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Old 02-28-2018, 03:09 PM   #1
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Unhappy Starcool refrigerant leak?

Hi folks,

I've had my '07 Ford Sportsmobile for about a year and a half now.

I have it in a shop trying to track down an A/C refrigerant leak, and they're saying that it's one of the evaporator coils (main or Starcool). They want to open up the main one first (4hr job) because it's what they're comfortable with.

I'm wondering how easy it'd be for me to take a look inside and see if there's a leak myself. Anybody have experience with this?

Also, I noticed that these pipes seem to have an outer seal that's been compromised. Could this be my main leak? If so, how would you go about fixing it?




Thanks,
Pete
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:35 PM   #2
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A leak detector that sniffs the air surrounding the coils should easily determine if the general area of the leak is in the front or rear of the van. They can also inject UV dye into the system and then use a UV light to look for the dye leaking out. If they are simply guessing the leak is in the front because thats more in their comfort level to take apart, I'd look for another shop that can at least determine if the leak is in the front or rear of the van prior to tearing things apart. Good shops should have a leak detector something like this. https://www.instrumart.com/products/...-leak-detector
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:44 PM   #3
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A leak detector that sniffs the air surrounding the coils should easily determine if the general area of the leak is in the front or rear of the van. They can also inject UV dye into the system and then use a UV light to look for the dye leaking out. If they are simply guessing the leak is in the front because thats more in their comfort level to take apart, I'd look for another shop that can at least determine if the leak is in the front or rear of the van prior to tearing things apart. Good shops should have a leak detector something like this. https://www.instrumart.com/products/...-leak-detector
They are using die, but aren't seeing it anywhere, and determining that it's one of the evaporator coils. That's good to know about the sniffer! Might need to take it somewhere else then...
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Barnacle View Post
They are using die, but aren't seeing it anywhere, and determining that it's one of the evaporator coils. That's good to know about the sniffer! Might need to take it somewhere else then...
The sniffer can certainly narrow the leak area down a bit. Once upon a time I used a sniffer on commercial refrigeration systems, never a need to dismantle anything before the leak location was known.

The UV dye is great if the leak is in an area that can be seen by the eye.

OTOH a highly qualified vehicle A/C service outfit, one that doesn't treat that system as an afterthought to other services they offer.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:37 AM   #5
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Electronic leak detectors are very sensitive. They should be able to stick the probe into the grill to tell if the leak is anywhere near the condenser, and into the dash vent's to check for an evap leak in front, same with the evap in the rear. Looking for the leak with the black light is more effective if done in as dark a place as possible, or at night, but it's unlikely to be seen in the front evap as it's pretty well hidden.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:23 PM   #6
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The advice I received on this forum was to find a shop that did commercial service on truck, bus, and limo van fleets.
I found a local service facility for this company:
Bus & Commercial Vehicle Air Conditioning – Trans Air Manufacturing
Fleet Authority|Full Service Truck Repair and Bus Repair|Northern Virginia

So far so good. It took a while and cost a bunch but the leaks are gone.
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