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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:37   #1
treue
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Default How do i depressurize ac system?

So my ac compressor is toast and the pulley is locked up, and i have a brand new unit and dryer that needs to be installed. My plan is to depressurize so i can disconnect the hoses at the compressor, remove the old compressor, and install the new one. I will then go to a shop for a system flush and charge, and have them do whatever they do. How to i go about safely depressurizing? My aim is to avoid a shop charging me to physically install my new compressor.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:39   #2
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You need to have an A/C shop do this. The charge can be quite small if you find a reasonable shop. I had my mechanic do this last year and very roughly speaking it is around $30 to remove the charge and $50 to recharge when you are done....

however, I see you are in Chicago so maybe it will cost you $200
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:40   #3
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I have the exact same dilemma. My compressor is seized too. I am going to try to clamp the hoses to the compressor but am not sure if this willl work. The correct procedure is to get the refrigerant removed from the system, remove and refit the new compressor with new seals(lubricated) and then get the system regassed and oiled.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:45   #4
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1) Most shops will do a freon recovery. i.e. pump your old freon into a tank for recovery/recycle/disposal.
2) Backyard wrenches will generally vent to atmosphere. I don't recommend this. Bad for the environment and all.
3) Flushing is usually done with a liquid followed up with water, then a high aromatic solvent to clear the water and any flush residue.

ackits.com is a good reference for DIY.

Tony
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Old March 13th, 2010, 08:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mk3
You need to have an A/C shop do this. The charge can be quite small if you find a reasonable shop. I had my mechanic do this last year and very roughly speaking it is around $30 to remove the charge and $50 to recharge when you are done....

however, I see you are in Chicago so maybe it will cost you $200
Right, but what i'm trying to avoid is a shop charging me to remove the old compressor and install the new one. I can do that myself. Anyone who knows how to simultaneously lay on their back while holding a wrench can do it in 15 minutes.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 09:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkm24
I have the exact same dilemma. My compressor is seized too. I am going to try to clamp the hoses to the compressor but am not sure if this willl work. The correct procedure is to get the refrigerant removed from the system, remove and refit the new compressor with new seals(lubricated) and then get the system regassed and oiled.
I just went ahead and bought a new unit from here:

http://techchoiceparts.com/

I found them while searching for a used compressor on ebay. Feedback from buyers all point to these being good units, and they come with 1 year warranty.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 20:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treue
Right, but what i'm trying to avoid is a shop charging me to remove the old compressor and install the new one. I can do that myself. Anyone who knows how to simultaneously lay on their back while holding a wrench can do it in 15 minutes.
of course, I understand that.. it's exactly what I would do. I replaced my condenser last year but I spent the $70 with my local mechanic to remove the charge and then to recharge it. I did everything else including adding the oil.... just had to make two trips to the shop.

There is no reason the mechanic should complain to you or make you feel bad for doing your own work... mine didn't - he's totally cool.

oh.. forgot to mention one more reason I did it this way is that I didn't think it would be fair to my mechanic to show up with a system that had been vented illegally and ask him to complete the job for me. He's supposed to follow the law...so.. well I don't know what he would have done in that case..
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Old March 15th, 2010, 20:15   #8
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According to the EPA you should recover the R134a in your car's AC system, but it's just fine to spray it in the air if it's coming out of an air duster can.

-Jason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkm24
I have the exact same dilemma. My compressor is seized too. I am going to try to clamp the hoses to the compressor but am not sure if this willl work. The correct procedure is to get the refrigerant removed from the system, remove and refit the new compressor with new seals(lubricated) and then get the system regassed and oiled.
Follow the manual on this. I am not sure Bentley covers this, but you need to put the proper amount of refrigerant oil in the compressor before you install it, I believe. Or at least make uop for it when recharging the system.

--Nate
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compu_85
According to the EPA you should recover the R134a in your car's AC system, but it's just fine to spray it in the air if it's coming out of an air duster can.

-Jason
I agree. That is quite odd. You can slowly discharge the system by depressing the low side and then high side schrader (tire valve stem like) valves on the hoses. I am not offering any comments on whether or not this is appropriate, but that it can be done to remove the referigerant. Just wear goggles and gloves, possibly.

--Nate
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Old March 16th, 2010, 06:15   #11
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And 2x on venting slowly, that way you loose as little oil as possible. Though if you are replacing the compressor and dryer you'll need to replenish most of the oil anyway.

-J
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Old March 16th, 2010, 07:09   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mk3
You need to have an A/C shop do this. The charge can be quite small if you find a reasonable shop. I had my mechanic do this last year and very roughly speaking it is around $30 to remove the charge and $50 to recharge when you are done....
+1

Or buy the tools to DIY... A gauge set, vacuum pump & recovery tank are available from a number of sources and fully manual, small-shop set-ups aren't horribly expensive compared to the multi-$K automatic machines you usually see at a pro garage. However, this is still only worthwhile if you plan to do it more than a couple of times.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 20:52   #13
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I bought my AC tools from ackits.com. Good prices and good quality.

Tony
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Old March 16th, 2010, 21:27   #14
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If your a/c hose bursts, the freon ends up blending in the air. So when you loose the a/c hose, you will hear freon leak just like air coming out of tire when you depress the valve stem needle. EPA is not there to monitor what you are doing. Moreover, the effect on environment may not be material because this event is not happen to all cars at same time.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 21:30   #15
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Someone suggested that since my compressor was locked up, clutch was missing, and pulley was falling off, that it may already be depressurized. I got my 6mm hex on one of those hose bolts on the compressor and gave it a few quarter-turns and out came some green goodness. Good thing i wore gloves. I swapped in the new compressor. I take it to Car-X in the morning for the flush and charge. I only hope they don't try to screw me by claiming this and that part also need replacing. I bought a new dryer to be installed, but nothing else. I mean, it's entirely possible that other stuff needs replacing. The problem is that i don't have a relationship with any of the shops in my area, so i'm at their mercy. I usually do most of my own work. Most things can be tackled with research beforehand, proper tools, and a good shop manual.

I didn't have to give up my old compressor for a core return, so does anyone know of a place that buys compressor cores? I don't know what else to do with this thing.
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