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Whenever the AC stops working in a vehicle the first step we perform is a pressure check to see if perhaps the system is low on freon. When the system is low on freon there is a pressure switch which keeps the compressor from cycling due to the fact that freon is a lubricant for the compressor. If the compressor were to run with no freon then it would damage it self very quickly.
Have you checked the freon pressures yet?
You will need a manifold gauge set to do this.
When you say off the charts, do you mean too high?
If the low side is that high without the compressor running then it is likely severely overcharged. Have you considered evacuating the system completely and starting from square one?
The low side pressure with the system off should be about 35psi. With the system running it will increase only slightly. The high side pressure is about double that with the system off and then should go up to around 220psi once the compressor kicks on. If the low side is too high, the compressor will never kick on. If it kicked on with that kind of pressure the compressor would blow it self to pieces.
That's where I would start. With a low side that high, the pressure needs to come down somehow before anything else can be checked.
Let me know how it goes. You probably have a restriction somewhere if the pressure is that high and not bleeding off to the high side, possibly a stuck closed expansion valve.
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Let me know if you need additional information.