318 air con question

I have a 1995 318, didn't get a instruction manual when I bought it. I'm maybe just stupid but I can't get the air conditioning to work, online manuals seem difficult to find.
When I switch on what I think is the air con a load goes on the engine implying that something should be working, fuses are all ok. Any suggestions please?
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If you've pressed the frost button and set the temperature low enough to demand it, it should work. Next stop an AC specialist - at that age it almost certainly needs a re-charge.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

Thanks for the response Had done both of what you suggested with no joy, I take that the 're charge' isn't a diy job then?
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wrote:

Not if you have to ask.
Your car takes R134a. You can buy this at the local parts store down on the corner. Get one that has a pressure gauge in the line that connects the can to the car.
There is a pressure port that will accept the fitting on the hose that the can is attached to. Start the car, turn on the AC, open the valve. The can will empty into the system.
All of this is printed on the can.
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Unfortunately Jeff you cannot buy it over the counter in the UK not Euroland. One has to be registered and trained to get the gas and to operate the almost idiot proof machinery that does the vacuum out and recharge process.

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Bought some from Halfords last year.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

That was last year Dave - I think you will find it neigh on impossible this year...
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Have you looked at ebay?
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It can be, if you're willing to invest a couple thousand bucks in tools. You'll be wanting a vacuum pump with recovery hardware, a good accurate gauge set, and a UV light and goggles so you can identify leaks.
If it's a simple recharging where the system just needs to be filled, that's easy to do with minimal equipment... but without a gauge set, you can't tell whether it is or not. And if the system has any kind of leak, you need to identify the leak, fix it, then pump all the air out of the system and start over.
There is a reason why the auto AC guys charge so much. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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wrote:

One can buy R134a with a gauge that looks at the low pressure side of the system for under $20, and get a system that either or it does not. A simple go-no-go test for under 20 bucks seems like the way to go to me.
If the system leaks, the guage will tell you. It won't say where, but most of us can't fix it so it doesn't really matter. If the system needs to be evacuated and recharged, we can't do that either. But if the system has simply bled its juice over the years, we can fix that for less than $20, or less than $30 if two cans of juice are needed.
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in article g6iis3$l6h$ snipped-for-privacy@registered.motzarella.org, Jeff Strickland at snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote on 7/27/08 12:38 PM:

only big leaks ... little ones nope. need the blue light, etc, etc ...
buy a certified mechanic who your neighbors speak well of.
IMO and all that rot !!!
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in article 488c8ce3$1 snipped-for-privacy@mk-nntp-2.news.uk.tiscali.com, Scabbydug at snipped-for-privacy@tiscali.co.uk wrote on 7/27/08 7:57 AM:

My guess is that you are out of refrigerant, AC oil .. these things leak. In fact all vessels that hold some form of fluid or air leaks, like your tires and you have to refill them from time to time.
Well in the AC you got, it is working just fine, just that there is no coolant in the system for it to heat exchange the cabin and cool it down.
Suggest you have sent in for repair, have an AC person work it up.
Do some RESEARCH on the subject matter, if your car is old enough (hard call as it is 10 years old or so) you would have to UPGRADE to a new more environmentally less hazardous coolant .. not the old freon stuff they used back in the day.
If you want to use the OLDER more expensive coolant that is hard to find ... then just top it off and drive on.
If you want to upgrade for the new coolant, then the AC pump and the AC condensor dryer must BOTH be replace to take advantage of the new coolant formulation.
So an upgrade is a bit more pricy on the install, but repeat coolant fills down the line are cheaper. If you want your car for another 10 years, then this makes sense.
If you want to upgrade your CAR, then trade it in and purchase up to the 2000 series with the new techology that gets you all the great gas mileage and great service.
I go for the last one my self ... get the new techology in a package and not upgrade the older stuff that fits more poorly together.
sumbuddie wear blind sea
:)
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Not really. R-12 is actually a lot cheaper than it was a few years ago when people were hoarding it... it's fairly reasonably priced and you can get it without too much trouble. BUT, you need an R-12 recovery system if you want to legally open the AC lines out.

I don't recommend doing the upgrade. I did it myself on an E28 back in 2001 when R-12 was impossible to get. I found that I had to replace the condenser coils as well in order to get effective cooling. And, I also found that R-174a leaks more easily than R-12, and it doesn't cost that much less. It was a good idea at the time, but I would not recommend doing it today. It is a pain to completely purge the system, make sure all the old oil is out, and get the new oil into it.

I don't want all that technology. It's just more stuff to break. If I could order a 135 stripped down... no AC, no radio, no ABS, no electric seats and windows... I'd go for it in a minute. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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whoops ... still get it in Mexico and other environmentally stupid countries ... in California it is real hard to get R-12 as it is outlawed ... in the USA getting that way fast to my reckoning. All new cars in the USA are not R-12 systems also to my reckoning ... still if you upgrade out of an R-12 system as your car still has years and miles on it have an AC guy do the gut and rebuild. If your car has reached a dollar foolish and penny wise condition of high use repair ... get new technology and purchase a 2000 or better year model. 2001 is better of course, as it is not the beta version. And on you go the newer you get the better the engineering. IMO of course.
in article g6igf6$eln$ snipped-for-privacy@panix2.panix.com, Scott Dorsey at snipped-for-privacy@panix.com wrote on 7/27/08 11:57 AM:

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It's not an 'upgrade' from R12. Quite the reverse, actually, in terms of performance.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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As I said, if you replace R12 with R174, and you replace the condenser coils and the dryer assembly, you can get just as good performance with the new freon as with the old. You _must_ have a larger condenser, though, otherwise it will just not get as cold.
Replacing the condenser isn't that hard... it's much easier than replacing the evaporator. --scott
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in article g6kiij$fp6$ snipped-for-privacy@panix2.panix.com, Scott Dorsey at snipped-for-privacy@panix.com wrote on 7/28/08 6:45 AM:

When I kicked my Cadilliac up to the new refrigerant ... after install of ALL the required parts it was putting out at 50 degrees F on idle ... and a bit colder at highway speed.
Enough for me to make it not work so good even in 110 degree heat outside.
If OLD SCHOOL is 'performance' ... while killing our kids along the way then you can have it.
I say performance is keeping the kids around so they can have a life.
I can only guess you do not know how to handle the toddler tantrum correctly .. AND it was not handled correctly in your childhood sorry to say.
Belts, spoons, hairbrushes and blood are the wrong way to handled kids ... as an example.
There are lots more ways of getting wrong.
Only one way to get it right.
The learning curve goes up after awhile.
Women are seeing what the toddler tantrum looks like in adults ... and they don't like it ... gonna be hard getting sex from them ... as a man like this really is not worth a fox.
As having sex with them means having all these problems come in with them at the same time.
sumbuddie wear blind sea
:)
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I'd guess all the 'required' parts weren't the *correct* upgrades. Otherwise no modern AC would work either.

I'm sure we'll manage a war or two to kill them anyway - regardless of the type of refrigerant in use.

Bully for you.

WTF you on about?

Sounds like you've experienced them all
[snip]
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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