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Old 07-30-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
yogi799
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Question about professional AC recharge process, any experts out there?

Besides the now semi-retired E46, the F10, I also have an Acura MDX, and recently replaced my AC compressor and condenser. I then had my AC vacuumed and recharged and the AC works great again, but I have one concern and maybe you guys can chip in on it. I had a proper amount of oil in my new compressor but would the vacuuming process (which was actually performed twice, both times to -25PSI) suck it all out of the system? I did not see the shop staff put any oil in manually but they had some cool looking machine (for evac and recharge) on wheels with all sorts of tanks hooked up to it. They never mentioned oil at all, or the type that Acura takes (PAG46). So would that machine they used had oil pre-mixed with freon or what? I somehow don't believe they would be sucking people's systems dry and recharging them with no oil for an imminent failure. One tech told me the oil stays inside the system during vacuuming, but somebody else told me it's a total bull****, and mostly everything gets sucked out. Where's the truth? Is my system dry now? Again, the AC is back and blows cold air, but I am concerned the compressor has no oil after the vacuum process. Any pro experts out there who could confirm that oil may have been added simultaneously with the freon recharge or that it stayed inside during vacuuming?



...

Last edited by yogi799; 07-30-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
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To the best of my knowledge the vacuum does not take oil out. It takes gas only. It also causes any water in the system to boil off as water under vacuum boils at a lower temp.
I think you will be fine.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Some oil does get drained with an evac. Sometimes not all of it, but yes some of it does. Thats why a/c machines have oil drain bottles, to separate the freon from oil. Most newer a/c machines will ask you how much oil you want to add when you are in the charging process, so yes, its possible you didn't notice it. It goes in right before the machine does the charge. It will also ask if you want to inject dye. I would probably say they did it. If you are that worried about it, call and ask just to make sure.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
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Well, these guys lied to me about something else so that's why I wanted to get a third party opinion before speaking to them again (and the main tech claimed none of the oil gets sucked out, he said if there was so much pressure, even the o-rings would get sucked out... (??) ).

So I just called and asked another guy who assisted the main dude. They claim the oil completely stays in the system. I had 150 ml in the compressor when it got shipped in the box, the specs say I should have 180 ml. The shop guys clearly did not care about oil to make sure it's a proper amount etc. So I now wonder if I should take it to another place to top it off since some of it got sucked out out as you guys say...

Or just leave it as is? I need the car for the next 3-4 years, no more (hopefully)
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330ciandr6 View Post
Some oil does get drained with an evac. Sometimes not all of it, but yes some of it does. Thats why a/c machines have oil drain bottles, to separate the freon from oil. Most newer a/c machines will ask you how much oil you want to add when you are in the charging process, so yes, its possible you didn't notice it. It goes in right before the machine does the charge. It will also ask if you want to inject dye. I would probably say they did it. If you are that worried about it, call and ask just to make sure.
You are messing refrigerant evacuation (which is under high pressure) vs air evacuation (which is not). When you evacuating refrigerant then yes - some oil comes with it due to the pressure.
Creation of vacuum after system was opened and repaired doesn't evacuate oil (maybe some vapors but not more). Otherwise, the vacuum pump will throw this oil from the pump's exhaust and this is not happening (see my a/c topic in sig).

OP, don't worry, oil is there.

Last edited by Nervous; 07-30-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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OK, cool, thanks guys. Yes, nervous might be right on, they did not evac the freon since the system was just opened and completely empty (new condenser and new compressor).

Hope I can sleep well LOL.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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The HVAC machine should have not only filled the system with refrigerant, but also first pulled a vacuum on it. There are 2 main reasons to pull a vacuum; one, it helps check for leaks, the system will not pull and hold a vacuum if there is a leak within the system, AND 2, to pull any moisture out of the system before refilling. In the case of the HVAC machines used now-a-days, they also first exhaust the refrigerant of the system into the re-claim tank on the machine since they can not exhaust it into the atmosphere like we used to in the olden days. When pulling a vacuum on the system, a small amount of the compressor oil may be sucked out. they may have either checked the oil level in the compressor prior to or right after pulling the vacuum, but it should be done prior to since you are opening the system to check and/or add oil. With the machine (and I haven't used one), they may be able to add a small amount of compressor oil as they charge the system, not sure (I'll have to check that out). BTW, todays refrigerant really isn't called freon, its R-143A Refrigerant, the old Freon, R-12 can not be used any more and has become very hard to find.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:08 PM   #8
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small correction R-134a
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
...I had a proper amount of oil in my new compressor but would the vacuuming process (which was actually performed twice, both times to -25PSI) suck it all out of the system? I did not see the shop staff put any oil in manually but they had some cool looking machine (for evac and recharge) on wheels with all sorts of tanks hooked up to it. They never mentioned oil at all, or the type that Acura takes (PAG46). So would that machine they used had oil pre-mixed with freon or what? I somehow don't believe they would be sucking people's systems dry and recharging them with no oil for an imminent failure. One tech told me the oil stays inside the system during vacuuming, but somebody else told me it's a total bull****, and mostly everything gets sucked out. Where's the truth? Is my system dry now? Again, the AC is back and blows cold air, but I am concerned the compressor has no oil after the vacuum process. Any pro experts out there who could confirm that oil may have been added simultaneously with the freon recharge or that it stayed inside during vacuuming?
...
Sounds like the gauge needs to be calibrated. A perfect vacuum at sea level is -14.7 psi and you can't go lower than that.

The oil mostly stands in the system during evacuation. A small amount will turn into a gas and get sucked out, but, not much. The freon that gets put in is freon only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
OK, cool, thanks guys. Yes, nervous might be right on, they did not evac the freon since the system was just opened and completely empty (new condenser and new compressor)
When the system is opened to the air the first thing that must happen is to evacuate all the air and water vapor. The water vapor must be gotten rid of or it will freeze in the expansion valve orifice. The drier should take out any water that the evacuation didn't.

Last edited by scottjoh; 07-31-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:39 PM   #10
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You did also have your drier replaced too, didn't you?? I mean, such a cheap part with such a critical function usually you replace it every time the system is opened... but if you didn't dont now it's too late.

+1 about the oil - usually it stays in the system and you just get the stuff that boils off in the vaccum as vapour. When they pull a vacuum, they do not collapse the plumbing and orifices in which the oil is held. The oil does not become weightless or just boil off like the water. The evacuation is done from the plumbing at the top of the system. Their system should have a catch can and can measure the amount of oil that comes out if they even get any.

In uae lots of shops don't even have a fancy machine and poorly service AC systems all the time... don't worry about it.
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