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#4470465 - 07/25/17 09:51 PM A/C Leak Detector
borgward Offline

Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 128
Loc: Central Texas
Need help choosing ultra violet leak detector light. I had my 2013 cars AC system serviced. They evacuated the system and recharged it with refrigerant that had a dye in it. said they could not find the leak and to bring it back in a week or two and they would check again. I brought it back and they were done in a few minutes and did not find a leak. There is a leak, or I would not have needed to have it recharged. Our 99 Tracer is still blowing ice cubes so I don't think its rubber hoses. I suspect the culprit is the evaporator. You can't get to it in the amount of time they took to check for a leak.

I plan to get a UV light detector tool and look at the evaporator myself. I saw a Walmart kit with penlight and yellow goggles in the 10 to 20 dollar range. Also saw stuff in the 70 to 200 dollar range.

Any advice on using these things?

#4470484 - 07/25/17 10:15 PM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
JHZR2 Offline

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41805
Loc: New Jersey
Sorry, no advice on that, but they do make sniffers too. A cheapo on eBay might be worth a try into the ducts and around joints.

#4470494 - 07/25/17 10:32 PM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
punisher Offline

Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 2425
Loc: snowblind in TX
WF-502B ultraviolet

Cheap $10 by itself, $18 with 2 batteries and charger. Probably not the fanciest, but it works great for me when using UV dyes.

Sniffers, all I can say is I like heater types vs halogen detectors. False positives greatly annoy me.

#4470501 - 07/25/17 10:51 PM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
boulderdentist Offline

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Just a thought, five years ago had an evac and recharge, they put in dye and told me it might have a slight seep at the compressor shaft. I have also read there is a slight seep at the shaft to keep it lubricated? They said to come back if it quit cooling but luckily it has not in the five years since. You might be correct about the evaporator, I would not even know how to access it for visible leak check. I have an inexpensive UV flashlight to check for pet urine, have been told it works fine for AC dye as well. (Less than $10.00)

Good luck!

#4470553 - 07/26/17 01:06 AM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
Merkava_4 Offline

Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
I was going to recommend a brand called "Tracerline," but being that your car is called a "Tracer," this post becomes an unintended pun. grin2

#4470595 - 07/26/17 05:15 AM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
wormwood1978 Offline

Registered: 01/02/15
Posts: 109
Loc: Maine
Have both a cheap ebay blacklight flashlight and sniffer, both are perfect for what you're looking for. Two links below are exactly what I purchased this year and used to work on my ac system:

Edited by wormwood1978 (07/26/17 05:16 AM)

#4470633 - 07/26/17 07:07 AM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
Leo99 Offline

Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3052
Loc: NJ
My Rav4 also has a refrigerant leak. I put the dye into it and bought the yellow glasses and special flashlight. Still can't find the leak.

Good luck!
Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles

#4470833 - 07/26/17 10:39 AM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
zzyzzx Online   sleepy

Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4374
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The only A/C leak that I have ever actually found was from one of the ports, and even then it was because I could hear it leaking. Good luck with that! On an old car I usually suspect the compressor shaft. -> for your Tracer

#4470852 - 07/26/17 10:58 AM Re: A/C Leak Detector [Re: borgward]
Donald Offline

Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20472
Loc: Upstate NY
The fancy detectors from Robbins are not cheap. (I think thats the name). But they have a sensor on a wand. That is what you want. Highly sensitive. Needs to be done in garage with all doors shut. Should not need to run the vehicle. Outside wind will cause problems with finding a leak.

You can try a dye and use yellow glasses and UV light.

Look for oily areas. That will be the leak. The high and low pressure port valves are often the problem.

Do not add leak stop of any kind.
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)