90 g refrigerant low on charge causing hot compressor operation 200°+F

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by lech auto air conditionin, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. lech auto air conditionin

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    This to 2008 Prius after performing a refrigerant recovery procedure found the system only had 90 g of refrigerant. But that was no surprise.
     
  2. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    This is an eye opener here.
     
  3. lech auto air conditionin

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    This is why I feel sorry for customers who bring their car to a shop that uses the little cans and top off and sometimes there are a few ounces overcharged or a few ounces under charged but they get cold air coming out of the dash take money from the customer. And months later the customer is returning with a burnt up compressor. It only takes a few ounces + or -
    You should see how much power constantly drives from the high voltage battery and the engine runs all the time trying to keep it charged up customers in the situation might take it into a shop complaining of low gas mileage. Without knowing anything’s wrong with the air conditioning is the cause of the gas mileage problem is Shop might be missed leading to start changing parts trying to chase their tail for the gas mileage problem went all the time it’s only a few ounces of refrigerant charge That is the actual gas mileage problem. Not to mention cycling the death out of the high voltage battery constantly charging it and draining it down because of the high amperage draw from the compressor.
     
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  4. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    I think knowing how to interpret and even read a manifold gauge, would be of help here.
     
  5. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Apparently, the only way to guarantee that the charge is correct is by vacuuming out the whole system and recharging it to the factory specified amount.
     
  6. lech auto air conditionin

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    Your right 100% CORRECT!!!!!!!!! THAT IS THE ONLY WAY!
    It too sad even mechanics with 20 or 30+ experience can’t, don’t or unable to understand or refuse to believe because it came out cold of the dash, they collected money. The car ac stayed running long enough to not own up to the fact that there was are the ones who caused the compressor to burn out. The customer ends up eating the cost of another compressor a new condenser a expansion valve flush the system several thousand dollars later The mechanic is richer in his bank account because of this the customer does not know it was The Mechanic in the first place who caused this scenario The Mechanic is in denial and the customer thinks The Mechanic is such a great guy because he got his AC working again. Doesn’t this sound too familiar too often. Unless it was a customer who watched a YouTube video about topping off refrigerant with little cans in a hose with a little gauge attached to it from one of the auto parts store then he is the cause of the problem.
     
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  7. pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut Active Member

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    One might argue that the person who designed such a finicky A/C system is the one ultimately responsible for the failures. People generally expect that if they top off any type of fluid in a car, and do not over or under fill it grotesquely, that it is "good enough". The Prius A/C system does not conform to that expectation.
     
  8. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    It's got to be the restriction on the amount of refrigeration that is mandated by government regulatory authorities.

    Twenty years, ago, auto AC units had large accumulators and 20-32 Oz of refrigerant in each individual unit. Now, it's less than 10 Oz in some systems and almost no accumulator capacity.

    There is almost no margin of error in current auto AC systems.
     
  9. lech auto air conditionin

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    I’ll vehicle manufacturers Are like this since the introduction of R134A starting in 1990 for the first test case models and then implemented 100% on all vehicle manufacturers by 1994. There was never anything called top off when it came to the new refrigerant that replaced R12. Especially at the beginning of the first introduction of the very first available the compressor that Cadillac Introduced from that moment on that was a game changer. Because most people are lazy and they don’t read and they don’t attempt to learn they seem to think they can follow the old ways if it was good enough for something that your grandfather did 60 years ago and then it was good enough that their father did 40 years ago let’s keep doing it today and let’s blame the manufacture. It all comes back to lack of education lack of basic skills lack of understanding. It’s not just the Prius. Just like the people who lack common knowledge Popping off your radiator coolant with tapwater that contain calcium magnesium iron and other metal salts created build up and plugging in rotting out of heater cores radiators freeze plugs turned into a multi million dollar business of repair due to ignorance thinking they can top off. Same goes with that universal power steering fluid when put into some vehicles for topping off the viscosity acts like molasses in the system under normal circumstances the power steering seems fine in a quick emergency situation when you have to turn the steering wheel real quickly to avoid a collision it feels like an 800 pound gorilla is stopping you from the turning the wheel quickly in response, The other scenario causes the seals at the end of your rack to shrink and start to leak after the application of that supposedly universal power steering fluid but who would think topping off can’t hurt anything. Everybody used to think the universal Dexton transmission fluid could be stuck in anything stick that in your CVC transmission and top off with that and see what happens. Same goes with all the automotive batteries they used to top off with water but people didn’t know who didn’t read it was supposed to be distilled water not tapwater specially in hard water locations with lots of calcium which is a base that would try to neutralize the acid, another great example of topping off and if something gets damaged somebody blames it on the manufacture ?.
     
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  10. lech auto air conditionin

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    You are correct the government had something to do with it but it came down to money in the manufactures making a deal with the government EPA. They were supposed to phase out our 134A several years back in with the EPA omissions of refrigerant to the atmosphere the original equipment manufacturer said if we lower the quantity of refrigerant that could be lost in every system of all our vehicles then we can extend how many more years we could keep using this refrigerant. And with a lower quantity of refrigerant that is a global warming potential on every vehicle they would get their credits from the government. It came at a price for smaller higher efficient compressors and condensers and evaporators with closer or smaller tolerances that had no room for error they will still work but just not work efficiently.
    Now to even work more efficient and have a better hire efficient refrigerant they can use even less refrigerant R290 a.k.a. propane is one of the best refrigerants it has excellent Self lubricating properties they could use a regular mineral oil instead of a more expensive hydroscopic Ester oil or PAG oil. You would only need 3 to 5 ounces for an entire system basically a handful of BIC lighter‘s. But then you would have the psycho fanatic people getting all bent out of shape then getting their panties bunched up there crack. Saying oh my God a flammable liquid it’s going to explode the world is over the sky is falling. Are these people for real you drive around every day sitting on top of 10 to 25 gallons of liquid petroleum fuel in your gas tank you have your propane barbecue right out on the porch and park next to your house sitting in the sun with a 20 pound container of propane and somebody is going to freak out over 3 to 5 ounces of propane in the refrigerant system of a car ???!!!.. The damn transmission fluid in your car is more flammable you ever see what happens when a transmission line breaks loose and hit the exhaust manifold there’s a hell of a lot more flammable petroleum products and transmission fluid than 3 to 5 ounces of propane. Yes agreed the new systems are getting a little more technical more efficient more precise but the general public population is getting more ignorant and less educated there lies the real problem. Remember where the blame falls there is no laws or regulations seen a garage to open and get a license and become a business and mechanics who work on your car do not have to have any whatsoever formal education to do with automotive technology. And you wonder why Tesla does not want to let anybody touch their cars especially when most of the systems are tied in to the anti-collision aspects of the vehicle to do with brakes or drive train or the video camera system or any of the sensors for Radar and you’re gonna let Joe blow Bucktooth Bobby butt crack who worked on his lawnmower and got it running calls himself a mechanic work on a vehicle like this and then blame the manufacturer. Yes like my Toyota Yaris that only takes 12 ounces of R134A. It ends up getting into an accident for example ends up in Bobby but crack body shop to learn from his grandfather how to use a hose in a can to fill the air conditioning at the high side reading should be somewhere between 120 or 170 psi. But it just happens to be a nice cold morning when he does his recharge and average high side pressure would normally be about 90 psi and he keeps pumping in refrigerant until he sees his desired pressure and then sends the customer on his way after the job is finished. Three months later when summer rolls around and it’s 105° outside that refrigerant has nowhere to expand and it roasts the compressor we got a blame it on the manufacture because they made the car more efficient and smaller with tighter tolerances.
    I still remember the days of the old big suburbans with the air conditioning with the Frigidaire axics six compressors in the systems hold 5 1/4 pounds of refrigerant R12.

    Still to this day the majority of all systems if the customer does not Allow the system to run low on charge.A mechanic servicing the system does not overcharge or under charge. You don’t get moisture or air contamination when the shops faulty practices or procedures with their recovery and recycling and recharge machine. If none of those bad things happen your air-conditioning compressor can easily last 250,000 to 450,000 miles if there’s no exterior outside sources causing it to fail. Except for the few cases where the manufactures have a poorly constructed or controlled system that would wear itself out but those are far and few between.

    Over on my YouTube channel just this year I started posting many failures and mistakes caused by automotive shops or customers themselves on YouTube 90% of them could’ve been avoided all due to ignorance lack of reading no education no formal education laziness or being cheap. My YouTube channel My YouTube channel. ( t lech ) look it up by using my name. Or here is a direct link to YouTube channel
    t lech - YouTube

    right here in Prius chat If you go to my photo album I have many pictures of failures and explaining usually how they happened or how to prevent such failures. I actually have over 20 years of videos and photos of failed AC systems directly caused by the mechanics who service them or do it yourself individuals, that I’ve never published just started publishing this last year.
     
    #10 lech auto air conditionin, Apr 7, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
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