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  1. #1
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    Default Air-Con Regassing

    Hi Everyone,

    Every how often do you need to regas the A/C system?

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    I had mine done about 2 yrs ago, together with a leak test (no leaks found) at the local auto electrician, and worked great up until now. Is it due for another regas or do I have a small leak that wasn't detected before?

    Also, can anyone recommend a good place for regassing in Sydney's inner west?

    thanks

    Arthur

  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    In theory it should never leak and never need regassing. After all when was the last time you had to regass the fridge in your kitchen ???

    There must be a leak ....... somewhere ......

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    If its a french car take it to colliers automotive in Granviille. He did my C3 not long ago....

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    oh daniel

    french car or not it doesn't mean it has to go to french car repairer for an aircon regas

    take it anywhere where the job is done right for the right money and get them to find the leak

    my old mans 405 hasn't been touched since the day he got it at the begining of 96 and it is still as cold as the day he bought it

    have you been running for 10 mins or so once a week during the cooler months ?

    doing this will keep everything lubricated and lessen the chances of ever needing a regas

    BTW daniel, if your moulinex blender breaks down are you going to a moulinex repairer or your local appliance repairer ??
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Default Recharging Aircon / Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur
    Hi Everyone,

    Every how often do you need to regas the A/C system?

    I had mine done about 2 yrs ago, together with a leak test (no leaks found) at the local auto electrician, and worked great up until now. Is it due for another regas or do I have a small leak that wasn't detected before?

    Also, can anyone recommend a good place for regassing in Sydney's inner west?

    thanks

    Arthur
    Hi Arthur,

    This is an age old question -when it considered a leak and when is it "normal loss of refrigerant.

    Rambo , your comparison is not really valid.

    Domestic fridges and freezers use a hermetic (in a sealed "can") compressor , all tubing is copper, steel or aluminium. Joins are soldered or silver brazed. Any loss of refrigerant in such a system is most definitely a leak.

    In an automotive system the compressor is open (with a shaft seal) and much of thetubing is neoprene or butyl rubber. Joints are flare, compression or or "o" ring.
    Hence there is much more chance of leak. Thus gradual loss of refigerant over a year or so is quite often considered "normal".

    However if there is a loss: there is a leak. My guess would be a compressor shaft seal which are well know for small leaks and can be very hard to detect because of the difficulty of getting a leak tested head into them and slow rate of loss.

    The best way to find slow leaks is to add a UV opaque dye to the system when it is recharged. Any good auto air shop will have the facilties to add dye. The system is the run for a while, say a fortnight, then the joints are inspected with UV lamp -the dye which has come out with the refrigerant glows bright orange and the souce of the leak is obvious.

    This is the most reliable way of finding the leak. Shaft seals in compressors in many cases can be replaced.

    I'm in Melbourne, so I can't suggest a service shop, but you will probably need a specialist aircon shop to do UV dye leak testing.


    regards


    Robert


    PS run your air con compressor at least 5 minutes per week winter and summer. The shaft seal then doesn't harden up and is less likely to leak - mine is hooked in to the reversing light switch and run ever time I reverse !

  6. #6
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    oh daniel


    BTW daniel, if your moulinex blender breaks down are you going to a moulinex repairer or your local appliance repairer ??
    No, he'll go for counselling
    Craig K
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    but even so

    my old mans car hasn't needed touching all this time

    my mothers 604 never needed touching in 11 years and was still as cold as they day we got it

    her 405 she had never needed touching and the 206 she has had now for nearly 5 years has never needed touching

    my 306 has needed a top up once and even then it was a small amount that went in

    we all run our A/C every week of the cooler months

    so long as everything is in good condition and they are run periodically they shouldn't leak but if they do there is a fault that needs to be looked at

    my old mans car still has the R12 in it so a leak in the system is a bad thing enviromentally speaking so he makes sure it is looked after
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO
    No, he'll go for counselling

    i'll make sure that if the video machine ever plays up i'll take it to someone who comes from the phillipines to fix it as that is where it was made
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    Fellow Frogger! Dr Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    In theory it should never leak and never need regassing. After all when was the last time you had to regass the fridge in your kitchen ???

    There must be a leak ....... somewhere ......

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    I agree! The air-conditioning system is supposed to be a sealed system, so unless you have a leak it shouldn't need re-gassing. Along with some of the others here I've never had to re-gas any of the car's air-cons in the past.

    Nick
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    I've just finished rectifying an air/con on a Lancer that was an annual event getting regassed before one of my sons bought it; it turned out to be a sloppy conversion with only half the "O" rings changed from the old R12 variety as well as one where the "O" ring wasn't even fitted, oodles of tracer dye but very little oil running around in the system and the only reason it wasn't found was that to be able to access the T/X and evaporator fittings, was to pull the entire evaporator out of the car, so it goes without saying that anyone too tired or slack to do a proper conversion isn't going to bother going to that amount of trouble are they? Haven't any of these guys ever heard of 'leak detectors'?
    A sealed unit is ca;lled that because it is a motor and compressor sealed within a steel 'dome' or casing and short of cutting open and rewelding is not easily accessed for repairs. The rest of the system is usually silver soldered but in cases of commercial application not necessarily so. An open unit is a motor usually belt driving a compressor. The compressor has a seal and unlike as has been indicated, the seal isn't a seal like one on an axle of a car; it's not a rubber lip seal but is in fact two mating surfaces that are usually under pressure and situated between a face plate and the end of the crank where it protrudes from the froint main bearing.
    The seal can leak but doesn't necessarily do so, hence it is ridiculous for anyone to refer to "normal" leakage; it just doesn't happen. If it needs gassing it has a leak...game, set & match. Fix it; don't accept it. It was this mentality of accepting leaks as being inevitable that got the refrigeration industry into all the strife it's in now with all the laws governing gases and who & who can't handle them.
    For the record, I did my apprenticeship whilst SO-2 was still being used and worked on many an open unit that was 20 or more years old where the seal was still original and SO-2 was a very destructive gas due to the greasy black residue it left if moisture contaminated the system, yet seals lasted that period of time and at times were operating 20 out of 24 hours a day whilst others were on back up units that were only operating once or twicw a year and still no loss of gas so as I say, if it needs gas it's got a leak and in this day & age of electronics and modern technology, if the guy servicing it can't do any better than tell you it's normal; get somebody who has some practical experience to fix it properly as there's a big difference between a book jockey and a grease monkey.


    Alan S
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    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    it turned out to be a sloppy conversion with only half the "O" rings changed from the old R12 variety as well as one where the "O" ring wasn't even fitted, oodles of tracer dye but very little oil running around in the system and the only reason it wasn't found was that to be able to access the T/X and evaporator fittings, was to pull the entire evaporator out of the car,
    Alan S
    Alan, when I organised my works No3 Chiller we had to replace all these seals and retro fit a catch cahmber for it too..... Funny how little black rings can make such a difference. But its a big $$$ job on a big screw chiller. - Chris

    ps. I'm glad I never really got into a/c or frigi work. It's so cut throught in sydney.
    ... ptui!

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    Thanks for all the info.

    Since my auto-electrician couldn't identify the leak 2 yrs ago (he did put a dye through the system) then I don't want to take it back to him.

    Any recommendations for someone competent in Sydney?

  13. #13
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHRI'S16
    Alan, when I organised my works No3 Chiller we had to replace all these seals and retro fit a catch cahmber for it too..... Funny how little black rings can make such a difference. But its a big $$$ job on a big screw chiller. - Chris

    ps. I'm glad I never really got into a/c or frigi work. It's so cut throught in sydney.

    Chris,

    It's a bloody big job on a car air/con too which is why these conversions were the price they were, but unfortunately as we have discovered, it's a job that has obviously been a great little earner for some of those in the trade by doing a half a job (if that) and then charging it out as though the full job has been done.

    Arthur, I'd suggest you look at doing the donkey work yourself by trying to give total access to the system by removing whatever is around the evaporator in particular.
    In the case of a BX all we need to do is remove the glovebox and it gives access to a black plastic cover plate with 2 screws holding into position. Once removed, the T/X and all the fittings associated with it are sitting there looking straight at you and in lost of cases this is a common spot for them to leak. Unfortunately, these dyes and lights don't operate through cover plates and in too many cases they're either too scared or too lazy to go looking for ways to get acces; it's easier and more profitable to refer to leaks as "normal" and look forward to seeing you the following Summer.
    Once you get access to the coil and any other fitttings, it's not rocket science to run the light over it so you mufght be safe returning to your local guy unless you'd feel happier elsewhere. The fact that a dye has been put into the system says that there's a chance the leak could be fairly obvious once you can see it properly.
    As a rule of thumb, any repairer displaying a RACCAA sign (Refrigeration Air Conditioning Contractors Association of Australia) are in the main usually fairly ethical.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  14. #14
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Pugrambo ill tell you a story. When I had the Renault 19 I took it to a normal place as you call it and he looked at the car and before he even looked under the bonnet he told me. "Mate its going to be big dollars and your looking at about $700".
    I said "is this for a regas"? He said YEAH MATE.So I toll the car to colliers and he did it for $90.00.
    I like to take my cars to people who know what they are talking about.
    As for Moulinex parts and service. Yes I have to take it to a special place who order the parts for my French Kitchen machine. And who know the part numbers. Thats how I am....

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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    If I was going to pull out an aircon from a wreck, in mind of retrofitting, would there be any particular car models that had an efficient a/c unit as not to pull too many horses from the engine?

    David.
    Powered by high grade French plutonium.

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    One last question.

    Can you put the dye in the system while the refrigerant is low, or do you need to top up with refrigerant first. Obviously if there is a leak that needs to be fixed, I don't want to waste money on the re-gass before the leak is fixed.

    Arthur

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    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Arthur,

    Before you start getting too involved in this, do as I suggested, be sure to get full and proper access to the entire air/con system and take a good close look around yoursaelf for any signs of oil leaks and if the system has supposedly been "converted" try and ascertain if the "O" rings etc have in fact been changed.
    After working on 3 systems supposedly converted, we have found that in no case were they done as they should have been. The old black R-12 o rings were left in most cases, mangled in another and one even had the "O" ring totally missing. If you can find the leak and rectify it, there's a better chance of the job lasting. In all cases we found the repairers don't check anything unless it's under their nose. The Lancer had never been touched in the evaporator region and that was where all the leaks were; mind you it was a major job to gain access to it which is why it went for annual top ups.
    All the tracer dye in the world won't tell them where the leak is if they can't see where it comes out and it won't be fixed by anyone whose too tired or slack to go looking for the leak let alone fix it.

    Alan S
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  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    Daniel...

    Why is a C3 needing a regas?

    It couldn't be any more than two years old...??? and why not under warranty? And did Colliers fix the leak while they were at it??? Because where has it gone

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    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    Arthur....these guys I can recomend...


    JM Auto Air

    Unit 4/48 Elizabeth Street (Cnr Charlotte and Harp St)

    Campsie NSW 2194 AUSTRALIA

    Tel: 61-2-9718 2209 Fax: 61-2-9718 1747

    Email: [email protected]
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  20. #20
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Actually, I don't think daniel answered 'rambo's question regarding whether or not he did the right thing and switched it on for a few minutes every week in winter...

    Self inflicted wounds?

  21. #21
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I do admit in winter the heater was not really turned on nor the aircon really....

  22. #22
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    I do admit in winter the heater was not really turned on nor the aircon really....
    I'd be suprised if the C3 didn't turn the air-con on for you whenever you selected "windscreen demist". A lot of new cars appear to do that now (windscreens demist on cold days in the blink of an eye if you turn the air-con on).

    seeya
    Shane L.
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  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    But Daniel....

    This still doesn't answer the question... if a C3 has a 3 year warranty and yours is less than 3 years old... and you have lost refrigerant.... then why is this not a warranty claim... ?

    And if it was not a warranty claim... did the French Experts... who serviced the A/C check or find the leak or do they reasonaby believe that an almost new car would need a regas for no reason?

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    unless all the gas has leaked out then all you should have needed was a top up and even then you still have a leak somewhere

    if they didn't tell you nor billed you for fixing the leak then you will go through the same thing all over again

    BTW most top ups are only about $35-60
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  25. #25
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Z
    But Daniel....

    This still doesn't answer the question... if a C3 has a 3 year warranty and yours is less than 3 years old... and you have lost refrigerant.... then why is this not a warranty claim... ?

    And if it was not a warranty claim... did the French Experts... who serviced the A/C check or find the leak or do they reasonaby believe that an almost new car would need a regas for no reason?

    I'm still
    Maybe it's the "Barby" mentality..."Darls; run down the servo 'n get the gas bottle filled willya; the gas just run owt!!"

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

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