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A/C Line Leak

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by 2012XLTEXPLORER, May 7, 2017.

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  1. 2012XLTEXPLORER

    2012XLTEXPLORER New Member

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    Long story short, shortly before my wife was diagnosed with leukemia i noticed a huge puddle under the explorer and after taking that black plastic covering off one of the rear ac lines had a leak in it. The shop told me $2,200 bucks to get fixed. They could cap it for about $1,000 leaving me with front ac but no rear ac. I decided to wait on it for a while. I found a aluminum epoxy. It seems to have held and covered the small hole. The hole was about the size of a pencil tip. Since my wife was in the hospital for a month and the hospital where she stayed was over an hour a way this got put on the back burner. Winter hit and the explorer sat in the drive way most of the winter as I drove my every day vehicle for the most part. I wouldn't doubt that most of the a/c refrigerant leaked out. I was able to patch the leak before winter hit. Do I take it in to a shop get it filled and pressure checked? Any suggestions in case my aluminum epoxy still can't fill the hole? With all the medical bills I don't really have the money to dish out to get the lines replaced. New member to the forums but not to car forums. I got a ton of info for my Bonneville on these type of forms, so hoping we have some good members like other places. Looking forward to the replies. Thanks again.
     
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  3. JAPeterson

    JAPeterson Active Member

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    Is the line one that you could replace yourself and then take it in for a proper fill?

    Odds are that you have no refrigerant left in the system. It will leak out of even a small hole very fast.
     
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Is the leak easily accessible? I had a pinhole leak in a copper water pipe in the basement more than 15 years ago and put a piece of rubber over it and held it in place by a hose clamp. Still in place today.

    Peter
     
  5. 2012XLTEXPLORER

    2012XLTEXPLORER New Member

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    According to the shop its a pain to replace there is some body work that has to come off in order to get to it. I don't have the expertise for that or the time especially with my wife going threw what she is right now. I think the aluminum epoxy has seemed to cover the hole, if i got it all covered or not I guess we will see. My brother works at a ford dealer and is in good some with some of the mechanics so he is gonna take it in and see if they can pressure test the system and if the pressure holds, he will have them fill it and we shall see i guess. Seems like thats the only way to know for sure.
     
  6. 2012XLTEXPLORER

    2012XLTEXPLORER New Member

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    Yea it is that how I got the aluminum epoxy on there. I know there are splic kits you can buy online for this sort of thing but I think its to close to a bend and that won't work. Worst comes to worst maybe I need to cut a part off of a junk yard one and do a two splice to replace part of the line. I am hoping the mechanics that my brother knows will give a better answer than the first ones. I get the feeling the first ones just didn't want to do the job so he said some bs that may not have been true. Guess we shall see.
     
  7. Matrix848

    Matrix848 New Member

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    I had a leak in my rear AC line and had it replaced. It was a lot of work to replace the line as the lines run above the gas tank and he had to drop the subframe in order to make room to remove/install. My mechanic said he wouldn't want to do the job again if had a choice :p
     
  8. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    I just posted on this...

    Welcome to my hell.

    I replaced the compressor last year and just had to replace one of the refrigerant lines. The line runs all the way to the back of the vehicle but is VERY close to the exhaust at the front end. Because it is close, they wrap it insulation. The insulation traps grit and road salt which corrode the line, accelerated perhaps by the repeated heating and cooling and possible mechanical agitation as well(?). Ford calls for 9 HOURS labor!!!! to replace the line because the entire subframe assembly is to be removed. My local shop was able to do it in a couple of hours by buying the line but only splicing in the needed section. Interesting that my small town shop (pop. ~4,000) had already seen this failure before... So, ~$800 last year and another ~$700 this year.

    A/C lines have been on vehicles for decades yet somehow Ford managed to screw up the design.

    Thanks, Ford.
     
  9. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    Pulling the line from a yard may work, or you may just get another line that is close to failing. The local shop charged $250 for the line (BB5Z 19867B) and 2 hours labor to install, check system, refill, etc. Total cost $645.
     
  10. Lance9

    Lance9 New Member

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    hi everyone!
    New to the board and this is my first post! I noticed a little coolant (or so I thought) leaking from behind the L rear tire. I took it in to have it looked at today and they said I had a AC hose leak, which would need to be completely replaced for $1150!! Needless to say I wasn't expecting that! Another mechanic told me an alternative is to have the line capped off, cleaned and recharged, which would still give me AC in the front but no longer the rear for $250. I'm struggling on what to do here, is the front AC only sufficient for the vehicle? anyone have any experience/thoughts on this or other alternatives? Also, I don't know a lot about cars, but is it ok if I continue driving this car with the leak? Thanks!
     
  11. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum Lance.:wave:
    I've merged your thread with this one on the same issue.
    I have never had the rear A/C or heat on as I am the only occupant and the front only works for me. I'm no A/C expert but I think if you continue driving with the leak then I'm guessing you will eventually drain the system of the coolant/refrigerant and then your front won't work either.

    Peter
     
  12. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    I've never been a big fan of extended warranties, but I'm slowly coming around to seeing the potential value of a premiumcare ESP on the 5th gen explorers.

    The two rear lines are less than $100 each. If you can find a shop that can repair/splice only the section that is needed and recharge the system, that is probably going to be the most cost effective option.
     
  13. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    I'd be very hesitant to eliminate the A/C from the rear of the vehicle. The Explorer's twin, the new Rover Discovery has had people complaining about insufficient A/C in the rear. Eliminating it completely sounds like a bad idea.
     
  14. Odrapnew

    Odrapnew Active Member

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    Are you able to confirm the rear A/C doesn't work? If my rear A/C is on, there's almost always condensation dripping behind the left rear tire, which is normal.
     
  15. MiWiAu

    MiWiAu Member

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    I have a 2013 Explorer Sport with just under 60k miles which I bought used in Aug 2016 (with 28k mi). We finally got some warm weather in SE Wisconsin this week, and when I tried my A/C nothing but warm air...

    After some diagnostics, I discovered there was zero pressure in the system when checking the low pressure port. Last night I recharged the system to 34 PSI, and after driving around the block, my pressure had dropped to 25PSI. I couldn't get "cold" air out of the system this AM. I will confirm after work today what the system pressure and/or if the compressor clutch is engaging, but I suspect most or all of the refrigerant I installed yesterday has leaked out.

    I'm surprised that I'm having a problem after only 5 years/60k miles, and I don't have an extended warranty, so I'm on the hook for this repair myself.

    I have some UV R134a on order, but in the meantime, I was curious if there's generally a "common" source for leaks on the 5th gen Explorer or if anyone had additional insight to assist with my continued investigation. Thanks!
     
  16. KayGee

    KayGee Well-Known Member

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    Easiest way is to get a refrigerant leak detector, charge the system and start checking every component, line, fitting until the detector goes off - faster and easier than using UV dye.

    I know a few people that have said the $70 leak detector from harbor freight worked for them.
     
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  17. MiWiAu

    MiWiAu Member

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    Thanks for the tip! I found a leak detector on Amazon with decent reviews for ~$30 shipped. I'll try it in addition to the UV dye (which I've already ordered). Seems to be leaking out pretty quickly, so I'm hopeful I can nail down the source fairly easily with the proper tools.
     
  18. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    There have been a couple members where the line close to the rear AC unit was leaking. Both lines had to be replaced from the front to back since it is 1 piece. Besides those couple of people, I dont really recall anyone else having a leak issue.
     
  19. MiWiAu

    MiWiAu Member

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    Thanks, blwnsmoke. That might explain why I didn't find much in my search. :) I'll follow-up if/when I locate the leak. Thanks for the tip on the rear A/C unit.
     
  20. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You are welcome. I found one of the threads. Read the last post regarding the rear AC. Hopefully it isn't the condenser in the dash.

    A/C evaporator leak on a three year old car?
     
  21. MiWiAu

    MiWiAu Member

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    Guh, yeah... I replaced a heater core in the dash of my old 2001 F150 SCrew, and that was a whole weekend job in my driveway. I imagine the Explorer is 10x worse with all the electronic farkles jammed up in there.

    TBH, I didn't even realize there were lines running aft for the rear climate control. Make sense, though. I'll get it up on some ramps this weekend and start checking things out with the sniffer.

    If I were the only one affected by this, I probably wouldn't even fix it, but my wife and an 11 month baby supersede my personal priorities. :p
     

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