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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I have a 2008 Tribeca limited 7 passenger with 90k miles on it. Recently the AC has not been working properly. Blows cold for a spell then all of sudden will not, just air. Compressor is engaged. I have had it looked at twice by local shop and explained that under black light can find no leaks and is fully charged.

Has anyone else encountered this issue and if so what was the fix?

Thank you in advance,

Bill
2008 Tribeca (wife's car)
2013 Impreza (daughter's car)
2008 Outback XT (Daddy's sleeper, pulling 340hp)
 

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Most common cause of this issue in outbacks is low charge due to leaking oring: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/43428-diy-c-air-conditioning-leak-refrigerant-repair-5-less-15-minutes-less.html

I know on my legacy gt I had a similar issue. Turned out one of my 2 fans wasn't plugged in correctly after I replaced the timing belt. The engine was running on the warm side and thus my ECU would pull the AC to keep it in temperature. So you might want to verify you fan goes on to the 2 levels (low and high).
 

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Another common problem - failure of the AC relay. Happened to my ‘09 the Summer after I bought it. Simple and cheap fix.
 

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i had the intermittent ac issue, it turned out to be the compressor relay p/n 82501AG05B or Mitsuba RC07-003 located in the fuse box close to the battery. i believe is the only blue relay on that box
 

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Just for reinforcement, it was the relay for us too. We had just purchased it (almost 5 years ago now) and the A/C worked intermittently. Place that sold it to us said the system held vacuum and they recharged it after. Same issue - replaced the A/C relay and it's been great since. I bought two back then just in case it happened again so I could switch it out quickly as the part was so inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bumping this again please, AC now is no longer working after being ok since Feb when I replaced the AC relay. I also replaced the cooling fan relay as read that somewhere also as something to try.

However, now the compressor does not seem to be engaging. Any other ideas on what I can try and trouble shoot? Thank you in advance.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Evaporator Core leak inside the dashboard is diagnosis. In addition the compressor not functioning to full capacity which is indication that is beginning to fail.

Joy.

This from mechanic I trust. He charged system and is working still 3 days later so likely slow leak for now. Cost of repairs just too much as not sure if time to cut bait on this Tribeca. 4 months ago put about the value of the car into it as had to replace valve body and both rear axels, bushings etc. Car has 92,000 miles on it and have to decide at this point if throwing good money after bad meaning what’s potentially next.
 

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Evaporator replacement shouldn't be a big job. It basically slides out to the side into the passenger footwell, after removing the blower motor and actuators. But a shop will charge several hundred, if not a thousand, after all is said and done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
$800 was quote for evaporator $1800 total if did the compressor also. Does the dash need to be removed to access?
 

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Posting again, count me in with another compressor relay failure, at just over 100,000 miles on a 2006 model.
I chose to replace the blue Mitsuba relay 82501AG05B with a gray NAIS relay 82501AG041 because the specifications for the latter are available from the supplier (it is a Panasonic NAIS ACV31212 relay). This unfortunately is not the case with Mitsuba. An important specification for interchange is coil resistance, because you don't want to overload the driving circuit. Current rating is also important, but not published for the blue relay. The gray relay is rated at 20 A. The coil on a bad relay measured 152 Ohm. NAIS specification (with internal snubber resistor as usual) is 142 Ohm +/- 10% and the new relay measured 145 Ohm as received. Some manufacturers use 100 Ohm relays (found this while attempting to temporarily swap in a fog relay from my Mazda). The blue Mitsuba relay just might be not strong enough to control a highly inductive load presented by the magnetic coil in the compressor clutch. The gray relay has been used on Japan-built Impreza and Forester models to perform the same functions as the blue relay does on Outback/Legacy. There's only one blue relay under the hood, but a bunch of them is sitting in the relay block under the dash. I also opened up the bad relay. The contact pads were severely eroded and there was a sputtering pattern around them.
 
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