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Recharged the AC in my 08 RL with 395k KM

373 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Enzobean
Have had my RL about a month and it has approx 395k km. AC blowing hot air.

I watched a bunch of videos and was almost scarred off by Scotty Kilmer (I'm a big fan for years) but decided to take the risk.

Drained one bottle (425g) with the engine running, AC on blast with the can connected to the low pressure, service port. AC is blowing cold now.

The guy at the parts counter sold me two cans and the connector. I decided to not add any more than the one can because I can't really tell how much is actually in the system and if I'm not mistaken, Scotty said that most AC units in cars hold 450g. I didn't want to risk anything else. I did notice that one of the fans (AC compressor fan?) kicked on about a minute or so into the procedure.

When I unhooked the connector, a little bit of green (refrigerant?) pop-fizzed out of the port kind of like cracking a fresh soda, which I quickly wiped away. (I was wearing my safety sunglasses).

So far so good but I was just curious, does anyone have any experience with this and offer me any tips, advice or what to expect in the future?

Thank you kindly!


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I really appreciate all these responses. I went to the lake with the wife so I'm just getting a chance to reply.

The truck didn't have AC when I got it, I have no way of knowing how long it hasn't blown cold. I'm confused though because the kits are sold as "Recharge" - And there are so many videos about recharging the AC. If AC stops blowing cold air is it always because of a leak? Is the refrigerant not a consumable?

I appreciate the warning from Scotty. I'll keep it in mind. In the past I've watched Scotty and Chris Fixit. But since getting the ridgeline I've been sticking to this community for my knowledge base which I'm grateful for.

I will have the AC professionally looked as soon as I can.
Refrigerant is definitely NOT a consumable.

Whether your kitchen 'fridge, basement chest freezer, household air conditioner, or car A/C... The very basic principle is the same. Use a volatile chemical and trap it in a closed loop system. Use a compressor to pressurize it, which causes it to condense into a liquid. That compression generates heat which must be dumped out to the environment. Then, when much of the heat has been removed (via the finned condenser radiator just behind the grill), pipe the liquid to a restriction with much less pressure on the other side. As soon as the pressure is removed from the liquid, it instantly starts evaporating back into a gas. This TAKES heat to do. Then run that gas through a much smaller evaporator (which is inside the Ridgeline) which gets very, very cold. Blow air across the outside of the evaporator and the air gets cold, which is blown into the cab. When the gas comes out the other end of the evaporator, it has warmed up some and is fed right back into the compressor pump to be squeezed back into a liquid.

If the system doesn't leak that volatile chemical out (the Freon or R-134A or whatever), it should be good for the life of the car.

Unfortunately, a leak is just one thing that can go wrong. My last A/C failure was due to the electric clutch on the nose of the compressor going open.

But if recharging the A/C system made it work again, I think you've found the problem. If I were you, I'd just wait it out now. See how long this recharge lasts. If it only lasts a few days then you have a pretty good leak. If it lasts a long time, then you have a decision to make regarding how long you're planning on keeping the car and how much the recharge kit costs.
This is the greatest break down I've personally had on how AC works. Thank you so much for this detailed explanation, I'll keep an eye on the AC and see how long it lasts. 🥂
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