Allpar Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife bought a new 2012 Chrysler 200 Limited back in April. We love the car, and everything has been great with it - quality, materials, ride, handling, etc. However, my impression is that for a new car, it doesn't cool off that quickly, and the A/C just doesn't freeze you out like all of our other cars have (R134a on the 97 Camry was like an icebox).

Yesterday I was washing and waxing the car, and when I opened the hood to clean under there and check the fluids, I was shocked to see that the decal for the R134a says that the system only holds 16 oz of refrigerant!

I know that efficient designs can wring a little more out than in 1994 when the conversions were final, but this seems ridiculous - most cars I've seen will hold between 28 and 32 oz of R134a. Are there many, or any, other new cars out there with so little refrigerant? How well do they cool you off? This could be a lot better if the system were designed to hold more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
You may want to haveit checked it is 105 out side and mine starts to blow cool air before the car is in drive and ready to go and is starting to feel cold by the end of the drive way about 150 to 200 ft.
Mick
P.s.this is the quickest system I have ever seen!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
I'd say have it checked by the dealer. Both 2012 Avengers I've driven from enterprise (2.4 and 5 days each) had ice cold A/C during record heat, heck my sisters '10 SXT 2.4 is cold!
 

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
14,675 Posts
2010 Journey SXT 3.5L - gets ice cold - enough I have to turn the fan to low. And this is a black colored vehicle.

2006 Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab SB 5.7L - the AC will freeze you out in little or no time. Unless my wife is riding with me (rare), I don't use the AC.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Going to check it one more time before taking it in.

Also, when I was cleaning underhood, the cap on one of the A/C ports fell right off. It was obviously barely screwed on at all. I've heard that sometimes the factory has the dealer add the refrigerant, am wondering if they didn't put enough in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
Going to check it one more time before taking it in.

Also, when I was cleaning underhood, the cap on one of the A/C ports fell right off. It was obviously barely screwed on at all. I've heard that sometimes the factory has the dealer add the refrigerant, am wondering if they didn't put enough in.
I would be willing to bet yes
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,254 Posts
I've heard that sometimes the factory has the dealer add the refrigerant, am wondering if they didn't put enough in.
"Asking for trouble"

1) Will the dealer vacuum the system?
2) Will the dealer vacuum it sufficiently?
3) Will the dealer add enough or be cheap?

Chrysler puts a lot of trust into its dealers, and you would think they would know better.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't know if that's true, I just read that once. If I had a pressure vs temperature chart, I'd measure the pressure myself and decide whether it needs any, before taking it in. Since it's under warranty, if I measure an anemic temperature at the vents, I'll take it in.

16 oz. is an incredibly low charge. I found a listing of cars worldwide, and none was under 570 g (20 oz).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I checked it last night, and it worked much better, so it's been inconsistent.

At 80F ambient, I idled the car in ATC mode, set to 66F cabin temp and recirc on. I let it idle about 10 minutes while I watered the gardens. Then I checked left vent temperature, and it was down to 52F. It felt decent and that reading is good. It just takes awhile to get there sometimes.

After I shut the engine off, I heard the refrigerant hissing underhood loud enough to notice, for about 10-20 seconds. I've never heard that before, so I ran it again and shut down, and it did it for about 5 seconds. Is that normal for new systems? It sure isn't for older ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
I would have your system checked out. My 200 freezes me out off the car. I also use the remote start alot on mine to start cooling it off while i'm walking toward it in the parking lots. My 200 takes half the time to cool off the interior than my 97 Ranger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,636 Posts
Yesterday I was washing and waxing the car, and when I opened the hood to clean under there and check the fluids, I was shocked to see that the decal for the R134a says that the system only holds 16 oz of refrigerant!
I checked a service manual for a 2008 Chrysler Sebring / Dodge Avenger and it indicates refrigerant charge capacity of 1 lb / 16 oz of R134a. The 200 is just a reskinned and retuned 2008 Sebring / Avenger but the mechanical components are identical to the older models. I think the under hood refrigerant label is correct.

I know that efficient designs can wring a little more out than in 1994 when the conversions were final, but this seems ridiculous - most cars I've seen will hold between 28 and 32 oz of R134a.
If engineering design can reduce initial refrigerant amounts needed for a vehicle climate control system and yet still maintain expected driver comfort, multiply the reduction by hundreds of thousands of car and you get cost savings which increases corporate profitability. The refrigerator in your kitchen uses a refrigerant charge in the range of 5 - 7 oz and it performs quite well.

Are there many, or any, other newcars out there with so little refrigerant? How well do they cool you off? This could be a lot better if the system were designed to hold more.
Effective cooling capacity has more to do with compressor flow rate and how well the evaporator absorbs heat into the refrigerant stream and how well the condenser rejects heat. More refrigerant is not necessarily better. Older vehicle AC systems used more refrigerant because the heat exchangers (evaporator and condenser) were not as efficient in causing a phase change from liquid to gas (evaporator) and phase change from gas to liquid (condenser). Lots of fluid would pass through each component and not go through the phase change so that proportion of the refrigerant stream performed no useful duty. Now with more efficient heat exchangers, more of the refrigerant stream undergoes the necessary phase change to provide cooling so less refrigerant is needed. In the days when refrigerant was cheap using more did not matter. But today it does. Of course the offset to this is that more efficient evaporators and condensers cost more to manufacture than the relatively inexpensive fin and tube exchangers used 20, 30, or 40 years ago.

I've heard that sometimes the factory has the dealer add the refrigerant, am wondering if they didn't put enough in.
There is no conceivable reason that the manufacturer who spends tens of thousands of dollars on equipment to properly evacuate and charge refrigerant into vehicles on the assembly line would let a few slip through and give the dealer service department something to do. And then the dealer would charge back his refrigerant cost and service fee to the manufacturer under a warranty claim. I don't think that is a reasonable assumption in today's production environment.

If you think the AC system is not meeting your comfort expectation, return the vehicle to a dealer service department. First thing to check is to verify that the mechanical compressor system is performing to specification. Now you have the added complexity of automatic temperature control. The refrigerant system may be performing as designed but the automatic control system is not closing a blend air door to the heater core properly and letting some heated air warm up the refrigerated air. Since the climate control is electronically controlled, service technicians should be able to check operation and diagnose any trouble codes if present.

You probably need to use a dial thermometer in panel outlets and record temperatures both at the panel and outside the vehicle as supporting documentation for your service inquiry.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
'06 Stratus - I get 38-40 degrees at normal driving speeds from the center vents.
I tested at idle - while driving I'm sure it will be more efficient and give a lower temperature.

I checked a service manual for a 2008 Chrysler Sebring / Dodge Avenger and it indicates refrigerant charge capacity of 1 lb / 16 oz of R134a. The 200 is just a reskinned and retuned 2008 Sebring / Avenger but the mechanical components are identical to the older models. I think the under hood refrigerant label is correct.



If engineering design can reduce initial refrigerant amounts needed for a vehicle climate control system and yet still maintain expected driver comfort, multiply the reduction by hundreds of thousands of car and you get cost savings which increases corporate profitability. The refrigerator in your kitchen uses a refrigerant charge in the range of 5 - 7 oz and it performs quite well.



Effective cooling capacity has more to do with compressor flow rate and how well the evaporator absorbs heat into the refrigerant stream and how well the condenser rejects heat. More refrigerant is not necessarily better.



There is no conceivable reason that the manufacturer who spends tens of thousands of dollars on equipment to properly evacuate and charge refrigerant into vehicles on the assembly line would let a few slip through and give the dealer service department something to do. And then the dealer would charge back his refrigerant cost and service fee to the manufacturer under a warranty claim. I don't think that is a reasonable assumption in today's production environment.

If you think the AC system is not meeting your comfort expectation, return the vehicle to a dealer service department. First thing to check is to verify that the mechanical compressor system is performing to specification. Now you have the added complexity of automatic temperature control. The refrigerant system may be performing as designed but the automatic control system is not closing a blend air door to the heater core properly and letting some heated air warm up the refrigerated air. Since the climate control is electronically controlled, service technicians should be able to check operation and diagnose any trouble codes if present.

You probably need to use a dial thermometer in panel outlets and record temperatures both at the panel and outside the vehicle as supporting documentation for your service inquiry.
I guess you didn't read my earlier post - I DID use a dial thermometer, that's how I got the vent temperature.

There's no issue with the blend door, it's just anemic at times. The airflow is being directed properly.

Another issue is that one of the metal A/C lines vibrates wildly at idle - more than 1/8" travel in either direction, and at a frequency of at least several hertz. The other doesn't move at all. They need to clamp this line somehow, or metal fatigue will do it in within a few years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
put a pic of the line up and I will see if I have the same line in my car. if i do I will let you know if it vibrates.
Mick
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Will get one later tomorrow. Getting thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
Awesome I hope my car has the same lines.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,365 Posts
AllanC gave a nice summary of the refrigerant situation. Refrigerant is a 'potential' emission that costs money and less is better.
We have PCM controlled compressors getting temp info from the evaporator fin temperature probe. It is a much more efficient system than in years past.
Also, we have spewed millions of tons of refrigerant and other halide gases into the atmosphere over the decades. Refrigerant leaks are an emission that requires control.
R-12 came back to bite us by damaging the ozone layer. We never used to reclaim systems back in the old days. Whenever a system was serviced, its contents was just released into the air.
Every front end collision that popped a condenser (that sits in front of a radiator) went into the air.
There are millions of discarded home air conditioners and refrigerators sitting in landfills slowly spewing R-22, etc. We are only now trying to control this emission.
We are finding out the the new R-134a is a carcinogen and probably doesn't do the atmosphere any favors either.
Almost all cars, homes and buildings in the U.S. since the 1990's have A/C.
I'm not a raving greenie, but I do want to respect the earth and everyone here while I'm on it.
In the past, we just didn't know that we didn't know.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I'm well aware of all that. I try to live as responsibly as possible as far as environmental impact.

Best to have the dealer check it at this point and comment on the pressures and performance, and see if they can secure the vibrating line.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top