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Flushing Evaporator on 96 VW Golf

lambertjohn on Tue August 16, 2011 6:00 PM User is offline

Year: 1996
Make: VW
Model: Golf
Engine Size: 2.8
Country of Origin: United States

I’m in the process of refurbishing the AC system in my old 96 VW GTI due to a failed compressor. In addition to a new compressor, I’m installing a new condenser, receiver/drier, and expansion valve. I’ve also removed all the AC hoses and am flushing them before reinstallation. The only thing I can’t remove to flush and/or replace is the evaporator. On my particular VW, it’s tucked up under the dashboard behind panels and switches and heaven knows what else. In other words, you have to remove the entire dashboard to get to it. Not really any option for me.

Flushing the hoses are easy because they’re out of the vehicle. As for the other parts, they're brand new and hopefully contaminant-free. So that leaves my evaporator as the only remaining component of the legacy system.

So my question is this: how do I flush the evaporator while it’s still installed in the vehicle? Is there a dependable way to flush my evaporator at home with over-the-counter tools that will guarantee I can get rid of all the crud inside plus the flushing solvent? Or should I take the car to a reputable AC repair shop and have them professionally flush the evaporator with their high-end industrial strength equipment?

The evaporator inlet and outlet ports are right there on my firewall—easy to get to—so any AC tech worth his salt should be able to connect his equipment to my evaporator and flush it. Is that correct?

Just for grins, I stopped by a shop here in Dallas a few hours ago and they said they would do it for $100 and it would take an hour. Seems a little high to me, but maybe their price is in-line with the industry; I have no idea.

Any help/advice would be appreciated. And if you live in Dallas and can recommend a shop that would help me flush my evaporator, I would greatly appreciate the tip.

Thanks all!!

HECAT on Wed August 17, 2011 9:59 AM User is offline

Question 1: How do I flush the evaporator while it’s still installed in the vehicle?

It is done with the right equipment, chemicals, and skills focussed on this specific task; no magic bullet. The good news here is that the TXV can be serviced from the engine bay (cannot flush thru TXV).

Question 2: Is there a dependable way to flush my evaporator at home with over-the-counter tools that will guarantee I can get rid of all the crud inside plus the flushing solvent?

Yes, but getting rid of the crud is subjective to the cruds chemistry, the chemicals and physical methods (tooling) chosen, and the diligence to verify and be sure the work is done correctly. The words dependable and guarantee are all on you. The biggest caution I will offer to flushing the evap "in car" is DO NOT use (install) any chemical that you have not first verified and understand how it will effect the materials you expose it to, and how it is to be completely removed.

Question 3: Or should I take the car to a reputable AC repair shop and have them professionally flush the evaporator with their high-end industrial strength equipment?

If you are not comfortable in learning how to do it yourself and purchasing some tooling, this may be your best option. However, IMHO, given the cost of professional tooling and solvents; the $100 quote is cheap (makes me ask how will they flush, and with what?).

Have you verified (vacuum and/or pressure testing) that the evap is not a leaker? Have you determined what was the cause of the compressor failure?



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FLUSHING TECHNICAL PAPER vs2.pdf 

TRB on Thu August 18, 2011 1:24 AM User is offlineView users profile

Great response Hecat.

It should be brought up at the next MACS convention. Who is trained and maybe even licensed to flush correctly. This entire deal of yea I'll flush it out is ridiculous. Very few spend the proper time or use the proper equipment to flush a system correctly IMO. Claims are made daily, but really what guidelines are these claims based on.

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TRB on Thu August 18, 2011 1:28 AM User is offlineView users profile

$100 dollars to pull each component apart. Connect a proper flush system to it aka H1000 by Hecat. Flush each component for a cycle. Then reinstall component all for a 100.00 dollars including flushing agent. Those dudes are amazing or blowing smoke up your backside.

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

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