Refrigerant Type: r134a
Ambient Temp: 90
We are out of town on vacation with some friends and I don't have much with me in the way of tools. One of our friends ac quit working on the way out of town. Over the last 6-8 weeks there has been a clicking noise under the hood and he said it would stop when he shut off the ac. I can only assume it was his compressor short cycling. We stopped for dinner and the ac was working, came back out afterward and it was blowing hot air. We popped the hood and couldnt hear the compressor cycle. We are assuming he is low on refrigerant, but don't really know.
Any thoughts or suggestions on how to diagnose and\or proceed from here with limited tools?
Edited: Fri July 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM by ferg
Stop by your local friendly auto repair shop and get the $x9.95 a/c service. Ask them to vacuum and recharge the system to spec and put a little dye in it (if it has none), so you can look for that pesky leak after you return home. Maybe the leak is slow enough this will keep you cool until you return home.
What about picking up some of the small r134a cans? Would I need to jumper the pressure switch to fill iton his system?
The only thing I have ever worked on is my 82 chevy.
Make sure if you are going to "top it off", that you use pure 134a only. Do not put refrigerant with sealer in a friends system, this can kill his system. Many systems have gone to using pressure transducers, so there is no switch to jump any more. To beat the low pressure cutoff, you charge the refrigerant (as a liquid) into vacuum w/ engine off; this will produce enough static pressure for the compressor to run and suck in the remaining refrigerant as needed.
First assumption is when an AC quits working, its low on "freeon". Heard that a zillion times. If you are asking questions about little cans of R-134a, perhaps your AC knowledge is limited, but you also said the system did start working. System low on refrigerant don't start working again. This newer vehicles have the AC system tied in with the BCM and PCM, use flashram for the firmware, and that could be the problem as well with a myriad of other electrical problems.
I am always hit with something whenever I visit and without my tools, so really kind of helpless. If you want to help, give cash instead, may save blowing up you and/or his system.
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