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Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117129 05/27/19 08:56 AM
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maxdustington Offline
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I used a can of condenser cleaner when I did mine last summer. It really foamed up, I think that is important as you need it to fill a bunch of inaccessible spaces inside the condenser. It was like $15 from the HVAC supply store because they had a $15 minimum and it wasn't in stock at any big box store. I still have some left so you could probably do your residential A/C coils as well to offset the cost.

You can try the degreaser as long as it is safe for aluminum. Use a pressure washer but don't get too close with it. If you just use a hose, you will be rinsing forever to get all the detergent out.

I think I noticed a small difference but it could have just been placebo effect. It seemed to improve de-humidification more than making a noticeable temp diff, I wish I had checked the temps with a thermometer before and after.


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117148 05/27/19 09:17 AM
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WobblyElvis Offline
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The OP has just said it seems like the AC could be colder. Why not measure the temp of the air it's putting out before doing anything else?

Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117155 05/27/19 09:24 AM
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JMJNet Offline
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The reason you just cannot top off the refrigerant is because the current refrigerant cannot be too much/more than you need.
It has to be more exact in terms of volume and pressure.

It is NOT the old R-12 where more is better.

Then, you need to use it more often.
The more the AC is used means more flow, the better that it maintains the operation of the AC.
I know it is counter intuitive.

Clean the condenser and replace the filter.
Hopefully, the evaporator which is usually near the blower fan is still clean.

Last edited by JMJNet; 05/27/19 09:41 AM.

  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117162 05/27/19 09:36 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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It may only be 3-5 ounces low. Adding a whole 11oz can or even better a 18oz can of ac pro will severely overcharge it.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Car lube plus 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am Maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor Chevron sae30
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117167 05/27/19 09:39 AM
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KrisZ Offline
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I've successfully added refrigerant with a those DIY kits on several vehicles now. My co workers old car stopped blowing cold air and the compressor stopped engaging, I brought it back to life with a can of refrigerant,not a whole can of course. His AC worked fine all summer.

I make sure to only use pure refrigerant, brand doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't have any sealers, seal conditioners, or oils added.

It can be done, but you it can easily be messed up too.

Last edited by KrisZ; 05/27/19 09:40 AM.

2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117193 05/27/19 10:27 AM
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Linctex Offline
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If you add refrigerant only - - over and over and over - - eventually, you could run low on the oil charge, also


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117230 05/27/19 11:12 AM
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DoubleWasp Offline
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Don't add refrigerant unless you know why you are adding refrigerant, and do so to a pressure/temperature chart with a good high/low manifold kit. And even that is not exactly considered "correct".

Otherwise, you are rolling the dice. Maybe you solve something, maybe you make things worse. Flip a coin.

Things you absolutely can do as an uneducated consumer?

1. Gently clean the condenser with a mild degreaser. I have found Z-clean to work well without messing up aluminum or paint.

2. Check/change cabin filter

3. Check vent temperatures. If you're getting vent temps about 30°F colder than ambient at idle, that's about as good as it gets. Check the vent temps again while misting the condenser with water. If the vent temps get ridiculously cooler, that's an indicator of a condenser cooling problem.

4. Make sure that if you are at idle, and put AC on max cool, or highest setting with recirculation. Leave all doors open. You should not see the compressor cycling. Should be fully engaged. If it's cycling, that could be an indicator of low charge.

If you really want to get "DIY Serious", get a set of manifold gauges, a vent thermometer, and a laser thermometer. That's enough for one of the many Auto AC educated people here to guide you in the right direction.

Again, I'm not suggesting you do this. I'm only telling you what you want if you really want to DIY this. A good AC shop is the better choice if you just want to optimize your system with the least amount of work and hassle.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117253 05/27/19 11:32 AM
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bullwinkle Offline
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It's too easy to overcharge, you can make matters worse (higher evap temps/warmer) instead of better. That's why the cheap HF gauge set-tell us your numbers, then we'll know whether you're actually low on gas or not.


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117264 05/27/19 11:43 AM
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dblshock Offline OP
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got a aerosol can from HD iand a thermometer from Advance $12 all together.


05 Lexus GX470 175k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0W40 XG-3614
Toyo Open Country H/T II

06 4Runner SR5 155k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0W40 XG-3614
Falken Wildpeak AT3W
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117269 05/27/19 11:54 AM
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dblshock Offline OP
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4Runner is below 40, GX 44 prior to condenser cleaning....at least not totally dead....love these old beaters.


05 Lexus GX470 175k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0W40 XG-3614
Toyo Open Country H/T II

06 4Runner SR5 155k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0W40 XG-3614
Falken Wildpeak AT3W
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117293 05/27/19 12:26 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Originally Posted by dblshock
4Runner is below 40, GX 44 prior to condenser cleaning....at least not totally dead....love these old beaters.

What's the outside temps? Also I see many heater valves that are letting hot water into the dash and heating up the ac.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Car lube plus 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am Maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor Chevron sae30
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117326 05/27/19 01:06 PM
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DoubleWasp Offline
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And the 4Runner has one. Seen it before on the older ones. Sometimes a source of unintended leaking too.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: dblshock] #5117331 05/27/19 01:08 PM
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vw7674 Offline
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There's not really a 'sealed' A/C system, so at that age, (fourteen years),
if it hasn't been checked for a decade +, refrigerant has escaped out the compressor shaft seal.
Assume about an ounce per year, at most. Pump 6-8 ounces in from one of those cans with the gauge on it & see what it does.

Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: KrisZ] #5117426 05/27/19 02:58 PM
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mclasser Offline
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A few summers ago, I noticed my A/C wasn't as cold as usual. So, I topped it off using a can of pure Supertech R134a & an AC Pro gauge. I was apprehensive at first but it worked out well. The gauge was a little chintzy but it got the job done. I kept shaking the can while adding refrigerant slowly, stopping every couple of seconds to recheck the pressure. I found 30-32 PSI @about 90 deg was ideal pressure (at least on my Honda). If I would've followed the chart that came with the can, I would've grossly overcharged the system. I only ended up using about half the can. Those several ounces made the A/C ice cold again.


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

Re: Looking for A/C tips... [Re: DoubleWasp] #5117443 05/27/19 03:20 PM
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dblshock Offline OP
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Originally Posted by DoubleWasp
And the 4Runner has one. Seen it before on the older ones. Sometimes a source of unintended leaking too.


has one what please.


05 Lexus GX470 175k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0W40 XG-3614
Toyo Open Country H/T II

06 4Runner SR5 155k
640:1 TCW-3
M1 0W40 XG-3614
Falken Wildpeak AT3W
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