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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a question for you home mechanics. Hypothetically speaking... err... writing.

Would you use a "freelance" certified freon recovery person to drain your a/c system?

How desirable would/could this service be to you?


Why I ask. I am looking into replacing my A/c compressor and of course legally speaking I should have the freon drained by a certified person using certified equipment.
What I found is that the certification is relatively easy and minimal costs to do in regards to equipment set-up. This service would not involve any repair of your system just a legal drain and maybe refill of proper freon.

What would you be willing to pay for the service of draining your system? $25 - $50 - $100? Mind you that the cost of freon and transportation would be involved to get to where you live. Hypothetically speaking of course.

I'm curious to think how many of us would be more apt to repair our a/c problems if we had an alternative to a full-service shop.
 

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What car is this on? R-134A or systems converted to R-134A do not need to any special certification to service.

Are you are talking about an original R-12 system? Is the system still charged? Typically, an R12 system at this point is going to be discharged, in which case you would just want to replace the fittings with those from an R-134 conversion kit & have a vacuum pulled on the system, then verify that it's holding. If it's not, repair/replace the leaking component, then re-try. Once it holds a vacuum, charge the system and you should be good to go.

They sell a "magic box" at the harbor freight that is designed to pull vacuum on A/C systems. The thing is under $15. You hook it up to your air compressor, and run it for about 2 minutes while it pulls a vacuum on the AC system. They "suggest" using this unit only on R-134A systems, because it discharges into the atmosphere, which you should not do on an R12 system.
 

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You know, I've been wondering what's involved in fixing my A/C. I'm hoping it just needs to be recharged, since it was working just fine last summer, but I haven't been able to get it to work this summer, which kinda sucks with this heat wave. Isn't there an A/C recharge kit you can get at Walmart, or is that just for older systems? I'd totally be down if you could drain and fill mine, and if it doesn't fix the problem, at least I'll know I need to start looking deeper. I don't really care if you're a noob, it's already broken, it can't really get worse! Give me a shout if you decide to go ahead.
 

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The stuff they sell at walmart are for newer cars, not older cars. Newer cars use R-134A which does not harm the earths ozone layer. This is why anyone can buy R-134A and service R-134A systems. Most cars made after 1994, and in some cases earlier have R-134A AC systems. Any car with an R-12 system can be converted to work on R-134A, and it will work about 85% as effectively as it did with R-12, so long as it is charged correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just get to a point that I'd rather replace all the parts myself than take it to a shop repeatedly to track down leaks. But I didn't know that you could do R-134a on your own. But I was in the midst of looking up what it takes to get certified to handle freon and it isn't much...maybe $20 for the test. It was the equipment that was pricey. So I wondered if there was a simple business here.
I'm going to look into Harbor Freight for that tool. I need to do do a flush and probably end up replacing all the seals and usual parts.
 
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