Model: Contour SVT
Engine Size: 2.5L
Refrigerant Type: R-134a
Ambient Temp: 83F
Pressure Low: 25-45
Pressure High: ?
Country of Origin: United States
I am fairly inexperienced with AC systems so please bear with me. I tend to include ALL the details so I wrote a summary to make it quicker to read.
AC blows warm after the low side port cap was accidentally left off for a day and leaked refigerant (green liquid) around port area. Compressor cycles every 10 seconds or so. Low side is 25-45psi (changes as comp cycles). Ambient is 83F. I think air may have gotten in the system while the low side port cap was off.
Several days ago my AC seemed weak so I measured low side pressure with a cheapo store gauge as 25-35psi (changes as compressor cycles). I filled it until it showed 25-45psi (45 being the upper limit of "charged" area on cheapo gauge). It took almost the full can (about size of soda can). At this point I left the cap off the low port by mistake.
The AC was warm the next day and I saw the low port cap was off and there was green liquid around low port area. It seems to leak without the cap and bubbles a bit in the fitting after a fill. Pressure was back to 25-35psi. I filled it again and it quickly went to 25-45psi (after 10 seconds of filling) and it does not take any more refrigerant. AC is still warm. Compressor cycles every 10 seconds or so. Ambient temp is 83F.
NOTE: I will rent a gauge set from auto parts store if high side readings are needed to diagnose this problem.
What appears to be wrong with my system? Is it likely that air entered the system causing the warm AC and not allowing more refrigerant in? Also is it normal for the low port to leak without the cap?
If air in the system is the problem --> can I evacuate the system and safely dispose of the R134 with a rented AC set? (I am very mechanically inclined and do 95% of my own car repairs). Or, should I have the system evacuated and recharged by a pro?
99 Contour SVT
78 Winnebago Minnie 440
Edited: Thu July 02, 2009 at 9:42 AM by svt_ct
Your best bet is always going to have it done professionally that way you can get a reading of exactly how much came out and how much was put in. Using the cans and gauge's is an ok method but to get the exact charge you can't go wrong with taking it to a shop. At the same time, when they evacuate the system you can have them replace the low side port and check for any other leaks in the system with a UV light. Any shop should have these. If that is the only problem then they can replace that, bring it into a vacuum for a good 30 minutes and recharge with the proper amount and get a good high and low side pressure. We do offer a very good DIY kit though if you think it is something you would like to learn how to do. Comes with everything needed to pull your system into a vacuum, leak check and recharge.
Mastercool DIY Starter Kit
I hope there wasn't any "stop leak" in the cans that you used.
To make a proper diagnosis you need to be sure the system is properly charged (evacuate and recharge by weight) and then measure both pressures. Also while the system is empty it is useful to remove the OT and give it a quick check for debris that could mean the compressor is coming apart inside.
Thanks for the tips. BTW...There was no stop leak in the cans. That stuff seems like a bandaid fix to me, if there was a leak I would repair it.
Is it likely that air entered the leaky port and is causing the problem? I just want to know if this is a likely and/or possible cause before someone works on it.
99 Contour SVT
78 Winnebago Minnie 440
Not likely. The problem is you don't have the exact amount of R143a needed in the system because it is either leaking out of you didn't add enough/too much. Have a basic evacuate and recharge done on it, replace the leaking valve and check your pressure's then. Your system uses an expansion valve not an orifice tube. I would recommend against having that check as it's around 6.5 hours of labor to replace it.
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