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Recharging the AC

Old 03-26-2009, 10:34 AM
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soshiv
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Default Recharging the AC

How hard is it to recharge the AC with freon? My AC still blows cold, but it doesnt blow that ice cold like it used to so I figured it could use some freon. Is there a guide anywhere? Can we actually do it or does it have to be taken to the stealership?
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:05 AM
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Hmmm I have that same issue and want to recharge before summer kicks in.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:26 AM
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striker27
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Why do you not just get a recharge kit and attach it to the port under the drivers side corner engine cover. I think the pressure should be in the 35 to 40 pound range.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:29 AM
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Thats what I was thinking of doing, just picking up a can of r134a and the hoses and charging it myself.. just wasnt sure if there was a special way to do it or it had to be done at the dealership
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:32 AM
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You try first and let me know how it turns out
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:41 AM
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I was gonna wait for a pro to chime in before I travel down that road
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:34 PM
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I bought a recharge kit for my sisters pt cruiser and did her a/c. Looking at the Z, its pretty much the same setup. Refill at the bottom a/c cooling lines, with the appropriate amount of pressure (on the a/c recharge kit, itl'll say the specs). I did that to her car like a year and a half ago I think. Still good as new. I'm surprised, my Z is 2004 and its still good on the a/c juice.
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Old 03-28-2009, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by soshiv View Post
How hard is it to recharge the AC with freon?
considering new A/C systems like on the z do not use freon anymore, i think it will be impossible to do this. now like was metioned already, you can recharge the system yourself with R134a you can get at any auto parts store.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:26 AM
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The A/C system has 2 sides, the high and low. When you buy a recharge kit the fitting that comes with it should only connect to the low pressure side. When connected and ready to add refrigerant the engine should be running and a/c on max cooling. Hold the recharge can in the up position, the can should start getting cold. Care should be taken to not over-charge the system so don't add too much at once. I know my car has a green dye in the a/c system but I'm not sure if it was from the factory but a lot of recharge cans are offered with a dye to locate leaks, for cars most leaks occur at the compressor shaft seal.

Adding some charge is really easy so go for it.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:34 AM
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The word "Freon" was once a brand name for a refrigerant but has over time just become a generic term for refrigerant, that said freon is not specific as to any type. I work in refrigeration and never use the word freon but I understand what someone means when used.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:42 AM
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Just be careful not to overcharge the system! you'll know when the A/C won't turn on at all! i would recomend the recharge kit with the gauge so you dont go above 35, i think that was the magic number
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:20 PM
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and post pics of the process
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:42 PM
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damn i just overcharged my system with too much r134a.. Anyone know how to relieve the excess refrigerants and lower the pressure of it? I think i went to between 45-50 psi.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by *ICE* View Post
damn i just overcharged my system with too much r134a.. Anyone know how to relieve the excess refrigerants and lower the pressure of it? I think i went to between 45-50 psi.
i would take it to the dealer. i believe it's illegal to relieve the pressure/refrigerant into the air. i believe it's deadly.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by *ICE* View Post
damn i just overcharged my system with too much r134a.. Anyone know how to relieve the excess refrigerants and lower the pressure of it? I think i went to between 45-50 psi.
Same as taking air out of a tire, just press the schrader valve in.

It is a crime to release refrigerent into the air though, so don't get caught
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:24 PM
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So wat happened w this. Interested. I'm about to do my relocation lines for my turbo and I had heard something about vacuuming the line or something. Can any one chime in
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:40 AM
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Wow this thread is old!

So a few things happened since I've posted in this one. I installed a Injen CAI which rubbed a hole in my high pressure AC line. I ended up ordering a new line from Z1 and replaced the line, pretty easy. Then just refilled the line with R134a refill kits from Walmart. I read I should vacuum the system but it's been quite a while now and my AC has been working great.

Question, should I be worried about any damages from not vacuuming the line?
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by eyeSea View Post
Wow this thread is old!

So a few things happened since I've posted in this one. I installed a Injen CAI which rubbed a hole in my high pressure AC line. I ended up ordering a new line from Z1 and replaced the line, pretty easy. Then just refilled the line with R134a refill kits from Walmart. I read I should vacuum the system but it's been quite a while now and my AC has been working great.

Question, should I be worried about any damages from not vacuuming the line?
Yes.

The A/C system is meant to compress refrigerant, not air and water. If your system was open to the atmosphere, the drier should be replaced, and the system should be vacuumed down for at least a 1/2 hour to remove all the air and moisture. If you just replaced a hose and charged the system, it has a bunch of air and moisture in it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:17 PM
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hi to all
Go to Autozone or O'Reilly's or Advance or Napa or wherever, and get the recharge kit with the GAUGE- don't be cheap- it is only about 30 bucks or so. Then, you have a reusable part and you can use the little cans forever after to top off the system. Mine took about 10 years to finally run low enough to require a refill. The low pressure inlet is under the driver's side plastic cover. You need a temperature measuring tool- like a thermocouple or a temperature readout like sold in Harbor Freight Tool, or similar (like 5 or 10 dollars). Measure the temperature of the outside air. Write it down. Then put the temperature sensor in the cold air outlet by the drivers door. Close the door. Turn on the engine, put the AC on recirc, 60 degrees, maximum fan speed. Hook up the gauge and the can of R-134a. There is a chart (usually on the can of refrigerant) to tell you how to set the gauge indicator on the can based on the temperature of the OUTSIDE air that you wrote down.

The inlet pressure depends in part on the temperature of the air- in the winter the inlet pressure will be low, like 25-30 psi if everything is OK. In the summer, at 85 or 90F (or 120 where i live), it will be in the range of 45-50 psi, maybe 55psi at the most. This is OK, the system is built for this (same as your home air conditioner).

The compressor can only stand so much differential pressure, so do not run above about 50-55psi- this may cause the compressor to "lock" as some people noted.

While the AC is running, open the valve and let some fluid into the inlet port. The pressure may rise to ~60 psi, just close the valve a bit to bring it into the correct range on the gauge. Repeat until the pressure sits in the indicator range. The outlet temperature in the driver's side vent in the car should be about 40-42F when the system is stable, doors closed and recirculating the air. DO NOT try to get it colder- this is about the limit for an open loop cooling system- about 40 degrees difference between outside and inside temperatures. The system has a limiter to keep it from freezing also.

The comments about releasing the R-134 or any other refrigerant are true- you are not permitted to release the Freons by law.
Good Luck
John's Z

Last edited by johnsZ; 03-30-2013 at 04:20 PM. Reason: a few details
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:03 PM
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Hey guys, i am currently doing this process. I went to o'rielly and got the r-134a with the gauge. came home and took the cover off the low inlet hooked it up and it shot to 100. What does this mean? and how bad is this? If this could be answered asap that would be great.

Thanks
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