If it was 25% low then there is a leak. They just didn’t find it. Left unsaid is how they checked for leaks.
As for the A/C not working at idle that means there is still a problem and likely related to the state of the refrigerant charge, cooling fan inoperative, etc. What needs to be known are both low and high system pressures at idle and at elevated RPMs.
Everyone has their own way of doing things but whenever I service an A/C i always notate static pressure along with both low/high system pressures etc on the repair order.
Personally, I don’t think that they should have sent the car out the door like this without some kind of an explanation.
25% low over the course of 21 years is not terrible
Probably leaked out slowly, over those years
The best thing . . . in my opinion . . . is to inject some uv dye into the low side with the ac compressor engaged and the engine running.
Then check with the black light in about a month’s time. Might have to remove the blower motor and/or resistor, if you want to check the evaporator. But I’m not sure if you’ll actually see the evaporator. What I just described doesn’t work on all vehicles. On some, when you remove that stuff, you’re looking at the heater core, not the evaporator . . .
@ok4450 & @db4690
I am not an expert on AC
Yelp did not give an AC specialist.
They prob did not use UV die - but 25% over 20yrs an issue? When I called around m/cs said they typically need to recharge on average 7yrs.
I am not saying that there is no issue on the AC - but I have no experience or knowledge on this to make a judgement.
I really felt the coolness when I left all the way to Costco. Then when I drove off from Costco, it might not have been that cool - unsure if the car got hot or temp went up outside or I was coming from much cooler place (Costco).
Is there anything else I should do to the car?
The m/c reported to the shop owner saying that its not cool at idle and about 25% low.
We do inflate tires periodically right - for Freon, I believe that there is a tough environmental regulation. Owner of the shop asked me if this is the first time I am recharging.
Generally speaking . . . a shop is not allowed to charge a system that they know for a fact is leaking. Let me further clarify. If your ac compressor is glowing green with uv dye . . . which means it’s 100% leaking, no doubt about it . . . the shop is not supposed to recharge your system and just send you on your way
That was probably one of the reasons why they asked if this was the first time you’re recharging . . .
Let’s be real. This is a 21 year-old car. All auto parts stores sell refrigerants and it does not require a license or professional experience to put a few ounces of refrigerant in the system. One does not have to be Einstein to do that.
Granted, some more info would help but since most people do not keep a car for 21 years and most automotive A/C units get dinked around with a number of times over the years my assumption was that the 25% loss happened over far less than 21 years.
The OP took it in with a problem and got it back with a problem. This means lack of airflow through the condenser (and I assume they would have to be blind and deaf to not notice an inoperative cooling fan) or there’s a refrigerant quantity issue. My humble opinion is that the latter is not correct. The OP should not have to travel at speed to have a sort of working A/C.
I can’t say that i agree with comments about pro experience not being needed and not being an Einstein to recharge an A/C. I wonder how many A/C systems get damaged each year due to DIY charge kits and how many DIYers get injured when things go south due to lack of knowledge. A statistic for which there are no numbers that I’m aware of.
I consider myself proficient with A/C work and in a few seconds of carelessness (outside in 108 degree temps and about to die…) I inadvertently blasted the forefinger and middle finger of my right hand with some R22 while getting a home central unit going for someone. Ten years later the fingertips on those 2 digits are still a bit numb from frostbite.