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Thanks for the info Tom. I certainly do not have those kind of knowledge given that I never had to deal with these before.

I am leaning towards going for r12a because it is cheap (note that I tried fixing the issue twice already over last 2yrs through supposed pro and cost me $200+ for nothing) and less impact on environment and also because it seems that in near future, vehicles with 134a might need to convert to something newer and causing less damage anyway but that's just my thought.

A lot of people seemed to have successfully switched over to R12a from 134a.

My goal is to have the 12a leak and hopefully find the hose or coupling that needs to be changed.
 

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Again, you are contaminating the system. Just use a UV dye to look for leaks, repair them, and have it recharged with the R134a that it's designed for.
 

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^ The main concern is that it's likely not a direct swap. IE: Not just "Vacuum the system and pop in R12a". Is R12a 100% compatible with the PAG used in the R134a system? R12a is possibly mineral oil only, like R12 itself. I would have to do research to verify this, but it's more effort than it's worth. If you want to learn AC repair, now would be the best time. It's not as complicated as it sounds. There are only so many things that can go wrong.

The ultimate point is this: engineers for auto makers design OEM systems around the refrigerant and its use case in the vehicle in question, and a new refrigerant can throw that off. Even if it doesn't sound terrible, your system might get too cold.
Sure, doesn't sound bad, right? Except now the temperature sensor in your evaporator detects a freezing condition, and your compressor kicks off, so now instead of a system blowing at a constant 34-36 Fahrenheit across the evaporator, 100% of the time, it's 32 (or lower) for 20-30%, then 40-90+F for the other 70-80% to go into "Defrost" mode.
Or just as bad on a non-"Smart" system, it doesn't go into "Defrost" mode and the evaporator freezes, and you get no airflow at all.
 

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Very informative and reliable post.

I really don't know much about A/C systems and have no training.

However, I do have experience with Redtek and the similar products.

Nothing could be simpler in restoring a non functioning A/C, to functioning.

Put the hose on the can and the other end of the hose on the charging port.

With the Engine running and the A/C on, pierce the can with the needle valve.

Either it all leaks out wherever there is a crack or the A/C starts blowing again.

Sometimes it takes 2 cans to fully contaminate the system back to life!!

Thanks
Randy
That's if you don't care about performance or longevity at all.
If you find a leak, you fix it, draw a vacuum and recharge.
Not drawing a vacuum before recharging reduces performance greatly and also reduces system life greatly.
 
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I think I get as much longevity as anyone, more than some.

My 86 Chevy van, 89 Voyager and 97 Astro have well over 300 K and all still running.

All have fine A/C due to me being able to top up the system whenever I feel the need.

All have no real cash value so I like to see how long they might last using Redtek etc.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to endless hound folks who have different experiences.

Luckily, none of mine have had the frame welded but all have had the idle speed set manually.

I just like to do things that some condemn to find out for myself if they actually have merit.

I still mix synthetic and conventional oils in varying viscosity's.

All my Engines still purr so I'm happy with my findings.

Thanks
Randy

PS: I recently changed the oil in my 2001 2.7 Sebring sedan, bought new Aug 2001

It' s still running a combination of # 40, 15-40, 10-30 and a qt. of synthetic.

It only has about 350K so I'm probably shortening its 20 year life!

That's 20 years on an original 2.7, Redtek and all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
My '00 300m, which was the original subject for this thread, continues to have excellent A/C operation using red tek as I described in one of these posts. I replaced the condenser coil with a new one, did not do anything about what the system had in it (ie did not evacuate the system) and just filled it with red tek. Has not leaked since, haven't had to add any. And lately, certainly over the past 2 years and even this year, I'm seeing WAY MORE red tek on the shelves of my local auto parts stores. And not just for cars. All sorts of sizes of cans and lines and connectors. Maybe there's some different stuff in those cans now besides (or in addition to) R12?
 
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