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  1. #1
    Frank Wulfers
    Netherlander Wulf's Avatar
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    Air-conditioner recharge

    Mine is a bit slow to start cooling and it never seems to get really cold. So I am assuming it needs to be recharged.

    Is this is a DIY job? Or better left to a professional who knows what he is doing and works with stuff like refrigerant on a daily basis. How much should I expect to pay a local garage to do this? Is the A/C recharge on a 9-5 any different from other cars?

    The WIS doesn't show a lot of details and pictures for draining and filling with refrigerant. It does show many warnings for the possibilities of frost and burn injuries, blindness, hazardous gasses, smoking and open flames are a bad idea, risk to environment and more extremely dangerous things you can expect when you mess it up.

  2. #2
    mdb99@bellsouth.net
    Oh! I Get It Now Mike Brennan's Avatar
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    If your low side port is still behing your right headlight, moved at some point to a better location, just remove the blinker and add a can. Avoid the stop leak stuff as it often causes proplems. I add a can each spring and it is good for the rest of the summer. Make sure you have no codes on the AC. A shop will charge you around 125.00 to empty and refill. Let them know how much your system takes as oftern their book wont have Saab infor.

  3. #3
    Brad Lauzze
    Notable Member Brad Lauzze's Avatar
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    A shop will probably charge $125-150 to evacuate and re-charge the system yes, but they will actually vacuum down the system which you yourself cannot do simply by adding a charge can from the local autoparts store. Long term its better to have a shop do it, because they will also add compressor oil/dye so if there is a leak in the system, the next time it gets low and doesn't feel as cold, it can be identified.
    1997 Saab 900 SE Convertible "That Yellow Bastard"
    2004 Saab 9-5 Aero SportWagon "Mr. White-1"

  4. #4
    Regular Member Tweek's Turbos's Avatar
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    Yes, the vac of the system is good, Saabnazi also said the water boils at such and such inches of mercury. This flushes out any moisture.

  5. #5
    Frank Wulfers
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    Is this something any garage can do or will they be confused by Saab's A/C system? There are only independent garages in the place where I live and I don't know any mechanics or places that I trust completely.

  6. #6
    Renato Piereck
    Spreading the Saab virus rpiereck's Avatar
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    Automotive air conditioning is pretty standardized, I don't think they will have a hard time with your system.

    Edit: I got a Mobile Airconditioning Servicing (MACS) license from the EPA, never used it though, but had to take a test for it. I got it for aviation air conditioning, which is different than autmotive.
    Last edited by rpiereck; 21 May 2012 at 14:06.
    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone:
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  7. #7
    Brad Lauzze
    Notable Member Brad Lauzze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpiereck View Post
    Automotive air conditioning is pretty standardized, I don't think they will have a hard time with your system.
    Agreed, shouldn't be an issue, where ever you take it.
    1997 Saab 900 SE Convertible "That Yellow Bastard"
    2004 Saab 9-5 Aero SportWagon "Mr. White-1"

  8. #8
    Regular Member photousa's Avatar
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    2003 Saab 9-5 Aero 2.3t Wagon HO Manual
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Wulfers View Post
    Is this something any garage can do or will they be confused by Saab's A/C system? There are only independent garages in the place where I live and I don't know any mechanics or places that I trust completely.
    I had my system recharged last year at a A/C - Heating speciality shop here in Chicago, ("Cool Heat"). Cost $120.00 and came with a 90 day warranty. Like Brad has said, they apply a vacuum to the system to remove all moisture, then install the refrigerant, oil and dye. Although the shop had plenty of time to find a leak using their ultraviolet light, they could never find the source of the leak. They told me to bring the car back prior to the expiration of the 90 day warranty and they would check again and top off the refrigerant if needed. Well, by the end of the 90 day period, I could tell that the system didn't have the same cooling power as it did when it was freshly serviced, so I took it back in. They topped off the refrigerant and again looked for leaks, still finding nothing. Here it is, one year later, the refrigerant has completely drained from the system and we're ready to do it all over again. I was thinking about taking off my hoses, replacing all of the O rings and also replacing both of the shrader valves to see if that will solve the leak.

    I don't get this statement by tweek: "Saabnazi also said the water boils at such and such inches of mercury. This flushes out any moisture."

    Flushes out the moisture? How is that possible? Does that mean that the receiver / dryer absorbs the moisture? If that is the case, is it really necessary to apply the vacuum to the system?
    Last edited by photousa; 23 May 2012 at 03:23.
    2003 Saab 9-5 Aero B235R
    Sport Wagon 2.3T HO Manual
    140,627 Miles

  9. #9
    Regular Member photousa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpiereck View Post
    Automotive air conditioning is pretty standardized, I don't think they will have a hard time with your system.

    Edit: I got a Mobile Airconditioning Servicing (MACS) license from the EPA, never used it though, but had to take a test for it. I got it for aviation air conditioning, which is different than autmotive.
    Saabs are "Born from Jets", so I'm sure your training will cross over.
    2003 Saab 9-5 Aero B235R
    Sport Wagon 2.3T HO Manual
    140,627 Miles

  10. #10
    Frank Wulfers
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    Thanks for the helpful advice everyone. I had the service done today and it is now blowing cold again, just in time for the hot weather. They evacuated the system, added leak test dye, did a leak test and recharged with new refrigerant. Labor was $75 and refrigerant (qty 2.5) was $32. Total with tax came to $110 so not bad at all. For $75, I am not going to mess with things I don't have any experience with.
    photousa and Brad Lauzze like this.

 

 
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