by GLRkenny on Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:49 pm
The last couple of days I've been doing a course for my automotive air conditioning licence. As a part of this I needed to service a couple of air con systems and I thought I might as well do mine just because I can.
The instructor had informed me that it's not unusual to see a new car with a low gas charge, so was eager to see how mine was.
I must admit that I was utterly shocked to get the results, I mean I know the air con system in these is not great but I'd always put that down to the lack of a condenser fan.
My car was purchased new in January of this year and has done 22000km.
We started with a performance test where the temperature is read by a probe in the centre vent, all doors closed and system on recirc. This test was a bit embarrassing to be honest, the coldest I got was 5.4 degrees and the vt commodore next to me was getting about 2 degrees, I should add that it was a single cab ute so less cabin to cool but still a massive difference.
The next step was to recover the gas from the system and weigh the amount removed, out of my system which has a specified charge of 480-550 grams of refrigerant I only got 320 grams before it was empty, keep in mind that this is a 2015 car and 100% has no leaks.
The only reasonable explanation is that the system was only charged enough from factory to be cold on days when it's not really that hot, quite disappointing.
After vacuuming the system and recharging it with 530 grams of refrigerant the same test as before had the temperature reading of about 2.5 degrees, yep less than half of the previous reading.
I don't have a condenser fan fitted and will see how the system copes in summer with the right amount of gas in it before I fit a fan just for curiosity.