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How Often Does AC Need Re-Gassing?
#1
In the heat of last summer I thought that my AC (2010 XTR 100PS) wasn't very effective at higher (engine and road) speed, it worked OK at slower speeds and on shorter journeys. I wondered if it needed re-gassing, it hasn't been done in the 2 1/2 years I've had it, it isn't part of a routine service as far as I know, and I don't know if previous owners have had it done.

How often have other people had theirs done? Any other suggestions?

Matt
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#2
In theory it shouldn’t... however what most people fail to realise is the oil that is introduced in with the gas needs to be circulated to keep the seals in good condition, ideally switch it on for 15 mins once a week, this gets the pump working and circulates the oil, most people dont do this and don’t realise it’s essential to keep the system tip top, and once the seals are gone they are toast and generally always weep a little

That’s why when summer comes and the system has been idle all winter people often find out there’s very little or no gas in the system Sad

It should get better at higher road speeds as the condenser gets cooled a lot more effectively, although warmth outside does stifle this a little and reduce its efficiency along with air passing through the heater box being 20 degrees warmer than cooler days again reducing efficiency some more, aircon is lovely though on a hot winters day Smile
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  • Matt Haigh
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#3
My car is now almost 7 years old and I have never had the a/c re gassed it still works great
Guess it would depend on how well everything was tightened when built?
--------------------------------------------------------------

2012 Iron Grey XTR 110 with lots of bits and bobs.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Trevor for this post:
  • Matt Haigh
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#4
Mine is now just over 8 years old and it has never been touched and works fine. In winter I do turn the AC on once a month or so for a brrrrrrrief period.
2010 Berlingo Multispace HDi 110 with FAP.  Persamos green.

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  • Matt Haigh
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#5
From what I've read elsewhere, it's quite often recommended to get it checked & topped up every 2 years & to run it for a few mins every couple of weeks or once a month to keep the seals lubed & in good order as mention above. The AC on my 14 yr old 2.0 was fine, but the AC on my 10 yr old 1.6 didn't work when I bought it & had zero gas in when it was checked. I got it tested & topped up in November, when they tested it at a national chain whose name I forget, they said there were no leaks so it must just be natural evaporation.
I tried it last week when I was on the M62, it made no difference but I put that down to it being 5C outside!.
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  • Matt Haigh
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#6
I had mine topped up at 2.5 years from new - it was way down because the manufactures will only put enough in to make the system work. Made a huge difference once done.

I never turn my aircon off, even in winter - just helps to clear the windscreen better when the van is a little damp inside.

Bear in mind that the gas has had a change in its content now and cheap aircon recharges are almost a thing of the past now - typically costs about £60-£70 for the berlingo to be recharged now.
Previous Berlingo: 2015 1.6 L1850 90ps In Artic Steel inc Look Pack and Lighting Pack.

Current Berlingo: K9 2018 Driver M 100ps in Platinum Grey with Safety Pack
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  • Matt Haigh
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#7
My A/C training suggested it would need servicing every 3 years.
The systems do loose a percentage each year & most will work ok when 1/2 empty.
However this shows itself when the temps really rise like last year & the low system cannot cope.
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to Lighty for this post:
  • Matt Haigh, Tomcat3
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#8
All good info, thanks! I'll keep using the A/C as I do anyway and put it on the list for a check/fill when it goes in for service/MOT toward end April.
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#9
My understanding is the main reason to change it is that the old gas as well as oil is vacuumed out and replaced with fresh oil along with the gas. About 2 years seems to be the normal recommendation.

I've used Kwikfit a couple of times on my cars. When they did my Defender they said it wasn't any colder after they'd done it so they refunded my £50.

I think continuing from what Lighty said about them working when half full but struggling in really hot weather, while they might cope OK with low gas in mildly warm weather, it'll use more fuel and put more wear and tear on the compressor as the compressor will be engaging more frequently to keep up. ie. it'll run for longer periods rather than just short bursts.
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  • Matt Haigh, Tomcat3
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#10
I bought my PUG Tepee used, and did not notice the A/C not cooling until some months later. I recharged it then, and it lasted the rest of the summer and winter season. next summer, first warm days, and it only pumped cold air from the right hand side vents. Weird...It was almost with no gas, and the little gas it had cooled only on the right hand side of the evaporator radiator. Again filled, and a week later, again empty. I decided then to change the two schrader valves of the circuit (low and high pressure one) that I bought online, along with a nice tool to do it. A new gas top up, and this time, it looks like the gas stayed. The seals in the old valves (teflon strips) compared to the new valves, looked shrinked and dry...
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  • Matt Haigh
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