Nissan Quest AC issues

I have an 04 Nissan Quest and my AC has been going in and out. When I drive the van for a while the AC will just suddenly stop working and then may come back on spontaneously a bit later. It can go in and out a few time in a 30 minute drive.

So having no idea what was causing that I thought I’d try topping up the coolant which I don’t think has been done to this van yet. I go buy the recharge kit at Advance. I follow all the instructions and attach the gauge and it tells me the PSI on the low side (I double checked) was over 100psi. According to many places on the internet this means the compressor isn’t running. But I’m getting cold air. So what would cause the compressor to not work (or the 100psi reading) but still allow me to be getting cold air?

Any suggestions on what to try next or what may be going on here?

Take a look at your compressor. You’ll note that it has a pulley that the belt goes around and an inner piece away from the compressor that will turn when the AC is on. When your AC isn’t working, see if that inner piece turns as well.
Then report back.

The OP’s problem sounds to me like an A/C evaporator that is icing up after a few minutes of use.
When the accumulated ice melts, then the flow of cold air can begin again.

The cause could be low refrigerant, or a bad expansion valve, or…
I don’t consider A/C repair to be a DIY project, and I suggest that you take the car to an A/C specialist shop.

Yeah, you might be right. I was just trying to determine whether the AC clutch was engaging, which would point to a pressure sensor maybe.

VDCdriver, I will probably take your advice, but why do you consider AC repair to not be DIY. I’m not disagreeing with you completely, I’m just wondering why, on something that could kill or harm you 57 ways working on it , that AC isn’t something people should work on?

It requires specialized knowledge and equipment to repair an AC system as well as to prevent escape of allegedlly environmentally harmful refrigerant.