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Proper Way to Find A/C Leaks & Refill

 
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Old 11 Aug 2017, 06:27 pm
Flash619's Avatar
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Default Proper Way to Find A/C Leaks & Refill

Hello again, so I have a decent A/C leak. When my car turns off I can hear an audible hissing coming from the A/C lines by the front passenger corner near the timing belt and A/C pump.

I've noticed now however, my A/C seems to be empty as the pump no longer engages and the lines are just hot. I think I know which line it's coming from, and its leaking by where the metal pipe crimps onto the rubber hose, however I'm not sure.

Does the UV 134a coolant work well for locating leaks? I've used UV dyes in the past but wasn't sure if this would mess up anything. Also, since the system is very low if not empty, what would be the best way to refill this system? Do I need to inject any oil into it?
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Old 11 Aug 2017, 06:42 pm
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Default Re: Proper Way to Find A/C Leaks & Refill

The R134a with UV dye works quite well. My wife's car had a slow leak and I added a can of that. I also got a flashlight that has both UV and visible light. At dusk, I examined the AC system. The leak was at a hose connection. The UV / visible flashlight was handy as I could switch back and forth between UV and visible light to see what was leaking.

My brother has AC equipment and he helped me replace the hose. He looked at the size of the AC oil stain and judged it would take ~10ml of oil (maybe 5 to 10% of the oil charge). Make sure you use the correct oil, very important. Lube any o-rings with the same oil.

He vacuumed down the system. And we recharged it. That was about a year ago. It's been fine since.

Another thought. If it's hissing and you have a clue where the leak is, add some R134a and spray the area with soapy water. The bubbles will tell you where the leak is.
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Last edited by RickinPA; 11 Aug 2017 at 06:47 pm.
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Old 12 Aug 2017, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Proper Way to Find A/C Leaks & Refill

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash619 View Post
Hello again, so I have a decent A/C leak. When my car turns off I can hear an audible hissing coming from the A/C lines by the front passenger corner near the timing belt and A/C pump.

I've noticed now however, my A/C seems to be empty as the pump no longer engages and the lines are just hot. I think I know which line it's coming from, and its leaking by where the metal pipe crimps onto the rubber hose, however I'm not sure.

Does the UV 134a coolant work well for locating leaks? I've used UV dyes in the past but wasn't sure if this would mess up anything. Also, since the system is very low if not empty, what would be the best way to refill this system? Do I need to inject any oil into it?
you cant recharge it yourself unless you want to damage the entire system. you need a special recharge station. second post had a lot of useful information.
if your compressor doesn't engage but the lines are hot, then they're just getting heated from the ambient temperatures.
no refrigerant in the system and the low pressure switch will disable the compressor.

the most common point of leaks are at any connection and the discharge and inlet side service ports, usually in the valves themselves. if they'res no charge, and no pressure, you won't need to check for leaks. if a shop connects the a/c service station they will determine any source of leaks and add the correct amount of oil and refrigerant before charging and testing the system. hope this helps
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