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Apparently the evaporator in my A/C system has a small leak. I don't want to spend $700 to get it fixed, so thought I might just top it off with refrigerant periodically. I've been doing some research online and saw recharge kits with a gauge and can of R134a at auto parts stores for $25-$40. Anybody have experience with this or comments? Are the kits worth a darn?

One thing I'm not sure about is how to identify which is the low side of the system where I should add the coolant. I know where the caps on the coolant lines are near the firewall on the passenger side, I just don't know which is which. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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UMMMM I think your better off paying the $700 cause I'm assuming you have a leak and the leak will drain your AC system in a day or two depended on the size of the leak and you want to top it off? I would say you'll spend way more then $700 in a month or two. because I'm not sure but a complete drained system will take more then a can to fill. Just my opinion!
 

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The Tacomas have a defect in the suction tube line that connects to the evaporator. The line cracks just before it connects to the evaporator. I know because I've replaced mine 3 times now. Buy the replacement line kit from the dealer and install it. Takes about 1-2 hrs depending on your skill level. Then have your A/C system evac'ed then recharged. Done

And if you are gonna do stuff yourself, he larger tube is the suction (low) side.
 

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The fittings are two different sizes and are usually labeled H or L. If you go the parts store top off route, it will only fit the correct, safe side. If it were me I would replace the hard lines like 'Showstop' suggested (failed on my old 96 too). I would also replace the drier right before you take it in for recharging and while I had the evaporator out I would clean the 6+ years of dust and dirt off of it with coil cleaner. Just be carefull and not let any dirt, water, cleaner, etc get into the system or on the o-rings.
 

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I agree with the comments and suggestions given here that you should for the $700 Toyota A/C Compressor / Toyota A/C Condenser since the apparent leak seems to be bad already. If you are looking for which part to add the coolant, usually the car part owner's manual has the steps to follow in fixing or assembling the a/c.

If you are going to be the one to fix the leak it is important to note that after the leak has been repaired, the system must be connected to a vacuum pump to purge it of all air and moisture before it is recharged with refrigerant. Leaving air and moisture in the system will greatly reduce the cooling efficiency of the system and will lead to the formation of damaging acids and sludge.

It’s also important to replace any compressor oil that was lost due to leakage or parts replacement. Use the type and quantity specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

Lastly, using the wrong type of compressor oil or too much or too little oil may result in compressor failure. :welder:
 
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