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Old 09-03-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
BobbyP
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Default Low freon

My AC in 3 weeks went from great to barely working. Threw on the gauges and read about 20 on the low and 120 on the high. Definitely low readings... The high and low access ports are very accessible on the VUE. Low on the left and High on the right...

I added ~12oz of 134a and got the low up to 40 psi. Both needles were still at the same angles, so nothing horrible is wrong.

I will be looking for a leak when the temps cool off in a few months... At idle the center stack temp was around 40 degrees.

At 39k miles the Honeymoon must be over... LOL...

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Old 09-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Low freon

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
At 39k miles the Honeymoon must be over... LOL...
I had to add a can of Freon to my '07 this summer at 76k mi.
I'll let you know if I find the leak.
I know my '03 needs a compressor. I just purchased a vacuum pump so now I can do that job.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Low freon

Will do Chaz... We're back to normal. It gets phenomenally cold at low fan speed and driving in the morning when it's 82 outside...

You know you need to warm it up or roll down the window when your face gets numb...


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Old 09-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Low freon

Ultra-low temperatures can damage the AC system.

If your thermometer is correct (reading 26F) - and road speed is greater than 5 MPH at that reading - the TXV temperature sensor is: (1) incorrectly installed, (2) bad, (3) failing, (4) wiring to BCM has a problem, or (5) BCM circuitry has a problem.

Loss of refrigerant could be one sign of damage caused by system operating with out of range temperatures ... and a refrigerant leak possibly caused by minor evaporator core rupture (freeze-up).
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File Type: jpg TXV Temp Sensor.jpg (122.8 KB, 10 views)

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Old 09-05-2013, 12:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Low freon

Since it's been like this for 7 years, I don't believe its causing any damage. The compressor is not cycling, I don't believe any components are being damaged. I really like its performance.

Possibly the duct thermometer is not accurate, but I bet its not that far off. It's been the best mobile ac/freezer I ever owned. Lol.

Thx for looking up the docs. I will verify the duct thermometer with a temp probe that came with one of my DVM's.

I'd like to buy a vacuum pump for ac work. Would a 2.5 cfm unit be adequate for auto work?

http://www.harborfreight.com/25-cfm-...ump-98076.html

Maybe fdryer knows? It's only for occasional use, so I rather not invest more than necessary.

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Old 09-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Low freon

Why wait to look for leaks. The car shipped with dye. Get a black light a look for your leak.
Your temperature is reading too cold. Most likely indicates a blockage in the air flow. You probably have some debris on the evap. In a healthy Vue the fan will more than blow your hair back.

-Robert

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Old 09-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Low freon

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I'd like to buy a vacuum pump for ac work. Would a 2.5 cfm unit be adequate for auto work?
I have a 2.5 cfm - bought for personal use and it does fine - not from HF but after looking at various products I suspect most are created by same back-street shop in a far and distant land.

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Old 09-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Low freon

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. . . but after looking at various products I suspect most are created by same back-street shop in a far and distant land.
You're right F2G - my Robinair was made there.

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Old 09-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Low freon

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You're right F2G - my Robinair was made there.
Chuck - man you got a Cadillac pump! Are you in the business?

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Old 09-06-2013, 05:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Low freon

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
......I'd like to buy a vacuum pump for ac work. Would a 2.5 cfm unit be adequate for auto work?

http://www.harborfreight.com/25-cfm-...ump-98076.html

Maybe fdryer knows? It's only for occasional use, so I rather not invest more than necessary.
Personally, my opinion doesn't mean squat. There are more than enough members here with experience to provide a consensus and in the end you buy what you can afford that's more or less mainstream as long as its an electric vacuum pump. No venturi (compressed air type) junk.

As an aside, one or two members found their HF fuel pressure gauges leaked and one review for the HF vacuum pump failed on first use. A 35yr old Robinair R12 manifold gauge set was my go-to tool until R134a came along. I bought what I thought was a decent auto store manifold set. What a mistake that was; worked once or twice and never worked well afterwards, requiring fiddling with poorly made coupler fittings until I realized my mistake and replaced it. A Robinair 134a manifold and coupler set are my tools of choice, for reliability. A junked refrigerator motor served as my vacuum pump for years but I now have a used commercial quality vacuum pump in my tool crib.

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Old 09-06-2013, 07:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Low freon

Quote:
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Chuck - man you got a Cadillac pump! Are you in the business?
It was only $150 (Model 15300). Not the top of the line, but more than what I needed considering how often it will get used. I got it to install a mini-split A/C system and hopefully do some occasional car repairs. But Robinair may not be the Cadillac anymore. This review on Amazon:

2.0 out of 5 stars - Right out of the box, and filling with oil to correct level, it ran for three seconds and locked up. It did this ever time it was switched on. I sent it back. Another good name tool ruined by using Chinese made equipment.

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Old 09-06-2013, 09:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Low freon

I think generally people have reported good experiences with the HF pump. I've used mind at least a dozen times without problem.
My HF gauges have been fine but they're inexpensive enough to replace if they go bad.

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Old 09-06-2013, 03:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Low freon

A friend on mine, AC mechanic, had a fantastic set of liquid filled manifold gauges. Probably cost $800+, but he needs to rely on them daily.

If you are not in the business where you need to rely on a tool daily for your living, I don't see the need to buy commercial grade tools. I might go 5 years and not use a manifold gauge. I didn't even own a set of R134a gauges until 2 months ago and bought a set from Harbor Freight. Used them 3 times in 2 days with great results.

The gauges from HF have a sight glass on them, and a place to store the hi and low quick connectors on side of the manifold. IMO quite a deal for ~$50.

I will get a black light and look for the leak soon. I hate a mystery... I will find other devices to verify my duct thermometer, it may be off 5-10 degrees. Even the VUE has quite a good AC system.

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Old 09-06-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Low freon

Very true. I get in the same discussions with aircraft mechanics. If a tool fails after only 100 usages its crap to them. But to me that's good enough. No reason to pay several times over for more than I need.

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