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I recently put new cylinder heads on my 2001 Subaru Forester 2.5L SOHC.  When I pulled the engine, I opened up the refrigerant valves and as a result have none left.  The check engine light is now always on and the code is P0534.  I can't reset it or get it to go off.  I live in Alaska and don't really need the A/C.  Is there a way to make my car think it doesn't have an A/C at all?

 

I've tried removing the compressor belt, and pulling the fuse for the A/C.  Any other ideas? or should I just get it serviced or try to charge it myself?  Also, what cost do you think it would be to get it serviced?

 

Thanks for your help.

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I can't find that DTC in any of the FSM I have, but I'm thinking the ECU must monitor the pressure sensor on the system. It's usually mounted to the top of the drier canister. Check it with an ohmmeter to see if its open or closed. If the sensor is open, jump the pins in the connector.

If the sensor is closed, just leave it unplugged. Reset the codes and see if that works.

 

The switch may have 4 contacts. Normally there is 12v in, and the out goes to the compressor relay. But if the ECU is using it to monitor the system there will be an extra set of contacts in the switch for the ECU. Just turn the key ON and check each pin in the connector for 5v. Check the other three pins for ground to chassis. Mark those two pins on the switch and check for open/closed.

Edited by Fairtax4me

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I don't think the A/C system is wired into the CEL system to cause a code to come up, so trying to fix the A/C system is not going to remove the CEL. Find out what code P0534 means. Most CEL codes result from some failure of an engine polution control devies. Many auto parts stores will give you a free code read with your car in their parking lot.

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that is strange, i've never seen a Subaru with that code, even ones that were empty/low on refrigerant..!?!?

 

simply dump two cans of refrigerant in it and you're done.  the A/C will easily last the life of the vehicle no need to pull a vaccuum, I never do and it doesn't matter.

 

before you do - replace the two orings on the compressor fittings.  remove and install two new green orings on those connectors.  due to engine heat cycling/vibrations those are the two that frequently fail, the others are still in great condition after years/200,000 miles usually and never need replaced.  

 

they are one bolt each, really simple, and you can match them up in the generic kits from auto parts stores.

 

if you wanted to bypass it i'm sure it's just a simple switch that probably just needs permanently connected "ON" or complete the circuit, depending how it works.  continuity test would confirm which way it currently works and then you just do the opposite.

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