For a Dumpster Fire anyway. With outside temps in the triple digits, the Saab and the Alfa haven’t been getting a lot of love due to inop AC. The Alfa is a lost cause in that department, but I figured I could do some troubleshooting on the Saab and see what I could find out.
I knew the AC had been charged about 4 years ago by the mechanic equivalent of “Annie Wilkes,” because that was clearly the most pressing issue with that car, but I didn’t have much hope it was still holding a charge. What I really wanted to do is confirm the system still worked before taking it in to get professionally leak checked and serviced. Namely, the Saab has several switches that kill the AC during abnormal conditions, so I needed to make sure they all were working.
I started by measuring the system pressure sensor, which understandably was reading open. So either that sensor has failed or the system isn’t charged. Makes sense.
The engine temp switch and the throttle switch both tested good, and I couldn’t locate the wiring for the coolant temp switch, so I figured the next step would be to jumper the pressure switch and see if the compressor would engage.
And it did!
Cool! Using a charge can a friend gave me, I went ahead and charged the system up the the recommended level and reconnected and....
Oh noes! Sounds like my compressor is borked! Oh well....
But wait! Belt maybe? And sure enough the belt was super loose. Tightening the AC belt on these is a massive pain in the butt, but I eventually got it, restarted and SUCCESS!
The idle was too low with the AC running, which caused the oil pressure to be alarmingly low too, but other than that everything seemed to be working.
I took it for a quick drive to confirm.
A lot of issues to sort, but really I can’t stress that it felt way healthier than it has in years. I didn’t feel like an unhappy car, it felt like a car that needed some maintenance.
Bat doggo for you time.