airconditioning leak - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:13 PM   #1
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Default airconditioning leak

the air - cond system on my car has a leak in it. has anybody had any success putting in the sealer they sell at auto parts stores ? i refilled it last year and it worked for a month. i just bought a new house and i dont really want to spend a bunch of money on getting it fixed right now , and i also dont want to throw money out the window if this stuff is junk either.
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:23 PM   #2
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I wouldn't put anything in an AC system other than refrigerant, compresser oil, and leak-detecting-dye. AC systems leak at points where there is a mechanical seal. The seals are usually rubber O-rings in various types of compressive fittings. When they age they break down and leak. There'* no real way to fix the leak other than to evacuate the system, open it up, replace seals, close it back up, vacuum pump it down, and recharge it.

There are also seals in the compressor that can fail, and for those you generally just replace the compressor, which requires all of the above steps as well.

So really, the answer is "no, don't put sealers in your AC system, wait until you can afford to do it right and enjoy driving with your windows down until then."

(Sorry). Nice GTO though!
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #3
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i agree on the dont use it if its an oring leak, tho i did use a stop leak in my jeep cuz it had like a 1mm crack in the condenser and it sealed it perfectly. finding a cheap condenser for it was next to impossible so it worked and had cold air ever since. still does for the new owner.
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:25 PM   #4
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The sealers do more harm then good, the leak may be a faulty shrader valve or something now, but after the leak sealer you will probably need a new compressor, orifice tube, evap core and condensor. Do it the right way now and save yourself alot in the future.

Buy a can of R134a with DYE in it and borrow a black light from someone, you should have no problem finding the leak. If the leak isn't visable, crawl under the car and check the drain tube, may be a leaky accumulator.

Good luck,
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Old 06-18-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
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ok sealers junk. thats what i wanted to know. when you put the dye in do you need to refill with refrigerant also ? seems to me you would have to to pressurize the system. hopefully all i will find is a bad o-ring. was 93 degrees here yesterday and after 8 hours in the shop i was really missin the chillin on the way home !
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUBBA
ok sealers junk. thats what i wanted to know. when you put the dye in do you need to refill with refrigerant also ? seems to me you would have to to pressurize the system. hopefully all i will find is a bad o-ring. was 93 degrees here yesterday and after 8 hours in the shop i was really missin the chillin on the way home !
If your system is working at all, adding the dye will not hurt. If you bye the R134a with the dye added, it will not hurt anything. The system doesn't need to be completely charged to find the leak. Usually a LB of R134a and some dye will be just fine.

Good luck,
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Old 06-18-2006, 05:12 PM   #7
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However, if you find a leaking seal, the only way to replace it is to evacuate the system, replace the seals, vacuum pump it down, and recharge it. You can't replace an O ring without discharging the system, and the proper way to do that is to use equipment that actually sucks the refrigerant out of the system and keeps it in a holding tank. "Single Circuit" systems can separate contaminants and air and water from the recovered refrigerant and pressurize it to put it back in your system. Less expensive recovery-only systems just suck the refrigerant to a holding tank for reprocessing elsewhere, and you recharge with fresh refrigerant after vacuum pumping the system down.

In the old days we'd just depressurize the system by venting it all out through the schraeder valve (gets messy as there is lubricating oil mixed with the refrigerant), open it up and replace the seals, close it up, vacuum pump it, and charge it with fresh refrigerant. This is absolutely illegal now, thus the need for proper recovery equipment and reprocessing. This all became required as part of the Clean Air Act of 1990, signed into law by then-President George H. W. Bush.

A quick Google search hit this infomative page with more info about refrigerant recovery requirements for automotive AC systems:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/2003/ts30324.htm
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