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Scratching My Head

GP427 on Sun July 26, 2015 4:06 PM User is offline

Year: 2002
Make: Honda
Model: CR-V
Engine Size: 2.4
Refrigerant Type: R-134A
Ambient Temp: 85
Pressure Low: 0
Pressure High: 70

So, I have a 2002 CR-V. I installed a new compressor and condenser. I wanted to start the system momentarily to just see if it would cool. I threw a set of gauges on it. When it's running the pressure in the high side is 75 PSI or so and the pressure in the low side is 0 PSI. When it's not running, both sides are at 45 psi. Any idea what the problem could be? I did not get the system evacuated yet, but I did want to charge the system up to make sure it would hold pressure. I didn't expect it to run long that way, but just wanted to make sure I didn't create any leaks. Any help would be appreciated.

Jag987 on Sun July 26, 2015 4:41 PM User is offline

How much refrigerant did you put in it for the "test?" If it was very low, I would expect the high side to be low and the low side to be even lower or even I a vacuum. Even the 45 when the system is not running tells me there is not enough in there for a test. I'm surprised the compressor comes on or stays on with those numbers, unless a sensor is being jumped or running power right to the compressor.

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I bought a can of 134a at w**-mart that had a stop leak, oil, and dye in it. It also had a hose and a gauge, so now I'm an AC pro!

GP427 on Sun July 26, 2015 5:13 PM User is offline

Here's a question for you....should the pressure be at 35 or so on the low side when the engine is running? If so, I'd agree, I simply don't have enough refrigerant. Maybe I'll walk out with my idiot can of R-134 and check the pressure on my acura, which works, for comparison. If it's at 80 or something, I'll have found my problem.

GP427 on Sun July 26, 2015 5:15 PM User is offline

FWIW, the clutch on the compressor is definitely engaged. Also, is the pressure reading on AC gauges absolute or gauge? If it's absolute, I absolutely understand why the compressor isn't going to make any more pressure on the high side. It's like that song, nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

TRB on Sun July 26, 2015 6:05 PM User is offlineView users profile

Do not run the system without refrigerant! You will pump the oil out of the system and damage the compressor. You need the refrigerant to carry the oil.

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Jag987 on Sun July 26, 2015 6:09 PM User is offline

So how much refrigerant did you put in the system?

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I bought a can of 134a at w**-mart that had a stop leak, oil, and dye in it. It also had a hose and a gauge, so now I'm an AC pro!

GP427 on Sun July 26, 2015 7:29 PM User is offline

So as it turns out, 35 PSI is with the car on. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS is the lesson here. Oops I'm a [email protected]$$.

mk378 on Mon July 27, 2015 5:07 PM User is offline

Charge by weight not pressure whenever you can. Starting from empty (vacuum) put in the number of oz specified by the manufacturer. This is the only way to be sure the charge is correct.

To pressure test for leaks put in a small amount of 134a and wait several hours to see if the pressure holds. Do NOT run the compressor. It is important to keep the pressure below the condensing point for the ambient temperature, since if you let liquid exist in the lines, you will not notice a pressure drop when some of it leaks out.

Edited: Mon July 27, 2015 at 5:10 PM by mk378

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