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Old June 2nd, 2011, 01:54 AM   #1
Disturban
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Default Recharging AC

Can this actually be done yourself with one of those kits they sell at autozone? I have seen shops do it and they hook up two lines, one to the low side and one to the high side, I would imagine that is so they can evacuate air the same time they are pumping in refrigerant? What is the proper way to recharge a system. I never even attempted to recharge one before...would I be better off just taking it to a shop to have it done? What is the average cost to have a R134A system recharged? My AC works but it is not as cold as it was a few years ago so I don't suspect any big leaks, might just need a pound to freshen it up?
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:26 AM   #2
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Piece of cake. One of the easiest thing you can do on your car, just like pumping air in your tire.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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go to AutoZone and buy the blue and white cans of straight R134a. do NOT buy that synthetic garbage they might try and sell you. it will ruin the system. the small cans are i think 12oz and cost around 8-10 bucks. i would buy 2 of them in your case. you will also need the hose to hook it up. the hose is a small blue one about 8" long. that screws onto the can and the other end hooks up to the low side of your AC system. follow the instructions on the can and in 30 mins or less you will have cold AC.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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If you need to charge it, you have a leak. If you have to continually put 134 in you need to fix your leak.

Has anyone seen the cost of 134A at the autostores, WOW it got expensinve.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by shawn View Post
If you need to charge it, you have a leak. If you have to continually put 134 in you need to fix your leak.

Has anyone seen the cost of 134A at the autostores, WOW it got expensinve.
Yea $19.99 a can now. Just used the last can i had on hand. Wish i would have bought more a couple years ago.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Disturban View Post
Can this actually be done yourself with one of those kits they sell at autozone? I have seen shops do it and they hook up two lines, one to the low side and one to the high side, I would imagine that is so they can evacuate air the same time they are pumping in refrigerant? What is the proper way to recharge a system. I never even attempted to recharge one before...would I be better off just taking it to a shop to have it done? What is the average cost to have a R134A system recharged? My AC works but it is not as cold as it was a few years ago so I don't suspect any big leaks, might just need a pound to freshen it up?
The "proper" way to do it is to find the leak, reclaim the system, fix the leak, evacuate the system, charge the system, check for leaks, check the operation.

You do not evacuate air from the system while you are charging it. If you are not careful, you can hurt yourself.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 01:29 PM   #7
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What about the 134A with leak sealer? This has to be a very small leak, like I said the AC still blows cold just not as cold as it has the last few years. I seen some vids on youtube and it does not look like rocket science to fill these.

I think I will get a gauge though and then fill it to the proper psi spec. Other people on youtube just pump in a couple cans and I believe they have no idea that you can have too much refrigerant in the system?
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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Yes, youtube knows all. This is why you won't be able to buy 134 at the autostores in the next couple years. They are already banning it in Europe.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 11:22 PM   #9
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the reason for evacuating the air from the system with a deep vacuum is the moisture in the air. Under pressure and heat, that moisture will turn to steam and drastically raise the pressure. Search for a video of a steam engine blowing up, and consider having that happen under your hood...ok, not quite to that extreme, but you get the idea.

If you dont have a way to evacuate the air, and you do have a leak, you need to take it in to be fixed, or find someone with the proper tools/equipment to do it. That doesnt mean you need a big, fancy, all-in-one machine to do it, but you do need the ability to get the system to a deep vacuum.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 12:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Yota Bill View Post
the reason for evacuating the air from the system with a deep vacuum is the moisture in the air. Under pressure and heat, that moisture will turn to steam and drastically raise the pressure. Search for a video of a steam engine blowing up, and consider having that happen under your hood...ok, not quite to that extreme, but you get the idea.

If you dont have a way to evacuate the air, and you do have a leak, you need to take it in to be fixed, or find someone with the proper tools/equipment to do it. That doesnt mean you need a big, fancy, all-in-one machine to do it, but you do need the ability to get the system to a deep vacuum.
Yeah I decided it is not worth saving a few bucks and doing it myself and end up screwing up the system some...just going to take it to our local GM dealer and have them do it. I think they told me before it was like $50 plus the cost of refrigerant.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yota Bill View Post
the reason for evacuating the air from the system with a deep vacuum is the moisture in the air. Under pressure and heat, that moisture will turn to steam and drastically raise the pressure. Search for a video of a steam engine blowing up, and consider having that happen under your hood...ok, not quite to that extreme, but you get the idea.

If you dont have a way to evacuate the air, and you do have a leak, you need to take it in to be fixed, or find someone with the proper tools/equipment to do it. That doesnt mean you need a big, fancy, all-in-one machine to do it, but you do need the ability to get the system to a deep vacuum.
Actually, steam is condensable. What you don't want in your system is "non-condensables." That is what drives up head pressure and drives down sub-cooling. Moisture is a problem for the oil (would wax up the old mineral oil), and turns the system acidic. For a car compressor the acid isn't much of a big deal, but on hermetic and semihermetic systems the acid is what will wreck the motor windings and cause lots of problems.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 03:13 AM   #12
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I ended up buying a can today with sealer in it against my better judgment that came with a hose and gauge, turned AC on high and cracked the valve open and it sucked that crap out within two minutes and the gauge says it is full now and the AC is blowing super cold, I am talking about I had goosebumps today when it was over 90 degrees outside.
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