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AC longetivity #4474438
07/30/17 07:16 AM
07/30/17 07:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 208
NY
greasegunn Offline OP
greasegunn  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 208
NY
So my impression is that the AC system may be one of the most problematic systems on modern cars. How long has everyone gone without doing any kind of repair or refrigerant recharge? I seem to make it to the 5 - 7 year range before I see a decrease in cooling performance and need some kind of work.

Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474441
07/30/17 07:23 AM
07/30/17 07:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,343
South Central PA
Delta Offline
Delta  Offline
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,343
South Central PA
Our old 2001 Expedition that was bought in 2007 and we never touched the AC system 10 years it was in the family. Went through some of the hottest Mississippi summers and still blowed cold the day it was traded in. The rear heater core was a different animal though...

On the flipside, mother had a 2002 Camry Solara that was bought new and needed charged in less than 3 years.

The S10 seems to need half a can every 6 months or so. Not worth the money to replace the leaking compressor at this point.


'17 VW GTI 2.0T - 6MT - 11K - Edge 0w40
'15 Camry SE - 2.5 - 22K - PP 0w20
'99 S10 - 2.2 5MT - 157K - PP 10w30
Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474445
07/30/17 07:27 AM
07/30/17 07:27 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 683
Perth, Western Australia
Brad_C Offline
Brad_C  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 683
Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: greasegunn
So my impression is that the AC system may be one of the most problematic systems on modern cars. How long has everyone gone without doing any kind of repair or refrigerant recharge? I seem to make it to the 5 - 7 year range before I see a decrease in cooling performance and need some kind of work.


All Automotive A/C leaks. If you re-gas it every couple of years it'll last until you suffer an external mechanical failure (like a clutch bearing). If you don't, then you'll restrict oil circulation until you lunch the compressor.

Unfortunately most people are in the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality and thus they run it until it "don't blow cool no more", and by that time most of your oil is in the evaporator and your compressor becomes an aluminium dust factory.

Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474465
07/30/17 07:48 AM
07/30/17 07:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,837
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,837
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Brad c nailed it...the oil moves with the refrigerant. The oil also seeps out the many connections ,compressor shaft seal etc. We recomend a recharge with oil added every 60k.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: AC longetivity [Re: Brad_C] #4474467
07/30/17 07:50 AM
07/30/17 07:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,948
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,948
Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Brad_C
Unfortunately most people are in the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality and thus they run it until it "don't blow cool no more", and by that time most of your oil is in the evaporator and your compressor becomes an aluminium dust factory.


That must be me. My current DD has 15 years and 75K miles on the original AC system. Never touched or recharged. Maybe I should? Blows as cold today as when I bought it in 2009.

Curiously, I think my previous DD (also a Lincoln Continental) also went 12 yrs and 230K miles on original AC when the car died of other causes.

My 1999 had the AC go due to a compressor seal leak after 13 yrs. Been fine for the past 5 yrs.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474471
07/30/17 07:51 AM
07/30/17 07:51 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,026
Guilford, CT
exranger06 Offline
exranger06  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,026
Guilford, CT
My Accord went 19 years before the charge finally got low enough to need a recharge. At that point I converted the R12 system to R134a, recharged, and I was good to go. That was 6 years ago and it's still working great.


2006 Ford Ranger Sport
1992 Honda Accord EX
2004 Honda CR-V LX
1994 Ford Bronco XLT (project)
2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV (wife's)
Re: AC longetivity [Re: 69GTX] #4474495
07/30/17 08:22 AM
07/30/17 08:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 683
Perth, Western Australia
Brad_C Offline
Brad_C  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 683
Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
Blows as cold today as when I bought it in 2009.


Does it? You did brand new temperature and pressure readings to compare with now? Or are we talking "butt dyno" and "it's still good enough for me even though it might have been actually better when new".

As your refrigerant level drops you lose subcooling from the condenser, then you start to bubble through the expansion device and ultimately under-fill the evaporator, so you _do_ lose system efficiency and therefore cold at the evaporator. Of course with Automotive systems they are mostly over-specced to begin with, you won't actually notice extended cycle times and the resulting power loss and fuel consumption until you start sweating. The overall result is vaguely similar cabin temperatures. So unless you measure, you don't actually know.

I'd put money on it.

Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474498
07/30/17 08:24 AM
07/30/17 08:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California
OneEyeJack Offline
OneEyeJack  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California
2003 4Runner, 160K+ a/c never touched, lots of hard pulling in the desert, works like new.

I've wondered if slightly improper care will actually damage a sealed system like a/c. This happened to my home a/c and it was expensive to fix. My current home a/c is 17 years old and besides keeping the system clean along with the electrostatic and regular furnace filters there has been none of that periodic maintenance by a service company done and it works like new.

Re: AC longetivity [Re: Brad_C] #4474507
07/30/17 08:47 AM
07/30/17 08:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,552
Pennsylvania
Slick17601 Offline
Slick17601  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,552
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Brad_C
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
Blows as cold today as when I bought it in 2009.


Does it? You did brand new temperature and pressure readings to compare with now? Or are we talking "butt dyno" and "it's still good enough for me even though it might have been actually better when new".

As your refrigerant level drops you lose subcooling from the condenser, then you start to bubble through the expansion device and ultimately under-fill the evaporator, so you _do_ lose system efficiency and therefore cold at the evaporator. Of course with Automotive systems they are mostly over-specced to begin with, you won't actually notice extended cycle times and the resulting power loss and fuel consumption until you start sweating. The overall result is vaguely similar cabin temperatures. So unless you measure, you don't actually know.

I'd put money on it.


As long at it is still cold, who cares?


2018 Ram Bighorn 5.7
2008 Toyota Sienna 3.5
Re: AC longetivity [Re: Slick17601] #4474515
07/30/17 08:52 AM
07/30/17 08:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,837
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,837
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: Slick17601
Originally Posted By: Brad_C
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
Blows as cold today as when I bought it in 2009.


Does it? You did brand new temperature and pressure readings to compare with now? Or are we talking "butt dyno" and "it's still good enough for me even though it might have been actually better when new".

As your refrigerant level drops you lose subcooling from the condenser, then you start to bubble through the expansion device and ultimately under-fill the evaporator, so you _do_ lose system efficiency and therefore cold at the evaporator. Of course with Automotive systems they are mostly over-specced to begin with, you won't actually notice extended cycle times and the resulting power loss and fuel consumption until you start sweating. The overall result is vaguely similar cabin temperatures. So unless you measure, you don't actually know.

I'd put money on it.


As long at it is still cold, who cares?
if its low on refrigerant the compressor is being starved for oil.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474535
07/30/17 09:10 AM
07/30/17 09:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,133
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Offline
aquariuscsm  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,133
Dallas,Tx USA
The AC in my 21 year old 30ZX still freezes you out!!


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum 5W20

Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474546
07/30/17 09:21 AM
07/30/17 09:21 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,041
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,041
The Midwest
I was a mechanic at a Honda dealer before eventually becoming a mechanic at UPS. The 6th generation Civic had crummy AC from the factory and a few models often had it it dealer installed like the HX and the CX hatchback. The AC at it's best performed poorly in those.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Wanted: 2019 Ford Ranger
Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474560
07/30/17 09:34 AM
07/30/17 09:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 771
Northern Arizona
funflyer Offline
funflyer  Offline
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 771
Northern Arizona
My 01 Tacoma went 15 years before it developed a leak. I've been topping it off for the last two summers but it's getting worse so it's time to find the leak.


2016 Prius 1.8L
2001 Tacoma 2.4L
1966 GTO 6.5L
2015 Cub Cadet
Honda CT70 (X6)
Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474619
07/30/17 11:05 AM
07/30/17 11:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 433
Caribbean
Nissan101 Offline
Nissan101  Offline
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 433
Caribbean
2004 nissan n16, the ac have never been touched by me and still blows cold to this day.
Caribbean heat too laugh


Nissan N16 -10w30
Nissan S13 -20w50

Royal Purple HPS smile
Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn] #4474649
07/30/17 11:50 AM
07/30/17 11:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,268
n.c.
gman2304 Offline
gman2304  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,268
n.c.
My 95 Nissan truck was still freezing cold and untouched when I sold it in 2014.

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