Really bad AC, do I need to replace the system?

The first issue I had with my 2010 Chevrolet Traverse involved the AC. I had to replace some of the AC hose, no big deal. Then the compressor itself began to leak and I had to replace that. This was around 30,000 miles and now, at 48,000 miles, I am not getting any cold air from the AC. Am I going to be replacing these parts every 20,000 miles?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse air conditioning system has a history component failure on different models which can be annoying. For the owners that have multiple failed components in one vehicle, it can become a nightmare. Some of these issues have been addressed by GM in Technical Service Bulletins to the dealer. All these failures are only covered while the vehicle is under the 3 years or 36,000 miles warranty period, whichever comes first. The issues include, the A/C pressure hose leaking, A/C compressor leaking, A/C evaporator leaking, or the HVAC blend door actuators failing. All of these issue can prevent cooling of the vehicle. Unfortunately due to the scope of the issues, it is possible that you will be replacing parts that affect the air conditioning every 20,000 miles. YourMechanic can perform an air conditioning inspection for you.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Reasons a Chevrolet Traverse AC Isn`t Working. The most common reasons a Chevrolet Traverse ac isn`t working are a refrigerant leak, an electrical climate control issue, or a problem with the air conditioning compressor. You may not realize there`s a refrigerant leak until the air conditioner stops blowing cold.
Common Reasons AC Doesn`t Run Cold

The most common causes of broken air conditioning leaks or compression issues. If you are feeling cool — but not cold — air, the issue could be a clogged filter, a problem with the cooling fan, signs of radiator trouble, or it could simply mean it`s time to recharge your AC.

On average, the cost for a Chevrolet Traverse Car AC Repair is $249 with $116 for parts and $133 for labor. Prices may vary depending on your location.
While every unit is different, and every homeowner has a different understanding of when their central air conditioner is broken beyond repair, it`s fair to say that, with proper maintenance and care, you can expect a good 15 to 20 years of cooling from a new high efficiency air conditioning system.
Check your breaker box for a blown breaker or tripped fuse. You may be able to fix this AC issue with the flip of a switch. If that doesn`t do the trick, check the wiring in your thermostat. A loose or frayed wire could also prevent your unit from turning on.
If the condenser unit of your AC starts to malfunction, it can severely limit your air conditioner`s ability to cool down your home and even cause it to break down completely. Failing to address this issue in a timely and effective manner can lead to component failure and even force you to replace the entire condenser.
If the compressor clutch engages and turns the compressor, but the A/C still does not blow cold air, the system is probably low on refrigerant and needs to be recharged.
If your central AC is not blowing cold air, the refrigerant may be the problem. The unit could be running low and need additional refrigerant added. The most likely cause of this is a leak. A leak not only keeps the AC unit from cooling properly, but also it can cause other issues within the home.
Usually, it is a quick fix, but sometimes the failure can be caused by a much bigger problem. The most expensive part of an AC unit to replace and repair is the air compressor. Today, our AC Techs discuss everything you need to know about air compressors and why they are so expensive to repair!
The most common causes of broken air conditioning are leaks or compressor issues. If your air is blowing cool but not cold, the problem could be a clogged filter, cooling fan problem, radiator trouble, or it could simply be that you need to recharge your AC.
Most cars will never need a new evaporator, but there are factors that can shorten its life. The evaporator is metallic, and if there`s moisture in the air conditioning system, that moisture can cause corrosion. Likewise, a leaking heater core can get coolant on the evaporator, potentially ruining it.
The evaporator coil absorbs heat and humidity from the air inside your home, while the condenser coil expels that heat outdoors. Despite being separate components, their functions are interlinked and crucial for the proper operation of your AC unit. Replacing just the evaporator coil can lead to problems.
The average lifespan of an air conditioning system is 10-15 years. Central air conditioner lifespan is one of the more important factors to consider when planning to invest in a replacement unit. If your unit is close to ten years old or older, you may want to consider replacing it instead of repairing it.
It is highly unlikely that your unit will last 30 years before needing to be replaced, however, if you follow a regular preventative maintenance routine and run it appropriately, your chances of keeping the same unit for around 15 years increases dramatically.
Modern air conditioners can last between 15-20 years, and older air conditioners last around 10-12 years. The health and efficiency of your A/C depends on a number of factors, including whether or not you properly maintained the unit throughout its lifetime.
A quiet, steady noise coming from the motor is a normal sound. The sounds that aren`t normal is a grating, grinding, or squealing sound. When you hear any of those noises, you need to make that emergency ac repair service call immediately after you have turned the system off.
#1 Most Common Air Conditioning Repair – Bad Capacitor

If your thermostat seems to be working properly, air is blowing from your vents but it`s just not cold, find your outside unit (condenser) and see if it`s working. There are 2 components the compressor and the fan motor.

You might be low on refrigerant or have a worn out motor or a dirty evaporator coil. Not all AC problems demonstrate themselves with loud sounds or funny odors coming from your system. Some of them simply reduce the AC`s ability to run, and all you notice is less cool air in the house.
Yes, you can replace only your air conditioner`s condenser unit. However, you may save money by replacing the entire air conditioner if the system is more than a decade old.
Main causes

Damage or blockage is usually due to external debris. Since the condenser is usually placed at the front of the car, it can be impacted by something striking the front of your car. This can block or clog the fins and prevent effective airflow.

A clogged or damaged condenser can also cause compressor failure, as a poorly functioning condenser won`t remove enough heat from the refrigerant. This can sometimes mean the refrigerant remains in a liquid state when it`s pumped to the compressor, and that`s bad.
The job of the compressor is to pressurize the refrigerant, turning it from a gas into a liquid. The condenser`s role is to further cool down the refrigerant and exchange heat with the surroundings.
If the compressor fails, you can opt to have only the condenser replaced, leaving the indoor components in place. This costs less than a full AC replacement, but we rarely recommend it. Replacing the condenser alone risks a mismatched system that runs inefficiently, and it doesn`t come with a new warranty.
Overheating is one of the main reasons why compressors fail, and it is usually caused by not enough refrigerant in the system.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

What would cause the clutch on an ac compressor to continue to go bad after being replaced three times?
ANSWER : The compressor clutch relay on these vehicles are a known cause of sticking on the compressor clutch and overheating the A/C compressor clutch coil. Replace the A/C relay to see if it cures the clutch going bad the next time you do a compressor clutch replacement, or replace it now if you have just replaced the clutch.

Really bad AC, do I need to replace the system?
ANSWER : The 2010 Chevrolet Traverse air conditioning system has a history component failure on different models which can be annoying. For the owners that have multiple failed components in one vehicle, it can become a nightmare. Some of these issues have been addressed by GM in Technical Service Bulletins to the dealer. All these failures are only covered while the vehicle is under the 3 years or 36,000 miles warranty period, whichever comes first. The issues include, the A/C pressure hose leaking, A/C compressor leaking, A/C evaporator leaking, or the HVAC blend door actuators failing. All of these issue can prevent cooling of the vehicle. Unfortunately due to the scope of the issues, it is possible that you will be replacing parts that affect the air conditioning every 20,000 miles. YourMechanic can perform an air conditioning inspection for you.

Opinion about older AC systems versus the AC systems in modern cars
ANSWER : Here is the kicker. The old air conditioning systems were huge and they wasted a lot of energy. But with that said, they blew as cool as can be and lasted a long time.

For example, you can take an old Chevy AC compressor – those things were gigantic and some of them weighed 50 pounds – but they blew freezing cold. That said, they used a lot of energy to work and those things held like three pounds of refrigerant. Modern ones don’t even hold a pound of refrigerant and they are all computer controlled. So when they break, they can cost a fortune because not only do they have computers that turn the air conditioning clutch on and off, some of them have the air conditioning clutches that work all the time.

Inside, the compressor have these variable swash buckle plates that are controlled by a computer and can give 0-100% power. And guess what, that stuff is all computer controlled. And when it all breaks, it can cost thousands when they finally break down. So I tend to agree with you that old one’s work better, but the newer ones are much more efficient and they use much less fuel. That’s why they are using them. They get bonus points for better gas mileage from the federal government.

2008 VW Jetta AC not cold
ANSWER : Hi Allen. By far the best way to have your AC system correctly diagnosed is by having an AC inspection completed first. By having one of our professional mobile mechanics come to your location to diagnose the issue correctly, it significantly minimizes the mistakes in completing the wrong service. In your case, the issue could be as simple as needing to have the AC system recharged, or there is an existing leak that needs to be repaired before refilling the refrigerant. Best economic bet is to have the AC inspection completed first.

Do i need to replace the receiver drier and/or the expansion valve when replacing the condenser assembly?
ANSWER : Replacing the system drier is absolutely essential. If the system has been open to the atmosphere (due to the leak in the condenser), the desiccant in the drier has been fully saturated with moisture. As far as the expansion valve, replacement is not normally implicated in a leak repair, in your case a leak in the condenser. To justify replacing the expansion valve, there would have to have been a diagnostic performed which proved a fault. If no diagnostic was performed, and there is no evidence of a fault, then it is pointless to replace the valve. But, again, drier replacement is absolutely essential. To add the drier to your order, you can simply add a note to the mechanic in your order and/or add it as a service (you will see a link that you can click on to "add services" or write in specific services). If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

When replacing the AC Compressor, do I need to replace both expansion valves as well or just the front
ANSWER : Hi there. Anytime you replace major air conditioning system components like the AC compressor, it’s recommended to purchase all supporting hardware and replace it at the same time. AC works as a series of individual components working efficiently together to create cool air that flows into your cabin. As such, if you’re replacing the front expansion valve, it’s a good idea to replace the rear at the same time. This increases overall efficiency of the system, reduces the potential of small component failure and allows the parts you replaced to last longer.

How much would a complete coolant system cost to replace in a Passat. I’m having a really bad leak and I believe its the o-ring etc.
ANSWER : Billing question sent to CS for the cost to replace all the components in the cooling system in a 2004 Volkswagen Passat with a L4-1.8L Turbo engine.

Does the AC system need to be refilled with refrigerant after the cycling switch is replaced?
ANSWER : A lack of pressure from low refrigerant will absolutely cause a compressor clutch to not engage. If adding refrigerant at home, you make sure to buy a recharge kit that includes a gauge for the system. This is the only way to know for sure what you are putting in and when to stop. You will read the gauge and add refrigerant until the needle reads where it needs to be. Run the A/C during this process. When complete, you are going to want to check the system for leaks. This will not only verify the system is good, but verify the repairs done and make sure the refrigerant doesn’t leak out again. Refrigerant is extremely toxic to the environment and should not be leaked out of the can or the vehicle. I would have a certified professional, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose the AC system to pinpoint the issue and move forward with repairs.