r12 conversion to 134 - cost? where?

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Old 06-07-07, 01:55 PM
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r12 conversion to 134 - cost? where?

My old honda has r12 system, but a leak in evaporator. The cost at Midas to convert to new system, including full charge and evaporator replacement, was $500. Does this sound right?

Also, I am not sure I want to use Midas. I looked in the yellow pages, but could not find a place that specializes in a/c. Is there a franchise that does? Or a way to find a good a/c auto shop? Live in Washington DC.

Thanks.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 02:35 PM
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Have you tried looking at independantly owned shops? You may have to look under radiator repair... as you can imagine, the work is seasonal, and radiator work balances some of that out.

$500 sounds about right. With the evaporator repair the conversion should also include new o-rings throughout the system, a flush of the evaporator, condenser, and manifold lines, UV dye, and vacuum before recharging.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 07:11 PM
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Sounds pretty close to me, too. Just replacing the evaporator is a major PITA. You might get a nother estimate though; sometimes the chain garages can be a good bit higher than a good independent (have to pay for all the expensive national advertising, etc).
 
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Old 06-07-07, 09:07 PM
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Something to consider.
What kind of shape are the hoses.
You don't want to have a conversion done then have the hoses fail.
Hoses are very expensive.
I put R134 into an 86 Ford that had R12 and the hoses blistered and leaked to the point that my AC was trashed.
Some rubber compositions aren't compatible with R134.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 10:37 AM
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As I understand it the molecules in r 134 are smaller than the molecules in r 12 and will wind up leaking out of the system as the hoses, evaporater and reciever/drier are built for r12.
Switching one to the other is not compatable unless ALL components are changed out. It is simply easier and cheaper to have the r12 system fixed than trying to make the switch as every year you will have to recharge the system.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 10:53 AM
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It's rare that hoses are affected. I've spent a lot of time on the automotive a/c forums, and I've never heard of hoses blistering. I believe that was just an isolated incident.

Given the age of the car Mackey talks about, it could be that time took a toll, or the car was overcharged. But to keep an open mind, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

When converting, not everything needs to be changed. There are numerous conversions done on cars with positive results, and nothing more was done beyond changing the drier and o-rings, and having the system flushed before recharging.

But I will agree with easywind that it is sometimes cheaper, better, and less trouble to fix what's wrong and stay with r12.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 10:55 AM
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9 years ago, I had the conversion done (previous car) and it ran $70.00 installed (cheaper than 2 pounds of R12 at the time). It was about 300 to get the evap replaced, but was told it was only a small leak so I could probably get buy cheaper adding R134 every month or so (this was in WI, so AC was not a big priority more than 2 months a year). Based on that, I would think 500 is reasonable for both. You can always get a second opinion (call a few shops if nothing else).
 
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Old 06-09-07, 06:28 AM
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I've converted several vehicles to 134a, doing nothing more than pulling a vacuum and adding the appropriate amount of oil and refrigerant. No hoses or o-rings were changed, and no leaks after years of service. YMMV

These were systems that were in generally good condition to start with however.
 
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Old 06-09-07, 07:59 PM
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I had my '93 Silverado converted at my oil change shop ( a local place called Indy Lube similar to Jiffy Lube, etc.) I think it cost around $200 about 6 years ago. No problems since, cold A/C!

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Old 12-03-08, 05:55 PM
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In case anyone does a search, I wanted to report back. I went to a local mechanic and he switched it over for $170. It has been working for 2 years, keeping the car cold.

Thanks for everyone's posts.
 
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