AC clutch question

I posted a question earlier about a 91 Chrysler New Yorker AC. How can I tell if the R12 is too low for the clutch to engage?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
With the new regulations in place, you have to get refrigerant tested by a competent, qualified shop. They need to capture any refrigerant during testing.

There is sometimes a little bulb that you can look at if there is refrigerant but it is not completely reliable.
R12 is now banned as it has been proven as a cause of destroying the ozone layer.
You cannot test the pressure (to tell if the R12 is too low ) without the A/C compressor running...
You must use a Manifold Gauge Set and the tools to connect it.
Seek professional service as refrigerant is pressurized and toxic if breathed after burning it ( so no smoking when near it )


As I tried to point out in your first question on this...
A cars A/C is a closed system and should never need extra refrigerant ( by closed, I mean similar to a household fridge)
The chance of a leak is minimal and if a leak has occurred, then replacement is the better option.  
I have much air/ con. maintenance experience so my comments are not full of hot air :)

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have changed older cars from R12 to newer refrigerant successfully. Whether already changed or not, any release must be captured. You really need to take the car to be serviced for this issue.
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Hi John
I am interested in just how you did that?
R12 and R22 are now illegal... they were efficient at a lower compressed state to turn the "R" freon from gas to liquid.
( we all know that the liquid "R" draws heat to become a gas when decompressed =  refrigeration.)
R32  is the legal new "R", but requires much higher compression to achieve refrigeration.
Older compressors and also their pipes (plumbing) cannot use R32
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I cannot remember, but I think the upgrade was to R45 (I am going from memory). It was legal then and now and the upgrade lasted for the life of both cars 1988 Volvo and 1989 Volvo) . The upgrade was done by a qualified shop. A number of parts were replaced for the upgrade.
Gotcha ... R22 was replaceable with R45

It is the same bad stuff.
Looks like you have until 2020 to get clean of bad "R"s

Suntan lotion makers R making good profits. (:

Thanks for your update.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It was all TOTALLY legal when done and the cars are gone now (scrapped years ago).
The heat waves of recent have made me ozone sensitive ....glad to have your feedback.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The old cars never leaked and so were not a problem and my newer Volvos (2004 and newer) have never leaked either.

My home A/C was replaced 20 years ago and the main joint outside was soldered (and not a fitting). It has never leaked either.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@davmayr - You do need to get this serviced (not do it yourself), and if the old system cannot be retrofitted for new refrigerant, you will have to get a third party AC system.
As I have stated, the air-conditioner is a closed system & you should not suspect low R12 unless the system has been damaged.
They rarely just leak on their own in later years unless damaged.
New air-conditioners are tested for leaks before being put into use, & have 1-2 year warranty to back this up.
If it has been damaged ( causing a leak ) then a top up of R12 is not going to last very long.
Seek a reputable service garage to inspect and quote on repair cost.
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