We did a pretty extensive project here: hoses, compressors, condensers, evaporator, drier, mechanical and electrical hardware. That means a lot of potential refrigerant joints could leak, and we have nuts and bolts to check as well as electrical stuff. So we came up with a check list . This is not your full blown FAA pre-flight check, but something that will insure we stay on the road, safely cooled. So we start off with something logical, like following the hands on a clock.
- Starting in the engine compartment we check all the hardware, the hoses, compressor deck lid condenser and electrical connections.
- Then we move to the Kuehl Condenser in the left rear quarter panel.
- Inspect the hoses under the driver’s side of the tub.
- Over to the receiver drier and hoses under the left front fender.
- To the front condenser.
- Open the front trunk, lift the cover for the “smugglers box” or evaporator compartment.
- Back under the passenger side to check the hose running back to the compressor.
- Make sure all the lug nuts on the wheels are torqued.
- A quick inspection of our tool box to make sure we put everything back; also check all the areas we could have left tools such as in the engine compartment, under the front trunk and under the car.
- We had added a fluorescent dye to our refrigerant oil. After we have run the system we went back with a black light to check all the hose and fitting connections to see if there were any obvious leaks. This is just one method to check for leaks, however if the leak hole size is too small the oil will never push the dye out so there is another method to check for refrigerant leaks called the “sniffer”. The sniffer is a hand held instrument that sucks in air and checks for CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs (refrigerants) in the range of xx parts per million. With the ac system running you take the sniffer and slowly move it around all your ac fitting joints. If a detectable leak is present the sniffer will flash its LED’s and make a noise to alert you. So once again we followed the refrigerant system path, from compressor through condensers, drier and evaporator, and we found no noticeable leaks ( I guess we did a good job !).
- Once more around the car and we can finally wipe down our tools and put away the tool box.
- A quick go around with our shop vac under and around the car to make the wife’s garage a palace once again.
- Pop open a can of cold Beck’s, or if the budget allows a nice Bass Ale.
- Pat yourself on the back!