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  • FIRST POST
    • grumpyoldwoman
    • By grumpyoldwoman 20th Mar 17, 12:35 PM
    • 66Posts
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    grumpyoldwoman
    14 month old car needs aircon regassing
    • #1
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:35 PM
    14 month old car needs aircon regassing 20th Mar 17 at 12:35 PM
    Looking for some opinions.

    In October our much loved Citroen Xsara 2001 plate was smashed into outside our home and written off. We had little time to find a new car but saw one, a Mazda 2 registered in January 2016, at The Car People. It had done less than 9,000 miles and we loved it. It had been an Enterprise hire car previous to The Car People acquiring it but that wasn't a problem as the Xsara had been a hire car too before we bought it at 10 months old and we never ever had a problem with it.

    Anyway, getting to the point, we had only had the car for a matter of days when we found the CD player wasn't working. That was dealt with under the warranty so no complaints. The Xsara had climate control and we left the air con on all the time. We'd had it about 10 years before it needed it's first regassing so we expected the air con in the new Mazda to last a few years before it needed regassing. Because the winter was coming on when we bought it we never really had the chance to test it, although we had it switched on all the time. Last week was the first time it was warm enough to turn the temperature dial down to cold but the air was no colder than with the air con switched off, and actually slightly warmer than the outside temperature.

    As the car is still under manufacturer's warranty we took it to our local Mazda repair shop to be looked at and told it was completely out of refrigerant. They said it should be regassed every two years to keep it in tip top condition but the car is only just over a year old. They checked it for leaks and said the system was fine.
    What I want to know is should a new car run out of refrigerant in less than 14 months or is it possible it never had any refrigerant in it to begin with? It uses the new hfo1234yf refrigerant so is that likely to affect how long it will go between regassing? We had to pay for it to be regassed because they couldn't find a fault with the system, £67.20.

    With two things up to now not working and having to be replaced/repaired we're beginning to think we bought a lemon.
Page 1
    • Exemplar
    • By Exemplar 20th Mar 17, 12:40 PM
    • 1,050 Posts
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    Exemplar
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:40 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:40 PM
    Neither of these would really bother me personally. Both can easily be rectified however I would have not paid for the re-gas myself. I would have stamped my feet in the dealership.
    'Just because its on the internet don't believe it 100%'. Abraham Lincoln.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 20th Mar 17, 12:43 PM
    • 502 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:43 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Mar 17, 12:43 PM
    My money's on the aircon not having been consistently used when it was a hire car, so the seals have dried out and it's gradually lost gas over time. I suspect it will be fine now, especially because you're using it in the right way.

    I wouldn't class the car as a lemon for two relatively minor problems, both of which have been easily resolved.

    ETA: I agree with Exemplar, I would have pushed the dealer for a free re-gas.
    • mrmot
    • By mrmot 20th Mar 17, 1:24 PM
    • 178 Posts
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    mrmot
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:24 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:24 PM
    Why should the Mazda dealer who didn't supply the car supply a free regas when Mazda warranty won't pay them for it?

    If anyone should feel obligated to regas it for free, it should be the supplying dealer.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 20th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    • 502 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    Why should the Mazda dealer who didn't supply the car supply a free regas when Mazda warranty won't pay them for it?

    If anyone should feel obligated to regas it for free, it should be the supplying dealer.
    Originally posted by mrmot
    That's what I meant (and I assumed Exemplar meant) - the dealer that sold OP the car.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 20th Mar 17, 3:08 PM
    • 2,965 Posts
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    marlot
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:08 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:08 PM
    ...It uses the new hfo1234yf refrigerant so is that likely to affect how long it will go between regassing? We had to pay for it to be regassed because they couldn't find a fault with the system, £67.20...
    Originally posted by grumpyoldwoman
    I have heard that the 1234yf can leak out much faster than the older gases.

    £67.20 is a bargain for a regas with 1234yf. Some places charge up to £250. eg. http://www.saltmarine.com/aftersales-offers/air-con/
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 20th Mar 17, 3:22 PM
    • 11,000 Posts
    • 6,112 Thanks
    Strider590
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:22 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:22 PM
    Last week was the first time it was warm enough to turn the temperature dial down to cold but the air was no colder than with the air con switched off, and actually slightly warmer than the outside temperature.
    Originally posted by grumpyoldwoman

    You don't turn it down or up, the whole point of A/C is that it self regulates the temperature to a set value. Turning it up or down does NOT make it heat or cool any faster.

    Do you turn your house thermostat up/down all the time?

    Wait.... Don't answer that!

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/10/nation-buffoons-thermostats-central-heating
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • wongataa
    • By wongataa 20th Mar 17, 3:32 PM
    • 942 Posts
    • 506 Thanks
    wongataa
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:32 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:32 PM
    You don't turn it down or up, the whole point of A/C is that it self regulates the temperature to a set value. Turning it up or down does NOT make it heat or cool any faster.

    Do you turn your house thermostat up/down all the time?
    Originally posted by Strider590
    I took this to mean that as the temperature was warmer there was now a chance to put the car temp setting on cold to see how well the A/C was working. If the A/C is working the air coming should be nice and cold. If the temperature is low enough the A/C will be switched off automatically.

    A/C doesn't regulate the temperature either. The thermostat does that. The A/C just dries the air and as a consequence cools it as well.
    • facade
    • By facade 20th Mar 17, 3:46 PM
    • 2,603 Posts
    • 1,335 Thanks
    facade
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:46 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Mar 17, 3:46 PM
    You don't turn it down or up, the whole point of A/C is that it self regulates the temperature to a set value. Turning it up or down does NOT make it heat or cool any faster.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    On my Nissan-Renault the "climate control" winds the fans down as the microscopic bit of the car it actually senses gets nearer to the set point. So if I feel* warm, twiddling down to minimum gets a lovely blast of cold air out of the thing. Wouldn't swear to it, but I think the temperature of the air coming out is supposed to bear some relation to the set temperature as well.

    *Whether I feel too hot or cold has little to do with the temperature of the microscopic part of the car that is sensed by the air-con.
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science )
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 20th Mar 17, 3:47 PM
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    Strider590
    I took this to mean that as the temperature was warmer there was now a chance to put the car temp setting on cold to see how well the A/C was working. If the A/C is working the air coming should be nice and cold. If the temperature is low enough the A/C will be switched off automatically.

    A/C doesn't regulate the temperature either. The thermostat does that. The A/C just dries the air and as a consequence cools it as well.
    Originally posted by wongataa
    You underestimate how many people see a bit of sunshine and immediately flip the heating from maximum heat, to what on most cars is the "lo" setting.

    I've seen the same thing at work, people turning the A/C to max then min, then max, then min, all day long, that is until the MD comes along, tells them they're all idiots and locks out the control panel at 21 degrees.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • grumpyoldwoman
    • By grumpyoldwoman 21st Mar 17, 8:00 AM
    • 66 Posts
    • 5,657 Thanks
    grumpyoldwoman
    Wow, thanks for all your comments, I didn't expect such a good response.

    First to answer a couple of things. I don't have central heating at home so don't have a thermostat to turn up or down. I do have air conditioning at home though so I know all about how it works. I can set that to a particular temperature, say 18 degrees, and leave it to sort itself out. Our last car with the climate control had a similar thing, we could set the temperature to between 16 and 28 degrees, have the fan on Auto, and leave it to control the temperature. This car, however, doesn't have that. The fan has to be set manually and the temperature dial is just from very hot to very cold. We'd had it on heating for most of the time we've had the car so couldn't tell if the air con was working or not. It was only when I turned the temperature dial down to the coldest setting that I realised the air wasn't getting any colder.

    The Mazda dealer, who put a new CD player in the car for us under the warranty, said they would check the system and if there was a fault they would contact Mazda to get it done under warranty but if it was just out of gas we'd have to pay for it. I do think that The Car People, who we bought it off, should have checked it was working before they sold it, so we are going back there to confront them about it. We went to them first about the CD player and they said they couldn't replace it themselves but if the Mazda dealer charged us they would refund us. So they do seem to accept that everything on the car should be working. It's harder to prove that the aircon wasn't working when they sold it though, we'll just have to argue the case that it shouldn't have run out of gas so soon.

    Keep the comments coming, I'm still very interested to know what you all think. I'll update if I get any joy from TCP.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 21st Mar 17, 8:11 AM
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    AdrianC
    I do think that The Car People, who we bought it off, should have checked it was working before they sold it
    ...
    It's harder to prove that the aircon wasn't working when they sold it though,
    Originally posted by grumpyoldwoman
    So how do you know they didn't test it, and that it wasn't working?

    With non-climate heating like yours, it's easy to test - just turn the heat to full cold.

    TBH, over the winter you really should have noticed anyway - because the dried air from aircon clears misted windows far more effectively than just warmth.
    • almillar
    • By almillar 21st Mar 17, 12:52 PM
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    almillar
    You don't turn it down or up, the whole point of A/C is that it self regulates the temperature to a set value.
    That's not air conditioning you're describing, that's climate control. Set a temp, and the system gets, and stays there. With the help of air conditioning which may include filtration, dehumidification, heating or cooling of the air.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 21st Mar 17, 1:40 PM
    • 14,853 Posts
    • 20,061 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    S
    TBH, over the winter you really should have noticed anyway - because the dried air from aircon clears misted windows far more effectively than just warmth.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    TBH, most people would really NOT notice such a difference!!

    I bought a car with aircon that did not work. At least Masda are being more proactive than Renault were, as by carrying out a leak test, it indicates that the aircon just wasn't used properly prior to you buying it. Perhaps it has been sat in a showroom, or the previous owner just didn't have it switched on often enough??

    (mine proved to have several leaks, which took Renault a whole 2 years to figure out, then they refused to fix it despite it never having worked! - they did in the end!)

    I would just recommend keeping an eye on it, making sure it does always run cold.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • missile
    • By missile 21st Mar 17, 1:41 PM
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    missile
    I would suggest that ANY Mazda dealer should honour the manufacturer's warranty and they ought to have recharged A/C for free.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 21st Mar 17, 3:14 PM
    • 2,371 Posts
    • 2,054 Thanks
    Richard53
    You don't turn it down or up, the whole point of A/C is that it self regulates the temperature to a set value. Turning it up or down does NOT make it heat or cool any faster
    Originally posted by Strider590
    I know what you are saying here, and ideally that's how it should work. But my Ford had CC and I had to juggle the temp setting to keep it at a comfortable temp. 19 in hot weather and 21 in cold weather. If I left it at 20, it felt too cold in the winter and too warm in the summer. Probably just my perception, but it gave me a feeling of control
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 21st Mar 17, 3:32 PM
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    nickcc
    On many cars the aircon comes on automatically when you put the demister on, you may therefore have been using the aircon without realising which should have prevented the seals on the compressor drying out. I would still suspect a leak somewhere in the system even though the system was presumably tested using ultraviolet dye. There are many places where you would be unable to see the uv dye.
    • grumpyoldwoman
    • By grumpyoldwoman 22nd Mar 17, 8:38 AM
    • 66 Posts
    • 5,657 Thanks
    grumpyoldwoman
    So how do you know they didn't test it, and that it wasn't working?

    With non-climate heating like yours, it's easy to test - just turn the heat to full cold.

    TBH, over the winter you really should have noticed anyway - because the dried air from aircon clears misted windows far more effectively than just warmth.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    We had the air con switched on all the time, right through the winter, because I know it helps to demist the windscreen, and we never had the aircon in the old car off. From the time we bought it, October, we only ever had the temperature set to heating or neutral - neither hot nor cold - so the air coming out wouldn't have felt cold anyway. I just presumed it was working, I had no reason to think it wasn't. It was only when the weather started getting warmer that I turned the temperature dial down a bit. When it didn't seem to be getting colder I turned it down all the way and it still didn't get any colder. I knew then that something was wrong but never expected it to be out of gas so soon.

    The Mazda dealer didn't seem to think it was unusual. They said you should have it serviced every two years but when we said the car was only just over one year old they just sort of shrugged. I did wonder if Enterprise could have purposely disabled certain accessories, like the CD player and air con (by removing all the gas). This may sound daft but we had to hire a car from Enterprise in 2010 while we were having the ABS on our car fixed, and that one, a Vauxhall Insignia, had the cigarette lighter/AUX disabled so we weren't able to plug anything into it.

    It may well be fine from now on, we'll just have to wait and see. The other thing is that since my husband retired last year we only do about 20 miles a week so even with the aircon on all the time we shouldn't have used up all the gas. Time will tell I suppose, I could be worrying for nothing, but my husband has lost confidence in it now and is talking about trading it in. I think that's a bit drastic seeing as otherwise it's a lovely car.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 22nd Mar 17, 8:43 AM
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    AdrianC
    I did wonder if Enterprise could have purposely disabled certain accessories, like the CD player and air con (by removing all the gas).
    Originally posted by grumpyoldwoman
    No.

    This may sound daft but we had to hire a car from Enterprise in 2010 while we were having the ABS on our car fixed, and that one, a Vauxhall Insignia, had the cigarette lighter/AUX disabled so we weren't able to plug anything into it.
    No, it was broken. A previous hirer had probably blown the fuse.
    • grumpyoldwoman
    • By grumpyoldwoman 23rd Mar 17, 10:21 AM
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    grumpyoldwoman
    No. ...and... No, it was broken. A previous hirer had probably blown the fuse.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    You don't happen to work for Enterprise, do you?

    Re the cigarette lighter, the actual bit that heats up to light a cigarette was missing too. I presumed they'd taken it out to prevent you from setting light to anything in the car, but most people who smoke carry lighters so that would be a bit pointless.
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