Continual AC leak.
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This is a discussion on Continual AC leak. within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2003 WRX which has had AC problems for the last 2 years. Specifically it stops blowing cold ...

  1. #1
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    Continual AC leak.

    I have a 2003 WRX which has had AC problems for the last 2 years.

    Specifically it stops blowing cold air within about 72 hours of being recharged. I've taken it to dealerships, small subie shops etc.

    The whole problem started with the AC pump bearings dying. So I had the pump replaced. Ever since then she doesn't blow cold air for more than a few days. Since that, I've had the high and low pressure sides replaced, the condenser and the evaporator replaced and had the O-Rings done in the engine compartment as well as behind the dash.

    It's still not fixed and at this point I'm starting to lose my patience with the car.

    Right now the car is not that practical for me and I want to sell it, but with temperatures around 100F every single day for the past 10 days and projected for all of next week (let's be honest, all of the rest of the summer) it's probably going to be hard to sell her with no AC.

    Anyone have any ideas what ELSE could possibly be wrong with this system?

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    It's one of two things:
    1. A fitting/hose isn't secured properly and the system is leaking.
    2. You have a pinhole leak.

    Since it started when the AC compressor was replaced, I'd start with making sure all of the connections around that are tight. If that's not the issue, then either another connection is loose or you have a pinhole leak somewhere. The behavior you're seeing is exactly indicative of this problem.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

  4. #3
    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Isn't there UV dye you can put in the system that aids in locating leaks? It might be time to do that..

  5. #4
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    I'd also try the simple soap and water bubble test. Get a spray bottle and make a soap and water solution that's very heavy on the soap and spray down all of the lines/fittings/parts of the AC system after you fill it.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    I'd also try the simple soap and water bubble test. Get a spray bottle and make a soap and water solution that's very heavy on the soap and spray down all of the lines/fittings/parts of the AC system after you fill it.
    Not a bad idea. The car has already been tested multiple times with UV dye and the freon sniffer... which is the reason this is driving me up a wall.

    I'm hoping they can find the "real" problem tomorrow. The last guys to work on it guarenteed the job for 3a months/3000 miles and i've put maybe 25 miles on the car since.

    I'm just really curious if theres another "part" to the AC system i dont know about that could be the problem. Does anyone know much about the connection thru the firewall?

    Thanks again.

  7. #6
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Having taken an entire car and system apart on a 2004 I know it pretty well. I wouldn't focus on anything in particular beyond what I've already listed. If it didn't leak, you replaced a part, then it leaks, that's the logical place it's leaking. Did you get a new, used, or reconditioned compressor? It's entirely possible that's what's actually leaking, even it was new or reconditioned. Do you have a buddy with a compressor you could try on your car? Or can you go buy another one, try it, and if that doesn't fix it you can return it? If it does fix the problem then return the broken one to wherever you bought it.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

  8. #7
    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Are we sure its a leak? Another possibility is that the compressor blew apart sending metal shavings through the system. When they replaced the compressor, they should have also replaced the reciever/dryer. If they didn't do that it could very well be a clogged expansion tube as well. A set of pressure gauges would help get you a more definitive answer.
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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