Questions for A/C gurus

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Apr 1, 2007
I had a slow leak last year and replaced a couple of o-rings. Charged it up with the wally-world 134a (no stop leak) and seemed to hold. I am seeing bubbles in the sightglass near the battery tray so i want to get this taken care of for a road trip in july. I picked up a new dryer from c-dan, a manifold set from HF and a pneumatic vacuume from HF as well. So now i need some refrigerant, and oil i guess. Where would you reccomend getting the refrigerant, and should i get a 30lb tank like this A11 REFRIGERANT CATEGORIES FOR R11,R12, R22, R502, R134a, R113, R123, R409A, R408A, R500, R404A just in case i need to fix more leaks? Iis this all i need to do the job or am i missing something? thanks for any input.
I am not sure about getting a large canister. It's not like motor oil, you shouldnt have leaks for a while. But then again, if your fixing a leak and replacing various things over time i dont see it hurting (other than your wallet). Honestly I think it comes down to what your willing to pay. Just make sure no one goes messing with the canister (kids).
I'm not sure if the little 12oz cans can connect to the HF manifold, thats also why i thought i should get a larger tank as well as chasing down leaks. for the cost of a 30lb tank ($175) i guess i could have a shop chase it down for me, but i all ready bought the manifold and vacuume. Is that a decent price for referigerant, and does r134a quality vary by mfg.?
Just because you're seeing bubbles in the sight-glass, doesn't mean that there's a problem. Is it also not cooling? With R12, the rule was to clear the sight-glass, with R134, that's not the case. Most manufacturer's did away with the sight-glass when they went to R134. If you add enough R134 to clear the sight-glass, you may overcharge the system.

Is there dye in the system? That's probably the easiest way to determine where any leaks are, so you can be sure to take care of any/all the leaks.

I'd look for R134 at your local parts store. We sell 30lb cylinders for $109, so I think you should be able to find a comparable price. The gas doesn't evaporate or degrade, so as long as the cylinder is sealed, the gas will be fine. All R134 is supposed to be identical, but there was some product from China a year or so ago that had a bunch of debris in it-enough to clog a system-so I'd look for some domestically produced.

Your gauges will attach to the small cans if you get a "can-tap". Should be available at the local parts store.

As far as oil, you want PAG 46, also should be available at the local parts store. If you're just changing the drier, I'd just put an ounce or two in the new one before you put it on.
Thanks for the info, much appreciated. The a/c blows cold, or at least it did last summer but started to degrade a bit a few weeks after I charged it. No dye in the system an I didn't evacuate it before filling. At start of the compressor the glass is empty, then fills with bubbles then runs clear. I don't know, maybe I'll just check the pressure, top it off If needed from a small can and see how it goes.

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