Safety Concerns R134a imports
Distributors across Europe may
be unwittingly selling illegally imported cylinders filled with a
cocktail of refrigerants. Disposable cylinders labelled R134a were
intercepted by refrigerant producer Honeywell.
After analysis, they were found to
contain a mixture of R22, R152a and R141b.
This mixture is flammable and contains
It is estimated to be around 20 percent
as efficient as R134a.
The cylinders also failed to comply with
safety regulations as they have no safety valve and do not carry the
appropriate labels and warnings.
These illegal cylinders are believed to
originate predominantly from Asia and have been found on sale in Greece,
Romania and Germany with some evidence to suggest sales in the UK also.
Honeywell's managing director has
appealed for help in tracking down the importers.
Source: RAC Magazine
At AVACS we guarantee to only buy our
refrigerant from only authorised and regulated R143a refrigerant
suppliers such as Honeywell.
Why should I take my car to an air
conditioning specialist to fix a leak?
I can do it myself or get my mechanic to
do it...... can't I?
Many garages and mechanics do not
understand the complexity of climate control and how it works.
As air conditioning has become common
place and even standard in the modern car, some garages and mechanics
have taken this as just another bit that needs fixing.
The truth is, different car manufacturers
have adopted different ways of cooling and controlling the car cabin
temperature using different methods and components.
Therefore, if a car system seems to be
leaking, do they bother to find out where from or fix it properly?
Probably not unless they have had
specific training courses, so they 'attack' the problem with the good
old fashioned 'bit of squirt', or sealant to the rest of us.
This innocuous substance loosely designed
to be 'squirted' in and to go through pipes sticking to the sides and
'bunging up' any leaks that it finds on route!
Read the following article from the trade
MACS Action magazine to see if sealants are a wise choice:
Beware DIY Air Con Top Up Kits
Industry sources have
reacted with concern to the news that Halfords is selling canisters of
refrigerant direct to the public.
The company sees an attractive market
opportunity with the DIY kits offering a much cheaper alternative to the
average garage service at anywhere between 80 - 200.
Some kits claim to repair small leaks
with the inclusion of a sealant in the mix, on the 'Radweld' principle.
The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Industry Board is taking the issue up directly with Halfords stressing
the obvious environmental and safety implications and that they could be
contravening the Environmental Protection Act.
They stated, work on car ac systems
should only be carried out by people trained in the handling of
The move by Halfords serves to underline
the need for a mandatory registration scheme for refrigerant handling.
Source: RAC Magazine Nov 2005
Increase Threat From Sealants
Air conditioning repair specialists can expect more backyard mechanics
to turn to sealants in an attempt to avoid the cost of professional
repair as the price of R134a continues to rise and as R134a becomes
available over the counter at auto parts retailers.
The DIYer may not realise that sealant is
being added with the refrigerant while others think more is better,
adding a large amount into the A/C system. Unless the DIYer mentions it
when he finally brings the vehicle to your workshop you will not know
that you are about to contaminate your A/C service equipment and your
There are two types of sealant in use
today and both can damage recovery equipment. Type 1 is a combination of
seal expanders and leak plugging sealants.
They cause o rings and hoses to swell and
can negatively affect solenoid valves, switches or other component
inside your recovery machine. Type 2 sealant is a compound that stops
leaks by reacting with moisture to form a plug at the leak point. When
it encounters moisture inside your recovery equipment it can harden
plugging hoses and plumbing and damaging solenoid valves.
Sealant separators such as the Airsept
recycle guard are now available which will remove type 1 & 2 sealants as
well as oil, dye and solid particles from refrigerant before it can
enter your A/C service equipment.