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Old 08-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
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a/c expert needed

i noticed this driving home last night: cruising at 30-35 every time my ac kicked on i felt a power loss. like some one hooked up a loaded trailer, when ac kicked off it came back, trailer unhooked. i turned the ac off for awhile and had no loss of power, as soon as i turned it back on it had the same power, no power pattern. what part of the ac will cause this?

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Your profile says that you drive a 2004, with which I'm not experienced. I'm an original owner of 1997, and the A/C was commonly known to die after about 10 years for no explainable reason. The mechanic would just say something "exploded" inside the unit. What does that mean...? If you live on the Canadian border then the A/C unit might last forever, but it you are in Houston then you are using it every day of the year and its going to wear out faster. With the 1997, everything including the A/C, runs off one master serpentine belt, and when that belt breaks, the entire engine shuts down and you must get a tow to the shop. When the A/C unit locks down for whatever reason, it will cause the belt to snap. So I would advise getting on the phone with AAA for tow insurance immediately, including coverage for breakdown, not just accident. Smart use of $50 with an older vehicle. Replacing the A/C will cost around $1000 depending on your market, and you probably can't run your jeep without it functioning properly. Maybe you're lucky and just need the A/C unit "recharged" which should cost less than $100. But don't take it on the freeway, and get it checked as of yesterday.

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
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if that is true couldn't i leave the ac off and still drive it? or get a smaller belt and bypass it?
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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With the 1997, everything including the A/C, runs off one master serpentine belt, and when that belt breaks, the entire engine shuts down....
A broken belt does cause bad things to happen, but it won't cause the engine to "shut down."


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When the A/C unit locks down for whatever reason, it will cause the belt to snap. So I would advise getting on the phone with AAA for tow insurance immediately, including coverage for breakdown, not just accident. Smart use of $50 with an older vehicle.
Considering that it take less time to replace a belt than it does to call AAA, I would invest my money in a spare belt. (Just don't turn the A/C on after the new belt is on.)
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #5
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if that is true couldn't i leave the ac off and still drive it? or get a smaller belt and bypass it?
You can drive with the windows rolled down on the side streets in the mornings when its cool. But otherwise if you're still in Houston, why punish yourself?

I'm not qualified to answer the smaller belt question.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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if that is true couldn't i leave the ac off and still drive it?
Sure you could.


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or get a smaller belt and bypass it?
No need to even think about that, given the reported symptoms.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=tangofox007;2700033]A broken belt does cause bad things to happen, but it won't cause the engine to "shut down."

The master serpentine belt is necessary to cool the engine. Without that an engine is going to over-heat fast. That's risky advice.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=WRH;2700042]
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A broken belt does cause bad things to happen, but it won't cause the engine to "shut down."

The master serpentine belt is necessary to cool the engine. Without that an engine is going to over-heat fast. That's risky advice.
No "advice" is being given. Just correcting your misinformation. Stating that an engine will "shut down" if the belt breaks is factually incorrect.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:36 AM   #9
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i keep an extra belt with me just in case so im good there, and winter is not too far off
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=tangofox007;2700046]
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No "advice" is being given. Just correcting your misinformation. Stating that an engine will "shut down" if the belt breaks is factually incorrect.
So then drive it until it overheats to prove you're right.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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Your AC does take some horsepower to run, which is why some turn the AC off to conserve fuel. When the compressor cycles on, it's normal to feel a small amount of power loss. If you feel it's worse than previous times using your AC, take it to a shop that can put a set of gauges on it and check pressures.
As far as the belt goes, your fine just shutting it off, the compressor has a clutch that disengages the compressor when it's off.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:51 AM   #12
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being in houston i do normally run my ac at least on med, and before there was no noticeable loss of power but last night i could feel it lose. as far as replacement i should only have to replace the compressor correct?
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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being in houston i do normally run my ac at least on med, and before there was no noticeable loss of power but last night i could feel it lose. as far as replacement i should only have to replace the compressor correct?
It depends, if it is a bad compressor, it means the inside is damaged, and you will need to replace the receiver/dryer at minimum, and flush the system before the new compressor goes on.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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whats the best way to determine what is bad
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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whats the best way to determine what is bad
Take it to a good shop that does AC work, find a friend that can recommend an honest place that will tell you if it's a bad compressor, they are expensive to replace
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:36 PM   #16
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well ive been driving with the ac off with no problems got in today not thinking turned the ac on. came on blew cold for about 3 min and POP! right under the passenger side dash. blows fine but not cold. didn't blow serpentine belt. what would have popped that stops the cold from blowing. also noticed that on the hot/cold switch there is no resistance. any idea?
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:34 PM   #17
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So then drive it until it overheats to prove you're right.
Now how is he he suppose to drive it until it overheats when the entire engine shuts down when that belt breaks????

....
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver165
well ive been driving with the ac off with no problems got in today not thinking turned the ac on. came on blew cold for about 3 min and POP! right under the passenger side dash. blows fine but not cold. didn't blow serpentine belt. what would have popped that stops the cold from blowing. also noticed that on the hot/cold switch there is no resistance. any idea?
A/C line maybe? Look under the hood for refrigerant oil sprayed everywhere.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:33 AM   #19
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nope no fluid sprayed any where
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:18 AM   #20
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Is the a/c compressor still coming on?
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #21
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well ive been driving with the ac off with no problems got in today not thinking turned the ac on. came on blew cold for about 3 min and POP! right under the passenger side dash. blows fine but not cold. didn't blow serpentine belt. what would have popped that stops the cold from blowing. also noticed that on the hot/cold switch there is no resistance. any idea?
How loud of a pop? Your temp door/actuator might have broke.


I wouldn't think your temp switch would have much resistance. Mine has very little and works fine.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #22
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well went on a little test run, turn the ac on blows cold, but it doesn't matter weather the ac is on or off i have a plastic on plastic squeaking sound coming from the passenger side on the inside. its a random sound and faint barley heard sometimes

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