Should I recharge the AC myself? - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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Old 01-19-2018, 12:13 PM
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Default Should I recharge the AC myself?

I have a Honda civic hybrid 2008. I live in Miami. My AC is running fine, but when it's sunny and hot, it takes time to get cold and feel good. My car hasn't been recharged since maybe 5 years. I found a can of EZChill cool air R-134a, I bought the hose gauge online.
Can I recharge it myself (I saw 2 videos online, I could do it)? or do I have to pay a professional to do it?
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

You can't put that substance in your car. It may damage the compressor.

The 2006+ HCH has a "hybrid" mechanical/electrical compressor. However, it is undersized and kinda weak. You need to keep your expectations realistic. here in the dry AZ heat, it was marginal at best. I can't imagine how much harder it has to work while pulling the moisture out of the air.

The electric motor portion of the compressor is exposed to the refrigerant and oil. It requires a special oil that is 10X LESS conductive than "standard" compressor oils.

If you need to add refrigerant, just get STRAIGHT R-134a with NO oil, NO sealant and NO dye.

The '06 had a sight glass like the old R-12 systems. On a ~85F day, run the A/C for several minutes until it has achieved maximum cooling. Add R-134a to the low side until the bubbles go away. I'm not certain if the 08 has a sight glass.

I had to do this on both of my '06s as well as every other Honda I've owned here in Phoenix.

Again, NOTHING BUT STRAIGHT R-134A SHOULD GO IN THE SYSTEM. $4.88 cans from Walmart last time I checked. It will likely take only a very small amount.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

Thank you very much! You must speak of the Super Tech Refrigerant R-134a for $4.88 on Walmart, right? It is Out of stock but I can try to find it somewhere else.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

Yep. Any brand works as long as you can confirm it's pure R-134a. I actually haven't bought supertech in awhile. Last time was a different brand, but it was $4.88...
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

OK, I ordered this one:
Amazon Amazon
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

looks good.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

I bought this gauge
I punctured the can with it but I couldn't lock it on the refrigerant can, so the can was wasted.
Then I connected the gauge to the lower port. There was refrigerant leaking on the hose, I screwed the hose and the leaking stopped. Is this the way to remove the old refrigerant? Anyway, I looked at the pressure on the gauge and it was in the middle of the blue area (reading was approximately 40), so the pressure is good. If the pressure is good, then adding more refrigerant should not be done, right?
So what should I do? The AC is working, but I wish it was colder.
About my hose gauge, is there maybe a special connector that I can screw on the hose so it can well connect to the refrigerant can? or should I buy another hose gauge?
A close-up view of the top of the hose connection can be seen on the 2nd picture on eBay, and a remote view of the bottom can be seen on the 5th picture.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

You can't remove the old refrigerant without a vacuum recovery system.

I haven't seen a can attachment like that. It kinda reminds me of the old R-12 type, but more sh!tty. Most thread onto the cans and seal very well.

I would go buy the one at Walmart for $15.

The pressure varies. As you can see, it's a very wide range that encompasses the blue. It depends on ambient temperature. I use the following chart:



Again, as you can see, there's an overlap between each reading 5F temperature line. Best results are typically had between 80 and 90F ambient.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

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Old 01-26-2018, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Should I recharge the AC myself?

Right now, the ambient temperature is 70 degrees. So if I buy a new hose gauge at Walmart, and it indicates me a pressure of 40 psi (at 70 degrees), then I don't need to buy the refrigerant and everything should be left like that?
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