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Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze


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ripp2k
Novice

Jul 13, 2022, 8:20 AM

Post #1 of 8 (215 views)
  post locked   Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

The refrigerant is low on my 2013 Cruze and I'm trying to fill it with an aftermarket product (Red Tek 12a). I've got the car running and the AC/Blower on maximum. When I hook up the refrigerant to the valve on the low pressure side and open the flow, nothing happens. The pressure gauge on the can also does not move. I'm told that usually there's a sensor that detects the AC pressure and will prevent the clutch from engaging and this will prevent the flow of refrigerant. Is this accurate? I'm told you can jump the sensor so that it will engage the clutch. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 13, 2022, 10:49 AM

Post #2 of 8 (201 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

Stop right now and safely dispose of that stuff.

First, recharging an AC system is not a DIY job, regardless of what these products tell you. You can do a lot more harm than good and in this particular case you are trying to fill your AC with explosive propane.

This product was marketed as a replacement for R12 which is not what your car takes.

To start with you don't even know if your car is even low on refrigerant. Overfilling is can destroy the whole system so you would be smart to bite the bullet and take the car to an experienced AC shop before your problem gets a lot more expensive or someone gets hurt.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 13, 2022, 10:58 AM

Post #3 of 8 (198 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

1st I'm not familiar with that refrigerant or if totally different to charge with?
Problems of no flow for any are likely your source product and the vehicle are the same at rest as compressor will not kick on until systems have a minimum amount left to have enough to try and cut out - some stay off have dipped too low is trying to save itself.


Sooo…. what' the static pressure you do have now without this attempt? If none or way too low it has a drastic leak IMO it shut down.
Other is quick fittings and your fitting to hook up isn't working isn't totally rare for 134a OE and quality of the fitting you are using isn't depressing a Shrader or ball valve. Push on those usually they'll work.


Other: If it's low the real question is why - obviously a leak to find and fix. Days of topping off refrigerant are really long gone the most common suggestion is empty it to a well held vacuum and fill by exact weight in ounces.


IDK but I've seen stickers say you need to reset the thing or compressor stays off and do not suggest attempting for force it to operate.
On that, some for DIY or pros was to disconnect battery for a minute system would forget and give it a try only for a short time as empty or too low is #1 a destroying compressors BTW.


Fix the leak is the suggestion it's only 9ish years old but stuff happens,


Tom



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 13, 2022, 11:02 AM

Post #4 of 8 (195 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

OMG if the vehicle wasn't made with that OEM then don't use it. Good catch Hammer if you are sure? I can't know if some got thru with an alternative?


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 13, 2022, 11:24 AM

Post #5 of 8 (191 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

This stuff is mostly propane. If your evaporator is leaking and you light a cigarette in the car you could see a large explosion.

Quote from Wikipedia


Quote
Because of its high flammability, it is unacceptable to replace R-12 with HC-12a in the United States.[2][3] Thus its use in public transport vehicles is illegal in the United States since 1990.[4][5]
Some advantages to using the HC-12a mixture over retrofitting to R-134a are cost and labor. Since HC-12a is a "drop-in" replacement, no seals need to be replaced and minimal effort has to be put into changing the refrigeration system around. The refrigerant used is propane and other hydrocarbons which are flammable.

This refrigerant was the root cause[6] of the Tragedia de La Cresta [es] in October 2006,[7] which killed 18 people and injured 25, some severely, which in turn led to an overhaul of Panama City's public transport system.[5][8][9][10] The refrigerant ignited due to an electrical spark[11] which followed a refrigerant leak,[12] eventually warming and later quickly setting an ICE bus ablaze as the fire spread from the refrigeration system towards the interior of the bus,[13][5][4] this combined with a lack of emergency exits, the location of the engine (and refrigeration system compressor, which is often open and pulley-driven by the ICE engine and thus leak-prone in ICE vehicles), which was located below a cover on the inner side of the only passenger exit door,[14] and a lack of fire extinguishers led to the tragedy. A lawsuit in a US court against Northcutt, which imported the HC-12 involved in the tragedy, and OZ technology, Inc., which manufactured the HC-12[11][6][15][16][17] began in 2008; in 2018, Northcutt reached a settlement with the victims of the tragedy and their relatives.[5][18][19]




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jul 13, 2022, 11:31 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 13, 2022, 1:28 PM

Post #6 of 8 (172 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

Thanks - OMG and didn't know as I've never seen it for sale. Now I know why and haven't heard of it.
OP - key word is carefully get rid of it better if you vent that container out to wide open air so it doesn't blow up a trash truck.
Propane is a condensable gas did (20+ years ago) hear of a farmer who used it (actual propane) with the excuse he needed it today and had no choice?? Not my job.
So the question is why would you even consider it definitely not OEM anyway in a Chevy anything. That model year is decades from the last R-12 vehicles (1993) so if you even did want R-12 pros can still get recovered stuff or NOS lots was made.


Off to a horrible start with this if any got in the car I'd unscrew a Shrader and let it out at least and seek professional help what to do next by them but tell them what you did or tried!
There's a LEAK to fix still who knows where pros will find it if you don't know.


End of this scary saga!


Tom



Nacho
User

Jul 20, 2022, 7:09 PM

Post #7 of 8 (97 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

What the hell is theat and why are you using it?
You'll teach them to fly, but they won't fly your flight; you'll teach them to dream, but they won't dream your dreams; you'll teach them to live, but they won't live your life; however, in every flight, in every dream, in every life there always be the print of your lessons taught (Mother Theresa)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 20, 2022, 7:49 PM

Post #8 of 8 (95 views)
  post locked   Re: Cannot fill AC refrigerant - 2013 Chev Cruze  

All: This is "purified propane" is sold also as R-290 (?) is "refrigerant" grade but is PROPANE.

Farming machines like tractors it might make some sense.

It's a "buyer beware" thing to know what it really is and yes it works in R-12 systems just IDK if some foul odor is in it also to warn users that a leak may be in cab or interior area this a road motor vehicle doesn't make any sense to me so far with choice of OE refrigerant 134a abundant just price going up to get rid of that too,

Tom







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