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Old 08-10-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
tomvezina
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Air Conditioner problem

Hi everyone, hope someone can help me out here because I'm sweating my _____ off. My car air conditioner only seems to work when the car is in motion. If I'm stopped, it blows hot air. Now I just tried to refill the low port AC compressor with one of those AC Boosters from the auto part store but it seems as if it's already filled with coolant. I had 2 AC boosters, the one with the guage was pointing in the red zone and didn't seem to release any coolant. The other AC booster without the guage spit back coolant when I pressed the button so that's why I think the low port ac compressor is already filled. My car is a 1997 Mitsubishi Diamante LS. My AC works pretty good when i'm moving above 30 mph so this is strange. Any ideas out there?

Thanks, Tom
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomvezina
Hi everyone, hope someone can help me out here because I'm sweating my _____ off. My car air conditioner only seems to work when the car is in motion. If I'm stopped, it blows hot air. Now I just tried to refill the low port AC compressor with one of those AC Boosters from the auto part store but it seems as if it's already filled with coolant. I had 2 AC boosters, the one with the guage was pointing in the red zone and didn't seem to release any coolant. The other AC booster without the guage spit back coolant when I pressed the button so that's why I think the low port ac compressor is already filled. My car is a 1997 Mitsubishi Diamante LS. My AC works pretty good when i'm moving above 30 mph so this is strange. Any ideas out there?

Thanks, Tom
You have two possible things causing this problem, one being probable. They are compressor speed and lack of airfow to the condensor.

The first is incredibly easy to check for. Whille parked with the A/C turned on max, simply increase engine RPM to 2,500-3,000 for about a minute. If the A/C cools down, then you know it's compressor speed related and can troubleshoot from there. However, I seriously doubt that's your problem.

Most likely it has to do with insufficient airflow through the condensor at low speed. That's why your car has not only a radiator cooling fan but also an auxiliary A/C condensor fan (off the top of my head). it sounds to me as though one or both of your fans is inoperable or you may just need to reverse clean the cooling fins on the condensor. I garden hose with good pressure and a jet nozzle sprayed fron the inside of the engine compartment toward the front of the car will blow out an amazing amount of crap. All that being said, my BEWAG says it's a fan problem.

Warning. The #1 mistake well meaning but ignorant owners/shadetree mechanics make is over servicing the A/C refrigerant. Now that you've hooked up not one but two cans of some unknown product, you may have contaminated or over pressurized the system causing it to never be right until PROPERLY serviced and possibly flushed by qualified personnel. In other words, you might have made your original problem worse.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:59 AM   #3
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Interesting you guys can buy refrigerant over the counter there. We have to have a licence from the Federal Govt based on trade certificate to buy and handle said gas. We have to log the use and loss for traceability.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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Civilians can purchase only R134a over the counter in addition to various magic elixers that companies sell that theoretically work better than the proper refrigerant. R12 in normal consumer sizes is and has been unavailable for purchase without proper credentials for about 15 years. That being said, R12 is available openly and without credentials in quantities over 30 pounds, am interesting loophole.

While it's unfortunate that anyone off the street can go out and buy chemicals to service their A/C system without regard to compatibility and safety (in some cases), that's the price you pay to live in a free society. Less government intervention is always prefered to more.


I just thought of something. I wonder why our little buddy DorkBeagle, the ASE certified while still in school "mechanic" hasn't joined in this discission. I'm sure he would have a good answer for the OP.
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Last edited by vwhobo : 08-11-2008 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:01 AM   #5
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I thought the US was a signatory to the Motreal Protocol and thus banned R12 ?

As far as I know as part of that signing, refrigerants must be reclaimed and not vented to atmosphere.

Your clean air act extract:

Quote:
Servicing Motor Vehicle Air Conditioners.- Effective
January 1, 1992, no person repairing or servicing motor vehicles
for consideration may perform any service on a motor vehicle air
conditioner involving the refrigerant for such air conditioner
without properly using approved refrigerant recycling equipment
and no such person may perform such service unless such person
has been properly trained and certified
. The requirements of the
previous sentence shall not apply until January 1, 1993 in the
case of a person repairing or servicing motor vehicles for
consideration at an entity which performed service on fewer than
100 motor vehicle air conditioners during calendar year 1990 and
if such person so certifies, pursuant to subsection (d)(2), to
the Administrator by Janu- ary 1, 1992.
(d) Certification.- (1) Effective 2 years after the enactment
of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, each person performing
service on motor vehicle air conditioners for consideration shall
certify to the Administrator either-
(A) that such person has acquired, and is properly using,
approved refrigerant recycling equipment in service on motor
vehicle air conditioners involving refrigerant and that each
individual authorized by such person to perform such service
is properly trained and certified; or
(B) that such person is performing such service at an
entity which serviced fewer than 100 motor vehicle air
conditioners in 1991.
(2) Effective January 1, 1993, each person who certified under
paragraph (1)(B) shall submit a certification under paragraph
(1)(A).
(3) Each certification under this subsection shall contain the
name and address of the person certifying under this subsection
and the serial number of each unit of approved recycling
equipment acquired by such person and shall be signed and
attested by the owner or another responsible officer.
Certifications under paragraph (1)(A) may be made by submitting
the required information to the Administrator on a standard form
provided by the manufacturer of certified refrigerant recycling
equipment.
(e) Small Containers of Class I or Class II Substances.-
Effective 2 years after the date of the enactment of the Clean
Air Act Amendments of 1990, it shall be unlawful for any person
to sell or distribute, or offer for sale or distribution, in
interstate commerce to any person (other than a person performing
service for consideration on motor vehicle air-conditioning
systems in compliance with this section) any class I or class II
substance that is suitable for use as a refrigerant in a motor
vehicle air-conditioning system and that is in a container which
contains less than 20 pounds of such refrigerant.
[42 U.S.C. 7671h]
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:55 AM   #6
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R12 has been banned for manufacture, not for sale. As long as it's available form stocks held within the country, it's fair game to sell. As far as I know that goes for all signatory countries, although I'm sure some countries may have put additional restrictions on it.

Additionally, you seem to be confusing refrigerant reclamation with refrigerant servicing. I'll make it simple for you because you're in Oz. One means taking out and the other means going in. It may be opposite for you being below the equator... Sort of like flushed toilets swirling the wrong way.

Finally, paragragh (e) supports my statement about 30 pound containers. However, down under 30 may be less than 20. Maybe it's just the new math.

So, uh... What was your question?
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:03 AM   #7
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Not a query really. I thought it odd that uncertified people could buy R12, which apparently is unlawful :- in re US Govt v Amar Alghazouli . In that case Amar got 41 months for, amongst other things, selling to an uncertified buyer and smuggling the stuff in from Mexico.

It also seems the EPA does require a CAA Title VI Refrigerant Regulations Compliance Plan and that we can get $10,000 from the EPA if we dob in tomvezina for handling a class 1 or 2 refrigerant without a licence and under section 608 and 609 of the act. Apparently it's ok to reclaim from your own vehicles and share it around those vehicles, but not to introduce any without an EPA endorsed licence and equipment.

I've written to the US EPA to get clarification on buying and handling and will post their response once it's to hand.
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