AC problem blowing hot
08 Saturn Vue 3.6 engine has an AC problem blowing hot at stoplights. Mechanic diagnosed it, replaced the expansion valve and radiator fan assembly and performed evac and recharge to no avail. Mechanic is unavailable right now. Any ideas on what else could be the culprit?
Sounds like they were on the right track as far as thinking the high speed fan wasn’t functioning. A new fan was installed but I wonder if the issue is in a high speed relay or something. Lets pull up the Cooling fan wiring diagram and take a look.
Cooling fan wiring diagram 2008 Saturn Vue2008-saturn-vue-cooling-fans-1-of-1
It looks like there might be a couple of relays in there that you could swap around for testing.
Air Conditioning System Description and Operation
Refrigerant is the key element in an air conditioning system. R-134a is a very low temperature gas that can transfer the undesirable heat and moisture from the passenger compartment to the outside air.
The A/C compressor
The A/C compressor is belt driven and operates when the magnetic clutch is engaged. The compressor builds pressure on the vapor refrigerant, which adds heat to the refrigerant. The refrigerant is discharged from the compressor through the discharge hose and is forced to flow to the condenser and then through the balance of the A/C system. The A/C system is mechanically protected with the use of a high pressure relief valve. If the high pressure switch/sensor were to fail or if the refrigerant system becomes restricted and refrigerant pressure continues to rise, the high pressure relief will open and release the excess pressure refrigerant from the system.
Compressed refrigerant enters the condenser in a high temperature, high pressure vapor state. As the refrigerant flows through the condenser, the heat of the refrigerant is transferred to the ambient air passing through the condenser. A cooling fan assists in the airflow especially when Parked. Cooling the refrigerant causes the refrigerant to condense and change from a vapor to a liquid state.
The condenser is located in front of the radiator for maximum heat transfer. It is made of aluminum tubing and aluminum cooling fins, which allows rapid heat transfer for the refrigerant. The semi-cooled liquid refrigerant exits the condenser and flows to the Receiver/Dehydrator(R/D).
The R/D contains desiccant that absorbs moisture that may be in the refrigerant system. The R/D also acts as a storage vessel to ensure that a steady flow of liquid reaches the Thermal Expansion Valve (TXV). The refrigerant exits the R/D and flows through the liquid line to the TXV.
The TXV is located at the front of dash and attaches to the evaporator inlet and outlet pipes. The TXV is the dividing point for the high and the low side pressures of the A/C system. As the refrigerant passes through the TXV, the pressure on the refrigerant is lowered. The TXV also meters the amount of liquid refrigerant that can flow into the evaporator.
Refrigerant exiting the TXV flows into the evaporator core in a low pressure, liquid state. Ambient air is drawn through the HVAC module and passes through the evaporator core. Warm and moist air causes the liquid refrigerant to boil inside of the evaporator core. The boiling refrigerant absorbs heat from the ambient air and draws moisture onto the evaporator. The refrigerant exits the evaporator through the suction line and back to the compressor in a vapor state, and completes the A/C cycle of heat removal. At the compressor, the refrigerant is compressed again and the cycle of heat removal is repeated.
The conditioned air is distributed through the HVAC module for passenger comfort. The heat and moisture removed from the passenger compartment condenses and is discharged from the HVAC module as water.