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"Possible" AC Condensor Leak


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curtie94
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Mar 22, 2012, 9:38 PM

Post #1 of 32 (4706 views)
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Hi I have a 1991 Honda Accord 2.2L with 173,000 miles with a R-134a ac conversion kit. When I bought the car the ac was not working. So last summer I charged my ac systemwithout checking if there was leaks, The R134a was all gone within 3 days. Today I looked around and saw that I had some oily crud around the condensor fittings, Here are some pics, you can even see the shiny metal where I rubbed the oil off:







So I thought I found my leak But when I looked a little but closer the bottom right hand corner of the condensor had a lot and I mean a lot of the oily crud, is it leaking from the O-Rings or is it the condensor getting it over everything?

I'll try to get a pic of the condensor tomorrow If you guys need it.


Hammer Time
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Mar 22, 2012, 10:03 PM

Post #2 of 32 (4690 views)
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Save your pics. it isn't going to tell us anything. You need to bring the car in and have it leak tested to find the problem.




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



curtie94
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Mar 22, 2012, 10:20 PM

Post #3 of 32 (4677 views)
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I did add some dye last summer, would it still be visibal now? And if it is do I need a uv light and glasses?


Hammer Time
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Mar 22, 2012, 10:22 PM

Post #4 of 32 (4674 views)
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Yes, you need a U/V light and glasses.




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Mar 23, 2012, 8:07 AM

Post #5 of 32 (4617 views)
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Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get an AC oring kit and re-o ring everything. With the age, the orings are probably flat and leaking. Also wouldn't be a bad idea to replace the receiver, clean the condenser, flush out the lines, replace the expansion valve, flush out the evaporator, and drain the compressor. Install new ester oil into the system, vacuum, and recharge. Make sure that your cooling fans are working.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 23, 2012, 1:13 PM

Post #6 of 32 (4602 views)
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Just poking my nose in as there are already great suggestions from this site's best. Locked up top in this section is great info on how to charge this back up WHEN leaks are found and fixed AND it will hold a vacuum. That may not say but no air allowed in - not even the tidbit in the hose(s) used for charging up.
I've found that some Hondas in particular are happy with about 65-70% of the listed weight of original R-12 when converted. No matter but some others peak out best up to 80% - why - IDK?

Oily spots are a clue for leaks. One this fast you can probably run your finger under suspect area and get some wet oil not just dirty mess.

Some may be from some other reason.

Do it right, do it once or get help. Do keep in mind that compressor is not getting oil till there's cool air blowing so be fast to get it at least to blow some cool then take the time to tweak it to its best.

If you are up to this we can help. Doing things wrong is nasty expensive so pay attention to what you are doing,

T
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curtie94
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Mar 23, 2012, 5:14 PM

Post #7 of 32 (4588 views)
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Hey thank you guys. I would like to do the work my self I mean I do all my other work. I added some red dye and stop leak last summer it was in the same bottle. I removed the hose that goes into the condensor yesterday and I could see some of the red dye it was almost up to the edge of the condensor. Is this a good thing or not. Is the dye to thick to make it out of where the freon, I know its not called freon any more, but I don't know what else to call it, is leaking? I looked and autozone has a o-ring kit for 10 bucks so I might try that, should I also put in a dryer? What else should I do to ensure it will work good?

And what you said about the 70% and working good does sound right. I mean I did it last year without vacuuming it down and it was still puting out about 50F on a 95F day.


curtie94
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Mar 23, 2012, 5:34 PM

Post #8 of 32 (4578 views)
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I would also like to add that if I jump the ac with the pressure switch there ARE bubbles in the sight glass.


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 23, 2012, 5:41 PM

Post #9 of 32 (4577 views)
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Quote ">>I added some red dye and stop leak last summer it was in the same bottle<<"

That's called a "Death Kit" and you can probably kiss this system good bye now unless you can find something to get every last bit of that out!

Some of that stuff will harden up upon exposure to air so you then can't open the system again without a disaster - some may still be salvageable. NEVER USE THOSE PRODUCTS UNLESS IT'S YOU LAST SHOT AND ARE NOT GOING TO FIX THE SYSTEM IF THEY DON'T WORK!

Those cans should come with a skull and cross bones and warning that use of the product can destroy the system totally! Wonder how many they would sell if marked like that?

Test some and see if it hardens up on you. If so it's big trouble. If not then flush out the whole system and toss any driers.

If you can flush it all out consider it wild luck and move on to fix the real leak(s).............

T
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Long retired now


curtie94
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Mar 23, 2012, 7:54 PM

Post #10 of 32 (4561 views)
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How can I flush the ac system? If it was such a big leak to leak out n 3 days wounldn't all of the dye be out too?


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 23, 2012, 8:07 PM

Post #11 of 32 (4557 views)
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Frankly I think you should send it out for just the flushing but they do sell flush kits.

Dye not seen? Check the drain tube where condensate would normally drip - it may be all oiled up and dye there dripped to ground?

T
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Long retired now


curtie94
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Mar 23, 2012, 8:19 PM

Post #12 of 32 (4553 views)
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The drain tube is on the opposite side of the car from where the stain was.


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 23, 2012, 9:00 PM

Post #13 of 32 (4546 views)
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Doesn't matter - you aren't finding dye so check it as it should be plain dry right now. IDK for sure but it might be able to have dripped without leaving much evidence? It's just me but I prefer electronic leak detection more than dyes but would use everything in the arsenal to find them. Leaks are by far the #1 reason for A/C failures or problems,

T
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Long retired now


Discretesignals
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Mar 23, 2012, 10:34 PM

Post #14 of 32 (4532 views)
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Forget using the sight glass with R-134A. Yuck... leak sealer?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


nickwarner
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Mar 23, 2012, 11:30 PM

Post #15 of 32 (4525 views)
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OK, I'll be the guy to say it. You killed it. You fed it the Death Kit. ANYTHING that is sold as a leak sealer for ANY system is at best pure snake oil and at worst horse crap. The only thing that fixes leaks is the defective parts(ie, diagnose it) and the sealer kits are asking for trouble. From what I've see 134a retrofit kits don't work more than a season if that. Its because 134a is a LESS efficient refrigerant than its ozone-eating predecessor R-12. It needs higher pressures for longer time than R-12 to deliver the same cooling. Want something to really wrap your mind around? In the states we have to use hydrocarbon detectors in the shops near the border because in Mexico they figured out that propane works good as a refrigerant. It has a boiling point of -32 so they're right in that fact. So sometimes an ac leak means the car blows up. Propane is actually a more efficient gas to use, but too volitile when released from leakage. So make sure the windows work well and no more ac unless you really don't like carrying your money around anymore. This is more expense than its worth.


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 24, 2012, 7:23 AM

Post #16 of 32 (4511 views)
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Yep - probably game over.

At ACSource a bunch of us experimented with donor cars NOT to be fixed if anything failed. Stuff (sealers) all must be added to operating systems TMK and I had one with leaks any two year old could see but just a parts go getter car so didn't care.

Of about 20 tests mine was the only one that worked using Cryo-Silane based sealer on THREE well known condenser leaks. It did last a couple years if I never let it go low on charge. Ruined hoses I used to even put it in and clogged up the service port. That was the type that didn't tolerate air so forget fixing anything for real if used.

No snake oil for much of anything in a car no matter what for.

Again Nick is right - propane works but have the fire department follow you around. I tried that on a car headed directly to the bone yard no matter what. It did for a while work even better than R-12! Even that all leaked out but just wanted to see it work or not on a total POS car.

Articles can be found on alternative tricks in CoolProfit$ magazine published by John Hess out of Pataluma, CA.

Of that whole isle of snake oils for assorted things for assorted problems I do and will use 3 of them so sparingly vs instructions on containers it's nuts. Just remember that if a maker can sell a product they don't care if it works or wrecks things as long as they can sell it,

T


Hammer Time
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Mar 24, 2012, 8:16 AM

Post #17 of 32 (4505 views)
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Quote
the only one that worked using Cryo-Silane based sealer on THREE well known condenser leaks.


That's for R12




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 24, 2012, 10:25 AM

Post #18 of 32 (4498 views)
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Wrong! It doesn't work well on anything! That was just a long drawn out experiment by many at another site and conclusively was a failure. None tore apart total systems to know the extent of damage in that test.

Any of that stuff in any form should be illegal to sell. Never mind this piss ant site I know the movers and shakers of A/C by name. Ward Atkinson mean anything to you?

Tom - might be close to dead but still breathingCrazy
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Long retired now


Hammer Time
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Mar 24, 2012, 10:38 AM

Post #19 of 32 (4491 views)
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I've sealed a few evaporators with cryo-saline. The condenser may be too high pressure for that though.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



curtie94
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Mar 24, 2012, 10:58 AM

Post #20 of 32 (4485 views)
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Ok thank you guys, I think im just going to use the windows until I get a new car


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 24, 2012, 11:12 AM

Post #21 of 32 (4482 views)
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curtie: Techs here or at least the regulars are from all over with different experiences and climates to deal with. Most right now from the US but not limited to just that.

Objective is to offer our best as we know it and site is free. We don't get paid a cent either so know that suggestions have no motive. Techs and guests can come and go as they please and for me I like it that way,

T
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Long retired now


curtie94
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Mar 24, 2012, 11:18 AM

Post #22 of 32 (4478 views)
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its only hot up here where I live for 4 months out of the year, and when I say hot is is really only low to mid 80's.

I would like to get the ac working, but if that stop leak ruined it Im not going to replace almost everything.

I emailed the ac shop where I live and see what they feel I should do since I added the stop leak.

The one that I bought is the $5 one at walmart.


Hammer Time
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Mar 24, 2012, 1:16 PM

Post #23 of 32 (4473 views)
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Quote
The one that I bought is the $5 one at walmart.


Worst possible choice. The cryo-saline we referred to was nearly $100 a dose in it's day




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Mar 24, 2012, 1:17 PM)


Discretesignals
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Mar 24, 2012, 1:19 PM

Post #24 of 32 (4468 views)
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That's how you learn sometimes. Even if it is an expensive way to learn. I just wish that more of the public understood that these band aid fixes usually cause more problems than they actually fix.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 24, 2012, 2:09 PM

Post #25 of 32 (4460 views)
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To quote "ACProf" his user name out there and a real professor of heat transfer physics would say..........

"The Tuition of A/C is intense" or close to that. To be able to touch it takes wild experience and then mega thousands in equipment on top. Can the shops or techs do this for free is a no brainer,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now




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