It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Literally. My A/C is being intermittent, and leaving me sticky and sweaty. For some reason, my A/C compressor clutch will ...
  1. #1
    My_favorite_Brougham's Avatar
    My_favorite_Brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Literally. My A/C is being intermittent, and leaving me sticky and sweaty.

    For some reason, my A/C compressor clutch will only engage 5 minutes after starting the car. Then it runs fine. In fact, the A/C blows very cold and keeps me chilly even 108-degree Texas weather. Why is this?

    I have to start the car 5 minutes before I go anywhere, and that gets pretty annoying, and the rest of the family doesn't want to go anywhere in it because of it. If we stop anywhere, it starts all over again: another 5 minutes of heat and sweat before the clutch kicks in.

    I checked the clutch itself, and it's fine. I put 12v up to the switch, and it and it engages as it should. And the system is fully charged. So why then is my clutch taking forever to engage? I feel like wiring my own engage/disengage switch under the dash, but I really don't want to.

    Any ideas? The low refrigerant switch on the compressor appears to be fine, but I don't know.

    -Greg

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    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Unfortunately, that is the correct way. It waits until the air is cool before it blows. The only thing that work immediately in AC mode is defrost.

  4. #3
    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    ^That's why, when mine is pissing me off and baking or freezing me to death, I confuse it. Hit defrost, then AUTO, anytime you want on-demand air flow or A/C.

  5. #4
    My_favorite_Brougham's Avatar
    My_favorite_Brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Really?? I had a '90 and '92 Brougham, and neither did that. Also my '83 Oldsmobile never did that (manual switches, but still, it never needed to cool down first).

    I wish my Brougham were like new cars that blew cold instantly. Oh well, I guess that's the R4 compressor and under-sized condenser for ya.

    But still, my fan will blow hot air on Hi. How can the air "cool down" for 5 minutes if the compressor isn't even turning? It just blows hot air for a while, and then it instantly blows cold air. I want to know why it doesn't just blow the cold air instantly.

  6. #5
    MudAnt's Avatar
    MudAnt is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Quote Originally Posted by My_favorite_Brougham View Post
    But still, my fan will blow hot air on Hi. How can the air "cool down" for 5 minutes if the compressor isn't even turning? It just blows hot air for a while, and then it instantly blows cold air. I want to know why it doesn't just blow the cold air instantly.
    Actually, if you put the system on ECON/fan only, the air coming out cools down after a few minutes. The reason it blows hot at first is because the ducts are hot from the sun.

    The ducts would cool down a lot faster if the compressor was running, but perhaps they put this delay so ice cold air doesn't blow through the baking hot ducts, causing rapid contraction, which would eventually crack the plastic.

  7. #6
    My_favorite_Brougham's Avatar
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Somehow I still think I have a problem. It is very unpleasant to be dripping sweat in your eyes from your brow after just a minute in the car. It's like an oven. I can't see an automaker, especially Cadillac, allowing that.

    Here's another reason I think why. All Broughams have a feature to disengage the compressor under wide-open-throttle. Well, I can be driving the for a while - and be all comfy chilly - but when I floor it it kills the compressor and doesn't re-engage for another 5 minutes of driving. Under the "cool down" period theory, the system would already be cooled down and not need another 5 minutes.

    And believe me, it takes a whole lot less time to re-heat than to cool down in Texas heat. After 20 minutes of cooling the interior down, it can all be lost and hot again in 1 minute.

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    MudAnt's Avatar
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    That is true. Also further disproving my own theory, I've noticed my compressor comes on before the fan even spins up when I start the car.

  9. #8
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    The service manual says there is a delay but it doesn't say how long. Five minutes seems like a long time. Maybe a relay going bad?

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    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Upon further thought... There shouldn't be any delay of the compressor engaging. What csbuckn was probably thinking of, is the delay in the blower turning on, when the temperature set on the ECC is greater than the temperature inside or outside the vehicle (indicating heat is desired so the blower is held off until the engine warms up).

    I've also had some, unresolved, problems with the compressor clutch not engaging for up to an hour of driving (after the main course of ball soup, there was pleasant dessert of frosted cubes). It's only happened a few times, so I just ignore it, like the washer/wiper problems, fuel leak, and the check engine light. But, after looking at the wiring diagram, it looks like the A/C Cut-Out Relay could be sticking, or there might be a bad connection between the ECM and the Compressor, via the Brown wire.

  11. #10
    tbcaddy18 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    I have the same issue with my A/C clutch engaging and disengaging. Sometimes it engages in the beginning then it will cut out for a while, or sometimes it will continually cut in and out as if there's some kinda of connection issue.

    I haven't figured it out yet, but I have cleaned all the visible A/C related connections in the engine bay.

  12. #11
    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    ^That's called cycling. The compressor is supposed to periodically engage and disengage while the A/C is on. It does that to conserve fuel while the air conditioner is on without causing periods of under cooling.

  13. #12
    tbcaddy18 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    ^ but in my case it does cause long periods of under cooling. however other times it will work just fine. I'm thinking maybe there's a loose ground somewhere?..or could a bad power module unit also cause a intermittent problem similar to this?

  14. #13
    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    I doubt it. It is normal for the compressor to cycle (it would be more of an issue if it didn't) and driving a 24 year old car around southern California can cause under cooling.

    A bad power module would be causing problems across the system, and I've never heard of one haveing intermittent failures. As for your loose ground theory, the only grounds in the system are the cycling switch and the low pressure switch.

    *I was wrong in my previous post (#9). The brown wire is the ECM signal wire, and doesn't control anything.*

  15. #14
    My_favorite_Brougham's Avatar
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    Hmm.. could it be a control head problem (the dash control box)? I have seen several Buick Roadmasters that have had A/C problems due to electrical issues and a perfectly fine refrigerant system.

    Right now it sounds like my easiest option would be a manual clutch engage switch. I could run it parallel to existing wires, so I could kill it after 5 minutes and be normal. Of course, doing this risks my compressor health should I have unexpected low refrigerant levels. I really don't want to do this.

    (On an unrelated note, we had this exact issue with my mom's '92 FWD Deville. We had to replace the ECM for another problem and it cured the a/c problem too.)

  16. #15
    jayoldschool's Avatar
    jayoldschool is online now GM RWD V8 addict
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    Re: It's HOT in Texas, and I have a HOT '89 Brougham d'Elegance

    To properly diagnose your system, you need to get some gauges on it. Harbor freight has a cheap set.

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