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Ted G.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 5552
Experience:  30 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech. Expert Witness.
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Pontiac Vibe: i have a 2006 vibe. Ac stopped working after

Customer Question

i have a 2006 vibe. Ac stopped working after my son press the AC button on and off a few time when we were driving. it was ice cold one minute and not cold at all right away. $60 later Firestone said i had a dead compressor. power goes to the compressor, but it wont run. does it sound right?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
It is possible that the clutch coil has failed (it is a coil of wire that acts as an electro-magnet to pull the clutch in. And if the FS store checked for power and ground at the coil and it was not working they are half way there. But they also should have checked for continuity through the coil by pulling off the connector and checking with a multimeter. If they did that then we can be sure that the clutch coil is failed. If not it could still be a bad connection which failed because of the voltage surges (heats up)from turning on and off repeatedly (but it would have failed soon anyway). The good news is that coil can be replaced separately if you can find a tech that knows what he/she is doing. Did they try to sell you a whole compressor?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

yes, they will replace the whole compressor for $1200. i am not sure where FS stopped on the issue. should I go to the dealer and have them to replace the clutch coil?


 


thanks


 

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
Well, you don't necessarily have to go to a dealer, a lot of independent shops will do that kind of repair. I would at least call around and get a couple of quotes. If you tell them that the compressor has power to it but won't activate they will know what has to be replaced. If a shop gives you the option of doing the coil and/or clutch, then they know what they are doing. Now, I will tell you that one reason the shops replace the compressor as a whole is they have a better warranty on them if they do that, so you do get some extra benefit.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

how long will take them to replaced the clutch coil( or how much)? how easy or hard to check the clutch coil? is clutch coil part of the electric system? because FS charged me to check the Electric issue, i can go back to FS and have them check it. is it reasonable to ask FS to check?


 


thanks


 

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
If they were down at the clutch connector it would just take a minute, and they may have, but some techs are lazy and just probe the electrical connector from the back and when they see power, you need a new compressor. The labor to replace the coil is about the same as the compressor and the system has to be recharged with refrigerant the same as doing the compressor, the cost savings are in the parts prices.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

it seems to me it is hard to locate this part. do you know where i can find it? google it did not help.


 


thanks

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
rockauto.com has the entire clutch listed, they don't sell the coil separately. You may only get that from a dealer. It is about half the price of the compressor.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

is clutch coil inside A/C Compressor Clutch? so i should search for A/C Compressor Clutch instead clutch coil?


 


thanks


 

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
Yes, the whole clutch is the coil, clutch, and plate.
Ted G., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 5552
Experience: 30 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech. Expert Witness.
Ted G. and 6 other Pontiac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

it turned out that my compressor is locked up. so i do need a compressor as i was told by a tech. is he right?

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
Yes, if the compressor is locked it needs to be replaced along with the receiver drier and the system should be flushed to make sure metal has not contaminated it. I would also inspect and clean the expansion valve in case it got metal in it.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

what is the receiver drier? is it Okay to get a used compressor from a junk yard on ebay with a 90 warranty? i am trying to save some money.


 


thanks


 

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
The receiver/drier or accumulator is a reservoir that collects and filters the freon. It also has a bag of desiccant that absorbs moisture from the freon. They have to be replaced new because you need the desiccant fresh and you can't clean the filter. Most people that don't do their own work will not use used parts because you have to pay labor twice if it fails. How much are you paying for the used unit?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

$75 with a 90 day warranty.

Expert:  Ted G. replied 11 months ago.
Well with labor being about 200 to replace it each time that is a gamble. But it saves you 200 so I guess it's a wash.

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