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Discussion Starter #1
My 146 was regassed (recharged) in April 2008.
I know that in late July the air con was still very cold. However during August I did not use much air con plus the car was left standing for 2 weeks. Since using the car in early September the air con is none existance.

Could it be that the gas has disolved away?
Was it due to me not using the air con during the month of August?
Or could it be a more serious problem?


Any tips would be much appreciated.
BTW I suppose with winter looming air con is not nessecary.
 

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According to the handbook I got with my Focus it said something like "we recommend air conditioning be used for a minimum of 30mins per month".

You need to keep the gas moving otherwise bacteria will start to breed and start to rot the seals or/and pipes of the system which will lead to the gas escaping - draining the system.

When I first bought my Focus (it was 18months old) the air con didnt work, I ended going back 3 times for a re-gas (on warranty) and on the fourth time I played hell at the stealers and they got a specialist in to sort it... It turned out all the pipes had turned pourus due to the previous owener not using the air con.. They replaced all the pipes and hey presto! No problems with it at all after that.. Untill that wall jumped out infront of me.... But thats another story!

Alot of people think aircon is just for keeping you cool... Well it is.. BUT also it works on hot. The aircon dries the air (takes the moisture out of the air), and is very useful on a moist/wet day as it will help to keep all of your windows clear and mist free..
So yes, you should/can use it in winter.

If you take it to get repaired they will most likely put a dye in the system to check for leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info.
So not using the air con can in effect waste the gas in there.

Therefore the dilemma is, if I leave it till summer will the pipes rot or is it best to top it up for winter. Therefore preventing a bigger problem down the line?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another quick question for fellow 146 and 145 owners.
When you have the air con on, does your revs start to fluctuate around the 800rpm and even dip down to 500rpm?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also in my 146 the temp dial does not have values on them just the old fashion red to cold colour, and the fan dial goes Off, 0, 1, 2, 3.
I suspect that 0 means AUTO. Tell me if I am wrong?
 

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On my plastic topped engine when I put the air-con on the revs pick up to adjust for the extra load.

Also with the air-con on if the temp gauge drifts over 90 the radiator fan switches on at the higher speed straight away and if city driving will sometimes come on at the lower speed regardless of coolant temperature.

Maybe your ECU isn't getting the signal that the air-con is on? The connections to the ECU are on pins 19 & 31 of connector A, the wires are coloured light blue & white and green & black.

I thought that fan control was heater off, on with 0 fan assistance then the fan speeds. My 155 V6 had climate control with a digital temperature display but my 146 just has the air-con on an extra button.

There are 2 air-con hoses prone to failing on the Alfas, I haven't replaced mine yet, even though mine discharges over about 6 months every time. Since they changed to CFC free gas air-con doesn't seem to chill as well and seems more prone to discharging.

I don't know how easy to get or expensive the genuine Alfa hoses are, when I had a problem in the past with other cars I just pop to my local industrial refrigeration suppliers and they knock up hoses with the correct fittings and recharge systems for me. Not being sure of their hoses normally being in an engine bay's heat I put that heat resistant sleeving from RS over them just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice.
BTW is it safe to leave the air con system as is (not working) or best to top it up?
 
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