How to Find an Air Conditioning leak

air conditioning vent, air conditioning leakFinding an air conditioning leak is like finding a needle in a haystack.  Except the needle is invisible and the hay is a maze of tubes.  The biggest challenge in pinpointing the location of an airconditioning leak is that the refrigerant is an invisible gas at normal temperatures and pressures.  With that in mind, there are a few good places to check that may have problems you can see with your naked eye.

Where to Find an Air Conditioning Leak

  • The condenser
  • The connection to the dryer/accumulator
  • At soft hoses

The condenser is up at the front of your car and can easily get beat up from road debris.  A quick check through your grill or bumper opens may help you see any damage to the tubes that could be causing a leak.  If there is a leak, dirt will likely build up around the leak area due to the small amount of oil that is entrained in the refrigerant showing you where the problem is.

The dryer or accumulator is hard mounted to the firewall or radiator support of your vehicle.  It is subjected to lots of vibrations and forces here so it’s not unusual for the lines going into or out of the accumulator to leak at the o-rings.  If you do have a leak here you will also find a build-up of dirt or grime giving that leak away.

The last common leak point that you may be able to visually see a problem with is any soft lines.  While the dryer and condenser are mounted to the body of your vehicle the AC compressor is mounted to your motor.  Your motor moves around more than you might think as you accelerate and decelerate so there are soft lines going to and from the compressor on your motor so the compressor can easily move with the motor.  These soft lines will get brittle and the rubber hoses will crack allow leaks.  This is especially common at any crimp connections or tight bends so check the hoses for cracks or damage that could be causing a leak.

When you do find a leak you can replace the broken component, or if that doesn’t make sense for your vehicle, you can use Red Angel A/C Refrigerant Stop Leak to seal the leak and keep your air conditioning blowing cold.  

You can pick up BlueDevil Red Angel A/C Refrigerant Stop leak at one of your local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Canadian Tire
  • Walmart

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Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash