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Okay so I don't really know anything about cars at all and have never attempted to do anything to my car. Lol so I bought an Artic Freeze synthetic A/C charge with the gauge included. I found the port to hook up to, which is ever so conveniently located on the front passenger side of the splash guard around the wheel. I literally took one screw off and bent the plastic down far enough to get to it. So I hooked the gauge up and it kept fluctuating from empty pretty much (white) to the red before I even added anything in. This scared me because I know it can easily be overcharged. So I added just a little and it began moving even more into the red but returning back to the white. Eventually it stopped fluctuating and resting on the edge of the white and green. And it got harder for me to pull the trigger on the charge can the more it went into the green. Idk did I do something wrong? Is it broken if it was fluctuating before I even put anything in? Is it normal? IDK. My A/C isn't really cold either. I mean its colder but not as cold as I would like. I didn't fill it all the way to where the pie shape was either according to the temp outside..
 

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Okay so I don't really know anything about cars at all and have never attempted to do anything to my car. Lol so I bought an Artic Freeze synthetic A/C charge with the gauge included. I found the port to hook up to, which is ever so conveniently located on the front passenger side of the splash guard around the wheel. I literally took one screw off and bent the plastic down far enough to get to it. So I hooked the gauge up and it kept fluctuating from empty pretty much (white) to the red before I even added anything in. This scared me because I know it can easily be overcharged. So I added just a little and it began moving even more into the red but returning back to the white. Eventually it stopped fluctuating and resting on the edge of the white and green. And it got harder for me to pull the trigger on the charge can the more it went into the green. Idk did I do something wrong? Is it broken if it was fluctuating before I even put anything in? Is it normal? IDK. My A/C isn't really cold either. I mean its colder but not as cold as I would like. I didn't fill it all the way to where the pie shape was either according to the temp outside..

The fluctuation of the gauge as it did for you usually is a sign of the compressor cycling rapidly which indicates a low charge. My rule of thumb is that the higher you get it into the green the better - just keep it OUT of the red. Also - did your refrigerant include any leak detecting dye as this helps pinpoint any leaks in the system.
 

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Welcome to the world of a/c charging for idiots. No personal insult meant there of course, just the way things are on this planet. In this case you would have to talk to the lawyers to get things changed.

Get this. The gauge green or red literally mean nothing as there has never been a standard announced ever for that range, you are at the mercy of the Chinese who painted the gauge. The range can't mean anything anyway as the range must change based on temperature, oh, that's too hard to remember. The fluctuations may be perfectly normal depending on how fast they are, they happen even if system is working correctly. From around 25 psi to around 50, system off, it drops back to 25 and start over again. Your range does not generally detail that at all so the gauge is garbage. Also, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY ON EARTH you can tell if you have overcharged using that setup, overcharge is read with a reading on the high pressure side, that tool and all OTC DIY setups use lowside ONLY, it is a safety thing so company does not get sued (as bad). The low side can read pretty close to the same 25-50 at 175 psi high side as it will at 300+ psi high side, so using low side to determine full charge is ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS, of course the charge equipment manufacturers are not going to tell you that. Easier for them to keep raking in all the bucks wasted by those who do not know what they are doing.............the more mistakes user makes the more they make when user comes back for more refrigerant.

The higher you get into the 'green'...........pretty funny as you have no earthly idea what the 'green' is................it can be different numbers on different vehicles. Since no numbers there you are pretty much out to lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It ended up being really low, and once I added more into the system it eventually stopped fluctuating between high and low levels on he gauge. Thanks for making it a little more mind settling and making me feel testy with it. Ice cold air now! :)
 

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And...............death lies there for you within inches. The idea that the 'fluctuating' must stop can bite you BIG TIME. That can be right (only under certain EXACT conditions) as well as worst of the worst wrong. Remember what I said...............

'using low side to determine full charge is ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS'

Getting away with it once is what usually sets one up for fail the next time. It MUST fluctuate at least some or the compressor will tear up, they have to have pressure relief beyond a certain point. Not 'fluctuating' is 100% pressure all the time. It then builds until the device blows up in pieces.

Little tip, in that condition it will cool like nobody's tomorrow right up till the ice crystals start coming out of the vents (not kidding here) and compressor shells minutes later to break belt and whatever else it does depending on how lucky you are that day.

If you simply charge until the fluctuating stops then it needs to be just BARELY there and on a day hotter than 90 degrees, doing that same in mild weather may well bite. Get firmly into no fluctuation and you are destroying the compressor.

You may get it right ten out of ten, or blow parts the third time. I sold plenty of stuff in the hundreds of dollars at a time to those who kept thinking it was that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's been about 2 months since I did it and haven't had any issues thus far. I didn't over due it at all I just added some until it stopped moving back and forth between the high and low settings. My car sat for like a year and a half outside not being ran at all.. So I think maybe whatever was in it evaporated or something. I live in south Florida.. It gets pretty damn hot here too. Next time if there's an issue again I'll take it in just to be sure there's no leak or something.
 

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It literally leaks out of the pores in the rubber hoses if it can't get out anywhere else.

Luck, I know I'm an ass but just trying to illustrate how the DIY kits get so many into major issues like tearing up their equipment. I'm happy you came out all right. If you pay CLOSE attention, it may not cycle (the cutting on and off) at idle but it WILL while at highways speeds, you can barely feel it cutting in and out as the car speeds up and slows down at light cruise. Nothing wrong there and it HAS to or overcharged and asking for it. Generally though overcharge will cool less so some slight warning there.

When you charge if done correctly, the numbers you charge to, they change with the temperature of the day you are doing it. Higher pressures with higher temp, there are scales for it. Of course no way for you to do that the DIY way. All you can do is get it cold. Problem being, you can get it cold and lasts 2 weeks, or get it cold and lasts a year, not much difference in pressure there and again, cannot tell.
 
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