Northerners: Run your AC compressor!

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19 Feb 2013 18:44 #13601 by Normy1
-My previous car was a 1992 Volkswagen Corrado. It was a fun car, light weight, and the VR6 engine kicked ass and sounded great!

Problem: The AC compressor failed.

The AC shop I took it to told me some wisdom. According to them, AC compressors have a VERY VERY tight seal where the shaft from the pulley actually goes into the compressor. This seal has to keep the pressurized freon in check, so it is made with a bizarre extremely hard alloy, and the clearances are tiny. This seal NEEDS the lubricant in the freon to survive, and if it doesn't get it, then it quickly gets reamed out and then the freon escapes.

How to prevent this? Simple: Use your AC on a regular basis.

This presents a problem in northern climates where AC isn't needed 6 months+ per year. The solution is to force yourself to run the AC for a few minutes whenever you start the car. Believe it or not, this will add YEARS to the life of your compressor, if my AC guy is to be believed!

I generally don't use my AC. If I am home driving my 928, I'm on days off and generally wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and the windows open is good enough. But I always run the AC for 5 minutes the first time I start the car that day. According to my AC guy, this will make the compressor last far longer.

N!

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19 Feb 2013 20:29 #13604 by curtisr
Odd, I thought all cars ran the AC when using defrost and that was the solution to keeping them from seizing.

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19 Feb 2013 21:14 #13606 by the flying scotsman
Theres a diagram in the workshop manual that clearly shows when the compressor is engaged or not.

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20 Feb 2013 13:51 #13611 by wallyp
Yes, the 928 (like most cars) runs the compressor when on DEFROST. The problem is that most of us don't use the defrost function very often. So, it is a good idea to turn the air conditioning (or DEFROST) on periodically.

Of course, the this creates a problem for those unfortunates who are forced to live in colder climes, and put their 928 into hibernation. It is generally agreed that starting the engine on a garaged car during the winter is not a good thing, which means that the compressor doesn't get exercised. Which means that the compressor seal (which is usually ceramic now) will probably spin dry for a few seconds the first time that you do turn the compressor on. Tough...

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists
www.928gt.com

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