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Discussion Starter #1
First world problems, right? AC not working in winter? It was working fine a few days ago (isn't everything that breaks working fine?) No signs of anything bad happening, no squeals, no smells, nothing. I recently moved back to Colorado from being in Vegas, so I'm thinking it didn't like the trip. It is a 2007 frontier with 105k miles.

I can cycle through all the speed settings on the blower just fine. AC light comes on but I can't feel or hear the compressor engage. I checked the fuse under the hood and it was good (10 amp fuse). I checked for code and there's nothing, no pending and no stored codes.

I didn't smell anything when I was down there with the engine off and with it on with the AC on. I didn't see any fluids or anything.

Now, when I was in Vegas I dont know if it was the heat or what, but the AC would be cold, but not THAT cold. Say it was 110 outside, the inside of the cab would be 85. Maybe 80. Could I just need a recharge? I was under the impression the AC system was sealed and the only time a recharge is necessary is when there's a leak.
 

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You could possibly have a slow leak, at 10 yrs its possible some o-rings are getting brittle/worn. So a pressure test would tell you if its good or not. Also the compressor clutch could be bad, or the relay feeding it. Try enabling it directly, like with a Power Probe... When I get home I'll look up the circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You could possibly have a slow leak, at 10 yrs its possible some o-rings are getting brittle/worn. So a pressure test would tell you if its good or not. Also the compressor clutch could be bad, or the relay feeding it. Try enabling it directly, like with a Power Probe... When I get home I'll look up the circuit.
I don't have a power probe. Would a paperclip work? I have 2 paperclips.
 

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I'd get the free loaner gauge set from Autozone, and measure the R134a pressure. I'm thinking that you just had some normal R134a attrition over the years (the system is designed to leak a tiny bit at the compressor seal, to keep that lubricated), and now your system is too low to actuate the compressor, for safety. Your comment on the below-standard cooling prior to this seems to corroborate this. My experience with my '98 and 2004 Frontier AC systems in Arizona is that they perform GREAT.

My 2004 Frontier just needed - for the very first time this summer - R134a top up. Remember - NEVER add any sealer or refrigerant containing sealer. UV dye is OK to add though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd get the free loaner gauge set from Autozone, and measure the R134a pressure. I'm thinking that you just had some normal R134a attrition over the years (the system is designed to leak a tiny bit at the compressor seal, to keep that lubricated), and now your system is too low to actuate the compressor, for safety. Your comment on the below-standard cooling prior to this seems to corroborate this. My experience with my '98 and 2004 Frontier AC systems in Arizona is that they perform GREAT.

My 2004 Frontier just needed - for the very first time this summer - R134a top up. Remember - NEVER add any sealer or refrigerant containing sealer. UV dye is OK to add though.
I'll just take it to a shop and have them top it off. We have a guy here my family uses that does honest work.

So the AC system is actually designed to leak a tiny amount?
 

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I'll just take it to a shop and have them top it off. We have a guy here my family uses that does honest work.

So the AC system is actually designed to leak a tiny amount?
YES. BUT may take over a decade or more to have enough leakage for a noticeable drop in AC performance. Otherwise the steel compressor shaft would burn/degrade the seal and the leak would become large. Same for an old VW flywheel seal, a water pump seal, etc.


No, the system should never leak anything. If you lost refrigerant, you have a leak.
Maybe you should've had a V8.. Because you're just plain wrong here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is there a way I can manually engage the compressor to make sure that still works?
 

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I don't know where your at in CO but the altitude difference from Vegas alone was probably enough to affect your pressures enough not to run plus being on a 10yr+ pickup go get gauges an some freon without sealer so you can look or just run it by a shop at least you'll know where you stand

And yes but just so you know there are risks associated with it like ruining your compressor IT needs oil when it runs that's why they PUT the switch there so if you have a leak or it's low it doesn't energize the clutch to damage your expensive compressor

And NEVER repeat NEVER stick any of those can with leak sealer in when your charging unless you like to throw money out having to evacuate system to replace a clogged orifice or worse just make sure you read the can most of the ones in the stores you know Autozone Orielys have a sealer the one without is smaller sized like your coffee mug and on bottom shelf @walfart I think its like $6 plus a hose 8-10 but doesn't tell you your H/L pressures you can get one with a simple gauge to tell you the low side pressure IDK if they sell it separate but they sell em in a kit and you can just throw the can that came with it away if it has sealer never said it be easy or cheap

With car running with a/c control on jump the low switch on line should engage good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't know where your at in CO but the altitude difference from Vegas alone was probably enough to affect your pressures enough not to run plus being on a 10yr+ pickup go get gauges an some freon without sealer so you can look or just run it by a shop at least you'll know where you stand

And yes but just so you know there are risks associated with it like ruining your compressor IT needs oil when it runs that's why they PUT the switch there so if you have a leak or it's low it doesn't energize the clutch to damage your expensive compressor

And NEVER repeat NEVER stick any of those can with leak sealer in when your charging unless you like to throw money out having to evacuate system to replace a clogged orifice or worse just make sure you read the can most of the ones in the stores you know Autozone Orielys have a sealer the one without is smaller sized like your coffee mug and on bottom shelf @walfart I think its like $6 plus a hose 8-10 but doesn't tell you your H/L pressures you can get one with a simple gauge to tell you the low side pressure IDK if they sell it separate but they sell em in a kit and you can just throw the can that came with it away if it has sealer never said it be easy or cheap

With car running with a/c control on jump the low switch on line should engage good luck


I was under the impression that if you're refilling the A/C the compressor needs to run in order to circulate what's being put in. That's why I'm curious about engaging it. Or am I wrong and the compressor doesn't need to be running?
 

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I was under the impression that if you're refilling the A/C the compressor needs to run in order to circulate what's being put in. That's why I'm curious about engaging it. Or am I wrong and the compressor doesn't need to be running?
When one has an empty system just containing refrigeration oil/dye like after a repair, a good vacuum is pulled for at least 30 minutes to remove moisture, remove air, and that vacuum will allow refrigerant to be pulled in without the engine and AC being on. After that stops pulling, then the engine and AC are switched on and the remaining amount of refrigerant added.

A system that is low enough that the compressor will not engage will usually accept refrigerant directly from the can without jumping the compressor, just from warming the can with your hands or warm water.

A shop has an electronic machine to add all the refrigerant at one time by weight after the vacuum step, faster and more accurate.
 

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I was under the impression that if you're refilling the A/C the compressor needs to run in order to circulate what's being put in. That's why I'm curious about engaging it. Or am I wrong and the compressor doesn't need to be running?
Yes n No
yes that's the objective but you can still check to see ballpark if your low with just hooking up a gauge what do you think the guys at the shop are going to tell if you drive up They're gonna do same thing then they'll fill it see if the clutch energizes an you don't have leaks so they'll stick in a uv dye fill it back up run it check for leaks an just go down the list. Now it'll read higher with it off so say with everything off you have 30-40lbs pressure you know your low an probably just need to fill if you have say 80 or 90 your good and need look further but that's here an the temp is anywhere from 60 to 80 day to day.

If it turns out to be low warm up your engine again turn your a/c on max and blower max and juice it(start to fill) as soon as compressor energizes read gauge and continue to watch it you'll see it jump and come back down every time the compressor cycles just let it run an equalize once its steady read the chart to guesstimate your pressure an try to hit the bulls eye
Now low also can mean a blockage and back to what I said about sealers that's bad
Here's the chart Ive used in past that tells you the pressures for ambient temperature but I just looked at it whats the temp up there? the chart only went down to 65 but looks to be for every degree is a lb so I guess you should still be able to utilize it

AC Pressure Chart | R-134a Temperature Pressure Chart
 

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Old post I know but I recently bought a 2001 frontier having somewhat of the same issue except the compressor isn't engaging. I plug on my gauge its in the red, checked compressor clutch, its not locked up, squeezed the relay a little with a pair of pliers, the clutch engages, possible relay issue? Not fuse issue. Sooo being my country self I grabbed 2 blue male wire ends and a wire, removed the relay and jumped it out, now my ac nice and cold. I know I know some will say oh you will burn up your clutch or compressor, oh well its 19 years old, and my AC is cold for now. Also after I did this the compressor gauge showed the proper amount of gas was in the system
 

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1. Get real set of service gauges.
2. Replace the AC relay.
 
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