Adding R134A to A/C

jerry_njJune 3, 2008

My 1999 Mazda Protege A/C works, but being almost 10 years old and by the "hand test" I think it may not be up to specs on cooling temperature, so

From Walmart I purchasedd on 10.4 oz can of Interdynamics 134a with Leak Sealer refrigerant with a simple trigger cap and Low side connection hose. I started the car and measured the A/C temperature at the dash, it read about 50 degrees with the outside temperature in the low 80s, plus the sun heating the car. The windows and one side door was left open, so the A/C was working against a solid 80s temperature, i.e., cooling was a bit over 30 degrees.

I connected the refrigerant can to the low side of the car's system via the supplied hose, after removing the dust cap on the car low side. The supplied hose/connector "snapped" on. I then shook the can and pulled the trigger: I could hear a slight hiss, then nothing as the engine was making enough noise to cover any flowing sounds, but I did sense a slight vibration to the can and a cooling. After about a minute I released the trigger and heard a brief hiss, I shook the can some more and pulled the trigger again. I did this repeatedly until the can felt light, it would still cool down and hiss when I released the trigger, but I figured most of the refrigerant was dispensed.

The air temp out of the dash dropped perhaps 2 or 3 degrees, not sure that was due to the additional refrigerant, or due to just the run time, now about 10 minutes. I suppose the A/C output temperature would go down more at driving RPM.

Questions: should it take several minutes, perhaps 10, to dispense 10.4 oz from a can of refrig? Do I really need to get a pressure gauge, even Walmart sells Refrigerant in larger bottles with a reusable hose/guage.

I'm thinking drive the car some and see if the A/C is working "well enough". At this point besides the gas and $10 for the refrigerant/dispenser all I have invested is about 30 minutes of my time, maybe 40 minutes counting this posting.

I didn't see any leakage, but the can I purchased said sealer, it said nothing about a "red detector" color..must not have provided that. I don't think there is any leakage as the A/C works, not dead.

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john_g

Wow, where do I start?

First, sealer voids every AC auto parts remanufacturer warranty. If when preparing to service an AC on someones car I detect sealer, (Special tool just for that) the car goes outside and it's down the road to someone that is unaware that sealant voids any parts warranties, and also voids the warranty on the AC recovery/recycling/recharging equipment that the shop uses. The normal repair cost on an AC machine contaminated by sealant is around $1500, on a $5000+ machine...

As far as the "feel" method of testing goes, it is useless without associating that feel to measured system pressures, and in fact instead of feel, one should use actual component temperatures measured by direct contact with a small thermister.

The only way to remove sealant is a complete flushing of the system that removes all of the system oil. Then you have to install a complete oil charge as well as the refrigerant charge,. It would be advisable to install an inline filter in the liquid line, a reciever drier, and a new expansion valve. Then you can get back to performing leak/performance testing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:24PM
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jerry_nj

Thanks, John g, I think. As the car is a 1999 all warranties are past history.

Seems strange to me that a consumer retail store would sell up front a refrigerant with the dreaded sealer added given your rejection of its use.

I can say the A/C is working a little cooler for having the 10.4 oz can added.

Interdynamics states: "Refrigerant 134a with Leak Sealer for All R134a Factory Installed and Retrofitted Systems." not even a hint that the sealer will f--k up the A/C. Certainly sealers are a common additive in power steering fluid, transmission fluid, radiator care products, to name a few. While I've never expect these sealers to fix a bad leak, I have had some success with all of those sealers over the years on high mileage vehicles.

I do appreciate your expertise, so I am of course concerned, but I am taking a wait stance.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 8:17PM
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jerry_nj

Cool today, but I ran the A/C anyway to see if it is still working, it is.

To john g 's point, the Interdynamics can does warn/advise: "...consult your auto service manual" I have only a Haynes manual for this car, and I did check, no mention about sealers. The Interdynamics can also proclaims: "Charge A/C system and safely seals most A/C leaks in hoses, o-rings and gaskets."

There sure is nothing that would trigger a warning alarm in the typical "shade tree mechanic".

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:47PM
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iggie

Also if you do not use a gauge to install R134 likely you will overcharge the unit, this over works compressor, can cause early failure, use more gas, plus the unit will not work correctly.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:58AM
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john_g

A little excerpt from an article about AC sealers.

Sadly what makes them work is what makes them a problem.

"QUOTE"
-------------------------------------------------------
Uh oh, what about violating the warranties?
Understandably, none of the major manufacturers of original equipment parts or A/C equipment wants you to use any of these products. Finding sealant in a failed part can nullify the warranty. Heres what some of them say about A/C sealants.

GM Bulletin No.: 03-01-38-001: March, 2003. "GM Service Operations DOES NOT endorse or approve the use of any aftermarket A/C system sealer, A/C stop-leak product or A/C seal conditioning product in any GM vehicle. The use of these aftermarket products may cause damage to A/C systems and to A/C service equipment.

A/C system found to be contaminated with A/C system sealers, A/C stop-leak products, or seal conditioners are not covered by GM New Vehicle Warranty or the GM Replacement part Warranty."

NAPA Temp: "NAPA TempÂs policy regarding the use of these products (A/C System Sealers) is that we DO NOT endorse its use and will deny all claims made against defective products returned for credit that are found to have been exposed to or suspected of containing said sealers."

Delphi Product & Service Solutions: "Although pure leak detection dyes are permissible, Delphi does not approve the use of any type of air conditioning system sealants. The use of any sealant immediately voids all warranties of compressors. If it is determined that the compressor has failed due to the presence or evidence of any sealant, appropriate account adjustments will be made. Only Delphi compressors with an orange aftermarket label will be eligible for warranty."

Visteon: "Visteon Automotive does not endorse or approve the use of any aftermarket A/C refrigerant system sealer. The use of such aftermarket refrigerant sealers show evidence of damaging A/C refrigerant recovery/evacuation/recharging equipment, as well as possible damage to A/C refrigerant system components.

Vehicles found or suspected of having an A/C refrigerant sealer in the system should be serviced as a refrigerant system containing a contaminate. Visteon approved refrigerant system flushing equipment/agents may not remove the refrigerant system sealer from a contaminated system, and replacement of the entire A/C refrigerant system is recommended.

Vehicle A/C refrigerant systems determined to be contaminated with an aftermarket refrigerant sealer may affect A/C refrigerant system components warranty."

RTI Technologies: "RTI recovery/recycling machines are not designed to recover and recycle refrigerant system sealers. The RTI Technologies Warranty may be considered void if evidence of any refrigerant system sealer is found in any of the internal components of an RTI recovery/recycling machine. The owner of a contaminated machine may be advised the warranty is void and all charges for repair will be his responsibility."

Mazda: "Do not use any aftermarket A/C refrigerant system sealer in the repair of Mazda vehicles. The use of such aftermarket refrigerant sealers may result in damage to A/C refrigerant recovery/evacuation/recharging equipment and/or A/C system components. A system found with or suspected of having an A/C refrigerant sealer in the system should be serviced as a refrigerant system containing a contaminant. Refrigerant system flushing equipment and agents may not remove the refrigerant system sealer from a contaminated system, and replacement of the entire A/C refrigerant system is recommended. These repairs will not be covered under the manufacturer's basic warranty."

"Quote
---------------------------------------------------------

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:20AM
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tom418

To john g 's point, the Interdynamics can does warn/advise: "...consult your auto service manual" I have only a Haynes manual for this car, and I did check, no mention about sealers.."

There sure is nothing that would trigger a warning alarm in the typical "shade tree mechanic

This is EXACTLY why the FAA regulates all mechanics who work on aircraft. If the OP had been working on a plane without the FAA aproved manufacturer's service manual nearby, it would have been "bad,bad,bad".

Oh and forget no warning for the "Shade tree mechanic". Maybe that should tell you that the "kit" that you bought should have been used by experienced personnel?

I hope the OP "saved a lot of dough" by DIY A/C repair.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:56PM
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muhammak_hotmail_com

My Toyota prado 2005 A/C is clogged by 'R-134a Super Seal A/C Leak Sealer by Interdyamics",when I try to use it to stop small leak. Please let me know how to flush out this leak sealer and repair the A/c.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 7:40PM
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