Have to recharge AC more often than filling up!

kohokohoJuly 4, 2005

I recently treofitted the AC system in my 88 Camry to R134a. It ran fine for a while but I've noticed the 'coldness' of the air slowly disappears after a few days (week) of recharging with the freon. I almost have to recharge it everyweek to keep it cool. How often does a recharge last if the AC is used normally (30 min of day driving in my case)?

May be I am not recharging it to the full capacity - It always strikes me that 'too much is not always good'. I normally do look for the gage to point to the maximum of the blue area (I forget the scales but it I think it goes like this: green, blue, yellow and red).

Any suggestions as to what I can do to recharge the AC less often than I visit the gas station? Thanks in advance.

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Sounds like you've got a leak somewhere in the cooling system.Could be a fitting,a hose,the compressor itself,or the condensor coil.Those leaks can be a pain to trace,I recommend taking it to a mechanic who has experience with cooling systems.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 10:28PM
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My suggestion is to take it somewhere that can find the leak. They'll probably put some dye in with the refrigerent then ask you to come back in a few days. The location of the leak will probably be obvious then. You're correct about too much not being a good thing. Too much will trip the super heat switch as soon as the compressor comes on which will shut it down again. Then you're blowing warm air the same as if you didn't have enough.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 10:57PM
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Well first things first. You can't use an R12 compressor
with 134A. The pressures are different and so is the oil.
It will go for a little while. Next if there are no leaks,
and you have one, the charge should last years. Third a 134a comvertion is usually 3/4 of the original 12 charge. It is a very slow freon and boils at -15F. In a proper
charge the discharge air will warm up a few degrees at an
idle and get cold at road speed. Normal. Forth, if over
charged the releaf valve at the compressor will open and blow to atmosphere. There is no super heat switch. They now
use a head pressure switch and internal bypass. Your car is too old for that. Bottom line. Unless you want to support the freon industry for years, send it out and get
it fixed and properly converted.

kalinin refrigeration

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 12:08PM
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FWIW...I few weeks ago (when it started blowing warm air after charging a few times) I took it to a local repair shop and the guy did a 'vaccum test' He said there were no leaks (very minor, if any) showing the vaccum gage which remained almost constant after hitting the lowest point..He even helped me save some money by suggesting that I get a can or two of R134a from a auto parts store and charge it up myself rather than pay for expensive per/lb freon at their repair shop. Very nice of him! I did that and it worked fine..well for a week!

So it looks like there is indeed a minor leak somewhere and the challenge is to diagonise where. Will take it back and see how much they say for a thorough checkup. It was $30 for the initial checkup.

Thanks for your suggestions!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 10:46PM
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