Two lots of aircon, now restored

Shude

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My c230k and Antony's 300CE-24 went to a little garage in Preston today to have the aircon repaired.

300CE-24:
Had a bearing replaced (imported from Japan!) in the pump so it would operate properly. All the belts were re-fitted and the system was re-charged. Now blows freezing cold air :)
Cost: £0 (warranty/agreement with seller of car)

c230k:
Just needed a re-gas. The aircon chap said he used the vacuum with computer to measure the pressure changes and he said as far as he could tell there was no leak, he said there obviously IS a leak somewhere because in 2 years ALL the gas escaped. Dunno where the leak is (previous gas had a dye in it but this aircon bloke didn't have the UV lamp to see it). He said the leak is either tiny or someone tried to repair the aircon sometime and let the gas escape.
Cost: £70

Result: we drove back from Preston, rubbing our hands and with our teeth chattering. Gotta love that aircon! :D
 

Andy W

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If it is evident that there is dye in the system there is obviously a leak that some one has previously tried to find. UV dye is not as good as it is cracked out to be, I have had my UV glow lamp kit for over 5 years now and used it on many air conditioning and refrigeration plant with not a lot of success. If there are no traces of gas what so ever in a system there IS a leak on the system unless somebody let the gas go while changing the engine etc and not bothered to recharge it. Incidentally refrigerant comes under COSHH and it is illegal to discharge it to atmosphere,or to recharge a system knowing full well that there is a leak on it, max £20,000 fine and up to 6 months in prison. In Staffordshire there is a govermeny agency who have set up a team to try and catch garages who regass cars without finding leaks first and they have already sucessfully prosecuted a couple of garages. I know this for a fact and it is not hear say as I have met the guy in my local wholesalers who has set this thing up and he was asking ME my advice on procedures. I have gone a little off tangent here but the best way to carry out leak testing is to add Nitrogen up to about 300 PSI in to the system and any leaks should become evident at that pressure. If not put 20 psi standing pressure of refrigerant vapour in to the system then add Nitrogen and leak check using an electronic leak detector (sniffer) if that does not work use 15 PSI Nitrogen and water and fairy liquid mixed, this works very well.

The common places for gas leaks are:

The condenser due to front end accident damage or corrosion.
Hoses rubbing through.
Compressor shaft seals leaking. (the most common)
The evaporator coil (cooling matrix) due to soft alloy.
Various O rings perishing or old rings reused when changing components.

In theory the system is supposed to be a sealed system and should keep its charge, but any system with mechanical joints or steel or aluminium components will corrode eventually.
 
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GrahamC230K

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So unless it was the dodgy mechanic theory, how long do you thinks Shude's gas will stay in his car? Are we talking days or months?
 

Andy W

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When pulling a vaccum prior to charging, if you use a pump with a torr gauge on it, by isolating the pump and allowing a pressure rise test you can tell if the leak is a tiny one or a big one. I have known people to recharge cars and the charge lasts for 2 days !
This is what the goverment is cracking down on. I am always suspicious of a system with no gas in it at all, definitely a bad leak, if there is still some pressure present, it is probably weeping from the shaft seal. Only these past 5 years have manufacturers starting advising people to run their air con on for at least 5 minutes every month. What happens is the shaft seal dries up with not been lubricated and leaks, by running the system a bead of oil is run around the seal. Most garages theory is take the money and hope the charge lasts through out the warm spell. The gas is so cheap to buy if the garage needs to recharge it after a month or so they can afford to do it, then the summer is gone and it probably wont be used until next year then it will need charging again because there IS a leak on the system, and people dont mind paying again because they have been conditioned in the beleif that cars over 3 years old need to be recharged every year. I have known cars 10 years old still on the original charge, that was when componemts of the system were of a better quality. How many people who have had their systems recharged have seen the engineer go through the system retightening all the visible and accessable mechanical joints.
 
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Steve_Perry

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Originally posted by Andy W
I have known people to recharge cars and the charge lasts for 2 days !

I can vouch for that, it happened to me. George gave me a free charge up for my air-con and it lasted approx a day and a half. On a subsequent trip to George we later traced the leak to a hole in the condenser.

S.
 

Alps

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I had loadsa trouble with aircon, when i first got my car aircon didnt work, was told it just needed a recharge, after going to my friends garagae, he put the UV dye in and recharged the aircon after giving it a quick check, a week later, no aircon again, we then found a UV leak on the condenser matrix, must have been a large stone of something which had made a hole through the middle, it took me ages trying to source oneas the C36 used a different part to the rest of the c-class range, in the end i got a good price from bluestar.

finding the part was the hardest, has been working fine for the last year or so since getting it done! :)

its amazing how hot the car gets in stop\start journeys in the summer, almost unbearable if you done have aircon!
 

fuzzer

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Ive noticed a big diference with Climate control to the twirly nobs.

The car seems to be a lot more controled and the fan goes nuts for the start of the journey and then calms down. I also like the airvents in the back seat compartment .. very useful
 

Steve_Perry

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Originally posted by fuzzer
I also like the airvents in the back seat compartment .. very useful

Do you ever get to sit in the back seats then? :p :D

hehe sorry, saw that and couldn't resist :)

S.
 

scotth_uk

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Aircon question

Hi Guys,

Noticing that a few of you have had your aircon worked on - what temperatures were you pulling after the re-gas?

I had my system recharged by http://www.ac4cars.co.uk yesterday for not a lot of money. System re-charged fine and leak test showed microscopic reading (with the electronic detector) at the high pressure hose from the compressor to the condensor.

We compared the leak severity with the readings taken from the low pressure recharge valve with the cap off - about the same. So all in all, the leak is as bas as a closed valve. I'll be sourcing the part to replace it asap.

Also just a note - the R12a was evacuated and replaced with RS24.
 

Andy W

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Re: Aircon question

System re-charged fine and leak test showed microscopic reading (with the electronic detector) at the high pressure hose from the compressor to the condensor.

To see how bad that leak really is, mix a little washing up liquid with water and apply to the leaking area, if the washing up liquid starts to froth or bubble then it is safe to say that the gas will not last long.

.[/QUOTE]
We compared the leak severity with the readings taken from the low pressure recharge valve with the cap off - about the same. So all in all, the leak is as bas as a closed valve. I'll be sourcing the part to replace it asap.

Get a quote for parts from Ambient Technical Solutions.
01782 745700, a lot cheaper than main dealer. Some years ago I purchased a thermostat for a Merc that I was working on, when the part arrived it was a Ranco thermostat packaged in a Mercedes genuine parts box, when I was able to check the numbers stamped on the thermostat body I could of bought it from my local wholesalers for less than £6 at the time, Merc charged £30 odd and that was back in about 1986.

The charging valves should not be leaking, re tighten or replace the shrader valves.

[/QUOTE]
Also just a note - the R12a was evacuated and replaced with RS24.

RS 24 is one of the drop in replacements NOT very widely used and marketed by Refrigeration Products Ltd.
R49 is a better gas and manufactureed by Rhodia, some interesting details on their web site. www.isceon-refrigerants.com
 
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Shude

Shude

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Originally posted by GrahamC230K
So unless it was the dodgy mechanic theory, how long do you thinks Shude's gas will stay in his car? Are we talking days or months?
We are talking 1 month exactly! :(

My aircon is now blowing slightly cold air, and is about 25% effective. I guess the gas has escaped! :(

Not happy! :(
 

Andy W

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I hate to say told you so. I actually expected it not to last as long as it did. What happens now is usually by now we are at the end of the warm spell and people will not bother to recharge the system again until next year, but next year your condenser will have rotted further still and the gas will last only a few days.

While you still have some pressure in the system try the washing up liquid test and identify the leak your self, if it is the condenser leaking obtain a quote from my mate Kev at Ambient Technical Solutions, he has just quoted a condenser on a Mondeo for an unbeleivable £140 + VAT, the main dealer quoting £350 + VAT, huge savings to be made, trust me, just use my name as an introduction, I have already fore warned him that he may get enquiries for Mercedes air con parts, he wellcomes all business.
 
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Shude

Shude

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Took the car to an aircon specialist about 2 minutes from my house. Remaining gas was removed and some test gas was blasted through the system. A little detergent and we found the problem, luckily it's just a pipe with two tiny holes in it! :)

A2028304115 : PIPE LINE : EUR 34.15

Part ordered and appointment made for next Saturday for refit and re-gas.

Total cost should be about £90 inclusive :)
 

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Will

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Ahh - I know that one I think, located on the RHS of the condensor near the slam panel and goes to the Receiver/Drier?

Shude - have you had your receiver/drier replaced at all recently - only costs about £40 or so (maybe slightly more in this case from a main dealer), and would be prudent to change after this many years, especially if you've experienced any leaks :)

Will
 
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Shude

Shude

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Will said:
Ahh - I know that one I think, located on the RHS of the condensor near the slam panel and goes to the Receiver/Drier?
Yes.
Will said:
have you had your receiver/drier replaced at all recently - only costs about £40 or so (maybe slightly more in this case from a main dealer), and would be prudent to change after this many years, especially if you've experienced any leaks :)
No. I will ask the aircon people and the stealership about prices :)
 

silverarrow

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shude are you in rochdale ???
if possible name of the air con garage you used my mums c220 needs looking at
 
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Shude

Shude

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silverarrow said:
shude are you in rochdale ???
if possible name of the air con garage you used my mums c220 needs looking at
It was Airconco in Heywood.

http://www.airconco.net

So far they seem to be pretty decent. Recharge is only £60 for cash too :)

I will be there next Saturday morning if you want to meet up...

EDIT:
oops yes, I am in Rochdale :)
 
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Shude

Shude

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Another morning spent at the aircon company's workshop.

Pipe was replaced (see pic) but there is still a hole somewhere. I asked about the receiver/drier but was told that they have never needed to replace one yet, mine is apparently aluminium and unlikely to corrode. Replacing stuff that is seemingly still working isn't a priority atm... the sound of escaping air was finally tracked down to the condenser! :(

A2028300770 : CONDENSER : EUR 389.64

He said they can get one from Hella or someone for £160 +VAT, still expensive :(

I will try MB Manchester on Monday and plead poverty!
 

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Shude

Shude

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On a slightly lighter note, we have another casualty:

A1239900092 : RIVET : EUR .23

I will probably buy 10 of them, I've seen them elsewhere in the car anyway and they're pretty easy to break ;)
 

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