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Old 07-12-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 62697
Join Date: May 2004
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Collegeville Pa
2003 BAJA
Garnet Red

Question AC Charge

Has anyone ever charged their ac before? I want to try to do it myself but I wanted a quick run down on how to do it. If its easy enough, I'd like to try it myself.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:29 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 14555
Join Date: Jan 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Troy, MI
1995 Impreza L


Originally Posted by seanr2 View Post
Has anyone ever charged their ac before? I want to try to do it myself but I wanted a quick run down on how to do it. If its easy enough, I'd like to try it myself.
It is not too hard to do. The best way to do it is to use a machine and pull a vacuum on the system. Not only can you check for leaks this way, but you get everything out of the system and start fresh.

The other option is to get yourself a set of gauges, a few cans of R-134A and a few cans of R-134A/ oil mix. you should be able to find the system capacity underhood or from a service manual. Re-fill with required amount and you should be good to go.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:10 AM   #3
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Member#: 128537
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
2004 Baja Turbo


Just buy a filler can/hose that you can re-use at any auto store or walmart. Some will come with a generic 'gauge' that I've found is somewhat appropriate; it reads a little higher than what is appropriate for the system. Don't dump it in too quickly or you'll slug the compressor with liquid - do it gradually.

One good way to gauge is feel the temperature of the return line (where you'll pump the freon in - on the firewall) before the service valve. If it feels good and cold with the AC on full you're good. If it feels warm or only slightly cool you're probably running too low. Gotta be sure you're not over-charged tho.

It seems wordy/hard but it's not. It's not worth it to have Midas or whoever to charge it for $80 when you can DIY for $20.
moonzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2009, 03:45 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 6176
Join Date: Apr 2001
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Roy,WA
15 WRX, 04 wrb STi
85 wrb BRAT


Our 05 just needed a recharge, it was getting to where it was it was hardly noticeable if it was on or off. It took one 12oz can to get the high & low pressure to the recommended values. I think it said at 1500rpm, low pressure should be 28-40 and high side 225-275. When I checked it to begin with the high side was only about 125lbs.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:55 AM   #5
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Member#: 217686
Join Date: Jul 2009
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Palmer, AK
03 WRX


If the system is completely empty, as in no pressure in it, it WILL need a vacuum pulled on it.

Decent set of gauges and vac pump can be had for $200-300.

This is a good brand: http://www.robinair.com/

Those Walmart cans with teh built in "gauge"... uh.. yeah

When you charge A/C you need to measure off the high side, and those are on the low side. They are a WAG at best honestly.

Good rule of thumb is the high side should be ~1.5 times whatever the ambient temp is with the engine at high idle. So if it's 80* out, you should be seeing ~160psi.
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