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Old 05-31-2010, 11:13 AM   #1
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Air conditioning not cold......

The metal lines under the hood are getting as cold but the air coming out is not.... what are some things that I can check to help improve my airconditioning

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Old 05-31-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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Go to Walmart and buy a charging kit... chances are you have a small leak. The kit will cost you around $11 for the single use cans with attached hose or $31 for a huge can I think.

Personally what I do is buy a hose (so you can have it for future uses) and then just pick up the small cans for like $7/ea whenever I need em. That was on my old truck that had a slow leak. Sometimes if the leak is small enough, buying a can of refrigerant with leak stop added will do the trick. For larger leaks, it probably won't help much.

Charging is super easy... follow the directions on the can. General idea...

Put hose on low side port (it'll only fit the low side...don't force it onto the high side...if you manage to get it on there, it'll charge the can which will result in an exploding can), start engine and turn it to max a/c, coldest temp setting, high speed. Discharge can of refrigerant into a/c system (usually you want to hold the can upside down...but some kits say to hold it upright)...watch the gauge and make sure it doesn't reach unsafe pressures. If it does, close valve and remove can. If you overcharge the system, you may pop the relief valve which will send most of your refrigerant into the air. Usually one can won't result in an overcharge unless the system was full already and there's another problem causing your issues.

It's really simple either way...

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Old 05-31-2010, 05:53 PM   #3
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Also make sure the coolant is not running through your heater core when the AC is on. It is a pretty common problem on a lot of different model cars.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:42 PM   #4
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Mine just started to run warm after 14 months of owning it. Went to auto zone and bought the big blue can for $20. Has a hose dial and trigger on it. Simple to use. I had the hose with the valve, but to me it is a pain in the neck to use and then store if you do not use all of it. The big blue can works GREAT! I charged up all my vehicles with it. She has been blowing 64 degrees for three weeks now! I bought one of those little thermometers you can stick into the a/c vent.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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"""""The metal lines under the hood are getting as cold but the air coming out is not..."""""

If the aluminum lines next to the drier are still getting ice cold and frosty like they used to, (the big round can,) then it's not a loss of freon.

Probably a problem with the blend door - mixing warm air from the heater with the cold air from the AC.

Find the vacuum hose that goes through the firewall into the cab. Disconnect it - have someone that smokes blow smoke through that line toward the cab. Look inside the cab for where the smoke is coming out - fix it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
"""""The metal lines under the hood are getting as cold but the air coming out is not..."""""

If the aluminum lines next to the drier are still getting ice cold and frosty like they used to, (the big round can,) then it's not a loss of freon.

Probably a problem with the blend door - mixing warm air from the heater with the cold air from the AC.

Find the vacuum hose that goes through the firewall into the cab. Disconnect it - have someone that smokes blow smoke through that line toward the cab. Look inside the cab for where the smoke is coming out - fix it.
It's been too long since I've taken all my HVAC&R classes, but I think sometimes an undercharge can still cause the lines to get cold...sometimes even colder than before due to the remaining refrigerant flashing off too quickly. That's whats nice about picking up a hose with a decent gauge on it (personally I wish the dang couplers were cheap and I'd rather use my R-22/R-410A manifold gauge for checking the pressures on it, but those couplers are kinda pricey)...you can hook the gauge up and see if your pressures are right before you just start dumping refrigerant in. If they are, then, as you mentioned, there's something else causing the warm air issues.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:13 AM   #7
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An undercharge will cause the lines to get cool, but not frosty cold like they should be.

An overcharge will cause the system to stop getting cool too.

Many of the vehicles brought to me for service that have been "worked on" by a shade tree "mechanic" are overcharged.

Too much overcharge can result in lots of damage.

Actually if gauges aren't available a good way is measure the duct outlet temperature. Add a little refrigerant, if it gets colder add a little more. As you add from empty there is a point that it's at the coldest, then as you add more it gets warmer. When you get to where it's just starting to go up again - perfect.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
An undercharge will cause the lines to get cool, but not frosty cold like they should be.

An overcharge will cause the system to stop getting cool too.

Many of the vehicles brought to me for service that have been "worked on" by a shade tree "mechanic" are overcharged.

Too much overcharge can result in lots of damage.

Actually if gauges aren't available a good way is measure the duct outlet temperature. Add a little refrigerant, if it gets colder add a little more. As you add from empty there is a point that it's at the coldest, then as you add more it gets warmer. When you get to where it's just starting to go up again - perfect.
Very true...plus if you overcharge enough it'll blow the relief valve...and I'm not sure if those reset or require replacing? I'm EPA 608 and 609 certified, but the 609 MVAC test was an open book test and I only took it in case I decided to work on motor vehicles at a later date, which I didn't. Needless to say... I haven't even tried to keep up on all the specifics of that one.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:42 AM   #9
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I...... think they may need to be replaced in some cases.

Some of the off the shelf charging cans that contain stop leak can damage the system. I have a small leak on one of my vehicles, so I was using the do it yourself cans and all was going great, once a year in the spring. Then, it wouldn't take a charge anymore. I ask a friend to take a look, he had to replace the relief valve and said that the recharge kits can clog up the system because your putting in gas, oil, and whatever else, but only the gas is escaping. He didn't charge me anything but for parts. I ignored him and continued and the same thing happened.

Now I take it to him in the spring and have him recharge the system the proper way. no problems since.

I'm not an A/C mechanic so it could all be BS, or he might not know what he's talking about, but it did make me cautious of buying some the off the shelve cans.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:59 AM   #10
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True on the stop leak. If it doesn't seal the leak, and the leak isn't "blowing out" everything, just the gas escapes. Adding more stop leak puts more of the "sealer stuff" in it. I think a second can is Ok, but more than that can cause trouble. When in doubt it's best to flush everything out and start over.
It's like adding way too much BAR's Leaks to your radiator - a little is fine, but -.


The relief valves - they are there to blow out when it's too much pressure - but sometimes they don't do it soon enough. And - seems like it's near impossible to get just a relief valve - easier to just get another compressor.

s3 - I'm not going to argue how cold is cold. Cool and Frosty Cold are different.

But you forget - if the system has very little gas left, the low pressure valve opens. Then the compressor doesn't run. So it has to have some gas left for the compressor to run. If there's less than the minimum needed, bypassing the low valve will not produce frosty tubes.

BTW - we use R-134 for automotive, and it's best to be able to monitor and compare Hi and Lo - requires 2 gauges.

By the way - Don't know if they still have them, but I recently bought a great electronic leak detector on Ebay - new - $20 - China. I don't know how long it'll last, but it's done very well so far. My old one was dying, I think it cost around $250.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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All great opinions. Personally do not use the stop leak. It kills the compressor...even with one can. If you ever pulled one apart after, it is nasty stuff. Oh and make sure you tell the A/C tech that you put the sealer in because it will wipe out the filter on the machine and contaminate the refridgerant bottle. Want to pi$$ someone off don't tell them.
Sentenced if you can get a refresher course locally I would take it. A lot of things have changed. Blew my mind when I did. Most people do not know that some cars are using 134y now. Oh and in a couple years we are moving back to an R-12 type refridgerant. "Not" R-12 but it is a similar cfc. Yep so now I will have to have 3 machines in the shop.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:54 AM   #12
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1000 - What does the stop leak look like after it's in and been run.

A couple of days ago I was doing what stated out to be a simple job - recharge a Chevy Suburban with dual air. It seemed to be plugged. When I opened it the insides were full of a sticky white stuff. The front flushed OK and freed up, but the rear was plugged solid. I had to replace the rear evaporator and E valve - plugged tight! The sticky white stuff hardened like cement.

I thought maybe it was stop leak or Ester and Pag oils mixed.

Why would the industry change again? Is it this time it's because of environmental concerns? R-12 to R-134 was not, it was a scam. Dupont patents were running out on R-12, they had new patents on R-134. They had to kill the use of R-12 somehow. They told the greenies a story - the greenies bribed the politicians, and got R-12 killed.

As with most things like that, it's all phoney. Follow the money trail!
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
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1000 - What does the stop leak look like after it's in and been run.

A couple of days ago I was doing what stated out to be a simple job - recharge a Chevy Suburban with dual air. It seemed to be plugged. When I opened it the insides were full of a sticky white stuff. The front flushed OK and freed up, but the rear was plugged solid. I had to replace the rear evaporator and E valve - plugged tight! The sticky white stuff hardened like cement.

I thought maybe it was stop leak or Ester and Pag oils mixed.

Why would the industry change again? Is it this time it's because of environmental concerns? R-12 to R-134 was not, it was a scam. Dupont patents were running out on R-12, they had new patents on R-134. They had to kill the use of R-12 somehow. They told the greenies a story - the greenies bribed the politicians, and got R-12 killed.

As with most things like that, it's all phoney. Follow the money trail!
You found it. Although I have not seen it hardened yet. I also have only seen it with dye mixed in. I have not seen the oils mixed but I heard it becomes like elephant snot.
They are saying that the 134 is not as safe as they once thought. I have also been told that since I have had systems blow off in my face and have had skin contact that I will almost certainly get cancer now. We will see. I think it is all a scam. It definatly is not good for the enviroment. I think it should all be changed over to amonia anyway.
Oh and with the new refridgerant the head pressures are almost going to be equal to houshold pressures. We are talking close too or over 1000 psi. That is what we were told anyway. It is being used over seas right now. Wait till that blows off. Some one is going to have a heartattack
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
1000 - What does the stop leak look like after it's in and been run.

A couple of days ago I was doing what stated out to be a simple job - recharge a Chevy Suburban with dual air. It seemed to be plugged. When I opened it the insides were full of a sticky white stuff. The front flushed OK and freed up, but the rear was plugged solid. I had to replace the rear evaporator and E valve - plugged tight! The sticky white stuff hardened like cement.

I thought maybe it was stop leak or Ester and Pag oils mixed.

Why would the industry change again? Is it this time it's because of environmental concerns? R-12 to R-134 was not, it was a scam. Dupont patents were running out on R-12, they had new patents on R-134. They had to kill the use of R-12 somehow. They told the greenies a story - the greenies bribed the politicians, and got R-12 killed.

As with most things like that, it's all phoney. Follow the money trail!
Interesting... phasing out R-12 wasn't solely due to the patents running out. R-12 is a CFC and R-134A is an HFC. They are phasing out all CFC's. That's the same reason why they're doing away with R-22 in central air systems and switching over to R-410A. R410A is actually less efficient (if I recall correctly) and operates at higher pressures...which requires technicians to have to switch equipment if theirs can't handle the higher pressures.

It's all because of the whole global warming conspiracy, but ultimately is better for the environment whether it causes global warming or not.

One nice thing about the phase outs of these refrigerants...if you want something to invest your money in with a decent return and have the space to store refrigerant cylinders for many years..R-22 prices are going to skyrocket after 2020 when they stop producing it entirely (they're already beginning to cut production I believe). The prices for it are already on the rise. If you want a guaranteed return...pick up a bunch of cylinders of R-22 and store them away for the next 15-20 years.

R-12 has already been phased out...and it goes for a premium now, which is why so many people opt to have their old R-12 a/c systems retrofitted for 134A.

Anyway, I don't wanna sit here and debate...this is an interesting discussion and I'm enjoying following it.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:34 AM   #15
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Stock pileing is the way to go. I will not buy r-12 from anybody except from a reputable seller. Even then I would test it to make sure it is pure. A lot of it is contaminated with air as well as other things. It is all going to be interesting.
So sentenced sounds like you do a litttle refridgeration slash A/c work. A/C side work on autos is great money. Why did you abandon it?
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #16
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ive never turned on my ac once since i bought my jeep in 07

thats what soft tops are for
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:32 PM   #17
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Stock pileing is the way to go. I will not buy r-12 from anybody except from a reputable seller. Even then I would test it to make sure it is pure. A lot of it is contaminated with air as well as other things. It is all going to be interesting.
So sentenced sounds like you do a litttle refridgeration slash A/c work. A/C side work on autos is great money. Why did you abandon it?
Yeah, you'd definitely want to buy new/reclaimed refrigerant from a reputable and certified seller...recovered refrigerant is pretty much worthless since I believe it's illegal to sell previously used or reclaimed refrigerant if you're not an certified reclaimer. Stockpiling new, pure, refrigerant is definitely the way to go.

I went to school a couple years ago for HVAC&R...completed my certification, but since the economy tanked, I opted to stick with my current job which is stable and I enjoy and it pays the bills. The only drawback to it is I'm 1099'd and I don't receive benefits which is why eventually I need to look for something else. Now I've at least got the trade under my belt...just may need to take a refresher class or two if I wait a while to jump into the trade...if I ever do. It's definitely an enjoyable field...and I wouldn't mind picking up the equipment to do some work on the side. Right now I do very limited work in the field...typically I just call in my old instructor who has his own business and he gives me a good deal on the work and allows me to help out so I gain some real world experience without completely screwing something up. lol

Quote:
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ive never turned on my ac once since i bought my jeep in 07

thats what soft tops are for
I agree...only time I run my a/c is if it's pouring down rain and I can't have the windows down/top off. haha
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:50 PM   #18
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I tried the recharge canister and it is completely full already. Are there any things I can try to clean or replace like an air filter of some sort.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
"""""The metal lines under the hood are getting as cold but the air coming out is not..."""""

If the aluminum lines next to the drier are still getting ice cold and frosty like they used to, (the big round can,) then it's not a loss of freon.

Probably a problem with the blend door - mixing warm air from the heater with the cold air from the AC.

Find the vacuum hose that goes through the firewall into the cab. Disconnect it - have someone that smokes blow smoke through that line toward the cab. Look inside the cab for where the smoke is coming out - fix it.
How would I go about finding the "blend door" pictures are welcome and detailed instructions are also welcome. I am by no means a mechanic.

Found the blend door and it appears to be working fine.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #20
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What makes you think it's already full?
You can't tell with those DIY kits.

What procedure did you use?

If it really is "full" - it won't have enough room to expand from liquid to gas - that makes the cold. That's hard to do with the DIY kits.

First tell the procedure you used - engine running?
Was the AC clutch engaged? How did you engage it?
What happens when you just turn on the AC inside? Does the clutch engage? How do you tell? Look at the compressor. If all of the black thing on the front is spinning by the belt (clutch), it's engaged. If it isn't engaged - just freewheeling - the very front of it will not be turning, but the rest of it will be. Engine running of course, AC on.
Aluminum tubes by the drier cold?
Gauge(s) - what were the readings?
Where did you attach it?
Did the can get cold?

The blend door - under the dash - right side, it's where the cold air from the evaporator goes into a chamber - and the heater air goes into the same chamber. There's a door that opens and closes off either the cold air or the heated air - or part way "blending" the 2.
The newer TJ's the door is operated by a small motor, the older ones are by a vacuum diaphragm.
Operate the heater/AC switch several times - listen and look - you'll see the linkage rods move as you switch positions - or should.

You can also move the door by hand by pushing on the linkage - do it slowly so as to not hurt anything.
The smoke test I suggested - often locates the small vacuum leak that prevents it from operating.
The little electric blend door actuation motor is also replaceable - but I'd imagine it's expensive.

Tell us as much as you can - it's all important.

The more you tell us, the more likely we'll be able to help.

If the tubes are not getting frosty cold, you may be overfull, or have a restriction somewhere.
Tell us if it's frosty cold - dripping with condensation and as cold as ice - or just cool, or warm.

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