general a/c refill question


91stranger

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So I've refilled the a/c on cars in the past and have done this about 10 times now on different vehicles but never ran into this issue. I refilled my wife's 2006 pacifica a few weeks ago but was having issues getting the hose hooked up due to the location of the connection and the air filter in the way and I didn't have my tools with me so as I was trying to get hooked up I did bleed some of the air out trying to get connected. once I got it hooked up I put the whole can in it and the car still is not cooling. So the other day I put 2 more cans in it and it seemed ok but we didn't take it for a drive. Literally started the car to fill the a/c and shut it off and it sat for 2 days. Now the a/c is spitting every so often. At first I could see the refrigerant blowing out the front somewhere when I was sitting in the car but now I can only hear it spit when I am goin above 20-30 mph and it's random. To me it sounds like a pressure relief valve but I can't locate it. Did I put too much in it? Will this work itself out if it is a pressure relief? Anything I should do to fix this? It gets to 90-100 in Ohio and 80-100 percent humidity in the summer so its plenty hot out and if it was my truck I would just roll the window down but its for my wife and kids. I never had this happen so I don't know if I did something or if it was on the verge of going bad prior to this.
 


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fastpakr

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You need gauges.
 

Uncle Gump

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I'll second the gauges...

There is probably an underhood sticker that will tell you total capacity... chances are 3 cans is more then the total capacity. But that is only a guess.
 

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The pressure relief valve shouldn't be that hard to locate. It'll be on a hose fitting somewhere, or possibly on the backside of the compressor where the lines attach. You've surely got it way overfull at this point. Regardless, it sounds like it's doing it's job and not letting your system explode.

I'll 3rd on the manifold gauge set...

Search Ebay or pick up a Harbor Freight set. Amazon also had some good deals if you don't mind Chinese built crap. I just snagged a brand new set of CPS gauges on Ebay that are made in America for $50 less than retail. There are deals out there to be had.
 

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Whatever you do, please don't put compressed air in it! Without gauges, the best you can do is touch the refrigerant lines,, the small one at the compressor will be very warm
the larger one should be cold or cool, A
HP release is usually on the compressor or very close to it.
 

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I'll second the gauges...

There is probably an underhood sticker that will tell you total capacity... chances are 3 cans is more then the total capacity. But that is only a guess.

And for the love of god, vacuum the system out! Your best bet is to find someone with the proper equipment to recharge it for u.........before u end up doing more harm that good.
 

black_demon69

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@ this point damage is probably done. System needs to be recovered and recharged with the right charge then checked for leaks and right pressures on hi and low sides. Pressures can give you a pretty good idea of what is going on with the system.
 

black_demon69

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And yes you need a gauge set
 

91stranger

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I had a gauge on my can when I was filling it. It is a cheap Ollie's brand a/c tool so I wouldn't bet money on the gauge being accurate. I figured I had released too much air on the first can I put in b/c I put the damn quick connect on before putting the can on due to the lack of space and as I was trying to spin on the can, the air blowing out was not letting the can thread on. After a good few seconds (5-10 maybe) I got the can threaded on. So at that point I figured too much air escaped. I was taught how to fill a/c by an old man who has worked on cars his whole life and he always said "if one can doesn't get it cold, add another one" lol. So maybe there was some bad wisdom there. Our PT took about 3-4 cans when we first got it to get blowing cold air so I figured it was a Chrysler thing lol.
 

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It used to be like that. I can’t remember the reason why it isn’t like that now but it isn’t. It might be because of the change in refrigerant.
 

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There should be ZERO air in your A/C system... what was escaping was refrigerant.
 

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Another vote for guages. you cannot accurately fill or "top off" an A/C system that has a partial charge, because you don't know how much refrigerant is in the system. you will need to have the existing refrigerant evacuated and recovered (basically take it to a shop) and then the correct amount added back. My 97 takes 25 oz of r134a, and when I did the research on getting the system up and going again, every model year Ranger had a different amount it seemed. this amount is on the core support.

Something to think about... this was a personal experience with a 1994 Dodge Intrepid that I had many years ago. I was getting the A/c going again on it and changed out the accumulator/dryer prior to pulling a vacuum. got it done, put the vacuum pump on it and pulled it down and then closed it all up. kept the gauges on it and monitored the vacuum level, it held without moving for over 2 hours. so I figure I was ready to go and put a can of r 12 into i and it was not building any pressure on the gauges past "0" put another can in it. still nothing, so now I was looking for what is going on, the compressor never kicked on (because it never got up to a high enough pressure to close the switch) and I get a buddy to slowly add part of a third can while I looked everything over. I then noticed the leak at the accumulator/dryer. turns out it was tight enough to pull a vacuum and hold it, but not tight enough when actual pressure was put into the system. talk about a facepalm moment...

Moral of t he story, check your connections.

Here is a write up I did when I redid my a/c a few years ago:

This will have some troubleshooting and some other notes that may help you.

AJ
 

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Since no one has mentioned, let me be the first one to tell you...:)

You should get a set of gauges on there to find out what's going on.
 

91stranger

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Ok so everyone is talking about gauges but not what type of gauge. The gauge on the a/c tool? A different gauge that I might not have? What am I looking for? My gauge on the a/c tool has the basic red and green areas so what other gauge would I be looking for? We got this car in the winter so I don't know if the a/c was working then. I don't mess with a/c stuff much but I'm willing to learn. Is there a way to bleed the system other than using the a/c tool and letting that bleed it? I don't want to mess anything up because I can hear the compressor kicking on and it should work in theory.
 

fastpakr

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Something like these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079ZTV55Y/

And read the article 97RangerXLT posted above:
 


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