R12 replacements - Air Con. - pettaw
Has anybody (Dave N?)ever heard of r416a as a direct replacement for R12? A bloke recharged my previously non-working and pretty empty -judging by the pressure released from the Schroder (sp?) valve- this time last year. It worked great but after a few months the air got not quite as cold as before, but it didn\'t get any worse at all, so I took it back and had the guy regas it recently.

He told me it definitely had a leak somewhere (I queried whether he\'d put in enough gas) but didn\'t bother looking for it properly even though he\'d put leak tracer dye in it last time. He did say that he thought the condensor was leaking as there where oily stains round it.

I had a good look at this myself, and I mean good look, because the front bumper had to come off for a bit of work on the electrics round there and where were the oily stains? Nowhere as far as I could see. In fact I could see no corrosion at all. A few squashed flies and road grime which lifted off with a soft brush, revealing nicely painted black radiator underneath.

I know its an old car (1986 Volvo 360) and not worth spending much money on, but is the r416a gas any good? or is it worth getting the car converted to run on r134a?

Also, did he put enough gas in it this time? Because the sight glass on the receiver/dryer is bubbling when the system is on. Is this correct?

So many questions, sorry for the long post.

Any opinions welcome.

R12 replacements - Air Con. - Dave N
I think R416a is simply a blend of R134a and something like butane/propane to move the existing mineral oil that was used with R12. Changing refrigerants won't make any difference, as you've probably got a leak. You may well also see foam through the sightglass, as they're only really any use with R12. With R134a you will normally see foam, so with your blend that is mainly R134a, you'll probably see foam. Now it's got gas in it, give it a short while and have another good look around, failing that, see someone else that will give it a proper look with a UV lamp.

If you go somewhere else though, they may refuse to work on it as they can't recover blends. But be sure to tell them, otherwise they'll contaminate their tanks, which will then contaminate everything else they touch afterwards.

There's a bit more info on my site at www.autoair.co.uk/r12.htm
R12 replacements - Air Con. - frostbite
I often wonder whether sufficient benefit has been gained to counter the considerable aggravation caused by the banning of R12.
R12 replacements - Air Con. - pettaw
Thanks Dave, but it had gas before I had it regassed. In fact the guy felt the vents and said it wasn't that bad although it is definitely better now its been regassed.

I did have a look with a UV lamp, it was an old tanning lamp that I think produces mostly UVB, will that show up the dye. He didn't add any dye this time he gassed it. It didn't really show up anything as far as I could see.

I forgot to say I found a slightly loose connection in one of the hoses, meaning that the hose would move slightly. I gave it half a turn with a spanner and now the hose is locked in tightly.

I guess the best thing to do is wait and see if it loses gas again. Is it possible that because it was empty for so long, although it still had positive pressure, that the hoses expanded once the gas was added and left the gas a little low, particularly if the guy only just added enough gas to make it work. He did say he was only guessing on the amount. I found out how much the specs say this time though. Or am I clutching at straws?

Thanks for your help.

R12 replacements - Air Con. - Dave N
You've sort of answered your own question really, in that it got better when it had more gas added. Unfortunately, on a vehicle this age, and running a more aggressive refrigerant, you'll probably be chasing leaks until the cows come home. You may well find/fix one, only for the next weakest link to show itself.
R12 replacements - Air Con. - sarg3
If Dye has been put in the system, get a garage with uv lamp to have a look. Leaks stand out like a sore thumb!!

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