More aircon woes (Manchester) - Civinfo
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 14th July 2018, 15:03 Thread Starter
 
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More aircon woes (Manchester)

Hi all,

seems to be a common issue at the moment !

8th gen petrol 2009.

I tend only to use the aircon in warm weather which i now know is wrong.

Anyway the last few weeks its been struggling. I can hear the compressor clicking in but it just isnt cold enough.

I notice if i manually slow the fan speed it gets colder although at a lower flow rate so i guess this demonstrates that it is at least working but not well.

So i did some research and learned that self fill kits are rubbish and cost too much, also that many garages just regas and dont do a full check so could be a waste of money.

Can anyone recommend someone decent in Stockport/Manchester area who gives good service and knows what they are doing please?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 03:03
 
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Start by sticking a key in the schradar valve (wearing gloves), if it doesn't hiss then it needs recharging. Be better off buying the self fill kit, as with a garage you get filled and could be gone the next day giving you a headache. Using the self fill you could use small amounts to get to the problem. Could be an easy fix like a schradar valve replacement costing a fiver, before taking it somewhere for a service.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 03:57
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I'd argue for finding a decent AC specialist over the self fill kit.

You'll still have some pressure, as the compressor is coming in, and there is (little) cooling - I'd extrapolate from this that the refrigerant level is very low. The compressor won't cut in on no refrigerant as said refrigerant is also the lubricant, meaning running empty is no good for the compressor.

Anywhere that does a regas will conduct a vaccum test, which isn't that effective - If this passes, it will fill with gas, which is why people get a regas and are back to square one a few weeks later.

If you get to a specialist, they will regas with UV Dye. Then, In a week when it's leaked out, all you need to do is scout around with a blacklight; Most commonly it's the condenser on the 8G Civics, but best to check before you splash out, as it could just be seals or natural leakage.

The self fill kits I've seen have been about the same price as getting a regas from halfords / kwikfit et al. so it seems a little pointless.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 08:37
 
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 09:52
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I understand your question is for a recommendation for a specialist in the manchester area. Sorry can't help you there but hopefully someone will come along who can.

Hope you find a good one in your area, the last visit I paid, to a 'specialist' (had many refills etc with various cars over the years and all failed again) reported an isolated leak in the condenser but said a regas should last a couple of years. Lasted less than a day! (Notts area)
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 12:38
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That stuff is a R134a replacement. The replacement stuff is basically butane in a can.



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Originally Posted by Markv01 View Post
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 14:51
 
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Can't believe people are actually buying stuff like that...most professional outfits are cheaper!

If you're going to get it done, get it done properly
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 19:12
 
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So are you saying any of the diy kits are a case for trading standards?

Like these

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F282058022366

Thought they had to at least deliver what you think you are paying for.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 21:37
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They're more expensive than Kwik fit and Halfords
And how are you going to ensure the correct load goes in the system, especially when overcharging it can do beucoup damage.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 15th July 2018, 22:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markv01 View Post
I only paid £49 at my local Honda for a full aircon service including regas. That said there still appears to be a slow leak they couldn't detect with uv, but that's another matter. Fact is it's a regas for £20 less than a regas kit.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 16th July 2018, 07:33
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Also its not just about topping up the system. Its good to have any existing refrigerant gas removed as the pressure at the valves is dependent on outside temp and if there are blockages or leaks and may not determine the actual volume/weight of refrigerant. At least with a proper air con specialist they will remove the gas, check for leaks and put in the correct weight of refrigerant gas.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 17th July 2018, 11:27 Thread Starter
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OK well the weather has cooled a bit now. I just had a look and when i hit the auto button and set it to lo,the compressor clutch can be heard engaging and seen turning. The condenser fan is also running. Im guessing there is a pressure switch which senses refrigerant pressure and cuts off the compressor clutch if the pressure is too low? If so ,then the fact that the clutch is still engaging would indicate there is still some positive pressure ?? i didnt bother blipping the schrader,,i think i have found a specialist who has good reviews so may try them.

Car Air-Con Regas & Service Experts | Mobile A/C Recharge Repair & Diagnostic Specialists

PS I presume i am best not engaging the aircon until i have a chance to get it serviced ..???

Last edited by dooper; 18th July 2018 at 09:56.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 21st July 2018, 19:19
 
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The issue with garages is a lack of knowledge, and often your a/c is simply connected to an automated machine.
If the system is low / out of refrigerant, the garage should pressure test it with ofn (oxygen free nitrogen) to find the leak. Then, repair the leak, evacuate and recharge. The repair should then be good for a considerable period of time.

If the system is low on refrigerant, a low pressure switch will disconnect the compressor clutch. Sometimes, it will cycle as the pressure rises & falls. Once the system is below a certain charge, the low pressure switch will keep it off.

Your often better off finding a self employed a/c engineer to carry out the work, rather than use a garage.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 26th February 2019, 16:05 Thread Starter
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Well its aircon time again...and its only February !

Last year i had intended to get the guy i mentioned above but due to the hot weather, he was overwhelmed with work and couldnt fit me in for weeks. I had my local trusted garage regas it and it seemed to work ok. True they only put the auto jig on it and vac test it.

Anyway this week as its been warm out i notice the aircon is poor/non existent again. This morning i noted that the compressor wasnt kicking in. A few hours later on,the compressor did kick in but again ,not really cold. With engine off, a quick blip of the low pressure valve showed positive pressure. I could observe the compressor clutch driven gear rotating and also the condenser fan running.

I'm thinking that it cut in a bit later in the morning as the weather was warmer and maybe the system pressure had crept up just enough to cross the pressure switch threshold and bring it on....or,,,the compressor clutch appears to be spinning but it isnt actually turning the compressor. Is the latter a possibility? . Back to my air con man i think.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 26th February 2019, 16:37
 
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I had similar problems with not sufficient cooling so I bought the STP kit from Halfords last July which recharges and seals any leaks and it is still working fine.
I know it's February but due to this warm spell I have been using the A/C more than I would be but it's still working well.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 28th February 2019, 10:52
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Silly question, are you sure it's losing gas, and its' not the relay.

Common Failure, £5 fix.... 2 min job
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 23rd May 2019, 12:51 Thread Starter
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I had a pressure test done using Oxygen free Nitrogen which didnt reveal any leaks but it was noted that there were signs of leakage on the condenser and the recommendation was to replace it. I would have thought that if there was leakage the OFN test would reveal it but then maybe its small and self sealing until it has some refrigerant in it. Maybe the guages used are unable to discriminate small leakage rates at those kinds of test pressures and it would take months for the refrigerant to leak before dropping below the low pressure switch trigger level? If your condenser has failed,how old was the car when it went? Did you bother replacing and just not bother with air con ?Either way the refrigerant has gone somewhere as its low pressure again. Has anyone ever done a DIY condenser swap themselves?
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 23rd May 2019, 14:39
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Get the AC man to top it up and use UV dye. This shows up whether/where your refrigerant is leaking. Leaks show up like dogs balls under a UV light. (It's a pretty standard test)
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 23rd May 2019, 15:13 Thread Starter
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i had it topped up last march/april when it first fialed. Im not sure whether they put dyd in as standard but it has been ok for maybe 10 months . Maybe dyd marks were spotted when i just had it checked. I may remove the front trim so i can have a closer inspection.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 23rd May 2019, 18:59
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You have to shine a UV light around to show up the dye if in fact it has been dyed.
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