Mechanic couldn't recharge AC, need help (1 Viewer)

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Apr 24, 2020
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Ventura CA
So I did something I almost never do, I took my car to a mechanic. And sure enough things are only worse now.

I did my best to search but hopefully someone can point me in the right direction or provide some advise.

My AC was working well but lately it's been hissing from the blower area and I feel like it gets a little less cold when that's happening.Then I noticed quite a bit of leaking coming from the concretion at the front line on the side of the radiator, see pic below. I was going to try and tackle this myself but after some research I figured it wasn't worth buying all the tools so I took it to the a shop that had a good yelp rating that were supposedly AC experts. 2 hrs later my car was ready but they couldn't recharge the system. He said he changed the seal, evacuated the system and when he went to recharge it wouldn't hold more than a 1lb. Said it started to get cold and then nothing. I asked what the pressure was at before he changed the seal but he said he didn't check :rolleyes:. Said he didn't have any time to dig deeper in the short term but at least he didn't charge me.

Any obvious reasons besides a leak why it wouldn't take more than a 1lb, I'm sure the guy didn't follow the FSM. Should I buy the tools and start digging for a leak or seek out another A/C shop?

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Joined
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Gotha, Florida (near the dog)
Sorry but if you think your mechanic was wrong, I took my FZJ80 to diagnose why my rear locker wasn’t engaging (back when I was a noob) the freakin’ service writer and mechanic at Toyota of Sanford had no clue to and the audacity to state “I don’t think that came from Toyota”

it was at that moment, i knew they @*#$ up. Never went back to a dealer and just persevere on my own. Spent the money on tools instead of a mechanic and rolled my sleeves up. My ocd to do it right wouldn’t let go.
 
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Joined
Apr 24, 2020
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Location
Ventura CA
I'm aware of adding dye to the system. The mechanic seamed a bit stumped why it was stuck at a pound, felt it should have been able to add to spec or not hold at all. I'm assuming if you couldn't pressurize the system that the leak should have been pretty obvious with just some soap and water.

I'm guessing I need to Evac the system again considering it was opened up and who knows what this mechanic did or didn't do. Any tips on tools to do this proper?

@lp2k, I hear you. Dealers out here are on the top of my list of do not trust. I've actually never taken my LC to a mechanic but A/C are not my specialty and I figured it was pretty simple process to evac and recharge. lesson learned I guess.
 
Joined
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Fort Mill, SC
Get a $30 Freon detector from Amazon and an AC O-ring kit ($10) and find the leaking connections and fix them yourself. AC is not brain surgery. Look at the guys you are talking to and you should figure that out. It's a simple system, if there is pressure in the system then the compressor comes on. High pressure freon is sent to the evaporator (inside the truck) to turn from a liquid to a gas and that gas is then hot. It then travels up to the condenser to get cooled so it returns to liquid form (overly basic). So once you got the basics it's just a matter of figuring out what part of that loop is failing. You can put in UV dye and get a UV light as well, then it will glow at the leak.

If you don't have AC gauges and a vacuum pump, you'll need them too. So lets say you've got $150 in stuff to fix the AC, I guarantee you will use is several times and get your money's worth out of the tools. There is never a bad reason to buy a tool.
 

flintknapper

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I'm aware of adding dye to the system. The mechanic seamed a bit stumped why it was stuck at a pound, felt it should have been able to add to spec or not hold at all. I'm assuming if you couldn't pressurize the system that the leak should have been pretty obvious with just some soap and water.

I'm guessing I need to Evac the system again considering it was opened up and who knows what this mechanic did or didn't do. Any tips on tools to do this proper?

@lp2k, I hear you. Dealers out here are on the top of my list of do not trust. I've actually never taken my LC to a mechanic but A/C are not my specialty and I figured it was pretty simple process to evac and recharge. lesson learned I guess.

God only knows what they did. Are they saying they FIXED your leak? (O-ring at the connection).

And did they pull a vacuum on the system to see if it would hold AND then pump it down properly (likely not).

'Evacuating a system' means REMOVING any refrigerant and nothing more. Pulling a Vacuum is a separate (and necessary step). The two are not synonymous. IF they didn't pull a vacuum and the ambient temp was fairly cool then I am not surprised it wouldn't take more than a pound of refrigerant.

If you plan to do this yourself, you'll need a set of manifold gauges, a decent vacuum pump and and some refrigerant. But with so many unknowns.....I'd recommend you find a different shop and have them look at it. It can get pretty involved despite others suggesting its no big deal.
 
Joined
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Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
You'll be better served following @flintknapper's advice; A/C systems are generic, not specific to Landcruisers, like most other things on your truck. Find a shop that can work on A/C systems and let them take care of your problem. In theory, you can fix your own, but aftermarket (non-professionla) gauges are iffy and tend to break. The good ones are really expensive ones, and they're hard to find.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
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TEXAS !!!
+1 for bringing it to another shop. The refrigerant in the system is highly toxic to the environment and needs to be collected properly.
This system is R-134a, it isn't like the R-12 that was so bad....

I'm not saying it should not be recovered properly, just that, all things are relative.
 

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