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Air Conditioning Mess

I have a 2002 Saab 9.5 six cylinder with 98,000 miles. I had my ac charged last week for the second time since I owned the car, the first time the charge lasted 4 months, this time it lasted one week. I read the various posts and info on this site about ac problems. So this week I had an expert shop charge it with dye. Right away he couldn’t see anything, but I came back three days later and he found a small leak near the condenser. He doesn’t think that’s the only leak, he suspects the evaporator, he quoted me $2300. I’m telling him you gotta be kidding. He doesn’t even know for sure the evaporator leaks. So, I like my car, it runs well, can I live without ac? In Chicago with road construction and traffic jams every day? Do I pay to have just the condenser replaced for 7 or 8 hundred and hope for the best? Should I buy a recharge kit and add stop-leak to it?

This ‘expert’ should have a Freon sniffer. If you are losing the entire charge in one week, he should be able to zero in on the leak without having to use dye. With respect to an evaporator leak, the down and dirty check is to put the probe in the A/C air duct and if the sniffer beeps you don’t have to suspect. Getting closer to the actual evaporator leak is a problem as a lot has to be done to gain access to the evaporator core.

In searching for a refrigerant leak the sniffer probe should be run near the usual suspects – compressor seal, hose fittings, receiver/dryer window, and compressor seams. It isn’t rocket science but does require being methodical.

Hope you find this leak before you run out of money or sweat profusely.

I would buy a case of Freon and add a can as needed…You might also get online and check the price of that condenser…Many shops use air conditioning as a profit center but you don’t have to play the game…