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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've gotten the Impala out of hibernation and noticed that the A/C is not as cold as it should be. The last time the A/C was serviced was easily 10 years ago when the compressor crapped out and before a few days ago, the A/C probably hadn't even been on in 3 to 5 years. The car has sat more than it's been driven for longer than I care to think about. So, should I give one of those recharge kits a shot or take it in for service? I'm thinking try the kit, since it's cheap and may take care of things. Worst case I'm out $20 or so. Am I missing anything?
 

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borrow a set of ac service gauges and a vacuum pump, evacuate the system for an hour then weigh the freon charge in.
then go from there if there are issues.
 

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That sounds good, but I can't think of anybody within a reasonable distance who would have the tools to borrow and they don't show up as an AZ loaner tool on the website. Is there a downside to the kits?
 

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yes.
long term non-use of the ac will cause the oil inside the system to drain away from hoses and the compressor seal.
R134A has smaller molecules than R12 and refrigerant oil blocks it.
so you get small seepages out the seal and hoses after awhile.
if it sits long enough you get air in the system from temp changes, not much but you want zero air because it also has moisture in it.
air and moisture will eventually turn the refrig oil acidic.
so thats why you want the vacuum pump.

B-body ac uses orifice tube.
which means its a pressure controlled system, the pressure switch on the acumalater senses evap outlet pressure and cycles the compressor clutch to keep the evap temp stable and not freeze up.
if you over or under charge the system that switch is not going to read the correct pressures so there you go.
weighing the charge is the proper way to keep from underperformance or damaging the compressor from refrigerant flooding.

you could try guessimating the charge with one of those kits but its a short term bandaid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the explanation. I don't mind paying a shop to do it if it makes sense.
 

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The R-134a cans with all the fancy catch your eye graphics and the gauge are all crap, They are overpriced, Contain sealers, paint stripper, and even STOP LEAK. Get a regular 12oz can of Johnsons of other MADE IN USA gas, not Chinese stuff. Its really easy to overcharge the system with a can, I probably did it years past, W/o a manifold gauge set or with a recovery/recharge machine you don't have the tools to do it right.

ALL these cars by now should have new service valves on them, They will and do leak. On Two of my cars here the valves were pulling in outside air when the system was under a vacuum. LOL. Really if you want reliable AC in a car this old. Put all new O rings on it at every connection, Change the valves. Remove the compressor, Drain out the old ****ty 20 year old Pag oil, new Recover driver, Orifice, Flush out the condenser, hoses, and evaporator, Put it all back together, new pag oil, etc
 

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http://www.northernautoparts.com/ProductDetail.cfm?ProductId=4149&utm_source=Northern+Auto+Parts+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5c22ebd4b2-June_17_2015_6_17_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ae9b053342-5c22ebd4b2-4311913&ct=t%28June_17_2015_6_17_2015%29&mc_cid=5c22ebd4b2&mc_eid=deeb0d94ca
I just ordered this kit because my compressor is shot.
Might be cheaper for you to replace rather than repair yours if required.
Although you may want to hire someone to do that particular job.
I'm certainly not looking forward to it...:(
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I'm pretty sure the compressor is fine, but the charge is low. Chances are the o-rings are not in great shape though. I'll find a local shop to service it.
 

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Put in a 12oz can of Freon from WalMart for $6 bucks. Done.

Nab
 

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That's too bad the local AZ to you does not rent the tools. I rented the vacuum pump and gauges for free and bought my AC Delco service port on Amazon for $5. $40.00 later (2-28oz cans) and I'm good to go. Average price a shop wanted was $125.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's kind of a PIA but it's done now, and the AC is nice and cold again, so that's something.
 
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