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    Thread: how easy is it to DIY AC recharge?

    1. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 06:32 PM #1
      was quoted $140 to have my AC system recharged with up to 2lbs of freon. just wondering its is an easy DIY job to just buy freon from an auto parts stores and do it myself. anyone have a write up?

    2. Member ABAcabby's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 06:43 PM #2
      Doesn't the shop have to be certified to do an A/C recharge? They need to do a pressure leak test... I believe that is only when using Freon though.

    3. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 06:44 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by ABAcabby View Post
      Doesn't the shop have to be certified to do an A/C recharge? They need to do a pressure leak test... or is that just with the old freon type A/C units.
      i think you're right. thats why it would take a couple hours, to include a pressure test

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      04-05-2011 06:44 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      was quoted $140 to have my AC system recharged with up to 2lbs of freon. just wondering its is an easy DIY job to just buy freon from an auto parts stores and do it myself. anyone have a write up?
      You can do it but you should use some gauges to watch how high the high side gets and low the low side gets. On a hot day a VW a/c system in Mk5/B6 chassis should suck down between 30-40. I can't remember how high it should go to.

      If you over fill your a/c system it won't work either. You can not really regulate the amount of oil injected into the system either.

      Most Mk5/b6 chassis compressors only use 550 +/- 25 grams.

    5. Member thygreyt's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 06:45 PM #5
      if you think you can, then by all means, go ahead!

    6. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 06:53 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by thygreyt View Post
      if you think you can, then by all means, go ahead!
      yeah thanks. if i can do urmom, i'm sure i can do my AC.

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      04-05-2011 07:11 PM #7
      You can easily do it but you shouldn't need to recharge your AC unless you have a slow leak somewhere. Get a the system tested for leaks prior to recharging the system. It would be a waste of money to keep recharging a leaky system.

      Contrary to what people believe...freon, or most refrigerants, never go bad. They can go for years without replacement.

    8. Member 845ryders's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:17 PM #8
      its should be 134a i believe. i do hvac for a living. if your charge is weak and you only need a little. a bottle from autozone could do it. its like 35 bucks. has a guage built in. if its a major leak. we use to use nitrogen to shoot the system to find the leak. but after you will need to vac the system and remove the contaminated oils. its not hard. where you located?btw 140 isn't bad if they will find the issues.

    9. Member CorradoG602's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:26 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by 845ryders View Post
      its should be 134a i believe. i do hvac for a living. if your charge is weak and you only need a little. a bottle from autozone could do it. its like 35 bucks. has a guage built in. if its a major leak. we use to use nitrogen to shoot the system to find the leak. but after you will need to vac the system and remove the contaminated oils. its not hard. where you located?btw 140 isn't bad if they will find the issues.
      140 is a good price and it does get leak tested
      NEK '07 Chevy Crew Cab. Formerly CorradoG60

    10. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:30 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by 845ryders View Post
      its should be 134a i believe. i do hvac for a living. if your charge is weak and you only need a little. a bottle from autozone could do it. its like 35 bucks. has a guage built in. if its a major leak. we use to use nitrogen to shoot the system to find the leak. but after you will need to vac the system and remove the contaminated oils. its not hard. where you located?btw 140 isn't bad if they will find the issues.
      i'm in the Los Angeles area. let me clarify, i don't think my system is leaking. i'm sure its just low on freon after having been used a lot over the last 60K of driving i've done. so basically i was thinking about just buying can(s) of freon and adding it myself.

    11. Member CorradoG602's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:40 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      i don't think my system is leaking.
      How do you know, did you ask your AC?

      Go buy the cans, **** up your system cause you don't know what you're doing. Then pay a **** ton of money when you could of done it right the first time and paid the $140
      Last edited by CorradoG602; 04-05-2011 at 07:42 PM.
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    12. Member 845ryders's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:43 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by CorradoG602 View Post
      How do you know, did you ask your AC?
      lmao corradog602 your a good dude. your informative and make me laugh when i read some of the **** you write.

    13. Member ABAcabby's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:43 PM #13
      I believe Freon is no longer used in cars as it's pretty toxic (hence the leakdown test). 134A is the only thing that normal uncertified consumers can buy. It doesn't blow as cold as freon, but if you're just looking for something to refill it .. 134A is the stuff you need, and you'll be doing everything legally (not that they would ever find out, but whatever).

      Still can't really help with the actual process of refilling it though (removing oils and stuff.. wouldn't even know where to begin) lol.
      Last edited by ABAcabby; 04-05-2011 at 07:46 PM.

    14. Member ACEdubs's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:47 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      yeah thanks. if i can do urmom, i'm sure i can do my AC.
      Are you fuking 12!!??! Shut the fuk up!
      Quote Originally Posted by Binary Star View Post
      Should've been more explicit - she likes to share me. Not the other way around....
      PSN: ACEdubs

    15. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:49 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by CorradoG602 View Post
      How do you know, did you ask your AC?

      Go buy the cans, **** up your system cause you don't know what you're doing. Then pay a **** ton of money when you could of done it right the first time and paid the $140
      my bad, i didn't realize this forum is full of cocksucking rednecks. sorry if i mis-used the word "freon" instead of 134A.

    16. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:50 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by ACEdubs View Post
      Are you fuking 12!!??! Shut the fuk up!
      NO thanks. and practice what you preach... tool

    17. Member CorradoG602's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 07:59 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      my bad, i didn't realize this forum is full of cocksucking rednecks. sorry if i mis-used the word "freon" instead of 134A.
      I still call it freon....but what ever. I'm trying to give you insight but I see you're acting like a child and disrespecting me and calling me a redneck. Listen pal you probably think a redneck is white trash. They are way different you fool. I've been working on VW's for 8 years and have forgotten more than you'll ever know. And since you people are such cheap bastards and won't take FREE advise I hope you **** your car up and have to pay a lot of money to replace your mistake. Then you'll put your tail between your legs and go to the dealer. Then argue with the dealer on the cost of fixing you're own mistake and call them liars and thieves. There is an easy road and hard road, you are taking the hard road. BYE
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      04-05-2011 08:01 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      i'm in the Los Angeles area. let me clarify, i don't think my system is leaking. i'm sure its just low on freon after having been used a lot over the last 60K of driving i've done. so basically i was thinking about just buying can(s) of freon and adding it myself.
      It doesn't matter how much you use your AC...you should NOT have to add refrigerant unless you have a leak...period.

      My 1985 190e has over 180k and has never had an AC recharge.

      My 2001 Honda Prelude had over 170k and never needed an AC recharge...I owned it for 8 years.

      Have it checked...you obviously have a leak.

    19. Member CorradoG602's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 08:04 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by omegared24 View Post
      It doesn't matter how much you use your AC...you should NOT have to add refrigerant unless you have a leak...period.

      My 1985 190e has over 180k and has never had an AC recharge.

      My 2001 Honda Prelude had over 170k and never needed an AC recharge...I owned it for 8 years.

      Have it checked...you obviously have a leak.
      **** him, he's being a bitch, won't take advise. Next he'll say you have a bunch of POS hondas because he has no clue what he's talking about.
      NEK '07 Chevy Crew Cab. Formerly CorradoG60

    20. Member 845ryders's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 08:05 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by ABAcabby View Post
      I believe Freon is no longer used in cars as it's pretty toxic (hence the leakdown test). 134A is the only thing that normal uncertified consumers can buy. It doesn't blow as cold as freon, but if you're just looking for something to refill it .. 134A is the stuff you need, and you'll be doing everything legally (not that they would ever find out, but whatever).

      Still can't really help with the actual process of refilling it though (removing oils and stuff.. wouldn't even know where to begin) lol.
      134a is still freon. its chemically different. its just "environmentally friendly. there are a crap load of freon types. r12 was hauled on production . but still obtainable at a astronomical price. 20lb bottle is over a grand. i do commercial and residential.but this thread took a bad turn so im done here. lolcorrado is a good dude was trying to help ya bro. thats all

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      04-05-2011 08:08 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by CorradoG602 View Post
      **** him, he's being a bitch, won't take advise. Next he'll say you have a bunch of POS hondas because he has no clue what he's talking about.
      You are probably right...we still want others to learn though

    22. Member CorradoG602's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 08:18 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by 845ryders View Post
      134a is still freon. its chemically different. its just "environmentally friendly. there are a crap load of freon types. r12 was hauled on production . but still obtainable at a astronomical price. 20lb bottle is over a grand. i do commercial and residential.but this thread took a bad turn so im done here. lolcorrado is a good dude was trying to help ya bro. thats all
      Yeah I remember when I was in college and used to deliver auto parts for some extra money on weekends we had to lock that **** up in a cage and have the customer sign for it when delivered. People were getting robbed for freon. The R134a is still bad when come in contact with a human. I saw a tech I used to work with get sent to the hospital when a schrader valve cracked when he was servicing the AC system. Since the R134a is heavier than air he had to be held upside down so it would get out of his lungs
      NEK '07 Chevy Crew Cab. Formerly CorradoG60

    23. Member 845ryders's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 08:20 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by CorradoG602 View Post
      Yeah I remember when I was in college and used to deliver auto parts for some extra money on weekends we had to lock that **** up in a cage and have the customer sign for it when delivered. People were getting robbed for freon. The R134a is still bad when come in contact with a human. I saw a tech I used to work with get sent to the hospital when a schrader valve cracked when he was servicing the AC system. Since the R134a is heavier than air he had to be held upside down so it would get out of his lungs
      yup. just think i got the best of both worlds. deal with freon and propane and fuel oil daily. freeze burn sucks bad.

    24. Member goin2fast's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 08:39 PM #24
      What year is your car. the 06 and early 07 had bad compressors. Might not be your charge
      .

    25. Member CorradoG602's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 08:58 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by goin2fast View Post
      What year is your car. the 06 and early 07 had bad compressors. Might not be your charge
      .
      Only on 2.0T's where the compressor would lock up sending "black death" through the AC system where the compressor, receiver drier, and expansion valve need to be replaced along with an AC system flush
      Last edited by CorradoG602; 04-05-2011 at 09:01 PM.
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    26. Member goin2fast's Avatar
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      04-05-2011 09:00 PM #26
      correct

    27. 04-06-2011 05:16 AM #27
      Is the $140 just a little top-off, or is it a "service". As mentioned before you can add a little freon with a can from the parts store which is no big deal, which is OK if it's just not as cold as it should be. If it's not working at all it's either leaking or you have a bad compressor or something. A "service" would be to put the system under vacuum and reclaim any old freon. Vacuum also boils out all of the moisture that got in from the leak and shows whether you actually do have a leak. At that point you should be replacing O-rings, reciever drier, and the orface tube(if it applies). all that plus the freon is gonna cost you quite a bit more than $140

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      04-06-2011 09:28 AM #28
      Its a service. evac and recharge, drain and fill pag oil, and vacuum test. And all that does take awhile. Usually 15mins for evac, 15 mins for vacuum, recharge, and 15 mins for a leak test. At least thats whet I do.
      NEK '07 Chevy Crew Cab. Formerly CorradoG60

    29. Semi-n00b gutcheck's Avatar
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      04-06-2011 11:01 AM #29
      OP, why do you think you need this done?
      Reason I ask is, my a/c started to suffer a little bit towards the end of last summer. I changed the cabin air filter, and worked like new again. No recharge needed.
      Have you checked your cabin filter?
      Mine was a little over 2 years old when this happened.

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      04-06-2011 11:40 AM #30
      Is it just me, or is it suddenly taking less and less for threads to spin out of control here in the Mk5 forum?

      Used to be a problem on the Mk3 forum, until the mods started really cracking down...

    31. Member WhiteTDI's Avatar
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      04-07-2011 03:08 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by gutcheck View Post
      OP, why do you think you need this done?
      Reason I ask is, my a/c started to suffer a little bit towards the end of last summer. I changed the cabin air filter, and worked like new again. No recharge needed.
      Have you checked your cabin filter?
      Mine was a little over 2 years old when this happened.
      Basically my car doesn't cool as well as it did new. Yes my Jetta is a 2010, however since buying it JAN of last year, I've already racked up 60K miles. That mean's i've spent A LOT of time in my vehicle and of course AC is used whenever needed. The cabin filter was replaced @ 40K, so i doubt thats it. This just started happening recently and I'm almost certain my AC system is just low on freon/134A.

    32. Member AKdub914's Avatar
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      04-07-2011 10:10 AM #32
      All u need to get by man. Autoparts store has this for cheap


      And just a easy tip, the mods lock threads on the drop of a dime in here. Everyones here to help so try n keep the beef minimal. Hope everything works out with the ac
      AKdub | I NY | THREE.8.WERKS...Ferdinand's Crew | Wheel Build | IG: @AKrapheal

    33. Member V8Star's Avatar
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      04-07-2011 10:27 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by AKdub914 View Post
      All u need to get by man. Autoparts store has this for cheap


      And just a easy tip, the mods lock threads on the drop of a dime in here. Everyones here to help so try n keep the beef minimal. Hope everything works out with the ac
      You can not monitor your pag oil with that. Kits like this from local Autoparts stores are just band aids. Why cheap out on your new car?


      Essentially, every A/C service I have done, we recover all of the r134 from the system, do a vacuum/leak test, and if the system checks out fine, add the specified amount of oil and 134.

      There is also UV dye that I have added if there is a small leak thats not easy to detect.

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      04-07-2011 05:02 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      Basically my car doesn't cool as well as it did new. Yes my Jetta is a 2010, however since buying it JAN of last year, I've already racked up 60K miles. That mean's i've spent A LOT of time in my vehicle and of course AC is used whenever needed. The cabin filter was replaced @ 40K, so i doubt thats it. This just started happening recently and I'm almost certain my AC system is just low on freon/134A.
      I spend A LOT of time in my cars too...with AC on all year round to keep the air dry. I repeat...you should NOT have to recharge your system unless you have a leak.

      Amazing how you are certain that the AC system is low on freon/134A but have no idea how to do a recharge.

    35. Semi-n00b gutcheck's Avatar
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      04-07-2011 05:21 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by WhiteTDI View Post
      Basically my car doesn't cool as well as it did new. Yes my Jetta is a 2010, however since buying it JAN of last year, I've already racked up 60K miles. That mean's i've spent A LOT of time in my vehicle and of course AC is used whenever needed. The cabin filter was replaced @ 40K, so i doubt thats it. This just started happening recently and I'm almost certain my AC system is just low on freon/134A.
      Since it's been 20,000 plus miles, it is possible for the filter to get clogged. Mine got pretty filled up in about the same time. I took it out (it was full of junk), dumped it, and put it back in. It made a huge difference. It's free to check it, and it only takes 5 minutes.

      Like other are saying, I don't think you should need a refill just because you drive a lot of miles.

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