Dakota Durango Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
HAs anyone ever tried to charge their own AC, any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
My suggestion....take it to a professional...Freon is not a chemical you want to mess with if you don't know what your doing!! I'm not saying that it's bad for you, but it is REAL bad for the Ozone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Dodge switched to R134a refrigerant in '94 or '95. It's supposed to be much more benign to the environment, and they let little old you and me use it. Check your compressor label to see what your vehicle requires. If it's R12, you need to take it in for a charge. Consider having it converted to 134a, if it's presently R12. This is NOT that big of a deal, and they shouldn't be talking about replacing parts to do the conversion. There are new oils that are compatible with the older systems. It does require a complete discharge, and that's where you really need the shop's equipment so they can recover the old R12 refrigerant and dispose of it properly.

If you have 134a refrigerant, it's pretty simple to recharge the system yourself. It's probably not down that much. If it is, you've got a leak and need to get it fixed.

You can buy 134a at the parts store. You'll also need a hose that attaches to the can and has a connector for your truck's line.

You get the best instructions and usually a hose and gauge included with a re-charge "kit" that runs about $35. This will usually have plenty of extra refrigerant in case you need to "top up" the system next season. If your charge doesn't last at least for the summer, you've got a leak that needs to be repaired. Some of the refrigerant includes "stop-leak" but that won't fill any holes, it just lubricates and expands the seals if they're dry and leaking.

I could say more, but I don't want to be liable :)

I've done it myself and it's easy IF YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!
 

·
I like trucks
Joined
·
3,171 Posts
Freon is one of those words that just sounds bad....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I need air!

Thanks DogerJack, do I need to know which side is the high side and which is the low side (not that I know what those terms mean) My D makes a hissing sound from under the drivers side dash, it started making it and then the air didn't work, it has nothing to do with the vent vaccume because they all work (can change from heat vent , to dash, to defrost) and its not the air door bacause i can here it snap shut. Anyone know what that could be?

Thanks
Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
If you heard a hissing noise and the AC suddenly quit, I'd say knowing the high side from the low side won't do you much good now. (FWIW In the case of my '96 Dakota, the low side connection, which is the ONLY side to mess with, is on a line that runs along the passenger side fender. There's a little plastic cap on the fitting.)

It sounds like you had a loss of pressure due to a major failure, if the hissing you heard was escaping refrigerant. Time to take it to the shop, just to eliminate that possibility.

BTW, after running the AC for a while, mine always hisses a bit right after I turn off the truck. I think that's normal, as it hasn't had any rapid leak-down. If that was the source of your noise, and the AC coincidentally stopped working due to a PARTIAL loss of pressure, then you might be able to just charge it again. But I would take it to the shop first, anyway. It's usually less than a hundred bucks to have it tested and charged--and if you lose the charge again right away, they should credit you at least the cost of the refrigerant when you take it back.

Refrigerant lost due to major leaks and component breakage in accidents was a major reason that they switched to R134a in the first place. That's what dumps a whole load of refrigerant into the atmosphere at once.

One more note: Freon is a trade name for R12. Technically R134a is not Freon, but "refrigerant." R12 is also a refrigerant, but sometimes known as "Freon."

Probly more than anyone wanted to know...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
To clarify

The hissing I hear from under the dash is not refridgerant, the hissing begins whenever i switch the selector to a position that the compressor is engaged. I believe that the hissing is a vaccume release of one of the controls. Since the car was new it would make the hiss once whenever you changed selector positions, now it continues to make the hissing sound every 30 seconds or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
That would be a vacuum leak. Sorry to get into all that other stuff.
it has nothing to do with the vent vaccume because they all work
I'd say they work sporadically. Once the system loses vacuum, the doors open (or close?) again and you lose AC. Probably a bad or poorly connected hose. Time to get down there and start jiggling things. If it makes the hissing continuously, you should be able to locate the leak by keeping it running while you look. Good luck! Personally, crawling around under the dash is my least favorite job.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top