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Old 08-19-2003, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default AC help for a friend

My friend has a 94 SE, he was going to get new coolant put in his AC. He wants to know, because his dad told him it would, that if he doesn't put coolant in he'll "burn up his AC".

What are the facts on this? Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2003, 04:54 PM   #2
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He needs to look up the correct refridgerant replacement for the condenser and the rest of the AC system. I believe Fuddy and Andy Green know more than anyone about AC issues.

Gents...the table has been set....ready...GO...
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: AC help for a friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnie94sse
My friend has a 94 SE, he was going to get new coolant put in his AC. He wants to know, because his dad told him it would, that if he doesn't put coolant in he'll "burn up his AC".

What are the facts on this? Thanks.
I think something'* getting lost in the re-telling, somewhere along the way. I'll just spew some random details and you just raise your hand when it looks like I'm getting close to answering something...

-- I assume when you say "coolant" you mean _refrigerant_, for the air conditioning. Coolant is what goes in your radiator.

-- I'm not trying to be snotty above; you do need a good cooling system to dissipate the extra heat that functional A/C will produce, so if your cooling system is kind of old, you should probably get it properly flushed and refilled so it can deal with the A/C load.

-- When your A/C is operating, an override will turn on both cooling fans regardless of engine temperature, which helps the cooling system and engine run a little cooler than they would otherwise.

-- As your friend has a '94, he probably has R134a refrigerant in his A/C, not the old R-12. Check the underhood labels to be sure. R134a is the modern stuff and you can buy refill kits just about anywhere.

-- If the system is low on refrigerant, it simply shuts itself off; it can't "burn itself up" by running out of refrigerant and oil. A low-pressure switch will prevent the compressor from activating if there is not enough refrigerant. If your friend has the electronic A/C system (pushbutton dash controls instead of manual *****), the temperature display will blink after startup to indicate that an error (low refrigerant level) was detected.

-- If the system was completely dead to start with, have an A/C place evacuate the system and make sure it holds a vacuum before introducing new refrigerant. If it'* leaking, there'* no point in dumping a whole lot in (although they may put about a pound in so they can use a sniffer to find the leak) since it'll all leak out again.

-- If the system is working but weak, you can use a refill kit yourself, but make sure you have a pressure gauge to prevent overfilling the system. Interdynamics sells a nice little kit consisting of pressure hose with gauge and three 15-oz. cans of R134a refrigerant with oil, for around $30. Good luck...
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Old 08-20-2003, 09:59 PM   #4
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Ask him again about that. Coolant and R-134a are to different things. One goes in the radiator and one goes in the A/C.
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:24 PM   #5
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Don't assume it'* R-134a!!!! My 1993 SE came with R-12 from the factory, and the owner converted it over to R-134a ,last July 22. My 1993 was one of the last '93s before the year change too.
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Old 08-22-2003, 04:08 PM   #6
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I think it was illegal to have a MY 1994 car with R-12 installed in it. All of them should have R-134a. The R-134a fittings are snap on, while the R-12 fittings have threads.
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Old 08-22-2003, 04:27 PM   #7
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He means the refrigerant for the AC...but he said coolant. I just said "coolant" because I was too lazy too type the right term

But he has a 94 like me. The manual says it'* R-134a. I know another person who also has a 93 and changed theirs from R-12 to the new stuff.

How much would flushing and refilling the AC be? That'* his other question.
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Old 08-22-2003, 04:42 PM   #8
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What are the symptoms?

Low R-134a will not cause problems with the system, unless you let it run out completely and/or don't run the system for an extended period of time.
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Old 08-22-2003, 04:56 PM   #9
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I don't know what symptoms he'* had. Probably just not cool enough air blowing out. But I'd have to ask.

But I really need to recruit his a$$ on the BC. He works at IBM so he'* on the computer all the time. He'* totally clueless about cars, so maybe that'* why he'* not a member. But it would make it easier if he had a question to ask from his point of view.
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