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Lazy Moon

Illinois

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Posted: 07/30/12 09:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel. The ac ducts on passenger side run about 10 to 20 degrees warmer than drivers side. This happens randomly while traveling and it can change very quickly. The passenger side can change from a 10 degree difference to a 20 degree difference in just a few seconds. It seems to be triggered by stopping or slowing down. And then at times will return to cooling just as randomly as it warmed.

Just wondering if anyone has run into this problem or has heard about it.

Thanks,
Cliff


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 07/30/12 09:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have the classic symptoms of a low charge condition in a Dodge truck.
When the truck leaves the factory it has just barley enough AC refrigerant (even less than is called for) so after a few years the charge may be slightly too low.

I don't like using cans of refrigerant to top it off but if you do go this route, make sure you use a product that DOES NOT have stuff in it to seal leaks. If in the future the system is opened up, the sealant will solidify and clog everything.

Really the best thing to do is have the system completely evacuated and recharged.


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thomasmnile

Deltona, Fl.

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Posted: 07/30/12 10:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lazy Moon wrote:

I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel. The ac ducts on passenger side run about 10 to 20 degrees warmer than drivers side. This happens randomly while traveling and it can change very quickly. The passenger side can change from a 10 degree difference to a 20 degree difference in just a few seconds. It seems to be triggered by stopping or slowing down. And then at times will return to cooling just as randomly as it warmed.

Just wondering if anyone has run into this problem or has heard about it.

Thanks,
Cliff


X2 on what ScottG posted. Have an '05 3500 with the same problem. Apparent leak somewhere that has escaped detection by my mechanic, or so small it doesn't register. Have had refrigerant added twice in 4 years (less than 1lb. both times) and it's fine for 18-24 mos. I'm guessing it may be an evaporator leak which is big $$$ to replace. Not so much the cost of the evaporator as the labor to half dismantle the truck to remove/replace the evaporator.

Kennedycamper

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Posted: 07/30/12 10:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might have a vacuum leak too. Check under the hood & where it plugs into the box under the dash.

camping man

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Posted: 07/30/12 10:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Normal Dodge A/C, probably needs a charge. Mine did that when I drove it off the lot, I properly charged it when I got home, instead of driving back for warranty work.


05 Dodge CTD NV5600 6speed (100K Mile Club) / 97 Sprinter 5er


Dave Wilburn

Ogden UT

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Posted: 07/30/12 10:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All the diesel Dodges of this vintage do it. As stated earlier, you are low on refrigerant. You will need to add a little less than a pound (one can) to get it working to full capacity.
This has been a problem on these trucks since way back, but since most drivers never check the temp on the passenger side, most people never noticed. This has been discussed to death on the Dodge forums. Here is what I have learned: The reason they seem to have a leak is due to the computer controlling the engine fan. When the a/c is first turned on, the pressures rise quickly before the ECU commands the cooling fan clutch to engage and the system will over pressurize the high side and the compressor will vent the excess pressure. That is why you never find a leak. Once it does that a few times, you will be left with the driver's side blowing cold and the passenger side 20-30 degrees warmer. This is due to the design of the evaporator. The driver’s side is where it gets coldest due to the insufficient charge. Once you charge it up, the driver's side may actually not get as cold as it did with a low charge, but the passenger side will be within 5 degrees of the driver’s side and the cab will cool down quicker.
Once you charge it up, you can delay the time before needing to recharge by not turning on the A/C until the truck is actually moving and therefore getting some airflow over the condenser. Another band aid is to put an electric fan on the front of the condenser, but that costs a couple hundred bucks and its cheaper to just add a can every once in a while. I usually have to add 1 lb every other year or so to keep it blowing cold on both sides.
If you or your mechanic puts gauges on it, fill it by reading the pressures, and not just putting in the 30 oz (IIRC) Dodge calls for on the sticker or you will be disappointed. Fill it to the high end of the pressure tolerances in the service manual. You will be much happier. I'm convinced Dodge only filled these trucks to the minimum when they were new and A/C techs are trained to evacuate the system and only put in what the sticker calls for.


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path1

Wa State (wet side)

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Posted: 07/30/12 11:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an 01. Every year I have to recharge. After doing a lot of looking around on line at differant sites here is what I learned.
Dodge AC was one of the best systems around when they desizned it. Problem is that was many years ago. They for some reason have many leaks, usually under the dash. Which is real expensive labor wise to fix.


1990 37 ft King of the road 5th wheel. Great carpentry, summer home
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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 07/30/12 11:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I got lucky and when they had to replace a broken blend door they had to evacuate and recharge the system. I've had nice cold air ever since.

trucker495

Linden, CA

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Posted: 07/30/12 12:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's low on charge!


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gandude

east bay

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Posted: 07/30/12 01:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As I understand it, R134a is going to be discontinued next year. The same situation that R-12 was, in '93. ...stock up on R134a!

I would like to know this for sure. Is there an A/C guy that can verify this?

Thanks.

Edit...

The replacement for R134a is HFO-1234yf AFAIK.

* This post was edited 07/30/12 02:12pm by gandude *


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