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A/C Regassing Problem

1599 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  kurt44
I'm having a problem trying to get my A/C unit regassed. The local stealers can't do it because the refrigerant is the older R12 type. Also, took the car to a local tyre & exhaust centre which offers a regassing service; they can't do it either for the same reason. Whilst I was there, I met a guy called Kevin (anyone know him?) who works for K&M BMW Auto Specialists. He said I need to get a conversion done which involves new compressor, seals etc., etc., (basically big ££££s!:grrrrr:) to take the newer R134a refrigerant. However, he did mention that some car aircon specialists offer regassing services using a substitute 'gas' - RS24 or RS 124, I believe. Has anyone had a similar problem? BTW, I live in the East Berks area if someone would be so kind as to offer their advice and point me in the right direction.

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· Registered
1,285 Posts
I'm not an A/C guru, but I have plenty of dealings with my
local A/C guy I use (he does spot on LPG conversions as well as AC regasses)

He has converted many vehicles over from R12 to R134a and generally
says that you can get away with just new O-ring seals in the relevant joint
areas and on occasion a new Drier unit.

He's never had to swap out a compressor...

You're gonna have to shop around though, as the majority of companies
will give you the full on talk & assume you've got a 60 grand E60...and charge
you likewise:1zhelp:

Find the right guy and it can be done on a budget.



· Registered
218 Posts
Were all E34 M5's equipped with the same A/C system/gas?

The reason I ask is that I just rocked up at my local Halfords and they were able to regas mine for £45.
No, vehicles produced after September 1992 (i.e. model year 1993 and newer) were delivered with R134a from the factory. Before that they were all supplied with R12.

· Registered
1,225 Posts
Hi Kurt. Although R12 is difficult to find it is not impossible, it is however very expensive.

If your car is a long term proposition then I would bite the bullet and go for a conversion. I've just done mine and it cost around £400 all in.

· Registered
96 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Finally managed to resolve the A/C regassing issue (for those that don't know, my beast is a pre-1993 3.8 ltr), and just in time too; the sun is shining and it's getting warmer! :)

Contacted a chap called David Fry who is an aircon specialist and runs his own mobile car aircon servicing business ( in Northhamptonshire. He advised me that although the R12 refrigerant has been banned for the past 15 yrs, he is able to offer a 'retrofit' regassing service using the substitute RS24 refrigerant, which is virtually identical in composition to R12.

Seeing as I couldn't find anyone local who offers the same service as he was offering, I decided to drive up to Milton Keynes today to rendezvous with him at a service station outside the town.

Once he set up his equipment, he conducted three tests on the a/c system:

1. Initial Gauge Test - to determine if there was any refrigerant present.
2. 5 minutes Vaccuum Hold Test.
3. System Pressure Test (using O2 free Nitrogen) - to determine if there are any major leaks in the system.

After that, he did a 30 minutes Deep System Vaccuum and then added the mineral oil and RS24 refrigerant. Also, the drier unit was cleaned (he did mention that, ideally, it should be replaced) to 90% efficiency.

He then did a visual check to make sure the compressor was running okay and then took a before temperature reading (22.4 degrees C) at the vents and then another one (7.1 degrees C) 4 minutes after the a/c was switched on.

The whole process took about 80 minutes during which he was careful to explain - in words that I could understand - exactly what he was doing.

David really knows his 'onions' when it comes to aircon servicing and I don't think I have met anyone who showed as much enthusiasm for his craft as he does. He really did impress me; well worth the £129.00 spent.

On the way home, I ran the a/c for about 35 minutes. It was so cold, I could see the condensation on my breath - it must have been about 5 degrees C inside the cabin!

I can only add if any board members find themselves stuck with the same problem as I had, they contact David first (telephone number on his website) and listen to what he has to say. I hope this post will prove useful information to all.

I have just one more thing to say which might be of interest. David was pretty certain that this was the first time the a/c system has been regassed. That's 16 years since the car rolled out of Garching! Enough said.

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