Monday, July 15, 2013

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I’ve been enjoying the summer with my A/C making me feel cool. Yet, people who ride with me would complain that I need to recharge my Freon because my car is over 10yrs old and probably needs it by now. Silly me, I listened to them even though my car works fine(after $1500 worth of work-it should!), I thought I’d just improve it because maybe I’m just wrong.

So this weekend, I got a hose with pressure gauge and self-refilled my Freon. It isn’t that hard, at all. But I noticed that when I did, my AC stopped working. I went to a national auto parts/repair ‘big box’ place and the service tech said it sounds like I overfilled my system w/Freon, but he didn’t have an AC specialist.
So with a car full of people, heading for a day trip out to the country, I found myself standing at a giffy loob arguing with the manager.
“I can hook it up to our machine, check for leaks, that’s $35. If there’s no leak, we can remove the Freon and refill it, but it’s not like we can just take a bit off. Our machine takes out all the old Freon and refills it completely.”

I’m holding my tongue, whatever, I put the Freon in and the valve looks like an air valve with a pin in the center, which if it works like a tire valve, you just push in and it releases. So why can’t they just release some Freon?

“So how much is that?” I asked.

“$119 and takes about 30-45mins.”

I contemplate this, talk it over with a friend and decide it just takes too long, we’re supposed to meet up with other people and I just can’t see why it would cost so much.

So we had jammed into someone else’s car.

This morning, I called my mechanic and explained my situation.
“Yup, you over filled it, just release some.” He said.
“The Freon? How?”
“Just release it from the valve.”
“Like a tire valve?”
“Yup, just stick a screwdriver. Try that.”

I thanked him and this evening I tried it.

There are two valves in my AC, H and L, high and low pressure. To fill the Freon, you use the L valve. It looks just like a tire air valve. You can now buy an AC hose with attached pressure gauge that tells you the air pressure. It’s color coded to show you the levels your Freon should be.

The gauge showed that I was in the red area, SO THAT’S WHAT THE RED IS FOR!!!
So as the car ran with the AC on high-it’s the only way the Freon will circulate-I stuck the tip of my pliers into the valve and pushed down and watched the Freon gush out in puffs of white gas, soaking my hand and pliers with the greasy smelly Freon. After what seemed like a good few seconds, I stopped and checked the pressure again. It was now full.

I went inside my car and glorious cold air was blasting through my vents.

It literally took 10mins and I saved myself $119.

This is the year I take control of my life. Today, I took care of my car. Another check off my list!