How to remove Freon from car without recovery machine is the information that you must’ve if your car’s AC is troublesome. All you need to do is to freeze the Freon out with the help of an auto HVAC gauge and a two-stage auto vacuum pump.
We have presented these in a detailed step-by-step guide below. Read on to learn how to recharge the AC after removing the fluid as well.
- 1 How To Drain a Car’s AC Without a Recovery Machine?
- 1.1 – Wear Your Protective Gear
- 1.2 – Turn Off the Thermostat and AC System
- 1.3 – Attach the Hose and Open Tank Valve
- 1.4 – Evacuate the Tank, Service, Manifold, and Low-Side Hoses
- 1.5 – Freeze the Recovery Refrigerant Tank
- 1.6 – Drain the Freon
- 1.7 – Lower the Tank’s Vapor Phase Pressure
- 1.8 – Close All the Valves and Recharge the System
- 2 How To Refill a Car’s HVAC System With Freon?
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion
How To Drain a Car’s AC Without a Recovery Machine?
To drain a car’s AC without a recovery machine, wear protective clothing and put off the thermostat and air conditioner. Connect a frozen refrigerant tank to the low-pressure side of the compressor and drain the Freon using a two-stage vacuum pump.
Freon, referred to as refrigerant, is a non-combustible, colorless, and odorless gas used in air conditioning (AC) applications. It’s the chemical that helps to produce cool air from a vehicle’s AC by undergoing continuous evaporation. Without it, your car AC wouldn’t blow the cold air that keeps the cabin cool.
On the other hand, a refrigerant recovery machine is a device designed to drain refrigerant from cooling systems, such as an AC system, freezer, or refrigerator. It prevents the refrigerant from leaking and contaminating the atmosphere. The cost of this AC discharge kit can be as high as $8,000, which can easily go up depending on your location and service charges. Removing this gas without this specialized tool is tricky, but it’s still doable.
Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, ensure you have these tools to serve as your homemade refrigerant recovery machine:
- A refrigerant tank with 1/4-inch fittings
- An auto HVAC gauge
- Hoses and high-low-side R134A couplers
- A two-stage auto vacuum pump
- Manifold with high and low vacuum valves
An available propane tank can work for you if you don’t have a refrigerant tank. Get rid of any remaining propane by venting it into the atmosphere and then remove the original valve before purging it with water. After that, screw in adapters, a 1/4-inch fitting, and a valve. You can put the tank inside a bucket of ice water to ensure it doesn’t get too hot and cause overloading issues.
Next, proceed as follows:
– Wear Your Protective Gear
Freon can be harmful. Inhalation of this fluid, especially in large amounts, can cause serious health issues. The refrigerant can also harm your skin if it comes into contact with it. Therefore, we only recommend DIY Freon removal if you’re a professional.
If you must do this yourself, put on proper clothing (heavy, long-sleeved) that can protect your skin. Other safety measures include wearing glasses and a pair of heavy-duty gloves. Once you’re in the right personal protective equipment, you’ll be ready to go into step number 2 below.
Please note it’s best to take your vehicle to a repair shop for your own safety and ensure that everything is perfectly done if you’re unsure that you can do this yourself.
– Turn Off the Thermostat and AC System
Turn off the thermostat in your car. You also need to ensure that the AC is completely turned off before following this procedure. Turning off the car’s AC before you do anything else is critical to make the procedure easier and less risky.
With the system off, there’s less chance of the fluid leaking and coming into contact with your skin.
– Attach the Hose and Open Tank Valve
You must attach the yellow service hose to the refrigerant tank, the low-side hose (it’s blue) and coupler to your manifold, and the black vacuum hose to the pump.
Make sure the attachments are tight enough to ensure a messy-free refrigerant removal. After that, open the valve on the tank.
– Evacuate the Tank, Service, Manifold, and Low-Side Hoses
Open the low-pressure service valves and vacuum, then close the low R134A coupler. Evacuate the tank and the three hoses. Next, close the vacuum valve and remove the pump and the black hose from the manifold.
Make sure to evacuate the tank, the yellow service hose, the blue low-side hose, and the manifold.
– Freeze the Recovery Refrigerant Tank
Find a chest freezer in the garage or near the vehicle. Place the recovery tank in the freezer and allow it to freeze overnight.
Also, the car needs to cool down completely overnight, so kindly refrain from turning it on meanwhile.
– Drain the Freon
Now close the valve on the low-pressure service port, attach the low-pressure coupler to the vehicle, and open the coupler. Next, open the low side valve slowly, ensuring the pressure doesn’t exceed 150 PSI.
That will help to drain the Freon into the tank through the low-pressure service port. Also, the refrigerant will condense in the tank.
– Lower the Tank’s Vapor Phase Pressure
Place the recovery tank in the bucket of ice-cold water and put it back into the freezer to slow down the sublimation. At this point, the vapor phase pressure will have lowered significantly.
Assuming there wasn’t air in the vehicle’s system, the pressure should still read zero by the time you’re done. That’s because all the Freon vapor will have condensed inside the refrigerant tank, and only a small amount will be left. It would be best if you generally strived to get a vapor pressure of at most 20”Hg vacuum.
– Close All the Valves and Recharge the System
By this step, all of the Freon will be removed from your car’s AC system, and all you have to do is close the tank and all of the valves associated with it. From here, you can prepare the Freon to reuse or dispose of it responsibly. Please note that you can only reuse the recovered refrigerant (back into the same car AC system or in another system) if it’s cleaned properly.
The cleaning involves passing the fluid through a filter drier. You can’t do this yourself, so simply send the recovered refrigerant to a reclamation facility. Moreover, you can also send your contaminated Freon to the facility for proper disposal if you think it’s of no use.
Many people ask ‘how to recover R134A with a vacuum pump?” and the bad news is that you don’t need to use the pump to remove Freon because it is not safe at all. It’s ineffective and will probably leave a lot of refrigerants behind, which can damage your AC system. It’s best to do it by condensing it using the above steps.
How To Refill a Car’s HVAC System With Freon?
To refill a car’s HVAC system with Freon, ensure the ambient temperature is at most 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, please turn on the car and the AC to maximum settings. Now attach the hose from the Freon container to the low-pressure port and recharge the system for about 10 seconds.
Your car’s air conditioning system will need more refrigerant to continue working normally. Here are the steps in detail, but first, ensure you purchase a fresh can of Freon.
Before you begin, ensure that your HVAC system doesn’t have any leaks. You can spray soapy water into the system’s components to identify leaks through bubbles. You can also procure a leak detector online or at your local auto store. Significant leaks should be repaired by a professional for the proper functioning of the system.
– Check the Ambient Air Temperature
Once you ensure that there are no leaks, check the ambient temperature. It needs to be at most 55 degrees Fahrenheit to charge your AC. We recommend using a recharging hose with a gauge to be sure.
Your refrigerant packaging should have a chart to help you determine what pressure to charge your system, depending on the ambient air temperature.
– Turn on the Car and AC to Maximum
Switch your car ON and turn the AC to its maximum setting. If you successfully remove all of the cooling gas, the compressor will not work because the system must have sufficient refrigerant for it to turn on. Thus, it’s normal if the compressor doesn’t turn once when you switch the car on.
– Attach the Hose to the Low-Pressure Port
By now, we assume you know where to find the low-pressure port on your car’s HVAC system. So, connect the fresh refrigerant container to the low-pressure port through the recharge hose.
To do that, push the fitting for the recharge hose on the port until you can hear it click into place.
– Fill the System
Draw the trigger at the recharging hose for approximately 10 seconds with the Freon securely connected to the service bay. This time will be sufficient to fill the system without overcharging it. Ensure the internal pressure reading is 40 pressure per secure inch (PSI).
You’re now all set. The good thing about your car’s A/C system is that you don’t need to recharge it often. Unlike other auto parts that you must inspect and replace regularly, your AC can serve you for a long time, provided you maintain it well. In other words, you will only need to recharge it if it’s not working correctly, as long as there’s no leakage in the system.
1. Why It’s Unwise To Remove Freon Without a Recovery Machine?
It’s unwise to remove Freon without a recovery machine because of inefficiency and safety concerns. Without a Freon removal kit, you can’t drain the refrigerant fully; the access refrigerant can damage the AC system. It’s also likely that Freon will leak and mix with the atmosphere, which can be dangerous.
2. How Much Does Freon Removal from a Car’s HVAC System Cost?
The Freon removal from a car’s HVAC system costs $150 to $270. After the removal service, your vehicle will need a recharge with a new Freon, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $120. On average, expect to pay about $170 for a comprehensive service, depending on the location.
3. How Much Freon Will a Car Require?
The amount of Freon that a car will require depends upon its model. Every type of vehicle requires a different R134A amount, but a car’s HVAC system typically needs three pounds of liquid refrigerant. Consult a professional to know how to remove refrigerant from car AC at home successfully.
4. How Do the Car’s and Home’s AC Freon Differ?
The Car’s and Home’s AC freon differ on the basis of the refrigerant chemical used in them. The home AC system can use R410A or R22, depending on size. Conversely, your car air conditioner uses Freon R12 or R134A, depending on the manufacture year.
5. What Causes a Car’s A/C Malfunction?
The causes behind a car’s A/C malfunction include a faulty compressor and a refrigerant leak . Your A/C system will stop working if the condenser is broken or clogged. An electrical problem can also make the air conditioning system defective.
We have discussed the various steps to remove Freon from a car’s HVAC system without an AC recovery machine.
Here’s a summary:
- Freon can be dangerous; a professional should remove it from your car’s HVAC system.
- Ensure you put on proper protective clothing if you must remove Freon yourself without a recovery machine
- Condensing Freon into a refrigerant tank is the easiest way to remove refrigerant at home.
- After Freon removal, you must recharge the AC system for it to continue working
You can now drain Freon off your car’s HVAC unit like a professional. Hence, gather the tools and get down to it but always remember to take your car to an expert if you’re unsure about something!
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