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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 22534
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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I have a 2005 Kia Spectra that will not kick on the AC compressor.

Customer Question

I have a 2005 Kia Spectra that will not kick on the AC compressor. Fuses and relays seem to be good. there is no voltage at the trinary switch in any setting. compressor is good and cools if I jumper directly to the clutch
JA: Many things can cause trouble with the A/C. Some simple, some complicated. Fortunately, the mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: Yes
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: Jumpered to the compressor, compressor cools. Checked relays and fuses. Checked for voltage at the trinary switch. There is none. I am thinking there is either an open circuit.
JA: Is there anything else the Kia Mechanic should be aware of about your Kia?
Customer: Don't think sol
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Kia Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Kia
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Justanswer!

The triple switch doesn't supply any current and shoudl have a diagnostic voltage rather than power to light a test light.

At the switch locate the brown/black and the green/orange wires. Unplug the switch and with an ohm meter check for continuity between the terminals on the switch that engage these two wires. What resistance is shown?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not where I can check ohmage at this time. I guess I was not accurate enough in my description. There is no voltage at the connector for the triple switch at any setting. I am not sure what difference the ohms would make if there is no current going to the switch.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Let's check resistance of these terminals across the switch and go from there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, but that will be tomorrow.Thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is infinite resistance across those terminals.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

The switch is open then and not allowing the compressor to engage. Either charge is too low or the switch is bad.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the is also no voltage to the connector to that switch in any setting. I also can not jump across the connector and get the compressor to kick in.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

The switch doesn't supply any current, it's a signal circuit. If the switch shows open across these terminals then the first thing that needs to be done is check system charge. If ok then the switch needs to be replaced.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I jumper directly to the compressor clutch it cools fine. I understand that the switch does not supply any current. There is no current going to it that I can detect, not even a pulse. Do I still replace the switch?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you need to replace the switch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. I will try that.Thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

You'e welcome.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Evacuated the system. Replaced the trinary switch. Vacuuming now. Anything else i need to look at?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Not at this point because we know that the switch needed to be replaced. As long as there are no other issues then it will work when the system is charged again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It still doesn't work. What next?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

You charged the system with a recovery machine? How much refrigerant was used?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I charged the system by jumping directly to the compressor. It used one 12oz. can to get to correct pressures.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

It holds 18 ounces so it's a bit undercharged.

What is the static pressure in the system now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 110 both high and low
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Is there continuity through the switch now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

How many terminals at the compressor relay have power with the engine running?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Which is the compressor relay?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

It is most likely labeled 'A-CON'.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Two terminals have full voltage there.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

If you apply power to the terminal that engages relay pin 87 does the compressor clutch engage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Is it possible to obtain a scan tool capable of communication with the a/c control head?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is that like a regular code scanner?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
An ODB2 scanner?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

An actual scan tool rather than a generic OBDII code reader. A scan tool is capable of communication with all modules, performing actuator tests and looking at data. You're really going to need the ability to see what the control head is seeing and if it's commanding the compressor clutch, and if you're able to actuate it with a scan tool.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will have to see if I know someone that has one of those. Or go to a Kia mechanic?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

You may be able to borrow or rent an actual scan tool from a parts store if unable to obtain one from a friend. If you did go to a shop they would most likely charge .5 to 1 hour of labor to diagnose the problem.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will check on that. Once i have the scan tool what do I do then to get ready for our next conversation?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

We need to look at a/c compressor request, evaporator temperature, ambient temperature, and a/c pressure first.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will this tool work?: V15 GDS VCI Diagnostic Tool
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a link to the exact product you're looking at?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Arrival-V15-GDS-VCI-Diagnostic-Tool-for-Hyundai-and-Kia-DHL-EMS-UPS-fast-/291618987662
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

I don't have any experience with that exact product and although they don't mention it's capabilities, I believe it will likely work. I would be skeptical of the quality, warranty and support of something like this from China.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yeah. I have not always had good luck with China products. I will see what i can fin and get back with you.Thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. I was not able to find a tool, so I took to a Kia Dealer mechanic who said that they would charge $120.00 to diagnose the problem. When they called me back today, they said that they had traced the wiring harness from the compressor to the ECM because they were getting a partial voltage to the compressor clutch. They did not say anything about any of the stuff you had mentioned before (a/c compressor request, evaporator temperature, ambient temperature, and a/c pressure), they just told me that I need to authorize another hour of diagnostic time because they haven't figured it out yet. I am not sure that they are doing what I needed done, but will talk to them again tomorrow..
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

It sounds as if they determined that the request was being seen, all inputs were correct and the compressor was being commanded on but either the relay isn't turning on or the relay is turning on yet there is no power at the compressor.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
they want me to authorize another $120.00 for more diagnostics? I am not sure that they tested the ECM. I guess I need to ask them that?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

It does sound as if the ECM is commanding the compressor on but there isn't power in an expected place. Something is being lost in translation because the ECM doesn't have a direct connection to the compressor but I don't doubt there is a wiring issue.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay, I guess I will talk to them in the morning and see what they say about the tests on the ECM, and decide from there.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

I'm sure they determined the ECM is commanding the compressor on if they determined there is a wiring problem.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What would be the next tests that they would do after the ones you described before? I am not sure that they are following procedure and I am not happy with them at this point, as they keep trying to upsell me on everything else they can think of, which has nothing to do with fixing the AC. I think the service manager thinks I am an idiot.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

Test steps are followed based on results of previous tests. If they found the ECM is commanding the relay on and it isn't getting the signal, or the relay is turning on and the compressor isn't being powered then there is a wiring issue.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay, I finally got the car back. They said it was the thermicon behind the evaporator. They wanted $1300.00 to fix it with no warranty, so I am not doing that. How do I get to the thermicon, or thermistor that one place calls it? I ordered the part from Kia Parts Outlet and it seems to be like the pictures I have seen so far.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

The evaporator temperature sensor? The dash has to be removed, the heater box removed and disassembled to get to the sensor. This is why the cost to repair is high, it's a labor intensive job and takes about a full day for a trained technician with the necessary tools (such as an a/c recovery machine).

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is there a procedure manual or anything that you can point me to? I am going to have to do it myself.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 11 months ago.

You can purchase a service manual through your dealer, an aftermarket manual or through somewhere such as eBay, or you could go with a a single vehicle subscription at alldatadiy.com for full factory service information. I can write up instructions if you'd like but am unable to post information directly from the service information due to copyright.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay, I finally got the dash apart and the air box and replaced the thermistor. I got it all back together, but now the blower doesn't work on any speed. There is battery voltage at the red and white terminal. and about 4.5 volts at the other terminal. The motor runs when I connect it directly to the battery. This seems like maybe i lost a ground somewhere, but I can't find any place that anything is not connected, except a single black wire that goes to a screw on the metal under the center of the dashboard. I dont know if that is the ground or what, but i can't find anywhere it plugs in.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 10 months ago.

The site does ask that unrelated issues be posted as separate questions but we can continue with the blower motor issue here if you'd like. You should see an additional services offer on your screen.