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Old 06-10-2014, 01:39 AM   #1
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Default A/C leak

Ok I have a major leaks in my A/C system. I have a 1997 Bonneville SSEi. I've put 12 ounces of the uv dye. It barely holds a charge for a day and a half. The compressor turns on when I recharge it so that'* ok. I can't spot any obvious leaks with the black light. I still need to check the evaporator core. Can anyone please help with this? I don't have $800 to spare to have the evap or ac compressor done. I can fix it myself but I need possible sources of leaks. I've checked both the high and low ports. Looked around the compressor and the canister by the firewall. Any input is greatly appreciated. I've got two young kids and it'* hell during the summer in the Midwest.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:54 AM   #2
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Did you check the condenser? That is the first thing that does get hit by rocks.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:26 AM   #3
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I did check before but I ran outside and double checked. I can't find anything. With 12 oz of dye and 19 of synthetic it would force a leak if there was one right? I'm stumped here.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:29 AM   #4
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Well, if it was leaking, it would be on the ground right underneath it.

You may have to do the bubble trick. Pressurize the system, and spray all connections and the whole condenser AND compressor with soapy water. The UV leak your putting in, may not be getting to the leak because of a droop in the line or something.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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thats what we always do spray the lines/connections/etc. that or listen sometimes listening for hissing will get you in the general area then use the spray
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:23 PM   #6
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Doesn't anyone use a sniffer anymore?

More often than not, that dye will leave a residue if it'* leaking that fast......the sniffer is kind of a last resort......I had one where I could not find it using dye or soaping everywhere.....pulled out the sniffer.....it was the line into and out of the compressor....did not see it because the line was covered with insulation...sniffer found it, and when I peeled back the insulation, you could see the dye on the inside of the insulation and outside of the line......

Also, the sniffer is great for finding a leak in the evaporator, if you don't see a dye residue coming out of the condensate drain....

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Old 06-12-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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probably works good in a garage, but the a/c i work on is outside and the sniffer doesnt work in the wind. so i just get used to using the soap. the a/c place has these little squirt bottles with a needle hole in it, you can squirt it pretty far and or pretty accurately
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:22 PM   #8
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Ok so I couldn't find the leak but two shops did. One is the front seal on the compressor and the other could be around the evaporator core. Of course the two most expensive repairs on the A/C system. Either way I'm going to just replace the compressor. It'* got a 192000 miles on it. I got a nice bonus from Chrysler so I'll probably do the evap core. Could someone please direct me to directions on replacing the compressor and evap core. I know it'* time consuming on the core but the compressor should be fairly simple. I'm just unsure of all stuff pertaining to oils and vacuum and what not. Thanks in advance
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:24 PM   #9
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There is a chart somewhere, I think it can be found in Alldata. I'll try and dig it out.

X number of ounces of PAG oil will remain in a properly evacuated system. X ounces in the compressor, X in the condenser etc etc.

With your Bonneville, you would need to drain the cooling system and remove the radiator, then the condenser. Those fittings need big wrenches and make sure you use an opposing wrench. Meaning, 2 wrenches on each fitting to prevent twisting the aluminum line.

Once all replaced, your going to need to evac the system and put a vacuum on it again. Then charge with X ounces of PAG oil you lost, then its 2.2 lbs of R134a. And yes, YOU do need to put a vacuum on the system so you get a proper re-charge of freon and remove any moisture that got in.
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:12 PM   #10
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Ok. Thank you very much for the help everyone. You guys have helped me save a ton of money over the last few years.
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