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#4072506 - 07/31/20 06:57 PM Can I Wait to Replace my A/C Accumulator?
Appleboy76 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 11/16/19
Posts: 8
Loc: US
When I went to get tires on my 09 MGM, I had the shop do a quick inspection, and they found out my car has the common A/C accumulator leak.

The A/C still blows nice and cold. However, after using the A/C, sometimes I’ll notice a drop or two of PAG oil on the ground. Looking underneath the accumulator, one can see all the oil that has collected underneath.

Since it seems like we are mostly done with 90 degree days where I live, A/C shouldn’t be essential for most of the days until the summer of 2021. Because of that, I would prefer to save up to get the A/C fixed until next summer. Not only that, but I would prefer to wait because I’d hate to spend the $300 to get it fixed just to use it a few times and then have an inexperienced sophomore in a $500 Cavalier with bald tires slide into me during a snow day and total out the car. Plus, it would be less salt the new accumulator would be exposed to.

Here are my questions:
1. Let’s say all the refrigerant leaks out in September, and I choose to wait until April or May to get the A/C fix. Could I cause any damage to the A/C system with it having a hole somewhere and having no refrigerant allowing moisture and other elements to enter?

2. I mentioned earlier that I’ll sometimes notice a couple of drips of PAG oil on the ground. The way I understand PAG oil in an A/C system is that in lubricares the compressor, and it travels throughout the entire A/C system. (correct me if I’m wrong). Once it really starts to cool down I a couple of months, I plan on pulling A/C clutch relay so the compressor can’t run in case it runs low on PAG oil. Should I do this now, or can I wait until I’m done with it for the year? I’ve always thought the system will run out of refrigerant before running out of oil, and the compressor doesn’t run without refrigerant. However, I don’t know if in my case it is possible I will run out of oil before the compressor will remain off due to the lack of refrigerant. Especially since I always thought A/C systems don’t need a lot of oil to operate, and my system appears to still have a somewhat decent charge.

3. Should I get anything else replaced along with the accumulator when the time comes? I heard others talking about the orifice tube.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again if you choose to respond.
_________________________
My car: 2009 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Ultimate Edition. 4.6L V8 2V FFV.
Family vehicles: 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3L 2WD Extended Cab 6 ft Bed
2002 Nissan Maxima SE

All vehicles are stock

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#4072590 - 08/01/20 11:32 AM Re: Can I Wait to Replace my A/C Accumulator? [Re: Appleboy76]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19766
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Mine leaked PAG oil for about 2 years before it discharged its self. The one in the Town Car has been seeping oil longer than that and still holds a charge. You are correct in that the system uses the PAG oil to lubricate the compressor, and in theory the system shouldn't run if its low on PAG oil, because if it lost enough oil to matter then it should have also ran out of refrigerant. I might not be 100% correct on that, but its worked for me so far. If the system is still holding a charge, that means its still sealed relatively well so it shouldn't be getting moisture in it.

A new Accumulator is easy to install. Its like a 20-minute job. I did mine on my lunch break at work. The hard part is properly discharging the freon, which requires a recovery machine and is why I didn't fix mine sooner. It kinda took care of that for me though, the AC was working when I parked it in the fall and wasn't working when I got it out the following spring, so I just swapped the accumulator and recharged it. As for replacing the orifice tube, that is never a bad idea whenever the system is open, its the filter for the system as well as the expansion device. They're dirt cheap, so if the system is open I usually toss a new one in them for good measure. It also allows you to see if there is any debris is the system, cuz it will be on the screen.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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