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Discussion Starter #1
2001 Outback. My ac stop cooling gradually and it is no longer cooling. I understand that in order to recharge the ac system the compressor need to be working, but at the same time if the system lost all refrigerant, the compressor will automatically stop working. So how do I make the compressor start so it can suck in the refrigerant?
A mechanic told me that you don't have to force the compressor. Once you start recharging the system, eventually it will start. Is that true?
What should I do?
 

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Yes. But you should first find the leak and repair it and have the system evacuated and oil freon replaced at the proper amounts!
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Start the car. Turn the AC on max high. For my 2000 it is AC on, recirculate button on, and fan set to 4. This will make the compressor work the hardest and draw the freon (R-134a) into the system. Like mentioned above, be sure the system is leak free and the compressor is actually operational - check the serpentine belt and hose connections while you're at it.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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To evacuate the system means you have to hook up a vacuum pump to the AC service valves and pull a vacuum for at least 20 minutes. With the vacuum pulled, the system will suck in the refrigerant. The pressure in the cans is also slightly higher than what the system pressure is. Once it stops flowing in, turn the car on, turn on the AC, and let it pull in the rest on the Low side; the smaller port.

Your car holds 1.5lbs or refrigerant.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the input. One more question, is it absolutely necessary to evacuate the system, and if I have to, why?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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If you open the system to repair the leak, then yes it is absolutely necessary to evacuate the system!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Not necessary to vacuum or evacuate. Gobs of folks are not doing it without issue, it's really easy and not a big deal.

Listen to your options and choose which seems like the best fit for you. It's nice to pull a vacuum and it's a good general rule but armed with some information there are some practical, high success rates options for Subaru's for those who think it's a good fit for them.

Read my thread already linked to above - your H4 is probably similar as i've seen the same trend in other Subaru's:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/43428-diy-c-air-conditioning-leak-refrigerant-repair-5-less-15-minutes-less.html

I do it all the time. I've yet to see a Subaru A/C system failure, not just in cars I've done this too...but at all. Subaru A/C systems are robust and have few issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Question for grossgary.
I replaced the orings and recharged the system with a 22 oz. can and the ac is cooling again. Once I was done I noticed that there were tiny bubbles coming out the low side port valve. I guess that's my leak and I should replace the schrader valve. Am I right?
 
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