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03 tahoe possibly overfull

03 tahoe on Fri June 04, 2010 4:10 PM User is offline

Year: 2003
Make: chevy
Model: tahoe z71
Engine Size: 5.3l
Refrigerant Type: 134a
Ambient Temp: 85

just picked up my guages today and I am an a/c novice. I tried to off the shelf fix it... and it was working good. tried to top off the system with the dumby guage supplied with system and the whole system went back to hot air and some "growling" from the compressor (I guess) I have 3- 19 oz cans of 134a in the system. It was down to about 48 degrees and the third caused the new issues. What numbers should I be looking for on the low and high side?? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

HVargas on Fri June 04, 2010 5:17 PM User is offlineView users profile

Where to start with this one. First of all, the system capacity is 43oz. If you put in 3 19oz cans, you already have 57oz in the system. Assuming the system was completely empty to start with. You should never add refrigerant when you don't know the amount in the system to start with. My first step would be to get everything out of the system. Charge it with the correct amount of R134a ONLY. To my knowledge it doesn't come in a 19oz can so you probably added some oil or sealer or something to the system which won't help performance. Once you get 43oz in the system you can start to diagnose the system. Checking for leaks, getting system pressures, and vent temps.

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: Arizona Mobile Air

03 tahoe on Fri June 04, 2010 7:29 PM User is offline

thanks for the info, once i have emptied the system, how would i know how much I have put back in if using a cylinder-- or would you recommend 134a 12 0z cans?? How can I be sure the system is completely empty? Sorry if these questions seem beginner, but I don't want to make mistakes-- thanks for your help.

Briandl79 on Fri June 04, 2010 7:39 PM User is offline

You'd normally take it to a shop and have it evacuated so you'd know it was empty. It seems for the inexperienced that 12oz cans would be the best bet. If you bought 4 12oz cans the most you could put would be 48oz. It shouldn't be that difficult to only put in about half of the last can.

03 tahoe on Fri June 04, 2010 7:49 PM User is offline

if not using an evacuator, how do you know your system is completely empty?? when pressure ends-- or could refrigerant still be in system?? just wondering, there has to be a tool that can measure volume that has been put into the system or would you use your pressure settings?? just wondering how a real a/c guy would do it

Briandl79 on Fri June 04, 2010 7:58 PM User is offline

A real A/C guy would evacuate it properly. Otherwise you'd know it's empty when the high and low side ports are opened and nothing comes out.

TRB on Fri June 04, 2010 8:16 PM User is offlineView users profile

System needs to be empty of refrigerant and then be pulled into a vacuum before charging. Introducing air into the system is just going to cause issues. That is why these off the self kits are such trouble makers when trying to repair an a/c system! As Adam mentioned, not only do you not know the refrigerant level. You may have also added too much oil or even a sealer. If this is the case things can go bad quick once the system is open depending on the type of sealer. Sorry for the bad news but that is the way I see it at this point. Check the cans and see what else was in them and let us know.

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

03 tahoe on Fri June 04, 2010 9:01 PM User is offline

I was using "arctic Freeze" ultra synthetic 19 oz cans.. leak sealer, and moisture and acid eliminator... my concern if I empty this w/o vaccum, I am not going to get a complete evacuation and as you mentioned -- air could get into the system. It's not as easy as empty and refill without the machines needed?? All said, can I do this or do I need to have a someone with vaccum -- empty and refill??

Briandl79 on Fri June 04, 2010 9:26 PM User is offline

This is really one of those things that is best left to a pro. I've been messing with these things for months and I still have a million questions. If you whatever reason you are dead set to do this yourself, you can usually borrow a vacuum pump and a set of manifold gauges from AutoZone. You may have to call around to a few locations to find one that has them. You'll have to leave a 325.00 deposit for both pieces of equipment, but you get it back when you return them.

TRB on Fri June 04, 2010 9:57 PM User is offlineView users profile

As Briandl79 has stated. You need a certain amount of equipment to do this correctly. Question is are you willing to buy or rent the equipment. Buying is not a bad option as most make it back checking out their friends vehicles. The
DIY Kits we sell have all the basic items you need. Plus the support of the forum you will be the best friend on the block.

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

Briandl79 on Fri June 04, 2010 10:13 PM User is offline

I had no idea you guys sold kits, interesting. I don't know if you do it now but a prompt to tell people when they signup or in their signup email (Which I didn't read) might not be a bad idea.

03 tahoe on Fri June 04, 2010 10:55 PM User is offline

the kit sounds like a great idea... I would love to find a kit that has what you need, instead of "throwing" parts and equip at the problem and seeing what sticks. The forum has been a big help. Thanks for the info from both of you all. I feel like I am starting to get a handle on this problem. I don't think I'll need to tear it apart or anything too serious. Just need to get the refrigerant corrected. Thanks... I'll let you know.

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