Mechanics

AC LEAK / LOW PRESSURE

2001 Honda Accord • 127 miles

AC is blowing only warm air, but a few months ago it was working perfectly, and then slowly started to work intermittently. In some cases would get cold like normal, then would get warm after a few minutes and usually would stay warm.

At this point I know I have leaks at both schrader valves since I can see bubbles and hear hissing with the caps off. There is also a pretty obvious leak at one of the "pressure" type fittings (I don't know the proper terminology) on a hose that is going from the compressor to the condenser. It is a short section of rubber hose that connects to the hard line before the condenser. I attached a photo to give you a general idea of the type of hose that it is, but this is not the exact hose as far as I know. Is there a way to repair the existing hose, or does the entire section of hose have to be replaced? Any tutorials/videos that you could suggest for this type of repair/replacement?

Though I suspect the problem is most likely only to do with the leaks, I still took full gauge readings just in case you might suspect any other problems based on the readings.

Here are my readings with outside temp of 79 degrees, 19% humidity:
cold engine OFF: low=45psi, high=45psi
hot engine OFF after running the system for about 20 minutes: low=65psi, high=65psi

The following readings are with AC and fan on high:
engine idle at operating temp: low=0psi, high=75-80
engine at 2,000rpm at operating temp: low=negative psi (at very bottom of scale on gauge), high=80psi

Thanks for your input!
-Ben

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Ben Lee
February 9, 2012.




Could be still low in freon, blockage on high side line, expansion valve shut closed problem-

Tiny
Rasmataz
Feb 9, 2012.
There definitely is insufficient freon in system. You need around 90 psi when A/C is not running.

The hose shown is the high pressure hose and if there are any leakages, you need to rectify the problem. Topping up freon is a waste of money as the freon is going to leak away.
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KHLow2008
Feb 9, 2012.
I completely forgot to mention that I first attempted to add R134a about a month ago and added a 16oz can, but that was not enough to get the system up to the proper pressure and it quickly leaked back down to 0 psi the same day, so the leak seems to be pretty major.

I plan to vacuum the system, replace both schrader valves and the leaking hose, and then recharge the system. Should I flush the system as well before recharging?

Any tips on performing the above processes?

Tiny
Ben Lee
Feb 9, 2012.
If the oil in system looks dirty, flushing the system would be recommended.

The high pressure hose sometimes works funny. When pressure is low, it might leak faster. With sufficient pressure, it might take a longer time for it to leak as the high pressure can help to seal, especially when leaks are at seals, valves or high pressure hose joints.

Vacuuming is a must and since system had pressure leakages problem, ensure you vacuum the system well.

Check for other possible areas of leakages as well. Oily stains at joints are a sign of leakages.

KHLow2008
Feb 9, 2012.

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