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emsvitil 01-23-2013 06:46 PM

Slow AC leak
My interval between topping off the R134a in the AC seems to be getting smaller....

I don't seem any signs of a leak (oily spots on AC hoses/connections) so, does anyone know if the AC system came with UV dye in it so I can look for a leak with a UV light?


whynotthinkwhynot 01-23-2013 07:34 PM

It should've. However, that has probably all worn off by now since you've been adding refrigerant.

I think you should go all the way. For one, the car is 12 years old, so the compressor is 12 years old. You have probably been losing oil, so you're lucky it's working at all. The orifice tube is definitely clogged up at this point, and that's probably exacerbating whatever leak you have. You can take a chance on the compressor- I know it's expensive- but I'd replace all the O-rings and the orifice tube before having it vacuumed and recharged. I might even consider replacing the accumulator- except that I remember that early Focis have an accumulator that is different and very expensive because you need a new hose as well. You might want to look into the parts and see what you need. What you really need to check, and be wary of damage on is the condenser. A small condenser leak is a big problem because the condenser is such an expensive and difficult part to replace. It's also one of the most likely places for a small leak because it's susceptible to road debris damage.

emsvitil 01-26-2013 12:00 AM

A can of R134a is cheaper.................

I'll first take a look with my UV light to see if I see anything.

If I don't see anything I'll then tighten the valve cores and replace the valve caps and see what happens........

sailor 01-26-2013 12:23 AM

Whynot might shoot me for this comment...

But if you've been adding straight R134, maybe some of the "cheap stuff" that includes dye & oil next time - to add some back in so your UV light will work?

I KNOW adding oil, dye, and sealant isn't recommended, but if the original charge is getting low like he guessed..... maybe this once??

emsvitil 01-26-2013 12:42 AM


Originally Posted by sailor (Post 4557481)
But if you've been adding straight R134, maybe some of the "cheap stuff" that includes dye & oil next time - to add some back in so your UV light will work?

I thought of that.......

Then I forgot.

Thanks for reminding me of that idea.


sailor 01-26-2013 01:40 AM

Great Minds....

I think....?


whynotthinkwhynot 01-26-2013 11:31 AM

I'd avoid stop leak, but do what you want. What happens is that when the system is discharged, the stop leak hardens up- whether it's inside or not. This KOs parts, and sometimes expensive parts. That's the danger of stop leak. If you get lucky, maybe it will do it's job and stop the leak for you- who knows.

Good luck!

emsvitil 01-26-2013 03:45 PM

Definitely no stop leak............

I've read horror stories all over the internet about AC stop leak.............


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