The only time you need to add refrigerant is if you have a leak. I'm not sure if the 2000 has a sight glass in one of the A/C lines. If it does, watch it while the A/C is running. While your compressor is running, check the sight glass. If you see a stream of bubbles this indicates low freon. Watch out, a completely empty system will show no bubbles but you may see some streaking oil.
I don't think repair places will check your A/C for free.
If it's still under warranty, take it to your dealer.
To repair it, you first need to find it. There are dyes that can be added to the system. Some are visible only in ultraviolet light and some in regular light. The ultraviolet show up more easily. The dye will show where the leak is occuring.
The only repair you'll be able to do as a d-i-y, is tightening up a connection. If you've got a leak in any of the components, you'll have to take it to a shop to fix.
if you do use the after market gauges dont forget to run the engine up to 1500 rpm's and hold it there and either have the gauge where you can see it from the seat or have some one record the readings...on the Fords the most likly place to have a leak is the condensensing coils(bugs are a 'B' ) or it may be leaking around the output shaft behind the clutch on the compressor..also if you have an high output fan place it in front of the truck to simulate air passing through the coils
As far as working with high pressure refridgerant systems go...I'd leave it to the experts...it could be a simple fix but if you do something wrong it can sure get expensive real quick...esspecially when they figure out you've been messing with it ...then the labor goes from standard rate to dumbchit rate
My dealer sent me a coupon to check out my AC system for $9.95. If it needs R134 that's extra. With R134 going for $5 for 12 oz can even if the dealer marked it up 300% it's gonna be under $50.
You really dont want to try putting your own refrigerant in IMO. AC service techs have machines that measure the low and high pressure readings and put just the right amount of refigerant in. They can also inject dye and if you are losing R134 slowly the leak can be detected and the problem area mechanically repaired. Do not ever use AC sealer. That stuff will crap your system up.
98 F150 4.6L, STD CAB LWB
Gibson Super Truck, WMS Velocity Tube, Flex-A-Lite 270 Electric Fans, SuperChips Micro Tuner, Class III Tow Hitch, 2 Row Radiator, F250SD-V10 Transmission Cooler, 130 Amp Alternator, Alpine Flex-4 Amp, Pioneer 6-CD Changer, Rockford Fosgate BTR-83 Speakers, Bedliner, Window Tint, Bugflector II, Silver Stars, ARE Z Series Camper Shell
I see no reason for a intelligent DIY 'er installing his/her own R134a. All it takes is a few dollars investment in a quality guage set and a bit of research on their proper AC system. I also have to disagee with that all AC sealer's are junk. While a proper repair may be to replace a blown seal or leaky line there are situations where a leak sealer is not only economical it's a permanent and correct fix. I guarantee any AC tech uses it on a daily bases.
Originally posted by KYFordFreak I see no reason for a intelligent DIY 'er installing his/her own R134a. All it takes is a few dollars investment in a quality guage set and a bit of research on their proper AC system. I also have to disagee with that all AC sealer's are junk. While a proper repair may be to replace a blown seal or leaky line there are situations where a leak sealer is not only economical it's a permanent and correct fix. I guarantee any AC tech uses it on a daily bases.
Yeah right. *ANY* being the keyword, heh
Just for giggles I called my local Ford dealer Earnhadts 480-756-3663 and asked them if they sell or use sealer. NO!
"If there's a leak we fix the leak"
To each their own. Do what you wanna do.
Me if I got a leak, I'm fixing it and not putting that junk in my system.
I run my A/C all of the time...All year long. Most of the connections are the same high pressure fittings they use for the fuel system. ( double o ring and the spring loaded lock. If you don't run the system much those o rings can dry out and shrink... Causing a leak..If you run the system and wiggle/twist the fittings sometimes you can get them to seal a little better. I would also invest in a thermometer and see just where the temp is with the A/C on and the truck running at speed. I used to get complaints from customers all of the time in the summer months about poor cooling with the system blowing 30 degree air. Recharging a system is not a big deal, if you know it is low for sure you can even use the simple recharge hose and the little can of 134a and forgo the manifold gauges. ( Gauges will cost some bucks ) also some times heater control valves don't close properly and bleed hot water into heater core causing the A/C to have to cool off the cabin air and the coolant going through the heater core. Good luck
OK didn't know this subject was so fragile that you needed to call a Ford tech to prove a point. No I'm not condoning that AC sealer is the best stuff ever made. In fact I already knew that it could cause problems in systems but if used correctly which means in moderation then it can further the use of a otherwise unoperable system. I agree the best fix is always to fully repair or replace what is broken but you want to know something else not everybody that drives a car has the $500+ to 100% correctly fix an AC system. As a ASE certified parts tech I sell this stuff all summer long and know the limits, I share those limits with each customer that wants to listen, if not then I'm not the one to say NO, it's their car. In fact I like it when guys like you and others on this board come in, they usually know what they want and want to do the job right.
Like you said to each and his own, nobody's perfect and you can't please everyone.
FordFreak - I see your point of view also. But most of us here have newer trucks. That's where I was coming from
Now if I had an old beater not worth much and I'm gonna drive it into the ground and toss it in the junk yard then the sealer might be a cheap temp. fix to get some cold air going. They sell a R134 refill that has sealer in it too.
I am so caught up in changing a lower ball joint and cv boot that I forgot about the AC (mostly cause I cant drive the truck lol saddly, having problems, but that is another post)
I am going to get to the AC soon and will likely take it to a shop and have them diagnose the problem and give me some options. Sounds like it could be several different things that only a trained tech with the right equipment can positively identify.
Thanks again and I would still like to hear any one elses experiences as I will be doing this soon.
I have also heard turning the AC on occasionally helps keep the seals from drying out. I must say that since owning the truck I rarely use AC (cold michigan weather) then hot summers I like to ride with the windows down and blast tunes. So I probably did this to myself.
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