To start off, I’m very, very inexperienced when it comes to car maintenance and repair. My question is regarding the A/C system for my 1995 Honda Accord. It hasn’t worked for a couple of years, just blows hot air, but with my limited knowledge of cars I decided to just roll the windows down instead. Well, a friend convinced me to finally give recharging the coolant a try and so I went out to the hardware store and bought a can of R-134 with a gauge on it. I found my low pressure valve and checked the pressure. My first tip that something was wrong was that the gauge didn’t move at all when I connected it to the low pressure valve, without the can of refrigerant. Not knowing what this meant, and half guessing that it just meant the system was empty, I continued on with the process. I shook the can, connected all the parts and attempted to dispense the R-134 into the system. The gauge initially ticked up and then began to swing around wildly. I think I didn’t have the hose connected properly. I finally got a proper connection (I could feel it fall into place properly) and the gauge became steady and started to fill slowly. When I got it between 40 and 45psi I released the button, only to watch the pressure slowly fall back down to zero. My immediate thought was that there must be a leak and, after checking under the car, I found a fresh little puddle of R-134 under my car.
So, my question is what should I do next, apart from taking my car into a repair shop? I’m on a very limited budget right now and would like to diagnose the problem as much as I can, fixing it myself if possible, before resorting to taking it to a professional.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.