AC failure: Green liquid and smoke after a popping noise

Fab Bird

Registered User
So today I returned from lunch and got into the my 90 SC when I heard a loud popping noise followed by a pffft. I was wondering what it was and didn't think it would be coming from my car since it was not running yet and sounded more like an echo from somewhere in the parking garage. So I drove off but a couple of minutes later some light gray smoke (smelled like burned rubber) emerged from the hood and then some of it came out of the vents (the AC wasn't on, it was on Vent). Then I realized that the noise before had been my car... So I hit the OFF button and stopped as soon as it was possible. No lights went on and the smoke and the smell was gone too but I found a green liquid mess behind the compressor but couldn't see any other damage.

Does that sound as bad as I think? Do you think it's safe to drive the car as long AC isn't switched on (in the Vent position everything seems normal), or better switch the whole thing off or don't drive it at all?

Anyone ever experienced something like that?

My theory is, that when I closed the door a hose (that was about to let go anytime soon anyway) popped and then a couple of minutes later it burned on the heated up engine.

Any inputs are welcome, thanks a lot in advance.
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
Even though you didn't have the A/C on, I wonder if the compreser's clutch was stuck on & it had been running (without the eng fan running, since the a/c was off) which caused the high side pressure to get too high with no air being drawn through the condenser. This caused the safety valve on the compresser to blow off & its the oil out of the system you see & smelled burning as the engine warmed up. It does sound strange. Let us know what you find.
 

BLOWN38

SCCoA Member
There is a pressure relief valve. If there is no air flowing over the condenser while the system is running it will over pressurize like Doug said and pop off. The green is the oil in the system. And yeah that crap stinks. I had it happen to my 93 5.0 car.
 

Fab Bird

Registered User
Hey guys, this connector popped: signal-2022-04-28-140252.jpeg

My mechanic said no idea how that could have happened... he will reconnect it, check things and refill the dye but I'm worried that it might pop again... :-/
 

35th

Registered User
I'd say the spring is bad and also it's supposed to have a clip on the outside to prevent that it may have been over filled before creating more pressure than it can handle
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
I agree, the lock spring in the hose/fitting end may be weak/broken. The other end on the reciever/dryer/accumulater look's good in pic, but hard to tell.

Strange it blew when it wasn't even running & hadn't been for 1/2 hour. That hose has the lowest pressure of the whole system also. If it overcharged or pressurized, you'd expect to something on the high side to blow while running. Not running everything should have been equalized.
 

KMT

Registered User
AFAIK, those fittings are designed to lock tighter when under pressure.

If pressure was that high, the relief should have joined the party first:

1651170017520.png


I'd wonder if a collapsed/borked motor mount was allowing the engine to move in an exaggerated range, causing that joint to eventually give up due to strain. That, and/or a previous/recent repair with it apart at one time resulted in it not being re-attached properly.
 

DOUG H

SCCoA Member
I also thought the same as KMT, wonder if past owner or shop had it apart & didn't get it locked properly?
Pretty sure you said earlier that A/C hadn't worked since you bought it & you suspected it was low. Just odd that closing drivers door caused it to pop? Guess its good no one was working under the hood & bumped it or something & had oil/refrigerant spray in there face.
 

Fab Bird

Registered User
Many thanks for your replies guys. My mechanic said that these things only disconnect with a special tool he showed me. So maybe you guys are right that a previous mechanic just didn't attach it properly and it was about to pop anytime. At least I hope it's just that, the other things 35th and the first thing KMT said would be more concerning.
 

35th

Registered User
Well the good things is IF it was over filled before then it's not now and as long as you get someone knowledgeable to refill it then you've gotten rid of that issue
 
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