Air Conditioning

Damtall55

Member 2022
2012 JKU. My air conditioning is not working. This old fat guy needs air in Washington, D.C., especially when it goes from 60 to 100 in a week! Had almost a pound of Freon put in, still nothing. Thoughts on what it could be before I take it to a shop so I know what these clowns are talking about. Thanks!
 
Northern VA certainly doesn't need a sweaty big mike running around!

Was it blowing cold after you had the recharge done? If so, need to pressure check it again to see if there is a leak, but this depends on how long it's been since the recharge. A pound is a lot of freon, did you have it done at a shop? If it was that low and is low again you likely have a large leak. You'll have to use a dye kit, or have a shop, locate the leak.

Relatively simple tests:
- Turn the AC on and check that the clutch on the compressor snaps in/begins to turn. If it doesn't smack the clutch plate with the handle of a screwdriver to see if it engages. As the clutch disc wears it can create too large of a gap for the magnet to pull in. If it engages, you need a new AC clutch.
- If the clutch doesn't engage, make sure you have power to the clutch feed (usually black wire that ties in right behind the clutch - though I'm a TJ guy and JK's are not my strongpoint)
- If the clutch engages, watch for how long the compressor runs. If it cuts on/off every few seconds it is likely short cycling because of a low charge.
- There are two pressure switches on the system that can go bad - the low and high pressure cutoffs. You can jump the low pressure cutoff switch (I'm sure Google has pictures) for no more than 30 seconds to see if the compressor runs longer than when installed. Don't run it long as you risk damaging the compressor due to lack of lubrication. If it runs longer with the low pressure switch jumped it confirms the low charge. You can replace the low pressure cutoff easily as there's a schrader valve behind it, switch just unscrews and you only lose a puff of freon and don't risk contaminating the rest of the system. The high pressure cutoff switch tends to be directly connected to the system and cannot be replaced without an evac and recharge. Jumping it can be done, but you risk blowing the system if there's a blockage and you let it run.
- Could be TIPM, https://www.jk-forum.com/forums/sto...lems-has-refrigerant-compressor-works-346581/.
- Could be wiring: https://www.jkowners.com/threads/air-conditioner-issue.28671/

I'd check the clutch, check the run time to see if it's short cycling, and try jumping the low pressure switch. Check the power/control circuit as in the link above. Further testing is best done by a shop as it requires having a set of gauges to read the pressures.
 
Your knowledge never ceases to amaze me! Good to "see" you!
Lol. I've had the... luxury? of owning quite a bit of old busted junk and have been forced to add to the knowledge bank in order to keep them on the road and somewhat operational.

Always good to connect with the OGs! These JKs and JLs with CANbus and fuseboxes that are mini-computers limit my ability to help out. I'm not sure we've progressed - reverse lights out?... Must be a problem with your windshield wiper switch... Lol, it's like a technological rendition of Lucas electronics...
 
That is signature line worthy!
Had a buddy who had a '68 Spitfire. He went to get it inspected one year and it failed because the left turn signal and brake light didn't work. He went home and called me over, lights worked just fine. We wiggled all the wires, reset all the fuses, unplugged checked and reconnected all the connectors, all the usual stuff for intermittent electrical issues we could think of minus spot probing or doing the bend test all the way from the battery to housing.

He went back to the inspection station, with me following him, and I witnessed everything working as it should. Inspector pulls it into the bay, fails again, same issue. Because it wasn't working and I had all my meters etc, I suggested we pull into a parking spot and troubleshoot since the problem remained failed - nothing like having an intermittent fault that doesn't act up when you can investigate.

For some reason, the left side light circuit wasnt getting power. Right side was good, left side dead. We pinpointed, wiggled, looked at the spaghetti bowl Lucas calls a schematic, scratched our heads, couldn't figure it out. We decide to head back to his house, and the light starts working again about halfway throught the drive. I figured he had hit a bump, or hit the dash out of frustration and jarred a wire into working... nope! He had turned on the radio!

We never fully figured it out, but there was some issue with voltage loss (or maybe ground issue?) that affected only the left turn signal when the radio WASN'T on. Being old school, it was a two filament bulb, so both the left and right side shared a common power feed to the turn stalk where it was split for the turn signal... Radio on, both had power. Radio off, left lost power, regardless of what the turn stalk was set to. SMH WTF.

My buddy always drove around with the radio on so it never acted up. When the inspector pulled it into the bay, he turned the radio off as they're supposed to for safety and the light stopped working. Never did figure it out, just took it back for inspection with the radio on but volume all the way down.
 

zuke

Member 2022
VA4WD
Back in the eighties, I owned a gaggle of MG's, No two of them had the same electrical gremlins, but they all were cursed in unique ways by the prince of darkness :)
 

cwkann

Website Committee
Member 2022
Okay, so riddle me this. Right now with my '03 TJ the radio will lose power completely, like the time won't even show. If I push the key in further, radio comes back on! Going down the road, hit a bump, radio goes off. Push key in further, comes back on. How do I correct it? :p
 
Okay, so riddle me this. Right now with my '03 TJ the radio will lose power completely, like the time won't even show. If I push the key in further, radio comes back on! Going down the road, hit a bump, radio goes off. Push key in further, comes back on. How do I correct it? :p
I'd place my bets on a worn key or ignition cylinder. Not to be confused with the ignition switch, the actual cylinder.

First step is to use your spare key, if you have one, as it will be less worn. If all your keys are worn, taking it to a locksmith should allow them to cut it by code (1-4-3-2-5-6, etc.) from looking at the old key. Cutting by code is better than copying the old key because copying a worn out key gives you a new worn out key. If it doesn't act up, you know that the tumblers in the cylinder are good, and you don't need to remove the cylinder and have it re-keyed. Just make another copy of your spare, and you're good.

It is likely a worn cylinder however, given age, and this issue for whatever reason seems to plague '03 models moreso than others - probably some small design or part change for the MY. When the tumblers wear the cylinder will allow the key to slide out far enough to not press the detent pin, which provides power to the radio via the ignition switch. Based on connectors and pin detents, the radio is the first to get goofy when the key slides out. This is why the radio works, then gets jostled "loose" with a bump, and works again when you push it in a bit further.

Fix is to buy a new ignition cylinder ($10-$20) and have it rekeyed to match your current key ($20) by a locksmith. Gotta go to an actual locksmith, HD/Lowes/Ace etc won't offer this. Dorman makes a replacement cylinder that you can re-tumble/key yourself, but is a bit more expensive than "set" cylinders ($40-60 compared to $20-30). There is some overlap in the cost of the two methods, but I've found going to a locksmith to be preferable to get their expertise and not have to go searching for tumblers when the little springs pop them out and send parts across the room... or into your eyeball (I tend to forget to use my safety squints when working with spring loaded small items at close range, personally...). Rekeying the cylinder is definitely key (hah - see what I did there?!?!?) to not having the frustration of two keys - one for the doors, one for the ignition. I know Jeff W has served as the NovaJ Locksmith before, and lives out your way, he may be able to get ya done.

If Jeff or a locksmith are too hard to coordinate with, there are other options like "codable" cylinders, but these cost more than a regular cylinder and rekey: https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/.../2328/automotive-suv-2003-jeep-wrangler?pos=2. Put the old key in (preferably least-worn one), turn the cylinder back and forth, and you're coded.

Oh dang, maybe Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-924-7...locphy=9007552&hvtargid=pla-568671711566&th=1


Steps for removing the cylinder:

If you have sentry key and want to get fresh keys cut:
- I'd suggest asking the locksmith to cut the new keys by code, not by copying.
- You'll need two old keys. The SKIM module can be programmed by the owner, but requires two keys to code additional ones. This is a security measure that keeps things like valets (or maybe that teenager who likes to sneak out) from being able to cut and code a new key from a single original. The SKIM can be programmed 8 times/to 8 keys. More than this requires a trip to the dealer to clear programming.
- Process for programming the new senty key into the SKIM: https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/skis-skim-sentry-key-programming.16848/.

There's a small chance that it is related to the wiring harness/pigtail connector that connects to the cylinder, but it's 50:1 the cylinder itself.
 

dave2002ti

Member 2022
Had a buddy who had a '68 Spitfire. He went to get it inspected one year and it failed because the left turn signal and brake light didn't work. He went home and called me over, lights worked just fine. We wiggled all the wires, reset all the fuses, unplugged checked and reconnected all the connectors, all the usual stuff for intermittent electrical issues we could think of minus spot probing or doing the bend test all the way from the battery to housing.

He went back to the inspection station, with me following him, and I witnessed everything working as it should. Inspector pulls it into the bay, fails again, same issue. Because it wasn't working and I had all my meters etc, I suggested we pull into a parking spot and troubleshoot since the problem remained failed - nothing like having an intermittent fault that doesn't act up when you can investigate.

For some reason, the left side light circuit wasnt getting power. Right side was good, left side dead. We pinpointed, wiggled, looked at the spaghetti bowl Lucas calls a schematic, scratched our heads, couldn't figure it out. We decide to head back to his house, and the light starts working again about halfway throught the drive. I figured he had hit a bump, or hit the dash out of frustration and jarred a wire into working... nope! He had turned on the radio!

We never fully figured it out, but there was some issue with voltage loss (or maybe ground issue?) that affected only the left turn signal when the radio WASN'T on. Being old school, it was a two filament bulb, so both the left and right side shared a common power feed to the turn stalk where it was split for the turn signal... Radio on, both had power. Radio off, left lost power, regardless of what the turn stalk was set to. SMH WTF.

My buddy always drove around with the radio on so it never acted up. When the inspector pulled it into the bay, he turned the radio off as they're supposed to for safety and the light stopped working. Never did figure it out, just took it back for inspection with the radio on but volume all the way down.
Oh Lucas Prince of Darkness. Sometimes with TR, MGs, AHs, Jags, Minis, Land Rovers, and Range Rovers you could never figure it out.

Dave Apker
 
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