Common places I should look for A/C leak on 1998 SE? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-19-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default Common places I should look for A/C leak on 1998 SE?

I have replaced the compressor to condenser/compressor to accumulator hose with new and still have a leak in my system. I can charge with 2-3 cans of 134A and system loses charge in 2-3 weeks. Last time I filled, I used a can of dye. I bought a black light at walmart and tried to use it to detect the leak in the dark. I have yet to figure out where the charge is going. Are there common problem areas witht eh Bonne A/C system?
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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best thing to do is get some 134A with the Dye in it so you can use a black light and see where its coming out...
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:07 PM   #3
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Already done that. Used a black light bulb in my trouble light. I had trouble seeing the back of compressor but all connections to accumulator and condenser look good. Also, I checked at least one side of the condenser and didn't see any obvious leak there. I'm thinking that it may be the evaporator but I checked the air vents with black light and saw no evidence of the dye. Is there a common failure mode for these A/C systems, ie compressor seals, evap. leaks, o ring/compressor attachement problems, etc...?
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:09 PM   #4
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Don't check the air vents...check the drain tube....where it would leak out if the evap leaked.
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Old 07-19-2006, 04:33 PM   #5
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also when you put some in and its up to presher does the compressor even turn on...?


or does it leak out to quick for it to hold?
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #6
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Our systems don't exhibit any specific failure mode any more than other auto A/C systems do.

That having been said, a leak of that size is often due to a failing compressor. Compressors are a likely candidate for failure in any older A/C system, as they are the one moving part in a closed loop system and the seals will eventually fail.

That doesn't rule out other components, just make sure you have positively eliminated the compressor before searching too hard elsewhere.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:45 PM   #7
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Are you guys teasing me or are you serious? Charge lasts 2-3 weeks and A/C works during that time. I estimate that it is a small leak because the charge never completely leaks out, it just leaks to the point that the low pressure switch kicks out. Good call on the evap drain tube, I will check that tonight. BTW, how tough is it to get to the evaporator? I did a mustang once and it was extremely difficult.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:51 PM   #8
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I know man its a PITA to find these leaks, but thats AC systems for ya....


Welcome to the AC system trubleshooting... its not fun...


Just follow the setps on here that people give you and trust me you will find whats doing it.. just have to lission to everyone and do what they say to try...

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Old 07-19-2006, 05:52 PM   #9
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Not teasing. I consider an A/C leak that loses charge in 2-3 weeks to be a big leak. A small leak will lose a charge over a 5-6 month summer or over a year. Of course it'* all relative and somewhat immaterial. Truth is, you want to find that leak, where ever it is and get the repair done, right?

If you find your leak and replace your parts, do you have the proper equipment to evacuate the system and apply vacuum before recharging? Also don't forget to replace your Accumulator assembly once you have the system open.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:58 PM   #10
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Yep, I have the equipment to evacuate and charge. Actually I work with the home versions everyday. If it was a home system I would pressurize the system with nitrogen and bubble check soldier joints and fittings. Unfortunately, more than half of the system is covered up so I do what I can. It doesn't help that I have to wait until dark to try and find the leak( which is at 10 pm, thanks DST!). Some models of cars have common failure modes such as Fords lose the o-rings and need replaced or the charge will just leak right out again. I didn't know of the Bonneville'* have something like that.
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