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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Does anyone know the actual air con recharge process garages use?

Basically i went to get car regassed but the garage employees all seem to be rather duh and rude, seemed like they were all on something. Stalled a car 3 times trying to reverse and then got out the car started rolling forwards and he had to quickly jump back in coz he forgot the handbrake.

I pretty much watched the car the whole time and not once did i see anyone around the machine except a few mins at most when he popped the hood to connect the pipes. After about 15 mins I went to get something out of the car and had a quick glance under the bonnet as i passed and saw the pipes connected. But engine wasnt running. Is it supposed to at the beginning? Went back to the safe spot and carried on watching but then I look down on phone for a few mins and he appeared in front of me and said you have a leak. So from getting the car hooked up to him saying leak it was about 25-30mins. Does this sound right? Is it this first 30mins where the machine checks for leaks? then the next 30mins it gets regassed and it is the regassing that needs engine running?

I asked them how bad is the leak, whats the pressure, how much is in there, all i dont kknow and couldnt be bothered to answer and was already walking away and muttered no charge.

All i want to know is did they even bother? How loud is the machine? I hardly heard anything when i walked past. Together with their rather strange behaviour i got rather concerned. Spent whole night going through many many threads to do with aircon on here....
 

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Hi check out my video if you haven't already found it , will give you an idea of what I did , many garages that can't fix aircon will simply say " it has a leak" because really they haven't got the first idea on where to start . I take it you don't use that garage regularly? if you do I suggest you find a new one .
 

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It's a fully automated process. The operator merely connects the system to the car and probably doesn't have a clue what's happening.
 

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The process you describe is accurate and as Jon says the AC kit is self co rained and goes thru the motions without any manual intervention.

The vac test occurs first, to check for large leaks/drops in pressure. This seems to be how far your garage got in the process and at least it didn't cost you anything.

It doesn't sound like the garage are very competent tho, have you used then before? What are there reviews like? Personally I'd go somewhere else.
 

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You need to go somewhere that has the ability to do a PRESSURE leak test... The 'vacuum test' is only a side effect of the vacuum applied to remove water/contamination and will not find all modes of seal failure. Additionally a place that can perform a pressure test will also add a UV dye that can help to pinpoint the leak location.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys,
Its not a garage i usually go to but only went because it was a cheap recharge and thought that it was a plug and play easy thing so unlikely they would do a bad job.

So you are saying that the whole procedure doesn't even require engine to be on?

Will check out vid in a mo, thanks

oh by the way, since they already said it was a leak (considering their weird behaviour)
1) Is there a chance they didnt do it correctly? Shall i go to another simple recharge place to try again (with no charge if not able to regass) or you think straight to an aircon specialist?
2) Can I already dismiss the omron or matsurita (or whatever its called) relay i read about?
 

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I'd just go to a specialist that knows what they're doing as it'll be sorted then.

Otherwise you'll spend the rest of the summer getting cheap and ineffective regasses.

Unless you have lots of spare time and patience...
 

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Thanks guys,
Its not a garage i usually go to but only went because it was a cheap recharge and thought that it was a plug and play easy thing so unlikely they would do a bad job.

So you are saying that the whole procedure doesn't even require engine to be on?

Will check out vid in a mo, thanks

oh by the way, since they already said it was a leak (considering their weird behaviour)
1) Is there a chance they didnt do it correctly? Shall i go to another simple recharge place to try again (with no charge if not able to regass) or you think straight to an aircon specialist?
2) Can I already dismiss the omron or matsurita (or whatever its called) relay i read about?
The relay failing wouldn't cause a leak, but could cause the AC to not function.

When I topped-ip my AC myself I never needed to run the engine, but I'm not familiar with those auto-fill machines. Don't see why the engine would need to be run.

Of course there's a chance they messed up. By all means go to another place that does cheap refills and see what they say. The mere fact you need a refill at all does indicate that you may have a problem though (but they do leak a little over time). If they will refill it, then I'd recommend paying a little more to have the UV dye added, just so you can find the leak easily if there is a leak. Just because it passes the so-called 'vac test' doesn't mean it won't leak under pressure (hence me mentioning the pressure test in my last post).
 

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but only went because it was a cheap
I made the same mistake! Two visits to the "special offer" place, lots of frustration, false hopes that it was fixed, gave up after the third failure and went to a trusted garage who had an air con specialist on the team.

4 hours later the A/C was ice cold, a lifetime warranty on the new condenser and one happy owner! 馃槉
 

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I have had mine done a couple of times recently. The first place was a chain that sounds like they have something to do with motor racing. He went off hooked up the machine and came back 30 mins later saying i have a leak and thus no charge, he could'nt tell me where the leak was.
I took an educated guess it was the condenser (some fins missing and general state , so looked like a likely candidate). So off to Eurocarparts and new condenser purchased and fitted.
Local car sales garage near me advertising air con regas so i went there, it was better as i could watch the whole process. The first part is he tells the machine how much gas (weight) and oil the car should have. Then hooks up the pipes and the machine did a vacuum purge of the system, then holds the vacuum at about -1bar on both sides to check for leaks. That took about 35 mins, then if thats ok, it pops in the oil, then finally the gas. Once finished start the engine and try out the aircon, which worked fine.
Recently i had to have it done again (due to engine swap, so gas got discharged). Went back to the same place and he explained he's had the machine software updated and explained the process.
3 clear tanks on the front of the machine. 1 has the new oil, 2nd is for waste oil that gets sucked out, and the 3rd is a dye that will show if there is a leak using uv light.
This time the process was different, after the vacuum test, it then pressurised one side of the system and held it for a few mins. Then it did the oil / gas, then asked to start the car and engine whilst the machine was running, where it then monitored the pressure and added some more gas. After that the job was done and nice ice air once more.
That is my experience of the process, but it does seem it is highly automated.
 

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A family friend who is an aircon guy did mine. He started with a pressure test, filled it with nitrogen and monitored it for 5-10 mins to check the system was fixed (he previously used a sniffer to show me my condenser was leaking).
He then put the vacuum pump on and removed everything from the system, and then filled with refridgerant.
He told me to start the engine when it was about 75% full and when it reached the required level (0.72kg) he turned it all off and disconnected.

Sounds like they don't really know what the issue is, just take it to a good indy garage or an aircon specialist. If you do have a leak, chances are it's the condenser. It's easier to find the leak with a sniffer rather than the dye.
 

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He told me to start the engine when it was about 75% full and when it reached the required level (0.72kg) he turned it all off and disconnected.
I am not sure why it has a sticker under the bonnet saying 0.72 by the gas type, as all the info i found says the car takes 475g, and that's what has been put into mine?
Can anyone shed light on what the 0.72 number is for?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks xtruss for the detailed explannation.

My condenser looks in really good condition.

I took a look at the relay like the other thread said and it is the omron. I shook it and it made a relay click like noise. But wasnt a loose rattle. If i shook it back and forth it would make like a really faint click but felt solid. Is this how it is supposed to be? Next to it is a big grey one and it said Matsura (excuse the spelling) but that didnt make any noise at all when i shook it

I am going through some hard times recently hence the cheap offer of the aircon. I dont usually skimp on cars and still trying not to but thought aircon was a more plug and play thing so thought it was ok. I guess i was wrong. Cant really afford an air con specialist right now, will have to be later in the year but summer will be over then.
 

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I am not sure why it has a sticker under the bonnet saying 0.72 by the gas type, as all the info i found says the car takes 475g, and that's what has been put into mine?
Can anyone shed light on what the 0.72 number is for?
The 0.72 shows that the system should be filled with 0.72kg of the refridgerent (which has a sticker next to the weight information detailing which type).
 
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