Originally Posted by fooger03
I'm worried that a previous "repair" may have been made to the A/C system and done improperly. I'm worried that the system was not vacuumed prior to addition of the refrigerant (oxygen in system) and I'm worried that when the system was refilled, it was refilled with the least expensive refrigerant (Basic R-134/R-12 with no additional PAG oil included). I'm then worried that your compressor, without the proper lubrication and with excess oxygen, became damaged over several years, causing the rough A/C problems you describe. Finally, I'm worried that, because of the rough running of the compressor, a seal on the compressor eventually failed, which caused a slow loss of pressure in your system until the compressor would kick on either intermittently or not at all.
Or it could just be a slow leak in your system and you need a recharge.
Was 100% with you, until recharge. Unless you are reclaiming 100% of the refrigerant, and then refilling with a proper AC machine (not a can), the system has been compromised, and 100% of everything needs replaced. If there is a leak, moisture and other contaminates may have entered the system, requiring a "from scratch" overhaul.
OP: It sounds like the compressor may not be engaging properly. Unfortunately, there really isn't a good way to repair most compressors. If it has to be removed, the system will need to be taken to an AC shop, and recharged, after the system has been purged under vacuum.
Has the car ever seen AC in a can style "fixes"? If so, when you deal with the compressor, the evap, condenser, collector, fixed orifice tube, and all lines will need replaced to do a proper repair.
Or, just slap on a compressor, use some AC in a can, and wait for the rest of the system to die, then replace the compressor again, and do everything else.
AC work sucks. It's all or nothing.
TL;DR. You need a compressor, and likely other stuff.