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#3387306 - 06/02/14 08:09 PM Recommend R134a refridgerant
Da Game Offline


Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 554
Loc: Chicago
I'm preparing to service my AC unit in the wifes car. I need you guys opinion, what is the better brand of R134a Syn or other wise out there? The AC was blowing hot Sunday so just tring to stay ahead of the heat. Oh, I have to buy the AC manifold Guage set, no one rents them out.

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#3387322 - 06/02/14 08:21 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13557
Loc: Upstate NY
First why does it need service? Its a closed system.

You need a manifold gauge set, an A/C duct temp probe (cheap) and some plain R134a from NAPA. No "stop leak" added to the R134a.

If the system is low on R134a then there is a leak. The best solution is to find the leak and repair/replace what is leaking. Then evacuate the system, verify it holds a vacuum and refill with the exact weight of R134a as listed on a hood sticker.

Also the manifold gauge set should be purged of air before the valves are opened.

I would dump in one can of R134a and see if it helps the cooling. If it does not, bring it somewhere.

There is some knowledge that is needed to work on a car's A/C. And some expensive tools.
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2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
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#3387328 - 06/02/14 08:28 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11488
Loc: apple valley, ca
R134a is the same regardless of brand. Dont use any with sealers or stop leak
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#3387332 - 06/02/14 08:34 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Mackelroy Offline


Registered: 12/03/04
Posts: 774
Loc: Florida /Texas
Auto zone carries a charge kit, one large can with valve meter unit included, for about $35.

also has instructions, the key thing is to make sure the compressor is cycling, or you wont get good readings. compressor on full cold with internal recycle button also pushed.

More than likely you have a leak, so its a $35 gamble to see any benefit, but that's the whole package , if you get no result, you'll just have to take it to the shop..


Edited by Mackelroy (06/02/14 08:36 PM)

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#3387345 - 06/02/14 09:02 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6426
Loc: beaver land EH?
+1 with what Donald and Chris142 said.

DO NOT! I repeat: DO NOT tempt fate (if you don't know how to service A/C systems properly) with those A/C in a can with leak sealers in it.

Most A/C shops use A/C refrigerant recovery systems which, if sealer is present in the customer's car, will ruin their machines, costing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of damage (which would require downtime to service the machine).

If they find you lied about having sealers in your systems, you are in a very interesting "surprise".

Proper A/C servicing requires vacuum pull-down and hold for at least 30mins or more. Injection of A/C oil dye to aid with the diagnosis of A/C leaks is the proper way to do it.

Bottomline: you don't know how to do it, or if you don't have proper machine (or even the gauge set + vacuum pump) to deal with it, don't do it.

Q.
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#3387346 - 06/02/14 09:03 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6899
Loc: Florida
I am used to seeing cars simply lose refrigerant gradually. I have successfully saved 3 cars in my family through adding refrigerant from cans.

In the past, my father was able to do the same thing. He had a 1979 Toyota and 1987 Hyundai Excel that could be made to blow cold by adding refrigerant every few years. Mom's 1985 Nissan Maxima was a different story, that car suffered from a bad air conditioning design, and suffered compressor and condenser failures more than once.

Use only R-134a that has no sealants or additives that say they improve performance. Also, you don't need one that adds oil, because PAG refrigerant oil tends not to leak out unless a major failure happens. The only additive that your can of R-134a can have is leak detection dye.
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#3387354 - 06/02/14 09:13 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: artificialist]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13557
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: artificialist
I am used to seeing cars simply lose refrigerant gradually. I have successfully saved 3 cars in my family through adding refrigerant from cans.

In the past, my father was able to do the same thing. He had a 1979 Toyota and 1987 Hyundai Excel that could be made to blow cold by adding refrigerant every few years. Mom's 1985 Nissan Maxima was a different story, that car suffered from a bad air conditioning design, and suffered compressor and condenser failures more than once.

Use only R-134a that has no sealants or additives that say they improve performance. Also, you don't need one that adds oil, because PAG refrigerant oil tends not to leak out unless a major failure happens. The only additive that your can of R-134a can have is leak detection dye.


They probably have o-rings that are slowly leaking. Thats why I suggested to add one can and see if it helps. Don't add a second can whether it helps or not.

I know they sell cheapo kits with a gauge for the low side and a can of R134a. You really need the high pressure gauge also.

If you do not have a manifold gauge set + vacuum pump then its doubtful you have the knowledge to do it properly.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#3387417 - 06/02/14 10:23 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
bvance554 Offline


Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 931
Loc: VA
OP did you say R134 Syn or otherwise? If you're looking for synthetic R134 i can help you out. I have a stash in my basement that I accumulated before the synthetic version was banned. It is the best, but it will cost ya!

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#3387443 - 06/02/14 10:39 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Chris142]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 6621
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: Chris142
R134a is the same regardless of brand. Dont use any with sealers or stop leak


Yup, it is all licensed by DuPont, the real name is DuPont Suva. Do not use anything with sealers, if you do and take it to a shop, you will be on the hook for the thousands in repairs to their equipment.
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#3387539 - 06/03/14 01:13 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: bdcardinal]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2243
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Originally Posted By: Chris142
R134a is the same regardless of brand. Dont use any with sealers or stop leak


Yup, it is all licensed by DuPont, the real name is DuPont Suva. Do not use anything with sealers, if you do and take it to a shop, you will be on the hook for the thousands in repairs to their equipment.


ok... I obviously have a leak in mine(low side was only reading 10psi when i started), and i did what everyone is saying NOT to do.(2 cans-18&12oz, both with stop leak, using the included low side only gauge/hose) I have a appointment @ the Ford dealership this friday to have them check out the system.

so what do they do if some one tells them they DID use a stop leak product? am i just SOL?, Do i get to pay for an entire new A/C kit for my Sable? (iirc ~$1000) or do they have a different system to handle the Contaminated systems of us "helpful Idiots" in the Gen. Populace?
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#3387551 - 06/03/14 02:27 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
Bring the can of junk to the shop with you so they know what you put in there.

If the stop leak is just a seal conditioner, a solvent flush and a new dryer will take care of the problem. This won't cost too much.

If a glue-type stop-leak was used it will be necessary to replace the orifice tube and leave the system open to air for a while so the glue can set up inside your car rather than the recycler. An inline filter may be installed to keep the compressor from self-destructing. The condenser and evaporator will likely be damaged as well, but still usable if you're willing to accept reduced cooling efficiency.

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#3387667 - 06/03/14 08:45 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11488
Loc: apple valley, ca
I just bought a $520 filter that traps stop leak before it can get into my machine
_________________________
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87 F250 Diesel proline 1540
04 Tahoe super-s 530
Z400 maxima 2050
KLR250 Maxima 1040
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#3387695 - 06/03/14 09:33 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1712
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Brand of r134a does not matter. As per everyone else, buy the stuff that's just plain r134a with no additives. If you need to add things like dye or oil, you can do that yourself just the same, and at least that way, you are adding the right grade of oil.

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#3387790 - 06/03/14 11:18 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: yonyon]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2243
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: yonyon
Bring the can of junk to the shop with you so they know what you put in there.

If the stop leak is just a seal conditioner, a solvent flush and a new dryer will take care of the problem. This won't cost too much.

If a glue-type stop-leak was used it will be necessary to replace the orifice tube and leave the system open to air for a while so the glue can set up inside your car rather than the recycler. An inline filter may be installed to keep the compressor from self-destructing. The condenser and evaporator will likely be damaged as well, but still usable if you're willing to accept reduced cooling efficiency.


thanks for being debbie downer...
those cans hit the landfill about 2 weeks ago...
but they were these:
http://idqusa.com/product/345_r-134asubzerosyntheticautoacrechargekit

http://idqusa.com/product/acp-105-ac-pro-advanced-stop-leak-professional-formula-r-134a-refrigerant

since i don't have the actual cans, would printing out the MSDS's do anything for the dealership?


Edited by earlyre (06/03/14 11:22 AM)
_________________________
Mine:
09 Mercury Sable : .5qts PP(old) 5w30, 5qts PPPP 5w20, Wix 51516
Mine to Maintain:
03 Pontiac Vibe : 4.5 qts PP(old) 5w30, Fram Ultra XG4967

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#3387864 - 06/03/14 12:52 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: bdcardinal]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2243
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Originally Posted By: Chris142
R134a is the same regardless of brand. Dont use any with sealers or stop leak


Yup, it is all licensed by DuPont, the real name is DuPont Suva. Do not use anything with sealers, if you do and take it to a shop, you will be on the hook for the thousands in repairs to their equipment.


I understand what you are saying. But,the problem i have with that is in the case of a recently purchased used car.

Using a loosely modified version of My scenario as an example: I just bought this car in Jan.
If i had taken it in before adding anything, would tell them the truth, i added nothing.
so they hook it up, and their works gets all gummed up b/c the Previous owner, (unbeknownst to me) had dosed the system with stop leak.

Why should I be on the hook for equipment when I had no way of knowing the stuff was in the system?


Edited by earlyre (06/03/14 12:56 PM)
_________________________
Mine:
09 Mercury Sable : .5qts PP(old) 5w30, 5qts PPPP 5w20, Wix 51516
Mine to Maintain:
03 Pontiac Vibe : 4.5 qts PP(old) 5w30, Fram Ultra XG4967

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#3387916 - 06/03/14 02:38 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Da Game Offline


Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 554
Loc: Chicago
I DO HAVE the manifold gauge set (hi & low) plus the shop manual the car. I talked to the service department to verify that the system takes 1.5lbs. The manual also states a pump that's 4 CFMs, I can buy one of those. Leave the pump on for 20-30min. I think that info and equipment should work for the DIY. What do you guys think in addition??


Edited by Da Game (06/03/14 02:45 PM)

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#3388038 - 06/03/14 06:11 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: earlyre]
yonyon Offline


Registered: 03/06/12
Posts: 3492
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: earlyre


Those links make it sound like the first one has a fancy oil mixed in. The second says it has seal conditioner. A flush and new dryer should be enough do get rid of these and likely hasn't caused any additional damage to the car.

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#3388108 - 06/03/14 07:11 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Gokhan Offline


Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 1564
Loc: Los Angeles, California
If it's leaking a lot, there is no point of recharging it before fixing the leak. There could also be some other problem. You might want to take it to an A/C shop. A/C jobs aren't meant for DIYers.
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#3388394 - 06/04/14 05:41 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 26868
Loc: a prison island
436 variant is working well for me at the present time.

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#3388998 - 06/04/14 06:50 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: earlyre]
Mackelroy Offline


Registered: 12/03/04
Posts: 774
Loc: Florida /Texas


That 18 oz can is a lot, save the hose cause you can use it down the road. Generally if the system is just low and something hasn't totally failed, it will be more than adequate.

But your case it was totally blowing hot, so something should be definitely off, busted or broke.
Im sure the big dealerships will get you fixed up without any fuss.

I was going to get the tranny oil changed in my wifes rav 4 112,000 miles, and firestone wouldn't do it, too much risk for them with the mileage on there machine , even though the oil still looks good. So I have to eventually go to the dealer or AAMCO

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#3389030 - 06/04/14 07:32 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
tommygunn Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 2780
Loc: usa
The long hose on the AC Pro can is great, especially if the charge port is located in a silly place (like under the fender in the Mk1 Focus).

The very first can of R134a you should buy should be that AC Pro can with the hose. It's a tall black can with a Bruce Springsteen knockoff on it who claims it was #1 rated coldest air.

Afterwards, just get the cheapest can you can find. The hose is reusable on every R134a can there is.

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#3389043 - 06/04/14 07:44 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: tommygunn]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6899
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: tommygunn
The long hose on the AC Pro can is great, especially if the charge port is located in a silly place (like under the fender in the Mk1 Focus).

The very first can of R134a you should buy should be that AC Pro can with the hose. It's a tall black can with a Bruce Springsteen knockoff on it who claims it was #1 rated coldest air.

Afterwards, just get the cheapest can you can find. The hose is reusable on every R134a can there is.

That is the type I have. Not long before I bought it, I used a plastic hose, got too close to the exhaust system, and melted the hose.

Anyway, yes, certain A/C additives can damage refrigerant machines. When my dad was having problems with his 1997 Lexus ES300, we tried recharging the system more than once, using cans of refrigerant that had additives. When he had the pros repair the system, he never got caught.
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#3389148 - 06/04/14 09:48 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: earlyre]
antiqueshell Offline


Registered: 03/02/12
Posts: 4254
Loc: chicago, Illinois
Originally Posted By: earlyre
Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
Originally Posted By: Chris142
R134a is the same regardless of brand. Dont use any with sealers or stop leak


Yup, it is all licensed by DuPont, the real name is DuPont Suva. Do not use anything with sealers, if you do and take it to a shop, you will be on the hook for the thousands in repairs to their equipment.


I understand what you are saying. But,the problem i have with that is in the case of a recently purchased used car.

Using a loosely modified version of My scenario as an example: I just bought this car in Jan.
If i had taken it in before adding anything, would tell them the truth, i added nothing.
so they hook it up, and their works gets all gummed up b/c the Previous owner, (unbeknownst to me) had dosed the system with stop leak.

Why should I be on the hook for equipment when I had no way of knowing the stuff was in the system?



If you bought a used car and you DO NOT know the history I would politely inform the shop that you do not know the history of the unit and they should be careful to check for the presence of a stop leak product, I am sure they have the proper detection tools to check BEFORE they hook up their expensive recovery machines and destroy them.....which leads me to the question....

WHY ARE THE AFTERMARKET MANUFACTURERS ALLOW TO MAKE 134a WITH POTENTIALLY DAMAGING ADDITIVES LIKE STOP LEAK IN THEM?

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#3389556 - 06/05/14 09:32 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: antiqueshell]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1712
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell
WHY ARE THE AFTERMARKET MANUFACTURERS ALLOW TO MAKE 134a WITH POTENTIALLY DAMAGING ADDITIVES LIKE STOP LEAK IN THEM?


The ones that might swell the seals are harmless. It's the ones that can potentially fix a problem with metal are the ones you only want to use as a last resort on a beater.

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#3389652 - 06/05/14 11:19 AM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Gokhan]
Anduril Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 711
Loc: Perris, CA
Originally Posted By: Gokhan
You might want to take it to an A/C shop. A/C jobs aren't meant for DIYers.

Don't let people like this discourage you. He is probably in the AC industry, which is notorious for spreading fear, doubt, and even misinformation in order to prevent people from fixing their own a/c and to try and get them to pay someone to do it instead. I had people try to tell me the same thing, but recently finished replacing my wife's compressor, at a cost savings of about $400, even including the price of the tools I had to buy, over what a shop was going to charge me.

Doing a/c work can be a lengthy process, as there are some steps that should be taken every time the system is opened, regardless of the repair performed. First you will need to locate the leak. The easiest way is to add some refrigerant and UV dye and then drive until the a/c blows warm again. This will mean it has leaked out, and you can use a UV light to locate the dye at the source of the leak. Then replace the part that is leaking.

Even if it is not the source of the leak, you will need to replace the receiver/drier because it has been exposed to air. Install the new one as the last step prior to vacuum pumping the system, and do not remove the caps from the ports before this. You want as little air (and thus moisture) getting in it as possible.

While you are in there, I would check the orifice tube as well. It has a fine mesh screen that acts as a filter for the a/c system; replace it if it is dirty. If you want to be really thorough, go ahead and do a full flush on all the hoses, the evaporator, and condenser (I would recommend it if the orifice tube is dirty, otherwise you can probably get by without it). If you do this, though, you will need to add the proper amount of oil back into the system as you will have removed it all except what was in the compressor. Since you're replacing the receiver/drier anyways, you may need to add oil to the new one anyways (I did on the wife's car). Replace the o-rings on any connections you have opened for good measure (AutoZone sells a kit for about $4), put everything back together, and apply vacuum. Close off the system and make sure the vacuum holds to ensure there are no leaks. Fill with the proper amount of 134a which should be listed on a sticker somewhere in the engine bay, if not in your service manual.

Most of this should be covered in the service manual, and there are plenty of YouTube videos on vacuuming and flushing the system. In addition to your manifold gauges, you will need a vacuum pump and flush gun, both of which can be loaned from AutoZone.

Vacuum pumping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5w3lR88fqQ
Flushing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnu8hA9F9S4

The evaporator and condenser will need to be flushed while they're still in the car unless you want to do a lot of extra work removing them. It will be messy, but use a rag to catch (most) of the solvent and oil that sprays out the other end. I still made a mess in the engine bay, but nothing a carwash and engine degreaser couldn't fix.


Edited by Anduril (06/05/14 11:24 AM)
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#3391082 - 06/06/14 09:06 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: antiqueshell]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6899
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: antiqueshell

WHY ARE THE AFTERMARKET MANUFACTURERS ALLOW TO MAKE 134a WITH POTENTIALLY DAMAGING ADDITIVES LIKE STOP LEAK IN THEM?

A/C isn't the only place this happens. Just look at how many products are invented to stop engine oil leaks, antifreeze leaks, transmission slippage, and power steering leaks. Frequently in the coolant section, someone has to ask "How do I remove stop leak stuff because it is clogging up the radiator?" Isn't that similar to the attitudes that refrigerant makers have towards making risky stop leak additives?

Many people do this because their car is on death's door, and people try to get a few more miles from that car.
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#3391172 - 06/06/14 11:12 PM Re: Recommend R134a refridgerant [Re: Da Game]
antiqueshell Offline


Registered: 03/02/12
Posts: 4254
Loc: chicago, Illinois
The AC situation is quite different because the product damages the shop AC recovery machine, which involves an environmentally regulated product 134a. The other situations are not really the same. At least they should force the companies making the
stop leak added 134a to clearly print on the label that using it may permenantly damage their entire AC system, or damage a shop AC recovery machine which the user will be liable for.

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