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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Car Mechanics? Question About A/C
    Lat summer, I had the A/C compressor replaced on my Dodge Durango. It blew ice cold through the hot summer. We stopped using it last fall. Now that srping is approaching, I turned it on for the first time this year and the clutch doesn't appear to be engaging. The compressor button on the dash is pushed in and the indicator light is illuminated, but you don't hear the compressor click on.

    I used a manifold gauge and there is pressure in the system. Could this just be a fuse?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    With those symptoms, a fuse would be the first thing I would check.
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  3. #3
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    I mis-spoke. When I hooked up the gauge to the system, it is reading as over-charged (in the red). Not sure how to remedy that problem.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Make sure you hooked up to the right port. I've never seen one stop working and then end up overcharged. If the pressure is too low, then the clutch will not engage. If it is borderline, it will engage and disengage. You will hear click - whir - click as it does this.

    Double check the ports, and check the pressure again. I'd bring it back to the mechanic either way. If it is low and leaks, then they missed something and at least should not charge you for the freon. If they overcharged it then they should fix it at no charge.
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  5. #5
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    I hooked it up to the low pressure side. The low pressure side is smaller than the high pressure side. What I have is one of those devices with a gauge in the middle, a low pressure fitting on one side, and and fitting that screws into a bottle of freon on the other side.

    I connect to the low side and the gauge is reading around 71, which is in the red area. The compressor clutch does not engage at all when the A/C is turned on.

  6. #6
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Freon?

    Freon has not been used in new cars since the mid-1990s, after its manufacturer in the US and many other countries was banned in 1994.
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  7. #7
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Sorry, I use that generically. It's R-134A.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Odd. I can't imagine how it could get in the red without being overcharged from the last repair fill. If it was, then it would mean that the current problem is not related to the overfill, or else it would not have worked over the summer.

    If you have an old bottle, you could hook up the system and vent a portion back into the bottle to relieve some of the pressure. Of course a shop would be happy to help with this as they get to keep the extra R-134a (Freon is so much easier to type!).

    Why would the clutch not engage? Electrical or mechanical. Electrical could include fuses, wires, sensors, and switches. Mechanical could be the compressor again, maybe a sensor? That's all I'm coming up with at the moment.

    Do you have a factory service manual? If not, check out a Durango forum and ask there. Someone there has to be an expert on this. Car forums are great places to find help (and opinions), and I'm sure there is one for the Durango.
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Hey Seymour,

    I just saw this thread. My husband is a mechanic. I will ask him when he gets home.

  10. #10
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    I have a Dodge Durango Haynes Repair Manual.

    It must be a fuse or relay for the compressor. When I connect the gauge to the low side, it reads 71 psi static with the car not running. When I turn the car on and the a/c, it still reads 71 psi.

    It sure appears to be a relay or fuse problem.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Haynes are great in that they use real words and don't tell you to use tool J-1384b. Their pictures are usually pretty good as well. The Factory manuals sometimes have more detailed troubleshooting charts. The relays are usually in a box under the hood, and you can sometimes swap out a relay from another function to test if it is the same one. My mechanic recommended swapping out all relays at 10 years. they run about $10 each as I recall.
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