air con query Dave.N - Seat Toledo - mark
recently i took my SEAT TOLEDO 97 2.0 litre to an independent dealer to have the air con re-gassed, it was working but just not getting cold enough. I was quoted £70 for gas and system check which seemed fair enough. After a 2 hour wait a mobile air con guy turned up and re-gassed the system he then checked it over and told me that the condenser was leaking and offered me a replacement part for £317 although it was not an original SEAT part and told me that if i agreed straight away he could fit it next week. I declined his offer as i thought i may be able to find a cheaper replacement somewhere else,he then emptied the system completely of gas and asked me for £50, i pointed out that the air con was not working at all now and it had been working (though not effieciently) when i brought the car in, i asked if he could return it to the condition it was in before but he said it would be illegal for him to put any more gas in, so i paid £50 to have my air con emptied, my questions are 1. is it illegal to gas a leaking system 2.if the condenser was leaking why hadnt all the gas escaped 3. if i bought some gas at the store would it be illegal to gas it myself 4. how could i pinpoint a leak.....all advice gratefully received
air con query Dave.N - LeePower
1: Yes it is illegal to gas a known leaking system, Its the same as depressurising a system to the atmosphere.

2: No idea sorry.

3: You could gas it yourself, But you must get the right amount of gas & oil in else you will at best ruin the system at worst something will go bang.

4: Normally a ultraviolet dye is added to the gas mixture & that shows up as a green or purple stain from the leak when you put the special glasses on & have a look round the system & pipes.
air con query Dave.N - Ian D
How did he know the condenser was leaking - did he add dye to identify where it was leaking? If so can you see where the dye is indicating a leak?
air con query Dave.N - Dave N
It's sounds a bit sharp to me.

If I had to gas a car to find a leak, then I would either recover the gas and charge a small 'diagnosis' fee, or more often the leak couldn't be found until the dye had a chance to circulate, in which case I'd charge, but would then knock it off the cost of the repair.

Techically it's illegal to charge a system if it has a known leak, although you can charge in order to find the leak. So basically it's all a bit ambiguous.

How much gas did he recover? That should give an idea of the scale of the leak.

I would steer clear of the DIY stuff, you'll not really gain much, and possibly screw it up completely. If I were you I'd get a second opinion sharpish. The problem now is finding someone who knows what they're doing, as everyone's jumped on the bandwagon of a/c specialists by virtue of the fact that they've bought some equipment. They're only interested in sticking gas in, as that's the easy profitable part. As a result it's dragged the prices down such that decent knowledgable guys who used to rely on the decent profit margin of gassing to cover their diagnostic time and costs are being driven out of business.

Where abouts are you in the country?
air con query Dave.N - Seat Toledo - Dave N
Sorry, didn't really answer your question before.

1. Sort of.
2. Good question. Either it had only just started leaking, or there wasn't a leak there. It's rare to come across a nice slow leak that shows itself. Generally, they hold gas, then leak fairly quickly.
3. Not illegal, but you may not gain much.
4. Find a decent guy that will gas and dye it, and has a good leak sniffer, not a micky mouse £100 jobby that won't find the leak, but will tell you there's a leak everywhere else.
air con query Dave.N - Seat Toledo - mark
Hi Dave

Thanks for taking the time to reply

I am in the Exeter area, it seems odd that this morning I has aircon that worked to a degree and now I have totally inoperative aircon and have paid £50 for the privilege of having it made inoperable.

It was the hard sell on a new condensor that made be suspicious, he wanted me to agree there and then to another £317 if I delayed it would cost me more, just left me thinking he had an unwanted universal condensor knocking about, it definately wasnt a Seat part.

He did not say how much gas came out and I cannot see any dye leaks.

I do now need to get this fixed but dont know what steps to take, do I just get it regassed or leak tested or get the condensor replaced? I wont see this guy again as he insisting there was no way I got my keys back until I produced the £50 or even more.

As always

air con query Dave.N - Seat Toledo - John24
Contacted my local Volvo dealer about aircon in my car (V40) which is blowing cool but not cold. Was quoted £80 plus Vat to regas, but no guarantee this would solve problem. They said only way to check system is tight is to regas & see if it leaks. Possibly £94 for nothing. It looks like manufacturers still have some work to do on aircon systems. FWIW, Eurocarparts charge £146 for Seat condenser
air con query Dave.N - Seat Toledo - David Horn
Mark - I know an excellent mobile air-con chap that did my mum's Range Poser. I think he came out to us from Newton Abbot. Will get his number and post back.

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