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Old 06-06-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
tbucket
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Bad engine vibration after adding ac fluid

Hello all,

My 2009 ford focus seal was having some ac problems. The ac would cut on sometimes and sometimes not. I was told that I was lacking ac coolant so I went and got some and added it in as the directions said. Now the ac is not cold at all and the car had a bad engine vibration. I'm not sure if this is coincidence or as a result of the ac coolant I added.

Does anyone know what the deal is? Is it coincidence or did I add too much coolant? And is there a fix I can do or is this a mechanics job now?

So updates: the vibration was before the added ac. The ac still does not blow cold air. I am pretty sure it is the clutch failing to do its job. I will have it taken to a mechanic.



Last edited by tbucket; 06-08-2014 at 07:40 AM. Reason: :)
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:31 PM   #2
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By adding "ac coolant" do you mean you bought one of these and put it in?


Those aren't meant to fix any actual problems with the system and should not be used to completely recharge a system. The only time you should use them is to top off a system if it doesn't feel like its blowing as cold as it should. Even then I would never recommend using it.
Take it to a shop.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:08 PM   #3
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Too much is worse than too little, I'd release some right away judging by the poor result.

Get the right balance & it'll work better, at least for a while.

Unless it read low on the gauge, adding any is a bad thing & the "sealants" in many of the over the counter cans don't help either.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:39 PM   #4
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Over charge will cause liquid to return to the compressor. Liquid slugging is hard on the compressor and can damage it. It wont sound right and wont cool at all.

My guess is you way over charged thr system... dump the charge and start over slowly. .
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the information. Yes I added a brand similar to ac pro as it was suggested by several "experts" that is what the car needed. I do not drive it often it is my girlfriends car and she said the vibration was before the ac coolant was added.

She also says it makes a high pitched kind of noise when she takes off with some speed. I have not heard it but I did listen to the engine today and it didn't sound like any gaskets were leaking. The motor would just rumble really bad like when it first turns over. And this was about every 10 seconds.
So how do I dump the ac? I am going to recommend she have a shop do it and evaluate the cause of the vibration but my dad and I can fix it if it is something you can do with common tools and elbow grease.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:59 PM   #6
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' is this a mechanics job now?'

It was ALWAYS a mechanics job, now you know why. FYI, 'dumping charge' is a violation of law................not that anyone thinks about that.

'she said the vibration was before the ac coolant was added.'

Problem cured! Oh happy day!

Oh, by the way, the 'high pitched kind of noise' you put out there could easily be the compressor dragging the belt assembly to squeal because you overloaded it with refrigerant. Unless of course you posted that out of context just like the above. You need to ask way more details before posting here, you've cured your own problem (you hope) but wasting our time asking us to chase phantoms.

To begin with, working on 3rd party described issues is an invitation to a totally screwed up car. You are so asking for it and people here will help you do it all day long, they can only work with what you put out there. The onus to be specific and include enough info to work with a DIRECT PROVEN PROBLEM not one of hearsay is on YOU.

You CAN'T dump the a/c, you STILL have no way of telling how much is in there, you most certainly did NOT pick up on how you got here to begin with..........................you put in too much and most likely you will let out too much. My brain hurts just thinking about it. Heck, now that we know the vibration was always there before the recharge it is even possible you still need to ADD MORE.

MECHANIC TIME...........................
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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Why the refrigeration industry allows the sale of these diy cans is beyond me...

Ps by dumping the charge I meant reclaim the charge.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
' is this a mechanics job now?'

It was ALWAYS a mechanics job, now you know why. FYI, 'dumping charge' is a violation of law................not that anyone thinks about that.

'she said the vibration was before the ac coolant was added.'

Problem cured! Oh happy day!

Oh, by the way, the 'high pitched kind of noise' you put out there could easily be the compressor dragging the belt assembly to squeal because you overloaded it with refrigerant. Unless of course you posted that out of context just like the above. You need to ask way more details before posting here, you've cured your own problem (you hope) but wasting our time asking us to chase phantoms.

To begin with, working on 3rd party described issues is an invitation to a totally screwed up car. You are so asking for it and people here will help you do it all day long, they can only work with what you put out there. The onus to be specific and include enough info to work with a DIRECT PROVEN PROBLEM not one of hearsay is on YOU.

You CAN'T dump the a/c, you STILL have no way of telling how much is in there, you most certainly did NOT pick up on how you got here to begin with..........................you put in too much and most likely you will let out too much. My brain hurts just thinking about it. Heck, now that we know the vibration was always there before the recharge it is even possible you still need to ADD MORE.

MECHANIC TIME...........................
i am sorry I didn't know I forced you to take the time to post on this thread.

People like you give the rest of this community a bad rep because you get on here and rant on about things. If I knew the info I wouldn't be asking. Not everyone knows all about their vehicles.

If it makes you so upset then don't post. Your sarcastic post doesn't help and like I mentioned gives this community a bad rep.

To everyone else thanks for the help a lot of problems have subsided.
Still having ac issues but will take it to a mechanic.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:24 AM   #9
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Well.....

A high pitched squeal upon acceleration can be caused by just about anything. First off, the proper term is refrigerant not coolant. Coolant, in a car, goes in the radiator, or the overflow tank in most modern cooling systems. Knowing and using the terms properly helps our understanding and yours. The refrigerant never goes through the radiator, but it does flow through the condenser which is in front of the radiator. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to learn how refrigeration systems work. At the top of this forum you'll see this "General AC Troubleshooting and Repair". Read it and that will help you understand why it is sometimes an error to add refrigerant to a system. In the short of it- remember physical science class? Laws of thermodynamics? Universal gas constant? Pressure is directly related to temperature? Anyway, there you go.

In autos, the compressor is turned by the belt, so even if you have a squeak that only appears when the AC turns on the compressor, it is more likely that it is related to something other than the compressor. Before assuming that the compressor is the problem, you must first eliminate all other possible causes. You can do this with the engine idling using a "probe" to listen for the sounds from the individual parts until you find the sound that you're looking for. A "probe" or "the mechanic's stethoscope trick" is simply a long screwdriver, dowel, rod, extension, etc. I prefer to use a long dowel because wood tends to mask some sounds that will be confusing to someone who doesn't know what they are listening to. You will hear other sounds- for example, if you put a probe on the valve cover, you'll hear the cams whirring, and the valves clicking open and closed- those sounds are normal. If something was wrong, you'd hear one loud clicking. On an alternator, you're likely to hear it whirring, but a slight screech might indicate that you need to start preparing for an alternator repair in the near future. If I was diagnosing your girlfriend's vehicle with a probe, I'd try to listen to anything that I could get a probe on without coming into contact with the belt. I'd really want to diagnose the tensioner and its pulley. One of the principles of DIY home auto repair is if you can't properly diagnose the problem- the best places to start throwing parts at something is 1)Do all associated routine maintenance that has been overlooked or is due. In your case, the tensioner and its pulley last about as long as the belt, so inspect the belt, and you can inspect the pulley most easiest with the belt removed. IMO- when you're over 100k and start having squealing sounds, just replace the belt and tensioner. There's no sense in running those until failure. Newer belts don't wear like old belts that you could see fabric showing through on the back side. 2) If the overdue routine maintenance repairs don't fix it, then go cheapest parts first. The key point here is "If you can't diagnose the problem". Internet or even counter advice is very unreliable. What you should be focusing on learning, and the question you should be asking is "How do I tell if........" Proper diagnosis is the key. Double checking is one essential part of proper diagnosis. Always try to think of another way to check what you think you've diagnosed. For example, if you probe a screeching sound by listening near an idler pulley, a way to double check is to remove the belt so that you can spin that pulley. If it spins unevenly, or has a gravelly feeling or sound to it- then that verifys the problem. If you can't verify it, you might need to check elsewhere.

Sorry if I went too long, but this is the sort of stuff that comes out of me when I have time to give advice.

AMC49 is right that it is not legal to release R134 intentionally. It doesn't eat the ozone like R12 did, but it is a greenhouse gas that isn't broken down naturally like CO2 is. Unfortunately, hydrocarbon refrigerants aren't certified to be used in the USA in autos by manufacturers. The NHSTA is afraid of potential explosions..... but not afraid of the many sticks of dynamite that we carry around in the back of all of our non-electric vehicles. I'm not suggesting that you swap out to these sorts of refrigerants either- that is not your problem right now. You've got to figure out if your problem is even related to the AC system, or if you caused more problems for the system before you go repairing what you did.

1) where did you add refrigerant? The correct port to use in that car is under the passenger fender, and you must at least loosen the inner fender plastic liner and pull it down to access the low pressure port.
2) The easy to reach port is the high pressure port which is beside the radiator on the passenger side of the vehicle within easy reach. If you tried to add to that port, then you can be thankful that you still have your hand if you were holding the can in your hand. I doubt that though because the OTC cans shouldn't allow you to access that port. If it fit over it, then probably nothing happened.
3) Was the engine and AC running when you added refrigerant to the system? If not, then you didn't do much of anything anyway.

First off, go get a set of gauges, and see what you did. If not now, consider this in the future. AC systems in cars are fairly simple ONCE you know how it works, and what to do to diagnose and repair it properly. You live in the south- that means 2 things to me 1) it's hot in the summer 2) you probably don't have a lot of money because people in power down here don't like to pay and use all sorts of excuses to keep minimum wage low, working conditions low, benefits low, and they do a good job of making us think that's what is best for us. Learn how AC's work, and no matter what sort of POS you drive, you'll never be without good AC again. Furthermore, you should already know that if you want to sell a car in the summer in the south- having good working AC will get you more money for your used POS.

Ok, enough, gotta go eat and get to work!
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
Well.....

A high pitched squeal upon acceleration can be caused by just about anything. First off, the proper term is refrigerant not coolant. Coolant, in a car, goes in the radiator, or the overflow tank in most modern cooling systems. Knowing and using the terms properly helps our understanding and yours. The refrigerant never goes through the radiator, but it does flow through the condenser which is in front of the radiator. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to learn how refrigeration systems work. At the top of this forum you'll see this "General AC Troubleshooting and Repair". Read it and that will help you understand why it is sometimes an error to add refrigerant to a system. In the short of it- remember physical science class? Laws of thermodynamics? Universal gas constant? Pressure is directly related to temperature? Anyway, there you go.

In autos, the compressor is turned by the belt, so even if you have a squeak that only appears when the AC turns on the compressor, it is more likely that it is related to something other than the compressor. Before assuming that the compressor is the problem, you must first eliminate all other possible causes. You can do this with the engine idling using a "probe" to listen for the sounds from the individual parts until you find the sound that you're looking for. A "probe" or "the mechanic's stethoscope trick" is simply a long screwdriver, dowel, rod, extension, etc. I prefer to use a long dowel because wood tends to mask some sounds that will be confusing to someone who doesn't know what they are listening to. You will hear other sounds- for example, if you put a probe on the valve cover, you'll hear the cams whirring, and the valves clicking open and closed- those sounds are normal. If something was wrong, you'd hear one loud clicking. On an alternator, you're likely to hear it whirring, but a slight screech might indicate that you need to start preparing for an alternator repair in the near future. If I was diagnosing your girlfriend's vehicle with a probe, I'd try to listen to anything that I could get a probe on without coming into contact with the belt. I'd really want to diagnose the tensioner and its pulley. One of the principles of DIY home auto repair is if you can't properly diagnose the problem- the best places to start throwing parts at something is 1)Do all associated routine maintenance that has been overlooked or is due. In your case, the tensioner and its pulley last about as long as the belt, so inspect the belt, and you can inspect the pulley most easiest with the belt removed. IMO- when you're over 100k and start having squealing sounds, just replace the belt and tensioner. There's no sense in running those until failure. Newer belts don't wear like old belts that you could see fabric showing through on the back side. 2) If the overdue routine maintenance repairs don't fix it, then go cheapest parts first. The key point here is "If you can't diagnose the problem". Internet or even counter advice is very unreliable. What you should be focusing on learning, and the question you should be asking is "How do I tell if........" Proper diagnosis is the key. Double checking is one essential part of proper diagnosis. Always try to think of another way to check what you think you've diagnosed. For example, if you probe a screeching sound by listening near an idler pulley, a way to double check is to remove the belt so that you can spin that pulley. If it spins unevenly, or has a gravelly feeling or sound to it- then that verifys the problem. If you can't verify it, you might need to check elsewhere.

Sorry if I went too long, but this is the sort of stuff that comes out of me when I have time to give advice.

AMC49 is right that it is not legal to release R134 intentionally. It doesn't eat the ozone like R12 did, but it is a greenhouse gas that isn't broken down naturally like CO2 is. Unfortunately, hydrocarbon refrigerants aren't certified to be used in the USA in autos by manufacturers. The NHSTA is afraid of potential explosions..... but not afraid of the many sticks of dynamite that we carry around in the back of all of our non-electric vehicles. I'm not suggesting that you swap out to these sorts of refrigerants either- that is not your problem right now. You've got to figure out if your problem is even related to the AC system, or if you caused more problems for the system before you go repairing what you did.

1) where did you add refrigerant? The correct port to use in that car is under the passenger fender, and you must at least loosen the inner fender plastic liner and pull it down to access the low pressure port.
2) The easy to reach port is the high pressure port which is beside the radiator on the passenger side of the vehicle within easy reach. If you tried to add to that port, then you can be thankful that you still have your hand if you were holding the can in your hand. I doubt that though because the OTC cans shouldn't allow you to access that port. If it fit over it, then probably nothing happened.
3) Was the engine and AC running when you added refrigerant to the system? If not, then you didn't do much of anything anyway.

First off, go get a set of gauges, and see what you did. If not now, consider this in the future. AC systems in cars are fairly simple ONCE you know how it works, and what to do to diagnose and repair it properly. You live in the south- that means 2 things to me 1) it's hot in the summer 2) you probably don't have a lot of money because people in power down here don't like to pay and use all sorts of excuses to keep minimum wage low, working conditions low, benefits low, and they do a good job of making us think that's what is best for us. Learn how AC's work, and no matter what sort of POS you drive, you'll never be without good AC again. Furthermore, you should already know that if you want to sell a car in the summer in the south- having good working AC will get you more money for your used POS.

Ok, enough, gotta go eat and get to work!

Ok so out of all that what I could come out with that I believe I did wrong was adding the refrigerant to the wrong port. I added to the high side easy access because that's where I was was told to add in the refrigerant. The port fit on the high side easily and the ac refrigerant seemed to go in however it also occurs to me that it didn't seem to take very long maybe a minute and it was empty. This is just another reason why you don't listen to the auto parts stores. They don't know anything
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