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Thread: Picking up my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater this weekend

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    Lacking any special tools (ie. vacuum pump), would you say it might be worth giving a recharge a try?
    You may not realize it, but that is a loaded question. Without special tools, I don't recommend it. It could be fully charged and have a worn out compressor. And adding refrigerant would be detrimental. I doubt either of those. Meaning, I doubt it is fully charged, and I sort of doubt it has a worn out compressor.

    You're asking if you should throw the dart you have in your hand at a dartboard in a completely dark room, not knowing if there is even a dartboard hanging up anywhere. I had always heard various analogies like that before I knew anything about an A/C system. But after those couple years doing audits, I get it.

    Here's what ya do. Bring it down to my house, we'll vacuum and recharge together, and see what it does. Then you'll know:

    • that you're recharging it accurately, to perform effectively, and
    • that there is no moisture contaminants in your refrigerant, and
    • if there is a leak, you'll be able to determine if it is significant or insignificant.


    Get someone to push your A/C button. Watch the hub of the compressor. You can see the clutch start and stop even if you can't hear a click. I couldn't hear it on my Lexus, and it has a modded exhaust. But on my truck, the exhaust barks (raRR) when the A/C starts up. The ECU is very aggressive to hold idle rpm. It doesn't speed up the rpm when the AC is on, but the compressor pulls the rpm down just a little when the clutch engages, and the aggression to regain that rpm back causes the exhaust to bark. So it is obvious when it is cycling.

    I would recommend buying the tools, but there are also little tricks based on fluid dynamics that you probably wouldn't be considering unless someone showed you. And if you don't know them, you can wind up putting moisture right back in the system. Also, if you do add refrigerant, DON'T add the stop leak type.

    Tools I use:

    • Manifold gauges, but don't even bother connecting to the high side.
    • Vacuum Pump.
    • Vent Gauge.
    • Various items like a can fitting / piercer. Except now they've gone to resealable cans, so I have procured a new can fitting.
    • A digital weight scale maxing out ~1,000 grams, accurate to 0.1 grams.


    7milesout


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2020 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 42.0 mpg (US) ... 17.9 km/L ... 5.6 L/100 km ... 50.5 mpg (Imp)


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    MetroMPG (06-23-2021)

  3. #72
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    Oh wait! A slight correction to my last reply. Rather than delete my last post, I'll let it stand. But I just thought of something.

    If you do confirm that the compressor clutch is engaging, and the compressor is running AND IF THAT CAR HAS A SIGHT GLASS WINDOW, if the refrigerant is passing by and you can see it (it will looking like bubbly white clouds quickly flowing by), then YES, add refrigerant until it runs clear.
    Run the A/C system on high fan speed, recirc, windows open. This exposes the evaporator to as much heat as is possible ... the amount of refrigerant in the system needs to be significant enough to carry away that heat (well not all but a large fraction of it ... very complex to explain).

    A sight glass window is of GREAT VALUE. Add refrigerant until the sight glass window goes clear and you see nothing flowing by. It actually is flowing by, but is not visible, just refrigerant gas.

    If no sight glass window, refer to my previous post. Also, some sight glass windows may have a small cover over them to keep them from getting nasty. Of course, remove the cover. Usually it is some kind of small plastic cap.


    7milesout
    Last edited by 7milesout; 06-23-2021 at 05:50 PM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2020 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 42.0 mpg (US) ... 17.9 km/L ... 5.6 L/100 km ... 50.5 mpg (Imp)


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  5. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by 7milesout View Post
    You're asking if you should throw the dart you have in your hand at a dartboard in a completely dark room, not knowing if there is even a dartboard hanging up anywhere.
    Good analogy!

    But as long as there are no hypothetical children or small animals in the room near where the hypothetical dartboard should be, I think I'm OK with that.

    Get someone to push your A/C button. Watch the hub of the compressor. You can see the clutch start and stop even if you can't hear a click.
    Will do.

    I would recommend buying the tools,
    My reluctance is based on the fact this will probably be the first/last time I'd ever need them.

    I generally try to own cars that don't have AC (though this is getting harder to do). I yanked the (broken) system out of my Miata and threw it away, rather than figure out how to fix it. Colin Chapman would approve (he also didn't live where it got hot for long stretches).

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 64.5 mpg (US) ... 27.4 km/L ... 3.6 L/100 km ... 77.4 mpg (Imp)


  6. #74
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    I remember my ole 1984 Toyota Celica GT had a sight glass, so maybe your Fit has one. Very useful...

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2020 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 42.0 mpg (US) ... 17.9 km/L ... 5.6 L/100 km ... 50.5 mpg (Imp)


  7. #75
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    Buy a small probe style thermometer too to check vent temps before and after.
    I replaced the condenser in my old Elantra after buying the manifold gauge set and vacuum pump. Pulled negative vacuum overnight so I filled it and it was blowing ice cold. The tools were not bad at harbor freight.

  8. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7milesout View Post
    Oh wait! A slight correction to my last reply. Rather than delete my last post, I'll let it stand. But I just thought of something.
    You can just click edit on your post and edit your original post. No need to delete one or make a new one.

  9. #77
    Senior Member AtomicPunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7milesout View Post



    A sight glass window is of GREAT VALUE. Add refrigerant until the sight glass window goes clear and you see nothing flowing by. It actually is flowing by, but is not visible, just refrigerant gas.




    7milesout
    It's been a while, but isn't the refrigerant on the low side and thru the sight glass liquid? And gas on the high side? Thats why you can see bubbles sometimes in the sight glass, right?

  10. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fummins View Post
    I lack special tools. I usually use this stuff though. https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/r...-0146129p.html but Not at that price. It's not the "right" way but it does the job good enough most of the time. I used a can to top off my dodge last month. It's always worked for the last few years until this spring.

    I've had a few Mirages that had the compressor kick in but not put out cold air. A can of crap did the trick. I'd give it a go? We have a portable ac guy around here, he's not cheap though. Would charge a few hundred to recharge most vehicles, even the Mirage.

    I'm a dummy and haven't gotten the proper vacuum pump, hoses and gauges to do it properly. We sell the large tanks of ac at work but I always thought you needed a refrigeration license/ticket to buy one of those and you gotta keep track of how much you use and where it goes etc...Maybe not?
    I'm with Fummins on this... You can hook up the hose before you even puncture the can and see where the system sits currently. I do this, and if nothing, I dump a can of oil and a can of freon to get the gauge moving and then top off accordingly. It's not the right way, but it has worked for me for years...
    Resident Tire Engineer

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 44.4 mpg (US) ... 18.9 km/L ... 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.3 mpg (Imp)


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  12. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basic View Post
    I'm with Fummins on this... You can hook up the hose before you even puncture the can and see where the system sits currently. I do this, and if nothing, I dump a can of oil and a can of freon to get the gauge moving and then top off accordingly. It's not the right way, but it has worked for me for years...
    And may I add... that this is on VW TDIs which notoriously have terrible A/C, and my cars with my yearly refresh have better A/C than any factory correct VW A/C system at proper spec... Just sayin.
    Resident Tire Engineer

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 44.4 mpg (US) ... 18.9 km/L ... 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.3 mpg (Imp)


  13. #80
    Well, I still haven't pulled the trigger on the AC recharge. I'm probably a dummy.

    We're in record heat and I'm trying to sell a car with no AC.

    BUT THE POWER WINDOWS WORK!


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 64.5 mpg (US) ... 27.4 km/L ... 3.6 L/100 km ... 77.4 mpg (Imp)


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    Eggman (06-29-2021)

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