How to Troubleshoot the AC on a 1996 Chevy S10 2.2 Liter


It's really no fun when your AC is not working on your Chevy S10. If there is some really hot weather on the way, why not troubleshoot the system? You might find that you can fix the issue right away on your own. With a special UV kit from your auto parts store, troubleshooting the AC system is a snap.

Things You'll Need

  • Ignition key
  • UV leak and sealer kit
  • Open the hood on your S10.

  • Find the AC compressor in front of the engine. The AC compressor has a belt attached to the engine so that it turns when running.

  • Ask your friend to start the engine while you look and listen to the engine. Have your friend turn on the AC. Listen for the car engine's RPMs to change. A working AC compressor will make a clicking sound when it turns on and will change the RPM of the engine because of the load of power. If you do not notice a change in the engine RPM and no clicking sound, then check the electrical connections to the compressor. If you are working on an AC system where the belt has been removed from the AC compressor, then make sure that the AC compressor is not frozen. You can turn the pulley on the AC compressor to make sure it moves. If it does not move, then you need a new compressor before moving on.

  • Find the AC inlet filler located on one of the AC lines entering the AC compressor. Sometimes there is a protective black cap that you can turn counterclockwise to remove.

  • Open your UV kit. In it you will find special Freon, sealant, UV glasses and UV light.

  • Press the Freon can onto the inlet connection and squeeze the trigger to fill the AC system.

  • Drive the car for a while with the AC on.

  • Park the vehicle and open the hood again. Put on your glasses and shine the UV light all around the AC lines and compressor. Try to see if you can find a leak in the system. You will be able to see the leak with the special glasses and light. If there is a major leak, then you will need to replace that part. If it is a pinhole leak, then proceed to the next step.

  • Press the can of sealer over the inlet connection and pull the trigger. Let the can fill the AC system. This sealant should stop a pinhole leak and get your AC system blowing cool air again.

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  • Sam Smith; La Brea Tire; Los Angeles, California
  • Photo Credit Sonnenschein image by Shine ART from
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