Replacing Jeep Air Vents and Compressor – what you need to know
There are many aspects to vehicle air conditioning. We are going to focus on an odd pair; air vents and compressor. Read on for more on these two parts in Jeep Air conditioning.
The Air conditioning system plays an important role especially when those hot summers role around. We are going to concentrate on two important parts of the AC: air vents and the compressor.
In this article, we will discuss their roles in proper AC operation and what to do in the event that either of these parts fails. We will also discuss replacing the AC compressor and air vents. Take a look at our air vent and compressor associated air conditioning issues.
The AC compressor
This is the belt driven pump attached to the engine that acts as the processor of the entire system. It has a magnetic clutch at the front whose purpose is to activate the compressor as soon as it receives power. When active, the compressors’ role is to compress and afterwards transfer refrigerant gas. In other words, it pumps refrigerant in its gaseous state to the condenser in a loop.
The refrigerant is what is responsible for cooling the hot air which is then released back as cool air. You may know this refrigerant as Freon. It is also known as R1334 and is widely used in many vehicles. Older vehicle models use a refrigerant that is no longer available to the public due to its highly pollutant nature.
There is a notable pressure difference that helps divide the AC system into two parts: the ‘discharge’ high pressure side and the ‘suction’ low pressure side. The compressor sucks low pressure gas from the evaporator and accumulator, compresses it to a high pressure nature and sends it to the compressor.
Some signs of a failing or bad compressor
Stuck compressor clutch
If your clutch is not moving, then you might consider a compressor check up. The clutch on the compressor is controls the pulley which disengages and engages from the engine power, ensuring the compressor is on when it needs to be.
Weird noises are often an indicator that something is not right. This applies for compressor failure. You may experience loud noises after you turn on your AC on. When the compressor components fail or break, then the result is the weird noise. A replacement is the only way you can fix this sort of failure.
Notice we did not say loud noises, we said strange noises. While you should consider weird sounds as issue with some Jeep AC systems, some Jeeps have very loud cooling fans which can be considered ‘normal’. The HVAC system on the JL, for example, is louder than the one on the JK. HOWEVER, there are instances when you might hear strange noises e.g. hissing sounds coming from your system or the rattling we’ve discussed above. This is indicative of a problem and should be cause for worry.
High temperatures inside the cabin
When a compressor has issues, you will begin to notice temperatures inside the cabin are higher than usual. A bad compressor will not properly pressurize the refrigerant, causing overall failure within your AC system. This failure will prompt overall AC operation failure and thus fluctuating of the air blown inside the compressor.
Compressor associated leaks
While leaking might not be a direct sign of a failing compressor, it is a major cause for worry. In fact, leaking might trigger some of the sings we have discussed above.
Dangers of refrigerant leaks
Apart from making your AC system work harder, and increasing your energy bills, refrigerant may affect the air quality and harm your health or the environment. If you suspect any leaks from your AC system, you must have it checked and remedied immediately. Some of the ways professionals use to check for leaks include
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- Electronic detection
- Dye testing
- Nitrogen detection bubbling[/su_list]
Replacing or repairing your Jeep AC compressor
Because of the important role the compressor plays in functioning of the AC system, a bad compressor or compressor failure will mean a replacement or repair. Otherwise, your AC system might not even function.
Replacing a Jeep compressor or any other compressor will vary in cost depending on the model year and your location. Often these two factors influence the parts cost and labor costs respectively.
For example, on average the cost of a Wrangler compressor replacement is between the range 596 to 837$, including the parts which can go from up to about 730$ and the labor which is between 87 and 110$. The Jeep Grand Cherokee on the other hand will cost between 599$ to 917$ including 122-155 dollars for labor and 477 to 762 for parts.
When choosing between the replace and repair option, it is important to get a second opinion. A professional must inspect your AC thoroughly, confirm the compressor is the source of your HVAC troubles and help you decide on the best possible solution.
Pro tip: Sometimes it is best to replace an old compressor. Getting a newer one could save you all those trips to your mechanic every time you experience a leak. It could ease the cost of the constant repairs each time it experiences failure.
Air vents not working?
Air vents are second part of the AC we are going to discuss. Like with the compressor, there are several reasons why your jeep air vents may fail. This failure manifests in two ways: warm air that isn’t necessarily cool blowing from your vents or no air blowing whatsoever. Take a look at some of the reasons why your air vents might not be working properly.
A clogged air intake partial or complete will affect proper functioning of your AC system. The fresh and re-circulated air intakes must remain clear to ensure they are properly circulating air.
Blown parts and poor relay causing electrical issues
Because the AC is an electrical unit, it relies on a fuse for protection from large currents. If this fuse blows, then the circuits stop working and so do your vents. Similarly, relay which is the small current that controls the large current powering the ventilation can fail. If the relay is bad, then no power is received to operate the vents.
No function or malfunction
This applies to the blower motor whose job is to send air through the vents. If this motor fails, the result reflects on your ventilation system. Additionally, this motor relies on a resistor to regulate the speed that air will flow through your vents. Trouble with the resistor limits the conditioned air getting delivered to your cabin.
Cleaning out Jeep air vents and ducts
Now that you know clogging is bad for your air vents, how do you fix it? Well a little vent clearing or cleaning should do the trick.
The best way to clean air vents will ensure you get into every nook and cranny. The best tools are often small objects like cotton swabs, toothbrushes or even small paintbrushes that can get into your air vents and clean out all the gunk.
Using a cleaning solution will help get rid of any odors that accompany the dirt clogging your vents. A simple solution of water and vinegar mixed in a 1:1 ratio should do the trick.
After you’re done removing the mold, bacteria and dirt clogging the vents, you may use pressurized air to remove dirt around the vent area and dislodge anything remaining inside the vents. Once you’ve dislodged this material, proceed to turn on the car and run the air for a while. This blows away all the debris you dislodge with the pressurized air.
TIP: Incase the smells from your vents don’t go away, then you might need to change the air filters.
Replacing Air Vents
Because the air vents are not overly complicated, there are a lot of replacements available in the market today. In fact, with some automobile experience, you could make the replacement yourself. Just ensure that you install a vent which is compatible with your vehicle. A compatible part allows your vehicle to work more efficiently and productively.
To remove the air vents on your jeep:
There is a tab within the vent. You can feel for this tab after rotating your vent to allow you access the tab. This is accomplished by moving the vents to align downwards with the tab. The flaps on the vents must align upwards to successfully remove the vents.
Using a flat head screw driver, gently press the lever inside the tab. As you do so, the vent will pry right out of your vehicle.
The compressor is an important part of your AC, and so are the air vents. Each has its own critical role in ensuring your system works properly. It is therefore essential that you care for these parts properly, ensuring they are in top condition for optimal AC function.
You can do this by always checking for compressor leaks and ensuring it is in good conditions. Remember to likewise keep an eye on your vents, ensuring they are mold and bacteria free and do not have any malfunctioning parts.