Question about 2002 Honda Civic

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If my air conditioning condenser is damaged and the air conditioning system now fails to blow chilled air, is this a loss of Freon? If so its poisonous, so I am under the impression I should not attempt to change the condenser? But if the Freon gas is lost then surely its safe to fit a new condenser and then get it charged?

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  • cheap repair May 17, 2011

    you will need to evacuate the system and replace needed parts. You will then need to apply a vacuum to the system to remove moisture. then leak check under vacuum. then add the proper oil and refrigerant.

    However, If your AC system is empty then you can remove and replace the condenser and take it to an approved shop to leak check and then refill the refrigerant.

  • Andrew Easthope May 17, 2011

    Many thanks, I will change the condenser asap.

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Hi.

The freon is not poisonous. The gas currently in use is the R134 (no HFC's) replacing the old R12.

You can replace the condenser and then you have to charge the system with the right amount of gas and some lubricant.

Posted on May 17, 2011

  • elena lee May 19, 2011

    nice comments has been posted on when air conditioning condenser is damaged
    thanks for your post
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  • elena lee May 19, 2011

    nice comments has been posted on when air conditioning condenser is damaged thanks for your post ======================
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  • If the condenser is leaking them most definitely this could very well be a complete loss of Freon.
  • While R134 is poisonous to inhale directly, and you should always discharge into a proper container, often times it leaks out and you don't even know it until your not blowing cold air.
  • Yea, if the Freon is lost then the condenser swap should be OK to do. I recommend checking for pressure at one of the fill points to make sure .
  • What you will do is swap condensers out and then you will have to take it to a shop to put under a vacuum for a few hours and then they will fill it for you. When the system is a little low you can buy a can of R134 from the parts store and top it off. When you open the system completely up you MUST put it under a vacuum or it will not take a charge.

  • a little FYI about R134, you ever see a Space Shuttle take off and you see that stream of white smoke looking stuff come shooting down the side of the Space Shuttle? That is the same R134 in your vehicle. This was one of the big deals when they wanted to make it so the average Joe could not get R134 in the store without a license anymore. When you put enough R134 in the air to = 2 million vehicles releasing all their R134 all at once for the take off of a shuttle, I don't want to hear about a few puffs from the average Joe's car.

Regards, Tony

Posted on May 17, 2011

  • Iron
    Iron May 17, 2011





    • Your very welcome. Good luck to you.

    Regards,

    Tony

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Andye2796. When your condenser was damaged the freon would start to leak right away (from the pressure inside) and seeing how quickly it evaporates into the air you need not worry about having any issues with left over gas. Go ahead with the replacement, be sure you lubricate any new O-rings with AC oil before replacing them. Then have it recharged. Good luck with this.

Posted on May 17, 2011

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R134 is not poisonous that is right, replacing only condenser might not work, check the value as well, if its not spraying well, you will not get the best cooling. But, since you lost all the gass, it is a case of a leaked pipe.

Posted on May 19, 2011

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If you mean the vents on the dashboard that are supposed to blow cold air if the air conditioning is on, and hot air if the heater is on, then here is a part answer, just for this problem I described.
No cold air could mean there is no gas in the air conditioning system.
The gas is called "freon" in the US, however we no longer use "freon" itself because of environmental poloution. We now use a substitute whose number is 134a.
There could also be some part failure preventing the air conditioning system from activating.
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Let me explain in layman's terms how the air conditioning (AC) system works and what could be happening to your car.

Like your body, the air conditioning compressor is the heart of the AC system, and Freon is the blood. The compressor pumps Freon throughout the AC system, either the older type R12 which costs as much as gold it seems these days, or the new environmentally-friendly R134A Freon. This Freon is a gas and liquid combination that is compressed and circulated throughout the air conditioning system. The compressed Freon is pushed through the system under pressure and is passed through different sized metal and rubber hoses and a special valve called an expansion valve that cause the gas to expand and contract.

This expansion and contraction makes the Freon gas very cold. This cold gas makes its way via metal lines into the dash area of your vehicle to the evaporator core. This evaporator core is like a small radiator, except it has cold Freon circulating inside and not hot antifreeze. A small fan (the AC blower fan which you control from the control panel on the dash) sits in front of the evaporator core and blows air across this cold evaporator and then through the vents inside your vehicle.

The other objective of the air conditioning system is to remove the heat from inside the cab of the vehicle. This heat is removed by the Freon with the help of the AC condenser located at the front of the car (usually in front of the radiator). The Freon coming back from the evaporator carries the heat from the cab to the condenser via rubber and metal hoses. Just like your radiator, the condenser is lightweight aluminum with many internal winding coils.
The Freon travels through these coils, and in between these coils are small slits or fins that the Freon is forced through. The condenser will have an electric cooling fan mounted in front or behind it to push or pull air through these fins to remove the heat from the Freon. Some vehicles still use the old fashioned fan blade driven by the engine to pull air across the radiator and the condenser.
Now I know that is just a tidbit of information on how the air conditioning system works, and it is very general, but I wanted you to know what to look for to give you insight as to what might be happening with your vehicle.
A few causes of low cooling efficiency or no cooling at all at idle are:

Lack of air flow across the condenser. Make sure the electric cooling fan motor near the condenser is coming on, or in models that are equipped with a fan blade make sure this fan is turning and is turning very fast.

Low Freon levels. Freon level and pressure should be checked by your certified air conditioning mechanic.

Overheating. If the engine is running hot or overheating, it can have a noticeable negative affect on the air conditioning system. Some cars have two electric cooling fans, one for the air conditioning condenser and the other for the radiator. Make sure they are both working properly. Usually at idle on a hot day with the AC on both fans will be on.

When the vehicle is traveling at freeway speeds, the compressor is pumping the Freon throughout the system much faster and harder than at idle. There is a dramatic increase in air flow across the condenser due to 55 mph winds, and the engine is usually operating at a cooler, more efficient temperature as well, thus allowing the air conditioning system to operate efficiently.
Note: An air conditioning system that is somewhat low on Freon can still feel comfortable at freeway speeds due to the added air flow across the condenser which can overcome the ill effects of slightly low Freon. Periodic air conditioning performance checks by your mechanic are the best way to keep the system in great shape.

Hope this helps.

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