Air conditioning freon

Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
148
Location
canada
Hello,

I have a general question regarding AC freon. My AC in my 05 CRV is cold as ice with the new condenser fan. I am in no need of a refill.

I've seen some of those AC in a can refill, some good reviews on amazon. Noob/dumb question, What is the main difference btwn those refill cans vs. going to the dealership/small shops besides price?
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
464
Location
Georgialina
Hello,

I have a general question regarding AC freon. My AC in my 05 CRV is cold as ice with the new condenser fan. I am in no need of a refill.

I've seen some of those AC in a can refill, some good reviews on amazon. Noob/dumb question, What is the main difference btwn those refill cans vs. going to the dealership/small shops besides price?
The dealer/small shop will have the proper AC manifold test gauges and such to determine if the system is actually low on refrig. charge, and by how much, (or overfilled), which can happen. In addition they will have a refrigerant recovery system (EPA) mandated in case the system needs refrigerant removal. They will also have a vacuum pump system to purge the system of moisture/contaminants if necessary. I have had pretty good success with the refill cans as I have used them several times over the years for my personal vehicles.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
267
Location
New York City
The gas is the same. The difference is the equipment used to dispense the gas in to a car.

Dealers/Shops don't actually use small cans. They buy refrigerant in tanks that look like propane tanks. Those tanks connect to special equipment that can recover and dispense the exact amount of refrigerant a car needs.

Proper A/C servicing requires many variables. Low Pressures, High Pressure, Refrigerant amount, Oil etc

With DIY cans, all you can do is pump more refrigerant in the system. Generally this resolves most A/C problems. But you only have a few pieces to the puzzle. You cant measure how much refrigerant you added and you dont know how much the high side pressure is. There is a risk of damaging the AC system by improperly charging it.
 

CleanSump

Site Donor 2022
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
1,038
Additionally, you aren't using "Freon" in your car's A/C, it takes R-134. Freon was banned and required a federal license to purchase it. Any Freon sold was old cans, reclaimed, or sneaked in from Mexico. Apparently Mexico wasn't enforcing the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols which were international bans. The license was easy to get, I had one. Took a test and paid my $10 or whatever.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
1,035
Location
Canada, eh?
I have had pretty good success with the refill cans as I have used them several times over the years for my personal vehicles.
+1
I used them twice in the past on vehicles.
Both were Ford vehicles (97 Escort and 2007 Focus).
The A/C would get so cold in temps around 90F, that we'd have to cycle the a/c on and off just to stay comfortable.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
15,659
Location
North Carolina
The shop should get the correct amount of refrigerant in the system, after evacuating it. Usually by weight. Pressure is a difficult way to charge a system as it varies with rpm , ambient temps etc. Too much and it won't cool, to little and it won't cool.

That's not to say i don't do it my self. I have a/c gauges, more accurate than the dial on the can as i can measure the high side pressure.

You also have to be careful not to introduce air/moisture connecting the can/gauges. You have to bleed the line/gauge with refrigerant first.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Messages
328
Location
AR
They collect all the freon in the system, which also filters it in the process, removing contaminates (such as stop-leak) and air from the system. At the very least they change the "fixed orifice tube"Fixed Orifice Tube" which is an internal filter for the system. They then vaccum the system down to -15 psi and hold it there to boil out any water/humidity while testing for leaks in the system. Then they add the exact correct amount of freon by weight.

Those kits at the sore if you use the perfectly by the label, you put trash, moisture and anything else trapped in the hose into the system

If you use it illegally you can waste 10 to 20% venting the hose to atmosphere, but you still have no clue how much is in the system. The gauges can help find an issue, but everything form temp, elevation, engine speed, etc changes the reading making them useless getting the correct amount in.

1657507144880.jpg
1657507198683.jpg
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
464
Location
Georgialina
Additionally, you aren't using "Freon" in your car's A/C, it takes R-134. Freon was banned and required a federal license to purchase it. Any Freon sold was old cans, reclaimed, or sneaked in from Mexico. Apparently Mexico wasn't enforcing the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols which were international bans. The license was easy to get, I had one. Took a test and paid my $10 or whatever.
I recall when a standard size 12 0z. can of R 12 Freon at Kmart was about $1. When the R 134 A came along and R 12 was phased out people were paying $25 or more per can. R 134 A has gone way up in price recently. Bought some at Ollies a few months back for $ 4.79/12 oz. can. Today at Walmart it was $8.88/can. Apparently it is being eventually phased out for the new R1234YF refrigerant.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
2,016
Location
Toronto Canada
Something has been missed here.... the op is in Canada eh...
The cans of refrigerant available at the local parts store in Canada contain a propane butane mix and no r134a. Best to stay away from them unless you really know what you are doing.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
15,659
Location
North Carolina
Something has been missed here.... the op is in Canada eh...
The cans of refrigerant available at the local parts store in Canada contain a propane butane mix and no r134a. Best to stay away from them unless you really know what you are doing.
Everyone fretted over the propane butane mix that was a replacement for r-12, as being dangerous. Yet we now have r1234yf which is hydrocarbon and is classified as mildly flammable.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
2,055
Location
NY
If you do use one of those cans please make sure it doesnt contain any "stop leak" or "conditioner". I suppose it has its place in a $500 junker but not a fine working ac system. Just get the pure refrigerant cans. And dont fall for some $50 can that says EXTRA COLD or FREEZE BOOST. lol
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
25,965
Location
Apple Valley, California
You have refrigerant in your car. Freon is a name like ford ,toyota etc. The correct way to service an ac system is to remove the remaining charge,vacuum,add any oil if needed and recharge with the machine. Never unhook the lines so no air can get in it.

The cans you see always introduce air into the system and that air contains moisture. Moisture is a bad thing in an ac system.

Plus the low side gauge is a gimmick. Can't properly charge a system without a high side reading.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
25,965
Location
Apple Valley, California
I recall when a standard size 12 0z. can of R 12 Freon at Kmart was about $1. When the R 134 A came along and R 12 was phased out people were paying $25 or more per can. R 134 A has gone way up in price recently. Bought some at Ollies a few months back for $ 4.79/12 oz. can. Today at Walmart it was $8.88/can. Apparently it is being eventually phased out for the new R1234YF refrigerant.
The big cylinder my machine requires are now $500
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
23,654
Location
Upper Midwest
Also the name "Freon" comes from the words "'Free-Ion" which describes the extra atom in R-12 that would bond with Ozone molecules and deplete the Ozone layer
Where did you see that? Ozone depletion was not a concern back in the late 20s. Besides there are no "free ions" in the R12 molecule, what "extra atom" are you referring to?
 
Top