Recharging the air conditioner
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Recharging the air conditioner in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; Anyone recharge their own AC on the V? Anyone have a writeup on how you did it? I borrowed my ...
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    bpitas's Avatar
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    Recharging the air conditioner

    Anyone recharge their own AC on the V?
    Anyone have a writeup on how you did it?

    I borrowed my brother's air conditioning recharge setup with high- and low-pressure guages, but when I searched the FAQ and the site for info on what the high-side pressure should be, I couldn't find anything. I think alot of cars have it printed under the hood, but I couldn't find it. I also checked the service manual, and it basically says "hook it up to this machine that does everything for you" and has no details whatsoever.

    So at lunch today I basically screwed the can on to feed line of the the gauge setup, punctured it with the screw in thingy on the can coupling to get refridgerant flowing, and the opened the valve that normally goes to the low side connection to purge the line until refridgerant was spraying out, then closed the valve and hooked it up to the low side connection on the car.

    Then I started the car, set the thermostat on 60 degrees, opened up the valve again, and let it suck in the refridgerant. It emptied the can almost instantly.

    I think I might have gotten air in despite trying to purge it, because now when I'm sitting at a stop light sometimes I get a growling noise from the compressor and the idle flunctuates. I can hit the "ac/off" button to stop the growling and it doesn't growl again until I come to a light again. I'm not sure if it's also making that growling noise at speed and I'm just not hearing it though...

    Anyone know what I did wrong? Any way I can fix it without going to the dealership?

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    nikon's Avatar
    nikon is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Recharging the air conditioner

    you need some oil in there....hooks up the same way as the refrigerant can does....might wanna put some dye in the system too to see where your leak is.

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    TheKid is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Recharging the air conditioner

    The right way to do it is get a vacuum pump and vacuum the system on the low side to 30inches of mercury. Once you've accomplished that, vacuum for another 15-30min or so. Stop vacuuming and let it sit(30min) to see if the guage moves. If it moves significantly, you have a leak, if not hook up the refridgerant, start the car, and put enough in to achieve about 35-45psi. Don't touch the high side during the whole procedure. Once you've pulled a vacuum, you can't remove the fittings or else you'll lose the vacuum right away. The valve on the low side only works one way, meaning with positive pressure the valve will hold, with negative pressure(vacuum) the valve doesn't hold. So you have to rig some fittings together to make your own setup like i did. Good luck.

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    Re: Recharging the air conditioner

    So 35-45psi on the low side?
    Thanks!

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    ryand is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpitas View Post
    So 35-45psi on the low side?
    Thanks!
    A good rule of thumb to test for levels in your system....with the car cold (engine temp) and off hook up your gauges. The static pressure reading should register within +\- 5 degrees of the ambient temp. If it is low, Chances are the system is low. Just a quick way to see what might be going on. If you have overcharged things get kind of strange.

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    Re: Recharging the air conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by ryand View Post
    A good rule of thumb to test for levels in your system....with the car cold (engine temp) and off hook up your gauges. The static pressure reading should register within +- 5 degrees of the ambient temp. If it is low, Chances are the system is low. Just a quick way to see what might be going on. If you have overcharged things get kind of strange.
    When you say the static pressure reading, I'm assuming you mean on the low-pressure side? I think I remember that on the gauge set I was using (which had both high-pressure and low pressure guages) 80 degrees F was up around 80psi on the low pressure guage - does that sound right?

    I may have overcharged a bit, but I let some out and now it seems to have fixed itself over time - the compressor hasn't made any noise since that first day. I may also have sucked in some liquid refridgerent instead of just the vapors, which might do bad things to the compressor temporarily, but I hope might square itself away once it had a chance to sit for a while.

    Just to be clear, I didn't have a leak or any other real issue, it's just that it seems to take *forever* for my interior to cool down when I get outside after work, and I have dark tinted windows too, which I hoped would reduce the heat from the black interior but didn't make that much of a difference. It wouldn't be so bad, but the automatic climate control keeps the fan blasting for a good 10 minutes after I get into the car, and the wind noise is enough that people can hear it through my Jawbone! I was hoping that it was a little low and adding some higher quality refrigerant (oil included) would make it blow a bit colder so it would cool down the interior faster. It *does* seem to be a little colder now even though I think I'm probably only at 30-35psi on the low side with the engine running now.

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    ryand is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Recharging the air conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by bpitas View Post
    When you say the static pressure reading, I'm assuming you mean on the low-pressure side? I think I remember that on the gauge set I was using (which had both high-pressure and low pressure guages) 80 degrees F was up around 80psi on the low pressure guage - does that sound right?

    I may have overcharged a bit, but I let some out and now it seems to have fixed itself over time - the compressor hasn't made any noise since that first day. I may also have sucked in some liquid refridgerent instead of just the vapors, which might do bad things to the compressor temporarily, but I hope might square itself away once it had a chance to sit for a while.

    Just to be clear, I didn't have a leak or any other real issue, it's just that it seems to take *forever* for my interior to cool down when I get outside after work, and I have dark tinted windows too, which I hoped would reduce the heat from the black interior but didn't make that much of a difference. It wouldn't be so bad, but the automatic climate control keeps the fan blasting for a good 10 minutes after I get into the car, and the wind noise is enough that people can hear it through my Jawbone! I was hoping that it was a little low and adding some higher quality refrigerant (oil included) would make it blow a bit colder so it would cool down the interior faster. It *does* seem to be a little colder now even though I think I'm probably only at 30-35psi on the low side with the engine running now.
    The static pressure sould be the same on both sides....here is another trick to see if you have a cloged orfice valve or expansion block....run the car with both gauges attached have some one turn off the car and watch the gauges. Both high and low pressures will equal out....if you have one that is much slower than the other it may indicate a clogged orfice or block. The pressures on the low side are dependent on the outside temp...the thermal load and the compressor type. If its a variable output type you will never see the compressor cycle and the pressure will remain constant. if it cycles the compressor will run until you hit the low pressure or high pressure swithc and the sides will equal out and re-start the process over again.

    I would say if you are not getting a quick cool down i would look at a possible orfice tube. or its just really hot out!! FIY when i did AC work GM's acceptable cooling drop was 20 degrees below ambient at the lowest fan setting (your ac cools the best at the lowest fan setting....its just an exchanger and the slower that you can pass air over the coils the steeper the temp drop). Most systems are capable of at least a 30 degree change in temp.

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