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Old 01-22-2017, 07:23 PM   #12
mikeshaw
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Re: 01 Chevy Venture Cooling Fans & AC Not Working

(Wow I didn't realize you had already replied and pinpointed exactly the issue ! Yes it is the condenser. I can see the oil stain all over the bottom corner on the passenger side, just like in the picture here I found online)

After further online research I found out that 01' & 02' Ventures have a common issue with the condensor leaking in the lower corner where the attachment bracket is on the passenger side. Someone posted a picture showing where you can see the leakage on the condenser. I checked my van and that's exactly what I have.

http://autoacforum.com/messageview.c...threadid=22748
http://www.my-chevy-venture.com/vent...-replaced.html
http://www.my-chevy-venture.com/air-...-replaced.html

Not good news. People talking like $700 to repair. At least I know now what the problem is and I didn't have to waste time and money buying refrigerant, dye, gauges, etc.

Coincidentally I had just replaced the radiator fan motor on the same side only a few days before the AC went out. When installing the motor I was noticing that the fan was not spinning as freely by hand as the other side fan. It seemed to wobble slightly. Before removing the failed fan motor I had not thought to notice how it was spinning by hand, so I was not able to compare before and after with the new motor. But when I powered the fan it seemed to run smoothly, so I figured all was good and put everything back together. The fact that the AC went out just a few days later has me wondering if the fan is creating some excess vibration there that caused the condenser to break faster than it would have if the fan were running perfectly. I really don't know if that's an issue. All i can tell is that the fan seems to spin as it should.

Anyhow, the van is 16 years old and has 205K, and this issue happens on most of these vans sooner or later it seems. They say that the bracket is attached through the condenser and weakens causing the leak. Someone said the "new design condenser does not bolt through that bracket anymore." So hopefully when I do fix this it will last and whatever may be the situation with the fan would not be an issue.

Do you think it may be a worthwhile do it yourself job ? I did replace the fan motor and had to remove the assembly. That was enough of a pain. It looks like you'd have to pull out the fan assembly and radiator to get to the condenser. I imagine you have to evacuate the system, tear out those parts & replace then recharge the system. I'd need a vacuum pump, gauge manifold and a bunch of stuff. I don't know, this fix could be way out of my league.

Do you think it's too difficult job for most ? Any suggestion on what should be a fair price at the shop ? $700 ?
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