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Using R134 kits for car A/C

Lutherf

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I've always shied away from stuff I considered "gimmicky" but my truck A/C has needed a charge for a while and I just never got to it. Anyway, I finally decided to just buy one of those R134 cannisters at the parts store to see if it actually worked (why spend $100 at the shop if a $40 can will fix the problem, right?). Well, apparently I've been an idiot because that stuff worked GREAT!!

You just clamp the connector to your low side line, check the pressure with the gauge on the can and add refrigerant until it comes up to pressure. The whole process took maybe 10 minutes and my A/C went from weak to arctic!
 

CRUE CAB

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Here is the dealio, if you need freon? You have a leak, what you put in will leak out eventually too.
It may leak out tomorrow, it may take a year. But it will leak.
So then you are into the next $40, and that makes it $80.
Find a good shop, let them charge it and put a dye in at the same time.
That way the leak can be found easier.
What kind of truck?
 

sawyerloggingon

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I've always shied away from stuff I considered "gimmicky" but my truck A/C has needed a charge for a while and I just never got to it. Anyway, I finally decided to just buy one of those R134 cannisters at the parts store to see if it actually worked (why spend $100 at the shop if a $40 can will fix the problem, right?). Well, apparently I've been an idiot because that stuff worked GREAT!!

You just clamp the connector to your low side line, check the pressure with the gauge on the can and add refrigerant until it comes up to pressure. The whole process took maybe 10 minutes and my A/C went from weak to arctic!

I have wondered about that stuff too. I had it right there with head gasket fix but it seems like it worked, good info.
 

SMTA

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I've always shied away from stuff I considered "gimmicky" but my truck A/C has needed a charge for a while and I just never got to it. Anyway, I finally decided to just buy one of those R134 cannisters at the parts store to see if it actually worked (why spend $100 at the shop if a $40 can will fix the problem, right?). Well, apparently I've been an idiot because that stuff worked GREAT!!

You just clamp the connector to your low side line, check the pressure with the gauge on the can and add refrigerant until it comes up to pressure. The whole process took maybe 10 minutes and my A/C went from weak to arctic!

Been doing this for years - it saves a lot of money.

Just watch the ambient temperature and the pressure on the gauge - overfilling can cause excessive pressure, which can cause issues with the compressor.

Stay within the green on the gauge and match the pressure to outside temp and you should be fine.
 

Lutherf

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Here is the dealio, if you need freon? You have a leak, what you put in will leak out eventually too.
It may leak out tomorrow, it may take a year. But it will leak.
So then you are into the next $40, and that makes it $80.
Find a good shop, let them charge it and put a dye in at the same time.
That way the leak can be found easier.
What kind of truck?

It's a '98 Explorer and I have no idea when the last time it was that it was given a charge. My understanding is that even under ideal conditions a charge won't last decades so if it was still on the original charge I'm not too worried about a leak. If it goes hot again by next year I'll deal with it then. I actually just bought the thing from a client a couple of months ago and only paid $1k so I'm not about to dump a ton into it if I don't need to.
 

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yeah.. i'm not a fan whatsoever... to me it's like fix-a-flat... you aren't really fixing anything, your just kicking the can down the road.

those cans are just r134 with a low side gauge on it... nothing more, nothing less.
( there are additives, such as duracool, but those aren't what we are talking about here)


then again, I have all the tools and knowledge to properly repair automotive A/C... and it's not very hard to do.it's very easy to troubleshoot ,too ( getting to some components is hard, though.)
 

Thrilla

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Been doing this for years - it saves a lot of money.

Just watch the ambient temperature and the pressure on the gauge - overfilling can cause excessive pressure, which can cause issues with the compressor.

Stay within the green on the gauge and match the pressure to outside temp and you should be fine.

when you use these cans, you'll never know what pressure the high side is runnin'...it is possible for the low side to read in the "normal" range , but have excessive pressure on the high side... a faulty orifice tube (or expansion valve) can cause such a condition...so can a faulty receiver/drier or accumulator ( not likely , though)
 

CRUE CAB

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It's a '98 Explorer and I have no idea when the last time it was that it was given a charge. My understanding is that even under ideal conditions a charge won't last decades so if it was still on the original charge I'm not too worried about a leak. If it goes hot again by next year I'll deal with it then. I actually just bought the thing from a client a couple of months ago and only paid $1k so I'm not about to dump a ton into it if I don't need to.
For a grand that aint bad.
I still call them exploders though. LOL
Drive it like you stole it then sell for what you paid for it in a couple years.
 

CRUE CAB

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I have wondered about that stuff too. I had it right there with head gasket fix but it seems like it worked, good info.

It works, I used a can on my Firebird. But its a 93 and had so many leaks it was not worth it after while.
Ripped that ac out and never looked back.
Now my 99 Jimmy had an ac problem. That got a total rebuild of the system asap. Its hot down here.
 

MACS-24

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It's a '98 Explorer and I have no idea when the last time it was that it was given a charge. My understanding is that even under ideal conditions a charge won't last decades so if it was still on the original charge I'm not too worried about a leak. If it goes hot again by next year I'll deal with it then. I actually just bought the thing from a client a couple of months ago and only paid $1k so I'm not about to dump a ton into it if I don't need to.

Definitely not a gimmick, just the market and production finally allowed it to be reasonably affordable and available. There are a lot of crimped fittings, along with regular threaded fittings, that are most likely going to leak some eventually. If it is faster than average from here on out, something to think about is loss of lubricating oil for the compressor - might want to ask some A/C person (or Google) about adding oil during next recharge.
 
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