A/C sealant in reclaimed R134?


Old 06-21-13, 05:11 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
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A/C sealant in reclaimed R134?

2001 Mazda Tribute V-6

Had to have some A/C work done on wifes car. Big full service shop, good rep, family owned. They were having an issue getting correct pressures on it. Owner (ASE Master Mech) finally had them pull the orifice tube and it turned out it had all sorts of junk and fuzz looking stuff on it. They called to update me and asked if I'd ever used the canned R134 with sealant. Well, believe it or not...I'm not that dumb. Have never put a can of anything on it.

2 yrs or so ago, I did put my cheap gauge set on to check pressures because wifey was saying (I think) it didn't feel as cool. I could have just been being proactive (I AM that dumb) to check everything before she went on a trip. I'd never just add a can to see what happened...and even if I did, it wouldn't have any sealer in it. Well, that made a schrader valve leak, few months later had to take it in, they replaced both schraders and evacuated and refilled the system with recycled R134. 3 months ago (maybe 18-20 months after initial visit)...no cooling...comp wouldn't kick in. Took it back and system was very low. They evac'd and re-filled (reclaimed R134 again) and the tech asked me to come back in a week so he could use the UV light to check for leaks.

Of course with wifes schedule and my memory...I forgot. Couple of weeks ago, lots of brake squeal and a fuse blowing issue. Took it in and the issues in the first paragraph showed up.

Apparently, if it happens again due to sealant in the orifice, the recommended repair is almost complete replacement of all components and hoses. I KNOW that would be out of my price range.

2 questions...

1...Could reclaimed R134 have been contaminated? Do they just recycle in the machine at the shop or is this something they get from a supplier?

2...If it does happen again, could I just keep having them replace the orifice (and maybe some filter type component...if it has it) for a lot less money without damage?

I know my wife would love a new vehicle...but until I find at least a part time job, a car payment would rip me a new one.

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Old 06-21-13, 05:44 PM
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it is recycled and its not. what we do at our shop. is we use new tanks on our machines. but when we service a car we pull all thats in it out in the tank.and then its sort-of filtered before but back in. so a little old mostly new.we actualy ask all our customers before hand if they have used the sealent. if so we have an old machine to recover. so it does not get mixed with the good stuff. and use the newer one to refill. but not all costomers are honest or remember what they did a year ago(not saying in anyway this is your situation). but if this happens then the next car gets funked(if it dont clog the machine first).

for you second question thats a try it and see. hard to say that it will be all good. hope this helps.
Old 06-21-13, 05:55 PM
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Thanks iceman, very helpful.

I may be wrong about hooking up a can...but I know for certain I would never use a sealant or even a dye...since I had no way of checking for leaks. Too many horror stories.

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