2001 Cavalier 5-speed manual 2.2 241K. The only other time I had an AC problem was about 10 years ago when the original compressor died and made an obviously bad noise. Was told the main seal was shot so paid about $900 total for a new compressor and associated parts.
Then a few years ago started to notice a PAG oil leak from the control valve at the bottom of the compressor, but no other symptoms of any issues. Ran fine like that until last summer when although it was cool not cold enough - so bought one of those recharge cans and that worked fine for the rest of last summer. I know you are "supposed to" run the AC over the winter but I go out of my way to avoid doing this because 2 years ago when it was about 20 degrees here with ice and snow, when I turned on the defroster, it blew the cooling fan motor because the system pressure was too low for the compressor to kick on and I think that screwed up things with the fan somehow. Anyway, I avoided running the defroster or compressor this whole last 5 months or so since October (which is especially fun because my rear defroster/defogger doesn't work either) - until I turned it on for the first time last week. Absolutely no cooling at all. Not even a little. Popped the hood - here is what I found: Compressor appears and sounds to be working fine including the clutch turning off and on with request, cooling fan working fine too as it is supposed to, so obviously not a relay problem either. But the receiver/drier warm or maybe even hot as well as all the lines and hoses - so nothing cold or cool there either. It is going to be 84 later on this week and at that time I am going to see what happens from attempting another recharge. But if that doesn't work or only works for a few hours or days - then I am terrified that I am looking at a leak - but the thing that would be the end of the world and the worst disaster would be if that leak was in, at, or near the evaporator inside the dash. That is why I am posting this on Third Gen.
Has anyone experienced the symptoms I am describing? And is it true that there is no way to get to / replace the evaporator without an all-day nightmare of completely ripping everything and the entire dashboard out? I'm really worried. But with it getting hotter every day my time is running out.
Has anyone had issues with a leaking AC port schrader valve and if so - have you replaced it? I am hoping that my leak is something relatively simple like that and not the evaporator.
I'd love to find out I can just replace the valve.