DIY Air Con Re-gas?...

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by Chadford, Sep 2, 2018.

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  1. Chadford

    Chadford
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    ...anyone done this?

    I drive an *old* BMW 3 series. The air con has slowly slowly slowly gone to nothing over about four years. Assuming it just needs re-gassing, I was thinking about trying something like this...

    http://amzn.eu/d/cUjJKXL

    It would appear that I could get Halfords or a local garage to re-gas for about £50-£60.

    I've found an excellent YouTube video which shows re-gassing my particular vehicle, it looks trivial to do.
    I quite fancy having a go to fix this myself and if successful and I need to do it again at some point in the future I would then already have the hose with pressure dial and thus only would need the re-gas canister (~£20). As a repair, if I cock it up it doesn't really matter as I still have a car that drives.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Ta.

    :)
     
  2. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    If the system has been empty for any period of time, the seals will dry out and it's unlikely the system will work for long. You may also have a slight leak that a garage will identify and fix.

    There's a slight complication regarding the gas type. What age is your car? Really old cars used R22, which is not compatible with R134a. Your car needs to be really old for this to be an issue though.

    I would get it recharged professionally, as you will have any leaks sorted out and the correct quantity of gas put back into the system.
     
  3. Monty Nine

    Monty Nine
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    What he said.
     
  4. un1eash

    un1eash
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    Not worth messing around with. A proper air con service removes any existing gas while checking for leaks then replaces exactly what the system needs along with the oil additive.
     
  5. mjn

    mjn
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    The price of the older gas has gone up 4x in the last year, so be ready for a chunk of cash if your car uses that one.
     
  6. ashenfie

    ashenfie
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    I think it correct to say when you loose refrigerant you could have lost more oil. The refrigerant pushes the oil around and therefore you need to remove both and add the correct amount of both until the system is correctly pressurised.

    Systems that have run for sometime blowing warning have therefore have not been pushing the oil around the system and the compressor therefore maybe broken.

    Ac systems pipe also have a bad habit of leaking which is best located by Profession who will add an indicator to locate them.
     
  7. outoftheknow

    outoftheknow
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    Car systems like any fridge system are supposed to be “sealed”. If you lose gas it is rarely a good idea to add more without checking where it went IMO.
     
  8. mjn

    mjn
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    True but due to vibrations in a car, it’ll lose ~10% of its refrigerant per year as the pipes and seals move. Whereas your fridge doesn’t move and has no vibrations.
     
  9. outoftheknow

    outoftheknow
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    TBF I didn’t say my fridge. I said fridge system. I’ve worked on many that move with lots of vibrations. I don’t disagree there may be small leakage. I don’t think you should be losing 10% per year but in any case I stand by having it checked for leaks and topped up by somebody not using a kit and a YouTube video.
     
  10. mjn

    mjn
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    My car lost about 10% / year. Car is 7 years old and had only 20-30% coolant left.
     
  11. Cliff

    Cliff
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    The difference is that a domestic fridge has totally sealed gas system. The compressor and electric motor are in that black can and all is sealed. A car A/C has a compressor which has a rotating shaft with a pulley on it. It is the seals on that compressor which can dry out over time and gas can leak. That is why they say you should turn on your A/C a few times during winter just to keep the seals in good condition.
    It does sound like the OPs A/C has slowly lost its gas, so a quick charge might work. (check the gas type!) A more expensive and better way is to get it filled professionally and replace the receiver/dryer and check for leaks.
     
  12. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    The seals and joints on the Sedona are notoriously leaky so my plan is to have it looked at professionally every couple of years or so and top up myself in between if required.
     
  13. NorvernRob

    NorvernRob
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    You can get a groupon deal for around £35 (assuming it’s R134a which it almost certainly will be), so it’s not worth doing it yourself. I’m not sure how places are still doing cheap deals, as a friend of mine owns a garage and the cost of a bottle of gas has gone up from £60 to £400 in the last year.
     
  14. mjn

    mjn
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    That’s exactly what my mechanic told me in June. Something about the government wanting to phase the gas out.
     
  15. un1eash

    un1eash
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    Its the new 1234yf that cost 10 times more than the old r134a gas, older cars can still get cheap regas.
     
  16. NorvernRob

    NorvernRob
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    It’s the 134a that has massively risen over the last year, something to do with new environmental laws. The 1234yf is expensive too though (just had my wife’s car done and it was £100).
     
  17. Chadford

    Chadford
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    Thanks everyone. :smashin:

    I decided to go for the DIY route and so far so good, works just fine
    If it fails soon I'll take it on the chin and think again. If I need to top up every year or so, then that'll be OK with me.
    Time will tell.

    :)
     

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