Anyone have any tips on where to start searching for AC leaks? I might eventually bring it to the shop, but I noticed that an entire AC seal kit was pretty cheap. Any videos and pics would be super helpful!
An old neighbor of mine who was a mechanic told me to never use the stop leak for AC systems because it could clog some of the small passages that the refrigerant flows through.Over the years of my new 91
- replaced the condenser 2x due to nicks from rocks , plan on putting on some sort of black screen to protect
- evaporator leak (done under warranty)
- compressor leak at rotor shaft
- manifold gasket leak on top of compressor
Do not use a seal fluid. It'll likely gum up the compressor/evaporator.
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I don't have a garage at the moment.put a can of refrigerant in from the local parts store. They do sell cans with UV leak detection in it or your local mechanic can install some PAG oil with UV dye in it. Then I use leak detector fluid from big box hardware store in the plumbing/natural gas section. All you need is 15-25psi in the system and the engine doesn't need to be running. When the refrigerant was installed, the engine was running enough to distribute the UV dye around the AC system. Use yellow glasses and a black light flashlight in a dark garage. Any dye that comes out will glow. Most techs will say to drive it around for a day or two to heat cycle everything before looking for any dye traces. The black light and glasses can also be used to add dye to any oil and find engine oil leaks and transmission leaks. However, it can be hard to see the back side of the condenser. This is where you can graduate to the leak detection fluid and unbolt top of radiator to swing it away at the top to get more access. I use dedicated leak detection fluid because when you spray soapy water, it can put bubbles on the surface and hard to see leaks. Also the viscosity of the soapy water allows it run off quickly. The leak detection fluid will leave a layer and that will help show bubbling. On the condenser, sometimes you can also see the leak with bright shop light and look for an darker oil stain looking area. Just like Sefiro said, common failures are condenser and compressor. When doing either, it is a good idea to replace the receiver/dryer as those are typically really cheap. At one point, I was going through a condenser every year due to rock hits. I finally installed a metal screen over the bottom half and never had a problem again.