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Old 11-07-2004, 05:14 PM   #1
antidote11
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Default AC Compressor Not Coming On ??

OK, I have a 2004 WRX, that is approx. 3 months old. The AC was working fine before and yesterday, then I go out and start my car to get it warmed up and let the AC get cool this afternoon, I come back 5 minutes later....no cool air.

So I pushed the AC button on and off multiple times with the car idleing, and the compressor isn't even kicking on at all. What could be causing this problem ? I mean, the thing is 3 months old !!!! Could this be a fuse or something electrical ??

Any help on this is greatly appreciated, as always.

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Old 11-07-2004, 05:34 PM   #2
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Have you been driving on the highway? It's possible that a rock or pebble made a hole in the condenser and the refrigerant leaked out. You can have your dealer check it and if it's something else your warranty will cover it, but if it does turn out to be road damage it won't be covered.
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Old 11-07-2004, 05:37 PM   #3
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Wow, still using A/C.

I have been using heat for like 2 months now.
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Old 11-07-2004, 05:38 PM   #4
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See, I thought about that too, but the compressor would still kick on even if the refrigerant had all leaked out. If the compressor was coming on, I would
think that it would be a leaking refrigerant issue, but the compressor is
dead !! Whatever it is, I'm pissed, the car has 2200 miles on it.


Oh, and here in Dallas today the high was 82 or something, so a little warm.
Warm enough to use the AC at a low setting.
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:02 PM   #5
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No, the compressor will not come on if there is a leak. The system has a safety cutout switch that opens the compressor circuit if the pressure goes above or below a certain range. So, if enough refrigerant leaks out to drop the pressure below the cutout point, the compressor will not engage.
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:07 PM   #6
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This is a newbie question, but where can I find the condesensor and what should I look for ?? If this isn't covered under warranty, then that will suck, flat out !!
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:21 PM   #7
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The condenser is the thing that looks like a radiator, it's in front of the actual radiator and plainly visible through the front bumper cutout. Unfortunately this location makes it highly vulnerable to road damage. Look for bent fins, that's a sign that something has made contact with it, and then look at the tubes around those fins for evidence of damage. Should be easy to spot on a car that new. It may not be immediately obvious if there is a leak or not unless you can plainly see that it's been perforated.
By all means take it in to the dealer to have them look at it, there is certainly a chance that the problem is something other than this and they may cover it, but just be prepared to reach in your pocket.
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:23 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Mulder, I appreciate it. I'm gonna go out to the garage
now and take a look at it. And hopefully I won't have to pay anything !!

Thanks again !!
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:41 PM   #9
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Well, I went downstairs and checked out my condensor...
and saw no damage or even a bent fin or anything. Some dead bugs and stuff, but that was it. I looked at all the lines and everything seemed fine. ???? I unplugged the Compressor plug and the condensor plug, re- plugged them in, and of course, that didn't do jack sheet !! I'm gonna check all my fuses just in case, and then if that doesn't pan out, it's off to the dealer. It has to be a faulty compressor or condensor or switch or something, so I'm am 99.99% sure it will be covered under warranty.
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:43 PM   #10
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Well good luck then, let us know how you make out.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:10 PM   #11
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I'll let ya'll know what happens.

But one more question, if it's not a leak, what else could it be ?
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:20 PM   #12
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It could be a fuse, bad pressure switch, or the compressor clutch. None are likely on a brand new car but anything is possible.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:22 PM   #13
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Would this be a fuse in the engine bay or inside the car ?
And what exactly is a compressor clutch ??

Good, glad I caught you before you replied, but one more question
and I'll leave you alone dude.....where can buy a grill that would fit
in those two open locations ?? Seems like the condensor is very exposed
and it's right there at the front of the car, so I would like to get a grill to
protect that area from rocks and to add a little style to the front end at the same time.

Last edited by antidote11; 11-07-2004 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:33 PM   #14
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Fuse locations are in your user's manual - 'Specifications' section. FWIW, for the WRX the A/C is #17 in the panel behind the coin tray. STi /may/ be different.

The compressor clutch is located right on the drive pulley of the compressor. It allows the compressor to be driven off the crank pulley without loading the engine except when A/C is required. If you watch it when the A/C is cycling you will clearly see/hear it engaging and disengaging.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:37 PM   #15
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^
What he said. The clutch is an electrically operated unit that engages and disengages the compressor.
There are some commercially made grilles for that opening, as well as for the hood scoop. You can look through the Vendor Classifieds. Alternatively you can make your own from materials found at Home Depot.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:57 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the info guys !! Yeh, I'll probably end up doing something myself. I have already made an intercooler screen so rocks wouldn't
hit it. And I indeed got the material at home depot.

And yeh, you can defnitely tell when you have turned on the A/C, both
in sound and performance. And for those of you with boost gauges, next time you are idel at a light, turn your A/C on and watch the boost gauge.
Mine drops and goes back up and drops back again and stays down.
Kinda weird if you ask me.

Thanks again, and I'll go check that fuse here in a sec. I just can't see how this happens to a 3 month old car.
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:10 PM   #17
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You may have lost a seal in the compressor, too. I bought a new Outback in 2000 that had that problem. They replaced the compressor under warranty.
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:44 PM   #18
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I'm going to call Subaru tomorrow and get my in there.
I'm sure it will be covered under warranty, so I'm
not worried about that. The guys over at the dealership
are cool as hell, so it'll be cool. Thanks again for all the info !!
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:00 PM   #19
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I know you have been saying that the compressor is not activating but I am also wondering if your blower is working.My blower relay died in 3 months,it s located to left of the fuse box,just a thought.
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:02 PM   #20
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I guess we'll see. I'll have to take it up to the dealership no doubt, so
it sucks either way. But for future reference, what does this blower relay
look like ? There are all kinds of things to the left of my fuse box.
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:05 PM   #21
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Round aluminum relay,you can hear it click when you turn the fan switch on.
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:57 PM   #22
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I'll have to check that out. Hopefully it's nothing big, I hate having to leave my car the dealership. It's a big freggin hassle.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antidote11
And yeh, you can defnitely tell when you have turned on the A/C, both
in sound and performance. And for those of you with boost gauges, next time you are idel at a light, turn your A/C on and watch the boost gauge.
Mine drops and goes back up and drops back again and stays down.
Kinda weird if you ask me.
Thats your idle air control motor at work. The A/C puts an added load on the motor so it needs just a little more power to keep the idle stable. It can't open the throttle because thats mechanical and linked to the pedal. So it opens up a tiny little electronic throttle and lets the motor make more power. It usually over compensates so you'll see your gauge go up and down a few times before leveling out.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:02 AM   #24
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Ahhhhh, very interesting. Learn something new everyday !!
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:49 AM   #25
antidote11
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I checked everything out in my car last night and everything seems fine.
No damage anywhere, no loose connections, no blown fuses or anything.
So with that said, I just talked to my guy over at Subaru and
he thinks it's an electrical problem between the A/C switch and the compressor. And we all know that electrical problems SUCK !!
They can take forever to track down the issues.

Anyways, I'll chime back in when they find out what it is.

Thanks again for all the info !!
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