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A/C compressor froze up

This is a discussion on A/C compressor froze up within the Automotive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. What causes an a.c. compressor to freeze up? Is there no cure other than replacing it?


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Old 03-05-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
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What causes an a.c. compressor to freeze up? Is there no cure other than replacing it?

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Old 03-05-2010, 06:56 PM   #2
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Lack of lubrication.
Replace only after doing a COMPLETE system flush - or the old compressor will come back to haunt the new one in the form of metal shavings.

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Old 03-06-2010, 04:14 AM   #3
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Is it frozen with the A/C on (i.e. clutch engaged) or when the A/C is off (clutch disengaged)? If it is frozen with A/C off, it might just be the pulley bearing that lets the pulley spin freely when the A/C clutch is not engaged. That can be repaired.

But if it is frozen internally you've probably got a mess on your hands. Some a/c places call it the "black death" from all the gunk that spreads through the system. Need a total flush as MT said. That means diassembling everything and flushing until clear. They make DIY kits for this that have a solvent container that you connect to your air compressor. Has a line with rubber adaptor for inserting into a/c lines and components. Then need new comp, receiver/accumulator, new expansion orifice, o-rings, etc.

Be advised that most a/c shops won't do this w/o replacing the condenser since the tiny parallel passages are extremely difficult to flush and the shop won't be willing to warrant the work.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raylo View Post
Is it frozen with the A/C on (i.e. clutch engaged) or when the A/C is off (clutch disengaged)? If it is frozen with A/C off, it might just be the pulley bearing that lets the pulley spin freely when the A/C clutch is not engaged. That can be repaired.

But if it is frozen internally you've probably got a mess on your hands. Some a/c places call it the "black death" from all the gunk that spreads through the system. Need a total flush as MT said. That means diassembling everything and flushing until clear. They make DIY kits for this that have a solvent container that you connect to your air compressor. Has a line with rubber adaptor for inserting into a/c lines and components. Then need new comp, receiver/accumulator, new expansion orifice, o-rings, etc.

Be advised that most a/c shops won't do this w/o replacing the condenser since the tiny parallel passages are extremely difficult to flush and the shop won't be willing to warrant the work.
Where can I find a DIY kit?
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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i used this once upon a time. It did the job for me. I didn't try to flush the condenser... I just got a new one. The lines and the evaporator weren't too hard to flush clean. Of course there's a lot more to this job... If you haven't done much A/C work before it might be very challenging.


http://www.ackits.com/merchant.mvc?S...ory_Code=Flush
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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if replacing the condenser you should let you're local shop put it on a vac machine to test for slow leaks and remove moisture from the system because moisture in the air that gets in the system is bad and could result in damaged compressor or not very good cooling performance. as long as they will allow you to request the system be left un charged after the test then this wont cost much. normally only cost me like 30 bucks when i redo an a/c system in one of my cars.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97'sonoma View Post
if replacing the condenser you should let you're local shop put it on a vac machine to test for slow leaks and remove moisture from the system because moisture in the air that gets in the system is bad and could result in damaged compressor or not very good cooling performance. as long as they will allow you to request the system be left un charged after the test then this wont cost much. normally only cost me like 30 bucks when i redo an a/c system in one of my cars.
this also applies any time you have to open the systems line. even if its just replacing an oraface or preassure switch

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