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Recharging Air Conditioning

Old 07-09-2015, 10:11 AM
5 Year Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lexington, MA
Posts: 134
Originally Posted by BraytonAK View Post
Is it normal for the compressor to spin almost non-stop? Mine doesn't cycle very much and I know the condenser fan is working well. I suspect this is why my fuel economy tanked when I started using A/C. I just changed the cabin air filter but I haven't tested vent-to-exterior temperatures. (Not accustomed to A/C usage.)
The compressor will remain on until the temperature in the evaporator goes below a fixed temperature. This is designed to keep the condensate in the evaporator from freezing. The compressor will stay on longer under the following conditions:
1. Higher ambient temperature
2. Higher ambient humidity
3. Higher in vehicle fan speed
4. Lower engine RPM (the compressor turns slower)
5. Vehicle parked rather than moving (less air to cool the condenser)
At 90 degrees, idling, with fan on high speed, it may never turn off. I lose 3-4 mpg with A/C on in hot weather.
Old 09-27-2015, 08:13 PM
5 Year Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,267
Update! To my problem above. (Sorry - been a while ..)

I bought an inexpensive recharge canister at Home Depot. Use could not have been easier: hook up, run car and AC, inject coolant until the included gauge reads in the green.

OK, there were two hiccups:
1) Unknown to me, the gauge would only show pressure when the trigger was released. So I think I ended up putting in more than needed.
2) About halfway through, with Wife holding the throttle steady inside, the A/C abruptly cuts off! I am briefly disturbed, then figure out the issue was Wife: "It was getting really cold, so I turned off the A/C ... why are you looking at me like that?"

Post treatment, the AC spent a few weeks blowing out air that was so cold it actually came out as a fine cold steam. That's probably not good in some way.

Following that, it got weaker - still struggles on hot days - but it's remained effective. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes. I expect at some point it'll need a repair, but that depends on a lot of things and might be far off.
Old 06-23-2016, 01:28 PM
vap3's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Simcoe Ontario
Posts: 75
if my a/c works for like 5 mins and then stops blowing cold air is that an indication of a leak? Why does it work initially like that and die out? Happens every time when i try to use the a/c but when im driving for awhile cold air stops working unless the car sits for a couple of hours again
Old 09-13-2016, 04:27 AM
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: texas
Posts: 1
If you keep losing freon (Refrigerant) and have to add a can frequently, it'll pay to find where the stuff is escaping. And it can leak anywhere from the condenser in the front, to the evaporator under the dash.There are several ways to do this.....Visual inspection. As freon leaks out, some compressor oil comes along with it. The freon evaporates, but the oil doesn't. It leaves a stain, and dirt collects on it. So...inspect the entire system carefully. Any oil stain on the compressor, the condenser, etc., indicates a freon leak at that location.If freon leakage occur contact to Ac Repair Service for the better results.
Old 09-13-2016, 05:16 AM
5 Year Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Hebron, In
Posts: 1,056
As the previous poster stated there are many places were r-134 can leak out. What you are describing could be a low on refrigerant situation that is causing the evaporator freeze up. Freeze up occurs when the evaporator runs at too low of a temperature (below 32F) and the moisture being extracted from the air freezes instead of just condensing and running out of the drain. A freon charge level is in order. Most places these days charge the system by weight with an AC machine. If you can find someone with a set of AC gauges you might get a better diagnosis that most people do with an AC machine.

One thing you can do if you suspect evaporator freeze up is to leave the fan on and turn off the AC for 5 minutes or so. If it is froze up the ice will melt and when you turn on the AC again it will cool again.

Another thing that will slow (not stop) ice buildup is to run on recirculate.

Another thing that can happen is the compressor clutch does not engage even though it is energized. I suggest the next time this failure happens, that you pull over, leave the engine running, open the hood, and see if the compressor is running or cycling.
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