Air Conditioner Repair

Tiny
MICHAEL GELORMINO
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
A/C on 96 Accord has no freon, per mechanic, and Honda dealer suggests diagnostic - vacuum and dye, replace freon. Is this the way it goes?
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Saturday, November 20th, 2010 AT 5:06 PM

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Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you are doing fine, let me ask a few things;

Are you trying to repair a situation where the A/C is blowing air, just not cold air?

I forget the cutoff year for R-134 and R12 (Freon). Freon is more expensive to deal with but is much colder than a R134 system.
It will cost more to fill and the sytem must be free of leaks in either case.

I will keep an eye on this post for your reply.
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Saturday, November 20th, 2010 AT 5:17 PM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
One thing to consider if you intend to keep the car a while longer and want the A/C to work is that lack of Freon is also lack of lubricant.
An A/C system has a precise amount of lubricating oil and a precise amount of refrigerant. The wrong type or the wrong amount will cause failure and in some situations the A/C can become a heater with too much refrigerant.
The reason I bring up this is because the compressor is turning, (at least the clutch) at all times with the engine accessories and still is engaged when the defroster is turned on to dehumidify the air. The cutoff year for which this started to be the norm in the auto industry is around 1996 and is common today. So, you might be in a position where you will have to drop the belt to not harm the A/C compressor. This will cause other issues.
Running low on oil leads to obvious wear, then metal contamination and entire system wear and then eventually to catastrophic failure. Most new cars have too many computer issues when the A/C system is circumvented, that it is a great deal of trouble to not use the A/C if equipped.
So, if you do intend on keeping the car, and even if it takes money a Honda can get 200,000 miles if maintained, you are not really letting something go that won't give you issues and end up costing a lot more later.
Certainly get the opinion of your mechanic, as he has seen the vehicle and sounds like he is not leading you astray, and see what his input is into the situation. There may be a way to lubricate the system and get by without the full repair. Your car, I am not certain but I do believe it does, may or may not have a big problem with dropping the A/C belt as a work around.

It all seems a bit ridiculous to have to consider something like the A/C as a critical component, but un fortunately, some cars are that way.
I hope the information helps.
Let me know if I can help anymore.

Dr. C
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Sunday, November 21st, 2010 AT 4:02 AM

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