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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Even though I refilled the A/C, not cold air comes out. I already checked that there are no leaks. What else could it be? The A/C has never been that cold and on the previous service records i remember reading that the previous owner complained about air not being cold. What could be? Any ideas?


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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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We'll assume you are talking about your '95 S4.


Do you know if the car originally came with R134 or R12?

If originally R12, was it converted to 134? That might be the problem right there.

After adding gas, does the A/C work better for a while? What components did you check for leaks?


Has the system been checked out by a professional shop?
 

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It could be so many things that if you aren't familiar enough with ac systems to diagnose it yourself, you would be wise to heed Atwell's advice and take it to a professional. Any reputable auto ac shop should be able to diagnose the problem and it would be worth paying the diagnostic fee and go from there.

Could be something very simple or very complicated...
 

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If you don't feel the compressor drag the engine down when it engages (it should cycle on and off), then the AC clutch may not be engaging. This can be as simple as a connector which has become undone, a bad compressor or an associated electrical failure. Even with the wrong Freon, you should be getting "some" cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, records shows that it was converted. I used a A/C UV Dye to check for leaks, but I couldn't find anything. I don't feel the compressor dragging down the engine. Every time I turn on the fan with out the A/C on, the RPM goes up around 200 RPM and it doesn't make a difference if I turn the A/C on or off, always the same result. I will check the compressor and A/C clutch next.


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My S4s also did not cool well. I had some gunk in the line which clogged the orifice, which is deep in the passenger footwell. My belt also wasn't tight enough - it must have max deviation of 9 mm between pulleys.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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If you bring the car to a professional, make sure you let them know that the A/C hoses (which, if converted, are not the proper Barrier Hoses for R134) travel inside the passenger-side interior door sill. Best to remove the passenger seat for the UV leak test (4 bolts), they might have to pry up the glued-on carpet on the sill to see inside.

Your A/C performance will be MUCH better if you go back to R12 or another substitute like Freeze-12.



Common leak-points besides the hoses are the compressor itself, or the fittings under the passenger-side dash.



One nice thing about the Esprit A/C is that it still included the Sight Glass at the RH front area of the front trunk. If that shows "bubbly" you are not fully charged, and the Esprit system contains a LOT of refrigerant.
 

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Even though I refilled the A/C, not cold air comes out. I already checked that there are no leaks. What else could it be? The A/C has never been that cold and on the previous service records i remember reading that the previous owner complained about air not being cold. What could be? Any ideas?


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You cannot just shoot some refrigerant in and expect cold air. For example lets suppose the system has some air in it because of leaks and never being properly evacuated. More refrigerant won't help even if you could get it in without blowing your head pressures sky high. If it was converted the service ports are supposed to be changed so no one sticks the wrong stuff in and there is supposed to be a label indicating the conversion and the correct amount and type of refrigerant. If, during the conversion, the oil wasn't flushed out and changed the insides may be contaminated and plugged up. Converting to -134 in a system designed for -12 results in a loss of capacity of at least 10% and that is if it is properly done! How did you check for leaks? Do you have a leak detector or did you use some leak detector solution (soapy water)? Do you even know what your low and high side pressures are? You need a manifold gauge set to get started. If you don't know what you are doing with A/C systems you are best served by getting the car to someone who does and has the proper equipment.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Unless it's a real burden I agree with Jim Knowles - take it to a good pro shop and have an experienced person troubleshoot the system.
They can give you an estimated cost for the fix required and you can decide from there.

And Atwell is right about R12 - my car was DIY "conversion" to 134 by the PO and it didn't cool worth a damn. The shop that did the AC told me right away that if I wanted it to perform as it was designed to go with R12, which I did. Added less than $100 to the cost of the refurbishing of the AC and it works terrifically and I live in Florida.
 

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[snip]
One nice thing about the Esprit A/C is that it still included the Sight Glass at the RH front area of the front trunk. If that shows "bubbly" you are not fully charged, and the Esprit system contains a LOT of refrigerant.
A bit of a tangent, but worth noting.

My 88 had its R12 system professionally (?) converted to R134 by the PO.
When I bought the car, it was checked out (loose wire found) and pressure/leak tested, and topped off with the 'recommended' R134 level. It worked well in Northern California summers, but after 90 mins of operation in 90F weather, the mechanical relief valve would blow, venting R134 out (to protect the compressor due to high pressure).

There is a long thread I had on this. Bottom line was that the 'recommended' R134 (calculated from the original R12) level was simply too high. After the 3rd relief valve blow, I recharged myself to only 80% of the charge - never had a problem since, and it blows reasonably cold even for a San Jose 90F day. I also changed the drier - it's possible that action also got rid of some contaminant, but for now, I'll stick with this lower charge level (and yes, I do see some bubbling in the window).
 
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