Sky InsuranceChris Nott
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  1. #1
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    Aircon - self recharge or professional aircon service?

    I noticed over the weekend that it is taking my aircon to be set to re-circ and on for a substantial time before it gets cold. My brother had one of those hoses from home recharge kits so I put that on and it is saying my pressure is low. I asked the previous owner whether he has ever had the aircon recharged and he hasn’t and he had it for 6 or 7 years so I don’t think it has a major leak at all it just needs recharging.

    I know you can get recharge kits that you can refill the system yourself however I am unsure how safe they are to use. By that I mean I don’t want to be putting too much gas in and killing the system! I do not know if each car should uses a different pressure in their air cons system? I’ve also read that the anti-leak stuff in some of these kits can cause issues within the system though I do not know if this is true or not?

    Has anyone used one of these kits safely on their Audi and what pressure did you top the system up to if so? Or is it best to get the system professionally serviced,as in totally drained / re-filled. If so can anyone recommend a reputable aircon service centre as local to Southampton as possible ideally not a kwik-fit.

    Cheers

    Paul

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  3. #2
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    It is possible that a disposable can could solve your issues however the by the book procedure would be to reclaim it pressure test it locate a leak if at all/repair evacuate and charge with the specified weight also when you run your a/c and test it with a gauge you should have your vent fans at full as a low speed = less load and less load = a lower pressure however many a/c compressors have capacity control meaning the suction pressure is fairly stable hope this helps I think quick fit is no fix no fee.

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll pay to have it serviced properly. Just need to find someone in Southampton to do it now!

  5. #4
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    if you can trust kwik-fit they have a proper air-con machine, it pressure tests,sucks out the old charge gas, cleans out , then puts in brand new gas all as long as it passes the leak test.

    cost is £49
    MoT Testing &amp Servicing

  6. #5
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    Never use the in the can jobs. If you watch the machine do it an check the manual you will see the amount put in is measured in weight not pressure. The cans could put the system to the correct pressure but over it under fill on the liquid. Plus when it is done by the proper machine the pump oil is removed and fresh put in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_c99 View Post
    Never use the in the can jobs. If you watch the machine do it an check the manual you will see the amount put in is measured in weight not pressure. The cans could put the system to the correct pressure but over it under fill on the liquid. Plus when it is done by the proper machine the pump oil is removed and fresh put in.
    You are correct a/c is charged by weight however temperature is directly proportionate to pressure the thing with garages they dont actually know how to read the gauges properly such as checking superheated and sub cooling as an refrigeration engineer we use both methods but rely on what our gauges tell us,oil is carried with refrigerant so a percentage of oil is remove when the system is reclaimed.

  8. #7
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    KWIK FIT

    No charge no fee. if its leaky they wont charge you. They cant get it wrong either lol
    '02 TDi 130 Sport: Mods to date: BXP 160 conversion, EGR delete, Decat, Helix SMF fast road clutch, 312mm front rotors, full DIS , CC, Xenons.
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  9. #8
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    I have used both recently. Kwik fit are pretty good, its fully automated so they just stick the machine on which vacuums it out then refils it. If it wont hold vacuum then it fails and they dont charge you. They have a policy that if it does not lower the temperature of the coldest vent by 10 degrees they dont charge you but I have never seen them test this. I would guess if you tried to argue it after they gassed it they would let you go for free if they didnt test before hand so they cant argue back.

    The can ones work well enough and are ok for a top up but if the system has been open you really need the vacum to get the air out and then have only gas/oil in there and no water from the air which will turn the oil to gloop. Cans from Halfords come with a £10 refund for the empty bottle so work out at £25 for 400grams (measured the weight of the bottle before and after) dont loose the receipt though or no refund. They say they hold 500 grams but because you have no pump in action you cant empty the can only equal the can pressure with system pressure. My car takes more than one can so it worked out cheaper for me to use kwick fit.

  10. #9
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    The big canesters that are on the machine that hold 6kg are only about £125 lol

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HibiscusS4 View Post
    I have used both recently. Kwik fit are pretty good, its fully automated so they just stick the machine on which vacuums it out then refils it. If it wont hold vacuum then it fails and they dont charge you. They have a policy that if it does not lower the temperature of the coldest vent by 10 degrees they dont charge you but I have never seen them test this. I would guess if you tried to argue it after they gassed it they would let you go for free if they didnt test before hand so they cant argue back.

    The can ones work well enough and are ok for a top up but if the system has been open you really need the vacum to get the air out and then have only gas/oil in there and no water from the air which will turn the oil to gloop. Cans from Halfords come with a £10 refund for the empty bottle so work out at £25 for 400grams (measured the weight of the bottle before and after) dont loose the receipt though or no refund. They say they hold 500 grams but because you have no pump in action you cant empty the can only equal the can pressure with system pressure. My car takes more than one can so it worked out cheaper for me to use kwick fit.
    The only thing about it holding the vacuum is that it doesn't guarantee that it will hold pressure

  12. #11
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    i work for halfords, while the cans are good for topping up. if the system is low or empty there no good.

    also there very easy to over fill the system. and i try to stay away from filling customers cars up. because of this fact,

    also you need hose which costs £19.99 which means total price is £44.98 after the £10 refund, which means you might aswell get a proper place like kwik fit or halfords autocentre to get the car on a proper aircon machine for about the same price.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by boost-addict View Post
    i work for halfords, while the cans are good for topping up. if the system is low or empty there no good.

    also there very easy to over fill the system. and i try to stay away from filling customers cars up. because of this fact,

    also you need hose which costs £19.99 which means total price is £44.98 after the £10 refund, which means you might aswell get a proper place like kwik fit or halfords autocentre to get the car on a proper aircon machine for about the same price.
    Did you no you also need to be qualified to handle R-134a commercially and its a £10,000 fine if your caught. It's also illegal to sell it to people without the proper training.

    (Air conditioning trained)

  14. #13
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    i am trained, but to that degree, no idea,

    as a consumer i dont need to be qualified to handle r-134a ?

    either way i stay away from it

  15. #14
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    As a consumer no. But. Halfords shouldn't be supplying it to unqualified persons.

  16. #15
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    well no idea mate. its sold to us as a consumer product. we dont get involved to that side of it. if halfords do then im sure its all legit?

    you could alway send a email to halfords?

  17. #16
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    Nah no point. There too big for the government to bother with lol

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_c99 View Post
    Nah no point. There too big for the government to bother with lol
    To handle refrigerants you need to have a cg 2079 in the uk you also should be a time served refrigeration engineer due to strict f gas regulations you can not add refrigerant to any system with a leak all gas use must also be recorded

  19. #18
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    I had it topped up weekend before the one just gone by my local quick fit. I too had read about over filling etc and thought I wouldn't risk it. Watched them take the temp before and after, though I already knew the before temp. Had no leaks, simply had only half the amount of refrigerant in the system that should be in there!

    Thanks for all the replies though

    Paul

 

 

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