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  #1  
Old 05-13-2005, 02:12 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
1997 C230 Ac

First i'd like to say hello to everyone, this is a fantastic resource and the contributions by some of you are extremely insightful. Ive done an enormous amount of reading about my current ac problem and i think i've narrowed down the possibilities.

I have a 1997 C230 with 129,000 on the clock. I purchased this car 4 years ago and its been an amazing vehicle. My wife drives the car and last July the air stopped working. I was in the middle of building a house and until now its not been a high priority to get it working again but now with summer around the corner we need to get this resolved.

I can say that for a year or so when we ran the air the car would make a rattling sound which I thought was the tensioner often mentioned in posts on this board. When the air was shut off the sound dissapated. In retrospect it may have been the compressor going south.

I pulled the dtc's and get 419 and 421. The prior relates to the clutch the latter to the pulse control module. I tried resetting the dtc's and the same come back immediately. The pressure was low so i added a can of refrigerant. The compressor does not seem to turn or engage at all. I've tried disconnecting the ect sensor, jumping the pressure switch and yelling at it to no avail.

The actual values are as follows:
1)105F 2)60F 3)82F 5)82F 6)134 7)Lo 8)77F 9)50F 10)50.5 21)80

After i put the can of 134a in yesterday the pressure at 7 read 3.7 bars so obviously it leaked out somewhere.

Any ideas anyone.

Best Regards
George

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  #2  
Old 05-15-2005, 03:51 PM
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Location: NJ
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ac system c230

OK the more I read the more i'm certain that the compressor is shot. Is this one of the black death candidates. Thanks for your help.

George
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2005, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 512
You should get more information from posters here on Monday. I'm very curious to hear how it turns out for you. Can you test to see if the compressor is shot?
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Michael

1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
1994 E320 Wagon
1997 C230
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2005, 06:12 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
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I can't afford to take the car out of service at the moment so i'm trying my best to narrow down the problem as best I can. I talked to another forum member who had the same dtc's and it was in fact the compressor. I've also read where another member had the same rattling type noises happening prior to a compressor failure so i'm fairly certain thats it. I could probably do a continuity test to see if the fusible link is shot however looking at it, it seems kind of difficult to do without taking things apart. I'm just hoping if it is the compressor that it isn't the black death variety.
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2005, 08:22 PM
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I know what you mean about that "rattling noise." To me, it sounded more like a warble, though. Mine did it for about a year and a half before it croaked last Fall. Good luck with yours. Are you going to replace the compressor yourself?
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Michael

1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
1994 E320 Wagon
1997 C230
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2005, 09:27 PM
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Location: NJ
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I guess you had a compressor failure also. What else did you have to get done to make it right. Yes I'm going to do the mechanical end myself.
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2005, 12:00 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
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So far I've ignored it (it's the 1997 C230 with the AC problem) . I do most maintenace so it rarely goes to the shop. I doubt I'll be able to solve this one myself, though. It got me through the HOT DC Summer last year hanging on til the first day of October. When it finally died, it was a relief not to hear the sound any more. Heater and defront work great, but no cold air. I'm at a cross roads as far as how to handle this one. My ideal solution would be to change in a new compressor myself, have the system charged and be on my way for little cost. I love this little car. It's fun to drive and has treated me well for 130,000 miles, but, depending on how involved this is, it may be the end of this one. I can't decide to bite the bullet and have it professionally fixed now, abondon it now, or suffer through this Summer and see where I am this time next year. I'm real interested to hear how you take care of yours.
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1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
1994 E320 Wagon
1997 C230
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  #8  
Old 05-16-2005, 12:38 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
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Well so far i've heard nothing from the qualified peeps so i'm going to go on my merry way with this. Tomorrow i'm going to throw 12 volts on it and see if clutch will engage. I've got a compressor already on order, i'm that positive. What my plan will be is to have the drier and expansion valve replaced. If when I open the system its got the black junk all over i'll probably go for a condenser, and have the rubber lines rebuilt locally. The rest I will flush and thats that. If it looks clean then i'll just do the compressor, drier and valve which should be replaced anyhow, i've got 127,000 or so on the clock so all in all thats not too bad. I'm going to look at the condenser tomorrow just in case to see if its interchangeable with something less expensive. Fast lane has it for 300 or so and that seems a lot for a condenser, not that Fast lane doesnt have good prices, its just that a condenser is a condenser and they can be had much less expensive than that. If anyone knows of an interchangeable part i'd appreciate their help. I'm trying to keep this repair under $800 without sacrificing any quality. I think is doable, its just that the information is all over the place and nonspecific. I'll keep you in mind as i progress through this.
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  #9  
Old 05-16-2005, 02:30 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: OREGON
Posts: 137
Hey george,

you're on the right path with applying voltage to the clutch and seeing if it engages.
You can also just take the belt off, and spin the compressor by hand and see if they're any really tough spots. or obvious signs of resistance. Most of the compressores I see go out, can not beturned at all by hand.
As far as repair, sounds like you've been down this road before. If the compressor shells, you gotta ditch all the rubber lines and ex. valve too -but you already know that.
You said you added "a can" of freon? If you were low then you have a leak, and if freon is leaking the oil is leaking. Too many times people spring a leak and think they can just "top it off" once in a while. Was there any oil in that can of freon? The compressor needs that oil badly. Just a thought.
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2005, 03:23 AM
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Location: NJ
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try giving it a turn when i'm in there. I haven't added any refrigerant to it in the 4 plus years i've owned the car. As a matter of fact the amount of maintenance done has been rediculously low. The only thing that needed attention besides brakes and tires has been a mass air sensor.
I'm kind of chuckling thinking about that because its my wifes car and she isn't really easy on a vehicle.
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  #11  
Old 05-17-2005, 03:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
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I found out that the compressor on this particular car is not a "black death" compressor. It does have a tendency to slug because of the valve design and when it goes it puts metal particals into the system. If you can flush them out your good to go. The condenser is supposed to be a potential problem because its a parallel design and it may not be able to be flushed properly. I'll post more info once i'm actually in there.
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  #12  
Old 06-17-2005, 02:28 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 66
ok just as a follow up the compressor clutch was the problem along with a leaking seal. I put in a new compressor and receiver dryer and all new o rings for the lines. I purchased a small 3 cfm robinair pump and it pulled a nice vacuum. The vacuum held overnight so I charged it up with r134 and she's nice and cool. Spent 250 for a brand new compressor, 160 for the the vacuum pump, 35 for the dryer plus about 30 for freon and 60 for a nice set of gauges. Not too bad considering what it would cost to have someone do this.

The DTC's I originally pulled wher 419 and 421. The 419 code was accurate (compressor clutch) but anyone pulling a 421 should be aware that this refers to part n65 (pulse module)and is a false code. I cleared the dtc's and this code keeps coming back but there are no syptoms that I can tell.

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