Corvette Air Conditioning Common Problems and Fixes for C5 Generations

Corvette Air Conditioning on C5 Corvettes is one of the most common problem areas for C5's. The problems are varied and wide spread. We decided to write this page from the overwhelming demand from the "Ask" section of our website.

The C5 Corvette Air Conditioning Basics:

2 types of controllers Manual and Dual Zone
R134A Refrigerant 24-26oz (check fender label)
PAG 46 oil 9oz

Common Failure Points

A/C Clutch AC Delco 15-40151 Air Conditioning Clutch Coil Assembly

A/C Compressor Delphi CS0132 Air Conditioning Compressor

Display Lights
Dim Display
Inop Display
Blowing air out of floor vents only (no control)

First Steps

Use the below procedure to find Corvette Air Conditioning Diagnostic Trouble Codes for the HVAC system. Go to module 99-HVAC - Heater, Ventilation, Air Conditioning

C5 DTC Code Retrieval Procedure Here is an overview of the procedure and terms used for resetting codes.

To display C5 DTC Code diagnostic trouble codes for all modules that transmit them. The Diagnostic Display Mode is entered with the following procedure:

1) Turn on the ignition but don't start the engine.

2) Press the RESET button to turn off any warning messages.

3) Press and hold OPTIONS.

4) While holding OPTIONS, press FUEL four times within a 10-second period.

NOTE!! Only reset the C5 DTC Code IF you want to it's NOT necessary to do this. Clearing a code does not repair a problem. You are simply erasing the evidence of it in the module's memory. Once you have the codes, the next question is: What to do with the information? First, consult the factory service manual.

You should be into the CODES section of the DIC. The computer will automatically display all the codes your car has created. It will cycle through each code every 3 seconds. Any code that ends in H is a history code (something that has occurred in the past) but is fine now. Once the computer has finished going through all of it's codes, press RESET to enter Manual Configuration mode. It should start with a module and show NO CODES or a list a DTC CODES in order for that Module.

To optionally reset the codes once in manual mode, press and hold RESET until it displays NO CODES Press OPTIONS to go to the next module. Repeat the steps in this paragraph until you have reset the codes in all the computer modules.

NOTE!! Only reset the codes IF you want to - it is NOT necessary to do this. But remember some codes will affect drive ability of the car if present! Clearing them may give you a fresh start to troubleshoot.

Possible codes:
B0332 Outside Air Temp Sensor Short to GND
B0333 Outside Air Temp Sensor Open
B0337 Inside Air Temp Sensor Short to GND
B0338 Inside Air Temp Sensor Open
B0348 Sunload Temperature Sensor Open
B0361 Left Actuator Feedback Short to GND
B0363 Left Actuator Feedback Open
B0365 Right Actuator Feedback Short to GND
B0367 Right Actuator Feedback Open
B0441 Left Actuator Out of Range
B0446 Right Actuator Out of Range
B1016 Loss of Communications with PCM
U1064 Loss of Communications with BCM
U1096 Loss of Communications with IPC
U1255 Serial Data Line Malfunction

Chances are none of these codes will be present. But if they are, try resetting the codes and retry the A/C system again and see if that fixes your problem. This is always a good first step. Like computers Corvettes sometimes just need a good reboot! Write down the code(s) and keep it for future reference.

No Codes Now What?

As we stated above you probably wont have any codes and if you are reading this we're correct! Your next task will be to select what problem you have from the paragraphs below!

A/C Clutch Description

How the Corvette Air Conditioning Clutch works is relatively basic. An electrical current is applied to a magnet which engages the compressor via a metal disk mounted on the compressor housing. The clutch will not engage if insufficient A/C system pressure is not present. A failed clutch can be checked using an ohmmeter to check for continuity in the magnet circuit. No continuity is bad. Also is one leg of the circuit being shorted to ground.

Low Service

So if you have low service in your Corvette Air Conditioning the clutch will not engage to protect the compressor from damage. The pressure sensors installed in the system work with the controller to monitor and control the clutch depending on user demand and mode. A flashing light after pushing the A/C button would be one indicator of low level or some other malfunction. Slightly low service A/C systems will still work but will have a low output. A good way to check an A/C system is to use a temp gauge and install it in one of the vent and put the A/C on max cold. A properly operating system should put out a temp of 40-50 deg F.

Compressor Failure

One of the best indicators of a Corvette Air Conditioning compressor failure is noise. While the clutch is engaged you hear a noise coming from the compressor. Its a terrible sound because the compressor is very expensive and labor intensive to replace.

Fan Will Not Run or Only Runs One Speed

Rheostat Module P/N 52479971 Would be the logical step for trouble shooting this type of problem.

Controller is Black or Dim

Chevrolet Corvette C5 - Automatic Climate Control Panel P/N : 16266031
12V/50mA Incandescent Bulb Model: P/N 272-1154 Qauntity: 14
The Corvette Air Conditioning dual zone climate controllers are notorious for this failure! The base HVAC controller is much more reliable. Usually unless you are a DIY type of guy and want to fix dim lights you will end up buying a new, salvage or exchange part. Changing the part is pretty straight forward and requires removing the center console and radio bezel. Unscrewing the controller and disconnecting the wiring is pretty basic.

Control Issues

We have saved the worse Corvette Air Conditioning problem for last! Sorry for your luck! Nothing about this kind of problem is fun. We'll give you as many ideas and common problems that arise as we know to help. One of the major players in the control of the HVAC is vacuum. Actuators for the vents are run off engine vacuum. So it would be fair to say to trouble shoot this kind of problem you will need a vacuum gauge and a schematic for the HVAC system. Your search for leaks would be best served in the engine compartment first. Battery acid was a big contributor to many of these types of problems in the early model C5's (97-2000) or any car with a lead acid battery. This is why the later years went to the Gell Cell Battery! As these cars age more we are sure to see a pattern develop. We will as with everything we do here at Corvette-web-central keep updating our information so your better informed!

Other Parts Related to Air Conditioning

Its a good idea if your system has not worked in awhile to replace the receiver dryer. When these are exposed to ambient air they are permenantly damaged.

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