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#4576149 - 11/16/17 02:24 PM Fix A/C in the winter?
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4285
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I have an A/C hose that I would like to replace, but I wonder if I should bother since I won't be using the A/C until maybe May. I don't normally even use the car in the winter, but where I work you need to use your vacation by the end of the year, or lose it. So should I do this now, while I have the free time, or wait until spring? If it matters the hose is pretty cheap on eBay.
Guy at the auto parts store says that almost nobody does any type of auto A/C work around here in the winter, except maybe the occasional person converting an old system to R134a.

Is there anything obvious that I might be missing here?

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#4576156 - 11/16/17 02:31 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9839
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
You can pull the a/c relay so that the compressor doesn't kick on with defrost.

But that'll also decrease the performance of defrost if you need it.
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#4576158 - 11/16/17 02:34 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: Nick1994]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4285
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
You can pull the a/c relay so that the compressor doesn't kick on with defrost.

But that'll also decrease the performance of defrost if you need it.


I don't drive this car in the winter, so that's not an issue. Even if it was, my other car hasn't had working A/C in years and it defrosts just fine. I'm wondering if I can even properly charge my A/C system in cold weather.

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#4576172 - 11/16/17 02:49 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 5718
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
I'm wondering if I can even properly charge my A/C system in cold weather.


Set air to "recirculate" ("defrost" defeats recirculate, I think)
Turn the temp control to heat/hot
and push the A/C button

I think that should work to charge it properly
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#4576186 - 11/16/17 02:56 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10240
Loc: Illinois
Is the system open now? I.E. has the refrigerant leaked out, or do you just want to replace a dodgy looking hose before it's trouble?

If the system is open, I would imagine there is a risk of moisture entering the system and corrosion on components. If that is the case, fix it now to avoid damage.

If the system is still sealed shut, AND you think it will remain so over the winter, just wait.
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#4576195 - 11/16/17 03:08 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41456
Loc: New Jersey
Id want AC in the winter - nothing worse than windows fogging up in the cold because the air isnt being dried.

Since your best bet is to refill by mass, the ambient temperature shouldnt matter much - it makes a difference if checking by pressures...

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#4576252 - 11/16/17 04:04 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: javacontour]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32384
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: javacontour
Is the system open now? I.E. has the refrigerant leaked out, or do you just want to replace a dodgy looking hose before it's trouble?

If the system is open, I would imagine there is a risk of moisture entering the system and corrosion on components. If that is the case, fix it now to avoid damage.

If the system is still sealed shut, AND you think it will remain so over the winter, just wait.


The absolute humidity is at its lowest in the winter so OP should have an easier time keeping everything dry.

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#4576254 - 11/16/17 04:06 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
WobblyElvis Offline


Registered: 09/23/14
Posts: 1273
Loc: Toronto Canada
I don't think you can operate/charge an AC system with the ambient temp below 55F. The pressure switch in the system will not let the compressor operate.
You might fix the car and it may not make it until spring. Accidents happen!

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#4576268 - 11/16/17 04:23 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
mk378 Online   content


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1332
Loc: USA
If it's a slow leak and there is still some pressure you can just wait. Don't leave a system sitting with a big hole and zero pressure. In that case you could put a new hose on and a small amount of refrigerant just to hold air out. When starting from zero, always charge by weight. This is true both winter and summer.

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#4576296 - 11/16/17 04:42 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: WobblyElvis]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16534
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: WobblyElvis
I don't think you can operate/charge an AC system with the ambient temp below 55F. The pressure switch in the system will not let the compressor operate.
You might fix the car and it may not make it until spring. Accidents happen!
The temps must be lower than 55f for the switch to turn the ac off. I am charging a truck right now. cruising bitog while the pump is running.
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#4576311 - 11/16/17 04:58 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
ShotGun429 Offline


Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 426
Loc: Dayton,Ohio
All the bodyshops around here recharge A/C systems during car repairs indoors in their shops during colder months, it seems to work out well.

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#4576312 - 11/16/17 04:59 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I wish I could pull the relay for my A/C but it sets the CEL because of the dual climate front/rear thing it has. I tried it when I noticed it cycling the A/C occasionally when the system was in the off. Position. Can't wait for that clutch to fail. mad
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#4576317 - 11/16/17 05:04 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: zzyzzx]
Arcadian Offline


Registered: 11/16/17
Posts: 2
Loc: VIC
Definitely, fix it in the winter. Apparently, you're also meant to have your heating and A/C serviced every 6-18months to ensure efficiency and minimise wear and tear. Might be an idea to do that in winter as well when the technicians aren't too busy

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#4576995 - 11/17/17 10:49 AM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: eljefino]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10240
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Originally Posted By: javacontour
Is the system open now? I.E. has the refrigerant leaked out, or do you just want to replace a dodgy looking hose before it's trouble?

If the system is open, I would imagine there is a risk of moisture entering the system and corrosion on components. If that is the case, fix it now to avoid damage.

If the system is still sealed shut, AND you think it will remain so over the winter, just wait.


The absolute humidity is at its lowest in the winter so OP should have an easier time keeping everything dry.


True, relatively. The OP is in Baltimore, next to the ocean. So even the lowest humidity could be damp at times.
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#4577251 - 11/17/17 04:27 PM Re: Fix A/C in the winter? [Re: StevieC]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5603
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: StevieC
I wish I could pull the relay for my A/C but it sets the CEL because of the dual climate front/rear thing it has. I tried it when I noticed it cycling the A/C occasionally when the system was in the off. Position. Can't wait for that clutch to fail. mad
Unplug the clutch?

On my Hyundais you can defeat the AC with defrost if you want. But even with it enabled the compressor seldom kicks in when driving. Always when it first starts up but after some heat is blowing very seldom will the clutch kick in.
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