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The AC in my son's 98 SE with 149k miles and some front suspension problems (addressed in another post) stopped working when the car sat over the winter wating for him to get his license. the compressor is not coming on at all. I checked the fuses and swapped relays but no help. I don't want to sink a lot of money into it but thought I could use one of the recharge kits form VIP that have a pressure gauge buitin and cost about $20 to see if that will get the ac to kick on. The instructions say if the compressor is not cycling to put half a can of the recharge in and see if that turns it on. $20 I'm willing to put into getting the ac to work, much more than that and I'm not. Anyone have any luck with these diy recharge kits?

Thanks!!!!
 

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I have a 98SE also, and experienced the same problem. The AC clutch won't engage if the pressure in the system is below a certain point. I added some refridgerant, but it leaked out in a couple of days. I then put in a can of sealer (approx. $6) and then 2 more cans of refrigerant, and it has been working fine for about 6 weeks now. The sealant can says if the system looses pressure in less than 2 weeks it probably won't work at all and you'll need a mechanical fix. Those get quite expensive, so not knowing how big your leak is, I'd say that the sealant is worth a try.
 

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I would NOT use any "sealers" in the A/C system, as you risk clogging the orifice tube.
 

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You will not clog the tube if you follow directions and load at least one more can of refrigrant after the sealant. He wants to spend very little on AC repair, so there is nothing to lose.
 

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There is only one way to save a money on A/C repair:
1. Properly determine what is exact cause of mailfunction (by yourself);
2. Properly fix it (by yourself).

Doing something "just in case" may potentially damage your system to the point when you will need to spend much more money to fix it (or not use A/C anymore).

In your situation, I suggest to borrow normal gauges and measure static pressure in your system - after that you will at least know that your compressor is not engaging because of unsufficient pressure or reason is totally different (like wiring or faulty switch).

Good luck
 
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