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Old 12-10-2017, 06:54 PM   #1
Robert1969
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Schrader Valve a bit leaky

I have the 2004 Satuern Due 3.5 Base. It seems to have a leaky AC system. I feel pretty confident (before testing with dye) that the problem is the low side shredder valve is not getting a good closure and has a slow leak (takes 2 weeks or so for AC to start loosing pressure)

A friend told me about a part that is like a new valve stem that can be screwed onto the old stem and it has a schrader valve inside it... You bolt it on and it kind of fixes the problem by 'piggy backing' a new valve over the old. Hope this makes sense. I guess the idea is you put this new valve over the old as a work around so you don't have to evacuate the system and remove the old valve and then re-pressurize.

Has anyone heard of this? I cannot find this in any parts stores or on the web...

Robert

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Old 12-10-2017, 09:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Whoever told you about a magic repair to put a schrader valve onto a leaking one is either lying or completely unfamiliar with vehicle ac systems, diagnosing, troubleshooting and repairs. The idea is a figment of someone's imagination and doesn't exist.

Before you put dye into your system that's leaking, are you aware that Saturns already have dye? Its greenish yellow when refrigerant and oil leak out wherever damage occurs. Did you see it on the leaking valve when the service cap was removed or not? 98% of all ac vehicle failures are due to repairable leaks. Repairs done in conventional fashion and not with repairs in a can. An inexpensive uv light will make leaking dye glow no matter how old a system is.

To replace a damaged or worn schrader valve, there are only two choices; remove refrigerant into a reclamation canister unless it all leaked out and simply remove and replace the valve and use a vacuum pump to completely evacuate a repaired system before refilling with refrigerant or buy/rent a tool that allows removal of schrader valves without losing refrigerant. This tool connects to the service valve with a shut off valve, seals and allows unscrewing valve cores and inserting a new one without opening a system. Autozone may or may not have this tool for loan. Be aware if you are unfamiliar with ac systems and attempt diy repairs.

Search within these forums for other Vues having ac issues. You're likely to be more informed as to which way to proceed. AC repairs are unforgiving of mistakes.

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Old 12-11-2017, 10:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Yes, I thought the repair I described was not existent since I've not seen it either. The system has been repaired before with a new compressor and I don't know what before I owned it. So definitely the system does not have the original R134a in it. The vehicle is now at 150,000 miles, I bought at 124,000

I have not examined the lines all the way around, but I can do that. However I wonder how accurate that could be since I might spot an old leak that could have been repaired sometime back.

I have seen the repair tool to remove the valves without evacuating the system completely and will go that route if the valves are the issue.

I think the thing is to go around and throughly wipe down the lines with soap and clean them up, then charge the system a bit more with a dyed r134a, then wait to see where it comes out. Sounds reasonable?

Robert

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Old 12-11-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

As asked previously, do you see dye and oil on service valves or not? A can of refrigerant with dye costs more than plain refrigerant. And messy. When a compressor is replaced, old oil is replaced but the entire system is coated in oil since it circulates freely when ac is used. Dye never fades when circulating in a system. Whether or not the repair used more dye is anyone's guess. A UV light is invaluable here.

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Old 12-12-2017, 04:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

there is no dye on either service valves and I went around the system and no dye anywhere on any lines from high to low sides... checked with uv light...


Robert

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Old 12-12-2017, 05:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Great follow thru with a uv light inspection (most refuse or ignore) - if you replace the schrader valve, there's a 50/50 chance of succeeding with a simple refill.

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Old 12-13-2017, 08:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

know an inexpensive source for the correct valves? Dealership is quoting me $15 and $30 for low/high...

Robert

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Old 12-13-2017, 09:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

I have a tool like this http://www.toolpan.com/Mastercool-58...hoC7YkQAvD_BwE to replace the core. They should be a buck or two at any parts store. RockAuto has a whole kit with the caps for $5. Speaking of the caps, at they in good shape? They help seal the system as much as the valve itself. And you might join the A/C forum for more advice: http://www.autoacforum.com/viewforum...c4ef0cdd238f96

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Old 12-13-2017, 03:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Yes I've seen that tool also before... They are available of Ebay for good prices... The caps are good. The vehicle is is decent shape for 13 yrs old, but only 150k miles.

Thanks for the tip on the ac forum... I did not see that it existed.

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Old 12-14-2017, 06:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Our mechanic who has worked on both of our Vues for quite a few years will replace the Schrader valve as part of an A/C service if they have to evac the system. He feels there is too much of a chance of damaging the valve, so might as well replace them while he is at it. Price is very reasonable.

Homer

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Old 12-14-2017, 09:51 PM   #11
Robert1969
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leak

yep sounds reasonable... I am just taking the precaution of injecting some dye and giving it a few weeks or until I see the temp of the air is getting weak again. If I don't see any dye coming from any hoses or other cracks in the lines, I will evacuate and change out the valves and hope that solves it...

Is it just good practice to change the dryer or is there a good reason to do so?

Also as long as I am going to have the system evacuated, is there anything else I should do to the components, like clean out the expansion valve or blow out some lines, etc?


Robert

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Old 12-15-2017, 01:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

There are at least two ways for vehicle ac repairs - the right way to minimize future issues or the wrong way and create immediate or future issues. The simplest and least expensive repair is to use the valve core removal tool to replace one or both valves and evacuate the system using gauges. This allows accurate monitoring of any leaks without dye once the system is evacuated (as little as 15 minutes of evacuation with pump shut down afterwards). Observing both gauge needles, especially the low side for vacuum will show whether or not a leak still exists. Be aware that gauges, fittings, hose connections can contribute to mystery leaks if equipment isn't in good operating condition. After evacuating a system (presuming repairs corrected any/all leaks), vacuum should remain intact for at least 55 minutes. If the vacuum gauge needle moves towards zero, a leak exists and refilling would be wrong - a leak will simply allow refrigerant to leak out, wasting money and efforts. A good vacuum means equipment is good and the ac system is leak free - continue with more evacuation for another 15-30 minutes. A second and final gauge check with zero needle movement assures this system is ready for refilling with a full amount of r134a.

A damaged valve core should not require replacing the accumulator/receiver/drier - this is usually replaced when major parts are replaced (compressor, condenser coil) and oil is replenished to refill what was removed. Replacing parts on ac systems requires more attention to details as refrigeration is sealed once assembled and good for the life of a car until something breaks and causes the #1 problem of 98% of vehicle ac damage, leaks. Restoring vehicle ac systems requires replacing all seals to parts replaced, calculating oil replenishment and ensuring repairs are restored to allow a full evacuation. Evacuating a system to a full vacuum that holds without atmospheric pressure leaking back in means the system is repaired correctly (the aim of every ac repair). A total vacuum now allows refrigerant, oil and dye be the only things circulating in a system for as long as it remains intact. Normal standby pressures can be anywhere from 70 psi to 120 psi, mimicking outside temperatures. Operating pressures; 25-35 psi low side, 125-250+ psi high side. A sealed system holds refrigerant forever until a leak occurs.

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Old 12-15-2017, 12:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Thanks for the exhaustive post explaining all those points. I fully agree...

I'm thinking I would like to go through the full procedure by reclaiming the R134a and then vacuuming it and refilling... If I do it this way, what do I need to keep in mind regarding the amount of oil in the system? Will the vacuuming remove all oil and I need to add some more?

Robert

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Old 12-15-2017, 01:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Schrader Valve a bit leaky

Yes, wordy at best as you're getting knee deep into the technical procedures average diyers are not aware of or familiar with refrigeration systems. I would presume other mvac sites elaborate less as this is their bread and butter and giving away info learned from practice isn't something anyone is willing to give away. Open forums and world wide internet access allows almost anyone to find info and procedures. Coupled with youtube wannabes, anyone can become a refrigeration mechanic.

Presuming oil wasn't lost (you'd see evidence at leak sites), some oil will be removed but not in any significant amount for concern during evacuation. I've had to evacuate a system several times from various leaks as they occurred with some oil misting (collected at the exhaust port into a rag) and never add any oil. Less than an ounce is exhausted during evacuation but every procedure may be different. Adding more oil than necessary leaves less room for refrigerant with less tolerance in design of most vehicle ac systems. Older r12 systems had accumulators, tanks next to condenser coils to act as a reserve liquid supply. Less under hood space with aerodynamic designs decreased spaces requiring engineering for efficiency and less space. The canisters are less accumulators with desiccant taking up a smaller canister. The bulk of refrigerant oil sits in the compressor with the rest circulating forever. This oil coating is everywhere. What's expelled is minimal. If you are concerned, less than an ounce may be added when a valve is removed, the easiest way to add oil into either low or high side service port. Evacuation is slow and doesn't pull much oil.

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