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#4474438 - 07/30/17 08:16 AM AC longetivity
greasegunn Offline


Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 202
Loc: 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.

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#4474441 - 07/30/17 08:23 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
Delta Offline


Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 1150
Loc: 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.
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#4474445 - 07/30/17 08:27 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
Brad_C Offline


Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 617
Loc: 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.

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#4474465 - 07/30/17 08:48 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16820
Loc: 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.
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#4474467 - 07/30/17 08:50 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: Brad_C]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: 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.
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----------------

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
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#4474471 - 07/30/17 08:51 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
exranger06 Offline


Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 3907
Loc: 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.
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#4474495 - 07/30/17 09:22 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: 69GTX]
Brad_C Offline


Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 617
Loc: 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.

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#4474498 - 07/30/17 09:24 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: 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.

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#4474507 - 07/30/17 09:47 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: Brad_C]
Slick17601 Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 1515
Loc: 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?

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#4474515 - 07/30/17 09:52 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: Slick17601]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16820
Loc: 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.
_________________________
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87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40

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#4474535 - 07/30/17 10:10 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
aquariuscsm Offline


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 18170
Loc: Dallas,Tx USA
The AC in my 21 year old 30ZX still freezes you out!!
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#4474546 - 07/30/17 10:21 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4397
Loc: 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.
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#4474560 - 07/30/17 10:34 AM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
funflyer Offline


Registered: 06/26/14
Posts: 692
Loc: 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.
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#4474619 - 07/30/17 12:05 PM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
Nissan101 Offline


Registered: 08/13/15
Posts: 415
Loc: Caribbean
2004 nissan n16, the ac have never been touched by me and still blows cold to this day.
Caribbean heat too laugh
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#4474649 - 07/30/17 12:50 PM Re: AC longetivity [Re: greasegunn]
gman2304 Offline


Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 3055
Loc: n.c.
My 95 Nissan truck was still freezing cold and untouched when I sold it in 2014.

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