3

(I know I'm not the first with similar issues, but my situations way weird)

Chevy Malibu Classic '04

The fan always works.

But if I click the A/C button, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

If it turns on, it will randomly turn on and off. Sometimes it toggles in a split second, sometimes after 15 minutes.

It helps the A/C stay on if I hold down the "blow internally" button, (Ie not the "use outside air" button. If I just push the internal button, it'll sometimes work immediately, but I usually have to push it a few times, or hold it down, to get 5-15 min uninterupted AC/

It seems that blowing power level affects it, but also the speed of the car. For example, on the highway, levels 3 and 5 work, but not 4. At slow speeds, 4 sometimes works.

What's going on!?

  • 1
    does the a/c just stop blowing cold air, or does air stop blowing completely? – user4546 Jun 19 '15 at 2:18
  • The fan always works. So it will keep blowing, just not cold air... – Josh.F Jun 22 '15 at 15:51
1

You may have already resolved this issue, but I am going to post this answer in case others happen to need it.

The issue is a common problem with the '98 to '03 Malibu. What happens is the control unit on the dash goes bad. I have seen people disassemble to repair them or just put a new AC-Delco replacement part in.

Removing and replacing the unit with a new one is fairly simple, but costs more. Choosing to repair the unit yourself will save you money, but it is more complex.

Below are a couple links to help you decide which you would rather do.

Replace the unit - Chevy Malibu A/C Button Inop: HVAC Control Head Replacement

Repair the unit - How to fix AC in a Chevy Malibu

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1

The fan may be partly jammed by leaves or a rodent nest in the fan area. Check the fan housing and cabin air filter for contamination.

You may have a bad fan motor control resister pack, bad relays, or a bad blower motor. If this is the case, these issues are usually easier to diagnose than problems with the A/C itself.

If the electric blower motor is going bad, it may come to rest in spots in its rotation where it takes more current to start than other spots. In this case, putting it on "high" and/or banging on it may cause it to start spinning.

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Given that the fan works fine, just that cold air isn't blowing, there are two things that spring to mind.

  1. You're out of refrigerant
  2. Your compressor has gone bad

Refrigerant leaks even if you have a sealed system. This is normal, don't freak out. You should get it refilled with refrigerant if this is the case. You can check this is the case by looking for bubbles in AC system viewing hole (car dependant)

The compressor gone bad is difficult to diagnose yourself, unless the AC belt has just slipped off or broke. To rule it out, refill the system with the correct gas and get the type of gas that has a UV dye. Looks like you are based in the US, where you can buy refill these kits easily in autoparts stores.

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