AC refrigerant leak

  • FWD
  • 135,000 MILES
We have an AC refrigerant leak. My question is, is it common for oily debris to collect on AC parts that commonly get condensation on them, or is it likely the location of my AC leak? I know these Chrysler vans (Touring in this case) have many problems with AC refrigerant leaking at the rear AC and planned to just block out the rear air. However, I noticed oily build up on one part of the AC suction line hose that goes from the condenser to the firewall, and has the lower end charge port on it. My thought is that there should not be oily build up there, maybe that is where it is leaking. However, that part is directly over the pulley area where I could see oily debris being thrown around and collecting on that portion of the hose if it has much condensation on it. (the oily part is inline with/part of the hose assembly but bigger than the hose, I do not know what the bigger than the hose thing is called, but it is oily). See the part here, i ordered one: I think the OEM part number is 04677481AE. Thanks for your help.
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Friday, June 23rd, 2017 AT 11:18 AM

1 Reply

Look for signs of that oily residue on the underside of the hood. If you see it there, it is likely oil vapors being slung up there by the pulley, then it condenses there. You will find that all over the entire engine after a few hundred thousand miles. If you only see the residue on the part, and it is on top and bottom of that part, it is a good suspect for a leak. If oil is being flung up there, you will not see as much on top. You can also wash the area, then wrap a piece of light cardboard around it and clamp it on the ends with tape. The goal is simply to shield it from oil spraying from other places. If you find oil residue on the cardboard, it's spraying from somewhere else. If it stays dry, but when removed, you find the same residue on the hose, suspect it is leaking at a connection in that area. A clear plastic bag, like a Zip Lock bag torn open, can work too.

To be leaking bad enough to leave oil, you should be able to verify it by mixing up a little dish soap with water, then wiping that on the joints. Watch for bubbles forming that indicate the location of a leak.
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Friday, June 23rd, 2017 AT 2:21 PM

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