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Old 05-08-2018, 09:26 AM   #1
Chaz9496
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

I replaced the high pressure line earlier this year. I vacuumed the system this last weekend and found it would only take small amount of refrig and stop. It was enough to activate the pressure switch and get the clutch to engage but still only a small amount would take then stop. I checked the system with the gauges and find that there's only 25 psi on both side with the clutch engaged so I'm assuming the compressor's bad. It must not be sucking any refrig in IMO from what I know about readings on the gauges. I'm also going to replace the expansion valve as well while I'm doing some diag on it. What do you think ?

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Old 05-08-2018, 12:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

Was there enough damage to the high pressure line to lose a lot of refrigerant oil? What caused damage? Electric or pneumatic vacuum pump? Time used for evacuation? Describe gauges used. Answer all questions.

When following proper procedures in ac repairs, evacuation to 29.99 in hg creates a vacuum void free of air and moisture. This allows refrigerant into a system easily without having the compressor running. At least half a pound of r134a is needed before the pressure switch allows compressor operation. Once sufficient refrigerant is drawn in and compressor runs, remaining refrigerant is drawn in by running a high idle, around 1200-2000 rpm. 12 oz cans empty in less than 5 minutes, warmed in a bucket of warm water. Refrigerant is drawn into a system only thru the low side.

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Old 05-14-2018, 09:49 PM   #3
Chaz9496
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

I have just regular Harbor Freight A/C gauges to do the evac. But I just use an Autozone short blue refill hose with a plastic line fitting and metal refrig can valve to fill it. I actually went to this due to the fact that the gauge low side line didn't work to refill it either. The can freezes up as well. This has never done this before since I changed the line out back in Oct last year. The high side line had a slight hole in it due to the motor mount wearing a hole in it on the passenger side. I didn't have it clamped down to the body is why. I vac it for about 30 min. This is all that's stated by most mechanics on YouTube. It lost most of the oil but the compressor still had some. I put about 1 once back in it. Actually, if your familiar with Scanner Danner, a trainer of a auto tech institute in PA, states if the system isn't empty it shouldn't take more than an once of oil back in. I Replaced the expansion valve because of a leak at the valve on the old one. The gauges held at 0 for 15 min last night when I vacuumed it again after the valve replacement. I also have a question about the drier. It came with 4 O-rings. I thought the drier used only 2 small rings. There were 2 small and 2 larger ones. I used compressed air and blew out everything to see if there was any restrictions and there wasn't that I could tell that is. I hope this helps.

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Old 05-14-2018, 09:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

Sorry, Harbor Freight plastic air compressor vacuum pump. Why, those don't work ? I used an electric pump before but my friend sold it.

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Old 05-14-2018, 11:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

All airconditioning systems requires a complete evacuation of a new or repaired system before filling with refrigerant. Air, moisture and sealer are enemies of every system. By design, ac systems circulate refrigerant, oil and dye. Nothing else. The canister next to the condenser coil acts as a filter, desiccant (removes minute moisture), and accumulator to filter crap from a system meant to run forever. Repairs by anyone requires correct procedures otherwise any procedures not performed correctly can introduce more problems later and blamed on parts when procedures are the cause of failures.

One piece of troublesome equipment is the pneumatic vacuum pump. If it cannot achieve near absolute vacuum (29.99in hg), not zero pressure and maintain this level for at least 15 minutes, it won't remove air and moisture in a system, compromising it. Moisture in a system can freeze at the thermal expansion valve, hindering cooling performance, raising temperatures instead of reducing interior temps. Autozone may have electric vacuum pumps for loan.

Canister fittings usually have one O-ring per fitting. Use the O-ring that fits. Mineral oil should be used as lube on O-rings.

When refilling the system with the refill can freezing means refrigerant was being sucked out the can into the compressor as the engine idles. When transferring pressurized refrigerant, the low pressure (vacuum) from compressor creates the low pressure condition similar to the evaporator coils. As the can empties, you're witnessing refrigeration effects, can cooling. A bucket of warm water will transfer heat to the can contents as its dipped into the bucket.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gauges-1.jpg (138.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg gauges-2.jpg (75.2 KB, 12 views)

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Old 05-16-2018, 09:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

Your probably correct. The gauges show right on "0" when vacuumed with the compressor vacuum pump. With the electric pump the last time I did this they showed below was as you showed in the pictures. A mechanic told me yesterday that there's probably still pressure in the system is why it's not taking in any refrig. I'll rent one a pump and see what happens. I'll update after it's done. Thanks for the pictures as well.

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Old 05-17-2018, 08:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

Nope. Different compressor and rented an electric pump and still no refrigerant intake. The only thing I can figure now is a restriction somewhere. Now finding it is the issue. After blowing out the high and low side lines and expansion valve replacement is the evap or condenser. Those are the only two things left to have any. Strange how this just started this season. Welp, now I have back-up compressor.

Last edited by Chaz9496; 05-17-2018 at 08:54 PM.. Reason: Added Comment

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Old 05-17-2018, 09:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

Examine your gauge or gauges, quick connect couplers, valve depressors needed to connect fittings while depressing valve stems. Equipment may be faulty. Ac repairs are unforgiving of mistakes.

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Old 08-21-2018, 11:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

I was charging it with the can up as a vapor. It needs to be upside down as a liquid. That way it took a can in less than a minute with the engine off. Then I charged with the engine on after the first can. As long as you have a manifold gauge set you can charge it that way. Charging as a vapor freezes the can and it prevents it from charging as fast. Hot water corrects that problem if you charge that way.

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Old 08-22-2018, 06:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

There's something missing here. While you claim the only way to charge your system was by inverting the can, it's not recommended to anyone unfamiliar with compressor operation. While you did state emptying the first can with the engine off, there are many assuming their engines must run whether the compressor engages or not. The most serious problem is dumping liquid refrigerant into the suction side of running compressor - slugging the compressor. Compressors cannot compress liquids. Doing so will likely lead to compressor damage similar to flooding an engine and hearing a clunk as pistons hydrolock when starting. This rarely occurs but does happen. You got away with this procedure.

Warm water warms up a can as refrigeration effects occurs to cool the can temperature as it expels it's contents into the compressor. Unless you're aware of it, can pressures can exceed 150 psi using hot water. Swishing can contents while upright in a bucket of warm water will raise pressures to around 75-100 psi. The bottom of most 12 oz cans are dimpled - when pressures are exceeded from mishandling, this simple breaks open to release can contents. A low tech form of pressure relief to safeguard against over pressure conditions. These dimples weren't on older r12 cans..... industry safety.

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Old 11-08-2018, 11:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: A/C Not Taking In Any Refrig.

For this car, you need to have someone sit in the driver's seat and maintain the engine speed at around 2000 RPM before you can add more refrigerant. At idle, the low pressure side maintains a pressure that is too high for refrigerant to leave the can and enter the system. This has something to do with this car having a variable compressor along with a thermal expansion valve. Other cars that have a clutch cycling setup don't require the 2000 RPM engine speed.

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