Air Con question

metalmickey

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My 1999 Z3 SE is fitted with AC but it is not working. I acquired the car (pride and joy) in September 2013 and the previous owner confirmed that the Air Con was not working. He mentioned a possible leak having had it tested. The light does not illuminate when the switch is depressed and there is no change of air flow. With the summer on it's way and monsoon conditions predicted this year it would be nice to get it functioning again. I also like to have everything in working condition.
As anyone had a similar experience ? I would welcome your comments.
MM
 

GazHyde

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Hi MM,

If the light doesn't come on at all then I'm thinking it could be fuse related. That doesn't mean it will fix it, but I would expect the light to come on even if it's not gassed.

The air con needed regassing on my MINI Cooper, and found a local guy who serviced air conditioning to come out and check it over. Gave it the full monty including full pressure testing and the essential gassing. Think it cost me about £80-90 for the fully warrantied service he provided (about half what MINI wanted).
 

metalmickey

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Hi MM,

If the light doesn't come on at all then I'm thinking it could be fuse related. That doesn't mean it will fix it, but I would expect the light to come on even if it's not gassed.

The air con needed regassing on my MINI Cooper, and found a local guy who serviced air conditioning to come out and check it over. Gave it the full monty including full pressure testing and the essential gassing. Think it cost me about £80-90 for the fully warrantied service he provided (about half what MINI wanted).
Hi Gaz
Thanks for the response. It did occur to me after I posted that I need to check the fuse. I know where the fuse box is but not the location in the box. I might find that in the owner's handbook..
The cost for a regassing sounds reasonable but I will check it out locally. Surrey pricing tends to be higher than the rest of the world! I have just committed to a Jack Royal steering wheel retrim. These fanciful ideas of owning such a beautiful little car come at a price!
Thanks for your input.
MM
 

Mint

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I had my aircon regassed at a Halfords autocentre for £49 last year. Not the Zed but the principle is the same. May be worth a phone call to your nearest one as their pricing would be national (I would think) :)
 

Brian H

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Unfortunately the bottom hoses on the Zeds are prone to corrosion and therefore leaks in the system. The air con pump will not run if it is not up to the correct pressure. As Mint has said, Halfords do a recharge for your system which takes approx 1hr, if your system cannot hold gas due to a leak they will not charge.
 

Mint

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Correct Brian, they check for leaks by evacuating the system and leaving it for half an hour. If the vacuum has remained it means no leaks then they re-gas (then charge you) .
 

FRANKIE

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Last year I installed a new compressor. As mentioned above, I evacuated the system using a vacuum pump. As Mint said, I let it stand for a half hour to see if the vacuum was maintained and it was. There are kits that allow you to add R- 134 gas to the system but its best to evacuate the system first. I have refrigerant gauges that I use to recharge the system. Went to run everything and it never turned on. It seems that a pulley for the a/c belt was defective. Went through hell replacing it. No room to work. Turned it on...nothing. The light on the switch didn't go on. I turned it on and noticed the compressor magnetic clutch pulley wasn't engaging. I tested the wire leading to the compressor and it was hot. I hot wired the compressor directly and it ran. Only one thing between the hot wire and the compressor was a thermal protection switch which sits on top of the compressor to sense its external temperature. Since the compressor was new, this switch that was attached to it should have been new. I tested it and it was bad. Called the dealership and its no longer available. Did find it on line at a fraction of the dealer's price. Ordered it, replaced it, and all is OK now. Frankie.
 

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Frankie's report is exactly where I would be pointing this discussion. Pressure switch is usual culprit, but it there is no power to the magnetic drive on the A/C pulley it cannot work.
 

metalmickey

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Hi Mint
First of all may I say how much I admire your Z. If I was building my own spec this colour combination would be what I would order. Very classy! If you want to share anymore photos I would be really impressed!
Thank you for your tip re: Halfords. I have a branch very near to my work place so I will definitely drop in and see what they say. I used Halfords for my last tyre change and MOT on my 318i and I was very impressed with their service and how competitive they were.
Thanks once again.
MM
Frankie's report is exactly where I would be pointing this discussion. Pressure switch is usual culprit, but it there is no power to the magnetic drive on the A/C pulley it cannot work.
So it seems I may need to buy a new fridge! I will get it checked and see what the diagnosis is before jumping in. Thanks for everyone's input on this topic.
MM
 

Zeti

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If your AC dryier filter (located under the right head light) it's since 1999 (more than likely!), because it's made on alu will corrode and the old rubber rings of the fittings will not insure anymore the seal and the gas will leak. It was my case; after some cleaning of the alu surfaces and new rubber rings it works perfectly. Despite this, next month I will drain totaly the system, replace the dryier and refill with new gas and clean oil. It will help the system to work correctly many more years.
 

metalmickey

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If your AC dryier filter (located under the right head light) it's since 1999 (more than likely!), because it's made on alu will corrode and the old rubber rings of the fittings will not insure anymore the seal and the gas will leak. It was my case; after some cleaning of the alu surfaces and new rubber rings it works perfectly. Despite this, next month I will drain totaly the system, replace the dryier and refill with new gas and clean oil. It will help the system to work correctly many more years.
Thanks Zeti
I will investigate further. Head under the bonnet again!
MM
 

t-tony

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Most a/c systems along side the lubricating oil, also have a dye in the gas. When looking for leaks you need a UV light and glasses to show where the dye has escaped.;)
 

metalmickey

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Hi Tony
The car is 1999 registration with 59000 on the clock. I bought it at 57000 and the problem existed then. Do you agree that it might be age related. I know the feeling. I have already had the need for parts replacement myself with a nice, new shiny metal hip hence my handle Metal Mickey!
Thanks for the additional info.
MM
 

FRANKIE

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Hi Tony
The car is 1999 registration with 59000 on the clock. I bought it at 57000 and the problem existed then. Do you agree that it might be age related. I know the feeling. I have already had the need for parts replacement myself with a nice, new shiny metal hip hence my handle Metal Mickey!
Thanks for the additional info.
MM
I know the feeling too, and I'm not a car.
 

Mint

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Hi Mint
First of all may I say how much I admire your Z. If I was building my own spec this colour combination would be what I would order. Very classy! If you want to share anymore photos I would be really impressed!
Thanks for your kind comments MM, and just to hijack your thread for a moment, she is one of the last of the line and original apart from a better head unit to complement the HK sound system. There are a few more photos here : zroadster.org/forum/search/461420/
Cheers, Dave
 

t-tony

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Hi Tony
The car is 1999 registration with 59000 on the clock. I bought it at 57000 and the problem existed then. Do you agree that it might be age related. I know the feeling. I have already had the need for parts replacement myself with a nice, new shiny metal hip hence my handle Metal Mickey!
Thanks for the additional info.
MM
Ah, a bitza, like me I got a 6 year piece of pig in my heart(valve). My wife says I should go out hunting truffles.=))
 

t-tony

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The mention of Apple sauce is quite scary.;)
 

metalmickey

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Thanks for your kind comments MM, and just to hijack your thread for a moment, she is one of the last of the line and original apart from a better head unit to complement the HK sound system. There are a few more photos here : zroadster.org/forum/search/461420/
Cheers, Dave
Hi Dave
The link isn't working at the moment. It's reporting an error.
Modern technology. You can't beat the old snapshots.
I will try later.
MM
 
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