A car vehicle unlike a fridge is not a hermetically sealed system. All vehicles leak very slowly from flexible rubber hoses, compressor shaft seals, “o” rings. A new car will leak slower than an older one.
The components are subjected to heat, cold, vibration, stone damage and water ingress.As a rule you should re gas your vehicle every two years for the following reasons.
In a proper re gassing procedure done by professionals the following steps are carried out. (A professional operation will have a fully automated machine with a data base for your vehicles air con system requirements which will carry out the following steps)
- Recover any remaining refrigerant from your system and process it (filter out impurities, separate air from gas and remove some oil and store this in a container to be reused).
- Vacuum the system, to remove air which would prevent proper gas charge and affect efficiency. This step will also remove moisture which will boil off.
- First stage leak detection done to establish if there are any large leaks. Not a definitive test but prevents machine from putting gas into a vehicle which would escape in seconds. Passing this test does not mean there are no leaks only that they are not big enough to detect in this manner.
- Add oil and leak detection dye. Adding oil is critical as the compressor needs lubrication and oil and gas are mixed in your a/c. This means while the gas is leaking out you are losing some of the compressor oil. After 4 re gasses without replacing oil you could damage the compressor. (The most expensive part of the system). Leak detection dye is a fool proof way of finding leaks. As the gas leaks out so does the dye which is oil based and highly visible under u.v. light. Bright light green / yellow.You would need to use your a/c for about 2 weeks for us to detect the smallest leaks and allow us to determine how fast the gas is escaping. This will determine whether immediate or later repairs are necessary.Machine will give a print out of the above 1 – 4 steps. Namely how much gas remained of the previous charge, vacuum time, first stage leak test result, how much oil was added, the mass correct to your vehicles requirements of gas added and leak detection dye. This ticket is attached to your invoice for future reference plus a date sticker placed in engine bay as a reminder of when this procedure was done.
Coolco has two prices for passenger vehicles
First those that take 0 – 550 grams of R134 gas @ R575.70 VAT Inclusive
Secondly, those that take 551 – 1000 grams of R134 gas @ R655.50 VAT Inclusive
Both charges include; Recover & Recycling of gas, system vacuum, first stage leak detection, compressor oil, leak detection dye and gas charge by mass as per our data base.
Or go to www.ictworkshopsolutions.com for your particular vehicle (Data base for all makes is 86 pages 2mb)
Dye is added for second stage leak detection (return after 2 weeks use and we will find the leak.)
This varies from vehicle to vehicle, length, diameter with heat shield, charge valve near rubber section. Prices average from R300.00 to R700.00 plus VAT. and excludes labour to remove or refit hose.
Most dealership policy is to only replace the entire compressor even if only for minor faults. Where the entire compressor is seized internally then it would need to be replaced but Coolco can do this at a lower cost. We can often repair where replacement has been advised. We would need to see the vehicle to make this determination.
We can also replace pulley bearings, fit seal kits, replace control valves, coils, clutches damaged pulleys at much less than the units replacement cost.
This is only possible and guarantee able if the core is not damaged. In some case we will attempt to repair the core but without guarantee!
Generally evaporators must be replaced if they are leaking as they are mounted under the dash and labour to remove and refit outweighs the saving of a failed repair.
The job of evaporator replacement varies from removing the cubby to entire dash removal. This depends on which vehicle you have. Not only is this a highly specialised procedure but also requires all electronics to be reset after completion to ensure all functions are restored. In replacing the evaporator we would also fit a new expansion valve / orifice tube, cabin filter, drier (in some cases only) to ensure system works optimally on completion. During this procedure all electronic equipment including airbags and other safety critical components are disconnected and must be correctly reconnected, heater pipes, a/c pipes, control cables etc. This is why an electronic diagnostic test is required to check the correct function of test components.