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The pulley always spins with the belt. You need to look and see if the front plate of the clutch is spinning along with the pulley.
 

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So, please tell how exactly you would do this? How much would you put back in and how would you know?
Probably with a set a gauges and correct refrigerant.
I have used the low quality harbor freight gauges in the past to add refrigerant to my 2008 Accord.
I recall doing some research beforehand on high and low side pressures which are dependant on ambient temps.
You are looking for a correct range it is going off a bit no matter what depending on ambient temps.
I would start with some ac guages either fancy pro model $$ or a cheap set either is going to work.
If it has leaked out gradually over the last 10 year they may make a can that is premixed with the correct ratio of oil?
156270
 

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Probably with a set a gauges and correct refrigerant.
I have used the low quality harbor freight gauges in the past to add refrigerant to my 2008 Accord.
I recall doing some research beforehand on high and low side pressures which are dependant on ambient temps.
You are looking for a correct range it is going off a bit no matter what depending on ambient temps.
I would start with some ac guages either fancy pro model $$ or a cheap set either is going to work.
View attachment 156270
Many say it can be done that way but it just isn't accurate enough and can easily lead to overcharging which will damage the compressor. Can you improve cooling by "topping off" refrigerant? Yes, often you can and that will often tell you it was just low--you just don't know how low. The only way to accurately charge an automotive AC system is to empty the system and then weigh it back in. Once the proper charge is in then you can look at pressures and make sure they look normal. You can do a compression ratio check to make sure you're at 8:1 or less but if you have any inefficiencies in the condenser, reduced air flow, etc. those results will be skewed, as will your pressure readings above. You might get lucky and it works but you risk future catastrophic compressor failure, requiring replacement of everything.

Lastly, be careful with those HF gauge sets. I had a set a few years ago and an o-ring blew out, causing a huge refrigerant loss. I repaired that and used them for a bit longer but then the high side coupler started leaking. They're junk.

Straight from the ESCO Certification Training Manual for Section 609 of the Federal Clean Air Act pertaining to automotive AC systems for HFC134a:

"The only accurate method to charge a system that requires a critical charge is to weigh the refrigerant into the
system.
"
 

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But...if you're going to do it, it's better to do it that way than with those crap AC Pro cans or that junk from the parts store. Pure 134a only. No sealants, etc. Don't buy into "Improved cooling formula" or any of that marketing garbage.
 

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Probably with a set a gauges and correct refrigerant....
Maybe, but that is mostly NOT a surefire way to add the exact amount of needed refrigerant to a partially charged system. I can do this using gauges (mine are CPS, oil filled), accurate temperature measuring for evaporator inlet / outlet air (I use a Monarch 4-channel data logger), digital psychrometer (THAT I have to borrow) and a high quality refrigerant scale (also CPS, digital) ... on a household system. It's big. Total refrigerant mass is not critical (down to bare ounces or fractions of an ounce, yay or nay); I can be off by a half pound on a household system and still easily be within limits for proper operation using the P/T tables specified by the manufacturer.

For something as critical as a small automotive application, all of my gear is NOT enough to add refrigerant to a partially charged system and know whether or not I undercharged, or way worse, overcharged it. Nobody can do that. Gauges can be used for troubleshooting automotive HVAC, but beyond that, no, no, no. You have to do it the way John Clark described.

It's so inexpensive to recover R134a and get a proper charge mass at my local indy service station (he uses a high-quality automated, digital Robinair system) that I just have those guys do it for me every five-six-seven years or so on each vehicle we own. Beforehand, I change the valve cores (MasterCool 58490 kit, no refrigerant loss system) for quality new ones (neoprene and teflon seals), then drive on down and have a cup of coffee while he hooks up my vehicle, recovers the refrigernt, pulls vacuum, then reloads with the exact refrigerant mass, down to the tenth of an ounce.

In short, if you don't have all the tools and gear, and cannot legally recover the refrigerant nor pull vacuum on the system, this is one of those deals where I urge people to just take your vehicle to a mechanic who can do HVAC work.

OF
 

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Maybe, but that is mostly NOT a surefire way to add the exact amount of needed refrigerant to a partially charged system. I can do this using gauges (mine are CPS, oil filled), accurate temperature measuring for evaporator inlet / outlet air (I use a Monarch 4-channel data logger), digital psychrometer (THAT I have to borrow) and a high quality refrigerant scale (also CPS, digital) ... on a household system. It's big. Total refrigerant mass is not critical (down to bare ounces or fractions of an ounce, yay or nay); I can be off by a half pound on a household system and still easily be within limits for proper operation using the P/T tables specified by the manufacturer.

For something as critical as a small automotive application, all of my gear is NOT enough to add refrigerant to a partially charged system and know whether or not I undercharged, or way worse, overcharged it. Nobody can do that. Gauges can be used for troubleshooting automotive HVAC, but beyond that, no, no, no. You have to do it the way John Clark described.

It's so inexpensive to recover R134a and get a proper charge mass at my local indy service station (he uses a high-quality automated, digital Robinair system) that I just have those guys do it for me every five-six-seven years or so on each vehicle we own. Beforehand, I change the valve cores (MasterCool 58490 kit, no refrigerant loss system) for quality new ones (neoprene and teflon seals), then drive on down and have a cup of coffee while he hooks up my vehicle, recovers the refrigernt, pulls vacuum, then reloads with the exact refrigerant mass, down to the tenth of an ounce.

In short, if you don't have all the tools and gear, and cannot legally recover the refrigerant nor pull vacuum on the system, this is one of those deals where I urge people to just take your vehicle to a mechanic who can do HVAC work.

OF
Disregard my previous comment, odyfamily has a better yet Infinitely more complicated and expensive method to see if your vehicle is simply low on coolant.

Heck I don't know about you all but Everytime I change my brake pads I change the master cylinder and all hoses as well in including hard metal brake lines. Duh bro it's brakes your life is at stake.
 

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Disregard my previous comment, odyfamily has a better yet Infinitely more complicated and expensive method to see if your vehicle is simply low on coolant.
Not coolant, refrigerant. And even with all my HVAC gear, I have no means to accurately add the right amount of refrigerant to any small automotive system. You don't either. Any mechanic who says they can with just gauges and a digital thermometer (to go into the P/T charts) is wrong.

I can do the work on a reefer (semi-trailer) with it's enormous refrigerant capacity, but passenger automotive systems are way too small, and the refrigerant amounts are critical (exact). Automotive passenger vehicle systems are about the size of a household mini-split heat pump setup for one small room, and the only way to service those is to recover, repair, pull vacuum, charge.

Best to just take it to a pro who can legally pull the refrigerant from the system, pull vacuum to remove volatile compounds (that occur due to chemical decomposition from extended system operation), then charge with exactly the right amount of refrigerant. Often, the vacuum pull can give you indications of system integrity before wasting money attempting to charge a leaking automotive AC system.

This is one of those systems on a passenger car where almost nobody (except an HVAC pro) has the gear to actually do the job correctly and legally. I don't know why they even sell those 12-oz. cans of R134a at automotive store; using those is pure roulette.

OF
 

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Disregard my previous comment, odyfamily has a better yet Infinitely more complicated and expensive method to see if your vehicle is simply low on coolant.

Heck I don't know about you all but Everytime I change my brake pads I change the master cylinder and all hoses as well in including hard metal brake lines. Duh bro it's brakes your life is at stake.
It's your car. Do as you wish. All we can do is provide the information. R134a systems are critical charge systems. Without weighing it in you "risk" damage. That doesn't mean you won't get lucky with your "top off."
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. It just means you may not and it will cost you dearly if you happen to get it wrong. I know this because it's happened to me before.

What's infinitely more expensive is a new compressor, condenser, expansion valve and system flush which is what's needed when your compressor pukes due to overcharging. Make fun of those who know if you want but don't come crying when it happens to you.
 

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What's the timeline to know if someone over charged and destroyed their system then?

Is there any car repair that you people can do yourself?

Who cares about your brakes(your families life) more than you, the random mechanic who you know or maybe know and "trust"?

So the random mechanic is going to follow a factory service manual ... MAYBE ??
you just hope they did and pay them for it

Every other thread has people saying dealers and/or an Indy lied and didn't do something right
.....
yet you will trust them with your COMPRESSOR GASP ....oh my

I would argue that my getting a set of low end AC guages and adding refrigerant to the point(less than total fill) where the pressures read correctly is better than 90% of most garages
If you know of a real trustworthy mechanic who isn't a close relative that you would trust with your children's lives you may have a unicorn

I could see your argument based on environmental grounds if someone is going to empty their system to the atmosphere... but that's isn't what you are saying.
You point is strictly based on cost of potential damage.

Based on that did you change your own Timing belt? Starter? Adjust valves? Change spark plugs? Or any other maintenance for that matter.
What about a simple oil change? what if you personally forgot to add oil after pulling the plug and jumped on the highway?
How much would that cost you?
More or less than a compressor?

What if you forgot to tighten your lug nuts after rotating tires causing your wheel coming off on the highway? Horrible scenario with death as a possibility.

Who do you trust to torque your lug nuts more than yourself? Some random tech?
No one.


Is that risk ok to you?
 

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Is there any car repair that you people can do yourself?
LOL... you do know that John Clark is a professional mechanic, right? Most of the rest of us do it for fun though.

Step 1 for the most recent poster that has a problem is to make sure both fans are working. If one fan is not working, the fans never run at low speed (series operation) - which will ruin AC cooling while stopped but not while moving. If both fans function (wait for fans to cycle due to coolant temps), then it is on to diagnosing the AC system, either AC compressor/clutch or refrigerant levels.

-Charlie
 

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No idea. The A/C tech can look at the leaks (if any) and make an educated estimate of oil loss, and how much to put back into the system.

Best of luck in making your A/C work again. Enduring hot, humid conditions is not something anybody desires, for certain.

OF

EDIT due to poor "shpelling"
Are you kidding me an educated ESTIMATE??
You have to be EXACT I thought?
Weren't u just talking about weighing everything to be exactly precise.
I mean we are talking about a SMALL passenger vehicle....
....facepalm
 

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Oh, pipe down. Do whatever you want. It's your car. Nobody here gives a flying you know what if you damage your compressor or not. Someone might take the advice seriously instead of being so thin skinned that you cant take advice. All the sarcasm in the world doesn't change the facts. "Topping off" auto AC systems is improper service. Good luck.
 

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Are you kidding me an educated ESTIMATE??
You have to be EXACT I thought?
Weren't u just talking about weighing everything to be exactly precise.
I mean we are talking about a SMALL passenger vehicle....
....facepalm
It's too bad you don't have a clue what you're talking about. The smaller the system the more critical the charge. You added refrigerant to your system. Good for you. Maybe it will outlast the vehicle. Maybe it won't. You don't have a clue.
 

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LOL... you do know that John Clark is a professional mechanic, right?
Nope didn't know that but it does explain the general tone.
Imagine going into the guys shop....
Is this how he talks to potential customers?
If you don't do exactly as he says or even think to question his authority....

Thanks for the info.
 

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I am not a professional mechanic. I am semi-professional (I fly business jets professionally, and have for the last 22 years) but am EPA Section 609 certified in automotive AC and do auto repair when I'm not working. I've seen too many systems damaged from overcharging or running for long periods undercharged. Shops would not spend $4-5K or more on Auto AC machines if a simple $100 manifold guage set and a 12oz can of R134a was enough to do an AC job right. Shops are cheap and don't spend money where they don't need to.

At the end of the day, I don't care what you do with my advice, or anyone else's. Yes, I tell my customers not to try and "top off" their automotive AC systems. I tell them not to use those cans with the gauges at the parts stores either. They are great for the professional shops as that's where the cars go when the AC systems fail completely after the DIYer tries to "fix" their AC so I guess that's why they are sold.
 
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Nope didn't know that but it does explain the general tone.
Imagine going into the guys shop....
Is this how he talks to potential customers?
If you don't do exactly as he says or even think to question his authority....

Thanks for the info.
I wonder who got the "tone" in here first. Seems to me you called out OdyFamily for his post...which was 100% correct, by the way.
 

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Nope didn't know that but it does explain the general tone.
Imagine going into the guys shop....
Is this how he talks to potential customers?
If you don't do exactly as he says or even think to question his authority....

Thanks for the info.
He's the exact kind of guy I would want working on my car (errr... van) if I wasn't doing the work myself.

-Charlie
 
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He's the exact kind of guy I would want working on my car (errr... van) if I wasn't doing the work myself.

-Charlie
I have no doubt that JC would be better than a random shop and I'm sure he is a good guy trying his best to help people.

It seems as though the OP did take the van to a shop (that wasn't able to fix the problem)

Which is why I think people need to take the "just take it to a shop" advice with grain or 2 of salt
 
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