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I realize that I need to take the car to someone that has the tools to test my Air Conditioning. But... I'm hoping to gauge whether or not I should even bother putting any more money into the car or sell it and make payments on something a little more reliable. A/C at this point is the most important thing to me before the summer. I live in Phoenix and drive my son to daycare at around 2pm in the day, so being without A/C is not an option.

 

I bought a 1991 Subaru Loyale for $1200. After new tires, altenator, valve cover gaskets, headlamp assembly and misc tune-up parts I'm at about $1500 which is what the car is worth at blue book in good condition.

 

Now on to my problem.

 

I know there's freon as I tested the valve. When I bought the car the pulser assembly was sitting in the center console. Today I put it back on and tested. The clutch tries to engage but stops spinning after a few seconds. My buddy who used to be a mechanic found a document online for troubleshooting Subaru A/C. He also looked at it, and believes it may be the compressor itself since the wheel only barely starts to move before stopping. In this guide, it says if the A/C system has not been used for a period of time, the compressor and clutch assembly may require a break-in procedure to be performed. It says the procedure can be found in the "Service Bulletin 10-57-90" I googled it and found it referenced, but couldn't find the actual text. This car did sit in a garage for 2 years so if I could find out what the break in procedure is, that may be worth my time to perform. It also explains how the pulser assembly may be defective. It says to find the A/C relay (which i can't find in the chilton repair manual) and ground the positive. So if someone knows where i can find that, it would be great.

 

I'm really depressed right now because I knew getting a car for that cheap was going to require some maintenance but you don't want to mess around with having a car that will leave you stranded when it's 120F outside in the summer.

 

Thanks for any info you may provide.

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It sounds to me like you may be low on refrigerant. Just because there's enough to hiss out of the shrader valve doesn't mean there's enough to run the system. There's a low pressure cutoff that's designed to keep your compressor from running if your pressure is too low. You can test the compressor clutch easily. Just disconnect the wire running to the clutch (it's blue, if I remember right) and run a 12v jumper to it. If the compressor runs, you just need more pressure in the system. You'll want to leak-test it, but most A/C systems have some undetectable leakage, and with a car that's 14 years old, it's likely it's just lost refrigerant over time.

 

 

BTW, I've been running mine without the pulser for years. A belt broke and removed it rather violently, and the A/C is still working.

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being that your in pheonix i can see why you would want a/c... I lived just outside of lake havasu for a while..

 

i need to pick one up myself but i believe tha haynes manual's do a little better about pointing out part locations.

 

although this may not be exactly what your trying to find, make sure the rest of your cooling system is up to the task of competing with 120 degree weather. I found a 2 row radiator to be basically a necessity downthere..

 

rllywgn

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I ended up purchasing a subscription to alldatadiy and found the relay. I bypassed it and the clutch stayed engaged. I'm not sure if it was spinning as fast as it could, but the ac worked and was fairly cold. I saw a little smoke but that may be from the fact that it hasn't been used in quite some time. Guess the next test is the pressure to see how it's actually running.

 

Thanks for the info!

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