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2008 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took my truck into the shop because it was not blowing very cold just a month after an AC service was done and a supposed leak check, oops guess they missed something. I found out that my condenser is leaking and in need of replacement, shop wants 900.00 to replace it and since I just had to replace BOTH of the A/C systems in my house my bank account is looking pretty lean right now. I would like to do this myself and have read the procedure in my repair manual three times and it SEEMS quite straight forward, however in past experiences reading about it is quite different from actually doing it. Looking to see if any of you have any tips or tricks on replacing the condenser. I am going to a shop to have the system evacuated, is this something they usually charge for? I have also searched the threads on here and read all through them, but didn’t see anything on the 04, can I get away with not removing the radiator like most have? Any of your tips will be appreciated.
 

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2008 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Adding to the post.

Heres a thought I just had. Prior to my taking the truck in to have the AC system serviced I tried to top it off myself with one of those DIY kits. In the process of doing this I noticed that when I unscrewed the filler hose my AC valve was leaking until I gently moved the core upward with a small screwdriver at which time it stopped. Wondering if it would be worth the time to just replace the valve core and see if that fixes the issue.

The repair shop did say it was the condenser but I have a hard time trusting a repair shop.
 

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2008 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They said they put a leak detector in and saw that it was leaking out the condenser. The issue I have with that is that a month ago whenI had the AC service done they said there were no leaks??? Just sort of raising a red flag for me.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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1,708 Posts
Leak detector is UV reactive. You have a uv light? Wait until night time, turn on the uv light and see where it glows.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
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i'm getting mine replaced today... 450 is the total cost of part and install and recharge... but it will probably still me lower then that since i know them and get parts at cost...

i would do mine myself but i just havnt had time... work and school and busy every weekend.. but if ur gunna do it urself take advantage of having the coolant system drained.. replace water pump and thermostat if u have high mileage or feel they need to be replaced.. but money being a factor...

and yea just wait till nite and stick a uv lite near the grill... and if u dont find anything the leak could be in a hard to reach place in which case they sell ac dye kits at auto part stores and u can do it urself and while its running use the uv lite... should be clearly obvious at that point where the leak is.. cause it would be spraying out uv reactant fluid...


also if they over charged the ac.. with no leaks.. it could cause a leak in the condensor or any other part of the system... why u shouldnt over charge...
 

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2008 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok so now that Im not at work I can get a bit more indepth. The AC will blow almost warm if Im sitting in traffic not really moving. It will blow moderately cool at highway speeds. I also notice a big difference in the air when it is cooler out, like at night as opposed to when I get in it after it has been sitting in the 95 degree sun all day. Something I just noticed today was that the temp is starting get a bit hotter it normally sits right dead center and I noticed today that the temp was about 2-3 hash limes to the right of center (sorry I cant remember the temps at each point, Im too tired to go down to the garage and rmind myself)
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Replacing the condenser is straight forward without removing radiator. Your leak must be very small as you have a low pressure switch on the system to cut out the compressor when your freon (134a) level drops to low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was kinda thinking that may be something, when I have the AC on I can hear what I think is the fan clicking on an off quite a bit both when driving and while at idle. Not sure if that would be an indicator of a bad fan clutch or not, although the more I read the replys Im not 100% convinced it is the condenser now.

I did do some exploring tonight and basically took off the front of my truck to expose the condenser, I noticed a spot on the drivers side of the condenser appx 6 inches long by about 2 inches wide that looked like it was wet. Not too sure if thats any indicator of anythign but just want to report everything I can to help estimate a cause.

Secondary question: When AND IF I replace the condenser how do I hook the hoses back up on the sides of the condenser the ones shown in the black coating I have pictures below.

Auto part Fuel line Pipe

Auto part Pipe Gas



Thanks
 

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2008 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I checked the clutch on the front of the compressor enguages and spins at appx 6 second intervals, on for 6 and then off for six. Looks like its spinning pretty free, should it cycle on and off like this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Follow up

So I got the new condenser and installed it on Friday night, gotta say it was MUCH easier than I had thought it would be. Total time to remove the old one and install the replacement was around 40 min. Did not need to remove the radiator, although it may have been a little easier if I had. The best part came when I took it in to get charged and the shop decided not to charge me for the re charge because I had gotten my AC serviced there a couple months ago.

So the original quote to replace at the shop was: $860.00 total doing it myself was right around $100.00, $89 for the condenser $9 for the PAG oil.

I did have a good bit of information on the process from alldatadiy.com (great site, I highly recommend it) and my repair manual, but it was a pretty straight forward operation. I think I did quite well for a "nubie" and now once again have nice cold air to protect me from the Georgia summer heat.

To all my fellow nubies out there, just grab a wrench and start turning it. There will definitely be some stupid tax to be paid but the knowledge gained is worth every penny.
 
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