Copyright © Ian Russell 2005

Air conditioning recharge (R12)

All science is either physics or stamp collecting.

(Ernest Rutherford)

Air conditioning not working?


The Esprit’s air conditioning system has four main components: 

The Compressor - fitted on the right hand front side of the engine and driven by a v-belt, this pumps vapourized refrigerant at high pressure to...

The Condenser - located ahead of the radiator under the nose of the car; the high pressure vapour is cooled in the condenser by a “ram air” effect and by cooling fans and is condensed to a high pressure liquid.  This then passes to...

The Receiver-drier - on the right hand side of the front luggage compartment; this desiccates and filters the refrigerant before it flows to...

The Evaporator - situated inside the heater casing immediately behind the heater matrix; the high pressure liquid passes through an expansion valve and boils removing heat from the air as it does so.  Low pressure vapour is drawn into the compressor to commence another cycle.


Before March 1995, the air con system on the Esprit used “Refrigerant 12” which is made up from “Freon 12” and “Arcton 12”.  This is no longer available in Europe.  After March 1995 the air con system used a more ozone friendly, CFC free R134a refrigerant.  This was introduced from the following VINs:


S4: VIN: S 2031 (RHD) S 2017 (LHD)

S4S (non-USA): VIN: S 4035 (RHD) S 4006 (LHD)

S4S (USA): VIN: S 3012

Sport 3OO: VIN: S 8059