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I've just had my A/C re-gassed. It's a 2014, 1.3, Icon with 40K.

I bought it at eight months old with 8K on it.

There was about two thirds of the recommended gas (R134) in it.

The A/C has never been very good, but after asking around I came to the conclusion "they all do that sir". Last Summer I thought it was working less than before, but as the car didn't do much, I didn't bother. Yesterday, after it had sat in the sun for half-an-hour or so, I decided to bite the bullet.

I'm wondering if others have had theirs done and what the average loss is?

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The less you use it and the more it can leak. It need use to keep the system seals (seals at joints in pipework and the compressor front seal) lubricated and gas tight. If you are not doing many miles then leave it on 24/7.

Gas loss is an indeterminate figure but typical figures are in the 5 to 20 % per year, yes as wide as that.

I generally  have mine regassed as preventative maintenance every four years although I can't say it is poor after four years and desperately needed. I've done 76k in 11 years and it has never been turned off in all that time. 

 

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I am aware A/C should be used regularly to keep the seals lubricated, however at the start of a cold morning I tend to turn off the A/C to get the maximum heat as soon as possible. Sometime during the journey (often at the end) I'll remember to turn it back on again.😖

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A slight leak or natural seepage?

My 2015 Auris Hybrid AC packed in totally last Summer, just as I needed it. Had the car 6 months and 3k miles by me. 29,000 total miles.

Took it back to the Toyota dealer as a used approved, so years warranty. Looked it over and  Told if stone damage then not covered under warranty. Diagnosis was the condenser rad behind grille was leaking at bottom right corner. Thankfully after declining and pictures sent It was approved for repair. Only issue Condenser was not in stock and on back order. Had to wait 7 weeks. Just opened the windows! Not had AC in years as my 1996 Volvo 940 AC not worked now for 4 years.

James.👍

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11 hours ago, bathtub tom said:

however at the start of a cold morning I tend to turn off the A/C to get the maximum heat as soon as possible.

That's an interesting one to try. Do you feel it makes any difference? 

I would guess the evaporator (the bit that gets cold) will be around 3 or 4C as a minimum, it can't be much lower or else condensation would begin to freeze due to the high air flow through the matrix. So if the air temperature is around that or colder it shouldn't make much difference. But does it... 

 

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We get seals leaking and sometimes the high pressure side pipe to the condenser can leak on Yaris 

My air con is on 365 days a year, I never turn it off

 

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9 minutes ago, Parts-King said:

My air con is on 365 days a year, I never turn it off

Same for me.

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I only use ac when hot in summer days, I do not like the dry air that makes and often cause more moisture issues than help IMO. Regas every 2-4 years and has some lost but never significantly., more you use more will gone Perhaps. 
In outside air temperature around 4C° or below the air conditioning will not work even the green light shows is ON. The following I learned from AC technicians, not sure if correct but make sense., - “Car AC always has some work load for recirculating the gas, drivers may never fill anything”.
I also had cars that ac never been used for many years and then after starts first time with icy cold air blowing through the vents., now in winter only used 3 times x 5min for 6 months period. And yes, I can feel the cold air coming from the air vents when use ac and heating together, feels like two different temp air streams to me. Cabin filters frequent changes are the most, I do 5 times a year and even if you don’t drive the car much , check and change every 12 months, just look at the filter if darker and if it’s smells like petrol although may look clean from debris, just change it and you will breathe much cleaner air. 👍

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I think there are three versions of compressor in use, the older type that was cycled on or off via the magnetic clutch on the drive pulley (that is the type on my 2010 Auris), then there are the variable displacement compressors that can either run continuously under all conditions but are electrically controlled internally to alter their displacement, the third type as just described but also having a clutch to disengage it under fault conditions.

On my Auris I find temperatures have to be around 0C to not detect the compressor cutting in and out when idling although the time period between running for a few seconds and not can be quite a while under low temperatures.

The variable displacement type without any means of disengagement is the type to be wary of because there is no way to isolate the compressor from the engine. If the compressor seizes due to a fault or low refrigerant then its game over, both for the compressor and the car being able to run.

 

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In Toyota hybrids the ac compressor is fully electric and works on high voltage from the hybrid Battery, in hot days when ac compressor is loaded you can hear it works hard, it whines seriously to cool down the cabin and can drain your Battery significantly, plus the car runs immediately the ice to keep Battery charged, definitely affects the economy., then gets quieter again. The electric ac if low on gas but enough to start also are becoming noisy and it’s all the time not only when loaded. , this is a good sign you need to visit a garage for service.  Sometimes in winter I can sense some smell similar to the smell you get when first turn on ac, I can’t say for 100% but might be the ac turns on and off at some % to keep gas circulation if the theory of the technician is correct. 

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I've never seen a compressor from a hybrid. The big question is whether it is fully sealed as it is electric. in other words like a domestic fridge or freezer. If so then a major leakage point (the compressor front seal in a conventional type) is removed from the equation. That only leaves joints and couplings in the pipework as a source of leakage.

The reason fridges and freezers never normally lose refrigerant is because they are hermetically sealed and all pipework is continuous and brazed/welded together. No joints and so.  

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Even though there's no shaft seal on the compressor, there's numerous o ring joints that might dry out so the advice to run the AC for at least a few minutes a week all year round will keep Oil circulated.  Here's a silly question: why is the compressor mounted on the engine block? Surely it doesn't need to be and necessitates using flexible refrigerant pipes

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