Any air con experts out there? - Ian D
Just fitted a genuine Subaru air con kit to my 1998 Impreza, now the installation manual states how much refridgerant needs to go into the system, but makes no mention of addig oil (PAG oil I think it is). Now the system is new and therefore dry except the compressor, which I managed to drain just 15 ml of oil out of. my local aircon man said he would just add gas, but no oil - surely he should be putting in oil as well (typically 7 oz/200 ml according to the internet)???

If yes should I put the oil in the compressor hi /low pressure inlets prior to taking it in for gassing or leave it to another aircon expert who will add oil??

Any air con experts out there? - MikeyM
Well, I'm no air con expert but every time I've ever had air con recharged, the engineer has added oil before the refrigerant, without exception.
This amounts to at least 15 visits over the years, with cars from 30 years old a fairly recent 6 months old vehicle.
The theory is that any system is evacuated before being pressurised. This procedure will remove any oil currently in the system and thus the oil will need replacing.
Any air con experts out there? - Chas{P}

DaveN is the BR air con expert. He always gives out extremely good advice. He may pass by later.

Any air con experts out there? - DL
Add oil!!! You will need to find out how much oil to add - you can't do it yourself, either. It requires specialist kit.

I suggest you find a reputable air con specialist - try for your nearest Autoclimate outlet.
Any air con experts out there? - Dave N
Most kits come with a total oil charge already in the compressor. It may be that you couldn't drain it out, but that doesn't mean it isn't in there. Some compressors have drain plugs, others not. Those with plugs tend to drain easier, but those without can sometimes take ages to get any out. Some kits even used to come with a couple of little cans of refrigerant!

You need to check with the kit supplier, but I'm 90% certain it has the oil already in it. What you need to make sure you do, is rotate the compressor many, many, times by hand after installation to ensure that all the oil in the bores is purged, otherwise it will hydraulic as soon as it runs and you'll smash the reed valves in the compressor. It may be quite stiff to turn, and you may need a spanner on it, but at least it's easy to get at on a Subaru.

As soon as it runs, the oil will distribute through the system. You will need to add back the 15ml you got out, and make sure it's the correct grade, as some a/c people are using a 'universal' oil, which is probably a medium viscosity, and probably won't do any harm. But if you have a compressor failure, they will check the oil, and if different viscosities are detected they'll use that to throw out your claim.
Any air con experts out there? - Ian D
Thanks for the info Dave, I rang the company that supplies Subaru and they could not have been any less helpful, so now I am left in the dilemma is the 15 ml the only oil in the compressor or is there more?? I suspect the best plan is (as a local aircon garage suggested) is to add 100-200 ml of PAG100 oil anyway and all should be well.

Because I did not buy the kit/fitting from the Subaru dealer (would cost £1000) the aircon supplier is not interested in helping. pretty short sighted really, and my local Subaru dealer has not got back to me on 2 occasions with simple questions (eg how much is a new receiver drier), again pretty short sighted as this all leads to me changing brands next time I buy a car.
Any air con experts out there? - Dave N
Too much oil could cause you problems though, such as poor performance and worse, slugging in the compressor.

I've only fitted a few factory kits, and all have come pre-oiled. Also, every single compressor I've ever bought has also been full of oil, and has had to be drained to match what came out of the old compressor.

If you can wait till Monday, I can make a few enquiries for you. The oil level is critical, and Subaru compressors are expensive, so it's best to do it right first time, otherwise you'll be doing it over.
Any air con experts out there? - Ian D
Thanks Dave, I can wait until Monday. I did various internet searches last night for the words Zexel DKV compressor and I think the system oil should be 150 cc, so if the compressor has 15 ml in it maybe 135 cc more needs to go in. This is if my removal of 15 cc from the compressor is accurate or whether there is more in there?!

Any air con experts out there? - DL
Interesting info about the new compressor Dave, I\'ve fitted a few before and hadn\'t \'primed\' it as you describe - I will do in future!

A suggestion - Fit the compressor - add the amount of oil you \'feel\' it needs (135cc?) and run the system for 15 mins then do an evacuate/vacuum and oil drain - see what you get out? If it is in excess of 135cc, then there is oil in the system in the first place.....

Or am I talking carp??? I\'m only thinking aloud.......
Any air con experts out there? - Dave N
Ian, I spoke with Subaru, and they were no help at all. But Mazda, Toyota and Mitsu all come pre-oiled, with the advice being that if one is unsure, the compressor should be drained and the correct amount added.

So the bottom line is, have another go at draining your compressor, turning occasionally, and if you start to get a reasonable amount out, then assume it is pre-oiled, and add that amount back. If nothing more comes out, then add the correct amount when charging.
Any air con experts out there? - Ian D
Thanks Dave, thats exactly the conclusion I had come to.

The full story is that I did not fancy paying Subaru £1000 to fit an aircon kit as my car is 1998 and has done 119000 miles and I could not justify it, but I stumbled acrooss a specialist who had bought some ex-dealer full kits (Subaru garage had become an ex-Subaru garage) and they sold me a full kit for under half the Subaru price.

Unfortunately in between being despatched and arriving at my house the box had been opened and several items removed or switched for second hand ones. We assume the dodgy courier or his thieving mate had helped himself and then made the box looked damaged (unfortunately the box was clearly labelled "Subaru Impreza aircon kit" which obviously attracted some unwanted attention).

One of the items that looked not new was the compressor and having left it out in the sun all day and turning it every half hour whilst draining it I still only got 15 ml out of it, and internet searches reveal the compressor/whole kit should have 160 ml in it and therefore I have concluded that the compressor has been swapped in transit. The supplying specialist has been fine and has hopefully put new Subaru parts in the post today.

So hopefully when the new compressor arrives it should have a full 160 ml of oil in it and be ready for action.

My main gripe with all this is how much of a struggle it has been to find out basic info about the Subaru kit. Many thanks again Dave for making enquiries, you and others on another site have given me essential information...


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