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Discussion Starter #1
So in an effort to waste little money, I used an R134a "equivalent" to recharge the A/C in my 2000 focus. Needless to say, it leaked out within a week. But here's the thing -- it was scented with pine according to the box. Each time I'd get in the car, there'd be a VERY strong pine-sol smell. So I took it to my mechanic who found no visible leaks, and evacuated the system... The VERY SAME smell came from the recovery machine, leading me to believe the leak was inside the cabin (which of course explains why he couldnt find a visible leak).

I have some tracer dye in the system now, and after he refilled it, it leaked out two days later of course. In an effort to find this leak without dismantling my car, can anyone offer any advice on where it might be leaking inside the cabin? Is the expansion valve inside or out? I'm hoping to god it isn't the evaporator, not to mention evaporator leaks are seemingly rare.

I've checked all the lines, compressor, condenser, can't see anything.

I *did* find the dye leaking down the side of the accumulator, however. I'm to believe that this was spilling some of the oil during the recharge... yet when I took off the dustcap, I heard a faint "psst" noise, and lo and behold -- ZERO pressure.

So. Advice?
 

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Evaps do leak. I am pretty sure that is the only part in the car.
 

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Easily... no

You will have to remove the instrument panel (the whole thing)..its a pain in the butt

If you lost all your refrigerant in a week, you should be able to find the leak with a 'sniff' tester

before you go pulling the cabin apart, verify the leak! It pretty much sounds like you have it nailed down with the whole 'odor' thing, but sniff test it anyway
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mother of god.

Any common leak spots? I can't justify taking the dash out unless i'm POSITIVE i know what it is.

Any way to see the leak? I dont have access to a sniff tester, but I'm sure I could find a UV light.
 

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well... if you can get a UV light, and if you have dye in the system, just shine the light up into the A/C drain tube on the passenger side of the firewall. If it has been leaking, some of that dye will show up on the inside of the drain tube. (unles syou are very unlucky and the leak is right at the top of the evap)

That drain tube is where you would want to stick the end of an a/c sniffer as well, if you do manage to get ahold of one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Went outside, jacked up the car, couldn't find it. Is it near where the fuel lines are? Because the cross member is in the way, I don't think I could see it unless I have it up on a lift.

Thanks for all your help, Scott.
 

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if u used dye like we use its really a bright neon green....and if its a big enough leak u can see it without a light...im agreeing with scott on this one, i dont think inside a car is anything else besides the evap....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
brandon0133 said:
if u used dye like we use its really a bright neon green....and if its a big enough leak u can see it without a light...im agreeing with scott on this one, i dont think inside a car is anything else besides the evap....
Yes I'm aware of the flourescent dye as I mentioned, but you're assuming that the leak could be seen.

Anyone have any ideas on how to find the drain tube?
 

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Definetly the evap. That is the only part inside and the fittings for the lines connect to it on the engine side of the firewall.
 
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