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Devin

A/c Not Cold But Pressure Is Ok?

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Ok, so my 2002 Durango's A/C hasn't been cold in years. We never had time or money to really get it rechagred. Well, 2 yesterday I decided to do my mom a favor and get a nice big can of it. It also came with a guage. Well, I hooked it up and it was really low. I used the entire can and it got cool, but not cold. It was good enough for us, so I left it.

Next day, my mom said it wasn't cold. Check the compressor: it's on. Pressure is the same, a tad low, but OK. Well, I bought another smaller can and added some in. Got a little colder, but its not cold cold, like it should be. Is there something I'm not doing?

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I know my Contour GL was that way, it was in spec, but the A/C sucked...

What I ended up doing was taking it into my HS AutoShop, we had an expensive A/C Machine that Jiffy Lube also has, it evacuates the refrigerant, recycles it, and also removes all air from the A/C, creating a vacuum into the A/C system, then pumps fresh refrigerant into the car. After I did that, my A/C was ice cold in my Contour GL. Thankfully, all I had to do was pay for the refrigerant used, which wasn't much IIRC.

It could be there is regular air in there, and that affects the quality of the system, or your A/C system is going bad :P

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I never have trusted those gauges on the cans. you need to use a real set of gauges to check pressure on both sides.

If it was that low, there's a leak somewhere so there may be air and moisture in the system.

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Well, the A/C was just low. Note, it has never been recharged since the day it pulled off that lot.

I figured the gauge on the can was cheap. I'll see if I can find somebody with a real set.

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Here's the thing with air conditioning.....

You have to know what the pressures on both sides are doing. That's how an air conditioner works, is by pressure differential.

What was your little suicide can gauge saying? Typically, on the low side, I like to see about 40 psi on R134A. Now, that pressure doesn't mean s**t if the head pressure is only 180 psi or so.

Usually Chryslers have decent air conditioning, but they don't use the same style system as a Ford. A Ford uses (or at least did, they may have changed) an accumulator with an orifice tube, and as I recall, Chrysler stuck with the receiver dryer style that used an expansion valve. One thing to check is to look for the receiver-dryer, which looks like a cylindrical tank. It will have two pipes coming into it, each 180 degrees apart from each other, and normally located near the condensor. If it is the way I recall, it will have a little sight glass on the top of it, roughly half the size of a dime, and you can look in that sight glass....if you see bubbles in the sight glass, there is not sufficient refrigerant.

Also, look at all the hoses and junctions. If you see a black, nasty film, that's where the system has been leaking and expelling lubricating oil for the compressor that is usually suspended in the refrigerant in a fine mist. Should the system get too low on oil, the compressor can seize. You can usually tell this by listening to the compressor when it kicks on, it will make a semi-noisy growling noise.

BTW, I call those things suicide cans because I have seen them blow up in people's hands. Be EXTREMELY careful with those.

Tim

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I'll take a look tomorrow before work.

I'm pretty sure it isn't leaking anymore than it should. I mean, freon isn't going to stay in there for 8 years, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a huge leak anywhere.

I figured it's not fully pressurized, and that the gauge is screwy., but I thought I'd post and make sure.

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I'll take a look tomorrow before work.

I'm pretty sure it isn't leaking anymore than it should. I mean, freon isn't going to stay in there for 8 years, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a huge leak anywhere.

I figured it's not fully pressurized, and that the gauge is screwy., but I thought I'd post and make sure.

Actually, the freon should still be there unless there is a leak. My '02 has never had the A/C touched and it will freeze you out. Same with my moms '00 Alero. If there is any air or moisture in there, you will never get a full charge without evacuating and recharging.

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X4 on the leak. It won't leak unless there is for sure an open area. Check the fittings and hoses around the compressor.

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