What Causes the AC System to Leak?

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Your car’s air conditioner is responsible for keeping the interior cool and comfortable on hot days. However, in order to do that, you need the right level of refrigerant in the system. If your refrigerant is low, the air conditioner may blow warm or hot air. A special switch is designed to sense when there isn’t enough pressure (or when pressure is too high) and disengage the AC compressor clutch, which operates the compressor to pressurize the system.

Causes of low refrigerant

There are a number of potential causes for low refrigerant in your car’s AC system. Some refrigerant is lost naturally over time. It takes years, though, so if your car isn’t that old or the system has been recharged recently and is now blowing warm air again, chances are good that you’ve got a leak somewhere.

There are two causes of AC system leaks – age and moisture. While much of your air conditioning system is made of metal, including the high pressure lines, rubber is still used throughout. You have rubber O-rings, grommets, lines and more. The problem here is that rubber degrades over time and with exposure to heat and moisture. As that wear accelerates, the affected part will fail. Something as simple as a degrading O-ring can cause you to loose refrigerant surprisingly quickly.

Other sources for a leak include:

  • Failed Seal
  • Failed Hose

That’s not the end of it, though. If you have a leak in your air conditioning system, it’s possible that moisture has entered the lines. Moisture in an automotive AC system is very bad. It mixes with the refrigerant left over and creates a type of acid. Once your system is contaminated with moisture, it’s very possible that other components will be affected and require replacement. This can include:

  • The receiver/dryer
  • Accumulator

Detecting the leak in a timely manner is vital. If you wait too long from the initial point of AC malfunction, moisture will enter the system. Locating the source of a leak depends on the type of system you have. Some are pre-injected with UV dye, while others will have to be charged with dye. In both cases, a black light held over the engine will show where the refrigerant is leaking.


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John

26 years of experience
597 reviews
John
26 years of experience
Isuzu Trooper - AC is not working - League City, Texas
John is the man. Super friendly, keeps you in the loop on everything he’s doing and fixed all my issues quick and under my budget. I will recommend John to everyone I know. Thanks again John.
Infiniti QX70 - AC is not working - Manvel, Texas
John is a lovely human being. He was able to fix my Xfinity QX70 Air-conditioning in such a timely fashion. He was profession, kind, and focused. It was convenient coming to my home garage. He wore mask and gloves and wiped down my car after as I am autoimmune compromised during Covid. And the price was so cheap. I will definitely use him again!!!! Thank you so much!

Jay

36 years of experience
764 reviews
Jay
36 years of experience
Isuzu Trooper - AC is not working - Upland, California
Jay can best be described in one word - AWESOME! It's no wonder that customers fight over his appointment slots ...
Chrysler 300 - AC is not working - Rancho Cucamonga, California
JA Y IS THE BEST. HE HAS BEEN SERVICING MY WIFE'S 1999 TRANS AM FOR YEARS. NOW I NEEDED SERVICE ON MY 201 6 CHRYSLER 300S. I HAD A STRANGE AC PROBLEM AND JAY FIGURED IT OUT..

Joe

42 years of experience
745 reviews
Joe
42 years of experience
Honda Civic - AC is not working - Oldsmar, Florida
Joe was personable and efficient. He took the time to explain what was needed and fixed my ac problem.
BMW 740i - AC is not working - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Great guy. Knows his stuff and easy to work with. Very friendly and helpful. Knows BMW and that’s important to me. Highly recommend.

Honorio

18 years of experience
824 reviews
Honorio
18 years of experience
Nissan Altima - AC is not working - San Jose, California
Honorio was such an amazing mechanic. He is super smart and knowledgeable about what he’s doing. You don’t have to second guess him twice. Th way he puts so much effort into his work you would think he’s fixing his own car. He really cares and wants to do the best possible job. He is an amazing mechanic and will definitely be booking him from now on.
Ford Mustang - AC is not working - Los Altos, California
Honorio, was a Star, will be looking to book him for follow up work after my AC diagnoses, refill and ID of the main problem. More than 5 stars if that were possible

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