Do you guys still maintain your A/C systems? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Do you guys still maintain your A/C systems?

Hello friends. I've worked on many aspects of vehicles, but one that I've never touched is the A/C. On my cars, they either worked- and they kept working, or they didn't work, so I just left them like that. I'm curious if you guys still maintain your A/C systems, and if so- how difficult is it?

My 92 OCC A/C does not work WHEN I press the A/C button. However if I jump the compressor, it will kick on and continue to run until I remove the paper clip.

Would this mean that there just isn't enough freon to keep the compressor running? Could I just hook up one of those autozone rechargers to the low pressure line, with the compressor jumped and charge the system that way?

Thanks for the help/guidance in advance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 12:46 PM
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Take it to an A/C shop for diagnosis and then decide whether or not you want to spend the money. Attempting to do it yourself with no knowledge of what you are doing will more than likely cause damage. For example, using those self charge kits can have the effect of blowing the seals on your compressor. The original problem may have been something simple like a switch and now you have an expensive compressor to replace.
You save nothing by trying to do it yourself.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 06:36 PM
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If you press the "econ" button, and it runs, you are probably low on refrigerant. I do not know what refrigerant you have in the system. Before you add any refrigerant, find out what you have. If it has been converted to 134a, you can use one of the kits at the parts store. If you have 134a, it will take at least one standard can, and you can use the kit that has a gauge on the "blue" side of the system. Stay within the noted range, and you should be OK.

If it is R12, you should see an AC repair shop. There is a replacement for R12 that is compatible with R12, and they may have a source for it.

If it is not labeled for 134a conversion, the type of fitting on the line can be used to determine the refrigerant. The 134a has a smooth fitting, and the R12 has a screw on fitting.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 09:57 PM
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I disagree. If you are low on refrigerant, you have a leak. Take it to a shop and have it located and fixed. You will be buying a lot of refrigerant if it keeps leaking out and you keep replacing it, even if you replace it successfully.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-04-2015, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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https://www.impalassforum.com/vBullet...d.php?t=272137

Found this thread from a few years back, pretty much what issues I'm running into right now.

I don't have an "econ" button Fred, only A/C. And it only kicks on when I jump the connector. The system last used R134 so I'm good there.

Obviously there's a leak- but I just want to see if I can get the system to take in the freon on its own, then from there see how long it ends up staying in the system. I can use a dye and light to figure out where the leak is and repair it myself.

If the compressor goes- then it would've been like I never would have tried it at all, so I'm not worried about ruining it. I'd rather blow an air compressor, be out 180 bucks and learn what it is I'm doing so that I have that experience for the future- than just blindly paying someone to diagnose it for me, then paying them to find and repair the leak, then pay them to recharge the system.

Like I said, the system kicks on if I jump it. In the thread I posted above- he had similar issues like mine. He stated that without jumping the compressor, when he added the freeon- the compressor came on, on its own. This is where I'm thinking mine is at. Once I see the compressor take the freon, and the air get cold- I'll know where I stand. I'll buy the dye kit, see where the leak is, repair it- and refill the system.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 04:10 PM
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What I have learned through the years is to use the air conditioner all year around to keep everything lubricated, I live in Colorado and even in winter I turn it on even if I don't use the car, but if you have problems now is better to go to a good shop like the Chevy dealer to have it checked.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose7740 View Post
What I have learned through the years is to use the air conditioner all year around to keep everything lubricated, I live in Colorado and even in winter I turn it on even if I don't use the car, but if you have problems now is better to go to a good shop like the Chevy dealer to have it checked.
Exactly! I run mine all the time also in this car and many others over the years.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 08:15 PM
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Yeah I never thought much about that but one thing I learned on the internet is to periodically turn on the AC in the winter to keep the seals and everything lubricated.

Though just using the defroster will cycle the compressor so it's not such a big deal to make sure you do it. If you drive your car regularly I mean.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2015, 11:31 AM
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I've had good luck with the cans that include a seal sealer. I first had A/C issues back in 2009 and had to charge it once since then. It has been 2-3 years since I've touched it and it works great still. Even if you have to charge it once or twice a summer it would take a lot of re-charging to cost more than a repair, especially if you are paying someone to do it. Maybe I've just been lucky. I did have to jump the low pressure switch to get it to come on and take the refrigerant.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-09-2015, 02:10 PM
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the reason your compressor isn't running is the low pressure cutoff switch. those cans of R134a and various other refrigerants with oils and sealers mixed in are under pressure in the can. So when you hook it up it will start to dump into your system. unless your system is absolutely bone dry and the leak bleeds pressure VERY quickly, you can generally get the system to build enough pressure that the compressor will kick on eventually and start sucking from the can...so shouldn't have to jumper it unless you're really really impatient.

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