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A/C System R134a #4779246
06/06/18 02:02 PM
06/06/18 02:02 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,873
Columbus,Nebraska
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline OP
Yah-Tah-Hey  Offline OP
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,873
Columbus,Nebraska
Yesterday was 94F here and I noticed A/C system on 04 Camry was not cooling as in summers past. Compressor is engaging and low pressure line is somewhat cool to touch but not cold and sweaty. I usually have an A/C thermometer stuck in the middle discharge vent but haven't got around to installing it yet so I don't know what discharge air temp was NOT cold enough for sure for my wife. All fans functioning normally. Local Toyota dealer and another shop want to completely evacuate system/dehydrate and then refill R134a as measured on a digital scale. Something about EPA regs. My question is: are the A/C refill kits accurate enough to just add refrigerant? I have the gauge and hose setup from a kit I purchased years ago. I'm considering purchasing a can of R134a without sealer and adding enough to get the gauge reading in the green.I realize that A/C service is best left to trained techs, but vehicle is on 18th summer cooling season and I'm weighing cost of purchasing a new vehicle. My war department is very,very much bothered by hot weather and I don't want the #@&^%[email protected]$^ about a hot car. Advice appreciated.

Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779249
06/06/18 02:06 PM
06/06/18 02:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,767
Southeastern USA
FowVay Offline
FowVay  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,767
Southeastern USA
The purpose of doing an evacuation and refill is to know precisely how much refrigerant is in the system. If you just dump a can of refrigerant into the system then you have no idea of what you have.

If your system has never been topped off in 18 years then you're low. Even though they say they are closed systems,, everything leaks a little bit over time. I'd just put a 12 oz can into the low pressure port and see how it goes.

Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779251
06/06/18 02:06 PM
06/06/18 02:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,709
Idaho
CT8 Offline
CT8  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,709
Idaho
Bring it in the the shop and have it leak tested then the evac and recharge if good. a new car is a great idea . If you want to milk the car yes add some gas with leak stop.


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: FowVay] #4779257
06/06/18 02:09 PM
06/06/18 02:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,709
Idaho
CT8 Offline
CT8  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,709
Idaho
Originally Posted By: FowVay
The purpose of doing an evacuation and refill is to know precisely how much refrigerant is in the system. If you just dump a can of refrigerant into the system then you have no idea of what you have.

If your system has never been topped off in 18 years then you're low. Even though they say they are closed systems,, everything leaks a little bit over time. I'd just put a 12 oz can into the low pressure port and see how it goes.
The evac removes the moisture from the system.water boils in a vacuum.


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779262
06/06/18 02:14 PM
06/06/18 02:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,149
Ohio
Dave Sherman Offline
Dave Sherman  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,149
Ohio
If you're going to add, at least get a gauge with some kind of temperature correction for the "green" zone. It's easy to overcharge if you just dump a can in there. Although I used the A/C Pro successfully on a car I wasn't planning on keeping, word on the street is the shops really hate that stuff because the stop-leak fouls up their machines.

Tip: Get a bucket of hot water to dunk the can in as you're adding, it will get cold and you may not be able to get it all out without some help.


2015 Honda Pilot EX AWD Valvoline 0W-20 Bosch filter
1977 MG Midget Valvoline VR-1 20W-50 Bosch Filter
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779264
06/06/18 02:16 PM
06/06/18 02:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 4,881
Florida
hatt Offline
hatt  Offline
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 4,881
Florida
I put a can in my F150 the other day. It's working much better now.


2013 F150 5.0, PUP 10W-30, Wix 57502
2010 Camry 2.5, GTX 5W-20, Fram Ultra XG9972
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779269
06/06/18 02:19 PM
06/06/18 02:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,486
The Northeast
mclasser Offline
mclasser  Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,486
The Northeast
Sounds like you might just need a top off. The chintzy gauges that come with those kits aren't the best but you've just got to add refrigerant slowly. I added about half a can of pure R134a (none of that stop leak [censored]) to my Accord a couple of summers ago. It was a 90 deg day and I only charged up to 32 PSI. The temp & pressure chart they provide is on the higher side, IMO. A/C's been working great ever since. I can tell the charge is good since the compressor doesn't cycle too much.

Last edited by mclasser; 06/06/18 02:22 PM.

2018 Hyundai Elantra VE
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD
2002 Honda Accord EX-L

Re: A/C System R134a [Re: CT8] #4779285
06/06/18 02:28 PM
06/06/18 02:28 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,873
Columbus,Nebraska
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline OP
Yah-Tah-Hey  Offline OP
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,873
Columbus,Nebraska
Originally Posted By: CT8
Originally Posted By: FowVay
The purpose of doing an evacuation and refill is to know precisely how much refrigerant is in the system. If you just dump a can of refrigerant into the system then you have no idea of what you have.

If your system has never been topped off in 18 years then you're low. Even though they say they are closed systems,, everything leaks a little bit over time. I'd just put a 12 oz can into the low pressure port and see how it goes.
The evac removes the moisture from the system.water boils in a vacuum.
Thanks. I understand the fundamentals of dehydrating a refrigeration system from a seminar put on by Robinair (?) at our power generation station decades ago. We had many A/C systems for our various control rooms, training and admit buildings.I remember Robinair was trying to sell the company several two-stage vacuum pump carts. They were nice units and being on wheels they both rolled right off the plant site never to be seen again.

Re: A/C System R134a [Re: FowVay] #4779289
06/06/18 02:30 PM
06/06/18 02:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,006
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Online content
Chris142  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,006
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: FowVay


I'd just put a 12 oz can into the low pressure port and see how it goes.
No way! Terrible advice! His camry only holds 19oz total! It may only be 3-4oz low. Adding 12oz will be a huge overcharge.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Chris142] #4779292
06/06/18 02:34 PM
06/06/18 02:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,244
Cali
Malo83 Offline
Malo83  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,244
Cali
Still have R12 in my 83 Silverado, Ice Cold. cheers
Had the AC system reworked 2 yrs ago.

Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Chris142] #4779297
06/06/18 02:40 PM
06/06/18 02:40 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,873
Columbus,Nebraska
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline OP
Yah-Tah-Hey  Offline OP
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 3,873
Columbus,Nebraska
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Originally Posted By: FowVay


I'd just put a 12 oz can into the low pressure port and see how it goes.
No way! Terrible advice! His camry only holds 19oz total! It may only be 3-4oz low. Adding 12oz will be a huge overcharge.
Right you are Chris. My OEM shop manual shows system holds 19.37 ozs, plus/minus 1.76 ozs. Somewhere between 18 and 21 ounces. That's the problem I have with adding refrigerant since the range between low and overfilled is only about three ounces. Depending on how accurate my old gauge set up is, I could easily put too much 134 in the system. Got to do something soon as temps in nineties approaching 100 are continuing.Thanks

Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779340
06/06/18 03:25 PM
06/06/18 03:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,184
Canuck living in California
KrisZ Online content
KrisZ  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,184
Canuck living in California
I would recharge with a can and a gauge. These cans don't empty all at once, unless you fully open the valve.
I always purge the line, hook up the gauge, close the valve on the can and let the pressure settle before adding anything. When it comes to adding, I would open the valve just enough to see the pressure rise on the gauge about 10psi, add for few seconds, close the valve and see the new pressure reading. Repeat until pressure looks good and the line is nice and cold.


2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-30k miles.
2007 Ford Focus ZX3-110k miles
2006 Mazda 3-168k miles
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779374
06/06/18 04:18 PM
06/06/18 04:18 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2,243
Lakeside CA
another Todd Offline
another Todd  Offline
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 2,243
Lakeside CA
Sometimes mechanics want to evacuate your system so they can tell you that your system leaks and it will be illegal for them to put YOUR refrigerant back into your system, then they sell you a compressor, evaporator, drier etc. That is basically how most operate in San Diego, one big rip off industry here.

I agree with above, just add slowly until it's working again...and stop there, don't give it a little extra.


2015 Ford F250 Diesel Crew Cab FX4
2017 Ford Escape 2.0
2002 GMC Yukon
2015 Hyundai Accent
2008 Yamaha Rhino 700 FI
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey] #4779397
06/06/18 04:43 PM
06/06/18 04:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 213
PA USA
rustypigeon Offline
rustypigeon  Offline
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 213
PA USA
I was in a similar situation a couple years ago with my '99 Mazda. I didn't want to put much time or money into a car that old. Many cars that are over 15 years old have leaked enough refrigerant that the AC system does not work so well.

I just bought a manifold set and a thermometer. I watched both the gauges and the thermometer that was stuck in the center vent and added 134a until I got acceptable readings.

That was 2 years ago and it has been working good since.


1994 Toyota Pickup 205,000mi
1999 Mazda Protege 230,000mi
2000 BMW 323i 130,000mi
2005 Toyota Highlander 200,000mi
Re: A/C System R134a [Re: another Todd] #4779423
06/06/18 05:07 PM
06/06/18 05:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,624
California
nthach Offline
nthach  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,624
California
Originally Posted By: another Todd
That is basically how most operate in San Diego, one big rip off industry here.


And there's always the drive to Tijuana to get it worked on cheaply as well. smile

Newer AC systems are sensitive to oil fill and refrigerant charge, the tolerances for oil fill are +/- 5cc and +/-10-50g for refrigerant.

There will always be small losses through the hoses.

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