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Annoyingly for the second time since picking the car up new in September. I realised very quickly the aircon wasn’t working when it was new so dropped the car back to the dealer who said it simply needed regassing. 

I thought there obviously had to be a leak and wasn’t convinced it wouldn’t happen again. Sure enough, after not using the car for a few weeks, it doesn’t work anymore so probably has leaked the gas again. I’m now being told the compressor seals are incompatible with the new type of refrigerant gas that legislation dictates has to be used, thus causing a leak at the joints. This does have a ring of truth as, quite coincidentally, I had an a/c unit fitted in my house in August and the fitter was telling me he had to get hold of this new, environmentally friendly gas with which to charge it up. That a/c unit (made by Mitsubishi) was already compatible but, probably not too surprisingly, the compressors fitted by Lotus weren’t!☹️

So, I need to get the car back into the dealer to have the seals replaced by compatible ones and the system regassed. I wonder when Lotus found out about this?

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I have never head of seals being incompatible, but I have heard of the porosity of the hoses used in old R12 systems not holding the new R134a gas over time.

If I had ever found the leak in my aircon system, I was going to use Hychill gas which is ok with older system hoses apparently.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Well now this can be a can of worms.

When retro fitting ( changing the refrigerant ) depending on what gas was already being used and what you are now planning to use it can entail just swapping the gas to replacing the oil and multiple changes and testing it to make sure you have flushed the system through . Orings .Glandseal all very expensive and time consuming.

Now to your predicament when swapping from R22 to R438a on a large Chiller (760kg) charge so enough to charge up around 800 cars had to change oil and flush through.Driers in system.Glandseal on compressor 3k alone and every O Ring now my concern with your NEW car i find it hard to belive that from manufacture to the system being charged that thay have changed from R134a the new considerd gas is HFO1234yf but its flamable and only being talked about and still under reserch by Dupont the manufacture.

Call me a doubter but suspect that first off when your car went back that just thought it may have been standing for a while and could have leaked out the compressor glandseal so just regassed and sent you on your way.

But obviously you have a leak and the trouble with car A/C it can be hard to find and with only about 700grans in the system to start with doesant need to be very big.

To the extent you often have to add fluorescent dye to the system run it to get it round the system then go looking with your ultraviolet light in the dark.

So let's hope that have a propper look this time but incompatible seals and components I'm not so sure if its got R134a in the owners manual.

If its got something else then hay your on the cutting edge and thus the can of worms 

Please let us know if your handbook states a differant refrigerant that's if its also not been updated of course 

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Lotus updated the handbook????🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂

The car wasn’t standing around for long between when the build finished in August and being registered at beginning of September so don’t think the gas would have leaked out during that time due to lack of use.

i have made it clear to B & C there is obviously a leak and I don’t want them just regassing without checking the system out properly. I also said if it hasn’t already had dye put in during the last regassing that it should be done this time. That’s when I was told it is now a known issue, apparently down to incompatibility of the compressor seals with this new refrigerant gas.  

Anyhow, we shall see but I can’t help remaining ever so slightly sceptical. 

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Hope you get it sorted like you say why did they just re gass it first time when according to them its a known issue.

Just winds you up more trips to the dealer more inconvenience all round 

 

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Indeed. As it appears to be a relatively new phenomenon (as far as Lotus are concerned anyway), I wonder if they weren't aware it is a common problem when they re-gassed mine. I was slightly miffed at the time though, as it just seemed obvious to me there had to be a leak as it had emptied so soon and mentioned this when I picked the car up  but, not surprisingly, was simply told to bring it back if it plays up again - which I was pretty sure it would.

I don't want to criticise B & C too much as they have always been fair with me, but you didn't need to be Einstein to realise that as all they had done was regas, it was surely going to leak out again! Oh well, I think they will do more than simply regas this time.

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Hope so 

Would be iterested to know what gas thay are useing if not R134a.

Good luck hope it all works out soon 

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Sounds like it's never worked properly since new. My GTE soon went back to the factory for a check and re-fill and it had leaked out for a second time before I'd even got home (100 miles). They agreed a warranty claim with Lotus Silverstone for a new condenser (I think), and it's been fine ever since. Touch wood. I doubt it's a different gas to that which everyone else uses.

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It did actually work very well for a few weeks after the regassing in early September up until end of October when, for various reasons, I didn’t use the car again until the beginning of this month. The refrigerant gas used, I am told , is now the current standard and has been from around the time my car was built, so all Lotus with aircon from around that time should, apparently, be using the same. 

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My 400 has just been in for its 2nd year service and was also found to have lost all of its air-con gas. They vacuum tested the system and couldn't find a leak so it's a mystery to me where the gas has all gone. I hope that this isn't a recurring problem.. My mum's Toyota has managed to hold onto its air-con gas for 15 years, so the Evora loosing it all after less than two is a bit rubbish. I'm having to go back to get it regassed as there was a problem with their gas machine on the day.

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Ok, a bit of an update to this. Just picked the car up from B & C and it seems that what I was being told (by a different fella) upon booking the car in for the work may not be true and, in fact, there is no incompatibility issue! As I had suspected, there was a leak, which turned out to be nothing more sinister than a poorly made joint up near the condenser at the front of the car. Once the front undertray was removed, they found some oil covering the offending joint and the contract aircon fellas more sensitive equipment than that owned by B & C determined it was, indeed, leaking refrigerant gas.

So, all's well that ends well - fingers crossed!!! :D

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Just got around to having my 400 regassed at the dealer's. The AC is working well so far, blowing out air at 4C compared to18C ambient air temperature. Once again the they tested and inspected the system and couldn't find a leak so hopefully it will hold on to its gas this time. I was charged for the regas and it wasn't cheap: not something that I want to be paying for regularly.

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Unfortunately the big problem  finding leaks is very difficult as many parts and hoses are hidden and vacuum tests are ok but they are sucking Inn air to find a leak and unfortunately the gas leaks out under pressure and differsnt joints in the system react differently depending if under pressure or vacuum so if no leak found using a vacuum then dry Nitrogen should be used to test the system under pressure usually 10/14bar and if no leak detected than you can add ultraviolet fluorescent die on recharge and then run the system and go looking with your U/V torch 

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Out of interest, my aircon still appears to be working well some 11 weeks since they discovered the leaking joint and regassed the system. We’re taking the car down to the south of France in a few weeks, so it better still be working then or I’ll be having some stern words with B & C.

I’m hopeful though. 😊

Richard, should you be paying for the gas if, as I presume, the car is still within warranty?

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5 minutes ago, Spinney said:

Richard, should you be paying for the gas if, as I presume, the car is still within warranty?

Yes, you're probably right. However the person I dealt with (more of a "sales" than a "technical" bod) insisted that the regas couldn't be claimed on warranty. Maybe I should have been more forceful but I was tired and didn't want any fallings out with the place. If the gas leaks out again, as I suspect it probably will, then I'll certainly be asking for a refund along with a free fix.

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8 hours ago, RichardC said:

Yes, you're probably right. However the person I dealt with (more of a "sales" than a "technical" bod) insisted that the regas couldn't be claimed on warranty. Maybe I should have been more forceful but I was tired and didn't want any fallings out with the place. If the gas leaks out again, as I suspect it probably will, then I'll certainly be asking for a refund along with a free fix.

I'd definitely be challenging that one. The very fact it has leaked out within a couple of years would, for me, indicate a problem with the system. Unless the dealership could prove to me it was due to stone damage, or similar, for which you couldn't reasonably blame the manufacturers then I'd be kicking up a fuss, for sure. I can understand why you probably couldn't be bothered to argue at the time, but please do so retrospectively. You can't let them get away with that.

As you said earlier about your mums car, my wife who tends to keep her cars forever, had a Ford Ka for 16 years and that managed to keep its a/c gas all that time. My own daily which, unusually for me, I've had for 7 years still has very effective aircon.

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In the end, and without me asking, dealer got Lotus to agree to pay for the re-gas. However, less than 3 months later, air-con is no longer cooling. I suspect the gas has leaked out again. I'll have to book it back in for them to have another look at it.

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