A Story, Advice and Tips about Aircon
Hi all sorry but I think this one is going to be a long one but I hope you many find some benefit in reading it and saving you from wasting money!
This is my first real contribution to the site. I have been registered here for over 18 months now and have used this site no end to help with all sorts of niggles I have had with both 156’s I own
I have recently been keeping an eye on 156chris and his carputer as I have managed to gather all of the bits and start trying this project myself. I haven’t been able to do much other than plan how I’m going to do it overcome the problems before fitting.
Anyway I thought due to being on here for a while and getting information I found helpful, I thought I would contribute with some advice and recommendations on aircon. You many have heard it all before but I found it difficult on how to find a “specialist” in the area I live. I say “specialist” as I didn’t know enough about aircon in order to find someone who really knows what they are doing.
I took my 156 2.4jtd sportwagon to a garage in Weymouth a few weeks after I realised that the aircon wasn’t working after the winter. All went well and £58 later nice cool aircon. On speaking to the technician he said he found no gas in the system and so performed a leak test. Found no leak after 40 mins under pressure and so filled the system and got the aircon working. I spent all the following week nice and comfortable in the first spell of nice weather we had this year.
After a week and a half I realised it had stopped working yet again so I took it back to the same garage to explain what has happened. The same guy had the car all Saturday morning and he could not find the leak as he said it only lost 5psi in the whole time it was under pressure form most of that morning. He even put UV die in the system but still failed to find the leak. He said that he would have a look that week to see if there is a common failure on these systems and get back to me. This didn’t happen. I have visited the garage twice since and called 3 times and he has either been unavailable or not there.
The weather was starting to pick up again and I was getting stressed stuck in traffic on the A31 after work one Friday so I phone around the Weymouth to find another aircon “specialist”. On my first phone call I explained what had happened and I was soon put on to another garage just outside of Weymouth called ‘Cool It’. I called Cool It up and spoke to a very informative guy called Noel who explained to me all what needs to be done in order to find a leak and what they can do for me and so I booked it in that day.
I turned up in at the workshop where he started to pressurise the system with nitrogen which brings the system to around twice normal working pressure so leaks can be found more easily. Sure enough just after filling we heard a hiss straight away after using the UV torch but found there to be no dye in the system (looked like the last garaged didn’t bother!) He used a sniffer and some soapy water we found it to be coming from the join between the condenser and the lower pipe leading into it. He supplied me with o-rings and aircon oil and told me that I need to take off the pipe and clean both mating parts of the condenser and replace the o-rings on both pipes into the condenser
Anyway I was supplied 1 of each type of o-ring and after removing the bumper and both pipes I realised that both high and low pressure pipes are the same size. So I called him up again, by this time it was 2 o’clock on a Saturday and had closed up, and I asked if I could nip round and get some more o-rings.
I dropped by and he managed to get the correct o-rings I needed and on conversation he managed to fine that 1 of the 4 condensers he had in stock happened to be one which would fit a 156 2.4 jtd! He offered it to me saying I could have it if I wanted it for £60 just because he does need to hold it and that the chance of needed it would be very slim. He allowed me to take it home without charge and would charge me for it when I return to get it retested and recharged.
So I fitted the condenser (the old one was pretty beaten up) and the following week (last weekend) I had the system check, recharged, oiled and dyed. The aircon is now working perfectly. All in all the Noel at Cool It charged me £139 for the condenser testing and recharge. I got a top service from this guy and would highly recommend using him if you live in the area...
• Basically if you need to get you aircon checked out the ask technician who they will check for the leak before they start work.
• Nitrogen is the best way to check for leaks as there is more pressure involve
• Ask for a price before work begins it could be pricey!
Hope this is of help and I hope I can help more towards this site in the future.
Last edited by relph; 14-06-10 at 21:03.