1999 Jimmy 4.3L - Air Conditioning Problem

About two years ago the air conditioning on my 1999 Jimmy (4.3L V6) was working, but wasn't overly cold. I had it recharged at my local GM dealer which got it working properly again. According to my
paperwork, after putting the dye in the system they weren't able to locate any major leaks. They also had me bring the vehicle back two weeks later to check again for leaks, and they didn't see anything "obvious". (such a fun word they used...)
This year the problem seems to have returned. The temperature of the air is cool at best, but it still seems to be taking the moisture out. When I have the AC turned on and check under the hood, the compressor is cycling on and off / making noise like it always has, so I'll assume that much is working. (I fix computers, not cars) Also, if it makes a difference, the heat is working fine...
I have no plans of trying to fix this myself, not that I could since I don't have any of the proper equipment. What I'm trying to figure out is if it's worth paying the dealer to figure out, or fix, whatever the problem is. I don't want to end up spending thousands of dollars to replace parts if it's going to end up being a waste of time and money. The time I can justify, it's the money I'd rather not part with. :)
Cordata
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It may be fine just to charge it again. But you might want to find a shop that specializes in car a/c systems. I'm surprised the dealer didn't use a "sniffer". Who needs dye? A leak that dye won't reveal, will be heard with an electronic sniffer (it is made to detect a/c refridgerant).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I appreciate the information about the sniffer... I knew there had to be a more accurate test for leaks. Heck, when the gas company checks for a natural gas leak, they definitely aren't using UV reactive dye. I'll definitely check the yellow pages for dedicated A/C specialists in my area.
Guess I found something that Mr. Badasswrench isn't quite the expert at. :)
Cordata
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Both our 99 Suburban and Blazer do the same thing. Every couple of years I have to charge the systems. I think they naturally leak through the hoses. I have the electronic tester and I have never been able to find any leaks in either systems. All you need is a charge.
Warren
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Glad to hear that someone else is having the same type of issues I'm experiencing with a 99. Not really glad, but you get the idea. :)
Now the problem I'm having is finding someplace that can do the recharge. We've had mid 80's to low 90's here for the past week or so, and every place I've checked with is swamped with people needing a recharge. At least it's not the middle of winter and the snow thrower stopped working. In the short term I can live with A/C that's not quite cold, but shoveling a lot of snow I'd have to pass on.
Cordata
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Warren is correct on that ac systems do naturally leak some each year, some a little more than others. Seldom is it worth it to pay the cost to make it leakproof (as some cars tend to demonstrate--why spend even $200 to stop all leaking, which is never a surety, when 1lb of refrigerant keeps it cool for 2 years?). I think that your idea of finding a place to 'top it off' every 2 years is cheap maintenance for an ac system on a car. Heck, I have a semi-rod that gets driven probably no more than 6 weeks a year, and I don't mind buying a "blem" battery for $20 each year. Could buy a 6-year battery, but it'd likely last at best 2 years under these same circumstances, would initially cost several times as much, and would cost a deductible to replace. Luck to you, Cordata. Stay cool! s
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.