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Is This AIRCON Ripp Off ??
Earlier in year I recharged my AirCon but after a few days it was out of gas and so last week I took the car  to a garage to tell me where the leak was  The next day the garage phone me to tell me they found the leak and confirmed it was the Condenser and  if I wanted to have the condenser replaced it would 200 euro plus fitting plus cost of gas and a charge of 175 Euros to find the leak saying it took three hours to find the leak. As my friend said “ I think their taking the P**S” . .  Would it take 3 hours to find the leak being in the Condenser considering they are the experts, In the mean time I located a Condenser with Dryer ( part number  6455GH) for 55.60 Euro post Free . . so am I being ripped Off ??? by this garage  
my mate has just bought a new aircon unit and is charging £35 a charge he had to do his car peugeot 307 he knew there was a problem and it worked for a few weeks then stopped he got his uv light out put the glasses on and there was the leak from the dye in the recharge took 5 min to find it. i dont know labour to fit new condenser but was £60 for condenser then would be fitting plus £35 to charge it up total cost. So work it out from that looks a bit high ;-)
Im with Doofer - something does not sound right!

Swim away and find another garage.
We offer a 3 month warranty with our Regas which is £40 inc vat.
If the gas leaks out, we just charge to fix the fault, not to regas again.
A condenser is £175 + vat inc charge up.
It's worth noting that it is against the law to fill up a system that is known to have a leak .
1 more thing, if a Berlingo leaks its 99.9% likely it's the condenser , would've been cheaper to just hit a new one and not bother testing .
same as Lighty i just ran this past my mate £35 for regas (no vat)
if gas leaks out and he gets the job would cost whatever parts cost + labour fitting and get the regas FREE
His machine would only put the gas in if it passed the vacuum test
Thank you for your honesty Doofer - i think most people would not want to admit the mistake you made!

I would have made that same mistake if it was not from my mate who is still in the trade, his words "whatever you do DONT use those fill up kits from Halfrauds they will blow your system" "They should not be sold they are dangerous"
I have also used such a refilling system not so long ago...It was (is) rubbish. I ended up with the circuit full of oil, as described above, and very little gas. Finally found a workshop that uses one of these combined machines and charged only 30€ for the complete job. The machine did also not detect the leak in the vacuum test (and the circuit is vacuumed for 45 minutes...). It seems these circuits are "rigged" for a refill every 2 years or so. We fail, we learn. That´s the scientific way.
I spoke to the owner of the garage about the charge and he tried to justify the bill (Labour= Nitrogen pressure testing & leak detection, with 134a hydrogen/nitrogen testing locate leak, condenser required 3hrs @ 50 =150+ vat ) and as to the cost of the replacement condenser of 200+ saying he only used best quality parts and not my white box parts which is a Fridaire Brand. I did not disagree with his hourly rate just the time he claimed it took to find the leak.
I can’t remember any job I have undertaken on any car that has taken me 3 hours to detected what or where the problem was.
I the mean time I have l located a garage who fit and recharge the new condenser for 150
The proper way to find a leak is with nitrogen and fairy liquid/water, if it's lost its gas generally it's either not been turned on once a week to send oil round the system (hot or cold weather switch it on so the pump pumps!) the oil lubricates the seals and keeps them from leaking Wink or it has a leak Smile

Vacuuming the system takes 5-10 mins, then similar for nitrogen, then release the nitrogen once leak has been found, replace leaky part or just charge it and it's done inside an hr if there's nowt that needs replacing, 3 hrs is taking the Mick a bit, an hr max from my experience of finding leaks (not personally, but the air con guy we used to use)
I think dumdum was thinking of putting a mix of fairy liquid and water on the outside of the joints or suspected leaks , not in the actual system itself which is filled with nitrogen gas for testing. Same as finding a leak in a leaky tyre.
 Doing that would cause no more harm than someone power washing their engine bay.
Not everybody has easy access to garages with the proper leak finding equipment, my nearest is about 50 miles away.

As you say putting that mix into the system will ruin it.
2020 Rifter 1.5 allure
2010 B9 red XTR w a v. 
2001 1.9d DW8B white  Berlingo  
2005 2.l green Berlingo
2001 1.9d DW8B white  Berlingo 
berlingo 1.4 red multispace
1993 xud 1.9 red partner
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to brodfather11 for this post:
  • ron

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