Recharging Air Conditioning - 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan

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  #1  
Old 07-27-08, 08:43 AM
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Recharging Air Conditioning - 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan

Hi!

The air conditioning on our 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan (warranty has just expired) appears to be not very cold and might need recharging. My questions:

1. How can I check myself to see if it needs recharging? What should I look for to see if there are other problems with the A/C other than the need for recharging?
2. Can I recharge the A/C myself? I noticed that one can buy recharge kits at places like Canadian Tire, etc.
3. Is #1 & #2 worth the time and effort and am I saving much money in this venture?
 
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Old 07-27-08, 09:15 AM
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You can buy the kits that come with the gauges, but, if you are low on refrigerant, you have a leak that needs to be addressed.

A/C can be difficult to troubleshoot sometimes, and can get costly.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 10:32 AM
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The kit you seek only has a cheap low side gauge that you hook up to 1lb cans.............This can be VERY dangerous as you will have no idea when to STOP putting in refriderant if you are unable to monitor the hi side pressure.

On the caravan, the hi side pressure will spike when the system first engages............Then the fans will come on and the system will stabilize
do your fans run with the A/C on????

One last item to check..........caravans.......and several other Chrysler models were pretty notorious for forward evap core leaks. R134A has a very distinct odor and if the leak is profuse you will be able to smell if coming out of the vents even without electronic assisstance
 
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Old 07-27-08, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wrench47 View Post
On the caravan, the hi side pressure will spike when the system first engages............Then the fans will come on and the system will stabilize
do your fans run with the A/C on????
I'll have to check, I am assuming you mean the engine cooling fans and not the fans for the heating/cooling ventilation...

If the A/C refrigerant has to be recharged, does that automatically mean a leak? I guess the refrigerant has to go somewhere...

As for a distinct odor, we haven't noticed any so far.
 
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Old 07-29-08, 07:06 PM
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The A/C fans and the engine cooling fans are the same. The fans are controlled by a couple of switches and are commanded based on coolant temp as well as A/C pressure.
Yes, if your refrigerant charge is low it means there is a leak somewhere. You can use the little cans to boost the charge, but like has been said previously A/C work is not DIY work and it is very dangerous as there are high pressures that can hurt and/or kill. Use extreme caution if you plan to do this.
The caravans, as well as other Chrysler products, were known for evaporator leaks. The only way to find your leak however is to have a certified A/C shop inject dye into the system so that the leak can be detected once it leaks out.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
 
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Old 07-30-08, 12:51 PM
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Old 08-03-08, 02:01 AM
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comments anyone? Some people have said that it is too dangerous to DIY...
 
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Old 08-03-08, 02:28 AM
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comments anyone? Some people have said that it is too dangerous to DIY...
Yep.....

The problem is this.....
Your system was designed to operate within a very "THIN" range of pressures and volume. Even slight variation from these designed "Specs" will produce poor or no cooling. The only way to maintain this happy little environment is to fill it to specification.

Now...that being said, How much should you put in??...It isnt completely empty, Because even air takes up space that should be used for refrigerant.But it isnt full, because it isnt working right....Those recharge kits dont "EVACUATE" the system..that has to be done with a vacuum pump.

Consider this.......the system uses 2 pounds of refrigerant, It isnt blowing as cold as you would like because it has lost a few ounces, and you pump in a 12 oz can. A mere 8 ounces over spec is a 30% OVERCHARGE...Easily capable of producing pressures that can and will Rupture that 12 ounce can in your hands....Sorry guys, but that little relief "DENT" in the bottom of the can means absolutely nothing at 200psi.
 

Last edited by Unclediezel; 08-03-08 at 02:54 AM.
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