Need A/C Help. Expansion valve replacement? - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Need A/C Help. Expansion valve replacement?

Hey Jeepers Peoples,

FYI, I used the search and have been searching the internet for Jeep specific expansion valve issues to no avail.

So I have been chasing down an A/C issue ever since I bought my 2009 Commander XK a couple weeks ago. A/C works decent on the driver's side, warmer on the passenger's side, at idle the whole system seems to lose cold air, but when driving it's fine. Compressor seems fine, doesn't click on/off.

I pulled the blower, it had leaves and stuff in it, Im sure that is helping to block my evap in the vents, but doubt that is the root of my issue. Then, I checked the low-side pressure and it was low, so I topped off the system with some R134a, brought the pressure up and seemed to help with cold air on both sides. But, this has since started to wind down and happened fairly quickly within a short timespan (2-3 weeks?). I was dreading the evap replacement and hope that isnt the issue.

I decided to run the pressure again, it was low (under 40s?), so I obviously had a leak somewhere in the system. Added a little PAG46 with R134a—because I figured if the previous owner was adding R134a he may not have been adding oil—to it and noticed that at my expansion valve box, there was definitely a drip or two that came out.

Now, I dont know if that means it is the issue, or an additional issue, but I feel as though I need to address that first and see if it fixes my problems. My thought is that I need to go to an A/C shop and have them vacuum out the system so I can open it up and replace the TXV, then have them refill the system when I am done.

Now, am I on the right path here? I hate to throw hundreds of dollars at a shop to try and diagnose what I think I already know. I'm looking at about ~$90 to pull out all the gas, etc. and refill after I swap the part.

Love any advice you guys can offer. I cant seem to find much on this subject anywhere. Thanks JF!

You can see the leak right below the box

Stay heady my friends.

Last edited by superheady; 08-02-2018 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Adding a pic!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 07:56 PM
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First you need to get a set of gauges and a vacuum pump or take it to a shop. Get it evacuated for at least an hour and watch the gauges if the pressure doesn't drop then you probably don't have a leak. But it would be best if you could get it evacuated ,and then leave the gauges on it overnight to check it the next day and see if the needle moves.
You don't want to have to crack open that system, unless it's absolutely necessary.
What you're describing is a pretty good leak. You can also get your shop to put some UV dye in the system. And then check it for leaks that way as well. That works pretty well for a slow leak. But I would try the vacuum pump first. You really don't want to put anything in the system that doesn't belong there.
So there's your free advice. Good luck!

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy, using speech to text
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2018, 12:46 AM
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Why wouldn't you add a dye to the system and blacklight it? That is how you find leaks.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superheady View Post
Hey Jeepers Peoples,

FYI, I used the search and have been searching the internet for Jeep specific expansion valve issues to no avail.

So I have been chasing down an A/C issue ever since I bought my 2009 Commander XK a couple weeks ago. A/C works decent on the driver's side, warmer on the passenger's side, at idle the whole system seems to lose cold air, but when driving it's fine. Compressor seems fine, doesn't click on/off.

I pulled the blower, it had leaves and stuff in it, Im sure that is helping to block my evap in the vents, but doubt that is the root of my issue. Then, I checked the low-side pressure and it was low, so I topped off the system with some R134a, brought the pressure up and seemed to help with cold air on both sides. But, this has since started to wind down and happened fairly quickly within a short timespan (2-3 weeks?). I was dreading the evap replacement and hope that isnt the issue.

I decided to run the pressure again, it was low (under 40s?), so I obviously had a leak somewhere in the system. Added a little PAG46 with R134a—because I figured if the previous owner was adding R134a he may not have been adding oil—to it and noticed that at my expansion valve box, there was definitely a drip or two that came out.

Now, I dont know if that means it is the issue, or an additional issue, but I feel as though I need to address that first and see if it fixes my problems. My thought is that I need to go to an A/C shop and have them vacuum out the system so I can open it up and replace the TXV, then have them refill the system when I am done.

Now, am I on the right path here? I hate to throw hundreds of dollars at a shop to try and diagnose what I think I already know. I'm looking at about ~$90 to pull out all the gas, etc. and refill after I swap the part.

Love any advice you guys can offer. I cant seem to find much on this subject anywhere. Thanks JF!

You can see the leak right below the box
I looked at your picture from my desktop. Instead of a cell phone. Is there any possibility someone has taken that apart right there where the drip is?
Look very carefully at that nut and see if it's had a tool-mark put on it.
If someone has had it apart. They may have pinched the O-ring, when they reinstalled it.
take your your finger and run along the bottom of that block. And see if that truly is oil coming out of there. You will feel it and see it.
You can then Evacuate the refrigerant. Replace that O-ring. Make sure you put some oil on it before you install it so it's back position. That just might be the only problem right there.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy, using speech to text
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spraygun View Post
I looked at your picture from my desktop. Instead of a cell phone. Is there any possibility someone has taken that apart right there where the drip is?
Look very carefully at that nut and see if it's had a tool-mark put on it.
If someone has had it apart. They may have pinched the O-ring, when they reinstalled it.
take your your finger and run along the bottom of that block. And see if that truly is oil coming out of there. You will feel it and see it.
You can then Evacuate the refrigerant. Replace that O-ring. Make sure you put some oil on it before you install it so it's back position. That just might be the only problem right there.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy, using speech to text
This is the type of detective work I love to see here—thank you! I will check that out ASAP. Heading out of town for 3 weeks, so we'll see how empty it is when I get back.

Stay heady my friends.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2018, 08:05 PM
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If you comeback in three weeks and the system is flat on pressure you should have it recharged with about a pound of 134a and have someone use a sniffer on it to find the leak
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2018, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superheady View Post
Hey Jeepers Peoples,

FYI, I used the search and have been searching the internet for Jeep specific expansion valve issues to no avail.

So I have been chasing down an A/C issue ever since I bought my 2009 Commander XK a couple weeks ago. A/C works decent on the driver's side, warmer on the passenger's side, at idle the whole system seems to lose cold air, but when driving it's fine. Compressor seems fine, doesn't click on/off.

I pulled the blower, it had leaves and stuff in it, Im sure that is helping to block my evap in the vents, but doubt that is the root of my issue. Then, I checked the low-side pressure and it was low, so I topped off the system with some R134a, brought the pressure up and seemed to help with cold air on both sides. But, this has since started to wind down and happened fairly quickly within a short timespan (2-3 weeks?). I was dreading the evap replacement and hope that isnt the issue.

I decided to run the pressure again, it was low (under 40s?), so I obviously had a leak somewhere in the system. Added a little PAG46 with R134a—because I figured if the previous owner was adding R134a he may not have been adding oil—to it and noticed that at my expansion valve box, there was definitely a drip or two that came out.

Now, I dont know if that means it is the issue, or an additional issue, but I feel as though I need to address that first and see if it fixes my problems. My thought is that I need to go to an A/C shop and have them vacuum out the system so I can open it up and replace the TXV, then have them refill the system when I am done.

Now, am I on the right path here? I hate to throw hundreds of dollars at a shop to try and diagnose what I think I already know. I'm looking at about ~$90 to pull out all the gas, etc. and refill after I swap the part.

Love any advice you guys can offer. I cant seem to find much on this subject anywhere. Thanks JF!

You can see the leak right below the box
This is ironic. I have, what I think to be, the same issue as you. I have checked everything in the system and it all is working without leaks or issues etc. however, I recently vacuumed system, refilled, and added dye. I noticed a ton of leak with the dye under a UV right at the expansion valve going into the firewall. I just ordered an expansion valve. I never replaced one before so hopefully it goes smoothly. Next step would be to refill and see what happens. This is definitely the way to go before tearing apart the dash to replace evap core.

2010 Hemi XK
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Vermont USA
Own a Commander?: Yes
Model year: 2009
Trim Package: Sport
Power-Train: 3.7L V-6
4WD
If 4WD - system: QT-I
Current Mileage: 116000
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Core View Post
This is ironic. I have, what I think to be, the same issue as you. I have checked everything in the system and it all is working without leaks or issues etc. however, I recently vacuumed system, refilled, and added dye. I noticed a ton of leak with the dye under a UV right at the expansion valve going into the firewall. I just ordered an expansion valve. I never replaced one before so hopefully it goes smoothly. Next step would be to refill and see what happens. This is definitely the way to go before tearing apart the dash to replace evap core.
Keep us posted!

Stay heady my friends.
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