Model: Grand Caravan
Engine Size: 3.8
Refrigerant Type: R34a
Ambient Temp: 80
Country of Origin: United States
My wife's daily driver is a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan equipped with a dual (front/rear) air-conditioner. She turned on the A/C the other day and got no cold air. Compressor was not running. Took it into the dealer for diagnosis. The added R34a and test dye to the system. It then worked for about 15 minutes. They claim that the rear evaporator is leaking - badly. Estimated cost to repair is $1050 so I balked.
The evaporator itself is hidden. But, underneath the rear of the car, I can see two AC lines that connect to an "H-block" expansion valve. The evaporator lines then connect to the other side of the "H-block" and disappear into the floor. It seems to me that the 4 connections to the H-block, sealed via O-rings, could be the source of the leak as well. I'm not sure how precise the technician was in his diagnosis that it was the evaporator. I can certainly see green dye all over the place near these connections.
So, my first question is: Is there any harm that can come from removing the lines and H-block under the car myself to inspect the O-rings and connections? I'm assuming the system is already discharged based on it only working for 15 minutes after being recharged.
If all looks good there, I will dive into disassembling the interior trim and other junk needed to access the evaporator and hope to replace it myself.
My plan is to then take the car in to have the system completely evacuated and recharged.
I just need to know if I can take the first step safely, and any other tips or advice you may have.
That's a common problem on Chrysler minivans.
What you'll find is corrosion between the block and the evaporator. It travels into the o-ring seat ans eats it away. Cleaning and resealing won't fix it.
The replacement evaporator comes with a new metering block and has been redesigned to help prevent the same thing from happening again.
You have to remove the entire right side interior panel and the evaporator case to replace the evaporator. It's not a hard job, just time consuming.
I got the rear heater/blower assembly out of the vehicle today. I see no green dye coming out of the drain hole for the evaporator, so I'm assuming it's OK. However, there is a block with two short aluminum lines that connects between the lines under the car and the H-block, which is inside the vehicle. There is corrosion and green dye all over the place where the smaller line comes out of the top of the block. This is on the top side of the block right up against the foam rubber that seals the hole in the body where the lines run through. Apparently water and gunk has been laying on top of the block, trapped by the foam rubber, causing corrosion.
Hopefully, this assembly will not be expensive to replace.
Edited: Sat May 02, 2009 at 7:33 PM by vwlover77
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