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Old 06-23-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
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Help: 2001 wrangler AC not cooling properly

Hello,
I am a first time poster but I have been using this site for the last 4 months educating myself.

My AC is not cooling properly. So I followed instructions on adding r134a and it seemed to work but slowly it went back to not cooling properly. Can someone please point me in the right direction so I can begin to diagnose this issue?

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Old 06-23-2010, 07:37 PM   #2
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Hello,
I am a first time poster but I have been using this site for the last 4 months educating myself.

My AC is not cooling properly. So I followed instructions on adding r134a and it seemed to work but slowly it went back to not cooling properly. Can someone please point me in the right direction so I can begin to diagnose this issue?
Almost certainly you've got a leak in your system.

How to Fix Your Car's Air Conditioner - wikiHow

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Old 06-23-2010, 07:41 PM   #3
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So, what are some methods I can use to find the leak and repair it?
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:25 PM   #4
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You'll know it's leaking. You'll have wet carpet, or you'll see a big puddle of water under the Jeep, etc.

I just searched out a leak last week in my JK. I used this dye with a charge, drove a little with the AC on. Then at night I busted out a blacklight and started fishing around. I had no leak though. I guess my AC was just bad, since the charge it's been ok.

I don't know if we're allowed to charge these AC's or not. I remember reading somewhere it's illegal to f**k with them, so don't do it out in the street. I might be wrong though.

EDIT: alot of the time you can smell it leaking. Turn the AC on, and smell the air blowing out. If it smells like oil, it indicates an evap core leak.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
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You don't need A/C...take your top off!
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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So, what are some methods I can use to find the leak and repair it?
Take it to an AC shop or garage that does AC work and they will add a dye along with the 134a run it awhile then check it with a UV light for leaks.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:25 AM   #7
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How much r-134 did you add?

Leaks of R-134 will not wet the carpet or wet the floor. As soon as it hits atmosphere it vaporizes.

On Ebay you can get a leak detector for $20 - far more effective and sensitive than UV dyes.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:10 AM   #8
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I don't believe it is ilegal to add R134a, it is ilegal to dump 134a be from the can or your a/c system to the atmosphere. the problem of using the can that is sold in the auto parts store, is that if you put too much freon in your system, it will not work either. without gauges you will never know how much freon you have put in the system, if it is leaking, and you have never dealt with this stuff, just take it to a mechanic with an a/c machine. As the Car Talk guys say, a/c repairs are either $50 or $1000, but not anything in between.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:04 AM   #9
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How much r-134 did you add?

Leaks of R-134 will not wet the carpet or wet the floor. As soon as it hits atmosphere it vaporizes.

On Ebay you can get a leak detector for $20 - far more effective and sensitive than UV dyes.
I'm not sure. I used some kit from auto zone that was like 20 bucks. It took less than a can. 5 or 6 oz. Maybe? I didn't check it with a gage either. I just charged it and called it a day.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:33 AM   #10
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It takes about 2 cans to charge it. You barely put anything in.
Obviously it has a leak, best to let a pro fix it.

Or - on Ebay you can get a leak detector for $20.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:57 AM   #11
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I'm not sure. I used some kit from auto zone that was like 20 bucks. It took less than a can. 5 or 6 oz. Maybe? I didn't check it with a gage either. I just charged it and called it a day.
I recommend using the gauge that you can buy on most R134 cans. If you overcharge your system that can be just as bad, if not worse, than having an undercharged system. It can damage the compressor as well as blow out hot air too.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #12
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I agree completely with rrich and sdbryant
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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Why you guys talking to me? this isn't my thread I was just telling to the OP how I checked for leaks. I didn't see any, recharged it, done. It's cold again

to be honest I don't care if my AC works or not. I was just bored one night and wanted to play with my jeep. I only use it during hot rain to defog my windshield
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:07 PM   #14
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Why you guys talking to me? this isn't my thread I was just telling to the OP how I checked for leaks. I didn't see any, recharged it, done. It's cold again

to be honest I don't care if my AC works or not. I was just bored one night and wanted to play with my jeep. I only use it during hot rain to defog my windshield
Sorry Groundhawg wasnt pointing you out at all, just offering some added advice to the OP to what you were saying about recharging.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:36 PM   #15
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Best to go to a shop that can pull a vacum on the system. If you have a leak moisture will have gotten ito the system and will deteriorate it. The Refrigerant takes on the moisture and creates an acidic compund that wreaks havoc on seals, desicant bag and rubber lines. Fix it right now, it's not going to be any cheaper to fix later. On the other hand, take the top off and spend the $500 bucks you saved on repairs on something better.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:56 PM   #16
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Sorry Groundhawg wasnt pointing you out at all, just offering some added advice to the OP to what you were saying about recharging.
Hey it's ok. I just didn't want to take away from the OP's problem. My AC works good, but you and rich I agree with. If you've never screwed around with an AC, do a shop. I don't know what OP's mechanical ability is, I just told him to charge it and dye it
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:04 PM   #17
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These guys are giving sound advice.
Sounds like a large leak if you charged it one day and it was cool but the next day it was not. How did you put the freon in? what did you use?

I used to use those large blue cans you can buy at Advance to put mine in. I recently broke down and bought the long 24" hose that screws onto the cans and it has a gauge inline. Adding freon can be a little confusing, at least to me it can be.

I generally hook the hose to the correct line first, than I start the vehicle and start the AC full blast. hooking the gauge afterward is the same thing but I don't like fishing my hands around in an engine compartment with stuff moving.

I let it run for a few minutes and let it everything stable out.

Now the tricky part, sometimes those gauges can tell you that you are fine but you are really not. Mine was showing good, but I knew my freon was low, so I added 1 can very slowly. took about 5 to 10 minutes. you don't want to add it too fast. I checked the gauges and checked to see if the air was getting cooler. It was, but not cool enough. I added another can. again, very slowly. The gauges changed from the start of the process til the end but the whole time, it was showing what I call in the zone. They didn't change as much as I thought they would. after the second can, it was running cold like it should, and I left it at that because I have no idea how much they hold. You can add too much, but it can be released, which is not good for the environment.

The sniffers or leak detectors are ok, but I don't like using them. I prefer seeing it with my own eyes, so dye and a blacklight is preferred. this is what we use in my plant for our air conditioning. It seems to work better because air is constantly circulating so you can get false readings with a sniffer. I tried fixing the A/C on my ranger with a sniffer that would leak down in two days and wound up replacing so much stuff but never found the problem.

I like to know if they sell an automotive can of 134a with dye in it. that would be helpful.

Watch out with those stop a leak cans, they can cause more problems than they are worth because you are putting whatever in the system, but the freon will leak leaving that crap behind. Too much of it will just clog the whole damn thing.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:19 PM   #18
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These guys are giving sound advice.
Sounds like a large leak if you charged it one day and it was cool but the next day it was not. How did you put the freon in? what did you use?

I used to use those large blue cans you can buy at Advance to put mine in. I recently broke down and bought the long 24" hose that screws onto the cans and it has a gauge inline. Adding freon can be a little confusing, at least to me it can be.

I generally hook the hose to the correct line first, than I start the vehicle and start the AC full blast. hooking the gauge afterward is the same thing but I don't like fishing my hands around in an engine compartment with stuff moving.

I let it run for a few minutes and let it everything stable out.

Now the tricky part, sometimes those gauges can tell you that you are fine but you are really not. Mine was showing good, but I knew my freon was low, so I added 1 can very slowly. took about 5 to 10 minutes. you don't want to add it too fast. I checked the gauges and checked to see if the air was getting cooler. It was, but not cool enough. I added another can. again, very slowly. The gauges changed from the start of the process til the end but the whole time, it was showing what I call in the zone. They didn't change as much as I thought they would. after the second can, it was running cold like it should, and I left it at that because I have no idea how much they hold. You can add too much, but it can be released, which is not good for the environment.

The sniffers or leak detectors are ok, but I don't like using them. I prefer seeing it with my own eyes, so dye and a blacklight is preferred. this is what we use in my plant for our air conditioning. It seems to work better because air is constantly circulating so you can get false readings with a sniffer. I tried fixing the A/C on my ranger with a sniffer that would leak down in two days and wound up replacing so much stuff but never found the problem.

I like to know if they sell an automotive can of 134a with dye in it. that would be helpful.

Watch out with those stop a leak cans, they can cause more problems than they are worth because you are putting whatever in the system, but the freon will leak leaving that crap behind. Too much of it will just clog the whole damn thing.
They sure do. Advance has a couple different types of 134 with integral dye.
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:12 AM   #19
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A trick to know how much to put in if you don't know, or it already has some in.

Put a thermometer in the AC vent inside. A turkey thermometer works fine.
Close windows and doors, AC blower on full.

Watch the temp - as you slowly fill it it will get colder. Keep filling slowly until it stops getting colder. Then as you put more it it will start getting warmer again.

Stop - that's enough.

Essentially any time it gets below 55 degrees it's considered good. But if everything is working right, it can get as low as 40.

Water getting in when there's a leak? Amazing - how does the water get in when the system is still pressurized and leaking? Once the system is empty it can, but not as long as there's any pressure still in it.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:32 AM   #20
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A trick to know how much to put in if you don't know, or it already has some in.

Put a thermometer in the AC vent inside. A turkey thermometer works fine.
Close windows and doors, AC blower on full.

Watch the temp - as you slowly fill it it will get colder. Keep filling slowly until it stops getting colder. Then as you put more it it will start getting warmer again.

Stop - that's enough.

Essentially any time it gets below 55 degrees it's considered good. But if everything is working right, it can get as low as 40.

Water getting in when there's a leak? Amazing - how does the water get in when the system is still pressurized and leaking? Once the system is empty it can, but not as long as there's any pressure still in it.
Hey that's pretty cool. I'm going to go home and try that tonight I didn't know you could do that.

So 55 to 40 is the correct temperature range then?

As far as my AC went, when I bought my Jeep used...it was always kinda lousy. It was just a little bit colder than the vent. I figured that's how the AC was you know. Well maybe 2 weeks ago on this forum we got to chatting about AC, and everyone said that their's was nice and icey. I'm like WTF?....mine isn't

that's what got me screwing around with it one night. I'm curious now to see what the actual temp is I'm blowing out.

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