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Replacing air-con condensor Vectra C 1.8 petrol

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by mointainwalker, 2 Jul 2018.

  1. mointainwalker

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    Hi

    I've just been told today that my non-functioning a/c is due to a puncture in the condensor . The specialist says it cannot be repaired and it will cost about £ 350 to buy the replacement and about £ 90 to fit it . He gave me these prices whilst he had his hands under the bonnet, so they are obviously a bit rough and ready ( Vectras not v common in France, so he wouldn't have a lot of experience with costs )

    When I got home I looked up the cost and was surprised that quality parts from Valeo/Delphi are around the £60/£75 mark: I am surprised at the huge price difference as this guy has been fair in the past.

    In the light of this, am thinking about doing it myself. System has been emptied and I would obviously get it filled professionally.

    Are the connections to the condensor some kind of standard fixings or do you require any special tools because of the pressures involved ?

    Thanks chaps !
     
  2. alan333

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    I can't comment on your particular car but usually the pipes are held to the condenser by small bolts, so are easily removed. Beware the condenser and radiator/fan are often bolted/clipped together, so you might need to do some jiggling to get them apart, or maybe even drain the cooling system to remove the whole assembly.
     
  3. HERTSDRAINAGE2010

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  4. Burnerman

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    I agree with Alan - the connections are usually flanged with a couple of small screws and an O ring.
    Access often involves removing the front panel where the bonnet catch is and lifting both rads out, but I don't know the Vectra particularly. Watch for any brittle locating clips - the Ford ones always snap :(
    John :)
     
  5. DaveHerns

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    Use new O rings.
     
  6. JohnD

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    IIRC the special seals to resist the refrigerant are green.

    I'd change all the seals on the syst while you are working.

    It is supposed to be sucked clean with a vacuum pump to remove all traces of moisture before refilling.
     
  7. mointainwalker

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    [QUOTE="

    It is supposed to be sucked clean with a vacuum pump to remove all traces of moisture before refilling.[/QUOTE]

    Does anyone know if this would be part of a standard re-filling procedure , or it is would need to be specially requested ?
     
  8. mointainwalker

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  9. anotherfinemess

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    It’s part of the standard refilling process I believe. They should put a vac pump on to check for leaks anyway, or they’ll be wasting their time and gas, and possibly your money. Not to mention the release of damaging gas to the ozone!
     
  10. DaveHerns

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    That's all part of a professional regas. Not if you go to Halfords where they use DIY cans, I believe. I expect there's a French equivalent of Halfords.
     
  11. Notch7

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    My mechanic has a Bosch automatic machine, it sucks out the refrigerant filters it, then re gasses.

    He charges about £60 from memory.

    I get it done every year as the air con on my ford is rubbish......economy instead of effective cooling so it is underpowered.
     
  12. JohnD

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    the new-ish automatic machines are said to be so good that they don't need a skilled operator. The machine detects certain faults, such as a leak, and stops. Yes, they should include the vacuum suck to remove old oil, gas and traces of moisture, though my BiL who is an HVAC in Australia tells me they are supposed to run the vacuum pump for 24 hours to get the system fully dry.

    Kwikfit offer the service for a similar price, and don't charge if the work is stopped due to leak or other fault, or if it doesn't cool the car correctly. IIRC they suck out the refrigerant gas in that case. On a previous car I had leaking seals, if your engine bay is nice and clean they are easy to see as a fluorescent dye is used. With no leak, it should last for several years.

    I don't like the idea of DIY cans. If you have to use them there's probably a leak that needs fixing.
     
  13. DaveHerns

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    They put a measured amount of oil (PAG oil) into the system when refilling so the machine has to remove all the old contents. I think you get a readout of how much was in the system so you can tell if it's healthy.
    The cans only inject a mixture of gas and oil. Nothing is extracted. They kept the a/c on my Citroen working until I sold it.
     
  14. baldykev

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    You should change the dryer as well due to the system being open (hole in condenser) moisture from atmosphere will damage dryer especially if faults been there a while.
     
  15. Burnerman

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    Don't they come complete with the new condenser, Kev? (Maybe that's the difference in price that mointainwalker noticed).
    John :)
     
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