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my A/C SUCKS!!!!

This is a discussion on my A/C SUCKS!!!! within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; ok so when i bought my car the A/C wasnt working. They hadnt driven the car in over a year, ...

  1. #1
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    my A/C SUCKS!!!!

    ok so when i bought my car the A/C wasnt working. They hadnt driven the car in over a year, so we figured it probably leaked out, went to O'reilly's, put in a can or two, worked just fine.

    But that didnt last long, I went to my mechanic, he said Camaro air conditioners suck in general, and i should just roll my windows down, but when its 110 in Texas, that doesnt cut it. Plus, he hates working on Camaro's....I have a new guy now.

    What the first guy told me is that its a combo of problems. First there are a lot of exposed hoses, which water condenses on, robbing the cold, but by the time it evaporates before it gets to the evaporator, if that makes sense. Basically the compressor works, but its heating up before it gets to me. The second problem is that its so damn hot and humid here.


    Turns out i had a leak, got it fixed, but it was at the end of summer. Well its hot again and my A/C is sucking balls, again. I put a meat thermometer in my vent for a few days and heres my results. Last night my ambient temp was 80ish, A/C blew 60, bringing it down a little. today after work, my car was 120 inside, air from the vent was 70, bringing me down to 90. Ive been told that a working A/C should be putting out 50 degree air, making your car about 70. I'm 20 above that.

    So, is this just something i have to live with, or is there a problem.


    P.S. I Insulated the hoses as best i could, ill post pics if you want, and it helped some, but not enough to consider.

  2. #2
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Hmmm, sounds like it has some sort of issue. The A/C in my wifes 97 Z is extremely cold, even on hot mid 90's days with 100% humidity it blows 46 degrees out the vents.

    My 02 camaro is about the same as well.

    If you're worried about underhood temps then install a 160 stat if you haven't already, and then program the fans...not only does this cool the engine better,,,it also keeps the underhood temps lower so the A/C doesn't have to work so hard.

  3. #3
    rapter34
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    with regards to the 160 it may not be the best idea in Texas because when it get up to 100 degrees outside it is likely that the thermostat would be open constantly which would cause more harm that the 180.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    dropping 50* from outside air temps is really good. freon leaks out naturally from the seals in the system. about 1-2 ounces a year. have the pressures checked. if the low side is around 30 psi running and the high side is near 150 psi, that's good.

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    Senior Member 440 rwhp trans am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Hmmm, sounds like it has some sort of issue. The A/C in my wifes 97 Z is extremely cold, even on hot mid 90's days with 100% humidity it blows 46 degrees out the vents.

    My 02 camaro is about the same as well.

    If you're worried about underhood temps then install a 160 stat if you haven't already, and then program the fans...not only does this cool the engine better,,,it also keeps the underhood temps lower so the A/C doesn't have to work so hard.
    Do not do this. it has been 100+ for the last week here in houston

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    Member Zedicous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikito View Post
    ok so when i bought my car the A/C wasnt working. They hadnt driven the car in over a year, so we figured it probably leaked out, went to O'reilly's, put in a can or two, worked just fine.

    But that didnt last long, I went to my mechanic, he said Camaro air conditioners suck in general, and i should just roll my windows down, but when its 110 in Texas, that doesnt cut it. Plus, he hates working on Camaro's....I have a new guy now.

    What the first guy told me is that its a combo of problems. First there are a lot of exposed hoses, which water condenses on, robbing the cold, but by the time it evaporates before it gets to the evaporator, if that makes sense. Basically the compressor works, but its heating up before it gets to me. The second problem is that its so damn hot and humid here.


    Turns out i had a leak, got it fixed, but it was at the end of summer. Well its hot again and my A/C is sucking balls, again. I put a meat thermometer in my vent for a few days and heres my results. Last night my ambient temp was 80ish, A/C blew 60, bringing it down a little. today after work, my car was 120 inside, air from the vent was 70, bringing me down to 90. Ive been told that a working A/C should be putting out 50 degree air, making your car about 70. I'm 20 above that.

    So, is this just something i have to live with, or is there a problem.


    P.S. I Insulated the hoses as best i could, ill post pics if you want, and it helped some, but not enough to consider.
    Since you had a leak, the drier should of been replaced and maybe flushed the system too..

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    why? the ability for the condensor to pull heat off is the basis for having cold AC coming out of the vents. i run a 170* stat in both of my cars and it gets above 100* here in florida. a stock stat opens at 210*. the stock fan settings are fan #1 226* and fan #2 234*. get the lower stat and lower the fan settings. this will also help cool off the condensor.

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    Member Zedicous's Avatar
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    I agree, i run cooler stats in the Z28, C5, RSX-S & Civic just fine with great A/C results..
    Last edited by Zedicous; 05-26-2008 at 10:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 440 rwhp trans am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    why? the ability for the condensor to pull heat off is the basis for having cold AC coming out of the vents. i run a 170* stat in both of my cars and it gets above 100* here in florida. a stock stat opens at 210*. the stock fan settings are fan #1 226* and fan #2 234*. get the lower stat and lower the fan settings. this will also help cool off the condensor.
    correct me if im wrong but you do not want the stat to stay on all the time. this allows at stops and while driving slow to create a much hire temp in the water. i belive they call it a open loop. when the stat turns on cools the motor down, then turns off shortly this allows the water to cool off in the radiatior.
    ? if thats true but with high ass temps here i will not risk it for what? a little cooler temp? no thanks

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    when the stat turns on cools the motor down, then turns off shortly this allows the water to cool off in the radiatior.
    You are implying that the water needs to "stay in the radiator to cool off" because "if it flows too fast it won't have time to cool off." This is a commonly believed myth that is absolutely false. It started when people noticed that a motor would tend to overheat if the thermostat was removed, but if a restrictor was in place then it would be fine. This is not because the water "flows too fast" with no restrictor. The water can flow at a million miles per hour and it will still cool the same. The key here is that the restrictor/thermostat is a RESTRICTION that RAISES PRESSURE in the coolant jackets. This higher pressure raises the coolant's boiling point and helps combat localized coolant boiling on the head combustion chamber surfaces. This localized boiling causes pockets of steam to form which cling to the metal surface and effectively insulate it from the liquid coolant, thus forming hot spots with excessively high metal temperatures.

    A 160* thermostat won't hurt a thing, other than preventing the computer from going into closed loop mode. Which is a pretty bad thing. And the colder metal temps WILL also cause your cylinder walls to wear more rapidly, and may also prevent or discourage your oil from coming up to optimum temperature. So don't do it. Stick with 180* at the lowest.

    Back on the AC -- I would break down the system and replace all the O-rings along with the dryer. Inspect the orifice tube and replace as necessary. Reassemble the system and (this is the critical part) draw a vacuum with a damn good vacuum pump, OVERNIGHT. Now refill with proper amounts of oil and refrigerant and if there are no other problems in the system like debris clogging the condensor from a previous compressor failure, then I guarantee your system will work better than it ever has. Most likely your poor A/C performance is caused by moisture or other contaminants in the system, caused by it not having had a proper vacuum drawn on it to clear all that junk out.
    Last edited by shiftless; 05-27-2008 at 12:53 AM.

  11. #11
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    Im not too worried about my underhood temp. since im running 2 cylinders short theres a huge gap between the front of the block and the radiator. the air dam is right there pushing air up. the temp guage on my dash never goes over 180. Im going tomorrow to get my pressure checked, i hope its low.

    If i want to reprogram my fans, how would i go about doing that, same thing for the 160 thermo?

  12. #12
    Make real real sure Johns00Z28's Avatar
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    Just ditch the A/C and save weight. Put the windows down and take the T-tops off and you'll be fine...lol

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    why? the ability for the condensor to pull heat off is the basis for having cold AC coming out of the vents. i run a 170* stat in both of my cars and it gets above 100* here in florida. a stock stat opens at 210*. the stock fan settings are fan #1 226* and fan #2 234*. get the lower stat and lower the fan settings. this will also help cool off the condensor.
    Exactly right....

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 440 rwhp trans am View Post
    Do not do this. it has been 100+ for the last week here in houston
    Why not??? Where are you guys getting these silly ideas from????

    If it's that hot outside I would want that cooler stat more than ever.

  15. #15
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
    A 160* thermostat won't hurt a thing, other than preventing the computer from going into closed loop mode. Which is a pretty bad thing. And the colder metal temps WILL also cause your cylinder walls to wear more rapidly, and may also prevent or discourage your oil from coming up to optimum temperature. So don't do it. Stick with 180* at the lowest.
    I have never found any of this to be an issue. Over the last 30 years I have ran 160's, and still own some of those cars,,,,

    As far as closed loop in a computer controlled GM car,,,well thats been discussed on another thermostat thread. A 160 will not keep the car in open loop. They hit closed loop around the 120 mark,,,easily verified with a scanner. My wifes 97 Z has had a 160 stat since new,,,now with 110,000 miles on the clock,,,no ill affects, goes into closed loop fine, knocks down 26 mpg and still runs like the day it was built. No smoke, not even a drop of oil used between changes,,,doesn't sound like excessive cylinder wear to me...

  16. #16
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikito View Post
    Im not too worried about my underhood temp. since im running 2 cylinders short theres a huge gap between the front of the block and the radiator. the air dam is right there pushing air up. the temp guage on my dash never goes over 180. Im going tomorrow to get my pressure checked, i hope its low.

    If i want to reprogram my fans, how would i go about doing that, same thing for the 160 thermo?
    The dash gauge is not an accurate way to check temps exactly,,,it just gives you a safe range. You really need a scan tool to monitor temps.

    Reprogramming your fans won't help you if you plan to keep the stock thermostat...You would need a cooler stat and then program the fans to take advantage of that,,,,which will help to keep the condensor cooler,,,and your underhood temps won't be as bad either....
    You would need a handheld or a software package to program the fans. j

    Also as others have touched on,,,I neglected to mention,,,if the system was completely discharged and had a leak,,,,I would have opened the system and installed new o-rings. Once the system has been opened it is generally considered necessary to replace the dryer/accumulator as well,,,then the system will need to be sucked down with a vacuum pump for about 1/2 hour,,,and make sure it holds a vacuum as well (no leaks) Then charge the system with the proper oil and refrigerant amounts monitoring pressures,,,thats how I do it and they have always worked flawless afterwards.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 05-27-2008 at 09:52 AM.

  17. #17
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    The dash gauge is not an accurate way to check temps exactly,,,it just gives you a safe range. You really need a scan tool to monitor temps.

    Reprogramming your fans won't help you if you plan to keep the stock thermostat...You would need a cooler stat and then program the fans to take advantage of that,,,,which will help to keep the condensor cooler,,,and your underhood temps won't be as bad either....
    You would need a handheld or a software package to program the fans. j

    Also as others have touched on,,,I neglected to mention,,,if the system was completely discharged and had a leak,,,,I would have opened the system and installed new o-rings. Once the system has been opened it is generally considered necessary to replace the dryer/accumulator as well,,,then the system will need to be sucked down with a vacuum pump for about 1/2 hour,,,and make sure it holds a vacuum as well (no leaks) Then charge the system with the proper oil and refrigerant amounts monitoring pressures,,,thats how I do it and they have always worked flawless afterwards.

    thanks man, but yeah, after he told me i had a compressor leak i had everything replaced, i think the only think not replaced was the part thats in my dash, everything under the hood is new

  18. #18
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns00Z28 View Post
    Just ditch the A/C and save weight. Put the windows down and take the T-tops off and you'll be fine...lol
    if only i had t-tops

  19. #19
    rapter34
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    hell on a hot day I keep the t-tops up. it just gets too hot what with them down.

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