Based on symptoms and measurements, I have reason to suspect that my neighbour's car's AC system has too much refrigerant in it. Some of the refrigerant has to go.
To my knowledge, even if environmental regulations penalize the local automotive repair industry for venting refrigerant to the atmosphere it is poorly enforced, so if the neighbour takes it to an average repair shop they wouldn't hesitate to mash on the valve release.
Rather than act irresponsibly and release it to atmosphere, I would like to know if it is possible to use a spent refrigerant bottle (the disposable kind like in the picture below) to store the excess refrigerant so that I can take it to a specialist workshop that has the ability to recycle it at a later date.
The thing I'm not sure about is whether these bottles can come with a one-way/check valve that ensures they can only be emptied, not refilled.
Under Handling Precautions for HFC-134a Shipping Containers, I also found this:
- Never refill disposable cylinders with anything. The shipment of refilled disposable cylinders is prohibited by DOT regulations.
- Never refill returnable cylinders without DuPont consent. DOT regulations forbid transportation of returnable cylinders refilled without DuPont’s authorization.
There does appear to be some evidence that suggests these regulations are driven by product integrity concerns:
In some instances, says MOPIA, the refrigerant contained within the cylinder is not as labeled, particularly in the case of R134a and R22.
'One cylinder we analysed, which was supposed to contain virgin R134a, actually contained a mixture of R22, a hydrocarbon and R134a,' said Mark Miller.