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Old 06-11-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
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a/c recharge

Hey so I followed a diy on here on how to recharge a/c. I replaced my condenser a while ago and never got the car charged. I bought some 134a refrigerant with a gauge. Connected hose to low side. Read about 2-3 psi. Started pumping freon and it got up to 35. Vents still blowing warm air. Started to pump to 40 and rechecked vents. When I got back to the can it said 35 again. I gave it another short burst and it popped back up to 40ish and instantly came back down to 35. Now when my a/c is on I hear a metallic whistling sound from the center vent and i still have warm air. PSI refuses to go above 35. I gave it a couple more tries but didnt put too much in so I didnt overcharge the system in case the gauge broke.

TLDR; recharged a/c to 35psi. charged to 40psi checked vents. Came back to bottle the psi had dropped to 35psi. Doesnt go higher than that with quick bursts from can. What could be the issue? System was working fine before changing condensor with ebay one.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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to do the job correctly I would not charge a system unless I first pulled vacuum on it for 30 minutes or so to remove all the air and moisture before I put in freon.

That's what I did when I installed A/C in my old SAAB. It made ice cubes until the day some old dude totaled it with his monster black Merc.
Of course that car used good ole R-12!

Last edited by Stinger9; 06-11-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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You are a complete idiot. If the system is exposed to air you should replace the drier (removes H2O from the system that will clog the expansion valve) and it must absolutely must be evacuated before adding freon!

Last edited by scottjoh; 06-11-2012 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Wonder if that DIY he used was part of that series: A/C recharging for idiots!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:36 PM   #5
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The A/C in our (or any) cars is hella expensive to replace so drop the appropriate cash to have the pros recharge your system for you. I recently needed to have mine topped off and after reading all the threads on here, I decided to drop the $160 (all locals are much higher than average) for the security of knowing I wouldn't ruin my whole system.

The refrigerant is measured in pounds, not PSI, so the only way to know how much you have/need is to evacuate all of it (using a very pricy machine) and refill to the proper weight/level. The PSI method will allow you to make a somewhat educated guess as to how much refrigerant is in the system but it isn't a reliable method. To make matters worse, those PSI gauges on the cans of 134-a/sealant are sketchy at best and greatly increase the odds you'll overfill the system. The other upside to letting a shop do it is that they'll do a perfunctory leak test on the spot (w/ the same pricy machine) and add UV A/C dye...not to mention the free inspection they'll do trying to drum up business! (It beats me trying to spot every problem myself...)

Even if you bought all the necessary tools to accurately gauge the PSI of your A/C system (around $200), you'd still be taking a gamble and the potential overfill of your system could cause a massive explosion that destroys you, your car, and your block...or just kills your A/C system.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #6
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People simply do not understand the complexity of AC systems. It's amazing how many people don't even know that you have to put a vacuum to remove moisture and this is probably the single most important thing to do when dealing with a system that has been opened. Or replacing the receiver drier.

A lot of people also do not understand that overcharging a system is a damn bad thing to do. "Fixing" your AC DOES NOT equal going to Autozone, buying a can of refrigerant, and dumping that crap into your system. Do you even have a manifold gauge set to monitor the high side and low side pressures and how they fluctuate when the compressor comes on? I know you didn't even see if the system has a leak because you didn't put a vacuum on it. So most likely you're dumping that **** right into the atmosphere.

TLDR: IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH AC WORK, BRING IT TO A PROFESSIONAL.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
People simply do not understand the complexity of AC systems. It's amazing how many people don't even know that you have to put a vacuum to remove moisture and this is probably the single most important thing to do when dealing with a system that has been opened. Or replacing the receiver drier.

A lot of people also do not understand that overcharging a system is a damn bad thing to do. "Fixing" your AC DOES NOT equal going to Autozone, buying a can of refrigerant, and dumping that crap into your system. Do you even have a manifold gauge set to monitor the high side and low side pressures and how they fluctuate when the compressor comes on? I know you didn't even see if the system has a leak because you didn't put a vacuum on it. So most likely you're dumping that **** right into the atmosphere.

TLDR: IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH AC WORK, BRING IT TO A PROFESSIONAL.
+1 minus the angst, point still very valid though
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #8
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Wow, a lot of you act like a bunch of 6 year olds.

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Old 06-11-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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My local indy is six years old. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Expensive?
12 oz an of freon under $20 is not going to break the bank in my house.

Reclamation is for the birds.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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I can't believe you just said..for the birds.

I made that saying up..swear to god.

'dude that chick is for the birds..straight swamp donkey'
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:40 PM   #11
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fukin paid 160 for a check and re-charge just before i sold my 330i
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BWOODM3 View Post
Wow, a lot of you act like a bunch of 6 year olds.

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6 year olds throwing temper tantrums and learned the word "idiot."
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:58 PM   #13
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ok but what is the whistling noise and why is the psi not going up?
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by choxor View Post
"Fixing your AC DOES NOT equal going to Autozone, buying a can of refrigerant, and dumping that crap into your system.
i did exactly this and it didnt work so you are right
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:30 AM   #15
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Mods, please delete. Double posted.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo View Post
i did exactly this and it didnt work so you are right
Not trying to bust your ass, it's just this kind of stuff comes up all the time, especially now that it's summer. More so meant it as a warning to those who find this thread who may have the same preconception that all it takes is a can of refrigerant to fix most AC problems.

Also not saying that it can't be DIY'd. I do it. Haven't had to do it on either one of the E46's I've owned though. But it requires a minimum set of equipment and a basic knowledge of how the system works. You'll need a manifold gauge set and a vacuum pump at the very least.

Vacuum pump will remove any moisture from the system, which is critical. It'll also allow you put a vacuum on the system to check it for leaks. The manifold gauge set will allow you to monitor the high and low pressure sides at the same time. These readings will fluctuate depending on many variables. The main time you'll see a change is when the compressor kicks on and off. Knowing these readings is important.

So if you want to pick up these items and give it a go then I think you should. Knowledge is power! DIYing is why most of us are here. But if you just want it to work and don't want to pick up the equipment then you should really bring it to a pro.

I'll link some videos from ericthecarguy. I love his videos and he just did a set on A/C work. They're pretty thorough. Good luck!



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Old 06-12-2012, 01:24 AM   #17
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Yep.. been watching eric the ca rguy forever. funny thing is too he just posted those videos up a few days ago. Great technician!
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo View Post
Hey so I followed a diy on here on how to recharge a/c. I replaced my condenser a while ago and never got the car charged. I bought some 134a refrigerant with a gauge. Connected hose to low side. Read about 2-3 psi. Started pumping freon and it got up to 35. Vents still blowing warm air. Started to pump to 40 and rechecked vents. When I got back to the can it said 35 again. I gave it another short burst and it popped back up to 40ish and instantly came back down to 35. Now when my a/c is on I hear a metallic whistling sound from the center vent and i still have warm air. PSI refuses to go above 35. I gave it a couple more tries but didnt put too much in so I didnt overcharge the system in case the gauge broke.

TLDR; recharged a/c to 35psi. charged to 40psi checked vents. Came back to bottle the psi had dropped to 35psi. Doesnt go higher than that with quick bursts from can. What could be the issue? System was working fine before changing condensor with ebay one.
If you replaced components then you cannot charge the system at home wth the stuff you can buy at the store.

If you replaced parts, then the system has air inside and must be fully evacuated before you can fill it, and you do not have the equipment needed to accomplish the evacuation process. The stuff you buy at the store is used to replenish the refridgerant that is routinely lost over time -- a very long time. It is common that the refridgerant might seep out of the system over a period of years, and this sort of loss is remedied by use of the products you can buy at the store. If you are loosing refridgerant at a rate that is faster than a 14.5oz. can of R134a over the course of a year or two -- or longer -- then you have a leak that needs to be addressed. If you need to add a can of R134a at a rate of one every 2nd or 3rd year, then there is nothing to be alarmed about, and the can of R134a that you get from the store is the cure for this kind of loss.

If you unseal the system, then you cannot recover the system by using the products meant for topping off as described above. The system has to be set to a vacuum condition and all of the air sucked out -- they might introduce a drying agent to remove any water, but my logic says that any water should come out due to the vacuum, but I digress -- so there are no contaminants that will adversely affect the chemical they pump back into the system. After the system is properly charged after servicing, then you can use the stuff you buy at the store for maintenance over time.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #19
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Yep! Say no to WALMART DIY BLUE CAN AC CAN THINGS. Always have your A/C serviced by a professional.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #20
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i just replaced compressor, suction hose, dryer, dyer hose, condensor hose. once complete i took to professional for vaccum and recharge. works great now. if doing diy have professional evacuate and refill.
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