Youtube AC repair procedure - Right or Wrong?

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Youtube AC repair procedure - Right or Wrong?

Postby acbuick97 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:09 pm

I’m a new member and really appreciate the excellent information I’ve received on this site in the last 15 years. I’ve had about 30 years experience in automotive air conditioning systems and have done several full reseal jobs on GM cars with V5 and A6 compressors.

I need expert help in my dispute with Youtube poster called Astral Auto Repairs (Astral). Yesterday, he posted a video titled “A/C Blowing Hot Low Side Suction Hose 2006 Nissan Altima” which showed him opening the system for about 30 minutes to replace the hose and then recharging the system without a vacuum procedure. Based upon all of my past experience and education, I felt this was improper and contacted Timmy of Astral to tell him so. In the past, I’ve found Timmy’s videos to be very helpful and he shows a great bit of knowledge in many automotive repair areas. However, this video I felt was not helpful and even potentially harmful and I contacted him, as follows via email:

“Hi Tim,

I've really liked all your past YouTube videos but I have to tell you, you really blew it on this one.

I cannot believe you would recharge the AC system after it had been opened without pulling a vacuum. Recharging with refrigerant with air in the system at best will limit the effectiveness of the cooling and at worst will cause corrosion due to moisture, especially doing this repair in August with high humidity. I believe part of the EPA 609 certification covers this. I really hope you do a follow up video correcting this issue. I also wanted to pass on a tip about using Nylog blue to apply to the O rings instead of refrigerant oil to reduce leaks.

Please keep up with the videos.


Evan Ayers”

He responded the same day with this:

“Hi Evan,

I guess you don't know much about a/c systems as you think you do, but that is your opinion, and I can't fault you for having an opinion. But feel free to put a video on your channel showing people how you do it.


I responded immediately with this:

“I welcome any certified AC technician to approve of your method and we'll see who knows more about this subject. You know better, as I have seen you do other AC repair videos where you did apply a vacuum before recharging. It's in every technical and service manual I've read, so it's not just my opinion it's an industry standard. That's why I didn't understand why you did it this way for your current video. Every other respected YouTube auto repair channel like EricTheCarGuy (looks like you have a close relationship based upon your videos), South Main Auto and ScannerDanner go through this procedure after discharge of an AC system.

I'll make you a deal. If after ANY of the three sources I listed watch your video and confirm your procedure is in accordance with EPA 609 standards, I will change my ways and throw away my vacuum pump. I hope you're right, as I would like to save the hour it usually takes to do a vacuum procedure.

You're such an expert and yet you don't know anything about Nylog (you've never used it in any of your AC repair videos), which is used by most knowledgeable AC tech. That's not OPINION that is a FACT. I've been working on automotive AC systems for over 30 years and probably know more than you on the subject, which also includes residential and commercial AC systems. I'm no parts changer either, as I've been through complete compressor reseals on Harrison V5, Delco A6 and Sanden SD compressors which have stayed in service without leaks for over 10 years (15 and counting for one V5 unit).”

I would appreciate any expert(s) advice as to whether not performing a vacuum after an AC component is replaced is acceptable. I’ve gone through about 20 service manuals on automotive AC systems and car manufacturer service manuals and they all state a vacuum procedure should be followed.

I encourage anyone to watch this video and let me know if I’m wrong or Timmy is. I’ve seen in the past this guy blocks any criticism in his YouTube account, so that gives you an idea of his demeanor (he has a section on blocking the “haters” who make any negative comment about his methods).

Thanks for you comments.
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Re: Youtube AC repair procedure - Right or Wrong?

Postby Cusser » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:07 am

Disclaimer: I'm NOT a certified AC tech, and do not consider myself an expert.

First, here is the link to the discussed video.

My own opinion is that proper evacuation removes air from the system (about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen) which takes up volume in the system, doesn't aid in any cooling, and can cause higher pressures. Plus leak down test following evacuation can indicate to the mechanic that a leak could be in the system BEFORE any refrigerant is added.

Proper evacuation also lowers the boiling point of water so it can boil at ambient temperature and be removed by the vacuum pump. If you cut open an old drier you will see that the actual amount of drying/desiccant pellets is quite small.

That said: when I was a teenager my boss told me that Arizona was so dry that one did not need to pull a vacuum before filling with R-12, and I followed his advice. Yes, the AC did work, but not that well, and back then we just added R-12 without using any gauges. He didn't understand about the air volume in the system. So I say that adding refrigerant without pulling a vacuum will work "some", but not to optimum/maximum potential. And what's by far the major complaint about AC systems??? INSUFFICIENT COOLING !!!

And it's not like a vacuum pump is that expensive either, and 2 years ago when away from my tools I got a free loaner unit from Autozone.
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Re: Youtube AC repair procedure - Right or Wrong?

Postby Cusser » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:12 am

As to YouTube help: some stuff there is OK, some is not. One has to evaluate based on credibility, and what others post.

This is a 100% true recent example:
Scotty Kilmer had some video of cleaning a catalytic converter with lacquer thinner. My brother in law thought this was a good idea, and Mrs. Cusser was there in Iowa visiting; I told her to tell him "no" or to have him call me but she didn't want to get involved. So next day after she arrived home, there was a phone call:
..he set the car on fire
..the car set the garage on fire
..the garage set the house on fire
..the house was totally destroyed won't cover all rebuilding and contents costs

This just happened in May.
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Re: Youtube AC repair procedure - Right or Wrong?

Postby bohica2xo » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:34 pm

Removing non condensable gasses is the biggest reason for evacuation.

You tube is for entertainment.

Cusser, sounds like you missed out on a very entertaining You Tube video - you could be making millions with that crap show you described. If you really want to be entertained, go look for "Zip Ties 'N Bias Plies" on youtube. Profane, but hilarious.
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Re: Youtube AC repair procedure - Right or Wrong?

Postby Dougflas » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:12 pm

Years ago no one evacuated HVAC systems. They blew R22 thru them and called it good to go.

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