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Old 01-29-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
brenspin
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Default evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

The a/c on my '98 SW2 (134K) always worked great, but now that I am preparing to sell the car, I noticed the a/c no longer blows cold.

I asked my mechanic friend to investigate. He told me he believes there is a leak in the evaporator core.

I've done a little research and searched on this site. It seems I can get a new evaporator from eBay for about $40 + s/h, but from what I read here, it would take HOURS to install it.

I'm wondering if you guys have any knowledge and opinions about possible 'stop leak' products for a/c systems. My friend seemed to be of the opinion that they were crap, and he didn't seem willing to bother with such a product.

Obviously, functioning a/c is a big selling point when you're trying to sell a car.

Thanks!

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Old 01-29-2006, 05:31 PM   #2
NavyCPO
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Here is my two cents. I have a Dodge caravan that I used that A/C stop leak on. It was a bandaid at best. Worked for a little while but eventually it would still leak and after a few treatments the compressor finally quit. It, by no means, is a permanent fix.

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Old 01-29-2006, 08:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

An R-134a retrofit kit with leak sealer helped slow the leak on my mom's '92 car (prior to CFC free a/c). It still leaks, but a recharge will last almost a year as opposed to 1-2 months prior to the retrofit. If you have a fast leak-it won't help. I've heard from several mechanics that the leak sealers can "gum-up" the system-there are some pretty small holes that the refrigerant has to go through inside the system-you don't want those sealed up. I wouldn't recommend a leak-sealer because of that problem, although we haven't had any serious problems with it. No leak-sealer will be permanent-it will still leak, just slower.

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Old 01-29-2006, 09:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Professional A/C technicians regard ANYTHING other than STRAIGHT refrigerant (and UV DYE) as CONTAMINANTS. Not only that but stop leak also damages their machines when they work on your a/c system.

If you're going to fix something, fix it RIGHT.

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Old 01-29-2006, 09:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Your in milwaukee, its winter, sell it as is while it is still cold out.

If you use any stop leak you will just be cheating the next guy since it wont hold and in the long run will do damage..

If your system has been broken for much time, you would possibly have to replace other parts anyway to make it work....

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Old 01-29-2006, 10:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

no stop leak never

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remember that cars are built by robots built by human hands and are prone to failure.

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Old 01-30-2006, 02:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Depends on what is actually leaking....and how bad. Evac and recharge the system. If it holds pressure for about a week, stop leak may help (see below) less that a week...NOPE.

If it's an "O" ring, stop leak may work for a while

It its a HOSE or part of the actual (aluminum) evaporator core, stop leak won't do a thing.

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Old 01-30-2006, 12:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

STOP Leak will cause more damage than good. If your system is leaking and you put STOP leak in, it may (very seldom) stop the leak. However if it does not you have ruined your AC system. Then to repair the leak, you have to replace almost every component of the system (ie copressor, evaporator, TX valve and condensor). I would strongly suggest that you read this http://www.motor.com/MAGAZINE/Pdf/042003_04.pdf

Good luck

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Old 01-30-2006, 07:34 PM   #9
brenspin
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Thanks for the info and opinions.

If I get the system refilled with more R134a, what is the longest I could hope the a/c would function assuming the leak is really small?

What is the approximate cost of having more refrigerant added?

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Old 01-30-2006, 07:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Remind me not to buy anything from you.

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Old 01-30-2006, 08:08 PM   #11
brenspin
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

I know nothing about cars and am curious how long a recharge can last especially if I end up driving the car this summer still.

Wolfman said if it holds pressure for about a week, then stop leak may help. So am I to assume with even a minor leak, a recharge won't keep the a/c working for a few months?

If a recharge each summer season is an OPTION, obviously that beats buying a $300+ part and paying for 11 hours of labor on a $2000 car.

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Old 01-30-2006, 11:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

How does having a mechanic friend take a look at a car blowing warm air end up being an evap. leak? Was the system filled with dye and nothing was noticed?

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Old 01-31-2006, 12:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: evaporator core leak -- opinions on 'stop leak' products?

Is the weather out where you are even warm enough for the AC to kick in?

Evap cores are not real common things to go on Saturns. They tend to leak from fittings more than the evap core. You can check by removing the blower motor and reaching up in the openign of the blower to the center of the car. The evap core is just up a bit. When the y leak they also also leak the AC oil and they tend to clog up with oilly dirt. So if you can reach up to the core and feel oilly dirt then you do have a leaking evap core. Most people tend to notice a lack of air flow from the HVAC system if the core has leaked and clogged the evap core. The air goes through the evap core right after the blower.

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