Not your typical A/C doesn't work post - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Not your typical A/C doesn't work post

So I'm having some A/C issues and I've done extensive research online. Basically, everything works but my cold air. I have cabin temperature for cold air and hot air for when it's cranked to hot. Compressor is also not engaging. The A/C snowflake does nothing but illuminate (no difference on or off).

I thought maybe I'm low on refrigerant so I had it checked. The refrigerant was vacuumed and recharged (no leaks detected)...still no cold air and the compressor didn't engage. I was hoping it would during the process but it never did.

So, on to the next step. I tested the A/C module by bridging the wires to manually make the compressor start. From what I read, I wanted to bridge the white/brown wire to the red. By the way...I checked all fuses you mentioned (two F's and C4) they looked fine but I replaced them just in case.

I did the compressor test this past weekend by jumping the brown/white with the red and sure enough, it kicked on! I turned the A/C on and it started to blow ice cold air then all of a sudden I hear a very loud hiss and smoke starts to appear from the engine bay. Refrigerant started to leak from the bottom tray and at this point, I'm pretty much in shock as to what is happening. I immediately shut the car off to check out what was going on in the engine bay. After the smoke cleared, I couldn't figure out where it came from, nor do I know if I did any damage. I reconnected the plugs to the switch and started the car. It sounded fine but no compressor, no A/C. I drove it around the block to make sure nothing was damaged, sounded fine, felt fine. I thought I'd try to jump it one more time by bridging the wires. The compressor turns on, no hiss, no smoke, my radiator fans turn on, no cold air though now, and if I hit the gas just a little bit, the car sputters and dies...What gives?!

Jumping the compressor, car runs like hell but the compressor works.

Hooking up normally, car runs great but no A/C, no compressor, no radiator fans.

Any advice? Bad switch relay or whatever that thing is next to the fuse box? My brain is starting to hurt...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 10:15 AM
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It sounds like the compressor is being protected by the controller. When the pressure is too high or too low, it will not engage. Check the service manual for details though - my memory is a bit fuzzy


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 10:38 AM
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Sounds like your compressor was seized up and by jumping it you forced the clutch to engage which probably made your serpentine belt squeal loudly and possibly smoke. It's probably not a good thing to lock up that belt...not sure of the mechanical consequences from such a thing. If you're leaking refrigerant then you popped a seal at the inlet or outlet. You probably just needed a new compressor to begin with just like I did on my fiance's Elise. Use the Toyota MR2 ('05-'09) compressor...it's only $300 new and fits the stock belt (just barely).
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveToDrive View Post
Sounds like your compressor was seized up and by jumping it you forced the clutch to engage which probably made your serpentine belt squeal loudly and possibly smoke. It's probably not a good thing to lock up that belt...not sure of the mechanical consequences from such a thing. If you're leaking refrigerant then you popped a seal at the inlet or outlet. You probably just needed a new compressor to begin with just like I did on my fiance's Elise. Use the Toyota MR2 ('05-'09) compressor...it's only $300 new and fits the stock belt (just barely).
Sorry, should've been a little more specific. The smoke was definitely Refrigerant related because it sort of lingered like a fog machine and didn't smell like a burning. Also, the squeal was more like air pressure being released, not a belt.

Thanks for the info on buying a new compressor but because my compressor actually started working when I jumped it, doesn't that mean my compressor is working and doesn't need replaced? By all means, correct me if I'm wrong

I know...I know...I know...we didn't buy this car for the A/C but I swear to god, it worked before, and it was great. Getting a taste of it again makes me want it even more. With winter around the corner, this may be put on the back burner till the spring.

Any other thoughts fellas?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2015, 05:17 AM
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When I first got mine, neither the heat nor the A/C worked, it was all electrical, shorted wires etc. Hope this helps

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE!

I bought a new A/C module on Ebay to see if the one I currently had was bad. It made sense to assume it was bad because the compressor wasn't turning on when I hit the A/C button but when I'd disconnect the module and "jump" the compressor, it fired right up. The A/C felt like it was working too. I attached a pic of the module I bought. If you're not familiar with it, it's above your front passenger wheel liner just to the side of your fuse box.

Keep in mind, I'm not sure I've ever heard my radiator fans cycle while I'm parked or driving. I'm assuming they work because once my car reaches 205 degrees, it starts to go down or maintain. When I'm driving, my temp reads between 180 to 190. If I'm sitting in traffic or at a long light, it gets as high as 205 (tops).

Here's where sh!t gets weird...

Over the weekend, I decided to switch out the modules. I held my breath with fingers crossed this would solve all my issues. The key was not in the ignition, all I did was disconnected the old module and connected the new. As soon as I connected the new, my radiator fans kicked on. Scared the hell out of me! haha

I started the car up and sure enough, I've got cold A/C and the car appears to be running just fine. I turn the car off and the radiator fans are still running? WTF is going on?

Obviously this isn't what I'd call a successful fix, at least not until I figure out why the hell my radiator fans are engaging with no key in the ignition and no reason to cycle. In my opinion, this has ECU written all over it.

I had a reflash done a few months ago at the Lotus dealer because my battery died and I got the CEL code for VIN mismatch. I think the code was P0630 if I'm not mistaken. I'm wondering if that jacked something up? Truth be told, I'm not exactly sure when the A/C stopped working, I didn't really use it because I had the top off a lot in the summer. I'm fairly certain the problem started after I had that reflash done though.

I've got nothing...someone?...anyone?...I'm all ears...

Sometimes I wish this car was a beat up rust bucket so I could karate kick the passenger door or elbow drop on the hood. It's not though...it's the prissy prom queen.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 05:26 AM
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That picture and prt# is for the multi function relay
I think you need the fan control relay A117M0038F
or better still B117M0038F as the some of the 06/07 cars had a bad batch of A117M0038F know as the dreaded blue relays
these were known to fail and or cause a arc flash that resets the ECU causing the car to stall
I had the same issue on my Exige the relay is located on front passenger side behind the wheel liner
New relay B117M0038F from dealer fixed all my problems
as for the smoke I think you may well have over pressurized the system and blown a seal that will need further investigation
once you get the electrical issue resolved

Here is a thread that may be useful: https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f157...rmation-66770/
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, good eye sniper...

I thought this was the correct part based on looks alone. I didn't realize their was an engine relay module that looked exactly the same which is what I got off Ebay.

The A.C. relay module A117M0038F has a brown label marked YWB100800.

The engine relay module A111E6024F has a white label marked YWB100970.

f*ck me...

Well, I guess that explains why it wasn't doing the job. Hope I didn't ruin anything plugging it in and starting the car even though I only did it once.

After a quick search, I'm pulling prices ranging from $120 to $200 for part number A117M0038F, is that about right? How much did you pay?

Agreed, I'll look into the possibly blown seal once I get this figured out. Thanks for you help!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 03:20 PM
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I paid $125 from lotus Of West Covina
Horn, Inertia Switch, Modules, Fuses & Relays. Fits: 2007 Lotus Exige | Lotus of West Covina

Item 6, I see its gone up since then at $140 but at least its new and latest OEM
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XM595 View Post
I paid $125 from lotus Of West Covina
Horn, Inertia Switch, Modules, Fuses & Relays. Fits: 2007 Lotus Exige | Lotus of West Covina

Item 6, I see its gone up since then at $140 but at least its new and latest OEM
Gotcha, thanks for the info, I'm going to order it today. I'm curious though, what's the difference between the two? Besides the first letter being "A" or "B"? It says it's for an 06 and I have an 05. I don't think I'll have an issue but was "B" created to fix the problems with "A"? Any clue?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 04:41 AM
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Internals are not the same but look similar but wired differently on the circuit board
They perform completely different tasks. The pin in pin out connections are the same that's why it fits . It's cheaper for the manufacture to have a standard base cover and connector and just change the internals to the task at hand and stick a cheap part number label on the outside for identification.

There is a lot of information on the forum on this relay problem even guys much cleverer than me that have add parts to the old relays to fix the original problem.
I just bite the bullet and replaced with new.
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