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Old 09-12-2007, 07:34 PM   #1
mattswrxnc
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Default A/C is not working on '04 WRX

Hey everyone, somewhat newbie here. I have an '04 WRX and my a/c compressor started to go bad. 1 day the air got warm while the a/c was running and then it went back to cold. There was a burning smell, similar to a clutch burning smell. After that i noticed noise coming from the clutch of the a/c compressor. I tried not to run the a/c unless I had to but if anyone knows this summer we have been in the 100 degree mark several times. Anyway, I purchased a used compressor and while waitiong for it to be shipped the a/c stopped working. I noticed that while the a/c button was depressed the fan almost pulsated as if it kept turning off and then back on. When the a/c button was out the fan ran fine. I thought that maybe this was all related to the compressor. I had the compressor installed today (which works fine) and the a/c is still not running properly. The light for the a/c keeps going off and on just as the fan does. The mechanic (not subaru) attempted to conduct an electric diagnostic check on the system but could not locate the problem.
Anyone have any ideas??
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
Psipwrd
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I was told if the compressor goes bad and you got the system open to replace it, you would want to change the expansion valve and filter dryer as well to avoid possibly ruining the new compressor.

As for the light, I have no idea.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:26 AM   #3
mattswrxnc
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anyone??
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #4
mattswrxnc
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I checked it again today. I can hear a clicking behind the dash from the compressor turning on an off constantly. That's when the a/c light is blinking.
Any ideas?
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:42 PM   #5
1SicRex
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whoever did your ac work needs to check the amount of 134 they put in.. ac is very particular to the amount it has in it. if there isnt enough or too much the compressor will turn off an on rapidly..... kinda sounds like what you are telling us.... lmk if it helps
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:09 PM   #6
TMessick
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If the A/C is cycling due to low AC charge or high AC charge, the LED (light) on the A/C button won't be turning on and off.

Normally, the LED is powered by a fuse and grounded (through the A/C button) through the blower motor control (the fan speed knob). Try disconnecting the A/C compressor under the hood (should just unplug). Then try to turn the A/C on again. If the light is still blinking and you still hear the clicking, you have a problem with either the power supply to the HVAC, the blower motor switch, the A/C button itself, or the ground. Actually, do you still hear the clicking when the fan is on without the A/C? If the HVAC power supply, blower switch, or ground were messed up, it should effect the blower motor too.....

Check that stuff.

-T
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:19 AM   #7
mattswrxnc
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It doesn't blink or click when the a/c button is off. The blower fan blows fine when it's off. It's only when the a/c button is depressed that the light blinks and you can hear the compressor turning on and off (clicking).
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:13 PM   #8
cooleys04
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The triple switch senses high, low, and medium pressure. Medium pressure turns on the fans, too high or too low will shut off the compressor and the fans. The flashing light may be the ac control unit telling you it knows there is a failure, perhaps not part of the problem. You might try swapping the a/c relay with another relay in the fuse box, I've seen a lot of relays cause compressor cycling. If not, take it to a competent tech. I've been a tech for years and if that guy couldn't figure it out, he needs a lot more training. If you have some technical knowledge, check output of the triple switch and see if power from the switch shuts off at the same time the compressor does, if so it's the switch causing the problem. Whether or not it's actually due to a pressure fault can only be diagnosed with gauges. If the switch is not to blame, check the signal side of the relay and see if ground is lost when the compressor shuts off, if so you have ac control unit failure. It's easy to rule these kind of things out with a voltmeter.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:44 AM   #9
mattswrxnc
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thanks for the response. I'll check on those things.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:33 PM   #10
TMessick
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Yeah, but the pressure switch, A/C relay and the evap thermo-switch shouldn't effect the LED on the HVAC controller. You should be able to unplug the compressor and the A/C relay and still get the A/C LED to come on just fine without blinking or anything. Similarly, if your A/C cycles on the thermo switch or pressure switch, the A/C LED doesn't go out.

I still suspect a wiring issue with the power or ground to the A/C switch or the switch itself...
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:35 PM   #11
TMessick
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Here's the wiring diagram I photoshopped into a one-pager based on the service manual:

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Old 09-15-2007, 05:04 PM   #12
mattswrxnc
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wow, awesome diagram ......thanks
I took it to a mechanic today (not subie certified and he doesn't regularly see them). He put the voltmeter on it and checked a most of the relays and the compressor and he tells me that the compressor is getting power and everything else he checked looked ok. He seemed to think it might be the computer.
I hope this isn't the case but does anyone have any suggestions before I take it to the Stealership???
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #13
04sedantyson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattswrxnc View Post
wow, awesome diagram ......thanks
I took it to a mechanic today (not subie certified and he doesn't regularly see them). He put the voltmeter on it and checked a most of the relays and the compressor and he tells me that the compressor is getting power and everything else he checked looked ok. He seemed to think it might be the computer.
I hope this isn't the case but does anyone have any suggestions before I take it to the Stealership???


I got the same problem, relay is not seeing a ground to engage the relay. How did you fix?
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