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Old 10-28-2019, 11:25 AM   #1
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Anyone Recharged Your Own A/C?

Has anyone recharged their A/C using something similar to this:

https://www.autozone.com/a-c-charging-and-refrigerant/r134a-refrigerant/a-c-pro-acp-100v-r134a-premium-refrigerant-with-hose-and-gauge-20oz/974769_0_0?spps.s=4810&cmpid=LIA-US-EN-AD-NL-1000000-ALT-71700000045037245&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4oqNi9e_5QIVQvbjBx1TQgRhEAQYAiAB EgKqI_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Good results?

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Old 10-28-2019, 11:55 AM   #2
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I would not recommend it. Actually, I wouldn't use anything like that on ANY car, unless I started with a completely discharged and vacuumed out system.

The problem with using those is that there's supposed to be a certain amount of refrigerant in the system. In weight, not pressure. So if your system is low, you're adding blindly and run the risk of overcharging the system. The pressure gauge on the bottle helps, but it's not accurate because it doesn't tell you how much refrigerant is in the system.

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Old 10-28-2019, 12:01 PM   #3
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I would not recommend it. Actually, I wouldn't use anything like that on ANY car, unless I started with a completely discharged and vacuumed out system.

The problem with using those is that there's supposed to be a certain amount of refrigerant in the system. In weight, not pressure. So if your system is low, you're adding blindly and run the risk of overcharging the system.
Thanks, I may have used the term "recharged" incorrectly. Perhaps "topped off" to raise a low refrigerant level would be more accurate.

Is there still a risk of overcharging in this case? If I have my INDY do the service, will they proceed any differently, albeit perhaps with a better set of gauges?
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:10 PM   #4
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Hi you never top up a system. You take out all remaining gas , vacuum the system to remove moisture then refill with the correct weight of gas in grams ~as in 750g etc.
If moisture is not removed it can freeze at the very least causing a restriction
Most of these cans cost 45-50 most indys will do a proper job for that money
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:04 AM   #5
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Harbor Freight sells an AC kit for $50 and a vacuum pump for $150. Recharging or adding Freon with the kit is very easy
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:19 AM   #6
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Harbor Freight sells an AC kit for $50 and a vacuum pump for $150. Recharging or adding Freon with the kit is very easy
Thanks Woody...Do you need to worry about replacing the oil as well, or does that remain in the system after the freon is evacuated?
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:49 AM   #7
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Don’t do it. As said before, you have to completely drain the system of refrigerant, then pull out a deep vacuum, then refill based on weight.

Yes, It can be done by DIY but is pretty in depth to do it right and not mess things up. There are different specific types of oil that need to be added at the correct qty so you don’t burn up your ac compressor. It is easy to inadvertently introduce air or moisture into the system. If you are so inclined, I suggest going to the library because there are entire books written about the subject of automotive refrigeration and AC.

The only reason you system would need to be “topped off” is if there is a leak - and if there is a leak it needs to be fixed. So topping up would be temporary and most likely cause more problems down the road.

Bottom line -

Don’t ever buy these ac fill up cans unless:
1. you are very poor
2. your car is worth $1000 or less
3. your ac is blowing hot air
3. You are not going to keep the car much longer

Last edited by Vtx531; 10-30-2019 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:50 AM   #8
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Thanks Woody...Do you need to worry about replacing the oil as well, or does that remain in the system after the freon is evacuated?
Some of it remains in the system, depending on which exact parts you replace (to fix your leak) there are specific charts to determine how much of the oil you need to replace.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:54 AM   #9
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Harbor Freight sells an AC kit for $50 and a vacuum pump for $150. Recharging or adding Freon with the kit is very easy
Autozone rents both for free. Make sure you change the oil in the rental unit with fresh vacuum pump oil because moisture gets in the oil over time and affects the amount of vacuum that can b pulled out of the system.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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There's nothing magical about the a/c system on your boxster. Take it to a proper shop that has the correct equipment, have it diagnosed and fixed, and refilled by weight. Compared to replacing a compressor, a/c shops are very reasonable.

It's okay to get a reading on system pressure. There's a sensor that won't let the compressor run if the refrigerant is low. But only do that as a screening diagnostic. There's a reason that HVAC guys are certified and licensed.

Also, we've been sold a bill of goods that R134a isn't bad for the environment. It is, and it's illegal to vent it to the air. All forms of freon should be removed correctly, so that they can be reused. R134a is gonna be banned soon.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:48 AM   #11
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Hi you never top up a system. You take out all remaining gas , vacuum the system to remove moisture then refill with the correct weight of gas in grams ~as in 750g etc.
If moisture is not removed it can freeze at the very least causing a restriction
Most of these cans cost 45-50 most indys will do a proper job for that money
Moisture is really bad for seals and o-rings, too.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:27 PM   #12
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HVAC service is just a matter of using tools and following procedures. It's not 'rocket surgery', but you can be injured or damage your car.
Here is the best guide to automotive AC that I have seen in ANY online forum: https://honda-tech.com/forums/tech-misc-15/%2A%2A%2Aair-conditioning-c-guide-how-works-when-doesnt%2A%2A%2A-2900177/

I have the tools from Harbor Freight that Woody suggested and have serviced many of my own cars. I still review the procedures every time before I start and always wear gloves and safety glasses around that stuff (actually anytime I'm in the garage).

If you are considering servicing your AC for the first time, watch some YouTube first. You can probably learn more from watching idiots mess it up than you can from a pro doing it correctly.

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Old 10-30-2019, 01:14 PM   #13
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Seadweller what are the symptoms of your AC that are making you think it needs refrigerant ? I see you are in FL so is it not cooling fast enough ? Not cooling at all ? To be honest I have " topped off " but I used my gauges to do it . To date on domestic and euro vehicles with the Porsche included I have had no issues . And cooling performance has always been better for doing so .

But it's a fine line between enough refrigerant and too much or too little . And usually having to top off means there is a leak and finding/correcting is the right approach . But when it's 95 degrees and humid and your sweating like a pig topping off is acceptable in my opinion .
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:54 AM   #14
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I have done several cars with a can of Freon from Walmart and$10 hose pressure gage and works every time. Including my Boxster
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:00 AM   #15
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Seadweller what are the symptoms of your AC that are making you think it needs refrigerant ?
I've had the car for 4 years now, and the air is blowing cool, but not as cold as it did when I bought it. If there's a leak, it's got to be very, very tiny. If it's an o-ring, for example, that's why I was considering one of the DIY kits not with a sealer, per se, but rather with a conditioner for the rubber components. With that said, I will avoid any kind of sealer if that's the right way to go.

I just don't want to get into an expensive bill with this, because it's a fair weather car, and we run with the top down 99% of the time. If I can add a bit of freon and have it last another 4 years on a small charge, that's what I'm looking to do.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:55 PM   #16
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Do you have any pieces of foam in your vents? If so your issue may not be refrigerant related.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:10 PM   #17
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+1 what Paul said.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:54 AM   #18
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Do you have any pieces of foam in your vents? If so your issue may not be refrigerant related.
Yes, I've had the foam blowing out of the vents issue for quite some time, but it seems to have stopped. I'm sure all the foam from the flapper is gone at this point. It certainly could be warm air mixing with cold air, causing the increase in vent temps.

It's been on my list to address, but every time I think about doing it.....
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:48 PM   #19
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If it is blowing "cool" then I would leave it be... but if you insist on messing with it then research the hell out of it with an actual book on how to do it (not forums or youtube alone) if you decide to DIY and evacuate/refill properly...or take it to a shop to be done properly (probably not much $$ to evacuate and fill with no other work) but please dont buy a DIY refill can and "top it off". You are filling it blindy with those and it can actually be done cheaper if you diy it using proper methods. There is really no upside to the DIY cans especially when the tools can be rented for free. The cans gimmick marketed toward people that dont know about cars.
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:25 PM   #20
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Any good shop can tell you in a couple of minutes if your system is low on gas, but I'd address the foam issue first.

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