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  1. #1

    Default 1996 Suburban AC Problems

    Before I tell you my problem let me first say thanks to all you folks for monitoriing this forum and offering for free your expert advice. I'm a pastor and can't afford new cars so I've go to be able to repair and keep my machines running. Thanks!

    I have a 1996 Chev Suburban 4x4 350. Last summer the AC stopped blowing cold air. Everything works fine just warm air instead of cold air.

    So this week I went and got a recharge kit. I turned on the burb, turned on the AC connected the refrigerant (following the directions) can with pressure guage. The pressure was low--less than 10 psi. So I shot some into the system until it reach about 35psi. Then the compressor turned on (or engaged). Yikes, the pressure dropped back to 10. The compressor disengaged. The pressure went back up to 35psi. Back and forth every 5 seconds. (I think they call this short cycling). So, I thought the system needed more R-134A so I took the pressure up the 45psi. Then the compressor would engaged and drop down to about 20ps. I drove it around no cold air. The compressor would just go on and off.

    The problem is that I cannot add more A-134A because I'm at 45psi and that is in the Yellow on the gauge that says "Alert" don't add more refrigerant.

    So now what? do I have a bad compressor? How to I get the compressor to stay engaged so the refrigerant will cycle through and equalize the pressure.

    Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.

    Robert (bigbob94)

  2. #2


    It's all a matter of playing the waiting game. When you put refigerant in, you're putting it in on the low side. When the compressor kicks in, it starts circulating it, and the low side gets low on the pressure again. When the compressor kicks out, the pressure should rise back up. If the pressure when the compressor kicks out is ok, let it sit for a while. It'll slowly kick in and out, pulling more refigerant onto the high side. Keep adding more till you get to the reccomended pressure when the compressor is kicked in. Also, make sure the fan is on high, ac switch it, and either recirc is on, or max air is on (whichever the vehicle is equipped with). I apologize if the directions are a little fuzzy, I have a diffcult time describing processes like this... I also invite everyone else to fact check me on this...

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  3. #3


    Crawdaddy is rihgt on. The pressures need to be checked with the engine running and the compressor clutch engaged. The Suburban has a big system, so it may take a bit of freon to get it back up to proper levels.

    99 K 1500 Suburban
    78 Silverado Big 10 w/factory 454
    00 S-10 Blazer
    1976 Trans Am
    1980 Honda CB900 Custom

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Clayton, NC


    Also, with it running, make sure the receiver/dryer, the metal cannister looking thing by the passenger firewall, starts to sweat. If not, you have a clog somewhere, most likely in the expansion valve or evaporator coil.
    Last edited by LANDBARG; 05-12-2008 at 01:33 PM.

  5. #5


    pne more note-------over charging R-134A will reduce the cooling properties so let it balence a couple days and recheck. is it blowing any colder? it should be and the compressor likes to run arounf 1400+ RPM.....mike
    Michael Collins
    1993 4X4 Suburban
    many other toys as well

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