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 which brand ac compressor?

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roadsurfer



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PostSubject: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:26 am

hello,

it's time to replace my ac compressor on my 94 rmw and the price range goes from $200 for
"tough one" brand (2 yr warranty) to $365 for ac delco (1 year warranty) and then several intermediate prices for other brands like 4 seasons, factory air. global etc. all of which offer a 1 yr warranty. i was intrigued that the cheapest one i can find offers the longest warranty ("tough one")

i want the best quality and am willing to pay a little extra for it, but don't know which one to get. any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks so much

anthony, gainesville, florida

PS IT'S HOT HERE! please reply soon!
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:20 am

Are the cheaper ones rebuilds? The tough choice is: do you want a 1 or 2 year warranty? You could go to the PNP junk yard and get one for $50 with a 30 day warranty (pick a fresh one)...You could replace 4 before you get to the $200 pricetag (except for the refrigerant).

Check with some of the parts places that have discount programs as well. It could reduce the price up to $50 (it may be the higher price and make them equal). Check with Rock Auto too. There is usually a discount code on here or ISSF for 5%.
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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:58 am

Current rock auto 5% code:

4BE6AFF51B0E

Good til 9/13/11.
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:12 am

I have learned my lesson with rebuilds, don't buy them! I have had one go on, and the mechanic at the shop that charged my AC for me mentioned that they are junk. I like to go with delco when I can (price is mostly the factor). I picked up a new four seasons one for my RMW in 2007, and so far has been a good unit. That car has the coldest AC I have ever had.
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:17 am

+2 on rebuilds, they are no good. Go new, I've heard good things about 4 seasons and AC/Delco, but neither are made in the U.S.A. anymore. I just bought a new AC/Delco for$282.00, the hose set for $88, and a new receiver dryer for $28. Can't wait to get the ac working, the comp. blew 2 weeks after I bought the car 2 1/2 years ago.

Mike
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:43 am

As someone that managed an a/c shop in Texas for seven years, I can say from experience that putting a re-man compressor on there is a huge waste of time and money.

Go with new, a Delco is a good bet, but Delco is making new compressors for Apco Air and that's what I put on my '97 S-10, and so far it's quiet and works great and was a good bit less than "labeled" Delco (Delfi).

I got a bad run of compressors from Four Seasons and that soured me on their product. They are a large company and it may have just been a fluke, but I was not happy with how they handled the warranty....and not that it applies to your 94, but on the 93 and older cars with the R4 compressor, my vendor for Four Seasons will not warranty their NEW R4 compressors anymore....says a lot to me! Can't warranty a NEW part?? Jeez!

Good luck with whatever you get, and remember to do the accumulator and orifice tube, check the engine fan clutch of you have a tow package, use new O-Rings on all your fittings and flush the hoses, condensor and evaprator really well.

-Mike

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:55 pm

I am sure Chris (Brokecello) can help you out as he just last week replaced his compressor,
reciever/dryer and orifice tube which is the only way to go.Personally a good flush of the
system is requred too.ASK HIM !
For future use he also bought a vacuum pump and a set of manifold gauges from HARBOR
FREIGHT for cheap.
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94Woody



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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:00 pm

There are new Delco/Delphi units on eBay for under $200.

Rock Auto is $196 for a new Delphi unit. $264 for a new Delco.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:22 pm

just looked for the thread when I did my 94 but it was lost in the great data crash on ISSF.
I bought a whole kit online just for the LT1 RMW. Compressor, in line filter (you want to change it), accumulator, orings, etc.......
oh wait still have box in the garage.

http://www.discountacparts.com/Buick-Roadmaster-AC_Kit-60~80131_RK.html

I'm running this kit for over 2 years and so is Flash Gumby with no problems. $285 delivered.
We both live south of you so you know your good

make sure you flush your lines out with solvent too. google AC black death and you will believe. Buy and AC flush kit, will save your new compressor.

http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-1230-fjc-1996.aspx <- money well spent I've used this kit on 4 AC systems now. You can buy the solvent on amazon for about 40 a gallon. you could probably do better than this price but I just searched on the kit for a photo for you.
you use about half a gallon to flush one car out.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:27 pm



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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:28 pm

^^^^^^^^ don't want that in your new compressor
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94Woody



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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:58 pm

Those all in one kits are on ebay for $200 or less every day.
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:05 pm

I didn't even think about flushing my system when I did my caprice a few weeks ago, probably should have. It blows cold, but no where near as cold as my RMW. The orifice is cheap and should definitly be replaced. Mine wasn't too dirty so maybe I am ok. No new compressor, just new lines thanks to one rubbing on the upper control arm.
If you plan on charging it yourself, a vac pump is required. Either buy one from harbor freight, or borrow one from someone if they have it. I went with the HF gauges and they worked well, used a vac pump I got from a friend.
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roadsurfer



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PostSubject: ac delco   Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:37 pm

thank you all very much for great and prompt replies, including the links too. after much soul searching, i bought an ac/delco from my local supplier.
i decided to go with that because it was consistently rated the best. it may not be SO MUCH better than the rest, but i don't have anyway of knowing.

rock auto offered a cheap delfi, also a remanufactured ac delco for a little more $, and finally a brand new ac/delco original gm specs. model for $291 plus shipping. delco company told me that delfi is a cheaper brand by delco which they offer in order to keep up with all their competitors out there who are offering cheap compressors. so i didn't want that. i definitely didn't want the reman either, even if it was made by delco, so i went with the more expensive original gm model.

i called my local ac/delco parts house manager and told him i want to support them and buy local, but rock auto had what i wanted on line for $40 less. i asked if they would come down on their price and they did. so everybody's happy.

it's made in chihuaha mexico. i like that it at least was manufactured on the same continent as US.

i am also replacing the accumulator and orifice tube, which was terribly clogged with metal dust. i have never dealt with any ac system before, so i was unaware about the flushing process and how important it can be. i am not likely to do this again, so i don't want to buy the $100 flushing kit.
can it instead be done by the ac shop when i take the car there to have the system refilled with freon?

by the way, i saw a post where someone was struggling with removing the rear compressor bracket bolt from it's attachment into the engine block.
i found it quite simple to instead remove the compressor from the bracket itself. 3 bolts. i used a ratcheting 10 mm box end wrench. it would have taken forever with a standard box end because there is very little room for turning the nuts once you reach them.
i also changed the passenger side spark plug wires, now that the compressor was out of the way. made it a little easier.

thanks again very much.
anthony
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200OZ
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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:50 pm

Auto Zone has a/c flush in a can for about $17.00, disconnect the compressor, spray it in the lines, blow it out with shop air and you're done.

After pulling a vacuum fill the system with nitrogen if you have access to it, you can check the function of the system, check for leaks, and the nitrogen absorbs moisture, drying out the system a little more.

Mike
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:58 am

FWIW, The AC delco brand accumulator I bought had a Delphi sticker on the unit on the box.
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:53 am

Buy some a/c flush at any auto parts store. It's cheap. With the hoses off, spray some in eash hose and then blow it out using an air compressor. It also helps to hold a shop rag over the other end of the hose to build a little air pressure, and then let it go and the garbage will shoot out. Do that in each hose until all you get is clean flush agent.

You will want to do the same thing with the evaporator and the condensor. Get the system as clean as possible internally before bolting everything back together, and make sure to replace all the O-rings, and don't over-tighten the fittings, as then can strip and you can also crush the O-rings.

Oh and make sure the compressor is pre-oiled. Most are these days, but if it's not, you'll want to add oil before mounting it. Also it's a good idea to turn the compressor by hand a few times to break it in slowly. New ones tend to be really tight, and turning it by hand will make sure the pistons are happy and oiled well before you engage the a/c the first time. It's just a good idea.

Good Luck!

-Mike
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:17 pm

^^^^^^works too. Locally they wouldn't sell the flush without an AC license, had to order it online. 35 a gallon delivered on Amazon (local shop was 50+).

I've down 4 systems and 3 of them I didn't have a vacuumm pump and they work fine. sure it's the best way, but not 100 necessary.

Agree with the nitrogen method to make sure your system is tight if you have access to it.

Delphi builds AC Delco products, only difference is the sticker on the box and the lack of cash in your wallet afterwards. I was buying Delco for a long time before I learned the 'secret', lol.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:19 pm

94Woody wrote:
Those all in one kits are on ebay for $200 or less every day.

true but are they as good? I'm saying that myself and Scott both have had NO issues with this product so I can recommend it.
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:42 pm

The problem with cheap parts is when they go you loose your refridgerant, and last I checked that stuff isn't free Very Happy . Its not like an alternator failure, cheap AC parts end up costing more in the long run.
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Wagoninabox

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:15 am

My A/C went out at the start of a road trip (94 degree plus heat). Have brought it in to a local Buick dealer as there are few choices for quality A/C service where I am at (most places just recharge but do not get into the nuts and bolts of the systems).

The compressor went out and the only compressors they use are Delco rebuilds. The Service Manager told me that for our Roady's, the compressor is no longer made so cannot be purchased as new. I am hesitatant to put a rebulit one on reading the above posts, but they will back it up for 1 year and lifetime at participating GM dealers. It is a Delco which has the better reputation.

What do you all think?
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 pm

I just bought a Spectra Premium for the 87 T. I'll let you know how it works out. I'm outraged that shipping from the Canadian warehouse to the USA was $10, but $30 to Canada!


Edit: NM, Rockauto emailed me saying they are out of stock.

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Dutch Pete

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:27 pm

My A/C compressor is also acting up. Planning on buying a new AC Delco. I would like to know what you guys use as refridgerant. My 93 wagon still has to have R-12, but you can't get that over here anymore. I read that you have to rebuild the system in order to be able to use R-134.
Could anyone tell me if there are R-134 kits around you can buy without breaking the bank?
Pete
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81X11

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:07 pm

Dutch Pete wrote:
My A/C compressor is also acting up. Planning on buying a new AC Delco. I would like to know what you guys use as refridgerant. My 93 wagon still has to have R-12, but you can't get that over here anymore. I read that you have to rebuild the system in order to be able to use R-134.
Could anyone tell me if there are R-134 kits around you can buy without breaking the bank?
Pete

This is cake. Go 134A. You'll need a new accumulator ($20) and orifice tube ($ 8)plus two 134A valve fittings ($5-7 each). You'll also want to check that your fan clutch is still tight if you have a belt driven fan. 134 needs strong airflow through the condensor when the car is not moving, like in traffic or at a light. As long as you fan clutch is not weak and you have a good fan shroud you'll be fine. If the fan clutch is old, swap it, it's cheap and easy to change.

Make sure you flush the hoses, evaporator, and condensor well. You can buy flush at any parts store, and use compessed air to blow it through the hoses and components. Make sure you replace the O-rings on the hoses and make sure you add the proper oil, then have the system evacuated and charge it up.

-Mike
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:09 pm

European spec is a propane based refrigerant (HCFC). Change the seals to the 134 spec and then fill using the DIN spec stuff. Much better than the freon base and performs better than the older R12.

Any AC guy over there will do the job or point you in the right direction. The chemical companies here are running a scare campaign for fear that their over priced freon will lose market share. Ain't government lobbies wonderful?

Bill
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Dutch Pete

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:29 pm

Thnx guys.
Pete
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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:44 pm

I read in last months Road&Track that our R134 is going the way of R12 in the next 3 years.
Anything these bastards can do to make us buy a new car and crush the old ones.Let me find the article and go into more detail.
Jim
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Dutch Pete

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:15 pm

you're kidding me, right?
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Nick Danger

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:10 pm

I looked it up.

General Motors says that it will start using HFO-1234yf in the 2013 cars. They're doing it in response to European regulations.

http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/news/news_detail.brand_gm.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/July/0723_refrigerant

It looks like you won't be able to retrofit a 134a system to HFO-1234yf. Shops will need to buy all new equipment for the new refrigerant. That's going to sting when we go to get an AC repair job done.

http://workshop.search-autoparts.com/_HFO1234yf-What-Does-It-Mean-For-You/blog/1772765/31710.html

I don't think it'll make a big difference for our wagons for at least ten years, because there are a whole lot of R134a cars out there that will need to be serviced.
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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:25 pm

Thanks Nick as I cant find the article.My brother probably has it in his big truck.Hope you are
right about it not being too much of a problem.Personally I am loading up on my favorite freon."Artic Freeze" seems much cooler at the vents than the generic freon.Seems like they
(Greenies) are always trying to screw with all of the older car owners and those of us that are
fans of the classics.
Jim
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:28 pm

Nick Danger wrote:
I looked it up.

General Motors says that it will start using HFO-1234yf in the 2013 cars. They're doing it in response to European regulations.

http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/news/news_detail.brand_gm.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/July/0723_refrigerant

It looks like you won't be able to retrofit a 134a system to HFO-1234yf. Shops will need to buy all new equipment for the new refrigerant. That's going to sting when we go to get an AC repair job done.

http://workshop.search-autoparts.com/_HFO1234yf-What-Does-It-Mean-For-You/blog/1772765/31710.html

I don't think it'll make a big difference for our wagons for at least ten years, because there are a whole lot of R134a cars out there that will need to be serviced.

Once again we are being fed a load of boulder crap. Propane has been used for years and a company up here in Canada has been producing a varient for at least 10 years. Have followed these guys for a few years and they are constantly being head butted by the biggies (CIL, Dupont, etc.) trying to maintain their control of the freon market.

http://www.duracool.com/Duracool/faqs.html

Duracool has been able to modify the "flash point" to a level above that of R134 and the performance is greater than that of R12. The lobbies in Wasington managed to get Duracool and other propane refrigerants banned in the US but you can still get it up here.

Have done some research into this over the years and it turns out that freon, or any of its derivatives, it not the best refrigerant. It is simply the one most easily patented. Remember the guy that brought us "tetra ethyl lead"? Guess who also brought us freon? Same guy.

I am firmly convinced that modified propane is the way to go. Certainly not a replacement that cost 10 times the amount, needs all new equipment that can only be operated by certified technicians and is not as efficient than even R134. Can anyone spell conspiracy?

Bill
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Nick Danger

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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:24 pm

Here is the FAQ for Duracool (HC-12) from the EPA.

http://epa.gov/ozone/snap/refrigerants/hc12alng.html

Among other things, they say that Duracool will catch fire at atmospheric pressure and temperature, and R-134a won't. That's why it's listed it as flammable, regardless of the flashpoint. They also say that one reason HC-12 isn't approved is because Duracool changed the formulation in 1998, and never submitted the new formulation for EPA approval.

I'm not an expert, and I've seen suspicious things from other regulators. But the EPA makes a plauslble case. It would be hard to prove that HC-12 is being denied approval because of industry lobbyists.
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: which brand ac compressor?   Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:38 pm

Nick:

I've had this discussion with others over the years, including professionals in the automotive and industrial air conditioning industry. Both manufacturers and service people. They would all love to be able to use propane. They do in Germany and other parts of Europe.

The concensus is that the amount of propane used in all but large scale AC units is insufficient to create any catastrophic explosion. The 12 to 16 onces used in our cars is insignificant even if we did manage to light it off.

I have never been a huge fan of the EPA and am greatly concerned that they seem to be playing right into the hands of big business. Did they ever suggest a protocol that actually reduces the consumption of anything, short of banning it all together? While I am not party to the testing procedures and methodologies that generated the linked page, one only has to click on their " full list of alternatives". See anything there that isn't manufactured almost exclusively by either Dupont or CIL, or one of their subsidiaries.

This is not an overt advertisement for Duracool but rather a question of why isn't propane even being discussed on this side of the pond as an alternative to freon? At least Duracool is trying. From my research, propane is cheap, stinks like hell so leak detection is easy, is more efficient than even R12 and is environmentally friendly. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Why should we be subjected to a substance that is 10 times more expensive, is not available to the DIYer, requires the professionals to invest in new equipment and is less efficient than R134? All to remove maybe one possible incidence every 50 years?

"internationally respected risk assessors
Arthur D. Little, in a detailed UK-based study, estimated the risk of an
ignited refrigerant leak in the passenger compartment of a motor
vehicle as being in the area of 3 in 10 million. Their findings, from a
local perspective, mean that if every car in the USA (some 50 to 60
million vehicles) were to use a hydrocarbon refrigerant such an accident
might occur once in every 50 years."

If it quacks like a duck

Bill
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