Originally Posted by jironman
I've been having issues with my A/C lately. I definitely would like to avoid the dealership.
First it appeared the A/C wasn't blowing as cold as it did prior. The blower seems to work fine although then side vents don't have the same force.
So I bought an A/C repair kit (basically a hose w/gauge and coolant). It was in need of a charge so I followed the instructions. (Side note: everything seemed to be engaging when I turn on the a/c).
For about two days all appeared to be working. Then it started having issues again. It would work off and on... blow cold for a bit then room temp air. No real pattern just cold then fade to warm then cool again. While out running errands I noticed it would blow cool after turning off the vehicle. ???
Currently it appears to only blow room temp.
Any ideas? Leak? If so, any common areas to look? Tips?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Rather than a simple charge can and guage, you might want to pick up an A/C manifold guage and hose set if you plan to maintain this yourself.
A set of gloves and eye protector are a good idea...
You can get a reasonable one for about 90 bucks, e.g. the Interdynamics Manifold Guage and Hose Set from Advance Auto comes in a nice carry/store case compared to the similarly priced Autozone units.
I suspect your charge barely lifted it above minimum, then as it leaked [possibly too rapidly] your compressor will start cycling on and off to try to avoid damage.
Unless you evacuate the system [which requires more $$$] you usually don't need oil/freon mix, but if you need more than one can, adding a single can to a fairly depleted system should work.
Before you start, carefully clean EVERY A/C hose and bit of hardware, using a scrub brush and bit of tide or similar soap. Rinse thoroughly and rinse again.
A fairly significant leak will usually leave the lubricant behind and leave greasy places on hoses, couplings, or those !@!!$@ Schrade valves. Definitely pick up dye as well, plus a small UV lamp.
Then, use a manifold to charge it up, let it run for several minutes and check to make sure on recirc/full blast/full cool, the outlet temperature is close to 40 F.
Shut it off, and check the pressures again after an overnight sit, to see if you have a bad leak.
If not, drive it for a while, but watch out for any sign of cooling failures and put the manifold set on it again and check pressures.
Hoses, compressor, schrade valves, condensor, evaporator, are all suspects. If you have to open it up, I suggest having it fully pressure tested and use an electronic sniffer for leaks, and find a good independent A/C shop who is willing to tell you which leaks really need to be repaired and which are rather expensive for only a small benefit.