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  #1  
Old 07-21-2015, 12:49 PM
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Unhappy A/C not as it used to be

I have a 2008 WK 3.7L with manual air and recurring A/C issues. I started having problems with it back in the summer of 2012 when a blend door arm snapped. The actuator worked fine, just broke the arm. I figured the issue out after a couple of days of trying to determine why my A/C was only blowing hot air. Once I figured all this out, I was able to manually open and close the actuator door to give me cold air again. This got to be extremely annoying having to get under the dash every time I wanted cold air. Mind you I live in south Texas, so it's hot 90-99% of the year. I finally located a shop in town that would replace the blend door unit. In mid-2013, I took the Jeep in to the shop for repairs, and a week and $1000 later, the blend door unit was replaced.

Then came my second issue. I'm not sure if this happened when they replaced the blend door unit, or if it happened some time after, but the evaporator coil went bad. I noticed the issue in late-2013 to early-2014. I was getting somewhat cold air coming out on the driver's side, but warm air coming out on the passenger side. I went back and forth trying to figure out what was wrong. I took the Jeep to an A/C shop that I'd done business with before. They checked refrigerant levels and functionality of the system, and could not find any issues. They only information they offered was that the evaporator coil might be bad. I took it back to the shop that did the blend door unit replacement. After a couple of days there at that shop, I got a call confirming the coil had a crack in it and was leaking. $800 later, got a new coil and I was on my way.

Now this brings me to my present issue. This is driving me more and more crazy, especially since I've already invested close to $2000. For some reason, the air does not come out as strong as it once did. All the fan speeds work, but on high, it just doesn't come out as hard as it used to when I got the Jeep. Another issue is that the A/C only starts to chill once you are driving. If you stop or are at idle, the system won't get cold, or stay cold for that matter. This makes stop and go traffic even more irritating. I realize the higher the RPM, the faster the compressor turns, but it never used to do this before. I used to be able to start the Jeep on hot day, and within a couple of minutes, the system was cold regardless of whether you were driving or not. I've also noticed that on long distance drives (as in driving from San Antonio to Austin or further), the A/C lines under the hood will freeze up. When that happens, the system loses it's chill. I have to shutoff the A/C for a bit in order to thaw the lines. Once I turn it back on, the A/C gets cold again. At least until the lines freeze over again. The coldest I've been able to get the interior temperature down to is 56 degrees, but that was on a day where the ambient outside temp was in the 60s. Right now with temps are in the upper 90s to lower 100s in south Texas, I can only get down to 62-64 at best. Sounds cool enough, but on a hot day the inside of the Jeep barely feels like it ever gets cold or comfortable enough.

At this point I don't know what else to do. Is this a common problem with the WKs? I have tried doing research on the topic, but can't find anything related. As much as I hate to have to do it, I may end up taking the Jeep to the dealer for them to inspect, and if possible, diagnose the system. Is there something I am missing? Something that may have been done incorrectly when they replaced the blend door unit or evap coil?

Please help!

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  #2  
Old 07-23-2015, 12:17 AM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

Was an original MOPAR evaporator used during the replacement? That you have less airflow, seems as if the evaporator is more restrictive, letting less air to pass. Or something is (partly) blocking the airflow.
That the air in the jeep is not getting cold enough, could be due to the evaporator as well. Maybe some piece of plastic is covering part of the evaporator, restricting the airflow and taking less heat of the air. Other than this, the problem could be the expansion valve, but it would be strange that it would be failing now as well, after all the other repairs you already did to the system.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2015, 08:59 AM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
Was an original MOPAR evaporator used during the replacement? That you have less airflow, seems as if the evaporator is more restrictive, letting less air to pass. Or something is (partly) blocking the airflow.
That the air in the jeep is not getting cold enough, could be due to the evaporator as well. Maybe some piece of plastic is covering part of the evaporator, restricting the airflow and taking less heat of the air. Other than this, the problem could be the expansion valve, but it would be strange that it would be failing now as well, after all the other repairs you already did to the system.
To be honest, I don't remember off the top of my head if they used a MOPAR evaporator. I want to say they did, but I'm not certain. The expansion valve is up near the firewall, correct? I did some research awhile back and had thought this might be the issue, too. I took it to the A/C shop I've used over the years (not the shop who replaced the blend door unit or coil). Based on what they could tell, the expansion valve was fine. I think when I was researching the issue of the lines freezing over when traveling long distances, I found out about the expansion valve.

Your assessment regarding airflow seems valid. When the fan is on high, you can hear the blower working hard. You would think the air would be coming out hard out of the vents, but the airflow doesn't match what you hear. If that makes any sense.

I know it would likely cost an arm and a leg, but I wish I could have the entire system rebuilt from the compressor to a new evap coil and refrigerant. As much as I hate to do it, I am thinking about taking the Jeep to the dealership to have their techs assess what's going on versus a shop on the side. Even if I went back to the shop that did the blend door and evap coil replacement, I'll end up being charged again, and will likely be forced to be without my vehicle for several days, either of which I cannot afford right now. Now's the time I wish I knew someone who worked at a local Jeep dealership, or was at least Jeep certified.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:38 PM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

Not sure if the following could be valid for the WK, but on the WJ we can have low airflow when there is a problem with the recirculation door. It sits just on top of the blower motor and can shut off most of the airflow when the hinges break and the door falls on the blower motor exit, blocking its flow. Its maybe worthwhile to have a look yourself and remove the blower motor from the HVAC housing. Look up through the opening and see if a door is blocking the exit. With a mirror and light you can then also check the exit ducting an maybe see the evaporator.
For you the following is now too late, but others who will need to have a blend door replaced, could probably better change the evaporator and heater core at the same occasion, since tearing down the dash is driving up the price for each replacement.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2015, 09:46 PM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

Definitely worth a look at. I agree with tear down and replacement of key parts in the system. If you ever have to have the dash pulled out, may as well replace what you can. I've had the dash pulled out twice and have paid twice the labor to do so. Hopefully I can solve my problem soon enough.


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Old 08-03-2015, 05:54 PM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

So the recirculation door seems to be operating properly. It moves as you go from recirculating to vent. Pulled the glove box down and placed my hand over intake just above blower and you can feel the air being sucked in. Could my problem have anything to do with this resistor?
ImageUploadedByJeepGarage1438638885.629550.jpg


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Old 08-03-2015, 06:04 PM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

Also, noticed this size able gap above the blend door unit where it meets the manifold that feeds the upper vents.
ImageUploadedByJeepGarage1438639389.574580.jpgImageUploadedByJeepGarage1438639429.160939.jpg
You can feel the air escaping through. Should there be some foam in between, or is it missing a part altogether?


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Old 08-03-2015, 06:55 PM
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A/C not as it used to be

So I was able to seal up 75% of that gap above. I couldn't get to the side that's closest to the firewall. For that the dash would have to come back out. I sealed it with some foam tape weatherstrip for doors and windows. It's about 1/2" thick, so I doubled it up and did the best I could to sandwich it in between the gap. I can feel a difference in airflow! The gap in the back I couldn't reach looks smaller than the front. Looks like about a 1/2" gap if not slightly smaller. Gap on the other sides was about 3/4"-1" wide. If I could reach that back section without pulling out the dash, I'm willing to bet 100% airflow would be restored. It's clear the shop that did the blend door unit install failed to correctly fill this gap, whether it was replacing foam that was there or replacing something else that filled the gap. Planning to try to call the shop to see if they can fix, although I am now hesitant they will fix correctly.


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Old 08-23-2015, 10:24 AM
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Re: A/C not as it used to be

I also have a problem with the air going out on long trips. And, by coincidence I also live in South Texas! When leaving the Valley (RGV) by the time I am arriving to the Sarita check point the a/c is coming out warm, while under the shaded canopy for a minute the air comes back on. Been doing this for a couple of years. All parts; Compressor, Evaporator, and sensors have been replaced. Yep it's HOT here!

Bill
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