auto air conditioner

This is kinda sorta home repair. I need to recharge the a/c on a 1999 chrysler and the local garage wants $124 to do the job. That seems too high for me. Can I get a can of R134 from auto zone and do it myself? If I can please tell me how to do it after I find the leak. TIA
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I can, but I won't. Unless I could be with you to do it step by step, I'm not going to expose myself to the liability as you will be dealing with very high pressure. People have been seriously injured doing this seemingly simple chore the wrong way. You also need gauges to get the right pressure. It is not just a matter of putting some refrigerant into the system.
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Edwin is right here. For only $124 its not to bad a deal. They will probably be done with the vehicle faster anyway, plus they are the ones liable for a screw up not you.
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On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 15:22:04 -0400, Herb and Eneva wrote:

Ask someone at Autozone, they're usually pretty helpful.
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On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 15:22:04 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Herb and Eneva) wrote:

You can always try squirting a can of 134 in the LOW side. I doubt you could even get to the high side with one of the do it yourself kits. The ports are different. This may or may not work for you. You really do need gauges to do it right, or even know if this is the real problem.
Wear safety glasses! ... and watch out for frostbite.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Listen to Edwin! If it has a leak, there are a lot of things that have to be done properly. All ACs need to be taken care of properly and that calls for a licensed tech. - udarrell
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WISDOM PRINCIPLE DIRECTED EMPOWERMENT COMMUNICATIONS -
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On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 15:22:04 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Herb and Eneva) wrote:

This is NOT "sorta home repair." Pay to have this done.
Do you know how to find the leak? -- Oren
"I don't have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who really loves it."
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Herb and Eneva wrote:

It "sounds easy" but it isn't really....
Auto AC systems have far less refrigerant storage capacity than they used to, sometimes as low as a total weight of a pound and a half of gas.
Put in a little too much refrigerant and you stand a good chance of having the compressor blow itself up trying to compress liquid.
Nothing about fixin' cars is as simple as it was years ago, dammit.
I used to be able to do stuff like recharge an car's AC with one hand behind my back and my eyes closed. I even installed some aftermarket AC systems in my own cars back around 1960 and they worked slicker than snot on a brass doorknob too.
Now I find myself having to fix my cars with my checkbook more often than with my tools.
Listen to the majority advice here and let someone with experience and the proper equipment do the job. Use your time doing what you do for a living and earn the bucks to pay for having the job done right.
Just my .02,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
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Herb and Eneva wrote:

Hi, At least half of it is for the labor. If you know what you are doing sure. Or you'll make even bigger problem.
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On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 15:22:04 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Herb and Eneva) wrote:

If you knew how to find and repair the leak properly, there would have been no need for your query.
You are hereby awarded one point for the realization that the leak should be found/fixed before adding refrigerant.
Take it to the shop unless you wanna spend lots of time and money on learning AC, tools, etc. Total value of which will exceed $124.
Puddin'
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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On Jun 28, 3:22 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Herb and Eneva) wrote:

I humbly disagree with the previous posts. Adding refrigerant is NBD.
Go to your favorite parts store or discounts store and pick up a kit for about $20. It has a gauge, a hose, and a can of refrigerant. Plus it has directions. While you are there, get another can of refrigerant -- this one with a UV die in it so when it goes out of the system, it leaves a trail for you to find the leak. After you've found the leak, THEN take it to the shop for repair so you don't keep killing the ozone.
While at the part store, ask then to help you find the low-side port that is used to measure the pressure and add refrigerant. It is usually right up front and has a blue or black cover on it.
Follow the directions precisely, including running the AC while testing the pressure.
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Herb and Eneva writes:

Even if you could recharge it yourself, how do you expect to fix the leak?
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Herb and Eneva wrote:

Not really a good idea with modern A/C units. First you can get injured. Second you can damage the equipment. Third you will likely ignore the leak that was the reason you needed a re-charge to being with. Last if you don't get it right, while it may work, it may not work as intended.
Best bet is to have a good pro do the work. Look for a shop that specializes in that work (often combined with radiator work). They will generally be better at the work and more often than not cheaper than other shops.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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if it still has some pressure in it , you can put a can of freon in it ,directions usually come with the kit . if you want to fix a leak,youll have to open the system ,so youll have to have a vacume run on it before new freon and oil goes back in ,so may be best to hire that done if you dont have vacume pump,guages and know how. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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Listen, er, or read the advice from the others carefully and consider it thoroughly. I'm very mechanically inclined and I won't even touch the A/C system. It's not as simple as it sounds. Let the pros do it.
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wrote:

How did this mistique come up around the primative AC system in a fucking car? Everyone was working on them in the 70s and I don't remember the horrific body count. I agree shooting a can of gas in an old car is pissing on the fire bit if it gets you through until September, where is the harm? If this fails again in a month he can always go watch the "pro" go on a $2000 easter egg hunt through the system. I guarantee they will not find a "half a can a month" leak without replacing several parts.
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On Jun 29, 7:14 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

In the mid 60s I had one that was leaking a pound or two a year. When to an airconditioning store and bought a couple cans and a tapper valve. They didn't sell kits and the guy at the store told me to leave it to the "experts". Told him I was an expert (I had read about how it worked). A lot easier back when they had sight glass so you could see the bubbles/liquid coming out of the condenser. I still have two or three one pound cans of R12 sitting on a shelf in the garage. Price tag on them reads 99 cents!!
Wear goggles. That stuff can freeze your eyeballs.
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wrote:

No sight glasses anymore! Dang.

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Rich256 wrote: ...

A/C systems today are a lot different from those in the 60's. Just slapping some more refrigerant in there can damage the system.
--
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wrote:

Same problem then. If you got liquid into the compressor it could crack it. Still the same principal. Compress hot gas, cool it to a liquid, let it expand again. But with the sight valve it was "too easy" for the do it yourself guy. You could just "top it off" until you got liquid out of the condenser. Wasn't necessarily full but it was "good enough". Gauges were nice to have too.;
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