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Old 05-12-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default a/c problems

2006 sprinter,

I just can't believe the problems I have had with this truck...and the incompetance of my dodge dealership, Lee dodge of commack new york. After about 20 different vehichles I have either leased or owned this sprinter has by far been the least reliable. Now I have a problem with my A/C. I'm hoping its just a recharge problem, however I can't understand how after just 1.5 summers that it should need a recharge. I never had this problem b4. In fact I can't remember a time I needed a recharge in any vehicle over the last 35yrs. I have 3k+ on my warranty but I get the shakes even thinking of bringing it to a dodge dealership. Please let someone tell me that there is a A/c recharge problem with t1n sprinter so I can just take it to my local mechanic to recharge it and avoid going to the dealership!!! Each time I go to a dodge dealership, not only are they unable to repair the original problem but they return the truck with a new problem. HELP.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: a/c problems

Any competent automotive A/C repair technician can help diagnose electrical problems, leaks, repair/replace parts and recharge the system. I do not recommend you DIY with a quick Walmart recharge kit-find out WHY the system is down (it may not necessarily need recharging) and go from there. Doktor A
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: a/c problems

The condenser is the weak point in the system, not least because of its location: in the direct line of fire from debris flung up by other vehicles. Not a problem unique to Sprinters though.

My AC guy reckons that nine times out of ten the leak will originate from the condenser, even if it can't be positively detected. He filled my system with UV dye as a matter of routine, to help future leak tracing.

The type of connectors used in the plumbing system are far from ideal sadly, and more prone to leaks than other types available. Other superior connectors existed at model introduction in 2000.

His advice with AC is "use it or lose it". Like a lot of things, AC systems don't like being idle.

I found vibration caused failure of the condensor connections on mine. The plumbing could be better isolated from vibration here, and my AC guy reported other similar cases. The pipes are now further rubber mounted in the hope of maximising system life.

I also had an electrical fault with the main temperature control panel: power was coming into it and illuminating the red telltale, but no power was leaving the panel. Luckily I found one on ebay at half the dealer price (which is 200!).

MIG

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Old 05-12-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: a/c problems

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His advice with AC is "use it or lose it". Like a lot of things, AC systems don't like being idle.
MIG
Is there any more concrete guidance available from him like, "a few minutes a day," or "a few minutes a week?"

Currently, when I think about it, I'll run mine for something between 45 seconds and 5 minutes a month.

Does that constitute "using it?"

-Jon
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: a/c problems

I'll ask his advice and update Jon.

Some advocate using it continually, but I haven't done that with mine and it works fine. I view the repairs as acceptable given use and age.

If I understand it correctly the refrigerant carries the system's lubrication. Seals are more likely to dry out if system is used infrequently. This is where leaks can then begin.

Simon
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: a/c problems (Tech Alert)

A/C Tech Alert for those of you in the rust belt climates- regarding the short aluminum pipe/ rubber hose combo that runs from the receiver/dryer canister to the condensor(in front of radiator)-be sure to watch for accumulated dirt, debris and moisture that can collect along the panel that this pipe rests on (look to left and under battery, there is a cushioned clamp securing this pipe to panel).

I have seen several leak failures with corrosion and pin point perforation of this pipe. Clean this area and spray a corrosion proofing agent on that pipe. Doktor A

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Old 05-12-2008, 11:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: a/c problems (Tech Alert)

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Originally Posted by abittenbinder View Post
A/C Tech Alert for those of you in the rust belt climates- regarding the short aluminum pipe/ rubber hose combo that runs from the receiver/dryer canister to the condensor(in front of radiator)-be sure to watch for accumulated dirt, debris and moisture that can collect along the panel that this pipe rests on (look to left and under battery, there is a cushioned clamp securing this pipe to panel).

I have seen several leak failures with corrosion and pin point perforation of this pipe. Clean this area and spray a corrosion proofing agent on that pipe. Doktor A
Doktor A,
I know that others have thanked you, but as a new (used) owner I want you to know that I really appreciate your tech tips and warnings regarding the Sprinters. I've learned that a bit of visual inspection and looking for potential problems can save a bunch of work. (On new to me vehicles I traditionally take a one pound can of wheel bearing grease, crawl under and smear grease on every threaded part, brake line clip, hose clamp, etc. I can see. It really helps with work down the road.) Unfortunately I don't have experience with the Sprinters so you provide me a real service.

You certainly put a bunch of time and effort into posting and helping make this forum worthwhile reading for any owner. Thanks again. vic
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: a/c problems (Tech Alert)

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Originally Posted by abittenbinder View Post
A/C Tech Alert for those of you in the rust belt climates- regarding the short aluminum pipe/ rubber hose combo that runs from the receiver/dryer canister to the condensor(in front of radiator)-be sure to watch for accumulated dirt, debris and moisture that can collect along the panel that this pipe rests on (look to left and under battery, there is a cushioned clamp securing this pipe to panel).

I have seen several leak failures with corrosion and pin point perforation of this pipe. Clean this area and spray a corrosion proofing agent on that pipe. Doktor A
most ridiculous!! IN THIS DAY AND AGE TO HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT OR DEAL WITH SUCH PROBLEMS!!! DODGE is, for the most part, well like, the foolish GEICO CAVEMAN ADS. To be expected, but "THE MOST EXALTED MERCEDES BENZ" hell NO!!!! DR. z you were in the big seatee when this behemouth was introduced and sold....so grow up, earn your bucks, and deal with it!!! I have experienced (runners) like you in the past! Are you just another learnining experience to those brighter than yourself or do you need to deal with your wake as competant individuals will!!!!!!!!!!!! actions are ??? Braveheart mate!!! This vehichle is like the Black plague JACK!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: a/c problems (Tech Alert)

Whow, someone needs to lay off the caffeine!

Anyway, my AC stopped working last year. Took it in when it was still just under warrenty. They found a leak (dont remember where) it had to do with a seal though, guess it got dried up or something? So, before they found the problem, they recharged it, and put in the UV dye as well. Told me if I wanted, I can looka round for leaks every night with a black light to help them out. I couldnt find anything. Took it back in (not sure why, it was possible the AC wasnt putting out as good as it was once recharged.) They looked at it, and within the hour they told me they found the leak with some seals. So they put new seals in, recharged again, and all was dandy. I used the AC for about 10 minutes every 2 to 4 weeks, winter or not. My AC is no longer working again :( Asked the dealership if there is warrenty on the goods they installed, and there is, so I got to get it in the shop soon so they can take a look at it. Maybe they can do a better fix this time, and maybe tell me some hints and tips other then, "dont drive it, you'll break it!"

With the weather getting warmer and warmer, and the work getting harder, I need my AC... open windows just dont cut it!
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: a/c problems

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I'll ask his advice and update Jon.
So, here's the guru's advice:

Left off for long peroids water or air can get into your a/c system. The moisture reacts with the refrigerant creating acid. This attacks the system seals and plumbing.

With standard manually controlled system you would ideally use it continually. At the least, operate at full cold for ten minutes weekly (even in winter) to lubricate. Then switch to full heat ten minutes to dry pipes out. This removes moisture from system, helps prevent mould and bacteria developing.

Climate control systems should be left on all the time.

Service at least bi-annually.

The two main causes of system failure are low gas (leaks through seals and connectors) or component breakdown.

Simon
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