2002 Mazda Protege Freon always blow out

Tiny
SATISFY60
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 MAZDA PROTEGE
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 113,000 MILES
I had AC problem ever after I asked the shop to check my AC system. It worked fine before the check, not very well, but fine.
My mechanic told me AC compressor is weak and needs to be replaced after his check. Then I replaced the AC compressor, new one. It seemed working after the replacement. However, AC failed by blowing out freon from the engine part or bottom of engine, which one I am not sure, after I went home the same day. I took my car to the mechanic the second day and they found out the fuse has some kind of problem. My mechanic checked the fuse in engine part and in car chamber. After fixing the fuse, AC worked again. But the second day, freon blew out again from the engine part or under the engine. I took my car to the mechanic again and he told me to replace the AC accumulator/drier. Then I replaced it. It worked again by then. But before I drove out of the shop, Freon blew out again from the engine part or under the engine. My mechanic was surprised and he did a more thorough check this time. And then he found AC expansion valve is down. Then I replaced AC expansion valve according to his advice. It seems working finally now, and very well. I thought it will be ok after then, but today Freon is blowing out again from the engine part or under the bottom of engine. Each time when freon blows out, it only happens when the car is idle. When I drive, it never happened.
Every time when my mechanic repaired or replaced any parts, I was present all the time and watched him work. He told me there's no sign of leaking when he vacuumizes the AC system. And I saw the pressure gauge when he did vaccumization, there's no pressure drop at all. I assume this means AC systems's sealability is good. But where's the problem?
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 1:16 AM

20 Replies

Tiny
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  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Has the system pressures been tested? Are they to high? You say the refrigerant blows out, if there is a leak has this been addressed, some of what you say just dose not ring true, if it blows out are you referring to a leak? There no pressure relief valve as such that will vent refrigerant, what do you mean by blowing out if there is no actual leak?

Mark (mhpautos)
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 4:14 AM
Tiny
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Hey, Mark. Thank you for your answer. Let me make the symptom clearer to you.
The system pressure has been tested all the time and it's around 60-70 after Freon comes out. When I say Freon blows out, I mean I can hear very loud pressure drop noise when it's released from the system and I saw white smoke comes out of engine part or the bottome of enigne very quicikly. The engine heat indicator is not overheated. No other lights on dashboard are on.
What do you think is the problem?
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 8:39 AM
Tiny
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  • EXPERT
If it was refrigerant for the A/C system it will leak all the time and the system will be emptied very quickly, best to get the cooling system pressure tested hot, it may be a small coolant leak, best to get this proved one way or the other first, start here.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 9:17 AM
Tiny
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Thanks, Mark. Will do what you adviced and may bother you again if doesn't work.
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 2:12 PM
Tiny
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That's fine, that is what we are here for.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
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Mark, How are you doing today?
This morning, when I started up the car, the white smoke was released again and I saw it very clearly that it came out from somewhere under the engine. I took it to my mechanic immediately and this time he told me the new-replaced AC compressor is defected and needs to be exchanged after a full check. The problem will be fixed after replacing this defected new AC compressor. I asked him if he's sure about this. He said positive. I wonder if this really can fix the problem eventually based upon your 30 years experience?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Monday, August 23rd, 2010 AT 2:24 PM
Tiny
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BTW, when I refer to defected AC compressor, my mechanic said it's leaking and can not hold high pressure. That's why Freon's been released.
You think this makes sense to you?
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Monday, August 23rd, 2010 AT 2:26 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

I would be seeking a second opinion on this, it just does not add up, the A/C system will only leak if there is a failed seal or hose to atmosphere, it will leak all the time, I find it hard to believe that this leak is now a compressor, if there is leak detector dye in the system (he should be using it) this mysterious cloud will leave a stain where it is leaking, there is just no way it can't where is this cloud of smoke / vapor emanating from? This must be pin pointed exactly first.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Monday, August 23rd, 2010 AT 6:36 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
Speak of the dye, my friends also mentioned this when I told'em my case. I couldn't agree more to use this to detect whether there's leak in the whole system. I will definitely suggest this to my mechanic. Somehow, I start to lose confidence in him.
Thank you so much, Mark. Will keep you updated.
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Monday, August 23rd, 2010 AT 10:56 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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Ok, please keep the updates coming, I do feel that this mechanic may not know what he is doing, just be wary of him wanting you to spend up big thats all.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 AT 12:49 AM
Tiny
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Hi, Mark. It's been a while. How have you been?
It seems like I can finally give you some updates now since I talked to you last time.
My car's AC looks like being fixed eventually, at least for the time being after I changed the whole fuse box. Here's how it exactly happened.
I took my car to local Mazda dealer for a full electrical diagnosis after I started losing my confidence to my mechanic. The dealer told me my car's fuse has a fuse block problem and the fuse box needs to be replaced if I want to fix it. I am not willing to pay $400 to get a new one, instead, I found an used one from a 2001 Mazda Protege LX, 2.0L, auto tranny. Before I purchased this one, I consulted the dealer if this one would be compatible with my 2002 protege LX. The answer was positive and then I had it replaced finally two days ago. After the fuse box replacement, AC looks working fine. The freon was not released again.
However, today, when I was driving on highway, I saw the batter signal indicator flickering on the dashboard sometimes. The symptom is the battery indicator's on for a while and then disappeared. And it's backed on again and disappeared. At the first beginning, I thought the contact between the battery electrodes and terminals are not good. So I checked and tightened both of them. But this problem remained. So I did a little test. I turned off AC when I came back to highway. And this problem didn't happen again untill I turned on AC. Based upon your experience, what could be the problem? I plan to take my car to AUTOZONE and let them test my battery or maybe electrical circuit and see what I can get from them.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks a lot.

Don
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Sunday, September 12th, 2010 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
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BTW, my battery is a new one and it's been replaced less than 2 weeks.
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Sunday, September 12th, 2010 AT 10:50 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
HI there,

My first thought would be a problem with the alternator as this is primary item that will if faulty cause this type of problem, it just may be that the extra load of the A/C system on the alternator is showing up a problem, this can be checked with a load test on the alternator, try this next.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 AT 5:45 AM
Tiny
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Mark, the battery and alternator were tested and both of them are fine according to AUTOZONE. What to rule out next?
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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Did they do it as a load test. Most of these places just test the alt output with the car running and give it a rev to test max voltage, the system must be loaded up, headlights on high, heater fan on high, wipers on and A/C running, did they test it this way?

Mark
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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
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Mark, you're right. I should've done a load test at the beginning. I did the load test again today at AUTOZONE by following your instructions. The results are different from the previous one. The alternator is weak again, but the battery is fine, which in my previous test both of them are fine.
I replaced the alternator and the battery and the fuse box less than 3 weeks AND I still get the problem occasionally. What does it mean? What should I do to fix it even though it doesn't look like having any problems.
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Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
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You think it will be help if I take my car to the dealer again and let them run a full electrical check like I did last time?
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Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 AT 6:28 PM
Tiny
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Hi, Mark. Been busy these days? I haven't seen you reply my message for a while and I can definitely use your help. Please help me. Thanks a lot.
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Friday, September 17th, 2010 AT 11:19 PM
Tiny
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  • EXPERT
Hi there, just popped on to see what is happening, I am tied up with some bad flooding here, there has been a fair bit of damage that need to be taken care off, I will get back to you in a day or so, sorry but this dose require my full attention here just now.

Mark
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Saturday, September 18th, 2010 AT 7:23 AM
Tiny
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I am so sorry to hear your house' been flooded. Must be the rains and dogs last week. Hopefully you will get this fixed soon.

Best wishes
Don
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Saturday, September 18th, 2010 AT 1:58 PM

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