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Do it Yourself A/C Recharge?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Lazzman, April 29, 2009.

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    1. Lazzman

      Lazzman Well-Known Member

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      Has anyone ever used one of those do it yourself A/C recharge kits that you can buy at Pep Boys?

      I forget the brand name but the can contains R-134a refrigerant, A/C compressor oil and a PSI gauge.

      Positive info is always appreciated :D
       
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    3. TheJackal

      TheJackal Well-Known Member

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      Yes. Problem is, those things suck, because they only show you the low side pressure. You really do need to know both the high and low.

      If your system has no static pressure at all, you'll really need to figure out why and the have it evacuated before refilling.

      Perhaps we should start with, what is your problem?
       
    4. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      My AC had slowly gotten luke warm last summer, and I used a can of the freon with the UV dye. AC is still cold, and works as it should.
       
    5. Four0Sport

      Four0Sport Elite Explorer

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      if the system is fine just not blowing as cold as it should/use to then yeah.. by all means grab a $20 can of freon with a guage and hose. If your A/C is blowing hot air and youve never had your system checked now would be a good time to do so. No sense spending money on freon when youre going to have to have your entire system vacc'd and checked. its actually not that expensive to have someone put a manifold guage on your a/c system and check it.
       
    6. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Elite Explorer

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      Yup, used one last summer and worked perfectly. A/C still icy this year.
       
    7. Lazzman

      Lazzman Well-Known Member

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      First, much thanks for all of the quality responses. :thumbsup:

      Problem is the air is not blowing as cold as it should, it still gets cold but not Icy, has been about 4 or more years since I had it refilled. My thoughts are that the freon needs to be recharged?

      Last time it was recharged was when the dryer unit was leaking and had to be replaced with a new one, I think that was in 2003 or so. The A/C shop who did it checked over the whole system thoroughly.
       
    8. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      If you had the AC checked out 4 years ago, and it still works, just not as effectively, I'd dump a can of freon onto it. I'd image it's just low.
       
    9. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      If its getting slightly worse then adding r-134 may take care of it BUT you really should get a manifold gauge set so you can see what your system is really doing. They aren't expensive and without one you really can't "fix" a system, you can just "throw" r-134 at it.

      ~Mark
       
    10. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      I was advised against those unless as many have pointed out here, you have the gauge.
      I was going to use one for the same reason, it was cold but not as it used to, but I didn't know how much would be ok for me to put in, so I went to a friend's shop and they checked it out and told me that my clutch fan was not working properly, thus the AC wasn't as cold as it should, and that if I had put the additional freon on the system the high presuer could have bursted some lines
       
    11. Lazzman

      Lazzman Well-Known Member

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      The new do it yourself freon kits have a gauge built into them, they have the PSI range marked with a green safety zone, yellow caution and red over pressure.

      Seems that it should make it pretty easy to refill.

      Also the can contains oil for the A/C compressor.
       
    12. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Those single gauge DIY kits are still crap.. just less crap.. They don't take into account the type of Orifice tube you have and can't tell you that there is a blockage or an orifice tube that has blown into the evaporator.

      As cheap as a set of full gauges are.. They should be used. .they will give you all the info you need to properly diagnose/repair your system. If all your planning to do is "throw a can of r-134 at it" then the DIY with low pressure only color coded system would work but with what I know now, I'd never use one of those again.

      ~Mark
       
    13. Steeda90GT

      Steeda90GT Active Member

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      For $10 I would roll the dice and try it. It's worked for me about 75% of the time. Obviously if it does work, then it means that you were low on freon which indicates a leak somewhere (so eventually you'll have to throw more r134 at it)

      With my old car (Mazda Protege) I used to do this every summer. Worked great and only cost $10. On my Mustang it didn't work because I had a clogged orfice tube. So the high pressure switch would activate and shut the compressor down.

      I'm not an AC pro by any means, just speaking out of experience. Speaking of which, can a line still "burst"? I mean from what I've seen, if the system can't take anymore volume (on the high side) the high pressure switch activates and shuts the compressor down. Same thing when it's low on freon (since obviously it can't pressure up)

      Like I said, I'm not an AC professional by any means, I'm actually a Software Developer :cool:
       
    14. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Not all vehicles have a high pressure switch. Our '95 Neon didn't and our '92 Explorer doesn't

      ~Mark
       
    15. Steeda90GT

      Steeda90GT Active Member

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      Wow, thats scary. I thought all newish vehicles did. So what happens if a line clogs? Does the system rupture?
       
    16. CmdrPopNFresh

      CmdrPopNFresh Active Member

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      they do have reliefe valves down on the lines right at the compressor. if the pressure gets too high it vents to atmosphere....as a last resort
       
    17. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Ditto.. the relief valve on the back of the compressor goes.. I've seen it pop before.. I was an my neighbors shop when one of his techs wasn't watching and overcharged the system and POP - HISS. All the r-134 came out. Its puts the oil everywhere and pissed off the shop owner quite a bit.

      ~Mark
       
    18. roger

      roger New Member

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      no power to ac relay compressor willnot come on
       
    19. rech.robert

      rech.robert New Member

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      AC recharge

      I just used one of those ac recharge bottles from Walmart and it works great. icy cold AC once again. Hopefully it will last and I dont have a leak.

      :)

      Rob
       
    20. cfd911

      cfd911 Member

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      i totally agree with maniak, heres where alittle bit of a/c knowledge is dangerous for those diy's , you should use a manifold gauge set to properly see what the high and low side is doing . And when adding freon you need to take into account air tempurture. you over fill the system you can damage your compressor and then you ll really be up a creek!!!
       
    21. Dilbert5

      Dilbert5 Active Member

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      I have both ASE and EPA certs for ac work, and I cannot personally recomend these cheap kits. But I realize that when it is over 100 outside, people want their ac to work. With that being said. There are several things to keep in mind. If you buy a kit with dye, or oil mixed with the freon, if too much dye or oil is added ( you use several kits over the years ), cooling capacity will suffer. So you are better off using straight freon in these cases.

      MOST IMPORTANT!! WEAR SAFETY GLASSES! While working with freon. Especially when using these cheap kits. PROTECT your eyes! These kits can restore cooling to your ac, BUT in some cases, bad things can happen. Protect your eyes with safety glasses.
       

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