Thursday, November 6, 2008

Air Conditioning Retrofits

It is becoming increasingly expensive to repair air conditioning in a car. The increase in price is mainly due to the fact that they have stopped producing the R-12 because it was thought to be damaging the ozone layer. About five years ago, the R-12 part would have cost about two dollars per kilogram. It now costs about fifty-five dollars per kilogram. They have also introduced a tax amount on to the price as well, so the R-12 part has become very expensive. It is thought that there are enough R-12 parts available to last about the next three years, and then that will be them all used up.

It is highly recommended that you check the air conditioning for leaks on a regular basis, and repair the leaks as they appear instead of waiting till it is completely broken. This will help to save on the amount of money you have to pay to get it repaired, and also it will help to reduce the number of R-12 parts that are being used.

There have been a lot of other parts tested to see if they will be able to replace the R-12. However, only one part came anywhere close to the R-12. The part that could be the alternative is the R-134a. However, this part is not very reliable as it does not work well with the R-12 oil. It can be very costly to change the car to be able to accommodate the R-134a. The R-134a part will cost between fifty dollars and a few hundred dollars. Most of the conversions are very costly, because it means stripping out the whole of the dashboard to be able to change it over. This is a very time consuming job for the mechanics. The cheapest conversions involve removing the R-12 part and changing all the service ports and pressure switches. The more expensive conversions involve changing the compressor, condenser, all the hoses, and all the switches and fittings. All the different makes and models have different requirements, so the exact requirements have to be obtained from the manufacturers. They mainly recommend to only doing the change if you have had a major problem with the air conditioning system. The R-134a has come down in price so much so over the years that they are now in most cases cheaper to change the system, rather than to repair the old R-12.

There are two different types of cars when you are talking about doing an air conditioning conversion. The first type of car is the Japanese models. These are cars such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, and the Rover. The cars are slightly easier to change the air conditioning in, as the evaporator is located under the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. The second type is the European car such as Ford, BMW and Peugeot. The second type of cars are a lot harder to change the air conditioning in as the evaporator is located underneath the main engine, so it means you have to remove the whole dashboard and steering column. It can sometimes take days to change the air conditioning in the second type of car, so therefore the cost will be a lot higher. It is also a lot harder to change it in small cars such as a Honda Civic, because the engine is fitted closer together.

There are four different methods that you can choose from. These are a manufacturing kit, approved alternative kits, an installation by an air conditioning technician, or a second hand system. The method that you choose to go for will probably depend on what size of budget you have, as the prices vary a lot between the different methods. The manufactured kits can cost anywhere between one thousand one hundred and eight dollars to two thousand four hundred dollars. The fitting of this system would cost between six hundred dollars and one thousand five hundred dollars. The approved alternative kits can cost anything from two thousand dollars. To get the air conditioning technician to change the system would probably cost anything from one thousand seven hundred dollars. The other option which you could go for is it get a second hand system which still works, and that would probably cost you about one thousand nine hundred and seventy dollars. Then you would have to get a mechanic to fit it for you, so you would also have labour time on top of the initial cost of buying it.

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