|Guide Rating and Review|
by Vince Ciulla
Recently I tried some products from Interdynamics Inc. These products were designed for the DIY who wants to do some of their own air conditioning work. Interdynamics is not a new name in the A/C business. As a professional I have used their products for years. This is their first venture into the DIY A/C market where, I think, there is a shortage of DIY friendly products.
CAUTION: Before I go any further I must warn you, A/C systems work under high pressures. Using the wrong service ports or procedures can result in grave personal injury and even death. Also, automotive refrigerants can freeze anything, including body parts, almost instantly. Safety glasses MUST be worn when doing any kind of A/C work.
Make sure you read, understand and follow the label directions and documentation that comes with the products. Additionally, if you have any doubts of your ability to do A/C work properly and safely, take it to a professional.
With that said, the products I tested were the:
I took a pressure reading with my Snap-On A/C gauges and noted the low side pressure. Then I connected the EZ Gauge and compared the pressure readings. They were almost identical which tells me the gauge does take an accurate measurement.
Personally, I would like to see an extension hose included since some A/C low pressure ports are in tight places. An extension hose would make using the EZ Gauge on these systems a lot easier.
It should also be noted that ambient air temperature will effect pressure readings. The gauge will be accurate when the ambient air temperature is between 75°F and 85°F.
When you release the button the gauge will tell you what the low side pressure is. Do not go by the pressure reading while the button is depressed, only when it is released.
It worked pretty well for topping off a system. I like the fact that it will put in just what you need to top off a system quickly and easily without a lot of waste.
Next up was the EZ Chill Quick Charge System. The kit is similar to the MAC-134 Auto Air Conditioner Measure & Charge in that it is for doing a quick topping off of your A/C system. Here is a short video on it.
QCK-2CS EZ Chill Quick Charge System
Operation is similar to the MAC-134 Auto Air Conditioner Measure & Charge but uses a trigger type handle to dispense the refrigerant into the system. It has the same gauge as the other products for quick low side pressure readings.
Now it stands to reason if you have to add refrigerant to your A/C system, the refrigerant that was in the system leaked out. So how do you find out where the leak is without buying an expensive electronic leak detector? That's where the UVK-1CS R-134a UV Leak Detector and Sealer Kit comes in.
UVK-1CS R-134a UV Leak Detector and Sealer Kit
This kit comes with a can of ultraviolet dye, a can of sealer , UV glasses and a UV light pen. You put the dye into the A/C system, run the system to circulate the dye. Shut the system and engine down and use the UV light pen to check lines and fittings for traces of the dye. A leak will appear as a yellow spot or line. The dye has the advantage of finding multiple leaks if they exist.
According to the kit instructions, once you locate a leak dispense the sealer into the system. Run the system and clean the dye from the area of the leak. If the sealer works, then you will not see the dye reappear from the line or fitting.
The dye can be left in the system since it does not effect system operation and will reveal future leaks. The dye is good for about five uses and the sealer is good for only one system. So if you have more than one vehicle the dye will do them as well but you will need to purchase additional cans of sealer.
I tried the dye on three vehicles with a suspected leak and I did find the leaks in all three systems. I used the sealer on the largest of the three leaks and it did seal the leak, albeit for only about two months. I went to the parts store and bought another can of sealer and used it on the other two leaks and it did seal them.
As with the EZ Gauge both the dye and sealer cans connect directly to the low side fittings. Here, again, it can be difficult or impossible to do this on some vehicles so an extension hose would be a great help.
Last, but not least, I tried their RKR-7 EZ-Chill R-134a Recharging & Retrofit Kit. The kit comes with everything you need to do the retrofit except a vacuum pump. It contains the can tap valve and fittings, charging hose with color coded inline pressure gauge, three service port adapters with protective caps for all cars 1976 and up, including special GM Systems 1991 and up, retrofit label and three cans of refrigerant and oil.
Included also is a CD that has a video detailing the retrofit process. You can also view the same videos online to see if it is something you can do yourself.
If you have any R12 refrigerant in the system, it should be drained before doing the retrofit. Any shop with the proper equipment will be glad to remove the R12 and vacuum the system at no charge. If there is no R12 left in the system, I recommend pumping the system down before charging with the R134a to make sure no traces of R12 remain.
One thing I wasn't too thrilled about was all the refrigerant in the kit has oil in it. This can lead to overfilling the system with oil. For example, if you did the retrofit on a 1992 Toyota Camry, the system only uses 3.5 ounces of refrigerant oil and 33.5 ounces of refrigerant. The kit comes with three 15 ounce cans of refrigerant of which three ounces of each can are oil.
So if you put in two cans which will give you 24 ounces of refrigerant and 6 ounces of oil, the oil will be over full. This does not include the oil that is already in the system. Too much oil won't hurt the compressor, but it will take up room so there will not be enough refrigerant to efficiently operate the system.
Since R134a is not as an efficient refrigerant as R12, to get the best performance it is important to use just the required amount of oil so you can get the proper amount of refrigerant into the system.
The way I charged the system was to install one 12 ounce can of R134a, p/n NR-134a, then install one 2 ounce can of oil charge, p/n PC-2, and finish by installing the remaining R134a until the system is properly charged.
The kit makes the retrofit fairly easy. Installing the fittings and charging the system will take one to two hours to do. The results were as good as I expected. As I said R134a is not as efficient as R12 and a system converted to R134a will not be as cool as if it had R12. A system designed for R134a has a larger condenser and evaporator to compensate for the inefficiency of the R134a.
All in all, when properly used, these products will perform well and save you a lot of money helping you do it yourself.