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Old 08-19-2011, 03:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Uncle Steve
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My 2002 6 cylinder Santa Fe has been blowing hot air the last 2 days. The car has 64k miles on it.

The compressor kicks on, but emits a loud whirring sound that can be heard in the cabin.

A friend tapped the valve to check the freon and it did emit a stream.

Anyone have any ideas based on their experience?

Thanks,

SV
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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DSHornet
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A car that's nine years old likely has a refrigerant leak, with the most likely leak location being the compressor shaft seal. I've also heard of leaks developing at the seal point between the two halves of the compressor. Another possible leak location is the Schrader valves, commonly called the charging valves, located under the hood just behind the right headlight. Look for wet oily spots where refrigerant oil has escaped along with the gas.

If you know anybody with a set of manifold gauges who can check the refrigerant charge, let them have a look at it. Don't be surprised if you need at least a half can of R-134a, maybe a whole can if it's not blowing cool at all. Total capacity is about a can and a half. With the engine turning at about 1500-1800 RPM and the compressor engaged, run the A/C system in recirculate with the fan on high speed. Suction pressure should be around 26-30 PSI, discharge pressure should be around 230-270 PSI depending on the ambient temperature. An automotive air conditioning tech will know if the pressures and temperatures look right. Keep in mind that the expansion valve will hold the suction pressure steady, even with a low charge, to give you a discharge temperature at the center dash vents around 39-42 degrees.
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