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ian010778

Anybody know anything about the air con' system on a 2005 206cc 1.6hdi FAP?

 

I had it re-gassed at Kwik Fit last week as it had stopped cooling the interior - leak test was fine and it's been great for a week but it's stopped working again today.

 

I'm gonna run it back to Kwik Fit just in case they missed something and to confirm it's still full but I'm expecting them to say the gas is fine and there's a fault.

 

Any particular sensors or connections I should look at first before taking it to a specialist?

 

 

Ian.

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Anthony

My first guess if it worked for a few days following a re-gas and now has stopped again that there is a small leak somewhere.

 

A small leak will often pass the vacuum test fine, but within a few days or weeks will lose enough gas that the pressure drops below the point where the compressor will engage.

 

Don't know about the weak points on a 206 specifically though I'm afraid.

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ian010778

Cheers Anthony,

 

Looks like another job that's going to get in the way of the 205 this weekend then!

 

Ian.

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ian010778

Went back to Kwik Fit and they confirmed the system was nearly empty again so they kindly recovered what refrigerant was left from last week, did another leak test and re-gassed it FOC.

 

So, I think there's probably a minor leak that's defeating the Kwik Fit vacuum test. They did tell me to go back if it dumps the gas again and they'll get a Master Technician to look at it but I think that's going to cost mega-bucks :( so I turned to the Internet :D

 

I've had a look around and STP do sell a product that can be added to the system and will fix any minor leaks http://www.halfords.com/motoring/engine-oils-fluids/air-con/superseal-air-conditioning-leak-sealant-mrl-3 It's really easy to administer, especially as there's now gas in the system so the compressor's running and the high and low pressure valves are very easy to access on the 206.

 

But... I have big concerns about using this type of product. I guess, in my mind, it's essentially Radweld for air con' and while it may fix the leak I'm concerned it may also gunge up the compressor, condenser etc. in the long run. Has anyone here used such a product before and if so does it do the job without wrecking the rest of the system?

 

My other option is to buy a UV leak test kit, pin point the leak and replace whatever it needs (pipe/o-rings(s)/etc.) but I don't have the kit to recover the gas following the test nor to re-gas once I've fixed the leak. However this would of course be a proper job.

 

Any thoughts on the options I have open to me or if there's anything else I could try - my very sweaty wife (don't tell her I said that) would be very grateful!

 

 

Ian.

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pugdamo

While you have pressure in the system go around with soapy water in a spray bottle, start with the condenser (normally ends up stone damaged or corroded due to location) soak that then check for spots of foamy bubbles, then work your way around the circuit checking all pipe work, joints and the valves. Really they shouldn't have regassed it knowing it has a leak but while it has pressure in the system you can find a leak.

The way you leak check them for leaks is as you said with the uv dye but that should have been put in when it was gassed so you can find any leaks if there is a leak or I think the best way is pressurise the system with nitrogen then go around with the spray, I have used compressed air in the past but you need to have and adapter to go onto the valve, (easy enough to buy online) then put a pipe on that and connect it to a foot pump or something. It's pretty easy to check so I'd have a go first, you should be able to find a leak. 

 

I personally wouldn't add anything like stop leaks to the system just find the fault and repair. 

 

Hope that helps. 

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Tom Fenton

Damian is bang on in what he says. To be honest forget Kwik Fit as all they will do is just keep gassing it up. Find a proper air con man and get him to pressure test it.

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ian010778

Of course - I hadn't thought about the soapy water test!

 

I've also found a speciailist who's local to me and he's mobile too so I'll see if he can come and have a look if I have no joy.

 

Thanks both for helping out, sometimes the simplest stuff gets lost on me and I'm glad I didn't go and spend out on some leak fix yesterday.

 

Ian.

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davev

To be honest if they had done there job correctly first time you'd know where the leak was by now. 

They are also breaking the law by regasing it with a known leak. 

You need to get some uv tracer dye in and run it up on max cold and fans.  After about 20 mins or so you should get signs of the leak. (I'd say the odds are on your condenser, or the valves themselves)

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ian010778
On 8/5/2018 at 7:16 PM, davev said:

To be honest if they had done there job correctly first time you'd know where the leak was by now. 

They are also breaking the law by regasing it with a known leak. 

You need to get some uv tracer dye in and run it up on max cold and fans.  After about 20 mins or so you should get signs of the leak. (I'd say the odds are on your condenser, or the valves themselves)

Indeed Dave - I was surprised they re-gassed it the second time but according to their equipment it will hold a vacuum satisfactorily so I guess they went ahead even though it had dumped all the gas from the first attempt in a week.

 

Anyhoo - it's still not fixed. I've been away for a bit and had other stuff on but I have got some gear now (just waiting for a bottle of vacuum pump oil) and I'll be on it this weekend with UV tracer and the works.

 

It's completely empty now so I've got to use some gas in order to administer the UV dye and get the compressor to kick in but it'll be sorted soon. Unless anyone here knows how to get the dye in and circulating under pressure without sacrificing a minimal quantity of gas?

 

At least it's not so bad as I can have the roof off but I've got a sun-burnt head now as I keep forgetting to wear a hat :lol: My wife's happy though as she gets to take our 2008 in to work every day!

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ian010778
6 minutes ago, ian010778 said:

Unless anyone here knows how to get the dye in and circulating under pressure without sacrificing a minimal quantity of gas?

Ignore the above - I Just re-read Damian's post.

 

Nitrogen or foot pump it is then - I wasn't happy about putting R134a gas into a system that I know is leaking!

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nixonmi16

Hi when they recharge there should be a uv tracer put in. But I can almost guarantee it will be the condenser that has failed normally goes porous so won’t pick up a leak on vac test as the high pressure side can run at over 15bar (220psi). Even if uv dye has not been used after the 2nd recharge the condenser will look damp with oil 

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ian010778

Just to conclude this.

 

There was a leak but there was no UV dye showing at the leak site so I don’t think Kwik Fit put any in the second time it was gassed. The soapy water test showed the leak – it was the low side Schrader valve. This was corrected and the system fully evacuated.

I then administered a dose of UV tracer dye and re-gassed using STP Auto Freeze (not the leak stop one).

It's been fine for nearly a fortnight now so I think all's ok but if there are any more leaks at least it's running with UV dye now so I'll be able to pinpoint any future issues easily.

A few bits of advice for anyone else attempting this for the first time:

  • I could not find pure R134a gas in small amounts anywhere so I had to go with the branded STP Auto Freeze. This does claim to have some additives and lubricant in it so only time will tell if these are harmful, useful or indifferent;

  • I did investigate using HC12 (Duracool or Red Tek) instead of R134a as it’s better for the environment in the case of leakage but although it’s abundant in the states and Canada I couldn’t find any here. It can only be shipped on land so none of the USA based suppliers would send me a couple of cans;

  • STP use a proprietary fitting on their gas bottle so my standard R134a gauge set would not fit and I couldn’t find an adaptor;

  • Therefore I had to purchase an STP re-usable trigger at twenty quid. This was ok as I can use it on other cars for topping off but it meant that I had to disconnect the gauge set prior to re-gassing so I may have lost a bit of vacuum;
  • However, the UV dye comes in a syringe and

    I only had to show it to the low side port and it sucked the whole lot in so there was clearly a decent vacuum there despite having temporarily broken the seal while popping the gauges off;
  • The manifold gauge and vacuum pump I bought came as a set – it was about £80 from China – well worth the wait as in the UK it would have cost over £200 for the gauges and pump.

So once I've got my £10 deposit back on the empty gas bottle it'll have cost me about £165 to do this - which I'm happy with.

It's a shame I paid Kwik Fit for the first re-gas attempt without checking for leaks beforehand but I assumed it just needed gassing due to the age of the car. At least I've now got some new goodies (vac' pump, manifold gauges, re-usable trigger) for keeping on top of the A/C in the 206cc and the 2008 as and when they need topping up or if I have any more issues.

On the testing method - I can see now why the leak wasn't picked up on the two vac' tests as the Schrader valves would have been open in order to administer the test and therefore be out of the equation under testing. Makes sense really and for the cost I probably should have took a punt on a couple of valve cores to get it fixed quicker.

 

Ian.

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Telf

It's worth noting that servicing an Aircon unit without the qualifications to do so will land you a heavy fine if you are caught/reported etc.  I know it's extremely unlikely but even so.

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nixonmi16

Air con systems are sometimes a nightmare to sort glad you have sorted it .  Have you tryed for a refund as the recharge was not successful. As to last point I’m defra trained but means nothing except a lovely certificate saying you can take the gas off the boc wagon 

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Telf

Regardless of what you think if you don't hold the certification in the UK it's illegal to work on Aircon systems or handle the refrigerant and will result in a fine if you are caught. That's a fact, I'm just making anybody aware who might not know.

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Anthony
42 minutes ago, Telf said:

Regardless of what you think if you don't hold the certification in the UK it's illegal to work on Aircon systems or handle the refrigerant and will result in a fine if you are caught. That's a fact, I'm just making anybody aware who might not know.

 

Out of interest, that being the case, how to companies like Halfords get away with supplying DIY air conditioning refill / top-up kits to the public?

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Telf

Good question. I don't honestly know.

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nixonmi16

That’s true my farther in law went to Halfords last week after he had a new condenser fitted under warranty. Then found the compressor was not working as it should so the sales place fitted a new compressor. Then it stopped working 2days later so instead of calling me made the mistake of popping in to Halfords they then sold him the stp stop leak to fix the problem they then refilled the system with this then same again 2days later empty again then I check it and found the garage left the high pressure pipe loose. As telf says it’s illegal to recharge a aircon system with a leak but Halfords can even without a leak test 

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nixonmi16

Mobile-ac-obligations.jpgThis explains why Halfords and other car parts shop are allowed to sell gas. It now covers the recovery what a joke 

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