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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys,

My AC at the moment is coming out warm and not working at all so I believe it needs a regas. I have purchased 1234YF refill kit. The problem I am having is when viewing how to regas your car there are no videos out there at all, but the ones that are say you should check if the AC pump is spinning. Unfortunately the AC is connected to the drive belt so it only spins when the car engine is on, don't know if this means you can only have the ac on when your car engine is running? Anyway I wondered if anyone else has done a regas themselves and knew how to check if the pump is okay. I may just start anyway but wanted to check first.

Thanks

David
 

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Ditto, I need a regas too!

Correct, the AC compressor is driven by the drive belt, so only functions when the engine is running. Whilst the belt (and the pulley) is always spinning when the engine is running, the AC compressor only engages (via an electronic clutch) when you press the button to switch it on, so the compressor itself isn't running all the time when the engine is running. To know if the compressor is engaged and running, you will visibly see the wheel on the front of the compressor spin.

It is worth noting, that there is a low-pressure cut-off. So if your AC system is completely void of gas (and the important lubricant it carries), the AC compressor will not engage when switched on to avoid damage, until sufficient pressure is restored by regassing. I have never tried a regassing kit myself so I'm unsure of their effectiveness or safety. I tend to leave it to the technicians, so unfortunately I can't help you much in that aspect.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on :)
 

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I have also just ordered a kit (similar to this one)

Pictures 4 and 5 go through some diagnostic steps to help determine system health, so may be of some help....

 

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For £72, why are you messing about and not taking to a garage to have it gassed by a proper machine?
 

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For £72, why are you messing about and not taking to a garage to have it gassed by a proper machine?
I think R134A is the cheaper one, R1234YF is circa 150 to get done in garages and it is really not that complex to top up gas. If you have an issue with compressor, it then needs a garage.
 

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I think R134A is the cheaper one, R1234YF is circa 150 to get done in garages and it is really not that complex to top up gas. If you have an issue with compressor, it then needs a garage.
I paid £80 at a toyota dealer for R1234YF. Its not expensive now as all new cars use it.
 

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Yep, my service is booked for next week and I was quoted £70 for a R1234YF regas 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I've requested a refund for the kit as it would need to existing gas vacuumed out and a few other things so wasn't worth it as you guys have said. I'm having someone diagnose the system for a leak if the unit is faulty its under warranty anyway but they said they won't cover regassing -_-.

Did you get quoted £70-80 to regas alone or was that as an additional cost during a service?
 

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For £72, why are you messing about and not taking to a garage to have it gassed by a proper machine?
Clearly your idea of 'messing about' is the opposite of mine.

I have no current relationship with any local garages, nor - generally - any interest in starting one if I can possibly avoid it.

Admittedly, I had assumed a Regas with Toyota would be more than £70, but even so ringing up, to get a price, to book an appointment, to drive to that part of town, to wait around...... really not my idea of fun if I can do it at home myself instead......

Plus, (if it works) now I have the hose I can do a future Regas for £32 (at my leisure, at home 🙂 )
 

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So, have now used the kit (which was so easy a child could do it, although still probably better left to an adult 🙂) and have got working Aircon again - yippee !

Took about 15 minutes and half of that was just taking an initial pressure reading and then giving time for the 'stop leak' gas a few minutes to circulate, before then adding the refrigerant. Took a few pics, so will probably throw up something in the How - To section, but it's really pretty simple if you just follow the instructions. If Toyota dealers are now all around the £70/£80 mark for a Regas, then I can see why those who get their car dealer serviced might still prefer to leave it to Toyota, but for those of us like myself who generally prefer to DIY it definitely seems a good solution.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, have now used the kit (which was so easy a child could do it, although still probably better left to an adult 🙂) and have got working Aircon again - yippee !

Took about 15 minutes and half of that was just taking an initial pressure reading and then giving time for the 'stop leak' gas a few minutes to circulate, before then adding the refrigerant. Took a few pics, so will probably throw up something in the How - To section, but it's really pretty simple if you just follow the instructions. If Toyota dealers are now all around the £70/£80 mark for a Regas, then I can see why those who get their car dealer serviced might still prefer to leave it to Toyota, but for those of us like myself who generally prefer to DIY it definitely seems a good solution.
How much did you pay for your kit?. I do most of the work on my cars as well but when I worked out the price to do it myself, for something hopefully I won't need to do for ages I was put off.
 

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How much did you pay for your kit?. I do most of the work on my cars as well but when I worked out the price to do it myself, for something hopefully I won't need to do for ages I was put off.
£70.

It is identical to the one I linked to in the 3rd thread post above, except there was no "sanitiser" . Kit includes hose (with gauge) Leak-stop gas, refrigerant and instructions. If I need to Regas again in a couple of years, should hopefully just need the refrigerant, which is £32.
 

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So, have now used the kit (which was so easy a child could do it, although still probably better left to an adult 🙂) and have got working Aircon again - yippee !

Took about 15 minutes and half of that was just taking an initial pressure reading and then giving time for the 'stop leak' gas a few minutes to circulate, before then adding the refrigerant. Took a few pics, so will probably throw up something in the How - To section, but it's really pretty simple if you just follow the instructions. If Toyota dealers are now all around the £70/£80 mark for a Regas, then I can see why those who get their car dealer serviced might still prefer to leave it to Toyota, but for those of us like myself who generally prefer to DIY it definitely seems a good solution.
Great stuff and thanks for posting. I have ordered the same kit. Just a few questions, if you could help answer please:

1. What was the starting pressure on your car and how high did the kit take it. The gauge seems to show an optimal value of between 25-55 (blue zone).
2. Was one bottle sufficient and if yes, do you have some left over that can be used to top up the following year or is it a one time use bottle?
3. The under bonnet sticker shows the refrigerant (R1234YF) + a lubricating oil (PAG ND-OIL12). Does the gas come with the lubricating oil mixed in?
 

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Great stuff and thanks for posting. I have ordered the same kit. Just a few questions, if you could help answer please:

1. What was the starting pressure on your car and how high did the kit take it. The gauge seems to show an optimal value of between 25-55 (blue zone).
2. Was one bottle sufficient and if yes, do you have some left over that can be used to top up the following year or is it a one time use bottle?
3. The under bonnet sticker shows the refrigerant (R1234YF) + a lubricating oil (PAG ND-OIL12). Does the gas come with the lubricating oil mixed in?

1. Starting pressure was circa 3psi ! (So compressor was initially not running due to low pressure cut out). After discharging the two bottles (1 bottle seal conditioner and 1 bottle refrigerant) into the system, the gauge pressure was about 45psi, so just nicely above the middle of the 'blue zone'.

2. One bottle of refrigerant was sufficient, but I used all of it. They are £32 each. The underbonnet sticker shows that the refrigerant capacity should be 0.35kg (350g) and the bottle sticker states it is equivalent to 340g 1234YF, so clearly in the right ballpark (the stop leak bottle does also contain some refrigerant I believe).

3. A Very good question. Apparently it picks up the existing oil in the system. I bought the kit on eBay, but a search for 'oil' on the "aircontopup.com' website turned up this comment:

"Unlike others products which use a hydrofluorocarbon gas, our natural hydrocarbon gas will “pick up” the existing oil in the system thus removing the need to retrofit parts and change the lubrication oil."
 
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So my experience of using the kit was less than ideal. The pressure was 36, so just at the lower end of limit, I ended up connecting the gas bottle and putting more gas in, when it reached nearly 55 i stopped it but then it did overfill...and then all magic started happening, the engine idle became high- low, high - low as the AC compressor clutch came on-off on-off, every other second. So i had to discharge gas till it reached 40. Net net, not a pleasant experience and there is no safety cut off and can overfill with gas. The container is also one use as once its pierced, if you remove the bottle, it loses the gas.

I wouldn't recommend it or bother. Learnt the hard way with ~ £60 spent. Easier done with a main dealer than us :)
 

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So my experience of using the kit was less than ideal. The pressure was 36, so just at the lower end of limit, I ended up connecting the gas bottle and putting more gas in.......
So you chose not to follow the instructions then 😃.

To be fair to the makers of the kit, they do state in the diagnostic instructions (clearly available to read prior to purchase in the link I posted) that there are instances - 'possible problem C' where the kit isn't going to work.

Alot of the determining whether the kit is likely to work seems to come down to the initial pressure reading (and whether your compressor is operating).

You can buy the gauge/hose separately, so it is possible to do an initial diagnosis quite cheaply.

If you got an initial pressure reading of 36, then technically you haven't followed the instructions, as there are no instances where it says to add gas for pressure readings above 35 ( but yes I appreciate 36 is only JUST above 35, so would I have been tempted to add gas in your position - Probably 🙂)

Was your compressor working before you added gas?
 

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So you chose not to follow the instructions then 😃.

To be fair to the makers of the kit, they do state in the diagnostic instructions (clearly available to read prior to purchase in the link I posted) that there are instances - 'possible problem C' where the kit isn't going to work.

Alot of the determining whether the kit is likely to work seems to come down to the initial pressure reading (and whether your compressor is operating).

You can buy the gauge/hose separately, so it is possible to do an initial diagnosis quite cheaply.

If you got an initial pressure reading of 36, then technically you haven't followed the instructions, as there are no instances where it says to add gas for pressure readings above 35 ( but yes I appreciate 36 is only JUST above 35, so would I have been tempted to add gas in your position - Probably 🙂)

Was your compressor working before you added gas?
Yes my compressor was working and the pressure gauge said Blue zone is till 55 and my AC was not blowing cold enough to my liking, i thought why not and filled it in to let it go up. The way garages do is to take out the old gas, and refill till max gas volume and pressure, so the AC blows ice cold.
 

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Yes my compressor was working and the pressure gauge said Blue zone is till 55 and my AC was not blowing cold enough to my liking, i thought why not and filled it in to let it go up. The way garages do is to take out the old gas, and refill till max gas volume and pressure, so the AC blows ice cold.
As you aren't impressed with the kit I'm assuming your A/C has not really got any colder.....

I think it's interesting to compare our experiences, it's all a learning curve (for me anyway).

As my compressor wasn't even working when I started I was already quite happy just to hear it running again 🙂

So it looks like the kit might be better in instances where the initial pressure is low (whereas your system possibly had too much old gas still in it, mine had helpfully virtually all escaped).

I like the fact I can now check the system pressure anytime I feel there's a problem to help with diagnosis.
 
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I agree on the ability to check pressure now and deciding if its worth spending the money on regassing or if the garage is pulling a fast one asking us to top up.
It is not blowing any colder is true for mine and it is hard to control the gas inflow when you are already having a lot of gas in there as the weight of one bottle is equal to the nearly topping up an empty circuit. So choices are either waste gas and let it out to environment or overfill and face other consequences of a rubbish idle and having to reduce pressure.
 
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