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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago, the air conditioning was working fine. It blew cold air. Then a sign shows up on the dashboard "service air conditioning." The air conditioning button, the snow flake, has a slash going across it. I press it, and the slash doesn't go away, and the air conditioning does not turn on. A few days later, the slash goes away, and the air conditioning turns on. It is cold air... Then again, the slash appears and does not allow the air conditioning to turn on.

A regular diagnostics check does not pull any codes for the air conditioning. The slash has not gone away since. It was pretty cool outside, so I didn't really mind. I expected the slash to go away... However, it has stayed on. Now, the temperature outside is in the 80's and 90's for the next week... I don't think the open windows will do the trick this time.

Any idea on how to find the problem? I did add new fog light assemblies recently. I am thinking that I can unplug all the fuses for all the exterior lighting and see if that does anything. If it doesn't, I can rule that out. If it is not an electrical problem, where do I start to diagnose the problem?
 

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You should have the car scanned for codes. Not all scanners will retrieve codes such as those associated with the air conditioning so this may necessitate a visit to the dealer. Since it blows cold air and performs well when it does work, but only works intermittently, it seems unlikely that the problem is as simple as low system pressure. This is what makes it even more important to pull stored DTC's. As you have already discovered, when the snowflake has a line through it the system will not allow you to activate the A/C. This is a function of an existing fault and when this happens there will be an active code. Even during the times that it does work there will very likely be a history code that can still be retrieved.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just spoke to a mechanic. He told me that the scanner he uses will not pull an ac code... he mentioned that it's a bad compressor but the thing is that the system doesn't let me turn on the ac... I guess I have no alternative but to take it to the dealer...
 

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I'd be curious to know how he's so sure it's the compressor? It may be, but there are numerous possibilities including a simple connection or wiring problem. There could be a problem with the clutch coil or even an intermittent sensor making the system think there is no charge. I always get nervous when a technician can't pull the code(s) but is so positive they're willing to spend your money on a rather expensive new part.

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Personally, I would not take my car to a shop that doesn't have the technology to correctly diagnose and repair the problem the car is going in for.
 

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As old as a Tech 2 is you'd think that every shop could buy one from the used market by now if they want to work on any GM product reliably.
There are even some 3rd party diag tools that claim to be as effective as the Tech 2 (for diagnostic retrieval) and be multi platform.

If they cut corners by avoiding correct diagnostic tools I can bet they will cut corners on their repair work as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I bought this car 3 months ago. I have kept in contact with the seller and he has been very helpful.

I asked him if the this problem has occurred before. He said "yes, there are wires under the car that are exposed and are probably loose or corroded. If you connect those wires, the problem should go away. I put the car on ramps, and sure enough, there were 3 wires stripped , no insulation and corroded. I connected the wires back, and the Ac now works fine... nice cold air.

I'd like to show you guys the before and after picture of the wiring. I have no idea what the wiring is for, but connecting them made the AC work, and the service ac sign disappear.
 
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