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Help with r134a discharge in my garage

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  • Help with r134a discharge in my garage

    My 2014 Ford Fiesta was blowing hot air intermittently and then eventually all the time. Me being a complete dum dum I attempted to troubleshoot the problem, and I found that the compression clutch wasn't engaging. Tested the relay and fuses and they all worked fine, was also able to rotate the compressor by hand so I figured something had to be preventing the compressor from engaging, maybe the pressure switch?

    Now, this should had been my que to take it to the mechanic and have him deal with it as I can't replace that switch at home anyway, but I decided to bypass the clutch relay to engage the compressor clutch and check the pressure. Remember the part about me being a dum dum? Yeah. The goal was to check the pressure on the suction side to see if that looked good, so I sat in the car to make sure cold air came out and about 30s after refrigerant started to discharged from the system, I couldn't see from where exactly as I was in the car. I immediately turned off the car and ran out of the garage as I didn't wanted to inhale too much of that stuff. It's been a few hours since then.

    My first question is, should I bring a fan to my garage and try to vent it out? or does it disperse pretty quickly?

    Second question, how much did I fudged it up?

  • #2
    More than likely the pressure relief valve opened and vented. Either the fans on the condenser aren't working, or there isn't air flow over the condenser.
    It don't worry about the discharge, it dissipated fairly quickly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't mess with refrigerant in a closed area should be fine.
      I'm reading thru that you tested low pressure so it may have leaked if not hooked up well the ports can. System hold low capacities since it seems it worked but you didn't see it at compressor I strongly suggest just send it out for a vacuum and recharge.

      IF it was blowing cool air system basically works now unknown what's in the system. That's the #1 reason for poor performance you really can't be off by much or it will default to off hopefully you didn't damage it adding any or removing any just look for pressures and temps instead the junk cans with gauges sold isn't accurate enough for my liking and never was,

      Tom
      MetroWest, Boston

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      • #4
        Thanks fellows!

        I something I noticed was that the car started to overheat when idling, that made me realize my radiator fan was not running. My car only has the one fan both radiator and condenser, so I think Mr. CornBinder might be on the money here.

        Before I send for repairs, do you think it's worth replacing the fan and testing? Maybe I need to just take it to vacuum and recharge again?

        BTW I did try to take it to the highway and test the AC there, I figured with the air from the car moving it might help. I didn't get cold air now(after the discharge), but remembering when it was intermittent it was working more when I was moving.

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        • #5
          Without a working fan, it will not work standing still. no point re charging until the fan problem is sorted out. The electronic were doing there job and preventing the system from operating with no fan operational.
          It is quite possible there was no problem with the A/C system before you jumpered the relay other than the fan was in-op. An expensive lesson learned, safeties are there for a reason.

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          • #6
            Fan has to work or NOW it's overheating A/C will be the last of your troubles. Just take a small stick and see if it turns, engine off still beware of the things.

            Sorry if a repeat but you said it was discharging system? You mean it kicked on then quit? It would with no fan. I doubt you were hearing it releasing refrigerant unless at the time gauge(s) were not hooked up properly.

            Know that pressure don't mean much unless it's compressing and it wasn't. That's just taking like tire pressure whatever reading is still useful but if lower pressure in PSI than the temp it's about empty.

            Back to top this could have been just a bad fan, fan relay or pressure switch telling system to shut down on purpose.

            You could use misting water to duplicate heat exchange of a fan OR the airflow of driving along if that's enough the fan would shut off.

            Jumping it was a big mistake in hindsight now it could get complicated if one fan now it isn't even working if engine is hot enough to require it single fan or not is being told to work or let normal airflow do the work is a waste to work it if not needed.

            Question now is what do you wish to do? Now refrigerant level is only a maybe on target or close enough to try then quit if not or too cold out for A/C at all but isn't that time of year.

            Your first instinct was probably what you should have done - take it somewhere and not confuse it now.

            It should have codes now to read that don't necessarily trigger a check engine light or warning but has one pending if you can get that doesn't say what the part is that's wrong rather what circuit isn't getting info so computer of car can do it's job,
            Tom
            MetroWest, Boston

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi fellows, here is an updated

              Before taking it to the pros, I figured replacing the fan was an easy enough attempt to see if the problem gets fixed.

              I'm happy to say it did!

              Looks like whatever r134a was discharged it wasn't enough to make the system non functional (for now). I have been running it for a few days and it has been pretty hot out here so it's a good test of capability.

              I appreciate all of your insights, always a good feeling fixing something yourself. Not having to drop $800+ on a shop is also great!

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              • #8
                Late - sorry: Measure the output temp in a center vent with just a cheap thermo it should be a good indication of close to a proper charge. Many have such low capacity systems it doesn't take much off HIGH can be worse than just a smidge low, all like to be right on the spot by weight.

                Fan to condensers is everything to the system and engines even if not primary for engine in some vehicles,
                Tom
                MetroWest, Boston

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