Making sure the AC is in working condition is super important, especially when the scorching summer heat hits. Many DIYers have turned to the trusty Dodge Ram AC R-134a pressure chart to optimize its performance, believing it to be the key to unlocking the perfect cooling experience. However, our intrepid research has revealed a surprising truth: relying solely on pressure is not the right way to charge the AC system. This article covers the details and reveals the correct approach—charging by weight.
The Dodge Ram AC R-134a Pressure Chart
The Dodge Ram AC Pressure Chart is a valuable reference tool used to diagnose and troubleshoot air conditioning issues in these powerful trucks. It provides recommended pressure levels, allowing owners to fine-tune their AC systems for optimal cooling efficiency.
By consulting the AC Pressure Chart, you can easily identify potential problems and deviations from the recommended pressure levels. This empowers you to make necessary adjustments and take appropriate action to address any AC-related concerns. Whether you’re a seasoned Ram owner or a curious enthusiast, the AC Pressure Chart serves as a valuable resource to help you navigate the intricacies of your AC system and enjoy a refreshing cabin, even on the hottest days.
Test Your Dodge Ram Knowledge!
But Is It Always The Solution For Underperforming AC System?
While the Dodge Ram AC Pressure Chart may seem like the ultimate solution to achieve optimal AC performance, our discoveries tell a different story. As we dig deeper, we find that relying solely on pressure readings might not be the magic fix some believe. It turns out that a better approach lies in charging the AC system by weight rather than pressure.
Why, you might ask? Well, as you’ll see the case study below, with the limited refrigerant capacity these trucks hold, simply adjusting the pressure may not yield the desired results. Charging by weight takes into account the precise amount of refrigerant needed for the system to operate at its best. It’s a more accurate and reliable method that considers various factors to ensure an efficient and effective cooling experience.
So, next time you’re faced with AC woes in your beloved Ram, remember that the AC Pressure Chart isn’t the be-all and end-all. Embrace the weight-based approach, and you’ll unlock the true potential of your AC system.
The Pressure Predicament – A Mini Case Study
When it comes to the AC systems in these trucks, the truth is clear: with the limited amount of refrigerant they hold, relying solely on pressures is a recipe for disappointment. As one Ram owner discovered, the AC seemed fine when summer was still dawning, but as the heat intensified, it became apparent that the system was lacking the cooling power it should have.
Determined to find a solution before resorting to dealership warranty claims, the owner took matters into their own hands. The first step was to recover and weigh the refrigerant, and as expected, the weight fell short by a seemingly insignificant 3 ounces. Although it may not sound like much, consider that the system only holds 19 ounces of refrigerant to begin with.
A Weighty Difference
With the system charged according to weight, there was a noticeable improvement. However, occasional temperature spikes during stop-and-go traffic remained an issue. The owner turned to advanced diagnostic tools, such as a scan tool, to delve deeper into the inner workings of the AC system.
By monitoring the AC command and cooling fan clutch command while keeping a close eye on pressures, a startling revelation emerged. It became evident that Ram trucks allowed the high side pressure to skyrocket before engaging the fan clutch. However, this behavior only kicked in after the truck had been running for approximately 10 minutes.
A Temperature Rollercoaster
During initial startup, with the AC turned on, the fan clutch engaged promptly, maintaining high side pressures at a comfortable ~250 psi while idling on scorching 105° days. The vent temperature was a refreshing 44°. However, after 5-7 minutes of idling, the fan clutch disengaged, causing the high side pressure to climb to around 350 psi before reluctantly re-engaging.
As the fan clutch disengaged, vent temperatures rose to an undesirable 52°. Naturally, the low side pressure followed suit, increasing alongside the soaring temperatures. It was a clear indication that relying solely on pressures as a measure of AC performance was inadequate.
Learning Through Experimentation
In the pursuit of a cooler cabin, the owner decided to experiment with varying the refrigerant charge by a few additional ounces. Unfortunately, this only exacerbated the issue, highlighting the fact that charging the system by pressure alone can lead to unfavorable outcomes.
Since last summer, the owner has taken additional steps to improve the AC performance. Reprogramming the PCM twice with updates has shown promising results. However, the true test lies in the arrival of the full summer season. Additionally, eagerly awaiting the water pump recall and its accompanying PCM update may shed further light on the fan clutch engagement dynamics.
Take the HARD Ram Truck Quiz
The Final Verdict
In conclusion, it’s evident that the AC performance in these trucks falls short of expectations. Charging the system by weight, rather than relying solely on pressures, is the way to achieve optimal results. With the numerous variables involved in AC performance, relying on weight ensures a more precise and accurate charge. The lesson learned from this journey is clear: the Dodge Ram AC system is subpar, and a weight-based approach is essential for achieving the desired cooling efficiency.
So, the next time you find yourself facing AC troubles in your beloved Ram truck, remember to set aside the pressure chart and focus on the weight of refrigerant instead. By doing so, you’ll navigate the intricacies of the system and ensure a refreshing cabin even in the most sweltering summer heat.
As we continue to explore and uncover the nuances of our vehicles, it’s important to share knowledge and experiences to help fellow Ram enthusiasts overcome AC challenges. Together, we can stay cool and enjoy the open road with confidence.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.