2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer A/C Issue

Tiny
KONSHUS718
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 159,000 MILES
I purchased a used trailblazer from a guy who said the A/C runs fine, it just needed to be recharged. Well I foolishly purchased it with the consent of the 'mechanic' I brought with me. (We were moving to Texas and decided to buy a car and drive down rather than rent one (uhaul, etc would have cost $2K, we brought the car for $3k, which seemed like a deal). I had it recharged for almost $150 in NYC, then again in Philadelphia because it started blowing hot air. It wasn't until the 3rd A/C repair shop that they showed me the A/C line was 'rigged' with a rubber hose, that would/will always lose the charge; as opposed to the rest of the aluminum tubing. I got an estimate of $1000 to replace the entire line, but I cant possibly put that much money into the car because: In Philly our front differential in the front drivers side went bad and they robbed me for $1400. I am dangerously close to exceeding this cars value. Is there a way to fix the A/C for cheap? Im in Texas and its swelteringly hot PLEASE HELP!
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Monday, July 21st, 2014 AT 8:33 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Look for a hose assembly in a salvage yard.

Part of all AC systems use rubber hoses but they have to withstand over 150 pounds of pressure. If yours was "rigged" as you say, a regular hose would have exploded. My guess is you're seeing a proper hose, but it has a leak. That's pretty common.
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Monday, July 21st, 2014 AT 11:46 PM
Tiny
KONSHUS718
  • MEMBER
Thank you. I had the guy in Philly put a new hose on and that lasted about 2 hours or so. So with that said, there's a leak? The hose was new. So might there be a leak elsewhere?
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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 AT 5:43 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's another leak if the refrigerant is gone. In most states it's required that mechanics perform a leak check after every AC system service, and if a leak is found, they have to remove / recover the refrigerant and send you on your way or fix the leak and recharge the system again. At the very least, they should be doing the leak check. It's always possible the new hose has a leak, but it's more likely that one of the connections didn't get sealed properly when the part was installed, and even more likely something else is leaking.

To lose the charge as fast as you've indicated, the leak is going to be real big and real easy to find. The previous owner knew there was a fast leak. If all that was needed for a permanent fix was to recharge the system, as he indicated, he would have done that before selling the vehicle.

At this point there's two ways to find the leak(s). All shops that do AC work have electronic leak detectors. They work by detecting the absence of oxygen in the air near the leak. You can also have the mechanic inject a small bottle of dye the next time he recharges the system. Later you search with a black light. The dye will show up as a bright yellow or green stain that will indicate the source of the leak.
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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 AT 2:25 PM

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