Thread: DIY AC Recharge

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  1. #1

    Default DIY AC Recharge

    My '04 has about 50K miles, never had any AC issues, but it has been losing the "coldness" factor over the last few years; it still blows cool but not cold. I was considering the DIY cans for a quick recharge (mainly to avoid the hassle of having to leave it at the dealership all day) at the auto parts store, has anyone had any experience with them? Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: DIY AC Recharge

    It's a bit of a tricky situation. The main issue is that a system shouldn't be losing any refrigerant to begin with. If it is, then odds are you have a leak somewhere, so just refilling it isn't exactly fixing the problem. It might make it work better for a while, but you would likely have to recharge it again before too long.

    However, as a side note, those cans are easy enough to use and can work fine to charge a system if you know what you're doing. I bought a Harbor Freight vacuum pump and A/C manifold set and purged and refilled the factory A/C in my 71 Vette that has been sitting empty for years due to a broken hose that I finally fixed. Has worked just fine since and holds refrigerant like a champ. If you do get any, I might suggest some stuff with the dye in it so you can use a UV light to find any leaks. Makes it easier to figure out where to look for servicing parts.

  3. #3

    Default Re: DIY AC Recharge

    Thank you so much for your reply. True there must be an extremely small leak somewhere, the car is almost 14 years old now. I bought a bottle of STP AC Pro and will install it tonight, should work well enough as the leak I have is so small it's taken 3-4 years to really get on my nerves; and the guys in the Gen II forum seem to swear by it.

    Follow up: The recharge took only 10 minutes, 5 minutes of me watching the YouTube instructional video produced by the company and 5 minutes to pop the hood, find the port, and complete the recharge. It was so easy to do and the air is ice cold. It was extremely low on R134 though, so I will have to see how long it holds the charge, if not a year or more I guess she will be spending a day at the dealership.
    Last edited by Marquis7676; 08-30-2017 at 04:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: DIY AC Recharge

    Quote Originally Posted by Marquis7676 View Post
    Thank you so much for your reply. True there must be an extremely small leak somewhere, the car is almost 14 years old now. I bought a bottle of STP AC Pro and will install it tonight, should work well enough as the leak I have is so small it's taken 3-4 years to really get on my nerves; and the guys in the Gen II forum seem to swear by it.

    Follow up: The recharge took only 10 minutes, 5 minutes of me watching the YouTube instructional video produced by the company and 5 minutes to pop the hood, find the port, and complete the recharge. It was so easy to do and the air is ice cold. It was extremely low on R134 though, so I will have to see how long it holds the charge, if not a year or more I guess she will be spending a day at the dealership.
    No reason to take it to a dealership for AC work unless they are specifically the guys that you trust with the car. There is nothing unusual about the AC system in the Viper other than it fits under a hood that I would be concerned about a novice opening and shutting. (whether at a dealership or not.) Not to mention them having the keys to take it for a joyride.

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