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Suicide Watch
Sep 8, 2009


Thanks for the great first post, OP! My a/c crapped out a week ago and I've just ordered a gauge set to diagnose the problem. I'm hoping it's not a system leak but UV dye will tell.

Two questions to start:
- how important is it to purge the service line prior to opening the low pressure valve to add refrigerant?
- are those cans of R-134a that include UV dye okay, or is it better to add it via the service line?

Thanks, I'll have more questions sure to come when the gauge set comes in.

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Suicide Watch
Sep 8, 2009


Was charging my a/c today but it's still not cold...I think I'll be taking it to the shop soon but want to have some reference point going in.
It's about 80-90ºF outside today and my static pressures were about 100-110psi. After starting the engine and turning on a/c, I could see the compressor clutch engage, with low pressure indicating around 14-20psi and high pressures around 70-90psi. The car interior still isn't getting any colder at all. What's keeping the system from working?

From what I can tell:
1) Compressor seems to work
2) System seems to be taking refrigerant
3) Static pressures on hi/lo seem to equilibrate, so no clogs?

If it helps, last summer when I charged the system I got cool air even from when the low gauge was only up to about 10psi.

Suicide Watch
Sep 8, 2009


Motronic posted:

Is the condenser fan running at all? If yes, does it have blades on it? All of them? Is the condenser clean enough for air to go through it?

Well, I never thought about that but it runs. The car has the radiator and condenser in-line with a shared fan, and I haven't had any cooling issues either.
Could it actually be the compressor? There's a slight hissing noise that comes on only when I turn the a/c on. Could it be faulty even if the a/c clutch engages and a pressure differential exists between the hi and lo gauges?

Suicide Watch
Sep 8, 2009


Motronic posted:

Sure. I mean, I'm thinking that your pressure differential sounds a little low, but not catastrophically so. It should be doing some cooling. That's why I'm asking about other stuff too.

And on that note: are you sure the blend door is even working inside? Because you really should be seeing SOME sort of vent temp difference.

Just checked. I don't think it's the blend doors, since when I set the temp to max heat, the air coming out was definitely hotter.

Suicide Watch
Sep 8, 2009


Motronic posted:

Sure. I mean, I'm thinking that your pressure differential sounds a little low, but not catastrophically so. It should be doing some cooling. That's why I'm asking about other stuff too.

And on that note: are you sure the blend door is even working inside? Because you really should be seeing SOME sort of vent temp difference.

Well, there was at least a condenser leak–My UV lamp wasnt strong enough but the shop found it easily. Given the age of the system there were likely other leak points too, so I’m glad I had them do the work before this scorcher of a week. Apparently some cars have a low refrigerant pressure shut off valve?

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Suicide Watch
Sep 8, 2009



So that must have been why the condenser wasn't cooling–that said I put in almost a full can of refrigerant so even though it was leaking I'm surprised there wasn't enough in the system.

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