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I screwed up

dwooderson on Thu July 10, 2014 12:48 PM User is offline

Year: 2006
Make: Volvo
Model: V60
Engine Size: 2.5T
Refrigerant Type: 134A
Ambient Temp: 90

The effectiveness of my 2006 Volvo's AC has been in slow decline the past three summers. It wasn't blowing as cold, but it was still decent. This summer, it's moved into "time to fix it" territory, so I bought a kit from Autozone, followed the instructions, and it was like a new AC again. Super cold air. Brilliant!

But the needle didn't quite enter the target range on the gauge (yes, I rotated the dial to compensate for the ambient temp), so today, I picked up another can of 134A, and followed the same procedure.

I pulled the trigger to add more refrigerant, but the needle didn't move. It stayed just below the target range. Hmm.

I disconnected the kit, and then restart my car, and now the system doesn't cool at all. The compressor cycles on about every 60 seconds, but it immediately shuts off every time.

I feel like such an idiot for not leaving well enough alone (but at the same time, the pressure didn't quite reach the target zone, so I thought it needed more).

Did I overcharge it? Maybe I have a bad gauge?

Any suggestions?

webbch on Thu July 10, 2014 1:12 PM User is offlineView users profile

How badly you screwed up depends on what "kit" from autozone that you put in. If it was the "A/C pro" in a can containing leak sealer (or any other product containing the dreaded leak sealer), your a/c system is toast. If it just contained some dye and refrigerant, then you can more easily recover from your situation.

You need a proper a/c gauge set to monitor both high & low side pressures to determine what's going on. That's one of the reasons most of the people here so despise the "kits" sold at the auto parts stores - they only have a low side gauge.

If you're overcharged, then then the compressor may be cycling due to excessive high side pressure. Get the low & high side readings and report back.

BTW - If it's similar to the setup on my '04 V70, the high side port is on the passenger side by the radiator. The port is recessed and may require this adapter to connect to the gauge set. You can also access the high side pressure sensor reading (in kPa) from VIDA, if you happen to have it.

Edited: Thu July 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM by webbch

mk378 on Thu July 10, 2014 1:21 PM User is offline

Most likely you have just overcharged it. If you didn't add sealer, you could have a shop recover the refrigerant and put back the correct amount by weight. This will work until it leaks out again. When you start having to recharge every year, some effort should be taken to find the leak. Put UV dye in if it doesn't have it already. Some Volvos do not have a high side port and you have to use a computer to read the high side pressure via the sensor.

Jag987 on Thu July 10, 2014 1:53 PM User is offline

What they said. See my signature line.

Stick around and do a little reading, cancel that do A LOT of reading here and you just might learn more than you wanted to know.

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!

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