Air conditioning system in a vehicle cools and dehumidifies air in the passengers’ compartment. The systems require minimal maintenance unless there are symptoms of a problem. You can easily tell your Vehicle’s AC system need repairs if you notice a decrease in cooling capacity of the AC system.
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One of the AC system services includes retrofitting from R-12 to R-134a. Retrofitting is the installation of new parts enabling your car to use newer, Ozone safe and environmental friendlier refrigerant. Note that you can’t mix Freon(R-12) with R-134a.
If you have a pre-1994 car, the AC system may contain R-12 refrigerant. As long the system is functioning properly you don’t need to convert to R-134a. However if the system loses its charge due to leak, corrosion or damage you will need to replace some AC components such as a compressor. When you recharge the system, you may have to change from using R-12 to R-134a.
Why do the conversion? First, it is because Freon is no longer being produced in the US. Also, it is imperative that you recharge your system with R134a after repairs due to environmental concerns. In economic sense retrofitting is most important when your vehicles AC system require major repairs such as replacing condenser, evaporator and compressor.
Automobile AC retrofit with R134a includes:
- Deep Vacuum
- Replacing Filter/Drier
- Pressure leak test
- Correct charge of refrigeration oil and dye
- Re-gas with R134a refrigerant
If your vehicle’s air conditioner is unable to cool the cabin well enough, you do not have to go for expensive air conditioning system. You just need a retrofitting kit. Basically, retrofit kit forces an AC system to accept and circulate refrigerant that will cool your car’s cabin. It is a simple and inexpensive method to restore air conditioning to pristine condition.
Retrofit kits have easy to follow guidelines to ensure you do it right the first time. The get the best result you may need oil charge and also dryer and vacuum down a replacement. We recommend that you get a retrofit kit that comes with a refrigerant. Doing so relieve you the stress of having to shop for the restoration needs separately. Also, ensure the retrofit kit is made of durable materials.
The process of retrofitting is quite easy and hence may not have to dig deep in your pockets. If the compressors, seals and hoses are compatible with R-134a refrigerant, you will only need to change compressor lubricant.
Ways to do retrofitting
There are two ways you can approach retrofitting. The first method involves following manufacturers guidelines. It involves eliminating all mineral oils in the system, receive/dryer or accumulator replacement with one that contains X-7 desiccant, changing high-pressure cutout and replacing the expansion valve or orifice tube. Then you just need to add PAG oil and recharge the system with R-134a.
The other method is removing all refrigerant in the system, adding POE oil and recharging with R-134a. This method is simple and cheap, as it only requires several cans of compressor oil and refrigerant.
Retrofitting is is useful and works in line with government regulations. On the flip side, you should expect a decrease in cooling system efficiency. To improve performances when retrofitting consider installing a variable valve, extra cooling fan and a larger more efficient condenser.
Most manufacturers approve R-134a only as the alternative refrigerant for R-12. However, some other refrigerants also meet EPA significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP).
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