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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-28-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
brokensmile209
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R-134a A/C Pro Professional Formula Refrigerant?

i have a 2001 bmw, i wanted to do a ac recharge, can i use any
R-134a? my choice would be R-134a A/C Pro that could be found at walmart and autozone

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Old 04-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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dont do it, those things are not accurate and you might overfilled the system. have it professional done, so they can empty, check for leaks and refill..
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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I mean, AC systems haven't changed in years. I don't see a big issue with using one of those things.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: R-134a A/C Pro Professional Formula Refrigerant?

Have it refilled by AC professional.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Get it professionally done.
I love how if you work with freon you have to have the EPA certification but the goverment lets the general public go to Walmart and buy quick charges of freon.

The AC freon system is a sealed system if you need a recharge of freon you have a leak in your system..90% of the time.

Also Freon is harmful to the ozone so to just charge your system up and let it leak out and recharge your system over and over is pretty much ignorant. I'm not saying that you're doing that I'm just saying in general. my bad for sounding like a hippie douche but Im just saying.

Sorry about all the editing my phone is retarded

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
I mean, AC systems haven't changed in years. I don't see a big issue with using one of those things.
the R-134a is the same, and it works as good as the one done at a shop, the problem is overfilling and also also to check for leaks in the AC system. why risk it just to save $20+ dollars,
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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I would take it to a shop. Using these cans is like using fix-a-flat for a leaking tire. (Well, not quite as bad, but you are delaying the inevitable.) If you need refrigerant, you have a leak.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
I mean, AC systems haven't changed in years. I don't see a big issue with using one of those things.
You mean all you've known is RC-134? High pressure AC systems? Hmmm.....?

Last edited by HacksawMark; 04-28-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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I just did a recharge, everything went smootly, no problem, my car was just low on ac, im now at around 40psi green zone, no need to take it to a professional. ..lol...
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brokensmile209 View Post
I just did a recharge, everything went smootly, no problem, my car was just low on ac, im now at around 40psi green zone, no need to take it to a professional. ..lol...
Just low on ac? Means there was/is a leak somewhere.....

I have a Honda Civic Hybrid with 208,000 mile on it and it still blows cold as ever...
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:21 PM   #11
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Have it refilled by AC professional.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #12
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Lol what is wrong with all you people? I thought this site was full of DIYers?

Yea, of course being low indicates there is a leak in the system. But often times the leak is a very slow leak, slow enough that the recharge will last you a couple years. What will a shop do first thing when a customer says their A/C system needs to be leak tested? They will fill it with R134a with a dye in it (you can buy these from autozone etc) and then see where the leak is.

R134a is a greenhouse gas, so of course I don't recommend recharging every month to maintain a leaky system. But if this is a first time affair its worth a shot just to see how long it lasts.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wibbles View Post
Get it professionally done.
I love how if you work with freon you have to have the EPA certification but the goverment lets the general public go to Walmart and buy quick charges of freon.

The AC freon system is a sealed system if you need a recharge of freon you have a leak in your system..90% of the time.

Also Freon is harmful to the ozone so to just charge your system up and let it leak out and recharge your system over and over is pretty much ignorant. I'm not saying that you're doing that I'm just saying in general. my bad for sounding like a hippie douche but Im just saying.

Sorry about all the editing my phone is retarded
Quote:
Originally Posted by haurelio View Post
the R-134a is the same, and it works as good as the one done at a shop, the problem is overfilling and also also to check for leaks in the AC system. why risk it just to save $20+ dollars,
Those are the most compelling points to not use one of these I guess. I must agree with you after you mention that.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hacksawmark View Post
Just low on ac? Means there was/is a leak somewhere.....

I have a Honda Civic Hybrid with 208,000 mile on it and it still blows cold as ever...

It was low below the green zone, it took me an entire 20z to fill it up to the green zone around 40psi, didn't check for leak cuz it was 90 degree outside. ..hot hot...everything good now
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:06 AM   #15
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Don't be scared to DIY with the A/C. The meters on the cans of R-134a are pretty accurate. The best way to do it is to have someone sit in the car with the A/C on max, rev the car to 1500 or 2000 rpms and fill it until it they tell you its cold.

My mechanic friend says the E46 is the best HVAC system to date on any 3 series, and he's seen very few real problems or major leaks. What he sees on a majority of e46s are small little leaks that may take a year or two to get low on freon.

One thing about R-134a - everyone said it is better for the atmosphere than the original R-12, and that is a bunch of baloney. Since R134a systems run with higher pressure, they are prone to more leaks - which means more R134a gets in the atmosphere than R-12 did.

Believe me, the impact of refrigerant getting into the atmosphere is not what is messing up our planet.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:40 AM   #16
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Do it if you want.

In order to properly fill the system you need to know the hi and lo side pressures. Overcharge the system and you risk blowing your compressor. Have the wrong amount of oil in the refrigerant and you risk blowing your compressor.

If you have to top off you have a leak. Either take it to a professional and get it fixed or buy the proper equipment (gauge set, vacuum pump), learn how to use it, and do it yourself. I'd still have a shop scavenge the old refrigerant.

Or you could be cheap and recharge it from the can making it temporarily work while ignoring the actual problem and putting you closer to a really expensive repair when your compressor craps out.

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Originally Posted by thefrog1394 View Post
Lol what is wrong with all you people? I thought this site was full of DIYers?
This isn't DIYing. This is the equivalent of patting yourself on the back after "fixing" your radiator using stop leak instead of replacing it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:02 AM   #17
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Just get yourself some gauges and R134a Freon 12 oz cans to charge your system. Those cans with gauges are too expensive and dont give you a total picture of what can be wrong. You need the high and low side pressures to know it is working right.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokensmile209 View Post
I just did a recharge, everything went smootly, no problem, my car was just low on ac, im now at around 40psi green zone, no need to take it to a professional. ..lol...
what if it leaks out again?
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #19
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You guys wanting to do your own A/C recharges without the metering device are idiots. There is a high AND low pressure system and if they are out of balance, your system will degrade faster. Take it to a pro to do it with the metering device. Its only $50 and they check for leaks. Sheesh.

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:02 PM   #20
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