stupid! what did i do?


Old 04-03-05, 07:16 PM
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stupid! what did i do?

I know next to nothing about cars, thats why I have this problem. I was going to change my oil but started ****ing around under my car. I have a 1996 dodge stratus ES. Near the oil filter I saw a screw which I loosened and when I did I heard pressure coming out. I kept unscrewing until a "pin" like 2 inches long came out and then a lot of what seemed like pressurized vapor chemical came out for a few seconds. I have no idea what I did. I put the pin back and drove my car for 10 mins and everything seems ok. I just wont want to drive it now not knowing what I did.
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Old 04-03-05, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: nc
Posts: 616
Is the AC still putting out cold air?
Old 04-03-05, 07:38 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Yeah I tested the air conditioner and it blew pretty cold air. Its been all winter since I turned the A/C on so I forget how cold it usually is but it still blows cold. and I tested the heater and it blew hot air.

Edit: I'm guessing I let out some of the A/C refrigerant or something. When I tested the A/C it seemed to blow cold air, but its been months since the A/C was even turned on and its hard for me to tell if its as cold as its supposed to be. Also, its still kind of cold outside when I tested it so maybe I have to wait until a hot day to test my A/C.
Old 04-04-05, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 358
As far as I know, freon is a cooling medium as well as lubricant for the compressor. If you think you leaked freon, do not run the compressor. Take it to a shop and have them check the pressure without runniing the a/c. If all leaked out, there will be no pressure left in the system. Once a/c loses freon, moisture can leak back into a/c and mess it up. Do not delay.
Old 04-04-05, 12:01 PM
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Thanks very much for your reply. I am fairly confident now that I did indeed release all the "Freon" because today I "tested" my A/C and for a few minutes and it didn't blow really cold air. Today was actually a fairly warm day and I could tell the A/C was not working like it should. I will take your advice and not run the a/c. Right now I'm flat broke so taking it in to the shop is not an option. I guess I will try to drive it minimally. Summer is just around the corner though, I'll have to get that checked out. Thanks your your input.
Old 04-15-05, 10:22 PM
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I am not a mechanic either, but if I were you I would not run your de-fogger either because as far as I know... this will run your a/c compressor. If I am wrong, let me know...
Old 04-17-05, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 107
yes, you let some freon out.

but it's not a big deal. don't worry about running your AC. If the coolant is too low, the system will automatically shut itself off. There is a "low pressure" switch on most AC systems built in the last 15 or more years.

On another note, changing your own oil at one of those quickee places is relatively cheap and if you don't know what you are doing, they are a good bet. Ask some friends to see if they are happy with the work at a particular place cause you will find some of the quickee places to also be dummee places also.
Old 05-04-05, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 194
You are low on freon. It's easy enough to add a can or two (or get the big can with the built in gauge) if you want to do it yourself. Ask around, one of your friends will probably nkow how to do it.
Old 05-04-05, 07:04 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 516
I would not go to one of these quickee places unless you want someone who's doing their second oil change to do it. They will do the same thing you just did only you won't know what they did.
Go to the castrol or valveline web site and they will give you a basic tutorial on how to change your oil.
Old 05-05-05, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 261
The refrigerant (Freon) carries oil (that also came out when you took out the valve core) that lubricates the compressor. Now that there is an undetermined amount of oil released from the system the only precise way to fix it is to have it flushed and refilled from scratch ($$$$$).

Since it's a 1996 you'll probably be happy just having a/c that works again. In that case, guessing (educatedly) on the oil will probably be ok. How long did it release refrigerant? It's likely you didn't let out all the refrigerant. If you put the valve core back in as soon as you could without it blowing gunk all over you probably don't need to worry about having contaminated the system with air and moisture. (Hopefully dirt either.) It maintains a positive pressure in the system while the refrigerant is boiling out of the dryer / receiver. That takes a little while if your system was full.

Your a/c system is nothing to fool around with or use a trial-by-error method of fixing it. If you want to save a boatload of money, study up. There is plenty of great info on the web. It wouldn't take much money to get your system up and running again. Get it wrong and you could end up flash-freezing some vulnerable body parts (like eyeballs). Could get nasty. If in doubt, take it in to a shop and donít mention the removal of the valve core. ;-)

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