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1998 Chevrolet Venture Base 3dr Reg WB

1998 Chevrolet Venture
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 3 Door, 2WD Special Purpose
18 mpg city / 25 mpg hwy
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April 27, 2013, 7:52 am

Kurt B
 

Question: Why does my A/C clutch fue keep blowing?

I fixed several components on my A/C system since I got the van (orifice tube for front A/C, expansion valve for rear A/C, plus the high-side pressure valve), and the A/C worked greatly for a while. Now, for some reason, the fuse supplying power to my A/C clutch blows almost immediately when I turn it on.

When I supplied direct power to the clutch, it engaged without a problem. What I did to fix it was run a new wire from the relay in the fuse box to the clutch since I thought it might have been a bad wire. When I turned on the A/C from the cabin, the computer would activate the relay and supply power to the clutch, causing it to engage. This worked for a day or so, and then it started blowing the fuse again. I thought maybe since my hookup didn't use the A/C diode that maybe that was the problem. So this morning I ran the diode in line with the power wire to the clutch (I couldn't figure out which wires under the relay box connected to the diode plugs), but still the same thing happens. If I supply direct power to my new clutch power wire, it still engages without problem. Also, when the clutch engages, my A/C blows nice and cold... only until the fuse blows. What could be causing this to happen?

The next thing I'm considering doing is a two-step A/C system. First I would press the A/C button in the cabin to allow the computer to raise the RPMs. Then I would have a power switch hooked up directly to the clutch to engage it with a fuse in line. Would this be fine to do? I plan on running this van until it dies, so I'm not worried about reselling it. I just want my A/C clutch to work so I can have my A/C back. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


April 28, 2013, 10:15 am

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

You have a direct short in the AC power circuit. Disconnect the AC compressor and turn on the AC switch. If it still blows the circuit, it is the switch in in the wiring. If it doesn't, the coil in the compressor clutch is drawing too many amps and is failing.

I would recommend fixing it correctly, so you do not create a bigger electrical issue by bypassing it.


1/1 users found this helpful.

April 28, 2013, 4:52 pm

Kurt B
 

I tried what you suggested by disconnecting the clutch and then turning on the A/C, and it did blow the fuse still. I guess I'll have to check behind the dash now. Thanks for the suggestion. Is the switch the only thing that it could be? Is it normal for those to go bad?


0/0 users found this helpful.

April 28, 2013, 5:01 pm

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

The switch or the wiring in the dash is shorting. I would suspect a wire rubbing against something is the issue more than the switch itself. My first post wasn't that clear.


1/1 users found this helpful.

April 29, 2013, 3:51 am

Kurt B
 

Ok. Thank you for clarifying. I'm waiting for the Haynes manual I ordered to get in so I can take the dash apart and inspect it. I'll be sure to update this thread when I find out what the problem is.


0/0 users found this helpful.

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