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Redster
05-10-2006, 02:42 PM
I made an appointmnent at local shop (Firestone) to get my ac filled, but is this something that should be done by shops doing ac stuff or would taking it to the dealer be the best solution?

cisco911
05-10-2006, 02:59 PM
I'm not an advocate of taking any european car to Shops like these(firestone, Active Green and Ross, Goodyear, etc.) The "technicians" in these places are not accustomed to working on high end vehicles and could mess something up!! (not saying that this is the case all the time but from stories I hear it happens alot). If it is just to check and maybe refill your A/C, this might not be a problem. However, if work needs to be done due to a leak somewhere, these places are not where I would take my car. I would recommend finding an independant in your area that specializes in BMWs or Euros in general or else bite the bullet and take it to the dealer.

Redster
05-10-2006, 03:03 PM
I've got a great mechanic who works only on bmws, audis, and mbs, but he's really busy, and although he takes me in within a day or two every time, I like to spare him if I can:)

So I wanted to take it to this place, have them check it and if everything is ok they can fill it, if not then I'll take it to my mechanic to do what needs to be done.

How much did you guys pay when you just filled the ac, no repairs (so fill & check I assume)?

propr'one
05-10-2006, 03:04 PM
^^ same question, my ac works, i think it could blow a little cooler, might need some more freeon:)

Redster
05-10-2006, 03:06 PM
^^ same question, my ac works, i think it could blow a little cooler, might need some more freeon:)

Yes it's same with me, works but not cool enough, so I want it fixed before it gets too hot. I had to drive a car once with no AC with 35C+ outside, and never again.

EuroSpectacle
05-10-2006, 03:15 PM
quit your whining. I have black on black. No a/c option(it was removed) and headers. with my headers, I dont even need heat, my shifter boot could heat all your rides.

Justin e36
05-10-2006, 03:28 PM
Anyone can refill your AC system. If you can put air in your tires, you can refill your freeon.

However, freeon is something that should *never* go away.. if it's disappearing, you have a leak in your A/C system. So filling it up will only go so far.. it'll leak out again. You should isolate the leak, repair it, then fill up.

Also note that if you have an early 90's car, your system uses R12 and it will cost in the ballpark of $1000 to convert it over. (unless you can find someone illegally selling R12)

propr'one
05-10-2006, 03:34 PM
dammit, i was hoping i would have to find someone illeagally selling R12. What's the one the later 90's guys need? R13A or something?

Justin e36
05-10-2006, 03:36 PM
R-134a

propr'one
05-10-2006, 03:38 PM
In the states you can buy self-refill kits, are those available here? or do you have to have someone check it out for you

cisco911
05-10-2006, 03:47 PM
Anyone can refill your AC system. If you can put air in your tires, you can refill your freeon.

However, freeon is something that should *never* go away.. if it's disappearing, you have a leak in your A/C system. So filling it up will only go so far.. it'll leak out again. You should isolate the leak, repair it, then fill up.

Also note that if you have an early 90's car, your system uses R12 and it will cost in the ballpark of $1000 to convert it over. (unless you can find someone illegally selling R12)

Actually, thats not true. There are many cars that R134a that "burn" it over time due to the way the system runs(too much heat in the compressor or something stupid like that). From what I have heard, R134a in general is suppose to "burn" over time (unlike R12 which only disappeared with leaks).

As for cars running R12, yeah you need to convert it to R134a. It is illegal to charge with R12 as it is bad for the environment. What I don't understand is how you can buy cans of freeon(called AC boosts) and that is not illegal. This means that people with leaky AC systems can boost their AC and have it going into the atmosphere through the leak. I think these Booster cans should be illegal as well.

R134a has gone up in price in the past couple of years astronomically. You can expect to pay anywhere from 180 to 250 to test, vacuum and charge the system(but these were last years prices so it might be higher now).

PS: If you have a mechanic that does work for you...just let him do everything including the AC (unless he tells you its better to go somewhere else). This is my advise to everyone...if you have a good mechanic you can trust, don't take the car anywhere else! He will know your vehicle inside out, know what has been done to it and what hasn't. Also, being loyal will get you deals and make sure you don't get screwed!

I like to compare mechanics to doctors....you don't go to a different doctor every time you need something. You go to the same one because he knows your medical history and you are confident he knows what he is doing. Same applies to your car and your mechanic.

ZiMMie
05-10-2006, 03:50 PM
In the states you can buy self-refill kits, are those available here? or do you have to have someone check it out for you
yes we sell the refilling bottle 124a @ partsource.. they are about 13.99 for a 6Oz can's. u can also buy the adaptor that connects to ur A/C unis. dunno the prices on those. under $25.

propr'one
05-10-2006, 04:05 PM
zimmie wanna just LEND me an adapter, and i'll pay for the bottle?

A.K.A. Blackout
05-10-2006, 04:09 PM
There is a shop across from Charlie that checked my AC for leaks and refilled it. Just check with Charlie at Bimmersport for the name of the place.

Shark
05-10-2006, 04:13 PM
I just got my A/C refill last week, cost me $140. Blowing cold air so far

propr'one
05-10-2006, 04:13 PM
but if i pay someone else to do it
A) it will be done properly
B) there is no chance of me runing the ozone
C) there is no chance of me somehow breaking my car


where's the fun in that?

Justin e36
05-10-2006, 04:32 PM
Actually, thats not true. There are many cars that R134a that "burn" it over time due to the way the system runs(too much heat in the compressor or something stupid like that). From what I have heard, R134a in general is suppose to "burn" over time (unlike R12 which only disappeared with leaks).

I don't understand, can you explain this? I'm also not well versed in A/C mechanics. From what I understand, the A/C is a sealed system. Nothing can burn and disappear in a sealed system, it can only change form. So does the R-134a convert to another unusable chemical? Even if it did.. the system would not be shown as 'empty', it would just not be as effective, no? How does R-134a disappear?

I also don't understand how R-134a 'burns' when one of it's main benefits over R12 (other than not containing CFC's) is that is that it is more stable (and requires) a higher operating pressure. (the main reason the system needs to be upgraded, a R12 system can't handle the pressure that R134a requires I believe.)

I'd like to understand this, because now it makes no sense to me. :confused:

EuroSpectacle
05-10-2006, 04:35 PM
:confused: I don't understand, can you explain this? I'm also not well versed in A/C mechanics. From what I understand, the A/C is a sealed system. Nothing can burn and disappear in a sealed system, it can only change form. So does the R-134a convert to another unusable chemical? Even if it did.. the system would not be shown as 'empty', it would just not be as effective, no? How does R-134a disappear?

I also don't understand how R-134a 'burns' when one of it's main benefits over R12 (other than not containing CFC's) is that is that it is more stable (and requires) a higher operating pressure. (the main reason the system needs to be upgraded, a R12 system can't handle the pressure that R134a requires I believe.)

I'd like to understand this, because now it makes no sense to me. :confused:


A glitch in the matrix.

WhadUpp
05-10-2006, 04:40 PM
In a sealed system you wouldnt lose it, but as the seals dry up thats when you'll get leaks.

My Teg which I had since new is over 10 years old and it uses 134a, it still has all of its 134a still in there. I made a habit of running the AC once everywhile in winter to keep the seals wet and it has worked.

cisco911
05-10-2006, 05:07 PM
I don't understand, can you explain this? I'm also not well versed in A/C mechanics. From what I understand, the A/C is a sealed system. Nothing can burn and disappear in a sealed system, it can only change form. So does the R-134a convert to another unusable chemical? Even if it did.. the system would not be shown as 'empty', it would just not be as effective, no? How does R-134a disappear?

I also don't understand how R-134a 'burns' when one of it's main benefits over R12 (other than not containing CFC's) is that is that it is more stable (and requires) a higher operating pressure. (the main reason the system needs to be upgraded, a R12 system can't handle the pressure that R134a requires I believe.)

I'd like to understand this, because now it makes no sense to me. :confused:

I'm not exactly sure as to the "mechanics" of it, but if your R134a system is not running cold enough and get it checked, it will show that the system is full of air and condensation(don't quote me on the condensation part). Hence, air will not create cold. In this case, there is no leak in the system, so the R134a must have been burned into oxygen/condensation.

propr'one
05-10-2006, 05:16 PM
:confused:


A glitch in the matrix.
http://aves.sundrup.org/archives/matrix.jpg

Redster
05-10-2006, 06:55 PM
I'll see tomorrow what they tell me. Last time when I had a leak (it was on a 97 Grand Prix) it cost me $1100 to fix it all and fill it, I hope that wont be the case this time.

mirek
05-10-2006, 07:12 PM
I have a can of r134a and adapter with gauge...

Redster
05-10-2006, 10:05 PM
Ok so which one goes in my car (99 540)? Any issues with AC leaking in these cars?

cisco911
05-10-2006, 10:40 PM
Ok so which one goes in my car (99 540)? Any issues with AC leaking in these cars?

BMW's have never really had many AC problems(mechanical that is). They have had problems with the pushbuttons and the fan on E36s seizing due to not using it in the winter(this fan is on the front of the condenser and turns on when the AC is on to push cold air through the condenser). On an E36, if this fan is not working, it will not blow cold air. I'm not sure if your 540 has this fan or not...but if it does it could be that too. I'm guessing you just need a vacuum and charge. I don't see the compressor being an issue. The only thing that will kill you is if somehow the condenser has a leak(maybe from a rock or something else on the highway, but I don't think you have to worry. Let us know what the mechanic says.*wave*

Redster
05-10-2006, 10:42 PM
Thanks for the info, I'll let you know how it works out:)

myndgone
05-10-2006, 10:48 PM
I'll see tomorrow what they tell me. Last time when I had a leak (it was on a 97 Grand Prix) it cost me $1100 to fix it all and fill it, I hope that wont be the case this time.


dont say that...my dad's 97 Grand Prix needs AC fill up (hopefully just the fill and not 'fix') :mad:

Redster
05-10-2006, 11:09 PM
Good luck with that grand prix. Mine had a leak, and it needed new condensor & one more thing (cant remember now). Parts were about $600 but labour was a lot.

You could get parts at the scrap, but then what if they're no good and you put them in..

Shark
05-10-2006, 11:19 PM
The place that I go to for my A/C, they have a retro-kit that they put on for the old R12 convert to R134a. I had to get this when I use to have a 4runner and it cost me like $190 for everything.

Redster
05-11-2006, 06:09 PM
I was lucky this time, no leaks. So to check & fill the A/C cost me $160

myndgone
05-11-2006, 07:15 PM
any decent shops in GTA that do this?!??!

dtthiaga
05-11-2006, 07:25 PM
The place that I go to for my A/C, they have a retro-kit that they put on for the old R12 convert to R134a. I had to get this when I use to have a 4runner and it cost me like $190 for everything.

I converted by 90 teg to R134a for around $250 including refill. It seems prices have gone up for conversions...