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The AC on my 2002 Chevy Cavalier stopped blowing cold in the fall and I had planned on getting it checked out and recharged once the AC check specials started. I saw this for $30 and it seems too good to be true. Do they work? Anything I should look out for?

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  • That's not a good price. Big Lots has them for $12. Or $8 if you only need the smaller size and don't need a hose. – R.. Jun 14 '13 at 21:24
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They do work. I've used them often.

  1. If your low on freon, there may be a leak. However, if this is the case use a bottle of stop leak first or a bottle mixed with stop leak. It should seal up an value leakage. Replacing your AC unit is costly, most leaks can be fixed with a stop leak sealant unless the problem is serious.

  2. Save the hose you can reuse it.

  3. Look for sales.

  4. Don't expect to use half the bottle. Buy what you need. This is because once you pull the hose off the can can't be resealed.

  5. Usually 2 of the small cans is enough to completely refill the AC unit.

Procedure.

  1. Screw on the cap and tighten down the gauge, it will poke a hole in the bottle.

  2. Attach the hose to the low pressure air conditioning value. There are 2 AC lines, one high, one low pressure. They're both metal. Open the low pressure one and attach the hose well.

  3. Start up the car and crank up the AC full blast.

  4. Loosen the gauge and let the material flow from the bottle into the AC lines.

  5. Agitate the can while it is filling (rotating from the 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock position every few seconds) to help the refrigerant vaporize and get into the system. Don't turn the can upside down; you don't want liquid r134a hitting your compressor.

  6. Release the trigger or close the gauge periodically by tightening it down on the bottle. When you do that you can read the pressure in the AC lines. When the pressure is in the safe range, stop! Do not overfill.

  7. When the can feels empty (it will feel very light and empty and not as cold as before), you can turn the can upside down to release any remaining refrigerant and oil into the system.

  • It's perfectly reasonable to use half the bottle. I have a half-full bottle which is almost a year old. I can tell it hasn't leaked because of the weight, and it sloshes when shaken. As my answer mentions, I'm not using a "freebie" hose. (Why would you want to remove the hose from the bottle?) – Potatoswatter May 26 '11 at 11:33
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    @MarkJohnson I was responding to the part "Don't expect to use half the bottle. Buy what you need. This is because once you pull the hose off the can can't be resealed." — it's silly to pull the hose off and let out all the gas, and reasonable to use only half the bottle. – Potatoswatter May 28 '12 at 16:23
  • @MarkJohnson As I mentioned in my answer, the hose on this particular product was good for zero uses. I ended up throwing it away and getting a separate hose and tank. (It was a relief that everything worked the second time.) – Potatoswatter May 28 '12 at 16:39
  • @MarkJohnson The instructions say "shaking and rotating from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock every few seconds". I assumed this was to get oil from the can into the system, since it says "Restores lost refrigerant and oil"? – endolith Aug 5 '14 at 21:32
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I got that exact same product!

The hose didn't work very well. I ended up buying a separate hose for $15 or so, with brass fittings.

Also, as Patrick said, a large amount of refrigerant solves a large refrigerant leak. And it won't solve it for long.

So, I recommend either

  • Go to the shop and get a leak test, and a refill if it's slow.
  • Buy a quality hose and a small tank of refrigerant for $30 or less, and fill it until it's cold.

In my case, it was a slow leak, which became a fast leak in short order. Oh well.

4

This product solves one main problem(symptom), low freon.

The issue with this is that most cases of a car that have low freon is caused by a leak somewhere in the system.

If your car suddenly stopped blowing cold air, then this will most likely not fix your problem.

Your problem is probably one of two things:

  1. A/C Compressor died
  2. Large freon leak

I did a quick google and there appears to be A/C stop leak, but I do not know the efficacy of it, so YMMV. But, again, if you lost cold air quickly then this type of product most likely will not help you out.

From personal experience when the A/C stops working it is very often the compressor. There just isn't much else in the A/C system that is likely to break.

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