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Leaking freon

Drive 2006 Saturn Vue. Live in NC. This will be the 3rd year that after winter my AC isn’t cold and they have to recharge it. Works all summer and as soon as we get cold temps I think something contracts and all my freon leaks out. They have never found a problem.

Do you have a question?

Yes, you have a leak. I doubt that it is leaking only in the winter. I think it is leaking about the same amount all the time, it just takes a year for it to get low enough to be a problem. Find a shop that will look for, find, and correct the leak. You should be able to go at least eight years before having to add Freon.

Who are “they?” tardis is likely right about the leak - slow one all year, although it is possible that it is related to cold as the systems are sealed by o-rings that will be less pliable and shrink a bit in the cold. It is also the case that running the AC helps keep everything lubed and during the winter it will run a lot less - unless you run the defroster a lot.

Anyway…you need a good local shop that works on AC systems. Tell them the story and ask that they add dye to the system when it is recharged. The dye will indicate leaks. Don’t be surprised if you get the recommendation to replace all fo the AC system seals. It won’t be all that cheap - the parts are cheap, but it takes a lot of labor time.

Think about how many people would be having low refridgerant charge problems if your “things get cold and contract” theory was applied to the sealing parts of AC systems were true,they aren’t and it isn’t.

Don’t conclude that your shop not finding your leak supports your theory.

Your car uses R-134a, not freon.

Freon was a brand name for R-12, however most people did and do use it as a generic name for any refrigerant. I’m not saying that’s right, it’s not. However, the misuse of the name doesn’t bother me.

Why did you tag this to me and not the OP?

I did take it back to the dealer 2 times. First time they replaced the “clutch”. AC ran great all summer. Next year, same thing summer rolls around no AC. In North Carolina we use AC 7 months out of the year, it is cold for 7 months. 2nd time I took it back to the dealer, they checked for leaks (it was warm out by then) said everything was perfect, recharged it. Checked it the the other day. NO COLD. This will be the 3rd recharge, with “no leak” found.

Sorry about the typo ignore the "it is cold for 7 months.

You really need to have this investigated by someone else. By your statements this car has been leaking refrigerant since it was almost new.
Did warranty not get involved with this and if so, why not?

If this vehicle was leaking this much refrigerant then it should be obvious; with the use of an electronic sniffer to find the problem, the use of dye, and one of the most obvious of all - a lot of refrigerant loss will leave a huge oily blotch on something.

Something else to consider. If they’re simply throwing refrigerant into it with no concern for the system oil level then the compressor will eventually blow up and that’s going to be very expensive to fix.

To the same issue as the fellow who suggested that if they don’t put oil in it will ruin the compressor . If they put in an oil charge every time they recharge and the leak is only vapor the system will not work right with too much oil

Thank you for your help. It is frustrating because they can never seem to fix the car until it’s out of warranty. Every warranty repair on this vehicle took 3 times max. Thanks again.

do you mean 3 times minimum?

It’s the shop’s responsibility to verify any and all oil charge.

When an A/C system leaks it does not leak “only vapor”. Some oil is always lost along with leaking refrigerant.

I lost freon two winters in a row way back when my 92 Explorer was newish. Never found a traceable leak but replaced a fey of the little green o-rings in the line connections as a guess and haven’t lost a hint of freon in over 14 years.

For future reference - look for the little yellow pencil in the lower right corner of any response you have posted (it doesn’t work for the text starting a thread) - you can click on that pencil and edit your post.