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AC Leak / Only Blowing Hot!

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by dsturch1, May 27, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    Alright guys, I had a funky little problem occur over the past couple days and was wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction. I have a 98 Explorer, and the AC hasn't worked since the day I got it in November. Didn't bother me all year, now as its hitting 90º here in Jersey lately - its starting to totally suck. I had the system charged, and I lost every bit of 1.7 pounds of freon in less than 24 hours.

    After the truck ran out of freon, no matter whether the dial was turned to cool or heat, the truck blew nothing but hot air - soon thereafter the breaker for the blower motor fried up. I replaced that, and now the blower is working again, however the truck still blows nothing but hot air.

    I checked the truck, as did my mechanic and we can not find a leak anywhere with the UV light and looking for the dye. Any pointers on where to look? Any ideas why the breaker would have fried out or is it coincidental? And any pointers on why its blowing hot air now, whereas before it was blowing just ambient temp air? Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. RomeovilleIL

    RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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    Usually the best way to find a leak is to fully charge the system with 144a & dye, then run the engine in a dark garage with the truck on a lift. With the UV light you may see a wisp like smoke somewhere. Since the leak is slow its going to be tough to see but areas to concentrate are most likely a bad o-ring at a connection or a weak spring in the high or low pressure valve as opposed to a hole in a line or condensor.

    I know this is going to be flamed to no end, but on a slow leak like this you might consider using a $30 can of quest super sealer. It has worked very well for a number of cheap cars we have used it on over the past 2 years. Do not use the red leak stop for $10 - it does not work, although it does help locate a leak under the hood with the messy red oose it creates.
     
  4. matt0248

    matt0248 Active Member

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    Leaking all the freon in 24 hours is a pretty big leak. If you are unable to see dye than the leak may be the evaporator core in the dash. You may be able to take the blower motor out to see the evap core and see if there is dye in there. If it is leaking that fast a hologen leak detector should pick it up too.
     
  5. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    If your accumulator has a fabric blanket around it, take that off and look for rust / leaks. On most cars accumulator failure is really rare, so your mechanic might not have looked at it closely.

    This thread has a good discussion of A/C troubleshooting - http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316697
     
  6. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    I was under the impression that leaking all of the freon in less than a solid 24 hours was a pretty substantial leak and was told that the super sealer stuff would most likely be a waste of money for a leak that quick.

    How involved is it to take the blower motor out? Would I have to pull the whole dash out to do so? A halogen leak detector is the blue flashlight looking thing I am assuming?

    I am assuming the accumulator is the thing under the dash that looks like the canister with 2 hoses going to it that condensate when the AC is on?
     
  7. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    That's it - the blanket traps moisture and eventually the can rusts out.

    If that's not it, and you can't see any other obvious leaks under the hood, I'd try replacing the schraeder valves (since they're pretty cheap anyway) along with a can of sealant.
     
  8. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    How much of a PITA is it to change out the can?

    Also, when I had the system charged my mechanic changed out the little things that look like the part of a valve stem that screws in and out of the high and low side - are those schraeder valves?
     
  9. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    Changing out the can is really easy. You'll need fuel line disconnect tools to take it off (they're cheap).

    After you replace it, the system needs to be evacuated before filling with refrigerant. Are you going to do this yourself?

    Sounds like your mechanic already tried replacing the valves.
     
  10. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    Is that can something I could buy an aftermarket replacement at like AutoZone or Advanced? Or is that something I would need to get at a dealer / junkyard only - and if this is bad, would that explain why my truck is blowing HOT air?
     
  11. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    If the accumulator has a hole in it, that's where the refrigerant is leaking out.

    Did you take a look at it yet? Does yours have a blanket, and if so what does it look like under the blanket?

    If you need one, the auto parts chains should have it, or be able to get it.
     
  12. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    I have no idea what it looks like, I am at work 45 miles away from my truck. Projected high of 88º today in Jersey - I opted to take the Civic, can't beat 40mpg and AC for a commuter car on a day like today :)
     
  13. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    How would I be able to tell if there is a hole in the accumulator? Would I physically be able to see the hole if it is losing 1.7 pounds of freon in a day?
     
  14. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    If there's a hole, you'll see something - http://www.imcool.com/articles/aircondition/corroded_accumulator.htm

    Mine looked fine on top, but was corroded under the blanket.
     
  15. scucci

    scucci Active Member

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  16. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    After being charged did it blow cold? I wouldn't be surprised if the blend door is stuck in the hot position along with your a/c leak.
     
  17. dsturch1

    dsturch1 Member

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    After it was re-charged, the AC did blow cold...From the way it was explained to me, if the blend door was stuck, the AC wouldn't have blown cold at all right?
     
  18. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    It would blow cool till the engine warmed up then heat. Are you loosing pressure over time? A common place for leaks is the accumulator rusting out and the o-rings from the compressor line.
     

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