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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21571
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Kia Optima LX: I have a 2007 Kia Optima and have all scheduled

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I have a 2007 Kia Optima and have all scheduled maintenance done by the dealer. Yesterday 7/15/13 my air conditioner made a strange noise when turned on. The car has 4 cooling /heating vents on dash board. The one on the right was very cold air and the other 3 vents were slightly cool almost warm. My husband took it to the service department today and was told it had no Freon at all. How was the right vent cold if it had no Freon. They evacuated and recharged the A/C system, and installed dye for future testing. They could not find a leak. Total cost $177.59 and said to bring it back if it does it again. I find this very unacceptable. I took 3 hours of his time and I needed to get the hospital for an infusion

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

 

If the system was completely discharged then you're correct, there would be no cooling whatsoever. There had to have been enough left in the system to allow the compressor to run. With the way that airflow is set up in many modern heater boxes the air flowing over one side of the a/c evaporator goes to one side of the vehicle only rather than having a common plenum, so when a/c charge gets low and partially cools the evaporator it will cause a temperature difference between sides.

 

I'm wondering if the noise you heard was refrigerant escaping the pressure relief valve on the compressor. If pressure went extremely high it would have vented. This could have been from something like an expansion valve that isn't opening or possibly the cooling fan not working, or it could just be the valve itself.

 

If it does start to warm up again then they'll be able to use a UV light to look for traces of the dye that they injected.

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