How Can I Find My Refrigerant Leak?

refrigerant LeakUsually when your vehicle is leaking something, there is an indication of the leak before a problem with the equipment arises.  For example, if your car is leaking antifreeze, there are usually drips, puddles, burning smells or steam letting you know there is a problem long before your car actually begins to overheat.  Your goal is to simply take the time to check over your engine and vehicle every few weeks and look for these indications of a leak.  Oil leaks are similar in that they usually show signs of a leak before any actual damage is caused.

On the other hand, refrigerant leaks in your air conditioning system will do you no such courtesy.  refrigerant is actually a brand name of a refrigerant, like Kleenex is to a tissue.  There are many different type of refrigerants used depending on the system, and surprisingly enough the air conditioning system in your car actually works much like the system in your refrigerator.  In both cases the goal is to remove heat from inside of a closed chamber, either your freezer, or the passenger compartment of your vehicle.  Through a compressor, an expansion valve, and a series of heat exchangers, a refrigeration system can take the heat inside a closed space and put it outside.  The heat is transferred from inside to outside through a working fluid.

This working fluid needs to have very particular characteristics in order to function properly in the refrigeration system.  This working fluid, or refrigerant, needs to remain a liquid or expand into a gas at just the right temperatures and pressures to make sure the equipment is kept safe in your air condition system and the heat transfer process actually takes place.  The most common refrigerants used today are kept at high pressures in the systems they are used in to ensure they work properly.  This makes these refrigerants turn very quickly into a gas if they are exposed to normal temperatures and pressures that we live in.

Not only does the refrigerant in your car turn into a gas if it is let out of the system, its colorless and odorless as well.  All of these characteristics make it very difficult to see, smell or hear if you have a refrigerant or refrigerant leak in your vehicle.

Mechanics use a few different techniques to help discover where refrigerant is leaking from in air conditioning systems.  The most common practice is to add a special dye to the air conditioning system.  This dye is usually very difficult to see with the naked eye, but will glow brightly and obviously when illuminated by an ultraviolet (UV) light.  To discover where your refrigerant leak is coming from, add UV dye to your air conditioning system and enough refrigerant to ensure the compressor actually turns on.  While the engine is running, have a friend turn on the air conditioning and blower.  While he turns the AC on, watch the front of the compressor in your engine bay.  The belt should always be spinning the AC compressor pulley, but right when the AC is turned on, the front of the compressor pulley should begin to turn as well.  If you can see this happen, then you can ensure refrigerant, and your newly added dye is circulating through your air conditioning system.

UV Dye, AC Leak, refrigerant LeakAfter leaving the motor running for a few minutes, up to a few days of driving time with the air conditioning on, park your car in a very dark place like a garage with the lights off.  Shine your UV light around the engine bay focusing on the air condition lines around the compressor and the condenser at the front of the car.  If you don’t see where the dye is leaking from, don’t forget to check the expansion valve and dryer under your hood.  If you still haven’t found the leak, check inside your vehicle under the dash.  The evaporator will be under your dash usually just after the fan blower motor and the heater core.  This may be more difficult to find but you may find dye in the air vents, on the carpet, or on the cabin air filter.

If the whole procedure with the dye, a friend turning your car on and off and poking around in a dark garage with a funny flash light doesn’t sound like your kind of fun, considering using BlueDevil Red Angel.Leak to inject new refrigerant into your air condition system.  Not only will you get 2.5 ounces of refrigerant in an easy to use delivery system, but you also get 2 ounces of BlueDevil A/C stop leak agent.  The leak sealing agent will act as a lubricant for your air conditioning system until it encounters a leak.  At the leak point, the temperature change there will cause a chemical weld sealing the leak guaranteed!  There is no need to spend time or energy poking around to discover your air condition system leak with BlueDevil Red Angel A/C Stop Leak.  Just connect the included coupler, empty the can into your air condition system and enjoy a leak free air conditioning system.

Red Angel AC Stop Leak & Conditioner

Pick up BlueDevil Red Angel A/C Stop Leak today at your local auto parts stores like:

  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA
  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • Prime Automotive

You can also purchase Blue Devil AC Stop Leak online.

Pictures provided by: and