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2006 Chrysler T&C 3.3 (176k)
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I have a 2006 T&C with 267,000 miles. My A/C was fine these past few months, until it eventually started blowing cool air. I've already had it checked for leaks, and AC compressor was replaced at 220,000. The AC compressor comes on, and stays on. Of course, as cool air is blowing. It's just not as ice cold as it was. I decided to try one of those DIY kits. Thinking it was low for whatever reason. I picked up one for about $30. I followed a YouTube to better ensure I do it correctly. Well, when I put the gauge on, it reads really low. 10 to be exact. That's why I had it checked for leaks. I went ahead and tried adding some. The guage went up some. Now we are at 25. I added more. I wasn't quite in the green yet. I added a little more. I get to the green, and it sits there for a couple seconds. Then all of a sudden, it's start falling slowly. It falls back down to around 10 (I say this because it wasn't exactly at 0, kinda hovering over it). To me, it sounds like a leak. But I had that checked out. Unless of course I'm just really low? Again, feel like that would be a leak. I've never messed with anything other than the compressor, and I had the compressor installed by the same people who checked for a leak. Any ideas? Anything at all. I sure would like the ice cold ac again. Especially considering my area is only getting worse. I'm seeing high 90s for the next 2 weeks. Thanks a ton! Doesn't make sense to me. Figured I'd ask and see what others think.
 

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Can't really say, as AC issues can be complicated to diagnose. Did the person that checked the system for leaks evacuate the system, put some UV die and refilled the system? If not, they did it wrong and you need to take it to a mechanic, that knows how to diagnose AC issues.

To properly add refrigerant to your system, you need a set of AC gauges, that measures the high and low side of the system.
 
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Yes, if you don't evacuate properly and pull a vacuum on the system for a while, it won't cool properly. Keeping the system in vacuum and checking for loss of vacuum is how they should have checked for leaks.

I've only done the DIY can stuff myself too, and it worked for a while. It is possible to add too much refrigerant and cause the evaporator to ice up, and then cooling will go down as it's blocked with ice.
 
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In my opinion, charging A/C systems should only be done by someone with some experience and knowledge of how an A/C system works and the handling of refrigerants. There is a potential for damage to the system and/or personal injury if done improperly. This is one reason I dislike these DIY charging kits. They work well enough to get one into to trouble but maybe not well enough to get one out of trouble. I don't believe that they should be sold to inexperienced DIYers.

All refrigerant systems, whether in one's car or one's refrigerator, are sealed systems. Refrigerant isn't consumed or "burned" like oil in an engine. If the refrigerant is low there is a leak or it otherwise escaped the system. Just because a system was leak checked doesn't mean there is no leak. It just means a leak was not found. Leaks can be large and leak out right away or very small and leak out over a period of weeks or even months. Various methods can be used to find leaks.

The best way to charge an A/C system is to reclaim or otherwise drain all the refrigerant, pull a good vacuum to remove air, contaminants and moisture and then charge with the proper amount of refrigerant. Topping off can get you close but is still a guess to some extent. Also, if the system needs topping off it means the refrigerant went somewhere.

If the numbers you are referring to "10" and "25" represent pressure in PSI then it sounds like your A/C system could be low on refrigerant. It is hard to tell without knowing how much refrigerant is actually in the system or what the high side pressure is.

The most common leak on these vans, at least in south Florida, is the front evaporator coil. This is the radiator type thing buried behind the instrument panel. The extensive thermal and pressure cycling over time combined with moisture and poor construction leads to their demise. However, there are plenty of other places for refrigerant to leak.

My advice is determine if the system has a low charge or has another problem. If low, determine where the refrigerant went. This is best left to someone with the right tools and experience. Or you can keep taking uniformed stabs in the dark.
 

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If the engine was running when you are filling, the low side pressure will drop when the compressor kicks in. What is the low side pressure after the vehicle has sat overnight, and the engine off? Report ambient temp and pressure.

Once you start engine and turn AC on, you'll see AC pressure will drop. I'd borrow/buy a full set of gauges, and monitor high and low pressures. Youtube has videos for troubleshooting with gauges, but from what you describe, you're probably low on refrigerant.
 
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