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GeoffGeoff

Ac repair 2008 focus mk2

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Hi, 

This car has never been able to be re-gassed for the ac, in fact the ac has never worked since I've owned it. When they tried to regas it it just leaks out and they stop trying. 

How much would I be looking at for an ac repair?  I don't know where the leak is and I know nothing about car ac. 

Thanks

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Any AC engineer / mechanic worth their salt should be able to find a leak.
Ultraviolet liquid is introduced into the system and pumped around with nitrogen.
Using a UV light the pipes are checked and any leaks will show up quite clearly.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

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3 x main components they will check. The first being the condenser, and most likely culprit. (looks like a big radiator just behind the grill). Due to it's location, is a prime candidate for stone damage. This will cost about £100 new (don't get used!)+ fitting and re gas. Next culprit would be the compressor. I paid £22 for a 'scrap' one, third is a leak somewhere along the pipework. As already said, any A/C guy worth their salt will be able to diagnose what the issue is. Stay away from main dealers as they need to pay for their posh coffee machines and marble floors!

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And keep clear of kwik fit type outfits who just offer a fill service. An a/c guy doesn't cost the earth, and they really know what they're doing (no dis to kwik-fit outfits, but you know what I mean) 

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12 minutes ago, nicam49 said:

And keep clear of kwik fit type outfits who just offer a fill service....,

I have to disagree with you there. If all you require is a 'fill' service, they are just fine. In the same way that when you go to your local petrol station for a fill up, you wouldn't expect them to fix a fuel leak...

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It sounds like you have a big leak if they notice it when you take it to be re-gassed, so it should be very easy for any specialist to find the leak and give you a quote for parts and labour. 
 

The problem ones are the slow leaks that take a few weeks or months to discharge after a re-charge and don’t show up on the basic vacuum test. These might require an AC expert to do a nitrogen sniffer test to find the leak if they can’t visibly find any dye.

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Thank you all for your replies. I found out I probably need a new condenser and MAYBE some pipework, plenty available online but ac engineers and garages are nervous to fit 2nd hand condensers. Seems a bit silly to buy and fit a brand new condenser to a 12 year old car. Do any mechanics provide this service? Plenty available on eBay for a lot less than a brand new one 

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So we went through this with the missus old Yaris.  A stone had gone through an aircon pipe.  Our garage fitted new pipes and 2 recon condensors in all but the condensors kept leaking and failing.  Eventually they reckoned there must be debris/muck throughout the system and it would need a complete refit costing thousands.

To be fair they were very good and only charged us for the custom pipework that they had made themselves.

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8 minutes ago, GeoffGeoff said:

Thank you all for your replies. I found out I probably need a new condenser and MAYBE some pipework, plenty available online but ac engineers and garages are nervous to fit 2nd hand condensers. Seems a bit silly to buy and fit a brand new condenser to a 12 year old car. Do any mechanics provide this service? Plenty available on eBay for a lot less than a brand new one 

Geoff, pony up for a brand new condenser! The price of mine was about £80, not sure how much you'd get one on Ebay for,, but I would certainly share concerns of getting a used one. (I fitted a brand new one to my 15 year old car!)  It is located in a very vulnerable place on the car and is prone to stone chip and general debris hitting it. Even one that looks sound may be inherently weak... If your used one does leak, you'll already be out of pocket £60+ for a regas.

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:06 AM, GeoffGeoff said:

Thank you all for your replies. I found out I probably need a new condenser and MAYBE some pipework, plenty available online but ac engineers and garages are nervous to fit 2nd hand condensers. Seems a bit silly to buy and fit a brand new condenser to a 12 year old car. Do any mechanics provide this service? Plenty available on eBay for a lot less than a brand new one 

I'm all for saving money by fitting serviceable used parts, but some parts just aren't worth it such as a DMF/clutch or A/C condenser.  There's a good change the part will be damaged or near the end of it's service life so all the labour/oil/gas you've paid for all gets wasted if the "used" condenser is a little too "used".

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:12 AM, Guy Heaton said:

So we went through this with the missus old Yaris.  A stone had gone through an aircon pipe.  Our garage fitted new pipes and 2 recon condensors in all but the condensors kept leaking and failing.  Eventually they reckoned there must be debris/muck throughout the system and it would need a complete refit costing thousands.

To be fair they were very good and only charged us for the custom pipework that they had made themselves.

Yeah it can be costly fixing the AC on an old beater. 
 

When I buy any car I test the AC works properly first and walk away if it’s not. I’ll only accept non working AC if it’s a £400 throw away car! 

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:13 AM, StephenFord said:

Geoff, pony up for a brand new condenser! The price of mine was about £80, not sure how much you'd get one on Ebay for,, but I would certainly share concerns of getting a used one. (I fitted a brand new one to my 15 year old car!)  It is located in a very vulnerable place on the car and is prone to stone chip and general debris hitting it. Even one that looks sound may be inherently weak... If your used one does leak, you'll already be out of pocket £60+ for a regas.

If I do that (I thought a new one was £500 btw hence thinking 2nd hand)  is it a complex job to fit? How long should / would it take a competent mechanic to fit a new one if I buy it? I understand it may not work,  ie further unknown at present pipework problems, but I don't mind taking the risk if I can get some cold air this summer. Worst case is still having to wind the windows down and fan on max and the loss of some money I suppose 

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If you take it to an a/c specialist, they will give you an all-in price, (fit +fill) also you won't be paying garage hourly rates either. 

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38 minutes ago, GeoffGeoff said:

  is it a complex job to fit? How long should / would it take a competent mechanic to fit a new one if I buy it?

To answer you question, my 'focus' condenser took my guy an hour all in to fit, which included a re gas. You really should take it to a specialist A/C guy as that's all they do and they'll be quicker due to experience. Also, they should be properly qualified to handle the very corrosive AC gas which in the wrong hands can be harmful. Oh, I took a pic of him just double checking everything once done LOL

63398549_ChrisAirCon.thumb.jpg.9cf2c9c4500ed182db5f78b95b6e938d.jpg

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12 hours ago, StephenFord said:

To answer you question, my 'focus' condenser took my guy an hour all in to fit, which included a re gas. You really should take it to a specialist A/C guy as that's all they do and they'll be quicker due to experience. Also, they should be properly qualified to handle the very corrosive AC gas which in the wrong hands can be harmful. Oh, I took a pic of him just double checking everything once done LOL

63398549_ChrisAirCon.thumb.jpg.9cf2c9c4500ed182db5f78b95b6e938d.jpg

Well, just got a brand new £170 mk2 focus condenser at a MASSIVE  corona discount, (I guess they figure we're never going to sell this stuff ever unless we heavily discount), so now just need to find an ac engineer willing to fit it for me. Don't mind paying their regular rate, but my problem so far has been getting someone to do it at all, they seem nervous that the end result will be ac = still broken and I'll blame them rather than circumstance/pipework. I don't mind taking the risk unless it's woefully expensive. 

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Gosh, that's still steep as I can see them listed on Ebay for much ,much less than that, but you've got it now. (EDIT - just realised I'm not sure what car you have as it's a 'focus' forum but you have a Mondeo?) I can understand the reticence to take responsibility. After having my new condenser fitted the charge only lasted months before a secondary fault was discovered. My AC compressor was also faulty! However, I did buy a used one at about £25, he fitted it (much quicker than the condenser) up on a ramp and swapped out in 15 minutes, and the system has been running perfect ever since. I have now had 4 x cars that have had A/C issues, which is why now I would simply walk away from one that didn't scare brass monkeys!

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Well look, when they fit + fill, they also (or should anyway, ask them) put in PAG oil and UV dye, so that in the event of a leak, they can detect it's source (with equipment) Best go to a proper, preferably independant, a/c place if you can. 

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