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Leaked down a year ago.....restart procedure?

efxengr on Wed July 11, 2012 3:48 PM User is offline

My receptionist (bless her heart) has a 2001 Hyundai Accent that the a/c stopped working in over a year ago and temps are 90+ daily. Last report was a hose was bad and leaked down in about a half hour. We could help her out with the fix....or, I could use the opportunity to take a stab at it with the new DIY-Starter kit that I just ordered from AMA.

It has not operated in over a year, leaked down, but hasn't been opened up. Is it safe to charge long enough to operate the compressor, confirm leak, and trouble shoot other components or could moisture, settled oil, debris, etc., cause damage when stirred? Would it be better to flush evap/condenser then pump down/charge and troubleshoot? I could probably find the leak by just charging (if its that bad) without engaging the compressor, fix the hose, pump down, and fill then trouble shoot the rest.

Wouldn't the filter/dryer need to be replaced if it has had possible atmospheric exposure? If it has to be replaced and pumped down anyway, is compressed air and soap solutin an option for leak testing?

Thanks for any advice.

Edited: Wed July 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM by efxengr

JJM on Wed July 11, 2012 8:50 PM User is offline

You could throw in a partial charge and check for leaks without operating the system. If the leak is as big as you indicated, a soap solution should work for the leak with plain old compressed air.

Replace the dryer. It's cheap insurance, especially since you'll be opening the system to make repairs anyway.


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Leggie on Wed July 11, 2012 9:39 PM User is offline

Pressurize with nitrogen. Do a leak down test. If you see the needle falling down, you've got a massive leak.

efxengr on Thu July 12, 2012 11:24 AM User is offline

Great, thanks! Good info.

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