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Author Topic: air con leak  (Read 518 times)

Offline big wheel

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air con leak
« on: June 12, 2021, 12:25:09 am »
Can anybody out there help with a fluid leak to my air con. It's a mk 2 diesel with climate control.
I have been in contact with Chrispb, but I don't want to drive him up the wall.
It all started 2 weeks ago, our british summer arrived. It was roasting hot, started the car and the C/Control started flashing (low gas pressure) and was blowing hot air. Off to the local garage and got it filled. Nice ice cold air, but only lasted a couple of days. Went back and he refilled it with a dye this time. That only lasted a day.
With a UV light we checked all around the engine bay,nothing. Looked through the grill, nothing glowing in the dark. Inside the cab, nothing. So it must be a pipe somewhere. On the ramp, from front to back, nothing. The only place left we could not see was where the pipe goes into the front o/s wheel arch. What is behind there, and how do you get at it. Any photos or links would be helpful.
Frank, ( old, retired, and worn out ) me, not the car.  ;D

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2021, 09:26:02 am »
I seem to recall the pressure switch lives behind the arch liner,wheel off and arch liner pulled back Job to access.
However I would be inclined to think it will be the receiver/drier on end of the condenser with a slow leak like that. Just by offside headlight you will see a tube on the condenser with a cap on the top,take cap off and look for evidence of leak in there on top of the main metal sealing cap. If you are very lucky the drier can be removed and replaced but given age of car I would budget for a condenser change.

Offline johnnyroper

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Offline big wheel

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2021, 01:43:13 pm »
Well done, seems like a good idea. Thought I'd just whip the grill off, no chance, the four screw are solid. So loads of WD-40 and an impact screwdriver, they are off. I can just see the top of the drier if you pull the grill back. How do you get the grill off, any hidden clips or screws... ???

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 04:00:25 pm »

Offline big wheel

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2021, 08:04:52 pm »
I see the photo and it looks simple, but I have poked under the grill and it won't move. It says depress tabs, but is it the four or eight tabs. Will a srewdriver do it or do I need a flat piece of metal to depress them. It seems stupid to be stopped by a piece of plastic.  :'(

Offline brianh

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2021, 08:33:46 pm »
When I had mine off, we took the whole front bumper off, but that grille caused some problems, I think the headlights were catching on it. From memory theres the 4 fixings on the top of the grille, then 4 clips you can't see so well on the bottom edge. You may find it easier to loosen one or both of the headlights?

ECP were doing a Hella condensor for around £50 when I got mine, the original source of my leak appeared to be the joints either side of the condensor once we got it apart, though you couldn't see any sign of it until you took the pipes off. Mine would lose it over a few weeks though.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 08:37:40 pm by brianh »

Offline big wheel

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 11:14:05 pm »
I think we are jumping the gun a bit. I'm not replacing the condensor yet, I am just trying to get the grill off and remove the top of the drier to find the gas leak. I am sure I don't have to remove headlights and bumper to get the plastic grill off. Once I find this leak I'll be happy and then start replacing condensors and driers, but if it's not there, the hunt goes on. Thanks for any ideas....frank

Offline brianh

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2021, 11:58:48 pm »
You don't need to remove them, you may need to loosen the fixings on them though. There should be 8 clips in total, as shown on the photo 4 on the top edge and 4 on the bottom. Mine came out without altering the headlights, but it was very tight.

With the Grille out, you should be able to see the connections to the condensor as well, just in case thats the source of your leak. I did find it was possible to remove the cap from the dryer by bending the grille when I first started investigating the problem on mine, though the cap wasn't able to move when I tried it, hence why I ended up changing the condensor.

Offline big wheel

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2021, 04:46:47 pm »
A quick update on this leak. Still searching for the escape point.
Everybody has poked around this engine looking for the most expensive part to replace, nothing.
I have now swallowed my pride and taken it to a proper air con mechanic. He pressure tested it with nitrogen and bugger me, it's the rear matrix up in the rear wheel arch. Has anybody replaced one of these, are they available, and what kind of a job is it. I think I feel better I don't have to demolish the whole front of the car to replace a condenser, but is this just as bad.  [cool]

Offline brianh

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2021, 06:26:16 pm »
Not done it, but it seems they are available

Proper Ford bit is rather pricy though
https://www.allcarpartsfast.co.uk/search.php?search_query=1569110

These look a bit better price wise
https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/oenumber/1569110.html


Alternative source for a genuine one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/154423101586

You will want the orings to replace if your doing it yourself though. Is it leaking from damage or corrosion? Or does it look more like the connection itself is leaking (which may be a failed o ring if your lucky?)

Its not unknown for the pipework to be disconnected from the rear system to get round that sort of problem, just in case your wondering. Obviously if thats the case the amount of gas put in needs to be reduced as well.

Replacing the front condensor is relatively easy - its the evaporator in the front that you really don't want to have to change as its buried down inside the dash.

If you do order any of those, check with your supplier for compatibility just to be on the safe side!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 06:31:10 pm by brianh »

Offline big wheel

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2021, 10:34:56 pm »
If you are old and don't want grovel under a car and it's leaking air con gas, take it to a garage. WRONG !!!!!!
I asked them to pressure test it, it's leaking around the N/S/R. Can you find out where? we will have to strip the seats out and remove the interior ( unclip seat,30 seconds, remove panel, couple of screws and clips 5 minutes), labour charge not known for now. I left it with them and said will ring in the morning.
Well you will love this....he said 1400. when I fell off the chair, I said, did you say one thousand four hundred pounds, explain. Are the parts coming in the boot of a Bentley Continental from Germany. He said a valve had stuck and the pressure had split the unit, it needs a whole new assembly and they are 800 !!!!!
I told him to bypass the thing, I don't need cold air in the rear. That became another story, we would have to get a special pipe made and that will cost 200. I know garages get a bad name, I've done most of the work on this car myself, but now I know why. I know they won't put 2nd hand parts on cars, but I've seen one on ebay for 60. If you don"t want to put old parts on your car, go to Fords own website and try to get a price for a new one, is it really 800,it send you to ebay and the same part I was looking at. I am 74, knackered,and they have me by the snarglies. I won't mention the name of the garage yet, but this story is not finished yet.  >:(

Offline brianh

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2021, 03:56:20 am »
It may be cheaper to source from VW rather than Ford. The price above for a genuine Ford bit EX VAT £852.07 - which is likely sourced from VW in the first place.

I do wonder if its really leaking from the evaporator, the usual places air con leaks from is either a result of rubbing against something it shouldn't be contacting, damage, or corrosion caused by different metals contacting the a/c pipework and getting wet (clips etc). Or badly fitted o-rings, but that only likely to apply if its been apart before.

Offline SirDavidAlhambra

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2021, 07:17:18 am »
For 1400 I would just wind the windows down in the summer

Maybe try another garage
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all.

Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

Offline johnnyroper

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Re: air con leak
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2021, 08:37:51 am »
Source a used one on eBay and get a local independent garage to fit it for you

Or failing that the pipes to rear will have a take off from main lines at front of the car so I can’t see it would be a huge issue blanking it off and disabling rear cooling.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 08:43:29 am by johnnyroper »

 

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