Refrigerant Refill Question

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 14 May 2006, 08:00 pm   #1 (permalink)
bauz
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Refrigerant Refill Question

1991 Camry DX
5 years ago the compressor was replaced and the refrigerant was changed
from R-12 to 134A. It worked well until I tested it again today. It was
cooling, but the air was not cold as it used to be, therefore I believe
that it is a problem of missing 134A.
In walmart there are inexpensive 134A refilling kits - Did anyone had
experience with those kits? is it simple as it looks in the instructions,
or should I leave this jobs to professionals who use professional grade
equipment? Thanks!

  Reply With Quote
Old 15 May 2006, 03:57 pm   #2 (permalink)
Travis Jordan
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question

bauz wrote:
> 1991 Camry DX
> 5 years ago the compressor was replaced and the refrigerant was
> changed from R-12 to 134A. It worked well until I tested it again
> today. It was cooling, but the air was not cold as it used to be,
> therefore I believe that it is a problem of missing 134A.


If the refrigerant is missing then you have a leak. Get the leak fixed,
then have the system evacuated and refilled. Refilling an empty system
with R-134a without first evacuating it is a certain path to trouble.


  Reply With Quote
Old 16 May 2006, 02:16 am   #3 (permalink)
bauz
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question

Thank you for your advice - I guess I will have to leave it for the
professionals and avoid a bigger problem...

  Reply With Quote
Old 16 May 2006, 11:48 am   #4 (permalink)
Jason James
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question


"bauz" <b_nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:ade38c46a25ea96be87ba7db19872cc0@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
> Thank you for your advice - I guess I will have to leave it for the
> professionals and avoid a bigger problem...


AC can be costly to repair as I found out when I bought my '96 Camry.
Someone had run the compressor after a stone had holed the condensor
effectively stuffing the compressor due lack of lubricant and cooling (from
the now lost refridgerant). So after $650 for a new Nippondenso
compressor,..a drier, and other tests and evacuation then refill,..I was up
for the best part of a thousand smackers,..but, ever since then, in our
40cplus summers, I;ve had a very good functioning AC which keeps the cabin
temp down to 26c on the hottest summer day some 50+c in the Sun, cruising on
long trips, Worth every penny IMHO.
If you can afford it, get it done right and if you drive on roads where
gravel is thrown up,..fit a stone-guard.

Jason


  Reply With Quote
Old 18 May 2006, 03:41 pm   #5 (permalink)
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question


"bauz" <b_nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:43a7d1443aa5444beb23cdff064bd53b@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
> 1991 Camry DX
> 5 years ago the compressor was replaced and the refrigerant was changed
> from R-12 to 134A. It worked well until I tested it again today. It was
> cooling, but the air was not cold as it used to be, therefore I believe
> that it is a problem of missing 134A.
> In walmart there are inexpensive 134A refilling kits - Did anyone had
> experience with those kits? is it simple as it looks in the instructions,
> or should I leave this jobs to professionals who use professional grade
> equipment? Thanks!


Many air conditioners may leak a small amount of coolant with time.
If you are still cooling after 5 years, clearly you have not lost ALL your
refrigerant. You may have a small leak that is really not worth the expense
of fixing it.

The 134A kits (with good quality hose and pressure gauge) are easy to use,
and you can top up your refrigerant charge easily. Read the instructions,
go
slowly, and charge conservatively.

If you have a major leak, then a professional - not necessarily a
dealership -
is the way to go, but for a small top up, those kits work fine.


  Reply With Quote
Old 20 May 2006, 04:16 pm   #6 (permalink)
bauz
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question

I did not use the A/C for a long time, last summer I hardly drove the car,
and so far it had been nice weather. The A/C is working, I think it got
better when I tried it for the second time, but maybe it just because it
was not as hot outside. As I started the A/C I saw some bubbling through
the check glass, which gradually reduced their activity, but it never
ceased.
I read the procedure in Chilton, and some theory about car A/C operation,
and therefore I believe that some refrigerant is missing but there is no
major leak. I think I should try to do it myself, and invest the money I
would save into a more professional equipment (and proper gloves and eye
protection for any accidents with high pressure refrigerant...).

Thank you for your advice.

  Reply With Quote
Old 21 May 2006, 08:31 am   #7 (permalink)
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question


"bauz" <b_nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:5af76b65cea2e9d93579004841e24bfb@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
> I did not use the A/C for a long time, last summer I hardly drove the car,
> and so far it had been nice weather. The A/C is working, I think it got
> better when I tried it for the second time, but maybe it just because it
> was not as hot outside. As I started the A/C I saw some bubbling through
> the check glass, which gradually reduced their activity, but it never
> ceased.
> I read the procedure in Chilton, and some theory about car A/C operation,
> and therefore I believe that some refrigerant is missing but there is no
> major leak. I think I should try to do it myself, and invest the money I
> would save into a more professional equipment (and proper gloves and eye
> protection for any accidents with high pressure refrigerant...).
>
> Thank you for your advice.


You are lucky to have a sight glass. It can be helpful for topping up the
charge.

When you turn on the AC, it is normal for the refrigerant to have bubbles at
first, but it should clear up after a short time. Since yours doesn't, it
is an indication
that you are a bit low on charge.

Buy the kit with a can of R134A, hose, can tap, and pressure gauge. Follow
the
instructions on how to set it up. You only add refrigerant into the low
pressure
side of the system, and usually this is simplified by the fact that your kit
connector
won't fit on the high pressure side.

The car should be running, the AC on full, and the doors open.
Keep the refrigerant can vertical, so that you will only add vapor to the
system.
Watch the pressure gauge (and the sight glass). When your bubbles disappear
in the sight glass, you are nearing optimum charge. The pressure gauge will
give
you a more reliable measurement.

You open the valve on the can tap, allow some refrigerant to enter the
system, and
you will see a corresponding change in pressure on the gauge. Stay within
the
guideline limits of pressure. After each addition, let the pressure reach
equilibrium...
this can take a few seconds. Don't overcharge.

This is a simple and safe process. Always, when you are working under the
hood
of a car with the engine running, be sure not to get tangled up in the fans
or belts,
don't let metal parts ( a wedding ring is a particularly bad one) get across
electrical
cables, etc.


  Reply With Quote
Old 22 May 2006, 10:48 am   #8 (permalink)
bauz
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question

Thank you for the detailed instructions.
When I first connected the pressure gauge, it showed about 15PSI. After I
open the valve on the can tap it went up to 25 and stayed there. I tried
to to keep valve fully open and and rev up the engine, but it did not make
a difference. The pressure stayed on 25 PSI when I closed the tap, but
there were still bubbles in the sight glass.
I'm planning to repeat the procedure next weekend, and thinking of how to
improve the results. I read that it is advised to put the can in warm
water (105f/40c) to increase the pressure in the can. I avoided using this
method because it was not mentioned in the instructions and I assumed that
the can is already pressured enough. Another possible cause is the fact
that it was pretty cold outside while I was charging the system in the
morning. I hope that next weekend I would be able to do it in the
afternoon.

I will update again with the results. Thanks again for your advice.

  Reply With Quote
Old 25 May 2006, 12:14 am   #9 (permalink)
bauz
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question

Update - today I had a chance to test the A/C at 2pm after the car stood in
the sun all day, and within few minutes the car turned into a meat locker.
So I am pretty happy with the $27 solution, not to mention that the can is
still almost full and can be used for future refills.

The only question remaining - I can still see activity in the sight class.
I do not know if it is different the low refrigerant - before it looked
like bubbles coming up and now it looks more like a flow of water. Maybe
it is related to the fact that in my first attempt I was only able to
bring up the pressure into 25PSI, which is marginal. I am still planing to
try increas the pressure, just in order to see whether it would clear the
sight glass activity.

  Reply With Quote
Old 26 May 2006, 02:04 pm   #10 (permalink)
Guest
  • Posts: n/a
  • User Status:


Default Re: Refrigerant Refill Question


"bauz" <b_nospam@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:d2b0eb960517748cfa3a3693ccccaf39@localhost.ta lkaboutautos.com...
> Update - today I had a chance to test the A/C at 2pm after the car stood

in
> the sun all day, and within few minutes the car turned into a meat locker.
> So I am pretty happy with the $27 solution, not to mention that the can is
> still almost full and can be used for future refills.


Sometimes you run into a situation like that where the system doesn't seem
to want to take the charge at first.

Sometimes you haven't punctured the can very well. You can run the puncture
needle back into the can deeply, and retract it again, to see if this frees
up the
movement of the refrigerant. (Note...that refrigerant you had left over
wont last
too long.. It WILL usually leak out, no matter what you do)

Sometimes the charge valve and hose adaptor seem to resist flow of
refrigerant.
You can jiggle a little, remove the hose adaptor and then reinstall it, etc.

And definitely yes, you can set the can into a pan of warm water. Maintain
the can
in the vertical position. You can even shake the can a little but keep it
vertical.
Be patient.

Don't try to charge liquid refrigerant into the low pressure side of a
running compressor. Some people do it and get away with it, but dont risk
it.


  Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:09 am.

Attribution:
Autoblog
Powered by Yahoo Answers



ToyotaLexusForum.com is an unofficial community for car enthusiasts. ToyotaLexusForum.com is not affiliated with Toyota Motor Corporation in any way.
Toyota Motor Corporation does not sponsor, support, or endorse ToyotaLexusForum.com in any way.
Copyright/trademark/sales mark infringements are not intended or implied.