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Auto A/C Diagnosis, Repair, Service and Help Information - Manuals for recharing and servicing your A/C system. Understand pressure readings, the recharge process, leak detection and lots more!

Leak Detection for Auto A/C Systems
There are several different methods to find leaks in auto A/C systems. For the most part, all of the different methods are reliable. More important than the method used is understanding how to use the leak detection method properly. The most common methods for finding leaks in automotive A/C systems are:

UV Dyes and UV Leak Detection Lights (Black Light): Typically, the dye is injected into the system or added when the system is open. The UV dye will fluoresce (or glow) under UV light exposing the area of the leak. The dye is an excellent method of pinpointing the leak. However, it also relies on you being able to visually inspect all the components of the A/C system. In today's systems, components like evaporators are difficult to inspect visually without removing them. Additionally, to get the most effective and accurate results from UV dyes, the light used should be producing true UV light; not 'near UV' or 'blue' light. Only true UV light will fluoresce the dye properly. Lights that are promoted or sold as 'near UV' of 'blue' lights are little better than toys. Additionally, when using true UV lights properly, there is no requirement for the yellow UV enhancing glasses.  

Electronic Leak Detectors:  Almost all electronic leak detectors rely on a sample of air to detect the refrigerant or some component of the refrigerant. Typically, these tools are very accurate and can, in some cases, find leaks that are considered to be 'normal'. As an example, compressor shaft seals typically leak because they run dry of oil. The refrigerant oil or A/C compressor oil is required to maintain the seal. Electronic leak detectors frequently detect shaft seal leaks that can not be repaired with replacement seals. Additionally, the calibration of the leak detector is very important to the accuracy and reliability of the leak test. You should always follow manufacturer's instructions and keep the sensor tips clean and free of debris.

Nitrogen Leak Test: Although not the most common method of leak detection, it is one of the most reliable! Regardless of what other 'writers' have said, professional auto A/C service technicians understand the importance of using Nitrogen. What's best about nitrogen is that it allows the service technician to perform the leak test at operating pressures. Adding refrigerant and completing the leak test at 70 p.s.i. will not find all the leaks on the high pressure side of the A/C system. It's very common for an A/C condenser to leak at 150+ p.s.i. But finding that leak with only 70 p.s.i. of refrigerant pressure could prove impossible. With nitrogen, the system can safely be pressurized to (up to) 200 p.s.i. That allows a complete leak test at operating pressures in order to accurately diagnose both the high and low pressure sides of the system. The use of soap like 'bubble leak check' fluids and electronic leak detectors in conjunction with nitrogen makes for the ideal complete, professional leak detection. Find all the tips and tricks to using nitrogen as a reliable method of leak detection for all automotive A/C systems.

Although the method of leak detection is important, it is equally important to understanding how these systems really work and what you can do to make them more effective. In fact, many of the tips and tricks are never published in the manufacturer's instructions or in auto A/C service manuals. Leak Detection for Auto A/C systems reveals all the tricks the pros use every day for accurate and reliable leak detection of any auto A/C system on the road!

Leak Detection for Auto A/C Systems

Finding all the leaks in the Auto A/C system can be one of the biggest problems in auto A/C leak detection. Frequently, A/C service technicians find one leak and stop looking! What they are not considering is that It's very common for an A/C system to leak in several different places. When you find a leak in the A/C condenser, it's quite possible that the evaporator is leaking too! They are both aluminum and subject to the same corrosion from harmful acids that form in the A/C system. That's why it's important to do a proper leak test and find all the leaks.

This section about Leak Detection for Auto A/C systems provides an in depth look at all the methods of leak detection for auto A/C systems and clearly explains the best methods and how to use them most effectively. Did you know that even little mistakes with the most reliable methods of leak detection can cause you to miss leaks? Find out all the proper methods to find all the leaks in auto A/C Systems.

Additional help with Leak Detection for Auto A/C Systems


Auto A/C Leak Detection- Help on how to find all the leaks in the A/C System

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Additional help and information about auto A/C service and repair

Understanding Heat & Auto A/C

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Top 10 Mistakes Servicing Auto A/C

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Auto A/C Help & Information Articles

Auto A/C Recharging and Adding Refrigerant | the Fastest A/C Recharge | Retrofitting and HPCO Switches |
Using Nitrogen in auto A/C service  | Retrofitting and your A/C Condenser |
After you recharge
| Vacuum Leak Testing? | Recharge with Liquid or Gas? |
Diagnosing A/C & the amount of compressor oil | Diagnosing a Bad A/C Compressor |
What happens with air in the A/C system? | Diagnosing Restrictions and low gauge readings |
What are the gauge readings telling me | What are normal pressure gauge readings for auto A/C? |
All about A/C Flushing Agents & Solvents | The truth about Suction Side Filters |
When should I flush the A/C system | Why do I have to Flush the A/C system? |
Don't be confused about flushing the A/C system | Alternative to Flushing A/C Systems |
Why manufacturers tell you not to flush the A/C system |
Auto A/C Help and Information at

Auto A/C Help - Learn the do's and don'ts of automotive air conditioning
Help to understand what the proper auto A/C service really is
auto A/C system components explained

Auto A/C Condensers | A/C Compressor Clutch | Receiver Driers and Accumulators |
auto A/C Evaporators | More about Evaporators | A/C Compressors |
Expansion Valves (TXV) and Orifice Tubes | Don't discharge your A/C system |
Don't restrict air flow | Poor cooling? Don't run the A/C system | Never disconnect the A/C Compressor |
  Be sure the entire a/c system is leak tested | Your A/C Compressor is seized? |
Never let your A/C system get 'topped' off - adding refrigerant can create problems |
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Keepin' Cool - Your best automotive air conditioning e-zine with updated information on auto A/C parts and general service information. All available from autoACsystems and the COOL ZONE! Your on-line A/C Connection! Polymax Refrigerant Oil - Replaces PAG, Ester and Mineral oil - Approved for use in all Auto A/C systems and with all refrigerants too! R-134a! R-12! Hydrocarbons and blends! HC's! R-12a and more! Braze Perfect! Simply the world's easiest aluminum brazing solution! Repair A/C hoses and lines with a standard propane torch!

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