'02 300M: A/C doesn't, hissing sound, oily smell

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by Percival P. Cassidy, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Our '02 300M's A/C seemed to be incapable of producing really cold air.
    Then, while my wife was driving it, she said she heard a hissing noise,
    and now I detect an oily smell. Seems to me like an evaporator failure
    (which I understand was a common problem).

    How easy is it to fix this myself? The books and Web sites say to have
    the refrigerant recovered professionally first, but I'm guessing that
    there's none left anyway.

    I saw estimates of $1000+ from a few years ago, but an after-market
    evaporator is only $100, a receiver/drier $27, and replacement R134a not
    a whole lot.

    Somebody reported that the problem on his was merely the Schrader valve.
    Where is that located?

    Percival P. Cassidy, Oct 16, 2010
  2. The Schrader valves are in the service ports.

    It isn't just the parts either. You also need the tools, such as:

    Vacuum pump (preferably 2 stage) with new oil.
    Micron gauge
    Digital weight scale
    Manifold gauge set
    Several accurate thermometers of various types.

    The vacuum pump removes all air, moisture, and other contaminants from the
    system leaving just the oil.

    The micron gauge lets you know when a deep enough vacuum has been reached
    and when all the moisture has been boiled off.

    The weight scale lets you weigh in the new charge of 134a.

    The gauge set connects the vacuum pump and charging cylinder to the system.

    The thermometers working along with the gauge set can tell you the vent
    temps and line temps so you can check for proper operation of the system
    such as the suction line superheat and liquid line subcooling.

    Then of course you need the knowledge to understand all of that and put it
    to good use.
    Daniel who wants to know, Oct 18, 2010
  3. Aren't the fancy tools and other equipment just for recharging the
    system to the correct level? If so, couldn't I do everything else myself
    and just take it somewhere to have it recharged?

    Percival P. Cassidy, Oct 18, 2010
  4. Yes, but whoever does it needs to pull a good deep long vacuum or you will
    have problems later.
    Daniel who wants to know, Oct 18, 2010
  5. Yes you could and might be an excellent middle ground.
    Ashton Crusher, Oct 18, 2010
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