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My AC system is leaking refrigerant. Why should it be fixed?

Fri, Jun 24th, 2011
Posted in Ask the Expert

Jeff Christian

Leaks should be fixed for three reasons: 1. Because leaks allow air and moisture to enter you AC system. Moisture can react with refrigerant to form corrosive acids and sludge that can damage the compressor, plug up orifice tubes and/or pinholes in evaporators and condensers. 2. Refrigerant is expensive. It may seem cheaper to keep recharging your system with additional refrigerant instead of having the leak fixed, but in the long run, it won't be, as the cost of R 12 refrigerant continues to rise.

3. R 12 refrigerant, when it leaks, is an ozone-depleting CFC.

Before any attempt is made to repair a leak, any refrigerant that's still in the system should be recovered and recycled, then the system can be opened for repairs. After repair, the system must be vacuum pumped to purge it of all air and moisture before it is recharged with refrigerant. It is also important to replace any compressor oil that was lost with the type and quantity specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

Hwy. 16 & 43



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