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Old 07-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
Monotremata
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Default Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

Ok my A/C has been slowly getting warmer and warmer over the last few days and Im gonna recharge the freon in it to see if thats the trouble..
Before I moved to the desert last august, I lived up in Ventura, CA where I dont EVER remember even needing the A/C.. Down here in Coachella you pretty much never drive without one so Im hoping its just low.. Yesterday we could hear the compressor going on and off alot like it was trying to suck out the last bits of it, and today it was just flat out blowing regular air.

Now my question.. Im gonna get it at Autozone, but do I need to worry about what KIND of freon to get? I noticed the majority of the stuff they carry is freon 134a, but when I select my car (2000 Civic LX 4dr), I also have an option for a R12 to R134 retro fit kit.. How can I tell which one I need??
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

You need R134a. You can try throwing some into your system....however you really should get a a/c manifold gauge set. (They are like 50 or so bucks- but its alot more accurate then the b.s. gauge ontop the can)

This = Click the image to open in full size.

Too much R134a = no good
Not enough R134a = no good.

It has to be Just right. I want to say you need 1.3lbs of R134a in the system...but its been like 16 months since Ive had mine done.

Really...you Should take it into a shop, let them evac the system...then shoot some oil into the system, the machine then puts new in...to the exact specs-

I understand if you want to do the $30 can...and hope it works, however it really is better for your car - to have it done correctly.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

Oh, and you really need to know which is the high pressure side of your a/c and the low pressure side.

If you dont already know what this is...............seriously, take it to a shop.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

Yeah I think for this run Im actually gonna take it down the street to Jiffy Lube (got a 15% coupon for A/C recharging). Ive got the service manual and have replaced/repaired other stuff but the a/c is kinda over my head at the moment hehehe. Found all the instructions and whatnot but still. Ill feel safer this time taking it in so I can read up more on it. Dont wanna do a rush job on this one the A/C is waaaaay too important where I live!! :D
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

I did the can stuff for my car, works just fine. AC is nice and cold! Been that way for 2+ years. Although I haven't touched my ac sence last summer, I am sure it still works just fine.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

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I did the can stuff for my car, works just fine. AC is nice and cold! Been that way for 2+ years. Although I haven't touched my ac sence last summer, I am sure it still works just fine.
Actually.....it might not.

You really should run the A/C like 1x a month even if you dont need it...just to keep it circulating. Even if its just for a few mins....really you got to use it...letting it just sit doesnt help it...at all.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

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Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
Yeah I think for this run Im actually gonna take it down the street to Jiffy Lube (got a 15% coupon for A/C recharging). Ive got the service manual and have replaced/repaired other stuff but the a/c is kinda over my head at the moment hehehe. Found all the instructions and whatnot but still. Ill feel safer this time taking it in so I can read up more on it. Dont wanna do a rush job on this one the A/C is waaaaay too important where I live!! :D
Its not that difficult to do the A/C....its simply that the machine can measure/weigh the gas exactly....and inject the Oil into your a/c system.... then put in exactly the correct amount.

My dealership uses a 45k machine for the A/C systems....so, theres no way in hell Id trust a set of $40 gauges, nor a $20 can with a plastic gauge.

R134a is really like air in tires....too little is no good....too much is no good..Its one of the few things that really need to be SPOT on...
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

yea i had to learn that the hard way, ac went out over the last winter cause i never used it

what ended up happening was the compressor clutch had difficulties engaging, had to hit it with a hammer to get it to engage

and my system is low on r134, and for some reason i have 13% r12 in my 94

its not problem for me to have it recharged with a professional ac cart, the only problem is finding a shop that'll evacuate contaminated freon
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

Freon is R12, but you need R134a. Your system obviously has a leak, otherwise your system would not have lost charge. Step 1 -- add a little bit of R134a containing a leak containing dye. Where you detect the dye is where the leak is. Step 2 -- fix the leak. Step 3 -- replace receiver dryer, evacuate system under deep vacuum for a couple of hours and then leak test to ensure that vacuum is held overnight. Step 4 - recharge system with R134a and and oil.

The procedure above can be done by a DIYer who takes the time to do his/her homework. If you are unwilling to invest the research time to do the job right, then take your car to a shop.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

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Originally Posted by RonJ@HT View Post
Freon is R12, but you need R134a. Your system obviously has a leak, otherwise your system would not have lost charge. Step 1 -- add a little bit of R134a containing a leak containing dye. Where you detect the dye is where the leak is. Step 2 -- fix the leak. Step 3 -- replace receiver dryer, evacuate system under deep vacuum for a couple of hours and then leak test to ensure that vacuum is held overnight. Step 4 - recharge system with R134a and and oil.

The procedure above can be done by a DIYer who takes the time to do his/her homework. If you are unwilling to invest the research time to do the job right, then take your car to a shop.
RonJ....I just want to start by saying, I respect all your insight on this board, and appreciate everything, since you have helped me tremendously through posts I have started, or posts that i have read ----and you really do know your ****....

However- I have to gracefully disagree with one thing you said....

Last year I had to get my R134a recharged at the shop....I work at a shop, so it was just one day after work for free, and I watched the tech do it....we evac'ed the system, and like I said, I believe its supposed to be 1.3lbs in a ek....and Im sure 1.3 didnt come out of my car....however we put 1.3 back in....

I couldn't of had a leak .....my car was getting cold...but like 70 degrees at the vents....we evac'd the system....oiled her up, recharged her (through the machine) and 38 degrees out of all the vents....

16 months later = still.....40 degrees at the vents.....

So, I think...it doesnt have to be a leak....it could just be needing a recharge

However...it DEFINITELY could be a leak, just the same
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

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Originally Posted by redm3turbo View Post
Actually.....it might not.

You really should run the A/C like 1x a month even if you dont need it...just to keep it circulating. Even if its just for a few mins....really you got to use it...letting it just sit doesnt help it...at all.


I have had any issues, with letting it sit

I know all about using it every once in a while, but I haven't had issues. I guess we'll see when I get the bolt/nut to put my tensonor/belt back on.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Recharging freon in a 2000 Civic.. What to get???

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Originally Posted by redm3turbo View Post
RonJ....I just want to start by saying, I respect all your insight on this board, and appreciate everything, since you have helped me tremendously through posts I have started, or posts that i have read ----and you really do know your ****....

However- I have to gracefully disagree with one thing you said....

Last year I had to get my R134a recharged at the shop....I work at a shop, so it was just one day after work for free, and I watched the tech do it....we evac'ed the system, and like I said, I believe its supposed to be 1.3lbs in a ek....and Im sure 1.3 didnt come out of my car....however we put 1.3 back in....

I couldn't of had a leak .....my car was getting cold...but like 70 degrees at the vents....we evac'd the system....oiled her up, recharged her (through the machine) and 38 degrees out of all the vents....

16 months later = still.....40 degrees at the vents.....

So, I think...it doesnt have to be a leak....it could just be needing a recharge

However...it DEFINITELY could be a leak, just the same
By definition, if the refrigerant charge is low and nobody has removed the refrigerant, then there's a leak. With that said, there's slow, medium, and fast leaks. But a leak is a leak.
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