How Can I Find My Car A/C Leak?


Finding a car A/C leak can be challenging. Some leaks can actually be heard and are simple to locate, while bigger leaks are usually the result of either a fuse that has been blown or the line is rubbed through via the bracket or frame within its engine compartment.

Apply The Leak Detector 

If the leak can’t be heard and you see no oil residue, then the first step is to use a detector. These devices are affordable and consist of a primary housing that contains batteries, sensing devices, sensitivity controls, and an off/on switch. The detector also has a “sniffer” which will extract an air sample that can be reviewed to determine refrigerant levels when activated. 

Perform System Tests

In order to properly test the system, its Freon should be filled to maximum capacity as this allows the detector to perform its job most effectively. If the Freon levels are too low the detector won’t have anything to work with. It is also essential for your engine to be shut down and ideally, the vehicle should be situated in a location that has no breezes or wind. The reason for this is that air movement might propel Freon away, making leak detection harder or producing false readings. Because refrigerant is heavy when compared to air, you’ll want to test beneath the object when looking for leaks.

Inspect The O Ring First

Activate your detector then adjust its sensitivity to a setting that is the lowest. You’ll want to begin with an inspection of the O ring-based seal near the car’s receiver dryer. O rings commonly have leaked but not always. If a leak is present, most detectors will indicate this by revealing 1 or more red-colored lights and beeping. Once you’ve tested the whole system and found no leaks, turn up your detector’s sensitivity to the higher setting.

Inspect The Vehicle’s Pressure Sensor And Condenser

Most automobiles these days have pressure sensors which are another common source for leaks. Specifically, you’ll want to check near its electrical connector and base. The condenser will usually be positioned up front and is vulnerable to road debris and stones which might get in and cause damage or leaks. Inspect the whole condenser including its hose connections.

Review Your Compressor And Hose Fittings

The compressor, especially its front, is an area where the primary shaft seal can be found and is another common spot for Freon leakage. You’ll need to place your sniffer in front and near the lower area, and try to avoid getting dirt within the sniffer’s nose as it can produce false readings.

The hose fittings within your vehicle might appear in the form of a hose barb that is inverted. They hold a rubber hose for the aluminum tube or fitting. You’ll want to test the connection’s lower portion. Finally, you’ll want to inspect the evaporator, and to do this you’ll need to find its water drain then insert your sniffer so any leaks which are present near the O ring or evaporator core can be found.