I have a mystery ac freon leak on 2000 Chrysler T&C.

Asked by Sep 13, 2016 at 03:31 PM about the 2000 Chrysler Town & Country LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a low mileage 101K miles 2000T&C van that has a mystery freon leak.
It leaks out in one day.  I had previously installed freon  with red dye in it  and it is really a red mess BUT there is NO sign of it anywhere though there is now NO pressure at all in the system.
I checked inside the evaporators in front and rear,  AC lines to rear unit, everything under the hood including compressor,  condenser and  expansion valve,.  NO red anywhere.
HELP!!

8 Answers

115,965

You know you can only see that dye with a black light. If you dyed the system and it looses gas that fast it will show, but like most of them it won't be in an easy spot to locate.

65,345

Take it to an A/C specialist, if it leaks out in 1 day it will be very easy to spot the leak.

dye is the older bright, bright red visual to naked eye. I have 50 years experience in aurto repair including AC repair. telling me to "take it to a specialist " isn't answering the question. sorry!

115,965

Some of that old stuff was not compatible with 134A, it was too heavy too be circulated through the system, I found that out when I started retrofitting old R12 systems to 134A , the old dyes didn't work. but you can bet it is going to be in the most troublesome place to get too.

The red dye came in the 134A can.

I REALLY, really do know what I'm doing guys.

115,965

When push comes to shove you start tearing it down until you find it, my guess would be it's in the HVAC box just cause it is the hardest to get too.

10

You’re an old hand, you already know the answer, you just don’t like it very much. For the rest of the world... If it leaked out and it didn’t leak out where you looked, then it leaked out where you didn’t look. In this case, it’s the “I checked that” items you’ve fudged. We both know that there isn’t a chance in the world that you spent 8 hours disassembling the dashboard to put your eyes on that front evaporator, or 3 to stare at the rear. If you’re a clever old hand, you did look at the drip tube that exits from the evaporator condensate drain instead and check for red dye on the ground. You did say “previously” so if that was last year and there isn’t any red dye left that would explain it, but if it’s losing the charge in a day, either you are not making enough condensate to carry enough dye to where you can see it, or it’s dripping on the road or in parking lots where the driver doesn’t check for dye on the ground and it’s not making condensate when it gets back home. You can try using a swab, even a little paper towel rubber banded on a screwdriver, to see if there’s any dye residue inside the drain tubes. There can also be no dye drip if a plugged front drain line caused the corrosion in the first place, it can hold a lot before it soaks the carpets. You can get a faster read on the evaporator leaks with an electronic halogen leak detector at the drain tube exit. It’s heavier than air, you won’t get as good a reading from the ducts. The electronic detectors are at good prices online at places like Amazon, brick and mortar prices tend to be high, I don’t know if chain stores loan or rent them. Again, if the drain is really well plugged it won’t come out there, but a large leak as described will fill the duct and spill out the vents, but iirc it closes the duct flaps when it’s off, which would make the gravity exit for a heavy gas going back out the fresh air intake be the wiper box drip drain tubes left and right. If you were going to invest the time to get in there you would have bought all the replaceable parts in advance and after 4 hours taking the dashboard apart and just one look at the dirt plugged, corroded evaporator you would have immediately changed the heater core, the evaporator and the expansion valve. Likewise the same rear parts. And at least one of them would have been covered in red dye. As a last, you need to do more about the system oil level than just add the chart volume for the parts you replace. if it’s blown the charge out a few times, the compressor oil level is unknown, but unlikely to be anything other than almost empty. There’s no way to check the oil level. You have to remove the compressor, tip it over, and pour the oil in it out, then add the full compresssor oil volume to it (and the volume for any other parts.) if there is *any* grey or brown in the oil that you dump out, the compressor has to be swapped, it’s been grinding itself up, and you have to flush the metal particles from the lines and the condensers etc. if you see black, it’s probably from the inside of a hose. You still have to flush everything. When you’ve flushed you score those parts as containing no oil as if you had changed the part for a new one and add oil to make up for what will be clinging to the inside.

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