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a) R134a is not commonly referred to as Freon. Freon in automotive applications is R12.
b) R134a is a compounded product with a mixture of chemicals in specific ratios. Some of the molecules are larger than others in this compound. Hence, if there is any sort of leak, the smaller molecules escape at a higher rate. The remaining gas/liquid has a different ratio and does not exchange heat at the same rate as R134a would in a properly formulated state.
c) Can the cheap kit work? Well, yes, to a point. See b). If you have a leak, no matter how much refrigerant you add back in, it won't work properly until the system has been evacuated, the leak repaired, and recharged.
d) Pressures in an R134a system are critical to proper function and depend upon a number of factors including the ambient air temperature. This is why you don't mess with it without proper training and knowledge.
e) Without having the proper gauges to check high and low side pressures, you are just assuming that the system needs to be charged because it isn't working well. You may be correct. The reason may be found elsewhere as well.
I do my own air conditioners because I am trained, own the equipment, am licensed and certified to handle refrigerants. I warn you to be careful.
2007 V6 Camry LE, Built TMMK 27 September 06
"People who think they know it all are particularly irritating to those of us who do."
Last edited by gdanaher; 03-30-2009 at 10:24 AM.