Re-charging AC with R12 Alternative - illustrated guide - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 97 (permalink) Old 08-05-2005, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re-charging AC with R12 Alternative - illustrated guide

Well, I learned a lot while troubleshooting and re-charging my SEC's AC system. I searched high and low through the forums and it took a while to assimilate all the details. There also seems to be a lot of confusion around this topic. Given that AC problems are such a common issue with our W126s, I thought I'd take a few minutes to share what I did. I hope it saves you time, money or both.

Quick summary: I have an original AC system - i.e. still R12. It worked and blew cold air less than a year ago. When summer rolled around again, no cold air. Checked the sight glass, no refrigerant. Took it to an AC shop - big bucks to fix the leak. Found an enviromentally safe R12 alternative (Enviro Safe - http://autorefrigerants.com/co00033.htm) that has a decent probability of staying in the system long enough to keep cool during the summer. Price is right at $40. More details and pics in the link below:

http://qube.myvnc.com/mercedes/560SEC/ac.html
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post #2 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 02:05 AM
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How is it doing now using Enviro-Safe
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post #3 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 03:12 AM
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I found a guy on craigslist selling R12 for 20 bucks a 12oz can. little pricey?
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post #4 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:14 AM
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$20-25 a can seems to be an average price for R12. There's a lot of people selling R12 cans if you look on Craiglist or eBay. I don't think that's too pricey considering R134a is about $8 a can. You will have to provide a resellers statement stating this will be resold to a qualified/licensed AC professional for installation.

Personally I would stick with the original stuff that was intended for the car, however I haven't heard any negative things about Enviro-safe and I don't know the long term impact of using it.

Last edited by graftdesign; 07-07-2009 at 05:18 AM.
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post #5 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graftdesign View Post
$20-25 a can seems to be an average price for R12. There's a lot of people selling R12 cans if you look on Craiglist or eBay. I don't think that's too pricey considering R134a is about $8 a can. You will have to provide a resellers statement stating this will be resold to a qualified/licensed AC professional for installation.

Personally I would stick with the original stuff that was intended for the car, however I haven't heard any negative things about Enviro-safe and I don't know the long term impact of using it.
R134a is the original stuff? yeah I would stick to that too. I was misled thinking R12 was.
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post #6 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 06:30 AM
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why doesnt that link work for me?
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post #7 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 07:14 AM
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Well,
to answer the original question in this thread:
from my experience Envirosafe works great,
I've used it for 3 yrs in my '87 420sel. I came to using it after spending way too much time and money trying to get my a/c to work satisfactorily with r134.
lost my a/c charge this spring, fixed the leak, and refilled with r290 just to try it while waiting for my e-s to be shipped. short term, it's effective and cheap.

but boy is this a loaded topic!
*this represents my own experience and should never be construed as an endorsement of any choice or behavior that's your own damn business and responsibility
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post #8 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firewater View Post
R134a is the original stuff? yeah I would stick to that too. I was misled thinking R12 was.
R134a is not the original stuff used on our cars. These cars were designed for R12 and all of the components were engineered with R12 properties in mind. R134a conversions generally don't have the same cooling efficiency as a retro-fitted system. The best example I can give is my SEC and SEL. The SEC has the original R12 and blows super ice cold. The retro-fitted R134 SEL still blows cold - but not cold as the R12 system in the SEC. I recall reading somewhere you would have to have a significantly bigger compressor to attain the same level of efficiency - but I'm no expert.
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post #9 of 97 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry all, but I decommissioned my web server, so there's no more illustrated guide anymore. I ran cold for a summer, but it all eventually leaked out, and I ended up getting the compressor repaired the following spring.

Cheers.
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post #10 of 97 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 09:19 AM
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EnviroSafe refrigerant is incredible!! I have used it in every Mercedes I have owned due to its superior performance and low operating pressures. Not only does it out perform 134a significantly, it saves the a/c system by operating at pressures fractionally those of 134a.

I have used EnviroSafe in both R12 and 134a systems and couldn't be happier. This past weekend I charged the system in my 1999 E320 wagon with it. To say it out performs 134a is an enormous understatement.

I live in south Florida and the heat index has been over 100F. After charging the system with EnviroSafe I can sit dead stopped at idle on black asphalt and have the a/c set at 72 and it blows cold enough to run the seat heaters. Outside temp shows 92 and the heat index is well over 100.

It took two of the small cans to charge my system. This is the eleventh car I have switched to EnviroSafe and have NEVER had to revisit/repair any part of the a/c system after the conversion. No extra parts needed. No "retro-fitting". Just vacuum the system, charge and go. One car I owned had EnviroSafe in the a/c system for approximately 7 years (before I sold the car) without any issue.

$20-25 per can is insanely expensive. A complete kit is in the $25 range with everything needed to fully charge one car, including charging hose/hi-low fittings, oil and dye. Envirosafe's home page is: Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant and Automotive Fluid Products - Enviro-Safe, Inc
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