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How to Spot an Air Conditioning Leak

It might seem like a small inconvenience, but a leaky A/C can mean disaster around the corner for your car. 

A fully functioning, ice-cold air conditioner is one summer essential you can\’t be without.

After all, the temperature in a parked car can quickly surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the dead heat of summer, which means even a quick trip inside a store could leave you with a red-hot vehicle that\’s hard to cool down.

That\’s why even a tiny air conditioning leak can ruin your day. Read on to learn how to spot a leak in your car\’s system and what to do if you find one.

Air Conditioning Leak in Your Car

It\’s not an easy to task to diagnose an air conditioning leak, but most drivers can tell pretty quickly when something is off with their cooling system.

If your system is only blowing warm air or nothing happens when you crank it up, you may have an air conditioning leak in your vehicle.

It\’s important to note that there are a collection of common problems that can cause issues with your car\’s air conditioning. It makes sense to check through them all or, if you\’re feeling lost, to contact a professional mechanic right as soon as you notice a problem.

Look Around for External Damages

It\’s possible that some of your parts may be worn out or damaged, especially if you\’re driving an older model vehicle.

Consult your owner\’s manual if you\’re unsure what your system should look like, then check everything thoroughly for damaged connections, cracked pipes, or other obvious problems.

Check for Drips or Residue

Sometimes a leaky system will collect oily residue near the hose unit and connections. If it\’s a bad leak, you may actually be able to see coolant dripping out of your system.

Check your system thoroughly for any unexplained moisture, drips, or wet spots.

Rely on UV Dye

Professional mechanics have one surefire way to diagnose an air conditioning leak: UV-reactive dye. After adding a fluorescent dye to your coolant, they carefully check your entire system with a UV light until they find the exact spot where it\’s draining out. They can then repair or replace the leaking part.

In true DIY style, you can conduct this diagnostic test yourself by purchasing an at-home dye leak detector kit. If fiddling around with fluorescent dye doesn\’t sound like your particular cup of tea, however, it might be best to call in a professional mechanic to do the job.

What to Do If You Find a Leak

If you\’ve found a leak in your car\’s air conditioner, you will most likely have to have some parts replaced. Consult a certified mechanic to locate the faulty parts and make repairs to your system.

Once your mechanic has replaced the broken parts in your car\’s air conditioner, they\’ll refill your refrigerant levels to make sure your system is cooling properly.

Sanford\’s Automotive Service is a one-stop shop for air conditioning repair in Columbia, S.C. Contact us today to find out how our certified mechanics can get your system cooling again.

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