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Hi all,

With the hot summer and pollen level at bonkers I decided to finally get my AirCon recharged.
I’m normally ok with just the window open but thought after a couple of years with no cold AirCon I’ll get it done.

I got it done and it held the cold air for a while.

Anyway that lasted not even a month as I took it back to the garage yesterday and they reckon it must be a slow leak.

Has anyone got any advice please on where to start identifying the leak? Is there a common area or list of likely places to look? Any methods to find it?

Many thanks!
 

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normally when you get an airco recharged, they add a UV-sensitive dye as standard, specifically to be able to detect leaks..... Any leaks will become visible/light up under a UV lamp....
 

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Anyway that lasted not even a month as I took it back to the garage yesterday and they reckon it must be a slow leak.
Is that really as much help as they offered?
No wonder people are trying to do things themselves.
AFAIK, the top up stuff Halfords (and others) sell has a dye in it so an ultraviolet light source is not needed.
 

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Refill it with dye. Could be around condenser, if corroded, or stone damage. Connectors and other fittings. Could be a leak inside the car, as I think refrigerant does travel into the cabin, behind the dash but I could be wrong.

It can be difficult to spot as with covers and splash guards in the way of seeing anything.

Make sure that the gas is empty, or leaking out and that it is not a electrical issue, or problem with compressor. Given that they can't even help with the UV dye who knows if they even check if there is any gas there at all.

Make sure that the external temperature gauge is working correctly and displaying a temperature over 5, or 8 degress C, or something along those lines as the A/C does not work at low temperatures.
 

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BTDT. The aircon place I went used UV dye, but could see no leaks. They wanted to pull it apart, but that would have cost a fortune and they were licking their lips - I'd have paid for all the front end dismantling, and their elevated price for parts: probably £800-ish.

I figured it was likely the 10 year old condenser, because the internal zinc protective coat fails and the refrigerant then corrodes its way out, so DIY'd it. Sure enough the condenser was rotten, and the radiator was beginning to pinhole too. New Nissin condenser and rad came to ~£180 from Mister Auto, I installed them, did stuff the aircon place wouldn't have, like cleaning off corrosion and repainting the crossmember under the rad. I then called a mobile aircon guy to come and test and recharge before replacing the wheels, arch liners, bumper, undertray, so if there were any leaks they'd be easy to see. No more problems. The mobile aircon guy was excellent and cost £90. He's based in W.London (Greenford) but seems happy to travel. https://www.carairconsos.com/
 
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