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Dealing with A/C system


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Hey guys,

Now that I've got my engine out of the car, I wonder how I can deal with the A/C system. I'd like to continue using it and the compressor appears to be working fine. It spins easily and the whole system felt somewhat cold when I turned it on last time.

But, I'm sure it needs to be re-charged. Since this system is so old, is it even possible to have it serviced? I seem to remember a time when you could service your own A/C. Is that still possible with an old system like this. I also remember that the government (here in the US) forced a change to a new type of A/C that was ozone friendly.

I guess my main question is, can I do any of this work myself and where do I get the tools to work on it?

I know I am supposed to 'capture' the old freon, but, how? And, can I just go buy a canister of new stuff?

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Well, you could possibly service it yourself, but it might be better to have an A/C shop do it. R-12 is very expensive now, since the EPA doesn't want you to use it. If you take it to a shop they can recycle what is in there and add the amount that is needed. You would need the gauges (not too expensive) to service it and get the correct amount in the system. You should also evacuate the system to rid it of any moisture, which requires a special vacuum pump. Any time you service the A/C (evacuate the system) it is highly recommended you change the drier. Also, after charging the system, you should always check for any leaks which requires some special equipment.

As long as everything seems to be in good working order, I would take it to a shop and have it done. Take a new drier with you when you do it, it might save you a little money.

Of course, if you know someone who does home HVAC work, they would have all the equipment you would need. Might only cost you a six-pack that way.;)

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