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low refrigerant????

 
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Old 12 Jun 2015, 02:10 pm
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Default low refrigerant????

I get cool but not cold air out of the vents of my 2010 Cruiser with a tad over 66,000 on the clock. I thought maybe the fan was going but it seems to be working. On the highway the air is cold and eventually does cool the interior. I can't tell if the condenser is cycling any more than usual. So, all this makes me wonder if refrigerant is low. What are the symptoms if so?
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Old 12 Jun 2015, 02:27 pm
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

IMHO based on the limited information you have given, you first should be testing the static and operating AC pressures. This will give you most of your answers.
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Old 12 Jun 2015, 02:32 pm
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

Slightly low freon in a Daimler/Chrysler product will often cause the vehicle not to cool good when the car is not moving. And when it does cool, it's not as cool as it should be.

The compressor will tend to "cycle" on and off. If you raise the hood and listen when the engine is running and the AC on, you will often hear this on-off clicking.

If you hook up a low side gauge with an engine that's been off for fifteen minutes or more, the low side pressure should be about 88 psi if it's 80 degrees. The freon may be low if the pressure is in the 70's. R134a creates an equilibrium between gas and liquid phases at around 88 psi. So if the dead (static) pressure is very far below this, it may mean all the freon in the system is in gas form because there is no enough of it. When the engine and AC compressor are running, the low side pressure should be somewhere at or slightly below 30. But this varies a little with outside temp. and car model. If it's in the low 20's or lower, the freon might be low.

With the engine off for fifteen minutes or more, the dead pressure on the high side should be about 88 psi like the low side. But when the engine running and the AC compressor on, it should be somewhere at 2.25 to 2.5 times the outside temp. So at 80 degrees, it would be between 180 and 200 psi. But again, this varies with temp. and car model somewhat. Where I live, it's often between 90 and 105 degrees when the AC needs checking. So I often set up a garden hose to spray a light mist on the condenser while I work. Otherwise, the high side pressure can really jump up while the car is sitting still.

There's other things that can keep the car from cooling. Make sure the radiator fan is running. On the PT, the fan has two speeds and should run all the time. Also, make sure the vents are working. Failed vent controls will often blow all the cool air on the windshield install of through the vents toward the drive. And assure the temp control is working. When you turn the dial from hot to cold, there's a flap that diverts air away from the heater core and through the AC evaporator core to cool it when the AC is on. And the last dial lets the air recirculate instead of pulling fresh air front outside. When it's really hot out, the AC may have trouble cooling the cabin if it has to pull extremely hot air from outside.

PS: As a disclaimer, I'm not an active professional mechanic. I worked on AC system when I was kid both for fun and professionally while in school along with all kind of other automotive and heavy equipment repair work. Nowadays I average working on a car AC system maybe once every two years or so to help keep myself, family and friends running cool. But I'm an engineer and we think we know everything anyway. Plus we all think we are good looking too. So it's okay.
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Old 12 Jun 2015, 03:11 pm
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

Do you wonder why I don't detail out or copy internet information about some things. The average person if they are on a forum asking questions about things like there AC should not really be jumping into checking things out for themselves. Not only can it be dangerous but you coan easily damage AC components.

Todd your post is almost complete but you did leave a few important things out while over teching other things.

IMO an engineer is not a generalized profession as most are specialized yet most engineer's have a mentality they know it all?

If it were otherwise true more engineers would be able to be Medical surgeons or Automotive Diagnostic Technician without any further training or education in the respective fields!

I wonder why the number one complaint you always read on forums is how "badly" auto engineers did on any given platform?
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Old 12 Jun 2015, 03:18 pm
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

One thing low refrigerant indicates is a leak. Failed o-ring, pinhole leak in hose, leaking seal in compressor, leak around sensors or leak in condensor. Best to have it checked at a trustworthy mechanic shop and tested for leak than use home charge setup for temporary "fix".
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 09:21 am
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

What refrigerant is used in our cars in the USA? I know it was changed awhile back to a new type. I have used the recharge kits they sell on friends newer cars and have been thinking of doing it to mine. but not sure if it is the new or old type. the old type i would have to change some of the system as I did on my older Honda. DON'T want to do that again.
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 09:24 am
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

for DIY

PT
http://www.walmart.com/ip/EZ-Chill-M...Gauge/16930284


For some of the older cars

EZ Chill AC Recharge and Retrofit Kit - Walmart.com
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 09:29 am
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

For the PTs in Ca.

Arctic Freeze Ready-To-Use Arctic Freeze Kit (California Only) - Walmart.com
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 09:36 am
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
Why is Cali different..??
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 09:39 am
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Default Re: low refrigerant????

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionPT View Post
Why is Cali different..??

BROWN. EPA. = $$$
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