates that the compressor is shot. There was UV dye added at some point but there is no evidence of leakage when viewed with a black light and UV glasses. I know there has to be a leak somewhere - possibly the evaporator.

I charged it up 5 years ago for my neighbor and he said it cooled but I noticed the high side was only 75 psi with a full charge (1.48 lbs.). I don't have any other history on the vehicle.

It is still in the 80s and HUMID here with no relief from the humidity in sight so I understand why he wants the A/C fixed.
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:35 pm

OK - It worked with a correct charge and 75psi doesn't make sense to me. I think you somehow were reading static pressure of source of refrigerant not actual high pressure in a system that cooled - couldn't be that.

How easy this vr compressor turns now with a system that went empty have to suggest now check plain static pressures, engine cold and see if what you got into a well held vacuum shows even a tad below a pressure on this chart meaning charge is so low it must have already leaked out of lower than the pressure temp relationship.

You can get enough into a vacuum alone, engine off if source is plenty warm and pressure enough to get quite a bit in - not enough but enough to show it's got some.

IDK how you measure how much is going in - by weight of container before and after or what you do.

This chart is posted above and I'll just put it here again. It is this exact if you know the temps you know the pressure......
Image

With that as said if below par it has already leaked out and that has to be you first hunt for this IMO,

T
MetroWest, Boston
Image
______________________________
User avatar
Tom Greenleaf
 
Posts: 4529
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:40 am
Location: Marlborough, MA. USA
Favorite Refrigerant: R-12+134a

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:27 pm

GM Tech wrote:Need I mention- variable stroke compressors turn very easily when at least stroke?


GM Tech, Do you think being able to turn the clutch with one finger as I described is normal with this compressor? The clutch coil is opened for sure but I'd hate for him to buy a coil if the compressor is shot.

The weird thing is that about 5 years ago, I vacuumed the system down and added the proper charge by weight into the vacuum and the high side never went above 75 psi with the compressor clutch engaged. In my opinion it wasn't cooling very well but he said it cooled OK until earlier this season.
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby GM Tech » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:50 am

75 psi is gage pressure- your connection to car is amiss- not communicating with car--

Yes variable stroke compressors turn very easily when at low stroke- and no charge...or even with charge at low stroke there is no pumping- I've taken the coils off these type situations and found the embedded thermal fuse in the coil face to be blown- I merely solder in a piece of copper about 1/2 inch long- put some epoxy on top and re-install and it is good to go again. I'll bet that that is your only issue- the thermal fuse in coil face has let go- It is no big deal- since they make coils with out thermal fuses- so this just becomes one of those models-- the thermal fuse is there just to avoid a "walk-home" if indeed the compressor locks up and the clutch slips and overheats - the fuse blows before it can cook the pulley bearing- and cause the serpentine belt to melt off- and thus the term- walk home. But unfortunately, the very situation they try to design around actually causes a "no a/c" condition do to the wide open coil due to the blown thermal fuse on the coil face..even though the clutch has never slipped. It doesn't always work the way it is designed. Take it apart and see if I'm right....
'95 Chevy 3500 454 Dually 142,000 miles
'94 Chevy Astro Van 358,000 miles!
'86 Buick Park Ave 192,000 miles
'86 GMC S-15 Pick-up 150,000 miles
'92 Chevy Lumina Van - 265,000 miles- given to me to see how far it can go! all above are white!
User avatar
GM Tech
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:23 am
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:29 am

Great GM Tech:

Willie: Reading this 75 PSI now for 5 years you either are not using gauges properly or not making a connection. Some you need to push down on the connection and then it reads.

75 as said I think can't be making cool air and isn't a liquid in the system to be evaporated so just can't be.

Try another set of gauges or try that set on another vehicle if you have a willing owner/vehicle to see them working. They just aren't.

The rest of the problem is electrical as described. Pressures are good info all along for diagnosis, evacuating and charging but of no use if wrong information from them, not connecting and staying sealed too,

T
MetroWest, Boston
Image
______________________________
User avatar
Tom Greenleaf
 
Posts: 4529
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:40 am
Location: Marlborough, MA. USA
Favorite Refrigerant: R-12+134a

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Cusser » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:16 pm

We used to have a 1994 GM SUV; had to hold down hard the factory R134a high side connection to get it to push down the valve to get a reading. Our other R134a vehicles do fine with same connector. So try pushing down with your hands and see if the reading takes.
User avatar
Cusser
 
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:22 am

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:40 pm

Thanks Cusser - I'm not the only one that connections do this - another set works IDK why? OP - What you do is if right angle connection from gauge ends PUSH or squeeze if in line on a hose or PUSH if straight on. It should read and might lock if you let go?

Might hiss a leak or who knows? I'm not sure this is just GM thing or just luck. Every time (no that uncommon) another set worked. Near impossible not to have two of every common thing at the ready,

T
MetroWest, Boston
Image
______________________________
User avatar
Tom Greenleaf
 
Posts: 4529
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:40 am
Location: Marlborough, MA. USA
Favorite Refrigerant: R-12+134a

Re: 2003 Pontiac Vibe - compressor clutch won't engage

Postby Willie » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:36 am

GM Tech wrote:75 psi is gage pressure- your connection to car is amiss- not communicating with car--

Yes variable stroke compressors turn very easily when at low stroke- and no charge...or even with charge at low stroke there is no pumping- I've taken the coils off these type situations and found the embedded thermal fuse in the coil face to be blown- I merely solder in a piece of copper about 1/2 inch long- put some epoxy on top and re-install and it is good to go again. I'll bet that that is your only issue- the thermal fuse in coil face has let go- It is no big deal- since they make coils with out thermal fuses- so this just becomes one of those models-- the thermal fuse is there just to avoid a "walk-home" if indeed the compressor locks up and the clutch slips and overheats - the fuse blows before it can cook the pulley bearing- and cause the serpentine belt to melt off- and thus the term- walk home. But unfortunately, the very situation they try to design around actually causes a "no a/c" condition do to the wide open coil due to the blown thermal fuse on the coil face..even though the clutch has never slipped. It doesn't always work the way it is designed. Take it apart and see if I'm right....


Thanks for the information. I'll take a look at it this weekend when his son is back home from school.
User avatar
Willie
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Western Michigan


Return to A/C Questions and Opinions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests