Mercury Cougar, 1985 - A/C Upgrade/refill?

My A/C is almost on empty and I've heard that the old systems cannot be refilled due to environmental laws.
I've been told that I have to replace the whole system, while another person
told me I can buy a legal refill kit.
Can anyone advise me on these and possibly other options?
snipped-for-privacy@telus.net
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What country are you in ? I know in the US you can get your old system serviced and refilled or you can get your system retro-fitted with the new coolant. It just depends on how long you want to keep the car , how much you want to pay and if you can live without A/C...I know with my '88 Tempo that when the A/C died I opted to live without it...I lived in Michigan and it really didn't get that hot with a white car and the windows left down because no one would steal it anyway...as far as costs you'd have to call around. Linda
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Your vehicle can be quite easily retrofitted for the new more environmentally friendly coolant at any reputable AC shop for around $150. For the record, freon can still be used but the cost is prohibitive because of the taxes added to the product to discourage its use.
mike hunt
Wolfman wrote:

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Legally you should not be filling any system with a known leak regardless of the type of refrigerant your planning to put in. I don't know why anyone would not want to fix the leak anyhow. Trust me, If you don't have any experience working with air conditioning systems, then don't bother buying a kit from Wal Mart. Because:
1. You don't have the equipment to evacuate the system 2. You don't have the equipment to find the leak 3. You don't have the equipment to measure the correct amount of refrigerant to put in your system. 4. By doing the job wrong you'll most likely be buying a new compressor soon after. 5. Most likely you'll get cool but not cold air out of the ducts.
Spend the $100 ~ 150 and enjoy your car.
Just curious, How do you know it's "almost empty" Are you sure your heater control valve is not leaking hot coolant through the heater core? Very common on those cars.

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Leak? What leak? I said nothing of a leak.

By "almost on empty" I meant that it used to work consistently but now mostly blows heat, but occasionally kicks in for a few moments of cold before settling in to blowing heat. No I'm not sure of anything. From my last statement I'm wondering about the hot coolant leak prospect. From time to time I think (?) I smell a similar dry smell that rolls off an refrigerator or deep freeze
Time for a service call?
Wolfman

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"Wolfman" wrote

It's supposed to be a sealed system. If the refrigerant is low (can't really tell without a set of A/C pressure gauges), it must have leaked out somewhere.

Is the compressor still running? If it is, it could just be a leaking vacuum line or bad servo that isn't controlling the temperature blend door properly, letting it flop over to the "hot" side.
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"Thomas Moats" wrote

Google says Wolfman (or is it Bubba?) is in Duncan, on Vancouver Island.
Lots of regulations here. Crack open a perfectly functioning R-12 system for any reason, it can't be refilled, it must be converted, or capped and disabled.
----------------------------
http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/air/ozone/mvac1.html
Here in British Columbia, it is now illegal to charge or recharge any motor vehicle air conditioner (MVAC) - new or old - with CFCs. This is a requirement of BC's Ozone Depleting Substances and Other Halocarbons Regulation.
----------------------------
http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/W/WasteMgmt/387_99.htm#section19
Motor vehicle air conditioners not to be charged or recharged with an ozone depleting substance
19 A person must not charge or recharge a motor vehicle air conditioner with an ozone depleting substance.
----------------------------
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"Thomas Moats" wrote

My "point" is that Wolfman is in fact in Canada, so it is in fact illegal for him to have it refilled with R-12, and I cited a couple of "official" references with links for Wolfman or anyone else who might have wanted to read them. Do you have some kind of new problem with that, or just your usual?
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