Can refrigerant loss be verified by pressing Schrader valve?

toyota
camry

#1

Last winter a shard of ice went through the 2015 Camry’s grill and damaged the condenser radiator.
It appeared only fins were bent. But just discovered no air conditioner when finally turned on a few days ago.

Air conditioner shop wants to test with fluorescein dye. (UV makes the dye fluoresce.)
Camry is only a 14 months old.
Is the te$t really necessary?

Thank you.


#2

Depressing the Schader valve can tell you if there is pressue in the system. It will not tell you how adequate is it.

The test can be necessary if the system is low on refrigerant. A 2015 Camry should not have age related leaks.
This means the A/C is not working because of a damage caused leak or there’s an electrical issue which has nothing to do with leaks.


#3

We don’t charge a fee for the dye but we charge for the inspection and refrigerant. If you know what is leaking then you don’t need the test, you don’t seem to be sure if the condenser is leaking.


#4

All they need to do is connect a low side refrigerant gauge to the system, and if it reads 0 PSI, there’s no refrigerant in the system.

Tester


#5

You know it’s not working, now you have to spend some money to find out why, and where the leak is. Do you want to replace the condenser if you don’t need to?


#6

One option, presuming you want AC you’ve got to take it to a shop anyway. If testing shows the refrigerant is low, you could just have the shop re-fill it. There is not fundamental reason to test the condenser if the AC works fine after a re-fill and continues to work fine. If it works fine only for a day or two then returns to its present state, you can either schedule the test, or just assume the condenser is leaking and replace the condenser, in which case there’s still no reason to do that test you seem to want to avoid.


#7

If a 2015 is low on freon, there’s a leak.


#8

Agree there is a leak. Replace the suspected condenser, and recharge with dye. If the is a different leak, the dye will show it. What’s the point in recharging with a known leak?


#9

Agree there is a leak. Replace the suspected condenser, and recharge with dye. If the is a different leak, the dye will show it. What’s the point in recharging with a known leak?


#10

Thank you, all.
First I pulled and checked the AC fuses. All good.
Then I pressed the valve. As expected, no pressure.
Presumably an unseen fissure where the ice hit the condenser radiator leaked the refrigerant out.
(The condenseradiator does not look very robust.)
Everything else appears in excellent condition - as expected for a 14-month old car.


#11

Sounds like you need a new condenser . A shop will want to install another part or two before evacuating & recharging the system .


#12
Can refrigerant loss be verified by pressing Schrader valve?

It sure can.
Press the valve and nothing comes out, you have verified that you have already lost all or almost all of the refrigerant.
Press the valve and something comes out, you have verified that you just lost some of the refrigerant.