AC does not cool at idle - Kia Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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AC does not cool at idle

Hi all,

Our 2011 Sorento only cools when the motor is turning above idle. At idle (such as stoplights), you can feel the air coming from the vents get warmer and warmer, and the air flow is decreased. And sometimes it cools great, and other times not very much at all. Does anyone else have this issue?

I am going to take the car to the dealer next week to have it checked out, just wondering...

I read that some of the early 2011 Sorentos had bad alternators, could this be the issue?

FWIW, this is with the automatic climate control.

Thanks!


Last edited by hollywood; 05-14-2011 at 10:34 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 10:34 AM
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Cool AC issues

You may want to check the refrigerant level its possibly low due to a leak this will reduce the cooling as the reservoir drains and more refrigerant is needed in the system your dealer can check this when you take it in.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 10:42 AM
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Low coolant in the engine could cause this. Check your radiator fluid. If you have the means you could check your refrigerant as suggested. Your condensor fan should be coming on when the A/C clutch is engaged. If it is not that would cause a loss of cool air. When you start to drive and get air flow across the rad/cond your A/C will start to cool.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hollywood View Post
Hi all,

Our 2011 Sorento only cools when the motor is turning above idle. At idle (such as stoplights), you can feel the air coming from the vents get warmer and warmer, and the air flow is decreased. And sometimes it cools great, and other times not very much at all. Does anyone else have this issue?

I am going to take the car to the dealer next week to have it checked out, just wondering...

I read that some of the early 2011 Sorentos had bad alternators, could this be the issue?

FWIW, this is with the automatic climate control.

Thanks!
Welcome to the world of AUTO-CLIM. We all know it well. I hate it and buy vechs with out it if I can and humanly possible and have a choice. Many times yes you do not. But loking at a EX and a LX version for me the AUTO- CLIM would factor HEAVY as to if I could live with less gee wiz look what i got of the LX and better A/C, then have to have the EX and AUTO-CLIM. Might be yes a bad setup system you have. Get it looked at yes to make sure. But more like for sure this is CLASSIC AUTO-CLIM at its best and worse. If this is your first one welcome. If not you have been lucky as not many are happy with any AUTO-CLIM system in many cars. I avoid them for a reason too. This is it. HUNTING.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 04:09 PM
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Okay I am not a Kia mechanic , but I am an AC&R guy and all cars lose some cooling output at idle. The slower RPM's mean the compressor isn't pumping as well as when spinning at highway speeds, and you are relying solely on the electric condenser fan (or radiator fan if that is the case) to move air across the condenser, without the benefit of speed cramming it in on the road. If compressor is on.... the fan should be on. If it overheats, there is a safety that shuts off the compressor and your cooling stops. It may continue to cycle as it cools but will never be very good. Also, if your refrigerant level gets low there is another safety switch that stops the compressor to prevent freezing the evaporator, and/or starving the compressor of lubrication (oil in the refrigerant circulates to lubriicate the compressor). This too may cycle on/off as pressure rises/falls, but you will have poor cooling.
Check condenser fan to see that it works and air flow into coils is not restricted. Bugs, dirt, road debris, etc... all contribute. See if compressor cycles off for too long.
Turn it on high (bypass the climate controls if you can) manual, and hold engine at 1500 PRM for a few minutes and see if cooling gets better. When a technician works on your system to check refrigerant charge or proper operation, I guarantee he will hold the car at fast idle to do his checks. Nobody leaves it at standard idle and expects good cooling.
I know this is basic and simple description of how it works, but maybe it will help.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 04:24 PM
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Guys...
All of your suggestions are great but if you look it's a 2011 Sorento. He only needs to drive it to a KIA dealer and have it serviced. It's their problem and his cost is N/C.
Dave
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice all. I checked the coolant, and with the engine cold it is just a hair above the low point, so should be ok.

Even when in motion and cooling, the AC still rarely works as well as the AC did on our old 2005 Sorento, or even on my 2006 Kia Rio, lol. I will take it to the dealership next week and have them check it out. Hopefully it is just low on refrigerant.

Our build date is in the range for the bad alternators, so maybe they will check it out as well.

Thanks all, I will let you know what I find out...
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hollywood View Post
Thanks for the advice all. I checked the coolant, and with the engine cold it is just a hair above the low point, so should be ok.

Even when in motion and cooling, the AC still rarely works as well as the AC did on our old 2005 Sorento, or even on my 2006 Kia Rio, lol. I will take it to the dealership next week and have them check it out. Hopefully it is just low on refrigerant.

Our build date is in the range for the bad alternators, so maybe they will check it out as well.

Thanks all, I will let you know what I find out...
My 2003 Spectra LS and 2004 Sorento LX had MANUAL frezze your butt off A/C. And my two 2010 SOUL's have MANUAL freeze your butt off A/C. POINT MADE and so did your 2005 Sorento and 2006 RIO, welcome to the world of AUTO-CLIM in your 2011 UBER MOBILE! This is your baptisim enjoy it.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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My 2003 Spectra LS and 2004 Sorento LX had MANUAL frezze your butt off A/C. And my two 2010 SOUL's have MANUAL freeze your butt off A/C. POINT MADE and so did your 2005 Sorento and 2006 RIO, welcome to the world of AUTO-CLIM in your 2011 UBER MOBILE! This is your baptisim enjoy it.
True, I have not had the automatic climate control in a KIA yet... wheeee! The auto AC in our previous vehicles that had it worked well, but to think of it, they never did freeze you out... Good data point for the next vehicle purchase!
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hollywood View Post
True, I have not had the automatic climate control in a KIA yet... wheeee! The auto AC in our previous vehicles that had it worked well, but to think of it, they never did freeze you out... Good data point for the next vehicle purchase!
I have had several where there was no choice. AUTO-CLIM was it. Almost all outside the two Toyotas a 1987 Cressida L and the 1988 Supra Turbo were not worth (Toyota's worked WELL and perfectly) the effort to turn on mostly. THE WORST! was the 1996 VOLVO 965 (1997 it was then a V90). And sadley at the same time I had a 1991 VOLVO 744 (4dr) Euro with manual A/C and it was bad too. Volvo was historicly bad for A/C period. Which is why the 744 turned into a 2004 Sorento (in 2007) with killer manual A/C and the 965 (wagon) was just sold as it was a backup car for hauling stuff after I got rid of the 2002 Dodge Durango SXT (disappointing manual A/C) in 2005. The Sorento solved it all. The 1999 Saturn SL2 had turned into the 2003 Spectra LS in 2003 with KILLER manual A/C. I got tired of the crap (always dumping $$$ into them) for A/C (to the point they were factory new really) in the SC heat. NJ was not so bad before that. But not SC.

P.S. other wise if I could have gotten a 1996 965 with manual A/C that really worked (not like the 744 manual version) I would still have it. The car with its 2.9L DOHC 24V I6 (Porsche DNA) was killer but VOLVO A/C was trash.


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Last edited by 04SorentoLX; 05-15-2011 at 09:01 AM.
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