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ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? #5463345 06/26/20 01:02 PM
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apollo18 Offline OP
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hey guys my ac isnt that cold anymore in my vehicle and i assume i have to get it recharged but i wanted to ask, how do i know if the shop i get it done from uses good quality product vs something i can get from the store? what would you recommend? like always goto a shop? or are the premade bottles good too?

thanks

manual says

Air Conditioning Refrigerant R-134a
1.8 lbs. (0.8 kg)
Use Refrigerant Oil, R-134a Systems

Last edited by apollo18; 06/26/20 01:16 PM.
Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463347 06/26/20 01:08 PM
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kschachn Offline
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Do you know how to properly charge an automotive air conditioning system?

And yes, if the manufacturer is the same then the contents are also the same. But many manufacturers make refrigerants in many countries all over the world.


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463350 06/26/20 01:11 PM
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You are in Canada. Very hard to get r134a. The bottles/cans sold in Canadian auto parts stores are filled with propane/butane. If you are not familiar with AC systems and/or do not have the tools, I suggest you go to a shop and be prepared for a large bill.

I am assuming your car uses r134a. If you car uses r1234yf, it's even worse.

Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: kschachn] #5463356 06/26/20 01:19 PM
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apollo18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by kschachn
Do you know how to properly charge an automotive air conditioning system?

And yes, if the manufacturer is the same then the contents are also the same. But many manufacturers make refrigerants in many countries all over the world.


i actually dont really know how but youtube doesnt seem to bad
im just afraid im going to goto a shop and there gonna put some low quality refrigerant in and im gonna basically have [censored] ac again

Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463358 06/26/20 01:24 PM
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Given the expense that you will incur IF you screw something up (which is VERY likely without the proper tools and training)...that's an easy choice for me...take it to a professional of your choice and let THEM do it.

Ed


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463369 06/26/20 01:44 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Keep in mind that if it is low it has a leak. Other things besides a low charge can keep it from working. Those cans make us lots of money as there is no way of knowing how much to add without starting with an empty and vacuumed system


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463371 06/26/20 01:44 PM
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ragtoplvr Offline
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systems using r134A are very sensitive to charge. A shop can evacuate, add the necessary amount to the charge column, then load it in. If the pressures are wrong, there is another defect, they can evacuate, fix and refill.

Y1234 is same, and VERY expensive. It can be replaced with R134A if you know the conversion.

Too little charge can result in no oil return, and compressor failure. To much can kill things too.

Rod

Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463378 06/26/20 01:59 PM
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user52165 Offline
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It is just a matter of time before those refill cans are banned for home use. Too many screw ups by the unknowing. Been wrenching cars for 50+ years, but AC work is one of only a few things I leave to the experts with experience and the right equipment.

BTW - I still have a 1987 car with R12 that cools great. Can't remember the last time it was recharged....... probably 20+ years.

Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463397 06/26/20 02:18 PM
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I tried the A/C Pro....messed up my wife's AC. Luckily I didn't screw it up too bad because $170 later it was working again. happy


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463399 06/26/20 02:20 PM
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MoneyJohn Online Content
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As someone already said, if its low, there is a leak. You may be able to refill but it will leak out again. Fix it once and save the money in the long term.

(I tried doing exactly the same and it leaked out very quickly.)

Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463402 06/26/20 02:22 PM
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exranger06 Offline
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You're worrying over nothing. The refrigerant a shop uses is likely BETTER than most of the stuff you buy at an auto parts store. Pretty much every one of those DIY recharge kits has some gimmicky additive in the refrigerant that claims to do different stuff, like cool better somehow. Or has stop leak, or seal conditioners, or something else that can do more harm than good. I'm skeptical of those additives and would much rather have plain, pure refrigerant with nothing else added to it. And that's most likely what a shop would use. They buy large 30 lb cans of it, and those never have any gimmicky additives in them. You CAN buy regular refrigerant in 12 oz cans with no additives (which is what I use) at the parts store, but they're not part of a "kit" that includes the charging hose or gauge; it's just a can of refrigerant.

Don't assume you're low on refrigerant. There are a lot of things that can make an AC system stop working. Don't just blindly add refrigerant, hoping that it makes the problem go away. Diagnose the problem first. IF the problem is low refrigerant, find out where/how it leaked out. Then fix the leak (which will probably require you to evacuate the rest of the refrigerant from the system). Then vacuum the system with a vacuum pump to remove all the air from the system. THEN you can finally add refrigerant!


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463407 06/26/20 02:33 PM
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You wanna check a few things before tossing a can of refrigerant in:

- What're the vent temps?
- Cooling fans working?
- Condenser fins dirty/bent?
- Cabin air filter condition?

That being said - I got a can of pure R134a (none of that stopleak crap) and topped off my Accord a few years back. The gauge was pretty chintzy and the provided temp/pressure chart was too high for my application but I got a hold of the factory Honda A/C chart online and charged to those specs. Only needed like half the can and the A/C is still ice cold today.

Like others said, A/C work is complex and throwing in a can of refrigerant won't always fix the problem. You didn't specify what car you have but if it's an old beater which just needs some cold air for the summer....


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463416 06/26/20 02:40 PM
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Aredeeem Offline
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This sounds very close to a thread I started a week ago. R134 in a can. I’m gonna hold off on my results. Got spanked for using it. It’s interesting it turned up so soon.

Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463417 06/26/20 02:41 PM
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fwiw the 2013 outback has been cooling terrible this year. its 8 years old.
Put in half a can of parts store stuff.. and its working like new again.

yep probably got lucky.
I was for having it professionally done but I dont own the car just work on it sometimes.


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Re: ac recharge from a shop vs bottle from store? [Re: apollo18] #5463424 06/26/20 02:50 PM
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apollo18 Offline OP
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i found someone that said he has real r134. is that fine to use? or does it have to be r134a?

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