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    Thread: HOW MUCH FREON DOES MY 2.0'S COMPRESSOR HOLD

    1. Member
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      04-08-2010 09:51 AM #1
      im going to add some refrigerant because my compressor is not kicking on and then it was determined there is not enough freon to start the compressor, so i need to know how much it holds, im going to buy the kit with the pressure needle, what do i need to know other than connecting it to low side service port and turning AC on MAX ?? i don't want to overfill it and kill my compressor it's still good.

    2. 04-08-2010 12:04 PM #2
      Hey there,

      Unfortunately if your refrigerant is low, there is a leak. Personally, as I have no experience with refrigeration systems, I would let a professional ensure the system is sealed and in good shape before having it recharged.

      You may be able to locate the leak by pressurizing the system with compressed air, and painting all the fittings with soapy water, watching for bubbles. But again, pressurized systems are dangerous, refrigerant is toxic, and it might be hard to source the individual parts.

      Best of luck, but I would suggest having a refrigeration tech check it out.

      Jim


    3. Member AtomixMK3's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 01:18 PM #3
      I'm at school right now but when I get home in about an hour I'll check the capacity for you. If you read this before I get the spec then there should be a sticker in the engine bay either on your hood or on the front clip that says a ton of stuff like hose/belt routing emissions info and so on. Somewhere it should say something like refrigerant capacity and it'll be in grams so you'll need to convert that to ounces by multiplying the grams by 0.0352739619 and thats the capacity in ounces of your system. You will want to make sure that you dont go over that amount because it can be really bad if you do...I learned the hard way. Like the other dude said its best to just have a shop to it because if you do have a leak they can add a florescent dye which will illuminate under a blacklight with yellow glasses just like those yellow golfing glasses if there is a leak. But if your gungho like alot of us are just take a chance and learn how to DIY
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    4. Member Robert Roberts's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 02:34 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by J.R.Freeman »
      Hey there,

      Unfortunately if your refrigerant is low, there is a leak. Personally, as I have no experience with refrigeration systems, I would let a professional ensure the system is sealed and in good shape before having it recharged.

      You may be able to locate the leak by pressurizing the system with compressed air, and painting all the fittings with soapy water, watching for bubbles. But again, pressurized systems are dangerous, refrigerant is toxic, and it might be hard to source the individual parts.

      Best of luck, but I would suggest having a refrigeration tech check it out.

      Jim

      The above is not how it is done.

      Everyone always remembers to top up the refrigerant, but you need to add oil too if it isn't premixed in those convenient cans that come with the SEALANT can

      Karma IS Real!!

    5. 04-08-2010 09:07 PM #5
      Oh Robby

      'better to fix it right, but I suppose a short-term band-aid sealant fix might get you through the summer.


    6. Member Robert Roberts's Avatar
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      04-08-2010 11:59 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by J.R.Freeman »
      Oh Robby

      'better to fix it right, but I suppose a short-term band-aid sealant fix might get you through the summer.

      Dude, I work for a dealership. I know how to fix it "right" and it involves evacuating the refrigerant among other things that the average shade tree on this forum can't do at home.

      FYI: MANY dealerships use high quality (we use wurth) sealant when fixing a client's car. Sometimes people can't afford "right".

      And for the record, your lame brained method requires evacuating the system in order to be legal. Even then it won't work.

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    7. Member AtomixMK3's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 12:13 AM #7
      Actually there are a grip of people who can do it at home. Although it IS against the law to release R134a into the atmosphere but they're not gonna come nail your butt to the wall. To do it right you'll want to find your leak and fix it first. After fixing it you'll want to pull the system into vacuum if I remember correctly its like 28.7 inHg (inches of mercury) for a couple hours to help boil off any moisture in the system as it can reduce the efficiency of the refrigeration system ie not run very cool. After all is said and done you can charge the system by following one of a million how-to's. You can get a crappy pump from HarborFreight (Electric not venturi) as well as a manifold set. It'll take a while to get use to using the tools but no matter what anyone says it can and does work when done properly.
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      04-09-2010 03:50 AM #8
      You don't have to evacuate an ac system before you fill it, and it isn't illegal to fill or top-off a leaking ac system. You can go to the EPA Website and verify this. Better yet, spend $20-$30, get the handbook, read it, take a test, and become an EPA certified ac technician.

      Ac shops and mechanics use that story about having to remove the refrigerant and test for leaks before filling/refilling to justify the ridiculous amount that they charge for adding refrigerant to your ac system. You don't dump your motor oil and coolant before you add to the full line do you? Why the refrigerant?

      Also, while the sticker tells you the factory spec for how much refrigerant is in your ac system, every car is not the same. Some like a little more refrigerant, and some a little less for work they're best.

      The best (most accurate), and as far as I'm concerned, way to fill or top up any ac system is to use a ac manifold gauge set ($40 on sale at Harbor Freight), and a thermometer. You use the thermometer to check the outside temperature to determine the correct low and high side pressures, then inside the car to check the temperature of the air output to double check for the proper refrigerant level.

      If you want to monkey around with ac systems, save a bunch of money and laugh at the guys who say ac systems are too complicated, buy the Haynes AC System Book. It's a decent introduction to ac systems for about $20.


    9. Member jorge r's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 07:24 AM #9
      I would get 2-12oz cans of r134a, any cans with other than 12oz have additives I wouldn't want in my a/c system. I guess what you get with a gage on it has additives.
      Then I would charge it to the point the big line to the compressor gets cold, stop charging as soon as it gets cold and sweaty. Then I would see how long it takes for the refrigerant to leak out, see how long it lasts. It may last for years of a day.
      If it leaks right out, then I look for the leak. Use leak detector bubbles, look for oil spots on hose joints. If nothing is detected or obvious, then use a die, refrigerant cans come with a die that is easily spoted where refrigerant leaks out of the a/c system. Then I can repair the leak.

    10. Member Robert Roberts's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 09:49 AM #10
      Quote, originally posted by germancarnut51 »
      You don't have to evacuate an ac system before you fill it, and it isn't illegal to fill or top-off a leaking ac system.

      Never said it was.

      Charging the system with compressed air and using soapy water to check for leaks is if you don't evacuate the freon. (It isn't a bicycle tire after all).

      FYI: Our dealership doesn't always evacuate yada etc... Usually we throw a can of sealant in and top up if needed. When that doesn't work in goes the dye. THEN we evacuate in order to replace the dried out O ring or whatever has gone south.

      Karma IS Real!!

    11. 04-09-2010 09:57 AM #11
      Quote, originally posted by Robert Roberts »

      Dude, I work for a dealership

      Robby,

      Although I am very impressed, if you'll read my post again you'll see I recommended he see a professional. And I agree, sealant is a good option, but it is a hack, no doubt.

      JF


    12. Member Robert Roberts's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 10:02 AM #12
      Quote, originally posted by J.R.Freeman »

      Robby,

      Although I am very impressed, if you'll read my post again you'll see I recommended he see a professional. And I agree, sealant is a good option, but it is a hack, no doubt.

      JF

      Actually not a hack at all professor. Why give out bad advice on a topic you clearly know nothing about if you are going to hedge and recommend a pro anyway?!

      Every time I read one of your posts I laugh and am reminded of Monty Python's Twit Olympics. Do us all a favour and be the winner we all know you can be

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      04-09-2010 11:09 AM #13
      Adding sealants are a bad idea, if you value the continued operation of your ac system without extensive/expensive repairs.

      Sealants gum up small passages in the ac system (like the expansion valve) besides sealing some leaks, making an overhaul of the entire ac system necessary.

      Sure, if you're getting rid of the car, and just need the ac to work while you show someone that it's working to unload the car, it'll work. But I consider that to be a scam like throwing on fenders, and leaving the chassis and suspension dmage hidden under the shine.

      It isn't necessary to fill the ac system with compressed air to find a leak either. Inexpensive (under $100) ac refrigerant gas leak detectors are available, as well as dye detection systems that work with the remaining refrigerant.

      Yes, if the refrigerant pressure has reach/leaked down to zero, or you've opened the system to replace components or seals, you will need to evacuate theair and moisture from the system, BUTall you need to do that is a vacuum pump, which you can borrow for free from Autozone, or you can buy an air compressor (must be a full sized air compressor) powered vacuum pump for less than $15, or buy a vacuum pump ($60 on sale from Harbor Freight).


    14. Member AtomixMK3's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 11:19 AM #14
      Actually it is a hack aka a bandaid just like radiator sealant tablets. Yes it may work to fix the problem but later on down the road there is a good chance the medium used to patch the leak will deteriorate and cause the issue to come back. Where actually fixing it correctly by replacing orings or whatever the issue is will have a greater overall effect. Just because people, even dealer techs do it doesn't mean its the proper way to handle a situation.
      Vagcom available in Palm Springs area PM me

    15. 04-09-2010 12:08 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by Robert Roberts »

      Actually not a hack at all professor.

      Incorrect. In fact, it is a hack by definition. Just because it is accepted policy at a stealer-ship, doesn't make it the correct procedure. It is a quick-fix, and has its advantages, but it is not the same as a real repair.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack_(technology)


    16. 04-09-2010 12:10 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by AtomixMK3 »
      Actually it is a hack aka a bandaid just like radiator sealant tablets. Yes it may work to fix the problem but later on down the road there is a good chance the medium used to patch the leak will deteriorate and cause the issue to come back. Where actually fixing it correctly by replacing orings or whatever the issue is will have a greater overall effect. Just because people, even dealer techs do it doesn't mean its the proper way to handle a situation.

      Hehe, that's awesome - I should have read ahead. Great minds think alike


    17. Member jorge r's Avatar
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      04-09-2010 02:54 PM #17
      The leak sealer or leak stop reacts when it hits air on the outside surface of a leak. Not an option to use a/c leak stop by the profesionals and people I know. Try replacing components on an a/c system with leak stop, once you break the seal and expose it to the atmosphere, or if any air has got into the system thru charging hoses, the job gets blown out of proportion. Keep your system virgin with refrigerant and its oil, die is ok to use.

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