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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I decided to have my A/C checked (99 Amigo) after going 2 summers in the Northeast without (no big deal).

The mechanic I brought it to charged the system and put a tracer fluid in for me to come back at a later date. He said there was probably a leak.

Well, the charge lasted about a month and the A/C was working with a moderate coolness coming out.

This spring I checked and the system doesn't turn on. I opening the cap to one of the valves on the system and there was compression between the two (hiss sound when I removed the cap. I didn't touch the valve at all.) No tracer fluid anywhere except at the cap.

I brought it back to the mechanic and he mentioned the leak probably was coming from a component inside my dash since he did not find any tracer fluid. Total estimate $1,200.

Questions:
Why would there be compression between the protective cap and the valve?
What could be done for (what I perceived... as the charge lasted almost a month) a slow leak?
Any simple test I could perform? and...
Where would be a good place to bring this problem (another mechanic, dealer (yikes), some specialty shop???)

Any advice much appreciated. -MaKai1
 

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I had the same thing done to my A/C last year(99 Rodeo). Mine still works somewhat. From what my mechanic told me, you only need to be missing some for it to work poorly. So, there is pressure in there, not enough to get it to work. That's a lot of money to spend on an older vehicle's A/C. From what I've heard, these A/C systems aren't that great to begin with. Even after getting mine recharged, it wasn't great.

I'd like to understand how to refill it myself, it cost me close to $100 to get it recharged last year.

marc
 

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There should not be anything coming out when you take the cap off. The little shreader must be stuck open.
As for fixing the leak 1200 is really high. You have to pull the dash and disassemble the HVAC, but 1200 seems a little much.
There should be a drain hose coming out of the HVAC (drips water when using the A/C.) If there is tracer dye there you know for sure you have to tear open the HVAC.
 

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They sell a recharge can with leak sealer, dye, and lube with a presure
gage for about $15 at Pep boys. It is so easy, just read the lable.
Even if you do not need any refrigerant it is good to keep an eye on the
presure of the system. Always check it at operating temperature. It will
be at its highest presure point then.

If you go thru more than two cans then consider getting it repaired.

I agree the AC systems are a little weak. I have a black 02' RS with
both sun roofs uncovered (glass only). During hot humid days its a little
warm. On the highway its OK though. You should have your top off
anyhow on the hot days:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once again I find this forum and your replies invaluable when trying to wrap my brain around a problem that 'needs fixin'!

It's tough to get a straight answer when dealing with (and I understand but don't subscribe to) someone who's just interested in their bottom line (aka: local mechanic.)

Thank you and if anyone has more to share... please do so. Awesome. -MaKai1

PS - When the AC fixed, of course it's only used for pleasing dates on a hot day. Other than that... tops off, truck's dusty!
 
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