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Old 07-15-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
ChadDISCSaturn
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Default A/C valve core replacement

I have a SC2 with a leaky low side valve. Do I need the $30 tool to get the valve core out, or is that just the safest/easiest way to get it out? I know I need to wait until the R134 is all leaked out, but can I get away with a careful set of needle-nose pliers?

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Old 07-16-2010, 11:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: A/C valve core replacement

The schrader valve works exactly like a tire valve - they're the same just sized differently. If you were to remove the valve stem from your tire (on the car or off) with full air pressure, guess what happens?

The same thing will occur if you remove the valve stem from those two service valves for the a/c system. You'll quickly release all the refrigerant and oil in a few seconds and may cause freeze burns to your eyes if not wearing eye protection. Oil spray into your eyes is bad enough but mixed with high pressure R134a is a big NO-NO. Don't be foolish and try. Either buy, borrow, rent the special valve stem removal tool to replace a valve stem without releasing all the refrigerant or (you're supposed) recover the remaining refrigerant from any a/c repair shop before removing the valve stem for replacement. Now if there were no refrigerant left in this system and you're absolutely sure that no other leak occurred (otherwise a proper repair is called for) you may be able to get away with a quick remove and replace and recharge without having a shop do the proper evacuation and leak test before recharging with R134a.

Its a gamble going on blind faith that the valve is the only place to leak as you won't really know if this works after the a/c is back up and running; either this works for the summer and leaks out sooner or later, from another leak source or the repair is successful and you'll have to wait till next summer to see if the a/c still works or not. Or have the valve stem replaced, system evacuated and leak tested first before finishing up with the refill. The leak test after a complete vacuum will ensure that there are no remaining leaks somewhere else to surprise you when the a/c stops working. Finding the system not holding a vacuum means it won't hold pressure; 50- 250psi+. Its your choice.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: A/C valve core replacement

@fdryer

Thanks for your time. You're saying the tool will hold the charge in the system without releasing the R134a, while I replace the valve? Is that the $30 tool or something that only shops normally carry?

Thanks in advance --
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