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The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
I was out there this weekend with the UV light and yellow goggles and didn't see shite. Toyota SUV and ac compressor is at the bottom of the engine of course... I tried to follow the pressure lines but ultimately got frustrated and quit.


Rando
USA Fan
When IPs were Visible
Member since Apr 2015
8623 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
Go out there at night and do it. Works way better.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
4022 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
No clue on the leak help, in my limited experience once you have a leak you usually have something that broke and basically you need to replace the whole AC system. Its a sealed system, unless you jolted something like a connection loose (very unlikely) then chances are something cracked.

If it uses a dryer, the bag in there will bust and get little chards of crap all through your AC system that need cleaned out. I think what happens a lot is those little chards of dryer crap get in your compressor and cause it to malfunction or somewhere else in your system that causes a major pressure issue that then causes something to blow out.

You can get a complete rebuild kit that includes your Compressor, Dryer, condensor, oraface tube, o-rings, etc. for around $200 bucks. Then you get yourself one of those R-134A refrigerant bottles with the gauge on it, you will probably need a second bottle. You can replace your whole AC system except for the tubes and hoses that don't need replacing anyway for like $250. I've done that 3 times, not perfect but it works great and lasted over 2 years each time.

This post was edited on 8/7 at 12:49 pm


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TSLG
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Mar 2014
1329 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
The dye and uv light has always worked great for me.


The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
It was night time.


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The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

The dye and uv light has always worked great for me.
I saw a bunch of different stuff but couldn't tell what was paint/markings and what was possibly Freon to be honest.


CoolHand
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2011
1777 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
Was clear as day when I tried it with UV. Was coming home out of my compressor. I changed out the compressor and dryer and it's been working great ever since (3+ years). I purchased a vacuum pump as well to help with the job.


Clames
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2010
7017 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
How old is the vehicle and what makes you think there is a leak bad enough to show the UV dye? Most A/C systems will have some amount of leakage and will need to be topped off periodically.


The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
What part of the compressor was it leaking from?


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The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

How old is the vehicle and what makes you think there is a leak bad enough to show the UV dye?
2008. It went thru two 12 oz cans of Freon in about 7 days.


cajuncarguy
LSU Fan
On the road...Again!
Member since Jun 2013
701 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
Find a good shop near you. Trust me.


The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

Find a good shop near you. Trust me.
Eventually I will but trying to save the grand minimum I'm expecting it to cost.


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Tigeralum2008
LSU Fan
Yankees Fan
Member since Apr 2012
6448 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
During the 7 days with freon, did you smell any in the cabin?


There is a coil in the dash on the passenger side that has leaked in my yota before...I'd target that since you couldn't find it with the UV inspection

Image: https://sc02.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1kUezQVXXXXaTXVXXq6xXFXXXb/Auto-AC-Evaporator-for-TOYOTA-COROLLA-EX.jpg


I'd also target the compressor
This post was edited on 8/7 at 2:30 pm


geauxnc0308
LSU Fan
pineywoods of ET
Member since May 2008
243 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
Fought this recently. My leak was actually the low side Schrader valve, about a can a week. Tip - screw off the cap and put a water balloon over it. Replacing that valve is easy, just need the small tool and a new valve (plus a couple cans of Freon). But, just try tightening it first


Tiger-Striped-Bass
LSU Fan
The Bay Area
Member since Dec 2004
1041 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
I also found a leaking pressure/cycling switch on the accumulator. It was black plastic with an aluminum band crimped around it. I had put a whole can of 5-shots of UV dye. Got no UV dye out of it, presumably because it's the highest point in the system. Soapy water found it though

Image: https://i.imgur.com/DJBwk9B.png
This post was edited on 8/7 at 2:53 pm


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The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

During the 7 days with freon, did you smell any in the cabin?
Not at all, no smell whatsoever.



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The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

But, just try tightening it first
Tighten what, the Schrader valve? Is that the low pressure one or high pressure one or both?


PS - I inspected both valves with their caps off and didn't see any sign of a leak.
This post was edited on 8/7 at 3:12 pm


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
1381 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
replace the pressure switch and that should fix it

as for general info: the light needs time to get hot, just because it lights up its not ready right away, after it gets hot for 5 minutes or so things with dye glow super bright.

if you don't see the leak then it may be up under the dash or inside it as in the evaporator core.

unfortunately if its the evaporator then the way they build cars today the whole dash, and I mean the whole dash, usually has to be stripped out down to the firewall to replace it.

if its a small leak just add Freon until fall, if it needs it every month or sooner then just bring it in to a dealer and let them tell you what is leaking. most dealers only charge $75-$100 diagnostic fee to find a problem and quote a repair cost for it
This post was edited on 8/7 at 3:28 pm


The Mick
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2010
33889 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

replace the pressure switch and that should fix it
Where is the pressure switch located, on the compressor or elsewhere?


Geauxtiga
TBD Fan
No man's land
Member since Jan 2008
30553 posts

re: OT mechanics, DIY'ers. Ever diagnose a freon leak in your vehicle?
quote:

It went thru two 12 oz cans of Freon in about 7 days.
Definitely a leak.


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