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MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

Motronic posted:

You should bring it to someone who can be arsed to at least check the static and running pressures.

I'm confused about "the car was cooling down to 4 degrees from a single vent" If by this you mean it was working properly as far as cooling, just not out of the right vents then you have a different issue that likely involves the blend doors or control panel.

Yeah sorry he told us that when measuring the temperature from a single vent, with all the others closed, the temperature should be (IIRC) 2-12 degrees C on a working A/C. That's the rationale behind not wanting to hook it up and check the pressures as it's working according to him. He did look down and inspect the compressor, but couldn't give any additional information or a theory as to why it's not working when temperatures go up. When it's engaged it cools like hell, so I'm not surprised at the vent temperature measurement. To be honest, I'm happy that he didn't go through with it because that price is almost double of any other place I've ever seen so I'd rather take it someplace else when time isn't as critical as it was this time. Thankfully I lucked out with the temperatures in Berlin as we managed to drive on the day where there was a window in the heatwave.

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Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Motronic posted:

Find a shop that does AC repair.......this sounds like you basically need to start with checking system pressures. Happy to help evaluate their diagnosis/quote, but like I'm sure I put in the OP: this almost always starts with needing a set of gauges to get anywhere into a diagnosis.

Thanks dude. I will do that.

Re: the OP, as I mentioned I skimmed/skipped most of it because it appeared to be a (well constructed) guide to doing it yourself but also scaring away people who shouldn't be doing it themselves (like me).

InitialDave
Jun 14, 2007

I Want To Believe.


ATS Euromaster have a Groupon thing at present for AC check and regas, I just had them do my Daihatsu (and holy poo poo it actually loving worked - I was expecting them to say it was leaking like a sieve and not worth filling until fixed).

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Jaded Burnout posted:

it appeared to be a (well constructed) guide to doing it yourself but also scaring away people who shouldn't be doing it themselves (like me).

Mission accomplished. Thank you. It was intended for both audiences.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


MrOnBicycle posted:

Yeah sorry he told us that when measuring the temperature from a single vent, with all the others closed, the temperature should be (IIRC) 2-12 degrees C on a working A/C. That's the rationale behind not wanting to hook it up and check the pressures as it's working according to him.

He's lazy, plain and simple. It takes 5 minutes to hook up gauges and get a reading.

Those temps are low enough that it might be a bit undercharged - and AC will blow a bit colder than it should when undercharged (but be very prone to freezing up the evaporator coils - with a 4C temp at the vents, there's a good chance the coils are indeed very close to freezing up). Do you ever get fog out of the vents, particularly if you turn off the AC but leave the fan on?

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

STR posted:

He's lazy, plain and simple. It takes 5 minutes to hook up gauges and get a reading.

Those temps are low enough that it might be a bit undercharged - and AC will blow a bit colder than it should when undercharged (but be very prone to freezing up the evaporator coils - with a 4C temp at the vents, there's a good chance the coils are indeed very close to freezing up). Do you ever get fog out of the vents, particularly if you turn off the AC but leave the fan on?

I've not noticed any fog ever, but will be on the lookout in the future. Will advise my dad to go to another shop and get it checked or maybe have the garage check it when it's going in for a service.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Was going to use this guide to try to diagnose my Isuzu Fargo van but A: I could not find the A/C fittings on it yet (engine is under the seats, will look under the van soon) and B: the gauges were $65 at Harbor Freight, wasn't expecting that. Would the $35 gauge sets on Amazon be OK?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

By all reports these seem to work fine: https://www.amazon.com/OrionMotorTe...=gateway&sr=8-8

They look to be nearly the same as most of the $30-75 sets.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

Motronic posted:

By all reports these seem to work fine: https://www.amazon.com/OrionMotorTe...=gateway&sr=8-8

They look to be nearly the same as most of the $30-75 sets.

Cool, ordering now. Thanks!

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I have one of those sets. It works well enough, though the high-side quick connector is a bit fiddly. All the more reason to a) wear heavy gloves and b) don't hook it up or disconnect while the system is running.

The fact that it comes with a can tap means you should be okay, the set I bought needed a cheap adapter to work with the can tap I already had.

RIP Paul Walker
Feb 26, 2004



everdave posted:

Was going to use this guide to try to diagnose my Isuzu Fargo van but A: I could not find the A/C fittings on it yet (engine is under the seats, will look under the van soon) and B: the gauges were $65 at Harbor Freight, wasn't expecting that. Would the $35 gauge sets on Amazon be OK?

Itís probably in the front (assuming thatís where the radiator and condenser is). Thatís where my MR2ís connectors are at least.

everdave
Nov 14, 2005

For The Record...

RIP Paul Walker posted:

Itís probably in the front (assuming thatís where the radiator and condenser is). Thatís where my MR2ís connectors are at least.

Will look not sure that there is a way to open the front, might have to get at it from underneath

meatpimp
May 15, 2004

Psst -- Wanna buy

EVERYWHERE
some high-quality thread's DESTROYED!



Reposting this from the chat thread because it applies here, but I'll probably make Motronic roll his eyes due to my improper chemical handling.

quote:

Trip report: Chemical burns, but ice cold air conditioning.

2000 Toyota Avalon -- I've had it a couple years, 166k miles and smoked in like it was making brisket. I got rid of all the odors with and ozone generator right after I got it, but the AC was always tepid. Gauges said the charge was fine, I just dealt with it.

But this year, it started cooling better, and I noticed drainage from the condensate drain for the first time. I started to think that there may be some poo poo on the evaporator, so I squirted some coil cleaner up the drain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I drove it and had the compressor run for about 45 minutes to get as much of the coil cleaner off as possible.

The result? 49* air out of the center vents with recirculating off and 38* air out of the center vents with recirculating on... and an 86* ambient temperature.

The only bad part was that I missed a dollop of coil cleaner on my forearm when I washed my hands, and when I looked down an hour later, the hair was gone and the skin was red where it was. Washed it off and dumped some baking soda on it. Good enough for triage.

The wounds healed fine and the car was ice cold today at 91* ambient.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

You did a good job of sending it meatpimp. And now you have cold air.

Carry on my good goon.

PainterofCrap
Oct 17, 2002

Hey bebe





2000 Accord EX V6 auto. Just inherited this car, belonged to a neighbor, 186K.

Start car. Turn on A/C. Blows cold for about two minutes, then warms up.

Put gauge set on it. Low side 30. High side 160. Compressor stays on all the time, unless I turn it off in the car. Gauges never change (i.e. does not seem to be cycling).

Guessing that the orifice is blocked. Based on the above, I'm hoping it's blocked with moisture/ice.

If I perform a proper evacuation of the system & vacuum it all the way down: should that remove any moisture in the system? I want to try this before I sigh, pull the passenger seat, and waste a whole day tearing into the evaporator box...

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

You totally want to accidentally unbolt a line get it properly evacuated and replace the receiver/dryer and orifice tube (but the r/d it will probably come with that) and fill it to the correct charge weight. 23 ounces of R134a (5.5 ounces of PAG 46) by my charts. I'd say based on no information about being a super bad leak you want to do 1/4 of that PAG on your re-fill and obviously all of the refrigerant.


PainterofCrap posted:

If I perform a proper evacuation of the system & vacuum it all the way down: should that remove any moisture in the system?

If you replace the receiver/dryer yes.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


Motronic posted:

You totally want to accidentally unbolt a line while wearing extremely thick leather gloves and long sleeves

Fixed that error in what you shouldn't be doing.

PainterofCrap
Oct 17, 2002

Hey bebe





Thank you...I was hoping I wouldn't have to replace the orifice yube but should probably anyway.

I was operating on the fantasy that moisture in the system was causing icing on the low side & blocking the orifice, which might magically be remedied by evacuating the system & replacing the receiver/drier (orifice tube is at the core, buried in the dash)

e: am I confusing the expansion valve with the orifice tube?

PainterofCrap fucked around with this message at 02:49 on Jul 4, 2019

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004



AC seems cold enough, but I swear my fan isn't blowing as hard as it should. All the way up doesn't seem particularly windy, and my "Max AC" button doesn't change fan speed like it used to. 2008 Civic SI sedan, and I've had AC issues in the past which I had fixed, all temperature related.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester


How long since you changed the cabin air filter?

And that button doesn't change the fan speed; it changes it to recirculate (if it's not already on recirculate), sets the output to dash vents, and turns on the AC (if it's not already on). Recirculate can make it sound like the fan is louder/faster, because it's pulling air from inside the car instead of outside.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

PainterofCrap posted:

Thank you...I was hoping I wouldn't have to replace the orifice yube but should probably anyway.

e: am I confusing the expansion valve with the orifice tube?

I don't know - are you? I took your word for it that your car had one. If it does it's super cheap and right in the r/d so replace it. If it has a txv it's buried in the dash, expensive and not likely your problem so don't.

KKKLIP ART
Sep 3, 2004



STR posted:

How long since you changed the cabin air filter?

And that button doesn't change the fan speed; it changes it to recirculate (if it's not already on recirculate), sets the output to dash vents, and turns on the AC (if it's not already on). Recirculate can make it sound like the fan is louder/faster, because it's pulling air from inside the car instead of outside.

You know itís actually been a minute. Iíll snag one from auxtozone or wherever and see if that helps. I was thinking f blower motor so a cheap filter seems like a better starting point.

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Motronic posted:

I don't know - are you? I took your word for it that your car had one. If it does it's super cheap and right in the r/d so replace it. If it has a txv it's buried in the dash, expensive and not likely your problem so don't.

Hondas have a thing for killing TXVs. My 2013 CR-V ate one last year. The part is cheapish but gently caress THAT LABOR that job still gives me nightmares. And I'm slightly worried that the one I put in last year is failing again.

My original one failed for good when I pulled a vacuum on it, stuck completely shut.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

I don't do much (any) Honda work - do the pretty much all have TXVs? I should probably stop being lazy and remote to the shop computer to look this poo poo up.

PainterofCrap
Oct 17, 2002

Hey bebe





This 2000 Accord definitely has one; what I don't know is if it also has an orifice tube on the receiver/drier.

I'm going to replace the r/d, pull vacuum, recharge it & report back.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

PainterofCrap posted:

This 2000 Accord definitely has one; what I don't know is if it also has an orifice tube on the receiver/drier.

I'm going to replace the r/d, pull vacuum, recharge it & report back.

It's one or the other. You have a TXV and a r/d or a cap tube/orifice tube and an accumulator (I was playing fast and loose with calling that an r/d since it's basically the same).

So it sounds like you have a TXV and probably should hope for the best on this just being low refrigerant, otherwise you're into knuckle busting work to replace the TXV.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Motronic posted:

Find a shop that does AC repair.......this sounds like you basically need to start with checking system pressures. Happy to help evaluate their diagnosis/quote, but like I'm sure I put in the OP: this almost always starts with needing a set of gauges to get anywhere into a diagnosis.

I took it in to my usual, they did a regas, problem solved. I should do it more frequently, I wasn't aware that there was a lubrication component to the gas too.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

Jaded Burnout posted:

I took it in to my usual, they did a regas, problem solved. I should do it more frequently, I wasn't aware that there was a lubrication component to the gas too.

Ehhhh....I wouldn't say it should be a frequent thing. But in most stuff you're looking at around 5 years. Some stuff is sooner, all depends on the length/number of barrier hoses (stuff with rear AC for example).

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Motronic posted:

Ehhhh....I wouldn't say it should be a frequent thing. But in most stuff you're looking at around 5 years. Some stuff is sooner, all depends on the length/number of barrier hoses (stuff with rear AC for example).

I've seen suggestions of around 2 year intervals, but given I've not done it in the 5 years I've owned it and I've no idea if/when the PO did, it could be double that since it was last done. So, "more frequently" is perhaps misleading since "ever" is more frequent than "never", perhaps I should say "I should do it on a regular (if long) schedule rather than just waiting for it to stop working".

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





I would literally never proactively touch an A/C system if it isn't acting up. As long as it's all still sealed, the oil in it doesn't get abused hard enough to degrade.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

If I ran an AC shop I'd definitely suggest every 2 years

But seriously....do it when you notice issues. Make sure they put dye in it, so if there is a leak it's obvious to you/them the next time you have problems.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




Cool. Yeah, they put a UV dye in it and told me to head back in if performance drops rapidly (indicating pressure loss from dry seals getting repressurised for the first time in a while, I guess).

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

The worst part about taking a semi-working A/C to a shop is that you can walk out of there with no A/C at all and a "won't fill until this is fixed" bill @ ~$1200.

Jaded Burnout
Jul 10, 2004




I got the impression that my lot just hooked it up to an automated machine and let it do its thing for an hour. I guess why it's a fixed £69.99 price (nice) because they don't bother with the diagnostics beforehand.

Lightbulb Out
Apr 28, 2006

slack jawed yokel


2011 Honda Fit.

Compressor has started cycling a lot more than often, even while driving, causing some funky driving.

After sitting, it's ok for a little bit but then will start short cycling. When it is functioning, it's nice and cold.

First step to get gauges and see what my pressures are?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

Lightbulb Out posted:

First step to get gauges and see what my pressures are?

As always.

Lightbulb Out
Apr 28, 2006

slack jawed yokel


Motronic posted:

As always.

Any gauge recommendations? I went to the local places but no one had gauges, just the single use R134a cans with a single gauge on top.

Amazon ones have wild reviews.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

Lightbulb Out posted:

Any gauge recommendations? I went to the local places but no one had gauges, just the single use R134a cans with a single gauge on top.

Amazon ones have wild reviews.

I should probably update the OP with this.

But here:

https://www.amazon.com/OrionMotorTe...=gateway&sr=8-4

Spend $31 on them, or spend up to $75 on some other set. They are all the same poo poo. The negative reviews are because the quality control is so bad that many fail out of the box or soon after. The hoses are made of lovely plastic so don't get them in oil or solvent and if you do clean them immediately.

The bottom line is that you roll the dice on these temporary tools or shell out for a pro set that you surely don't need and won't get the utility/money back out of unless maybe you find a good deal at a local used tool place (typically right after the tech school semester ends).

Lightbulb Out
Apr 28, 2006

slack jawed yokel


Lightbulb Out posted:

Any gauge recommendations? I went to the local places but no one had gauges, just the single use R134a cans with a single gauge on top.

Amazon ones have wild reviews.

I went to Autozone and well


That's not gone well.

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IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





Was the compressor actually running? Because that looks like a system that isn't doing anything at all at the moment.

Also, one to file away for future reference - the newer the car is, the more likely the HVAC will try to do things to save itself from damage that you might not expect. My CR-V's blower motor was going out, occasionally requiring percussive maintenance to start. (It was a cheap replacement for the original, which had developed bearing noise). While this was going on, before I got around to replacing the motor, on at least two instances it would not start the compressor at all. I thought I might have been dealing with both an electrical issue with the blower (either wiring or the motor itself), and an issue with the compressor engaging (system pressures, coil, relay, etc). After replacing the blower it hasn't recurred. I'm thinking the HVAC in that car won't engage the compressor if it doesn't think the fan can work.

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