We only have one world

If your car was registered before 1994 there is a very good chance that it had a gas called R12 in it's air conditioning system.

Because R12 is a C.F.C. it has the ability to damage the Earth's ozone layer. Because of this production was banned in the early 1990's, and after 1993 all new cars had to run on the replacement gas called R134a. This causes considerably less damage to the environment, and as air conditioning systems tend to leak, it was a reasonable move to make.

There were still considerable stocks of R12 however, and for a number of years it was permitted to re-charge systems with this old gas. However the European Commission issued an edict that told us that from 1st January 2000 this would be illegal.

Unfortunately it is not possible to put R134a into the older systems without carrying out some work first. This is because the new gas will react with the oil, and residues from the old gas causing a number of problems. This leaves the customer with two choices which are detailed now.

1) Fit a "drop-in" replacement gas. These are alternative gases which are purported not to cause reaction problems, yet still perform properly. They are used by a number of companies with reasonable success. The advantage that these gases have over a full retro-fit process is the cost. For only slightly more than a normal re-gas the system can be running again. The down side is that if and when the system needs charging again it will need to be with a company that uses the same gas, because as there is not a standard drop-in replacement, it is very possible to end up mixing a number of different gases over time.

We always carry out a full gas analysis prior to recovering any gas into our equipment, however if a vehicle is found to have a non-standard gas we will refuse to work on the system, because recovering the gas would pollute our stock, and we have no way of knowing if other modifications have been carried out to the system

2) Retro-fit is an expensive option, but it is recognised as industry best practice. The reason for this is simply that you are able to apply known standards to the work being carried out, and when the system needs work in the future, other repairers will know what to expect.

The retro-fit operation is detailed below.

  • Recover existing gas for safe disposal.

  • Flush the system to remove all traces of gas and oil.

  • Remove and drain the compressor of oil.

  • Replace the receiver/dryer or accumulator.

  • Replace all o-rings for ones not affected by R134a

  • Refit compressor filled with correct oil.

  • Fit new access valves that prevent filling with incorrect gas in future.

  • Vacuum the system. (this does not mean clean it with a vacuum cleaner.)

  • Introduce oil, and gas into the system, along with leak trace additive.

  • Regas and check for leaks.

As you can see this is a fairly involved process, our current charge for this service is 187.50 plus vat. This includes all parts and labour, with the exception of the Receiver /dryer. The normal cost for this item is between 20.00 and 50.00



Call us on 01233  610014