Refrigerant Type: 134a
Unsolicited Kudos to the DIY starter kit found here......https://www.ackits.com/pc/DIY-STARTER1/DIY/DIY-STARTER1+-+DIY+Starter+Kit
Having just spent $1,100 and $1,200 respectively on two fleet vehicles for A/C repairs and faced with the prospect of two personal vehicles needing service (and faced with the limitations of the single suction gauge can/kit) I decided to take a look myself and sprung for the DIY starter kit.
Great investment. Gauge manifold/pump/UV leak detector kit/can tap/Book. Right out of the box diagnosed F150 A/C as a bad relay (14 bucs)....fixed then charged properly. I have no doubt that would have been another $1,100 at the dealer.
There is no substitute for dual gauges/manifold for reading high and low pressure for diagnosing condition (good outline in the book) and for properly filling. You just cant do that right with the can/kit from the auto parts shop. Those things are proned to overfilling and when you over pressurize the system the evaporator can't "evaporate" the refrigerant which is where all the cooling takes place. When full evaporation cant take place you risk slugging the compressor with liquid. Just having dual gauges are a must. The A/C works much better when the charge is in the sweet spot.
The leak kit is way better than the UV pen you get with the auto parts store pen light.
I don't normaly tout products but if you like doing this sort of thing and the object is to save money, you'll save more with the right tool. I saved the value of the kit on the first truck and all I have spent on the personal vehicles is for one can of 134a...normally I would have bought several. Add to that the good support you get on this forum and you cant beat it.
Edited: Fri July 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM by efxengr
Thanks for supporting ACKITS.com. A few proper tools and repairing ones A/C becomes a lot easier.
Over the years I've learned it's far cheaper to just bite the bullet on quality tools. Often, quality tools can pay for themselves on the first job. Of course some tools just don't make sense, like an alignment rack for your garage or road force balancing machine... those jobs are probably better off bringing to a pro.
The best bonus of having quality tools is their always available when you need them. If you want to work late at night, or on a weekend, or whenever is convenient for you, you can just pull out your tools... no appointments, no rental fees, no nothing.
You got some fine quality tools from AMA indeed, plus you've got the support with board if you have any questions.
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