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Old 10-07-2003, 08:46 PM
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HELP! A/C won't engage! I'm burning up!

I'm the second owner of a prestine 1982 240d with 150k miles. Bought her 4 years ago with only 80k pampered miles on the odometer and all the dealer records. I'm proud of her and do my best to keep her mell maintained. A friend (heavy-equipment air cond. expert) converted my r12 to 134 and refilled my system for me. It lasted 40 miles, we found a leak, he repaired it and recharged my system. I was in a hurry so I had to leave without being able to figure out why the compressor isn't kicking in? Maybe I'm dreaming but is it possible there's a switch or something that I need to be looking for to get the compressor to kick back on? I can hear a click inside the car (or through the radio) when I dial the air to MAX, but it's not the compressor engaging. Any suggestions? gentle.

Oh, I forgot to mention that l never could get the air conditioning to get very cool. It's when the outside temp. is over 100 it barely helps to have it on- here's why...the compressor would shut-off just as the air was blowing cool. Usually it would blow cool for just a minute and then click-off for several minutes, then start blowing cool, but click-off, etc., consistently. It's nice I have a friend that knows air conditioning and doesn't charge me for the freon. But now he's stumped why the compressor isn't engaging, "this isn't a Caterpillar Tractor". I've got a great Mercedes mechanic too but he doesn't do air, and I don't want to just start buying components hit and miss. Any suggestions of where to go from here will be greatly appreciated.
Sweating in the Inland Empire- Temecula, CA, where it's been hotter than hot for way too long.

Last edited by reeltimer; 10-09-2003 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 10-09-2003, 03:47 PM
Posts: n/a
Why don't you just take it in to an air conditioning shop and have them check it out? It can't cost that much compared to burning up can it?
I've read many comments in this forum that you shouldn't change the freon over to the 134 if you can help it. Why did you change it over in the first place? Maybe your friend missed something in the process and he's over his head, "this isn't a Caterpillar..." I know how favors can back-fire on us.
Anyone else have an idea?
Good luck.
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Old 10-09-2003, 06:55 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
How did your freind do the conversion?
Did he flush the system and replace the reciever/dryer?
Did he change the oil?
Go here for information on sytem flushing

How long was the sytem inop?
Did the sytem lose all the freon and have a zero pressure, which will allow contaiminents to enter the system.
After the leak allowed you to lose all the freon your system operated for an additional 40 miles?
Sound like you have a blockage in the system.
Without AC guage readings it is hard to figure what is wrong with the sytem.

Your conversion to R134, may cost you more in the long run then fixing the leak and refilling with R12.

The 123 Ac does not do well on R134, the condensor is not large enough for the R134 requirements.

Do a search on Ac systems here in the forum. It will answer a lot of questions

1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:05 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,877
Do a search, read all you can about it.

Find a reliable, reputable a/c shop or learn to do it yourself. A/C systems on these cars are very simple.

You will not really be happy with the car a/c at 100+dF ambient until you go back to r12.
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Old 10-10-2003, 05:29 PM
Posts: n/a
dmorrison and engatwork reply...

Thanks for the tips. My system has been inoperable since last year. I don't know anything about zero pressure, but I turned the a/c off as soon as it stopped blowing cool.

Originally (before this all happened) my a/c friend was in my car and noticed the compressor was cutting in and off, so he tested the pressure and subsequently replaced the "evaporator valve/unit" that's just behind the glovebox because the hi/low pressure was off and found this valve was blocked. He then recharged the system, still r12 at the time, checked the pressure and it was fine. But it still wasn't blowing cool enough, routinely the compressor cut off before it got cool, eventually cutting in, consistently. We both had to leave, frustrated.

Here's what happened next: I had stopped for fuel on my way home (40 miles), when I started back on the freeway I immediately noticed it wasn't blowing cool anymore and turned it off (since it was simply blowing-in the outside 100 degree air).
Unfortunately my friend soon moved even farther away, then the weather got cooler, etc, etc, etc.

I would love to be able to figure this out myself. I'm mechanically inclined but not familiar with A/C so I accept my friend's benevolence (and 1-1/2 hour drive ea. way). I'm also devoted to my car, but when it's hot outside I'm forced to drive a "tin-can w/air."
Not to mention- opening the windows at 70 mph may eventually damage my 240's perfect headliner.

BTW how much should I expect to pay for R12 now?
And how do you suggest I go about finding a reliable, reputable a/c shop? (since I don't know what to look for or look out for?)

Thanks everyone. I wish I knew about this site a year ago. Oh well...better late than never.
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Old 10-10-2003, 05:51 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,877
Always better late than never.
If it were mine I would make sure it does not have any leaks, replace the compressor and the dryer, flush everything out, vacuum and charge with r12 til the site glass cleared. The site that has helped me the most is I would start by reading all I could get my hands on about it if I were you.
You can always come here and ask questions but try the search first. Lot's of info on these systems. Be glad you have the 240D versus the 300D model.
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