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Old 07-11-2016, 03:00 PM   #1
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Use "stop leak" in our dash a/c unit?

We are planning a business trip to SC and on to FL in about a week. No, we didn't have a chance to plan the "when." So, in desperate need of advice on our dash a/c.

We are relatively new to our 1998 Newmar Dutchstar. (Great deal from friends. I hope!) The dash unit is Evens Tempcon, and it is blowing warm air. We had it serviced by a mechanic, who evacuated the system, and recharged it, I believe, with refrigerant with blue dye in it. He found no leaks. However, after perhaps 1 month, and only using the "Dutch" once, it started blowing warm, ambient air again.

We have used refrigerant with "stop leak" in it for my wife's Ford Ranger, and it has worked well for about 4 years!

We are open to ANY advice, but especially whether or not to use new 134A refrigerant in the system.

Many thanks, all!
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:15 PM   #2
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The only problem I've heard of about stop leak in 134 is that it can plug up part of your condenser and make it less efficient. Why not just try more regular 134 with some seal conditioner and see if that works. You can keep a can with stop leak handy, just in case.

Or just run the genny and the roof top unit. We did that in our old bounder.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:31 PM   #3
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It's important you understand where the leak is at.... some sealants might take care of your needs... but if its an excessive leak, there is the chance that the sealant won't work.... if the mechanic installed the Freon with the blue dye, and you can't see a trace... and you might need to use a flash light and mirror to look around the seal on the compressor.... you'd have to assume that the leak is in or around the evaporator which is buried in the dash... and in most of the cases I've dealt with... most sealants won't take care of that....

Might suggest you ask your friends (sellers) to share the cost of the RV...
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:37 PM   #4
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Many of us have this problem. My solution is to run the generator and usse the houses a/c. An advantage is the whole coach is cool when you arrive.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:37 AM   #5
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Being that a 1998 RV is under discussion, I wouldn't hesitate to try stop leak. They don't necessarily run the most expensive and top of the line rubber hose material for the long run from rear to front evaporator.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:39 PM   #6
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If your tech doesn't know how to check for a leak you need a new tech. Best way is to pull a vacuum on the system. Shut off the valves on the gauge set and watch if you lose the vacuum. Even a small leak will show up very quick. The most common place for a leak on an automotive AC system is the compressor shafts seal. If the compressor is not run frequently the seal faces dry out. It doesn't take to destroy the seal faces.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chboone View Post
If your tech doesn't know how to check for a leak you need a new tech. Best way is to pull a vacuum on the system. Shut off the valves on the gauge set and watch if you lose the vacuum. Even a small leak will show up very quick. The most common place for a leak on an automotive AC system is the compressor shafts seal. If the compressor is not run frequently the seal faces dry out. It doesn't take to destroy the seal faces.
Drawing a vacuum on the system and watching the gauges for the loss only tells you there is a gross leak, that won't tell you much more. The dye used in R-134A will fluoresce under UV light, you can easily locate leaks with a UV flashlight while wearing the yellow glasses. I use this method 99% of the time at the dealer I work for. I see compressors leak at the seams, condensers with leaks in them, hoses leaking at the crimp and aluminum lines with cracks in the bends, lately we have been seeing a lot of evaporator leaks.

A leak of only a few ounces every few months can be found readily with UV providing there is dye in the system. You will not see a leak that small on a gauge.

I try and run the a/c on my coach every week or two to keep the oil circulated and the compressor lubed. It does help extend the life of the shaft seal too.

To answer the OP's original question, you can try some refrigerant with the sealant but that is probably not going to fix your leak.

I want to add something regarding the DIY cans of refrigerant in the auto parts stores, overcharging with refrigerant will cause your a/c to blow warm air also. You really need to determine high/low side pressures with air moving across the condenser for an accurate charge. An extra pound of refrigerant is sometimes all it takes to open the discharge port on your compressor. That usually means replacing the compressor.

Be careful and wear eye protection.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:17 AM   #8
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I agree but the tech said he could not find a leak, probably with his detector. The simplest way to check for a leak is check for lose of vacuum. Then if there is add the dye to the system. Easy to find leaks at hose crimps and fittings, look for oil flim, there's your leak. Easy way to tell if the shaft seal is leaking, look for a line of oil slung on surfaces in line with the belt pulley.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:34 AM   #9
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Yes I will agree with you there.

With automotive a/c, our recovery and charging machine will tell us exactly how much was recovered, then we can compare this to the published capacity to determine how low it is. We have had this equipment for 25 years or more.

I know the commercial and residential HVAC guys still use handheld gauges. That is mostly old school stuff in the automotive world.
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