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Aircon troubleshooting


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#1 tej

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:24

OK, so I noticed a few weeks back the aircon stopped working on the CR-V, and ofcourse, over the hot weekend my Mrs reminded me of this fact :) 

 

So, having had this happen before on the 5 series, the process went like this - 

 

1) £60 re-gas... All good for about 2 weeks...

2) Stopped working, aircon guy re-visits and diagnoses condenser leak - £40 call out

3) Condenser replaced (iirc £2-300 for part) by myself

4) Aircon guy re-visits for re-gas and discounts the call out before he felt bad - £40 (instead of £60)

 

All in all, thats £140-160 in basically diagnosing and re-gassing. Thanksfully the condenser is much cheaper for the CR-V (<£70 from ECP/CarParts4Less), and hopefully its not a faulty compressor (£400). 

 

Is there a way I can diagnose the fault myself? I'm assuming the previous refrigerant a) didn't have a UV dye or B) if it did the dye will have long since washed off during the winter. 

 

DIY kits seem to cost anywhere between £40-50 + cost of UV torch (so I might as well call out a pro). 

 

Is there a cheaper/better way? 



#2 Chas is back!

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 13:53

I suspect many people here will say that the best way is to

 

A) Take all of the old stuff out; Only the proper machines can do this. Otherwise the escaped R134a may help Global Warming

B) Vacuum test the system; It no leaks are found you're safe to go potentially. Nitrogen being put in alongside a dye can be the better and more environmentally friendly way to do it.

C) Repair wherever your leaks are

D) Put the new stuff in. Machines do this but a known decent way on a dry system is to drop a charge in by weighing what you put in as per the car label

 

Of course it's never quite so simple.

 

The irresponsible would say to:

A) Grab a can of R134a from Halfords etc.

B) Put it in using the pressure as a guide.

C) See where your leaks are

D) Repair it and refil using the above.

 

My issue is finding a decent bloke to do it. Thanfully I do now know of two in my area. To be fair to Kwik Shit on the Saab they didn't charge for refilling the system; it still doesn't work; I think the Dryer is iffy; it works but then stops.


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#3 tej

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 14:38

C) See where your leaks are

 

 

The problem for me is this part ^^

 

Without the UV dye, how can you really tell? 

 

My initial thought was to buy some refrigerent from Halfords, but at £50 a pop (http://www.halfords....ioning-recharge) I can get a proper engineer out to me for £60 using UV dye and have the system pressure tested (although the pressure test looked good on the 5 series but it still managed to leak over 2-3 weeks). 

 

I guess theres no better way tbh, unless I spend a day going over the system inch by inch looking for oil that may have escaped.. Doesn't sound fun as its a bumper off job on the CR-V. 



#4 Chas is back!

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:33

The refrigerant is about £30 if you have a trade card ;).


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#5 heyho

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 07:35

It can be tricky to find AC leaks, but on my experience, it's rarely not the condenser. It's the most fragile and exposed part of the system, subject to corrosion and stone damage. Quite often you get a quite visible oil stain in the area of the leak, making it easier to spot.

As Chas has said, after a repair you really want the system vacced down - the most important reason for this is to draw moisture out of the system before regassing.

I have a very different problem with the Passat at the moment - no leaks and fully charged, but virtually no pressure difference across the high and low pressure sides of the system. I'm 99% sure it's a compressor regulating valve, so will be chucking a second hand one on this week.

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#6 heyho

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 12:16

Oh, and don't expect regassing to be £50 or £60 anymore. The wholesale price of R134a has shot through the roof this year, so you'll be looking at more like £100.

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#7 tej

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 14:05

Thanks for the info dude..

 

Thankfully we-chill-any-car aren't charging so much. Prices have gone up from £50 to £60 since I last used them, but as they come out to you they are very handy and not too far off the cost of Halfords/kwik fit etc. And it seems the same engineer I've used 3-4 times before covers the area we've moved to - result :) 



#8 DEVICES

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 14:32

If anyone around this neck of the woods needs an Air Con dude, I can give you his info..

 

£30 for a vacuum/regas, £20 for additional cars at the same time. Has a proper bells and whistles machine, unlike one bloke who turned up with a bottle of R134a and some scales!

 

I've used him loads... for obvious reasons, he's cheap. :D



#9 heyho

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Posted 10 May 2018 - 19:14

It will take a while for the cost increase to filter through, but it will happen everywhere eventually.


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