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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone done an AC recharge (or check) or are there online resources for doing this? Ever since the car was new (2015 SV) the AC just seemed not cool enough. Takes a good 15 minutes to cool the cabin on a hot day
 

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It is really easy to check and refill.
First, you need to get one of those R-134a cans with the gauge and trigger.
Find the LOW pressure port on the AC (Upper passenger side of the engine, light blue screw cap with an L in it).
Turn on the car, set the AC to 60 degrees, the fan to MAX ,and RECIRCULATE mode.
Attach the end of the regigerant hose to the LOW pressure port (It will click in)
DO NOT PRESS THE TRIGGER The gauge ahould be in the green or yellow zone.
If not, (white) disconnect the hose, shake the R134 can, and connect it back to to the LOW pressure port.
Press the trigger for about 15 - 20 seconds, stop and read the gauge. if it is still low, shake the can while pressing the trigger for anoter 15 seconds. Continue until you are in the green zone. Dont forget to shake the can, which will get cold.

Please note that adding more refrigerant past the green area of the gauge will not result in more cooling, it will cause the system to not work at all.

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Has anyone done an AC recharge (or check) or are there online resources for doing this? Ever since the car was new (2015 SV) the AC just seemed not cool enough. Takes a good 15 minutes to cool the cabin on a hot day
I have but not on the Murano (haven't felt the need). Is the car kept in the garage or outside? If the latter, sitting in the hot sun can result in a perfectly normal HVAC system taking a good 10-15 minutes for it to feel "cool" inside the car. If you have a meat thermometer handy, stick it in the center vents and measure the temperature after a few minutes. A fully charged and properly-functioning A/C system should have a vent temperature of about 40F give or take a few degrees.

If the vent temperature is a bit warmer than it should be, then proceed with a pressure test (you'll find the specs and instructions in the service manual and any generic YouTube should help you). I personally wouldn't trust the gauges on those throw-away cans though.
 
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Has anyone done an AC recharge (or check) or are there online resources for doing this? Ever since the car was new (2015 SV) the AC just seemed not cool enough. Takes a good 15 minutes to cool the cabin on a hot day
If my MO's been baking in the sun all day before I have to drive, I open all the windows to let out the heat while blasting the A/C at its coldest setting. After a few minutes of driving, I close all but two windows (driver's front, passeger's rear), which I keep slightly cracked to allow air to circulate throughtout the cabin to help everything cool faster. After about five minutes, I close the windows completely and things are fine. I know there's a thread somewhere in this forum where someone insulated the A/C lines all the way to the firewall so they wouldn't lose their cool running through the engine compartment. Maybe that's something to try if the recharge doesn't work.

My 2021 MO A/C gets the car cold in about the same time, under the same conditions as my 2003, using the same method when sun-baked. I think my 03's A/C was last recharged in 2009 by Nissan, and was still blowing cold last Summer.
 

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I have heard that for a modern A/C system to perform optimally, it needs a very specific amount of refrigerant. This is accomplished by first evacuating all the refrigerant, then recharging with a very specific weight of refrigerant. Other methods may work okay, but if you're looking for the best performance you may want to visit a specialist...
 

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I know there's a thread somewhere in this forum where someone insulated the A/C lines all the way to the firewall so they wouldn't lose their cool running through the engine compartment.
I don't see why this would make much of a difference. The "chilling" effect doesn't happen until the liquid refrigerant enters the expansion valve, which is mounted right on the firewall. If you can get your hand back there without burning your arm on the engine, you can feel it's ice cold to the touch, but the tubing going to it from the condenser will still be hot.

I have heard that for a modern A/C system to perform optimally, it needs a very specific amount of refrigerant. This is accomplished by first evacuating all the refrigerant, then recharging with a very specific weight of refrigerant. Other methods may work okay, but if you're looking for the best performance you may want to visit a specialist...
Agree. If the pressure in the system is low then that basically means there's a leak. If there's a leak then that means refrigerant has escaped and was displaced with air (and moisture, which is very bad for an A/C system). In this case, the refrigerant remaining in the system needs to be recovered, then the leak needs to be fixed, and then the system needs to be evacuated to remove any air and moisture that may have entered, and finally the system needs to be recharged with new refrigerant (and possibly oil compatible with the system depending on what was repaired--this information would be in the service manual).

But, fixing A/C systems can get expensive if you don't do the work yourself so it's not a surprise why some people might just reach for the A/C "quick-fix" can or whatever. How long one intends to keep the car would also be a salient factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i think Nissans in general have weak AC systems. American cars (especially V8's) have ice cold AC systems that dont take so long to cool the cabin. I will try the can with the guage
 

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I agree. I just replaced my 04 AC low and high side flexible hoses that was leaking at the compressors end couple of weeks ago. Added some oil, vacuum pump for 1/2 hour. Let it sit for another 1/2 hour and it held the vacuum. Recharged with approximately 19 oz R-134a plain refrigerant. Using 2 12 oz cans, I let off some refrigerant on the yellow charge hose manifold end to load the hose. Lose maybe 2 oz. Same on the second can. So guesstimating putting 19 oz. Anyway, its cold to 42-45 deg.-front center vent reading with a meat thermometer with 93 deg. ambient. My 99 odyssey on the other hand, with original AC system @239K, has been blowing 38-42 deg - center vent - even at peak Vegas heat of 110+ for the passed 5 years. I repaired the shrader valve on the low side port back then and recharged the system. Used a tool where you can swap shrader valve without evacuating the system even though it was very low 12 psi. - low side.

I strongly suggest doing the recharge properly by either renting for free- AZ loan a tool - an AC manifold gauge set or buying one. And know the readings of your AC system first before doing anything. Run the car and AC for 5-10 mins. Then read the gauges of both the low and high side. This will tell you where you AC system stands. Several scenarios can happen depending on the readings that you get and ambient temp and humidity. I would not trust the gauge on those recharge kits and you need to know your high side reading more importantly. You really want to ONLY put in plain R-134a refrigerant. Never put refrigerants with sealers. Those will mess up your system. Good luck.

99 Odyssey AC that has always been blowing colder than my Murano. Ambient 93 deg. a week ago.

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I checked my '19, the lowest reading I saw was 40 @ 80 ambient, a range of ~40-43.
 

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I don't see why this would make much of a difference. The "chilling" effect doesn't happen until the liquid refrigerant enters the expansion valve, which is mounted right on the firewall. If you can get your hand back there without burning your arm on the engine, you can feel it's ice cold to the touch, but the tubing going to it from the condenser will still be hot.

Seems strange the MODs would make something a "sticky" if that topic has been found to be ineffective and pointless.

Cars aside, when installing roof-mounted HVAC systems atop SoCal apartment buildings, the lines were always insulated due to the blistering sun and heat. According to residents and my own experiences in my place, it made a big difference.
 
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Seems strange the MODs would make something a "sticky" if that topic has been found to be ineffective and pointless.

Cars aside, when installing roof-mounted HVAC systems atop SoCal apartment buildings, the lines were always insulated due to the blistering sun and heat. According to residents and my own experiences in my place, it made a big difference.
I read through all 6 pages of that thread and not a single person (including the OP) decided to do the obvious and stick a thermometer in the vent before and after the mod to see if there is a measurable difference rather than a placebo effect ("yeah, I think it does feel colder!). There was also not a consensus that insulating the lines would achieve significant benefits. I can understand why HVAC systems in buildings would be insulated as the lines can run hundreds of feet. The system in a car is very compact and I'm skeptical that the short duration of time that the refrigerant would spend in the insulated lines (seconds?) would yield meaningful temperature reductions at the A/C vents.

But, maybe someone here would be willing to give it a shot and do a real experiment under consistent conditions to see if there really is measurable difference.

On a side note, @nitely was around 12 years ago when that thread was started and did the mod and apparently didn't really notice a difference. Maybe he can comment since he actually tried this.
 
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I read through all 6 pages of that thread and not a single person (including the OP) decided to do the obvious and stick a thermometer in the vent before and after the mod to see if there is a measurable difference rather than a placebo effect ("yeah, I think it does feel colder!). There was also not a consensus that insulating the lines would achieve significant benefits. I can understand why HVAC systems in buildings would be insulated as the lines can run hundreds of feet. The system in a car is very compact and I'm skeptical that the short duration of time that the refrigerant would spend in the insulated lines (seconds?) would yield meaningful temperature reductions at the A/C vents.

But, maybe someone here would be willing to give it a shot and do a real experiment under consistent conditions to see if there really is measurable difference.

On a side note, @nitely was around 12 years ago when that thread was started and did the mod and apparently didn't really notice a difference. Maybe he can comment since he actually tried this.
I did this to both my '03 and '17 Muranos'. The '17 was done during a 100 degree heat way here in the NE. I can't say that the temp got any colder once it reached maximum performance, BUT it did get colder faster, held the max cooling effect while stuck idling in traffic, and recovered much quicker after sitting while shopping. Also, A/C compressor ran less, resulting in a little better MPG during city driving, with the A/C running.

Before applying the foam pipe insulation, A/C coolness level would slowly drop when stuck in NYC rush hour traffic with temps in the 90's. When sitting in full sun, 10 minutes of remote start would just get the inside temp bearable. Both issue resolved with the foam pipe insulation in place.

To prevent corrosion from possible moisture, I lightly sanded the tubing to remove any dirt and brushed a plastic coating on before applying the foam pipe insulation.

Have a good day.

PS FWIW, both my Rav4 and Fiat 500 already have this part of the A/C covered with foam under the hood.
 

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I read through all 6 pages of that thread and not a single person (including the OP) decided to do the obvious and stick a thermometer in the vent before and after the mod to see if there is a measurable difference rather than a placebo effect ("yeah, I think it does feel colder!).
When I read through some of the posts last year, I was wondering why nobody was doing just that, a before and after comparison to show if wrapping is worth doing. I'd say to determine its worth, someone should place a digital thermometer somewhere in the vehicle that's not being blasted by sun and that won't be directly in the flow of A/C air. On a hot, sunny day, record the initial temperature prior to starting the car, then once the A/C kicks on record the reading and time that's elapsed once the vehicle is at a cooled temperature. Doing that before adding insulation and then afterwards would help determine if it's of any use. Lots of factors come into play, though, which might make it very difficult to get results under any kind of controlled conditions.

I've used the A/C for three days straight now, and my 2021 eventually gets too chiily, so I increase temp to 66 and decrease fan speed to three. When living in SoCal with MO 2003, I used to drive with the windows down a lot and with the A/C cranked. The CVTs generate so much heat that it always feels like the heater is on at my feet during the warmer months. Depending on preference, having the A/C blowing just on your feet (even if wearing sneakers) feels great and makes you feel cool pretty fast. Same with just having it blowing on the windshield and whoosing past your face. I think the single-biggest thing is keeping some windows cracked to allow the heated air to circulate and escape as the cooler air tries to displace it.
 

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I did this to both my '03 and '17 Muranos'. The '17 was done during a 100 degree heat way here in the NE. I can't say that the temp got any colder once it reached maximum performance, BUT it did get colder faster, held the max cooling effect while stuck idling in traffic, and recovered much quicker after sitting while shopping. Also, A/C compressor ran less, resulting in a little better MPG during city driving, with the A/C running.

Before applying the foam pipe insulation, A/C coolness level would slowly drop when stuck in NYC rush hour traffic with temps in the 90's. When sitting in full sun, 10 minutes of remote start would just get the inside temp bearable. Both issue resolved with the foam pipe insulation in place.
I've found the more porous pipe wrap insulation broke down too fast under constant UV bombardment (plus the pigdeons enjoyed pecking at it), and it needed to be replaced about every 4-5 years (rooftop HVACs) - probably not an issue in an engine compartment. Switching to a more expensive, denser, cushiony-like wrap lasted twice as long and seemed to do a better job. In an apartment environment, every degree cooler can make a huge difference in being either comfortable or sticky.
 

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Yeah, there may be some merit to this modification but what I've seen so far is subjective. And, it doesn't seem like everyone that's tried it has gotten consistent results--and that very well could be due to difference in materials used, degree the lines were insulated etc etc.

If someone asked me for a low-cost way to lower the inside temperature of their car because it sits in the sun all day I would suggest they buy a reflective windshield sun shade. They're relatively cheap ($10 or less) and they absolutely work. YouTube has many videos of real-world testing with and without and some of the temperature reductions are impressive. They not only reduce ambient temperatures inside the cabin, but also dashboard temperatures which is also important because a 150 F dashboard will quickly warm the ice cold air coming out of the vents. Another side benefit of using them is reduction of long-term damage to the dashboard and steering wheel due to sun exposure (e.g. fading, cracking).
 

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If someone asked me for a low-cost way to lower the inside temperature of their car because it sits in the sun all day I would suggest they buy a reflective windshield sun shade. They're relatively cheap ($10 or less) and they absolutely work. They not only reduce ambient temperatures inside the cabin, but also dashboard temperatures which is also important because a 150 F dashboard will quickly warm the ice cold air coming out of the vents. Another side benefit of using them is reduction of long-term damage to the dashboard and steering wheel due to sun exposure (e.g. fading, cracking).
When parking outside for the day, I use those roundish, twist-fold ones that collapse to about a 12" circle. They work great on the windshield and the front side window that's exposed to the sun. Very lightweight and absolutely they keep the dash from baking and then radiating all the heat when getting back in and trying to cool everything. Also great if stopped somewhere in the sun and resting and want some privacy and don't want to bake. You can still crack the windows to get some airflow.
 

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I agree - I dislike the folding ones. I use only the ones which are two circles in one enclosure. A quick twist of the wrist and they fold into a nice small circle or open completely.

Either kind helps keep the car cooler, and reduces sun damage to the dash and interior.
 

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We used to have those 2 circle sunshade but when we moved to Vegas from SF we found real quick how more effective those thick foil sided foldable sunshades were in reducing cabin heat. Its still hot but less.lol.

Regarding wrapping the AC lines with foam, I did not used the same foam that the OP did, but I did wrapped mine very well. In the beginning it felt better. But I think in the end it was just in my head. What I realized was when I recharged my MO AC the first time around with a 12 oz can of R-134a years back, there was obvious difference in the coldness right away-it went colder. I read on how the AC work and if wrapping the lines help at all. I came to the conclusion that it does not and may even be counter productive. Add the fact that my Odyssey AC has no wraps at all and has always been colder than my MO. Maybe its because of the leather seats and black color but the thermometer in the from vent shows the difference. On long drives, when the cabin is stabilized, the MO gets as cold as the Odyssey. But on regular city driving, with stop and go and opening of doors, the Odyssey has always been colder. Always.
 

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In one of my S-10 Blazers that I sometimes camped in, I used sheets of some kind of corrugated poly-vinyl found at Lowe's and custom-fit each piece for every window, in both white and black. Black is great if trying to sleep during the day, and white was great for letting in light while maintaining privacy. I don't have pics of that setup, but have a few of one of my sailboats. They worked beautifully at sea and never warped. Perfect for their ease of use, lightweightedness and durability.
 

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Has anyone done an AC recharge (or check) or are there online resources for doing this? Ever since the car was new (2015 SV) the AC just seemed not cool enough. Takes a good 15 minutes to cool the cabin on a hot day
Hello,. 15 mins isn't too bad in my MO, Where I live in South Florida it gets in the mid 90's with a 60-90% humidity.
as far as a A/C check goes, it's a simple task if you have a set of gauges (Amazon sells for 25-50 dollars) and plenty of info on YouTube, otherwise you can always see your local stealership....but be prepared to be told you need to spend $$$ if you go that route....Good Luck !!
 
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