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AC Questions

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Hey guys,


We had the Legacy at a dealer where they disconnected the AC for no reason.


I am now about to recharge it and have a few questions:


1. The dealer says if I want to replace the dryer I have to buy a new condenser. Advance Auto has a bag of desiccant pellets I can buy. What is the deal? Can I just remove the old pellets and put in new?


2. One dealer said I don't need to add oil unless the compressor was replaced (it wasn't). Another dealer says they add oil and dye when they refill. What should I do?


3. If I do need to add oil, what kind should I use? Under the hood it says ND oil 8 but I can't find that anywhere. Some people say you can just use PAG 46 but I want to make sure.


Car is a 2008 Legacy Special Edition 4 speed auto. Thanks!

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This is actually the only thing I've ever taken my car to the dealer for, recharging the a/c.


I swapped out the compressor and O-rings myself, which I knew was bad on my car. Nothing else was replaced.


They dye and pressure tested it and it checked out ok. Then they filled it.


For the $130 it cost at least I knew it was done correctly rather than trying to save a few dollars doing it myself or needing to do it multiple times.


If they had a reason to disconnect it they should have refilled it.

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to update this in case anyone needs the info later. On my girlfriend's car, there is a plastic plug under the accumulator tank that is attached to the condenser. If you pull this plug, you can get to the desiccant bag and replace it. The plug that came with the new desiccant bag did not fit, so I just used the stock one.


Condenser was easy to pull. Just remove the ram air duct, upper rad mounts, two bolts holding the condenser on and two AC lines attached to it.


I replaced the dessiccant bag for like $15, used a Harbor Freight vacuum pump (one that connects to air compressor), a Harbor Freight manifold set, and a can of Advance Auto brand R134a (calls for a little over one can but the pressures worked out perfect with one can). Cost about $100 including tools. Not bad, especially considering I can use the tools again.


I followed the procedure in the FSM, which IS DIFFERENT than what you see on generic instructions. Not sure if it makes a difference but I'd rather play it safe.


I did not add oil because I couldn't find the special Denso oil and figured it probably didn't lose much. Didn't want to mix oils because it says not to in the FSM. I am still a little concerned about this.


One more tip: Do this when it is pretty hot outside. If you do it when it is too cool, the water won't boil inside the system when you pull a vacuum. For example, my HF vacuum pump can only make like 28-29 mm/in of mercury (can't remember the units). For water to boil at this vacuum, it needs to be like 85-95* or something (it says in the FSM).


If you have any questions feel free to ask although I don't visit this forum much.


Good luck!



Keywords: Subaru Legacy 2008 Drier Dryer Accumulator Desiccant Recharge Replace

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Looks like you can get the ND-8 oil from subaru (or toyota, and some other auto makers), but it'll run you about $25 for the size in the attached image. The can looks to be kinda small, I'm not use to seeing stuff measured in cc's. Subaru part number SOA383P100



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