DIY Aircon refill in a can

Post your Cit/Peu/Ren air conditioning queries or advice.

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Philjw
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DIY Aircon refill in a can

Post by Philjw » 24 May 2005, 18:42

I noticed a can on the shelf at Half*rds recently which claims to refresh air con systems. I don't remeber the details but it was own brand and meant to add oil, renovate seals and add gas.
The price was about £30.
Are these safe? Are they effective? At this price are they cost effective against getting a specialist to sort a less than perfect system?
This question was asked I think in another post but I did not see a reply.
I'd like mine to cool a little more. It never gets down as low as I would like.
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Post by Kowalski » 24 May 2005, 21:43

A specialist will do a better job than you can do with a £30 can of refrigerant, but will cost more. I've seen these sorts of cans for around a tenner (delivered) on the net, so you can get them cheaper too.
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Post by PowerLee » 24 May 2005, 22:55

Hi
I got some aircon leak sealer for less then a tenner of the net, My 405 has a slightly leaking compressor ( About 11 months to lose all the gas ) & spending £500 odd quid fixing it is more then the cars worth.
Worth risking a tenner to see if it helps in the long run.
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Post by alan s » 25 May 2005, 03:48

The things you need to be aware of are, do you have the gauges and lines to be able to refill and are you aware that refrigeration systems are an extremely sensitive piece of gear? A drop of moisture the size of a pin head can stop them and I've even seen inexperienced people blowing through fittings to clear them; that in itself will give you enough moisture to render the system inoperative.
Alan S
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Post by Philjw » 25 May 2005, 19:51

I reckon that is one can best left sitting on the shelf in the store.
Thanks guys.
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Post by Mosser » 26 May 2005, 05:11

Stick it in, and if it damages your air con, then get Halfords to pay for the damage their product did !
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Post by ITMA » 28 May 2005, 02:33

I paid about 100 quid to have a "specialist" check and recharge the system on my Jeep. It felt little better afterwards and a year later seemed to be back to only pushing out air at ambient temp! It would have been cheaper for me to throw away £20 - £30 on one of the DIY kits.
I can't see what you have to loose by using one of these kits if the system is not already working. The only difficulty seems to be reaching the service valve on my Xantia. On the Jeep you open the hood and there it is - on the Xant you need to get the front up in the air to reach from underneath.
Go for it!
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Post by Kowalski » 28 May 2005, 05:30

Access to the valves on a Xantia isn't bad once the undertray is off, if you leave the undertray on, access is poor at best. Remember that the Xantia will jack itself up...
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Post by tonespeed1999 » 28 May 2005, 14:57

modern vehicles use R134a in there aircon systems,these so called top up cans contain a mixture of synthetic oils etc,not good for the system,you will do more harm than good,i would pay the little extra.then you know the job has been done properly and correct gas/oil has been used.ive seen the damage these products have caused and they totaly destroy air con components!
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Post by ITMA » 29 May 2005, 02:36

I have just finished filling my system using a diy kit of R134a (not one of those which contain oil and seal reviver) and it has totally transformed my A/C.
It took over an hour to fill with 14 ounces of refrigerant but it is now freezing cold whilst before it only put out ambient air when set to coldest setting.
Considering that we are talking about a car that needs the suspension regassing every couple of years I cannot accept that a so called expert could have made a better job for the same price. If the A/C needs topping up in a year or so then it would need it doing if "Mr specialist" had filled it at a charge of £100. And before someone says that the specialist would identify if the system was leaking - I specifically asked that this be done on my Jeep mentioned in my previous post and is the reason I tried the DIY route.
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Post by tonespeed1999 » 29 May 2005, 04:13

what people dont realize is that the cheap top up cans are only a quick temporary fix,when an air con system is professionally serviced it is not just "topped up" as alot of people ask me when they book their cars in!.the automated aircon machine vacuums the system and gets rid of the moisture and dirt that builds up over the years,so the aircon will continue to work for many years.aircon components are fragile,if they get contaminated with moisture from the atmosphere for even a few minutes you have problems,that why we in the motor trade spend thousands of pounds a year doing the correct training etc.
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Post by Mosser » 29 May 2005, 04:39

If an airocon system is under pressure all the time, how on earth does dirt get into the system ?, is there a vacuum side to it that isnt sealed very well ?
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Post by demag » 02 Jun 2005, 05:17

What I would like to know is: How cold is cold?[:I] On a hot day my system does cool the interior down quite rapidly (when the missus doesn't open the window for some fresh air that is!) But I just get the feeling it should maybe get a tad colder.
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Post by tonespeed1999 » 03 Jun 2005, 00:39

ive measured some cars inside temperature from 10 degrees to zero!.all depends on how well the system is working and maintained!
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Post by alan s » 03 Jun 2005, 02:54

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Mosser</i>

If an airocon system is under pressure all the time, how on earth does dirt get into the system ?, is there a vacuum side to it that isnt sealed very well ?
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
It has a low pressure side to it that should never get down to vacuum due to the safety switch it has fitted, but many's the time they get bridged out.
Apart from that, there is a dessicant in the filter/receiver/dryer and with age and the fact that the system is in a car and therefore is subject to jolts and vibrations, this will begin to break up and can also get into the system. Internal corrosion due to moisture contamination is another cause but the main culprit is due to sloppy work practices of those who are doing the service work on them which is why I'm not all that keen on the DIY types of refills unless the person doing the job is a meticulously clean and systematic worker.
Unfortunately I spent a 5 year apprenticeship being taught all the intricies of what this is all about, but these days with block training and other trades seemingly having refrigeration/air conditioning almost as a sub trade, there are too many doing work on them with with the same work ethic they use in their own trade; "Near enough is good enough" as borne out by problems that get referred to these forums.
As regards temperature; it should be reading 4 - 6 degrees C at the face of the vents to be operating correctly. 8 - 10 is far too high to be anything but feeling like a sea breeze by the time it gets to the occupants and wouldn't cool the car down much at all.
Most if not all systems are engineered to be on the 4 - 6 scale when pulled down.
Alan S
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