Cheap and always on the way! We find out if it is dangerous to fill up the conditioner on the side of the road
This summer beats all temperature records, and we don’t skimp on air conditioners in such a scorcher. The drivers know it not worse than the office workers, and that is why by the roadsides yellow trailers of freon dealers began to appear and, consequently, the lines were formed. We visited several points roaming around the Moscow Ring Road in both directions to find out if the mobile air conditioning refill is dangerous for the air conditioning system.
I am ashamed to admit it, but lately I remember my friends only on holidays, or in case of any misfortune. Therefore, when the air conditioner in family Qashqai instead of creating a pleasant microclimate for life disgustingly coughed and stopped responding to my curses and pokes on the buttons, I immediately made an appointment for diagnostics in the most competent service station in my memory. Bosch Car Service.
By the middle of the working day my car with opened wide windows was settled in a parking lot of the center “Titan Motors”, and after short check-in it sailed inside, in a desired shade and coolness.
“The air conditioner doesn’t cool at all?. asks the specialist, opening the hood of the car So, there is a possible freon leak from the system. Let’s connect the diagnostic equipment and check for leaks. If we do not see steam in any place of the circuit, the holes are insignificant and it is possible to weld them with argon”
HOW TO FIX YOUR CAR AC! (OVER PRESSURIZED SYSTEM)
But we have noticed the steam, and what a steam! There was so much of it that it even started coming out of the diagnostic equipment’s “ears. We have appeared a few problem places: the upper tube of air conditioning system, adjoining the aluminum contour and cut by it, and a radiator of the conditioner (condenser).
“Until we remove the rotted dryer and put a new one in its place, it makes no sense to weld anything,” says the diagnostician The dehumidifiers stop functioning in the system first, because they are situated in the very bottom of the engine compartment, almost over the road. And our salt and other reagents, used in winter by road builders, are always bad for air conditioners. First of all, the lower circuit of the system and its components is affected.
If I had more free time my interlocutor would be ready to read the whole lecture about the reasons of fast deterioration and breakdown of air conditioners. But the main message of the expert was that in many modern cars the parts of air conditioning systems are made of low-grade aluminum. This leads to their premature corrosion and breakage already in two or three seasons.
“Now the radiators and tubes are made of the thinnest material, which speeds up the process of oxidation and defects,” says the specialist There can be many reasons for air conditioner malfunctions. In your case it is necessary to change the dryer (it is a kind of filter through which the liquid mixture under high pressure goes to the evaporator and it cools much because of it) and also a leaky tube. After that, freon and oil can be pumped into the system.”.
The way offered by the specialist from Bosch Service turned out to be the most budget-friendly, but not the easiest. As it turned out, the original Nissan-made air conditioner radiators are sold as a complete set and the price tag is not too friendly to the owner’s purse (about 1,400). The Chinese analogues are three (or even four) times cheaper, and it is not necessary to buy such a system as a whole. But nobody could say something intelligible about a working life of such parts: everybody shrugged.
“It’s good that I know where to go if there are problems with the car,” I say at the end If an air conditioner would be broken on the way, you would have to have it checked at the mobile service station. Their services are generally safe? There are a lot of gas-filling men in this heat. “
“They can be different too,” says the specialist In fact, the mobile stations that you see on the road, not much different from the equipment used by all the major service stations. So, at first the residual gas is pumped out from the system, runs through the filters and oil separators and then is again supplied into a conditioner’s contour. There is nothing dangerous in it, if the technology is observed. But topping up can seriously affect the condition of your car’s air conditioning system.”.
“Refuelers are those guys with the tanks; they’re easy to recognize by the scattering of gauges and tangle of hoses lying on the side of the road next to some old vehicle. These craftsmen use cheap handheld units with which they refill the missing Freon into the system. At the same time they can not pump out the old freon (it requires the additional equipment). This is the most primitive way, which for some reason is popular among motorists. It is important to remember that the system of each vehicle is designed for a certain amount of freon (usually up to 600 grams), which in no case can be exceeded. Even 50 extra grams are enough to create overpressure, which in turn can tear the tube or punch a weak spot on the radiator. That is why I advise you to pass by such “station”, and better. to look for qualitative service”. advises the diagnostician.
Name and short description of service or goods
Replacement of air conditioner radiator (condenser)
Replacement of air conditioning system tube
Having received the price list and not satisfied, I decided to go to the official Nissan dealer in Belarus to find out what I could get from the local specialists and how much money they would ask for their services.
“Depending on how much Freon goes into the system,” the manager said when he heard my question “We don’t know how much Freon you have left in the system, so I gave you the maximum.
“If we don’t find any leaks at the first stage, then we refill the system with an ultraviolet additive. It helps to find possible freon leaks during the operation, if you suddenly feel that the air conditioner at some point after the charging has become worse,” the young man goes into the description of the process.
Now I will say a couple of words between the lines: from the very beginning I noticed how much all the specialists are immersed into the terminology and the description of the technological processes that take place when we replace freon or in the air conditioning system. In my opinion, skillful storytelling has about the same effect on a customer as snake charmer music has on a hypnotized reptile. So, if your hand suddenly reaches the purse involuntarily when describing numerous details of compressor’s clutch of an air conditioner, just drink some water. the mist will disperse.
“They already found the leak?. the manager nonchalantly interrogates after I briefly told him about results of diagnostics at the previous service station Then you have to do something about the cause. The dryer you are talking about can be of two types: built into the system and located separately. In the second case it is possible to change it, but I don’t recommend to do it. Our service will not even deal with it: there will be mating between the new part and the rest of the system, because corrosion has already appeared somewhere and even new sealing rings will not help to avoid a leak.
Certainly, Nissan dealer would not be himself if he didn’t offer to put original radiator for Qashqai. ! Besides, the waiting for the part can take up to two weeks (I assume that they will bring it from Japan). So the expert recommended me a cheaper but quality analogue. a Danish Nissens radiator, which will be delivered in a few days.
“Your car isn’t new, so you don’t have to put in the original parts,” the manager summed up Replacement and refilling of the system will take 2.5 hours (to change the radiator, you will have to remove a part of the front bumper). It would cost another 160″.
Fuel fillers from the high road
So, the services of an official Nissan dealer seemed to be the most expensive as expected: at a friendly service station the trivial “diagnostics and filling” procedure would cost me 38.5 rubles, if the system was working properly. But the dealer pleasantly surprised me with a compromise, offering to supply a quality part (and not part of it). Now we have to consider the most popular variant of refilling of freon. and we can make some conclusions. So go ahead along the ring road in search of some mobile point for filling air conditioners.
“Aren’t you afraid of the rain??. Asked me a not so young man, making sure I pulled over to the side of the road for his sake “The weather’s so nice now, you can turn on the heater.
Indeed, tons of water were now spewing over the city, melted by the midday heat, and the thought of bringing the air conditioner to its senses had somehow fallen away. Until the next hot day, of course.
“We’ll do a full service and fill it up for 40,” the man reads out the price of his services But I don’t know how much gas is left in your system. Usually the freon we pump out for diagnostics goes into the credit: 100 grams won’t count, but a system that’s half full or higher will cost 10% less of the final cost. So I gave you the market’s worst price. With old gas there is a difficulty: it has to be filtered in any case, to separate the used oil from it So it is easier to fill up empty cars. But we will always make concessions to the customer”.
“And you only put one freon in the system? There’s also the oil that’s necessary for the system to work properly. “
“We fill both freon and compressor oil, and even an ultraviolet additive,” the gas station attendant was almost offended We’re a decent company, not a shakedown! And we use the same equipment that big car dealers use. During the diagnostics we do a vacuum test, but since it is not a 100% guarantee of finding the leak, we also “wash” all the connections. Ultraviolet additive is included in the cost of service and allows us to detect a leak when it appears on the air conditioning circuit. Also we filter the old freon when we pump it out and put it back in the system, already purified.
You see cars whizzing by with water splashing out from under the tires. It looks like the weather has taken its toll on the small business again, but the smiling gas station attendant isn’t offended. he had a good day:
“On average, I service three or four cars a day. But sometimes there are more: today I even managed to fill up nine. People see the yellow vans on the side of the road and know that everything is inexpensive, so they stop. Last year freon almost doubled in price, but we have not raised the cost of services since 2017. we try to be loyal to motorists. We do a discount for regular customers, it’s enough to subscribe to us in social networks”.
When asked if the mobile gas station attendants have a service area where they can change the air conditioner radiator, the man only rounded his eyes: “You can change the radiator yourself! Recently, a man came in a Subaru. there was the same problem. And for half an hour he went somewhere, bought a radiator and screwed in my place the old. Well, I had already filled it up. It cost him very cheap: the system had 500 g of freon, he only needed to add 100 g of freon. In the end he charged him 5 for the gas and 10 for the work. On the road there are other mobile gas station. they have such a service is all 65″.
Really, everyone has to choose his own, even if it concerns such trivial thing as air conditioner’s filling. Those who prefers an official service, goes either to a service station or to dealer-officials. But even garage service does not do without job: having called four different enterprises I found out that their price difference is not too big: from 45 to 75. Well, it’s up to a motorist to decide. someone doesn’t mind to open a window, if it’s possible to save money.
Filling up an air conditioner on a freeway. is there a risk?
Is it possible to use the service of refueling car air conditioners on highways?
As soon as summer heat comes, vans or cars with trailers with big letters on them are written: “Filling of air conditioners”. Such ads are decorated with pictures of snowflakes for convincing.
The service of express-filling, offered in these mobile units, looks very tempting. After all, the car owner does not need to make an appointment at the service and go there on purpose. it is enough to stop on the roadside and in a few minutes you can drive on, enjoying the pleasant coolness of the car. Thus cost of the given service will be much lower, than at any service station (and the more so at official dealer). This is what attracts customers. But what is the quality of their services??
The methods of refueling at mobile stations do not differ much from those used at usual service stations. So most often there is no danger to use their services. But only if the technology is followed:
the system is checked for freon leakage;
If there is a leak, the damaged place is welded with argon or the tube or seal is replaced;
residual gas is evacuated from the system, run through the filters and oil separators, and then re-fed into the air conditioning circuit, adding the right amount of new freon;
Besides freon, compressor oil, necessary for correct operation of the device, and ultraviolet additive, which helps to detect leaks, are added to the system.
But an ordinary refill can have a detrimental effect on the condition of the air conditioning system. Because it is designed for certain volume of freon (about 600 ml), you must not exceed it. Even fifty spare grams of gas will create excessive pressure, and as the result somewhere will certainly have a leak.
Therefore it is better to bypass usual refuelers. guys with cylinders. They add freon “by eye”, not really caring about the consequences. The old gas is not pumped out and filtered: they simply do not have the necessary equipment for that.
If the service is provided in accordance with the technology, they do a vacuum test as a diagnostic. And as he does not give a hundred percent guarantee, all connections should be additionally washed. The old freon is necessarily to be pumped out and filtered and exactly as much new freon should be added.
Some motorists affirm that it is necessary to diagnose and fill up the auto conditioner only on service. Sometimes, however, such confidence causes a smile.
Not all service stations keep strict track of their equipment. It is not always possible to be sure that oil which they pour in you has been kept in tight container and does not absorb a moisture. Not all stations know that vacuumization is a compulsory procedure, and not a simple search of leaks at the whim of a car owner. And not everywhere understand that it is necessary to pressurize the system strictly according to the regulations.
It is not important where you decide to top up the conditioner of your car: at service station or on the side of the road. If it will be done by the qualified expert, who jealously attends to observance of technology, then you will not have problems with cabin cooling afterwards.
Where is the right place to change?
Ideally, specialized stations. Who know the correct algorithm of replacement:
- A special apparatus is connected
- Then the old freon is pumped out and weighed
- They also pump out the old oil, it is usually black
- Further, they charge as much freon as it is necessary by weight (I remind you that I have almost 600 grams)
- They fill up with as much oil as you need, my “manual” says about 100 grams. And you have to add fresh, it’s usually a clear color
Only then is the system properly primed and the compressor will run for a VERY long time.
on roads usually nobody will do it, usually they just pump up pressure in a cold circuit and that’s it! Not by weight, and no added lubricant
How do you get cheated when you fill up your car air conditioner?!
I’ve found a lot of posts on AC and I’ve realized that the general literacy of the population on this issue is very low.
Here you go for general education and to make it harder to cheat you when you fill it up.
How you get cheated when you fill up an auto air conditioner!
1.I am embarrassed to ask you if there is an incomplete vacuum diagnostic?
The system should not be checked for leaks with a vacuum. It is clear to anyone that all seals and glands of the system are under vacuum
work one way, and if there is pressure in system. the other.Accordingly system can ideally hold vacuum and at presence of pressure starts to skip.Only nitrogen pressure testing can serve as at least some kind of guarantee of tightness.
2.There is no way to remove oil from the system without flushing the system or complete disassembly and removal of the compressor.
You can remove at most 30-40 grams of oil from a fully filled system.
I underline from the fully filled system, and as a rule in the service station are addressed already with an empty or half-empty system.
3.Vacuuming is really a useful thing and allows you to remove some moisture from the system if not a but.
This procedure should take at least 30-40 minutes, not 10-15 which are usually given to it at the station.
Well, if the deception of the client begins with an advertisement, it is probably worth considering whether to go to such a station.
After t.н. “vacuum diagnostic” which in the best case can give no more than 50% confidence that the refrigerant will remain in the system you fill freon.
Warning.When filling up cars many people like to add cheaper POE oil instead of PAG oil, which a car air conditioner should work with.
Why you should not mix these oils is explained in detail on the previous page.In addition to this, many people use SL 32 instead of, e.g., PAG 150.
The numbers 32 and 150 speak for themselves.SL 32 is 5 times less viscous than PAG 150.How will you look at the master who will pour spindle oil into your engine instead of normal oil??
Happy and satisfied you leave the service station in the desired coolness with a sense of accomplishment.But sometimes the excitement is short-lived.
After a week the refrigerant is gone and you go to the station again.The search for leaks is a thankless task and as a rule nobody likes to do it.It’s easier to find the cause in something else.
“You have a spool leak” authoritatively declares the master showing bubbles on the filling nozzle.And they change your spool valve (often to a common car spool valve, which is cheaper, but in a year or two it becomes unserviceable), ing 200-300 rubles on the side.
In fact the spool leakage is not more than 1% of the total leakage.And even if the valve really bleeds sometimes it is enough to move it and it stops leaking.What’s more, the cap on the refill port can hold pressure up to 25 bar.
You get the system recharged again.But then a week later, the refrigerant leaks again.Then it depends on the circumstances.
As a rule, most people go to a station that specializes on car air conditioners, where they really find and fix the leak.
The golden rule of “getting by and getting by” works!Sometimes it is enough to read the name to understand that you should not go there.
H2O or 2 atm speak for themselves, for example.The level of knowledge of a car washer or tire fitter is of course sufficient to deal with the filling of car air conditioners
Recently there have appeared a great number of self-trained men who refill automobile conditioners.
Ignorance and sometimes saving, such “masters” use POE (polyester or polyester) oil instead of PAG (polyalkylene glycol) oil at filling, both are synthetic, both are well soluble in R 134a, but they do not like to mix with each other.
Though some POE oils can be mixed with polyalkylene glycol oil, they do not exceed 30% of total number of polyester oils we sell.After adding such oil to the system an emulsion is formed with all negative consequences that accompany it.PAG air conditioner oils were developed based on the oils used in aircraft. POE oils are used in airplanes and automobiles because aluminum pipelines and rubber seals of fittings that deteriorate quickly when using POE oil. While the classical refrigeration systems have copper pipes and brazed joints.
Polyalkylglycol oils PAG are widely used in mobile units, such as car air conditioners with freon R-134a. They are not used at all in other refrigeration applications, where POE polyester oils are preferred.
PAG oils have three basic types of kinematic viscosity: PAG46. 46mm2/s at 40 C; PAG100. 100mm2/s at 40 C and PAG150. 150mm2/s at 40 C.
PAG oils are very hygroscopic and quickly become saturated with moisture in the open air, so they are produced in containers of 250-300 gr.
And the main reason why PAG and not POE are used in car air conditioners
PAG oil, though more hygroscopic than POE, but it is not subject to hydrolysis in the presence of moisture in the system. POE oil degrades when wet.
If even a little moisture gets into the system, the oil will shrink and your compressor will have a shorter life.
So before you go to service station for air conditioner filling ask them what kind of oil they use and if they answer “synthetic” specify what kind, and if “POE” then run away from this service.So you don’t have to wonder why your new compressor broke.
P.S.98% of cars use PAG oils for compressor lubrication.But let’s not forget the other 2% of cars which have hermetically sealed compressors.And that’s where POE oil comes in.In this case, if you add PAG oil to the system, the death of the compressor comes even earlier.We know exactly which cars are equipped with this type of compressor.
Unfortunately, even the majority of automatic stations have no such information and pour the same oil into all cars.
The most important thing in all of this. To find a smart master, “a quality mark” unfortunately they do not have. I’ve had it up to here with my Passat. Can anyone suggest a coma in Rostov-on-Don is worth going to?
You’ve been stonewalled by the CU. Gentlemen, if he’s wrong somewhere, just write “Here’s the rubbish, or “This point is fundamentally wrong opinion,” then swoop in with a minisomething “Aaaaah, advertising. “. I get the feeling that just the owners of automatic gas stations and the fart is blown, they spoil the business.
“We know exactly what kind of cars have compressors of this type.”
Filling the A/C sounds like gasoline, 7 years on a Lanos. Everything works properly and you don’t have to refill anything, t.к. the system is airtight. But if they don’t repair
I have been dealing with car air conditioners for over 15 years.Every year the same thing.
If you only knew how many people come back after inexperienced service
Let’s discard those newcomers who are pulling up to this business wishing to make easy money.
But there are a lot of people who have worked for more than one year in this field. but if you talk to them, you realize they don’t know what they’re doing.
Let’s put it this way. normal, understanding specialists no more than 10% of the total number of “gasdugs.”
“A good refrigerator maker is like a good pianist. you got to love it
the money will come by itself and that won’t be the main thing.”
If you are served by OA or large advertised station it does not mean that everything will be done right.
A lot of people come after such “service”
Step-by-step instruction how to fill up and repair air conditioners by yourself
For those, who would like to try to repair their air conditioner themselves, I would like to note that Freon. PAG oil is very viscous, so don’t expect to hold it with bandages, homemade hoses, poxypol, sealants, etc.д. Freon will come out anyway, and pretty quickly. All in all it will be just a waste of time and money, especially taking into consideration how much freon costs now.
In car air conditioners before 1993.в. Freon R12 was used, after its prohibition (in connection with destruction of ozone layer) there was a transition to R134a.
There are different oiling standards for any refrigerating unit. Don’t pour too much oil.If at leakage of freon there is no considerable leakage of oil, it is possible not to add it. Although they are very fond of doing it by some gas station attendants (especially if they have a 200 liter barrel of cheap oil for domestic refrigerators, which will not prevent anyone to sell it in retail portions at a high price).If you are adding oil every time you fill up the air conditioner, then at best the air conditioner will be less cool, and at worst. don’t want to think
Different vehicles have different refrigerant fill rates, usually found on the decal under the hood or in the owner’s manual. In the absence of it there are tables and programs.
If in the system is less than 30-50% of freon, you cannot do without vacuumization.With a half-empty system, the suction pressure sometimes reaches negative values, which inevitably leads to the entry of air into the system through the smallest leaks.And there is not much there to make the system not work steadily and do not need. If you intend to engage in charging car air conditioners in earnest. Buy a professional vacuum. pump, they’re not that expensive. Cost from 8t.р. The necessary minimum for filling you also need to include hoses and adapters for different brands.
You can see it at a glance. a tube which goes from compressor to the condenser. a discharge tube and a fitting on it. high pressure. If the thicker tube with a fitting goes to the evaporator in the salon. is the suction fitting to which the filling adapter is connected. In some models of cars (eg Renault), it is also the only one. the suction tube is always larger in diameter than the discharge tube.
Screw the hose to the gauge manifold and to the cylinder with the refrigerant, to the manifold to the right connector. the hose from the vacuum. on the middle fitting. and a hose from the system. on the left. If you only want to refill. in this case it is not necessary to connect vacuum valve. the valve on the free nozzle should be closed. and blow out the charging hoses. Blowing. don’t forget to tighten the connection on the filling valve and you can fill. At filling without weights it is possible to define sufficiency of charging by using electronic thermometer, determining temperature of suction and discharge tubes. There are special overcooling/overheating devices but they are quite expensive.
such filling can be done by a man who has enough experience of similar work.And again if there is at least 30-50% of the refrigerant in the system.Otherwise you can not achieve normal modes of operation. In case of full charge. everything is simple enough; we check on air tightness (it is advisable to have a set for pressurization with nitrogen), vacuum, and we fill up (if needed we add oil), not forgetting about scales, in order not to overfill conditioner, because it will not result to anything good. By suction, the refrigerant is charged only in gaseous condition. when the compressor is on.
Practice has shown that the use of various kinds of electronic leak detectors does not bring the proper result (at many services they are abandoned in a far corner) If there is a leak in the system, it can be found by pressing and fixing. For this purpose, gas is pumped into the system (as a rule, a mixture of nitrogen and freon), the pressure during the check is about 12-15 kg. Then you need to search for the leak using electronic leak detectors or the old reliable method. by spraying or sponging on the lines with a soap solution. The old way (like sponge with soap) has not lost its relevance and is still used by many refrigerators and on sale in recent years in stores specializing in the cold appeared spray cans of foam.The thing is that a leak detector reacts not only to refrigerant but also to similar substances. These are car exhausts, gasoline fumes and oils. There is another fairly reliable way to find leaks. this is adding UV dye.
It is impossible to check the system for leaks with vacuum.
Read the relevant literature, the same Kotsaoglanian P. for example.
Vacuum is at best to detect only obvious leakage.
Pressurizing with nitrogen is no substitute for this procedure.There are a lot of systems that can normally maintain pressure of 6-8 atm., And at 10-12 atm. they start to leak.
How to Recharge Your Car’s AC System (Fast and Easy)
A lot of self-trained professionals do exactly that, they vacuum the system (does not really hold. holds), fill up. and 24 hours later there’s no more refrigerant in the system.Then they ask stupid questions on refrigeration forums. How so? the system was under vacuum for 24 hours. It’s fine. refueled. After 24 hours, the freon is gone somewhere.
One time watching on the Internet a video clip “How to fill up the conditioner” is obviously not enough.
If there is a leak from pipes they can be welded with argon, recently there are quite good aluminum solders and the most part of refrigerators have successfully used them for a long time having pushed argon on the second plan, but it is better to replace them completely.On the domestic market recently appeared quite a good quality tool that allows you to make any tube almost from scratch.
Sometimes there’s no plate with the amount of refrigerant in the system. For such cases there are tables and programs for refrigerant rates, one of them is below on this page. It is possible to accurately refuel the car. Using the overheat-overcooling method.But no one can promise you that you can do it well without any experience.For this purpose you will need a high-precision electronic thermometer and the most important thing. good knowledge of structure and principle of work of auto conditioner.
The most common failure-unsealed system. leaks most often occur in the condenser, because it is located in front of the main radiator and takes all the “blows of fate” stones from the road, salt and.т.п. Tubes and hoses are often chafed when they are caught on something. that is why it is necessary to monitor that pipes of the system do not touch motionless details of the automobile, and if there are any signs of friction try to move rubbing details together or put some soft material between them. If there is no refrigerant in the system at all, usually air and water get in. Further air and water, if air conditioner is not repaired in time, begin their destructive work, which leads to more serious damages.
Recently, the presence of non-condensable impurities in the system is more and more common.The reason for this is a large number of illiterate refuelers who do not have any refrigeration education and work experience in the field of refrigeration equipment.Having watched a video clip from the Internet “How to fill up the conditioner” once, they think they know everything and go to fill up the car conditioners.Recently, 20-50% of cars arrive with impurities in the system.The big amount of fake cheap Freon on our market contributes to this problem too.
Failure of a compressor is about 20-30 % of all malfunctions. The most common cause of valve failure is water hammer. and it’s mostly just because of unskilled repair or filling. There can also be a scuffing of the piston. cylinder because of oil loss from the compressor. If failure is not eliminated in time, the compressor will be destroyed. Freon leakage through the compressor packing is rather frequent, especially if the conditioner has not been switched on even once during the winter.
Breakdowns of everything else that can break down. low or high pressure sensors, burnout (or breakage) of electromagnetic clutch and etc.д. 10-20 %
How To Add Refrigerant To Air Conditioner
Do not forget about the filter drier and the expansion pipe (throttle) which also quite often require replacement.
For those, who have decided to try to fuel up a car air conditioner with their hands, remember that everything he does can lead to unfortunate consequences and the repair after such an intervention will be more expensive than before it.
How to properly fill up a car air conditioner and earn money on it
Nowadays, an average motorist, living in any settlement, knows what automobile conditioner is, what it is needed for and how to use it. As Hobiz has written above, such air conditioner, built-in climatic installation, allows keeping comfortable temperature inside the car. It is reached by switching on it with the subsequent adjustment of air blowing speed and temperature. Especially advanced automobile systems, called a climate control, are able to perform these functions in automatic mode. That is, according to a set temperature and data from other sensors, automatics switches on and off cooling air by itself and chooses blowing speed. In any case, it all works on the basis of car air conditioner.
The basic device of the automobile conditioner, omitting technical details and details of their work, is quite simple. A closed circuit of the air cooling system is installed inside the car’s climate system. Its main elements are compressor, condenser and evaporator. The latter are the most common large and small radiators, respectively. The condenser big radiator is placed under the hood, next to the engine cooling radiator. Evaporator small radiator inside the cabin, near the heater. The compressor, the one under the hood that noisily clicks the clutch while the air conditioner is on, is the main part of the automobile air conditioning system.
Freon gas, acting as a refrigerant in the air conditioning system, is compressed in the compressor to high pressures and temperatures and enters the condenser, where the excess heat is removed and the freon, therefore, cooled. So freon turns into a liquid with high pressure condensing. At the outlet of the condenser the refrigerant is a liquid. And through the receiver-drier goes to evaporator where it boils and turns into gas. The freon pressure drops. This transition between the liquid and gas phases greatly cools the evaporator (literally to zero temperatures). And now the air, coming into the salon of the car, passing through the radiator with low temperature, is cooled. What the owners actually expect from automobile air conditioner.
The simplest scheme of work of automobile conditioner (a picture is clickable)
By the way, readers of hobiz.Question: what kind of liquid is dripping from a car (and from split-system at home as well) during air conditioner functioning?? This is condensate water. Where does it come from?? Straight from the air conditioner? No, not from, but from the air conditioner! It is water that is in the air.
Warm and humid air from the street, passing through the cold walls of radiator-evaporator, is dehumidified, and as a result its temperature is decreased. Similar phenomenon can be observed in refrigerator, if you take any cold object out of freezer its surface will be covered by condensate quickly and air around this object will be a little bit cooler.
So, the condensate of water vapor, taken from the cooled air, accumulates on the walls of the evaporator. It concentrates into big drops and flows into the special drainage unit, where through the tube it flows out. That is why in warm weather it is possible to notice those puddles of condensate under the cars with working air conditioners. The same water is flowing from the tube of home split-system. But, I will repeat hobby, the system of air conditioner is absolutely waterless and tight. Water is taken from the cooled air while the air conditioner is operating.
A car air conditioner is a heat pump. In which heat is withdrawn from the air passing through the evaporator radiator and the withdrawn heat is given to the environment via the condenser.
An insufficient amount of refrigerant inside the system leads to a decrease in the efficiency of the air conditioning. In some cases, the air conditioner will not work at all, for example, if the freon in the system is less than the minimum required amount. Why does freon leave the air conditioner system?? If not to consider failures in the form of complete depressurization of the system (for example, a punctured radiator), then in most cases the refrigerant escapes because of incomplete hermeticity of connections that appear during the natural operation of the car from vibrations and other similar factors. Some manufacturers allow up to 15% of Freon to leave the system within a year. That is, according to their tolerances, car air conditioning systems need to be topped up annually. Fortunately, this procedure is rather simple and is done literally in 15 minutes. Here is where the business-idea appears, which is an opportunity to earn money on refilling of automobile conditioners. Available to absolutely everyone who is slightly familiar with automobile technique.
The service itself, as an income, you can provide with the departure to the client, or directly on the road all who need to fill the air conditioner car.
The procedure, hobbies to repeat once again, is pretty simple and does not require serious training, all the main points are on the “automatic”. A specialist will only have to keep an eye on general indicators. Depending on the equipment, refilling of an auto conditioner is possible in several ways according to pressure or temperature.
Principle scheme of earning money at filling air conditioners by pressure
To refill the air conditioner you need the simplest set of equipment. Metrological (gauge) station (Manometric manifold for R-134a refrigerant), popularly called comb or manometer or manometric manifold. several hoses, quick-coupler adapters for connection of hoses to the line of air-conditioner in a car, and R-134a freon itself in a bottle (used almost in all cars since 1992).
Manometric (metrological) station for charging air conditioners with 2 mowing lines of low and high pressure
The red hose connects to cylinder with freon, the yellow hose of high pressure can be jammed (as it is supposed that system needs only refueling and it is good, with the help of this pipe check serviceability of evaporator and compressor, vacuum system and make other service operations), the blue hose connects to low pressure line of air conditioning system of a car through the special connector. Or, on the contrary, to use yellow main thing to have only 2 hoses.
After that, it is necessary to start the car, raise engine speed to 1500, turn cooling to maximum, turning on recirculation. Do not forget to open windows.
You should use blue manometer to check pressure inside of a system of auto conditioner. Ideal numbers are 25 to 55 psi. Depends on the ambient temperature. So, at a street temperature of 18 degrees, the normal pressure in the system is 25-35 psi, and at 30 degrees and above 55 psi. If the value is lower, then the system needs to be topped up. That is, just make money on this. There are gauges for car freon with a similar marking zones normal pressure, low pressure, high pressure. It is called a test-connector for refilling of air conditioners.
To top off the car air conditioner, it is necessary to open the blue valve carefully and in small doses. On the control-eye on the comb will be visible as boiling freon (if there is no boiling cylinder is empty). Bringing the pressure to the desired index, depending on air temperature, you need to close the valve and let the system run for about 7-10 minutes. Pressure will jump, but it should not exceed the maximum value. If there will be higher jumps, it means that the system is faulty (not tight and sucks air) and it must be repaired.
If all is well the system works and is in good working order. The conditioner of the car is filled up, the happy client pays. On average, this service costs about 1000-2000. There are craftsmen who charge by weight. That is, before charging weigh the cylinder with freon, then, after all the procedures, produce a re-weighing. The difference will be the weight, which was spent for charging the client’s car. In this case All other extra charges are private business of any businessman.
Refilling of automobile air conditioner by the temperature of overheat
This way, unlike refilling by pressure, is more exact, as it is based on physical properties of freon of R-134a brand. It is established by experiment that with full system the temperature of a line on the evaporator outlet differs from liquid freon boiling point by 5-8 degrees (the temperature of freon saturation and condensation according to the pressure in the system).
Equipment for air conditioner charging according to this method is needed the same, as in abovementioned variant. The pressure gauge, bottle with freon, scales. It is necessary to add an electronic thermometer with a thermocouple. And one can start to fill up the conditioner of a car according to overheat temperature.
One must start the car, switch on air conditioner, set thermometer on low pressure line and connect pressure gauge. Depending on the pressure inside the system, you need to determine the boiling point of Freon. This can be done with a special application on your mobile, or look in the reference books, or take such a manometer, which has a special scale that shows the dependence of the pressure and boiling point. Or use the ruler of the refrigerator (Freoner).
Refrigerator ruler indicating the saturation and condensation temperature of different types of freons by system pressure
So, at pressure of 1 bar, R-134a boils at the temperature of.10 degrees. And in order for it to boil at 0 degrees the pressure must be 2 bars.
The important point. If the difference between boiling point and temperature on a thermometer is 5-8 degrees, a conditioner does not have to be filled up. If it is not so it needs to be topped up.
Tip: Filling is made similarly by small accurate doses of freon, pressure is increasing. Refrigerator should only subtract temperature readings. For example, if the evaporator has a temperature of about 10 degrees, the pressure in the system should correspond to a boiling point of 5-8 degrees below 3-5 degrees Celsius. Freon boils at this temperature at system pressure of 2.5-3 bars. Or 36-43 psi. Hobiz reminds us that in the first case, the ideal pressure is that which lies between 25-55 psi. As you can see from the example, charging by boiling point gives a more accurate reading. By the way, 36-43 psi in the air conditioning system is observed at an ambient air temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.
This completes the refueling process. Payment can be taken as fixed 1000-2000, and it is possible, similarly to the first variant, on weight of the expended gas. By the way, a tip of the hatchet. Since the second case is more accurate, more Freon is needed for the top off, therefore the cost in grams can be more significant compared to the first example.
So, assuming an average of 15 minutes. You can calculate the payback on this earnings.
So, (for a 1 gauge manifold). On site Aliexpress it is possible to find a comb for 23. Cylinder with freon R-134a for 13.6 kg of gas is enough on average up to 90 refills of automobile air conditioners. Such cylinder is sold at a price of 3000 to 6000. That is, all equipment will pay for itself by 4-8 refills. And the cylinder to 8-12 refills.
Regular readers of hobbies have questions. They know, for example, that proper and full-fledged filling of air conditioner should include suction of all Freon, vacuumization of the system, topping up with Freon and oil. This is what a real filling of any air conditioning system looks like. Of course, if the system is faulty and all (most) freon is gone. And if it is gone a few tens of grams of freon even in a service center they just top up the system of air conditioning by above mentioned ways by pressure or boiling point, without deep check and vacuumization. Since they think that if the system holds pressure it is initially in good working order. There are cases of malfunction of electronics and failure of the compressor, and general depressurization of the system (a punched radiator, a busted tube, gone oil and so on). It already the serious repair which is beyond topping up, hence this business idea from hobiz.ru.
However to render such full complex of services one will have to buy a meter station (if one does not use a special universal installation for filling the conditioners which costs from 30 thousand) in addition to the meter station:
Vacuum device (vacuum pump) is a device for vacuumization of the air conditioner systems. It is used to remove all Freon from the system, leaving the vacuum (use the yellow hose at the manometer station). The procedure takes up to 30 minutes, depending on the power of the pump, the control of the device is carried out according to the indicators of the manometer. After achievement of necessary indexes (on manometer 0 or 1) the system is switched off and is observed in switched off state for more 30 minutes. If indicators on the manometer do not change the system is hermetically sealed. If not it is necessary to look for leakage, because it is exactly there.
A leak detector is a device for searching for freon leaks, it comes in different types. The most popular device in Russia CPS Leak Seeker LS7908. Allows you to search for leaks with pinpoint accuracy. Cost of the device is from 50.
Adding oil to the air conditioner system Now there are mixtures of freon and oil, using which one does not need to add oil to the air conditioner separately. If pure Freon R-134a is used for topping up it is necessary to use polyalkylene glycol oil (PAG) additionally. Pouring takes place according to the norms set for a particular car (about 10-15 grams for every 500 grams of freon). The oil is added to the system through a hole in the crankcase of the air conditioner compressor or with a special device connected to the air conditioning line. But oil is filled only if the system was depressurized, there was a leakage, parts were changed and other similar situations. Before oil refill and charging of the conditioner with freon, the whole system is flushed with a special flushing freon.
Warning! After system vacuumization freon and oil are added into the system only by weight, not by pressure (freon is weighed in the cylinder before and after the charging).
Total Procedure takes up to 2 hours. It is desirable to render it in conditions of car-care center, because there are a lot of unrecorded nuances.
In general, summing up the business idea, hobbiz wants to note that by similar methods and the same equipment it is possible to refill domestic split-system air conditioners. Differences, literally, in types of freon. In split-systems can be used such freons as: R-407C, R-410A, R-32, R-22. In order to define the type of stuffing refrigerant in split-system one should refer to instructions or find label on the outside block (sometimes it is placed inside the case). It can become an additional kind of earnings, however, it is more profitable to fill up automobile conditioners. Due to the fact that there are simply more of them than of split-systems. And it takes less time to fill up the car air conditioner. over, the client usually goes to the master himself, not vice versa.
Although, if the master will come to the client’s home, it increases the chance that in addition to the customer’s car, the entrepreneur can also fill up the split-system (if there is one, and the businessman has a set of necessary equipment and freon). In addition, the neighbors of the client can also ask to refill their iron horses. That is, you should not neglect the visit to the client.
All in all, this business has a distinct seasonal characteristic. What’s more, it depends a lot on the temperature. As they say, if it is not very summer, then air conditioners are seldom switched on. And how do you know when it needs refueling?? Exactly! It is necessary not only to turn it on, but also to make sure that it is hot in the street, and the automobile conditioner does not cope well with its function. So, this business can not be called a permanent. But as a part-time job in the season a great solution!
How to fill up the car air conditioner
What do you fill up with?
In modern cars, less effective but safer R-134a coolant is used instead of the previously used Freon (R-12), which is dangerous to the ozone layer. When charging, you need about 0.5 kg of refrigerant (for small and medium class cars).
When to charge Freon
It occurs as liquid leaks from system. Т.к. equipment for air conditioner in the car consists of different tubes, then during exploitation of the car because of vibrations it is possible to admit little leaks. Approximately 10-15 percent of the fluid is wasted per year. So freon is recharged at completely serviceable system once in 3-5 years.
- Siphoning off old liquid from the system. Before you start charging the air conditioner in the car, you must remove the old Freon (if there is any). It is done to find out exactly how much of refrigerant (the old freon is weighed) and to remove oil from it.
- Vacuuming process. To remove the rest of moisture and air.
- The test for air tightness. Before charging new freon you must make sure that there are no leaks. Some service men charge extra for this.
- Oil filling. There is a small amount of oil (about 15 grams) in the system to lubricate the rubbing parts inside the compressor.
- Pumping in new liquid. After that it is needed to switch on auto conditioner in a car with full capacity and to check quality of cooling.
If air conditioner is not filled up to the full, it will cause oil starvation of compressor. Besides, badly filled system generates insufficient amount of cold. If it is charged too much. It generates high pressure in it that also leads to bad work and system breakage.
Is it possible to fill up the air conditioner on the roads?
Why do many motorists think that filling up an air conditioner is only to put pressure in the system, as in a wheel, for example?! That is what is used by dishonest owners of “road gas stations” to put it mildly. Of course, there are quite honest, all in one pile is not necessary, but it is often so. In my personal opinion, filling up on the road is like buying a pig in a poke. Now I will try to substantiate.
No matter how carefully a car is exploited, it needs periodic checkup and repair. Every driver knows that it is easier and cheaper to fix minor problems than to do major repairs. The same concerns air conditioning system: diagnostics of the device should be conducted once a year, and if it works without failures, you just need to fill up a car air conditioner every 2,5-3 years of work. If the car is more than 3 years old, the work may need to be done more often.
When it is necessary to fill up air conditioner system?
The peculiarity of a car air conditioner is that it is exposed to constant vibration while driving a car. The system is also affected by temperature fluctuations, evaporation of liquids from the car engine and other factors. The presence of threaded joints determines the presence of gaskets, the quality of which also deteriorates over time. All this in complex leads to the fact that there is a leak of freon and it is necessary to top up it.
There are three reasons to refill an air conditioning system:
Presence of oil stains on the hoses that connect units of auto conditioner. This clearly indicates a freon leak.
Poor performance. Lack of refrigerant causes the system to cool the cabin air poorly.
Fast heating of the cooled air. This can cause excess air and moisture which freezes components. In this case it is necessary to flush the system with vacuum pump and accomplish freon topping up.
Even if the system has not yet malfunctioned, it is necessary to check the refrigerant level and technical condition of the unit once a year. Filling premature air conditioner in Irpen may be needed after the accident of any severity: the impact of fragile elements of the system can burst, which will lead to a leakage of refrigerant.
Diagnostics of the system before charging
Only the skilled expert can understand, whether the system needs to be recharged with the refrigerant. To do this he uses special equipment that will be able to determine the integrity of the system and the level of freon. Preliminary diagnostics are carried out in the following order:
an air conditioner filling station is connected to the service ports;
a pressure gauge is used to determine the refrigerant pressure in the high and low pressure ports. If it is normal. there is no leakage;
the system is tested with the engine on. An important indicator is the compressor operation and pressure level;
a tactile test of the low pressure pipe. The high temperature indicates a low level of refrigerant.
If diagnostics confirmed the non-compliance, the car owner is offered to recharge the car air conditioner. You can do it in our service center in Irpen, which guarantees qualitative diagnostics, servicing and charging of the systems of any marks. With us it’s always safe and comfortable!
Why do not fill up air conditioner near the road
Express refueling of a conditioner in 15 minutes, popular in summer heat, looks tempting: there is no need especially to go to a car-care center and to waste time. They hook up the freon tank to the car right in front of you in the street, they demonstrate the motion of arrows on beautiful multi-color gauges, and the result. the coolness in the cabin. is evident at once. The price of such service is quite attractive. Perfect service? Not quite.
As a rule, a car owner’s happiness lasts for 2-3 days, and then a conditioner starts blowing warm air again. It is all about the leak: the freon, charged into the system, is released into the atmosphere in a couple of days. Certainly, the express-tankers of air conditioners are not searching for the refrigerant leakage “in the field”, and they do not bear any responsibility for their work. And a car owner still has to go to a good auto service and to pay again for the same service of filling up the conditioner. Only in conditions of service masters immediately localize and repair the refrigerant leak.
But even if you are lucky and there are no freon leak, there is a delayed negative effect from express-filling of air conditioner, because during it necessary additional works are not done. For example, vacuuming. When there is less half of coolant in the system, there is a great risk of its strangulation and moisture penetration. A special vacuum pump is needed to pump the atmospheric air out of the line. If not to fulfill this procedure, then inside the compressor and aluminum tubes of air conditioner the corrosion will occur and it will lead to expensive repair.
Also for normal operation, the air conditioner compressor needs lubrication. Sometimes there is a separate oil filler bolt on the body of the unit, but more often a special freon with added oil is used. Needless to say, that there is no lubrication at street air conditioner filling. And if you insist on it, there is a great risk that you will be filled not with expensive polyalkylene glycol PAG oil, essential in modern compressors, but with cheaper polyester POE oil for refrigeration systems.