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Help a complete idiot charge his AC

robertbeatty on Sun September 09, 2007 12:48 PM User is offline

Year: 1998
Make: Mercury
Model: Grand Marquis

This should give most of you a good laugh, but as I ask in return for giving you a chuckle is a little help.

MY AC stopped working (on a 98 degree day, natch). I went to the auto parts store and, being a cheapo, opted for a can of Arctic Freeze (the one with the hose attached). I had never tried to charge my AC before.

I THOUGHT I followed instructions - I put the AC on high, attached the hose to the can (puncturing it), and then attached the other end of the hose to the unit. I pressed the nozzle and held it there, shaing it, for five to seven minutes. Then I noticed the can NOT getting cold. I disconnected the hose and a quick tiny blast of stuff came out, so I know the hole was punctured. I started the process again, same thing.

Frustrated, I disconnected the hose from teh top of the can (I was wearing gloves of course) and freon shot out of the can all over the place (into a rag), and the can finally got really cold, but only after I wasted the whole can.

Should I go and get a guage and a hose and a separate can of straight freon and start from scratch? Am I in any danger without the gauge? What the hell am I doing wrong?



mk378 on Sun September 09, 2007 1:59 PM User is offline

It sounds like your system is (and was) somewhat charged, or even fully charged. But because of some other problem, the compressor does not engage. Does the compressor engage when you put the controls on high?

Yes you're going to need a gauge manifold unless the refrigerant loop is OK and you have a problem with the controls that can be repaired without dealing with refrigerant.

chris142 on Sun September 09, 2007 3:02 PM User is offline

Just because it does not work does not mean that it's out of refrigerant.

robertbeatty on Sun September 09, 2007 3:09 PM User is offline

Hadn't even considered there was something wrong that wasn't lack of refrigerant. The air filter is new - what else could it be? The vents are blowing out hot.

robertbeatty on Sun September 09, 2007 3:23 PM User is offline

And I just used a gauge and it was way in the red - about 150 psi. So I guess you were right!

Please don't tell me my next stop is Firestone.

Chick on Sun September 09, 2007 6:56 PM User is offlineView users profile

Check to see if the outer hub of the compressor is turning with the AC on, feel the lines from the accumulator (Black can on the low side) and see if it's cold..I have a feeling that the compressor is not coming on...So, try jumping the cycling switch (TWO WIRE SWITCH) which is either on, or very near the accumulator, if the compressor starts and the lines get cold right away, you need to change the switch..If it doesn't come on (outer hub turnuing with pulley) then you have to "VERY CAREFULLY" tap the clutch (outer pulley) inwards and see if it engages and spins..If it does, you need the clutch gap adjusted...And before you add anything, stay away from anything but Virgin R134a..No sealers etc,...

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

TRB on Sun September 09, 2007 7:01 PM User is offlineView users profile

Might consider taking a step back and getting the Mastercool Repair Manual. In my opinion this would be a better place to spend your money than a refrigerant suicide kit.


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