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2004 Hyundai Santa Fe questions.

70monte on Fri May 09, 2014 1:39 PM User is offline

Year: 2004
Make: Hyundai
Model: Santa Fe
Engine Size: 2.7L
Country of Origin: United States

A friend of mine has the above vehicle that has a leaking compressor. He took it to a local shop and they added refrigerant and dye and found the leak. The AC works fine after the recharge but they told him it will probably leak out again within a month. He wants me to help him replace the compressor and recharge the system. I have only worked on the AC systems in American vehicles and am not familiar with this one. I looked up parts for this vehicle on and noticed that it does not list an accumulator but does list an expansion valve.

Does this vehicle have an accumulator or OT and what other components do you recommend replacing on this vehicle along with a compressor replacement. Does anyone know the system oil capacity for this vehicle? Thanks.


94RX-7 on Sat May 10, 2014 11:32 AM User is offline

This car has an expansion valve, not an OT. As far as the accumulator goes, it appears that it either has a receiver/drier that bolts onto a couple of lines near the condenser, or some models have a desiccant bag that slides into a tube next to the condenser. You unscrew a plug in the end of the tube, remove the old, slide in the new.

The factory shop manual may have an oil balancing procedure for compressor replacement. Best to follow that procedure if you can find that info.

Since the compressor is only leaking and hasn't failed internally, I'd just replace the compressor, drier or desiccant bag, and any seals/o-rings you have to touch, plus any o-rings in the compressor to condenser plumbing path. The o-rings in that path tend to die first because of the heat that they're subjected to.

70monte on Sat May 10, 2014 3:28 PM User is offline

Thanks, that was what my plan was going to be. Do you know where the expansion valve is located on this vehicle? I tried to google search the info but could not come up with anything. Thanks.


mk378 on Sat May 10, 2014 4:37 PM User is offline

It shows a block type TXV. Those are almost always mounted on the engine side of the evaporator, right where the lines go through the firewall. I agree with RX-7, you don't have to change the TXV for a simple leak repair.

70monte on Sun May 11, 2014 11:43 PM User is offline

Thanks for the additional info.


70monte on Thu May 15, 2014 7:03 PM User is offline

Does anyone know what normal pressures should look like for this vehicle? Thanks.


70monte on Sat May 24, 2014 9:40 PM User is offline

Well, Yesterday I went over to my friend's house to help him with his vehicle. He had ordered a new compressor, expansion valve, desiccant bag, o-ring kit and oil. After examining the compressor, the condenser, and all of the lines, I could not see any signs of leakage. When he had the system evacuated, there was no sign of dye at the low side port. I saw no signs of dye anywhere. I think the shop he took it to was full of BS and did not add dye or find out where the leak was. Obviously there has to be a leak somewhere since the system was low on charge but I didn't see anything obvious. I'm thinking possibly the evaporator since it's the only thing you can't easily see.

On the repair estimate, they showed replacing the compressor, the condenser, the evaporator, and expansion valve.

What we decided to do was recharge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant and then add dye to the system to see if an obvious leak shows up. I vacuumed down the system for about 30 minutes than let it sit for about 20 minutes. I then vacuumed down again for about 30 minutes and then let it again sit for about 20 minutes. The needle on my gauges never dropped at all so the leak must be pretty small. I then recharged with 22 ounces of R134a which is what it calls for. With outside temps about 86 degrees and humid, I got 52 degree vent temps at idle with the AC on Max and the fan speed all the way up to 4. If I turned the fan speed to 2, the vent temps went down to 42 degrees. My low side pressure was in the high 20's and the high side about 215.

I used my refrigerant scale and a 30lb tank to recharge so it made things a lot easier. This is only the second time I have used this setup since I got it and on this time, I figured out how to program the scale to sound the alarm after the specified amount was installed. I like this much better than trying to use the cans.

My friend is going to periodically check to see if he sees and signs of the dye anywhere and see if the AC starts to get warmer so we can decide what to do from here. Him and his wife were happy with the performance of the AC after the recharge so I guess the day was partially successful.


Edited: Sat May 24, 2014 at 9:41 PM by 70monte

mk378 on Sun May 25, 2014 9:09 AM User is offline

A leaky system typically only needs replacement of the leaking part, once it has been identified. His shop seems to favor the "shotgun" approach instead, avoid that place.

If you're doing much A/C work, an electronic leak detector is a useful tool to own.

70monte on Mon May 26, 2014 9:01 PM User is offline

I really don't do much A/C work. I have already repaired the A/C on four of my own vehicles and occasionally help out some of my friends. Even though I don't do this for a living, when I do work on something, I like having the right equipment to do it and to make it easier and is why I probably have more A/C equipment than most DIYers. That is why I ended up buying a weight scale and 30lb tank. It makes putting in the correct amount of refrigerant a lot easier and ensures that you do have the correct amount compared to using cans. I may try picking up a used electronic leak detector at some point.

My friend is going to call the shop up and have a talk with them and see what they have to say. He won't be using them again for A/C work.


70monte on Sun April 19, 2015 9:34 PM User is offline

Well, I'm back after almost a year later. The AC on this vehicle worked great all summer and into the fall. I guess over the winter it lost it's charge. He wanted me to come over and re-charge it for a trip he is taking next week. I looked over everything and cannot see any signs of leakage. I put dye in it last year. The evaporator is the only thing I can't see but last year I put the black light on the condensation water and it showed no signs of dye.

Anyway, I had him have the remaining refrigerant removed before I came over so the system was empty. I vacuumed the system down for 30 minutes, let it set for 15 minutes and then vacuumed it down for another 15 minutes. The gauges stayed where they were supposed to during the vacuuming and did not drop while it sat.

I then charged into the vacuum and this is where our problem started. The compressor would not come on. I checked all of the fuses and switched circuit breakers around. All of the fuses were good and so was the circuit breaker.

So my question is now, what else do I need to look at on this? The AC compressor is at the bottom of the engine and you cannot see the plug in that goes to it. I tried tapping on the clutch while the car was running and the AC on but that did not help. Maybe the compressor finally gave it up. The vehicle has 99,000+ miles on it.

Any help would be appreciated. I don't think we will have time to replace the compressor this week. Thanks.


Dougflas on Mon April 20, 2015 4:35 AM User is offline

Try removing the battery cable for a few minutes. Then verify 12 volts at the clutch. I always like the method of placing a shower cap or plastic bag around the front of the compressor over night and then poking a hole in the bag. Then I place the probe of a leak detector in it. If the seal is leaking, it usually shows up. You can purchase a new Tek-mate rather inexpensively and it works good for R134 and R12.

70monte on Mon April 20, 2015 6:21 AM User is offline

I called him later to tell him to un-hook the battery in case the low refrigerant set a code in his ECM which prevented the compressor from coming on. He never called me back to tell me if that worked. I will have to buy a leak detector. I have just been putting it off. Thanks for the suggestions.


James89dx on Tue April 21, 2015 9:14 AM User is offline

If you're SURE you have an adequate charge in the system, briefly give the compressor 12 volts directly at the harness and see if the compressor comes on. If you have some of those electrical alligator clip test leads those work well to briefly test. Or worst case just rig up some spare wire you have laying around.

If the compressor kicks on you know your electrical issue is before the compressor. If the compressor won't come on with 12 volts directly applied, then well you now know the compressor itself is toast.

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