This ‘n That……………….recharging an auto air-conditioner

     Sometime back in another post, I was bemoaning the status of my 1997 Lumina. Actually, it was Grams car. She picked it out, color and all, with only small influence on my part. I convinced her to have GM cram the largest engine available under the hood.

     With 127,000+ miles on the odometer, the car has been an excellent investment. Although it does show its age. Oil consumption has gone up, probably ring blow-by. The paint is bleaching out in a few places. The ashtray is in the trunk. The reflector panel across the trunk is detached on one end. The air conditioner was (note: was) blowing air 10 degrees hotter than outside.

      On the brighter side, insurance paid for a new windshield, left driver’s window and new headlights. They were severly sandblasted years ago. The seats and upholstery are in good shape, in spite of the carpet stains.

     Oh, yeah…  I was going to talk about the air-conditioner. Last year, the system leaked out all the coolant. I took it to a local AC service shop and got a repair bid of $1,600.  Grams vetoed the repair in favor of buying a new car. Well, circumstance put a damper on that and I’ve decided to keep the car, mostly based on economics.

     A month or so ago, I was getting organized to go to St. George, Utah. I pondered whether to rent a car or drive across the desert in the Lumina with the windows rolled down and damp towels over my head. I opted instead to invest in an AC recharge kit from a local auto supply store. I splurged on the high-end kit with the pressure gauge because the instructions sounded safer, what with being able to watch the internal pressure.

     Darned if it didn’t work! I stuck a (chef’s recommended) kitchen thermometer in one of the outlet vents in the car and within minutes of the pressure on the gauge going up, the temperature on the thermometer started down.  By the time the can of juice was empty, the AC was blowing 60 degree air. On the trip to St. George, the thermometer went down to 48 degrees!

     I tried a recharge in the Sonoma truck. The air temperature went down, but not much. The AC system in the truck has an additional problem. The temperature mixer door in the air flow system is stuck on one end. That results in the minium air flow from the AC and max airflow from outside. I’m trying to figure out how to get to the door controller but it looks like a big job – maybe even removing the dash board. Maybe that’s why a shop quoted me 600 bucks to fix it.

      Meanwhile, maybe Jake should invest in a recharge kit????

Love all,

      The GOG.