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Old 06-02-2003, 03:22 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12
W124 A/C recharge

I have a 1991 300e. My air conditioning is not longer cold, so i think it's time to have it refilled.

I've been reading some post and am kinda confused. Does my model still use freon or some kinda substitute? if it does still use freon do i have to bring it to a shop to get it converted to use the new stuff or can i DIY?

Are the any websites that show the diy and what products are needed? if not i can check with my service CD manual. thanks
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Old 06-02-2003, 03:43 PM
csnow's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
Your 1991 system almost certainly uses r-12.
1994 was the first year in which r-134a was mandated in the US, though I understand that some cars had it before the deadline.

I will not be the last to tell you that there are many cost and performance advantages to sticking with the r-12.

The refrigerant itself may run $80 or more, but that is not particularly significant relative to the cost of of a proper conversion, or the cost of A/C components and service overall.

Even if you decide to convert, I do not think a conversion is a good DIY job unless you want to invest a lot of time in the training and research required to do it properly.

Avoid those cheapo DIY 'drop-in' conversion kits. They are bad news.

Best of luck.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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Old 06-02-2003, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 565
The only way to know with absolute certainty what type of refrigerant you have would be to have it professionally anaylzed. Even then, I wonder just how many shops are trained sufficiently to come up with a chemical breakdown of a cars refrigerant?

A shop would most likely look at your fittings for determination as the R-12 and R134A fittings are a different size.

There are all sorts of "blends" on the market that can be fed into an R-12 system and unless you know the complete history of the cars maint., you could have a "mixed bag".

Don't mean to be an alarmist, just pointing out some possibilities.
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Old 06-02-2003, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12
so if it is r12. can i just buy a can of it and refill it myself? thanks

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Old 06-02-2003, 07:21 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,745
You need a special license/certification to buy R12 in the US. It's not difficult to get the license. You also need special equipment to charge your system. If you need to top it off, you'll need a gauge set and the specs. If you need to fill it from empty, you'll also need to find and repair leaks, replace the dryer, add the proper oil, evacuate the system, weigh the amount of charge, etc.

91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 06-03-2003, 07:18 AM
Posts: n/a
Go to an automotive a/c shop. As said earlier, there is a lot of "junk" put in these systems, so if you have not had the car for a long time, the shop can connect their refrigerant identifier instrument and tell you for sure if it is not contaminated.

They can then check for leaks and charge the system. As wisely said earlier in the thread, if you are not knowledgable regarding refrigeration and do not have the equipment, this is a job to put in the hands of the automotive a/c shop.

If the shop you go to suggests alternative refrigerants such as "Freeze 12, Duracool, Autofrost, etc," RUN, don't walk away from that shop and find a shop that uses ONLY R12 or R134a.

Good luck,
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