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  #1  
Old 06-28-2002, 03:54 PM
LarryBible
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WARNING! R12 Thieves at Large!

A lady that I work with took her Honda to the Speedy Lube that she has used for oil changes for many years. Her husband kept telling her that her air conditioner was not cooling as well as it could. She thought it was okay, but succumbed and asked the Speedy Lube to check her air conditioner. It was cooling fine when she drove it in.

They took it to the back, hooked up their machine and came back to tell her that the system was empty. She insisted that this was impossible because it was cooling when she drove in. She smelled a rat and refused to pay them $100 or so to put freon(her freon) back in the car.

That was last Thursday. Today I brought my vacuum pump, guages and R12. At lunch I hooked up my guages and the system had about a 22 in. Hg. vacuum on it. That was after the loss of vacuum from hooking up the guages.

It is quite clear to me that they basically stole her freon. It absolutely does not leak out and draw a vacuum on itself.

There are thieves out there. Beware!

Have a great day,
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  #2  
Old 06-28-2002, 05:33 PM
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Wow Larry,
What a story.
The stuff has become so valuable that we will soon start seeing R-12 stolen from parked cars instead of stereos.

Different story, but includes both thievery and AC:

Years ago, I sent my Audi to a local repair shop that a friend had recommended for a new steering rack (in the winter). Normally, I do my own repairs, but that is a big job, and it was winter, and snowy, and I had no garage to work in. It was a 'German-speciality' establishment, and I found it to be rather pricey and snobby, with a fancy waiting room and such.
Spring rolls around, and I discovered that the AC was not working.
I had not looked at it yet, but I mentioned the problem to the same friend, who commented that his Audi now had dead AC as well, and we mutually cursed those Audi engineers [again]...
Well, I dig into it, and after a couple of hours of head-scatching, I located a strange mass of electrical tape on one of the harnesses. Cut it open, and [you guessed it!], 2 disconnected connectors appeared!
Freon was 99cents a can then. Today, the same scamsters would have certainly sent me away with a vacuum to boot!
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2002, 05:44 PM
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wow, I'm glad my car is r134a converted...

Alon
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  #4  
Old 06-28-2002, 05:48 PM
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Larry
A similar thing happened to my wifes car two years ago at a body shop. When they returned the car to us in January we would have never thought to check the a/c. When the summer rolled around the air conditioning was not working. They claimed that the freon was lost when the car was involved in the accident (it was a front on hit). I pulled a vacuum on the system and it held, there was no leak. We notified the insurance company about the scam. I had already charged the system by the time the insurance company got back to us. You have to keeps the wife's car runnung right.
I agree you have to be careful, there are a lot of crooks out there when it comes to r12
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  #5  
Old 06-28-2002, 11:08 PM
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Also be careful to those who will charge you for too much R-12. I had a friend who worked at a general repair shop who told me that the owner once charged someone for 7lbs of R-12. This was years before 134A came out.
Know how much R-12 your system should hold!
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2002, 02:00 PM
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Larry,

Just out of curiosity what is your friend doing about it and what can she do?
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2002, 06:49 PM
LarryBible
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Ali,

I posted this just before leaving for vacation on Friday. She said that if I would write a letter about it, that she will file with the better business bureau. I work with her and have gotten to know her well. She has very strong moral principals and is really spunky. I hope that these thieves find that they messed with the wrong lady.

I plan to write the letter for her next week.

Have a great day,
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2002, 07:03 PM
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That's a damn shame..I'm converting my system to r134a as we speak. But come on give me a break, stealing freon? I really hope that there's a law that will HAMMER these BAST*RDS as hard as possible. Give them hell Larry. As a matter of fact watch ALL of these quik this quik that places. I've seen places that'll give you an oil change for $14.95..What type of oil are they using and I guess there's no labor charge or filter change, huh..
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2002, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ashman
wow, I'm glad my car is r134a converted...

Alon
Alon,

How do you like the R134a? Does it cool effectively?

Did you (or the previous owner) have the conversion done? I've been kicking this idea around for a while for the CE.

Any input appreciated.

Steve

Last edited by el presidente; 07-03-2002 at 08:12 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2002, 10:37 PM
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I've read all these posts with interest, shock and dismay, and have three questions I hope someone can answer. How do I find out how much freon R-12 my 1992 300TE 4Matic is supposed to have? How do I test to see how much is lef? And how do I check the vacumn to see if it's leaking? It blows cold now, but not ice cold. Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2002, 02:00 AM
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You should have a sticker on the front engine bay cross member that tells you how many lbs of R12 or R134a your system uses.

I believe all W124's after 1990 are already R134a.

If you have a W124 with R12, keep it, unless you're will to add dual aux. fans and upgrade to the R134a condenser as well.

Although I did the conversion correctly and COMPLETELY (dual aux. fans & R134a condenser, et al.) it still doesn't get as cold as R12.

R12 is actually getting cheaper.

:-) neil
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2002, 08:19 AM
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.....VERY useful information

My '91 300CE still has R12 system, and after a little R12 was added earlier this year (it had been several years since last needing any). It blows ice cold. Was blowing "cool" before adding 1 lb.

Good a/c is essential in "hotlanta".

Neil, on a scale of 1-10 what would you rate the effective cooling power of R12 vs. R134a?

Steve
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2002, 10:56 AM
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A properly designed from the beginning R134a is fine.

R134a vs. R12 in a system originally designed for R12, the R134a is only 70%-75% as effective as R12.

:-) neil
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2002, 11:15 AM
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In response to Fintail's question:

It is really worthwhile to pickup a manifold gauge set when servicing your own A/C.
These are often priced in the $30-40 range.
When doing a partial refill, you really can't go off weight measurements, because you do not know what is in there already.
The key value is the high side pressure at a given ambient temperature.
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2002, 11:20 AM
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BTW- here's the R12 capacities by chassis model:

107 & 201: 2.2lbs or 1.0kg
123 & 126: 2.9lbs or 1.3kg
124: 2.4lbs or 1.1kg

:-) neil
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