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cxhb
cxhb Reader
6/18/10 12:30 p.m.

About two months ago I posted up a dilemma asking for advice on what car I should sell. The DD 05 Pontiac Grand Prix, or the 2000 Civic that has seen duty as DD and fun car throughout its life.

Well the 05 Grand Prix just sold three days ago (woo-hoo I actually get to save my pay checks now!!) and I'm already missing the good A/C.

The problem with the A/C in the civic is it just never seems to blow THAT cold... If i put my hand up to it, it is obviously blowing out cold air, but it seems that it is not blowing out air as cold as it should be. I run it on full blast and i still feel like I'm baking in the car... its more like someone breathing on you by the time it hits you... gross.

Question 1) So, do you think it just needs a recharge, or do you think I have sprung a leak somewhere in the system?

To me it makes more sense that it probably just needs recharged, the way I see it, had there been a leak, It shouldn't blow cold at ALL.

Question 2) Has anyone ever had any luck with recharge kits from places such as Autobone/Advance/Napa?

Random Question 3) Seeing as the windows in my car are not tinted even in the slightest degree... Anyone ever felt that a car with tint seems to be cooler inside?

Any input helps!

Thanks guys! Sorry for the long post/rant.

grimmelshanks
grimmelshanks Reader
6/18/10 12:55 p.m.

tint does help in keeping the car cooler aswell as hiding you making whoopie with your woman in the back seat. sorry i have no real help with air conditioning, i havent taken that class yet

oldsaw
oldsaw Dork
6/18/10 12:57 p.m.

Re-charge kits are relatively inexpensive and are easy to use - just follow the instructions. You'll know pretty quickly if the a/c system needed a refill. You'll also know pretty quickly if there is a leak, too.

Some refill kits include a dye that allegedly exposes where leaks may exist, but I've never tried that and can't comment on effectiveness.

Tinting does help, but don't go so dark that you start getting attention from leo's. If you haven't already, also invest in a windshield shade and try parking in a position that minimizes the sun baking the interior; it always take a while for a/c to overcome all that heat build-up.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku Dork
6/18/10 1:04 p.m.

yeah, adding a can or 2 with stop leak is pretty easy. Get the one with the guage. Not super accurate, but better than nothing.

Ranger50
Ranger50 New Reader
6/18/10 1:16 p.m.

Do NOT put in any product with stop leak in it. You want to just get a recharge with dye in it. If you do/did get stop leak in the system, it is GUARANTEED to stop leaks, as NOTHING will flow any refrigerant and you will end up replacing everything.

Also don't forget to add some oil to the system with a recharge.

Brian

intrepid
intrepid New Reader
6/18/10 1:22 p.m.

Also, make certain you understand which is the low pressure side of the system. You don't want to make the mistake of connecting to the high pressure side.

-Chris R.

cxhb
cxhb Reader
6/18/10 1:26 p.m.
intrepid wrote: Also, make certain you understand which is the low pressure side of the system. You don't want to make the mistake of connecting to the high pressure side. -Chris R.

lol Well noted.

I was pretty unsure about the stop leak stuff... I feel like they would cause more harm than good. And if i understand correctly most kits come with the lubrication. The dye im unsure if they come with that or not.

oldsaw
oldsaw Dork
6/18/10 1:33 p.m.
cxhb wrote: And if i understand correctly most kits come with the lubrication. The dye im unsure if they come with that or not.

Some kits have the dye, some don't; the labels tell you everything you need to know. And definitely be careful with the low/high fittings!. IIRC, a good kit will have all the info, too.

Also, do a Google search on "re-charging automotive a/c systems"; you'll find tons of helpful info, instructional pics and video.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
6/18/10 1:37 p.m.

Freon spends all its time under pressure trying to escape. Some of it does. All a/c systems need recharging at some point in time, especially automotive ones. Rubber hoses, compression fittings, spinning seals. Heck, it's amazing they don't need recharging more often than they do!

Spend a few bucks, buy a recharge kit with a gauge and put one can in. If the system was low, it will now be spiffy. Don't worry about the second can, if you needed a second can the system would have been so low it wouldn't have kicked the compressor on.

All the kits work well, and almost all of them come from the same company (ITG?).

I've never gotten the dye kits to dye anything for me.

Nitroracer
Nitroracer Dork
6/18/10 1:59 p.m.

My suggestion would be to buy the stuff from walmart. When I worked at an auto parts store they jacked the prices up to almost $10 a can while china mart still had it for about one third the cost.

One 12oz can with a gauge and try not to overfill it.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
6/18/10 2:48 p.m.

Most mechanics I know have always said Hondas don't have the best functioning AC. I can second that as we've owed three.

you SHOULD not be able to hook the kit up to the high pressure side. But be wary anyway.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
6/18/10 3:57 p.m.

My 1990 Miata needed a recharge. But it's an R12 car, and you need a license to buy that stuff. So I took it to a local trusted garage. I'm not really up on AC anyhow.

Where they found I had a stuck expansion valve. So dumping expensive Freon into the car wouldn't have really helped that much. Having a pro do the work was definitely worthwhile. And boy, does that air get cold now.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
6/18/10 4:12 p.m.

Everything I know about AC is in post #12 here - http://roadraceautox.com/showthread.php?t=28903

cxhb
cxhb Reader
6/18/10 4:38 p.m.
Keith wrote: My 1990 Miata needed a recharge. But it's an R12 car, and you need a license to buy that stuff. So I took it to a local trusted garage. I'm not really up on AC anyhow. Where they found I had a stuck expansion valve. So dumping expensive Freon into the car wouldn't have really helped that much. Having a pro do the work was definitely worthwhile. And boy, does that air get cold now.

would that still allow "some" cold air to enter the cabin?

cxhb
cxhb Reader
6/18/10 4:48 p.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote: Everything I know about AC is in post #12 here - http://roadraceautox.com/showthread.php?t=28903

Very good stuff.

TreoWayne
TreoWayne New Reader
6/18/10 4:58 p.m.

Connect to the low side. The low side will be the BIGGER tubes.

The smaller hoses are high pressure.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
6/18/10 5:00 p.m.
cxhb wrote:
Keith wrote: My 1990 Miata needed a recharge. But it's an R12 car, and you need a license to buy that stuff. So I took it to a local trusted garage. I'm not really up on AC anyhow. Where they found I had a stuck expansion valve. So dumping expensive Freon into the car wouldn't have really helped that much. Having a pro do the work was definitely worthwhile. And boy, does that air get cold now.

would that still allow "some" cold air to enter the cabin?

Yes, it would cool the air and you could tell the difference between AC on and AC off unless it got over about 95F outside. But it wasn't terribly effective.

cxhb
cxhb Reader
6/18/10 5:04 p.m.

^^^ I guess thats where I'm at. And the awesome Ohio humidity doesnt help anything. Feels like a jungle outside. Next day I have off im checking the expansion valve.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
6/18/10 5:15 p.m.
cxhb wrote:
DILYSI Dave wrote: Everything I know about AC is in post #12 here - http://roadraceautox.com/showthread.php?t=28903

Very good stuff.

Thank you! Prior to digging in, all of my googling found people who had done it saying "it's pretty simple" with precious few details, and the remainder of folks remaining mystified and saying "berkeley it" and either remaining hot, charging in blindly with a walmart kit with varying results, or paying out the wazoo. I was determined to do a write up that was useful.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Dork
6/18/10 5:24 p.m.

I just recharged my Honda Civic's A/C partly. I say partly because I got a few half used cans from friends for free but I don't think it was enough. Also the Civics A/c just kinda sucks. It is an easy job. The low side should have a blue cap. However I would double check to make sure.

iceracer
iceracer Dork
6/18/10 6:19 p.m.

High and low recharge/pressure check ports usually are different size so that they can't get mixed up.

digdug18
digdug18 HalfDork
6/18/10 10:12 p.m.

I've owned 2 honda's, both of which havd/had lousy A/C, its a honda thing, you get used to it. You also get used to the fact that your gas mileage sucks @ss whenever your A/C is turned on.

Andrew

RealMiniDriver
RealMiniDriver Dork
6/19/10 10:42 a.m.

This is excellent timing. I just discovered last weekend that my '02 Ford van's AC died.

cxhb
cxhb Reader
6/19/10 11:06 a.m.
digdug18 wrote: I've owned 2 honda's, both of which havd/had lousy A/C, its a honda thing, you get used to it. You also get used to the fact that your gas mileage sucks @ss whenever your A/C is turned on. Andrew

Fantastic. I hope this is not the case with mine lol

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Dork
6/19/10 12:03 p.m.

I haven't found that fuel mileage suffers too much from the A/C being on.

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