Problems With Old AC Systems

The season is becoming warmer and if you have a convertible and only drive it on perfect weather days then your XJS can be a dream to drive. However, what about those very hot days where you may be driving a Coupe or a sudden rainstorm catches you and the AC just took an untimely vacation on a slow boat to China. So you are all dressed nicely smelling fresh from the wonderful shower you enjoyed before leaving home. But now it's raining, it's as hot as your fireplace on a December night and you are meeting friends for lunch and they all always admire your car and this restaurant has valet parking only. Now you have to arrive in this great looking XJS but look as if you walked two miles in the rain and smell like the garlic that you had the prior evening. And lets not even mention your hair which either looks like a wet cat or one of Phyllis Diller's stage wigs! Well here is the skinny on XJS AC issues which can be a simple fix or could very easily cost thousands. Here are some common symptoms prior to this day describe earlier.

  • Blowing warm air
  • Compressor not engaging
  • Blowing semi-cool but not cold
  • System recharged and still not blowing cold
  • System recharged then slowly leaking out

We must first remember that no matter how great the car looks or how low the mileage is, the XJS is 25 plus years old and rubber hoses, wires, and seals are old and dry which leads to leaks. One of the most important steps that should be taken but greatly overlooked is the dryer because it looks good.

This is the long tube that is located above the radiator and condenser. Its function is to keep the system dry and when there is a leak, the system becomes exposed to air and moisture and eventually rendering the dryer non-functional. When this happens fowled up refrigerant and even rust clogs the lines.

The High-pressure line is normally where the leaks mostly occur however changing the dryer should follow replacing the high-pressure hose or any other parts that expose the system to the open air. Another thing that is very important to do following any of the procedures above before recharging is to evacuate the system which will vacuum out all harmful moisture that also tends to cause blockages. So now is the time to check your system and if the AC lines are old and you take to the saying "if it isn't broken don't fix it" well remember this if you do not fix it, that raining blistering hot day is just waiting for you.

1 comment

  • Last season my 1995 XJS went bad, so I had my service man replace all components with a complete restore kit.

    Bob Clark

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