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Old 07-15-2000, 09:40 AM
Crowe's Avatar
Benz Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 366
My '88 300E AC system has zero pressure, high or low side. The AC was not working when I purchased the vehicle. There is evidence that the prior owner replaced several parts in the system. But I obviously have a major leak somewhere. Now what? Looks like I am going to continue to sweat in hot'lanta if the evaporator is bad!! Big bucks to replace and not in my budget for now.


<LI> 1988 300E Metallic Blue Black/light Gray interior
<LI> MBCA Member
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Old 07-15-2000, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Now, you find your major leak or wait til its in your budget.

I'd find out if it works by adding some refrigerant. If it leaks so fast you can't fill it, then its time for that decision. If the system works with some refrigerant I would suggest finding a shop that uses florescent dye testing (almost all A/C independent specialists use it) to add the refrigerant and dye. You stand to loose the price of the refrigerant if its a big leak but the florescent indication will give proof verification of all leak diagnostics, especially evaporators. If there is a real leak from the evap the dye trail will cover the automatic tranny where the evap water drains. If its a small leak, it will be verified on disassembly, not a good prospect once you are in there but better to know than not.
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Old 07-15-2000, 05:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
A cheap way to decide whether or not you want to dive into the W124 A/C money pit is to have an A/C shop pull a vacuum on your system and see if it holds at all. If not, then it's up to you. If you can get at least 20 to 30 minutes, then go after the leak as per Steve's advice above. It still might be the evaporator, but you'll at least have made an informed decision about what and if you want to get it fixed.

Jeff Lawrence
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325

[This message has been edited by jeffsr (edited 07-15-2000).]
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Old 07-16-2000, 02:47 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,315
One comment and a two suggestions -

It is very possible that the compressor is siezed or not getting power. Check this before you try locating the leak.

1. If you have a Merchant's Auto in your area, they will do a "diagnosis" for $40 plus a pound of freon. Take the splash pan off so that the compressor is viewable.

2. Read my post "Cold AC but No Money" for what it took me to get cold AC in a car that I just bought.

Good luck - there are some truly grim outcomes to this problem.

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Old 07-16-2000, 03:03 PM
Crowe's Avatar
Benz Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 366
The compressor is OK. Had a shop do a quick check by bypassing the low pressure switch and it will engage and run. Will see about having the system leak tested.


<LI> 1988 300E Metallic Blue Black/light Gray interior
<LI> MBCA Member
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Old 07-17-2000, 07:20 AM
Posts: n/a

The clutch went out on my 240D Friday. I got out my 300E to drive for awhile. Every time I start it up, I just cross my fingers and hope that the AC is okay. I've seen such horror stories about the 124 AC, I cringe when I think about an evaporator problem.

Bad news for you is that you're in Atlanta where it's hot. Good news for you is you're in Atlanta where there are some good, honest and reasonably priced shops. Try Steve Brotherton's or Benzmac's shops. It seems like I've seen another shop in the Atlanta area reccomended here, but I can't remember which one it is.

Good luck,

Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 523K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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