View Full Version : OT: Dodge Neon freon leak

07-22-2012, 05:47 AM
I have had a slight leak in my 98 Neon for some time now. Usually a can a year. The last can I put in I got with the dye to try and find where it is leaking a few weeks ago. The AC is dying again so I pulled out the UV light and I found what looks like the dye around the fittings going into the condenser. I cant find any other traces anywhere else.

Can I just replace the o-rings, pump back down and refill? I know they are the green silicone o-rings. That should be no problem. Are o-ring failures common?


jim davies
07-22-2012, 10:22 PM
The aluminum tubing/O-ring seal combo commonly starts to leak after a few years. Evacuate and change all the O-rings.

>>Can I just replace the o-rings, pump back down and refill? I know they are the green silicone o-rings. That should be no problem. Are o-ring failures common?


Don Young
07-22-2012, 10:31 PM
Unless moisture has previously saturated the dryer, you should be OK to do as you propose. I like to replace the dryer (and orfice tube, if used) just as a precaution. Don't leave the system open any longer than necessary. There is a possibility that a long term leak has depleted the system oil, so adding a few ounces couldn't hurt. There is no real way to tell how much oil is in the system and the quantity does not seem critical. Lubrication is like a 2 stroke engine, the oil is dissolved in the refrigerant and moves throughout the system. O-ring failures do happen but I would not say I have found them to be common.

07-26-2012, 01:13 AM
I went after it today. Went down to NAPA and picked up an adapter for my manifold gauges, 3 cans of freon, o-ring set, and a new dryer (only $22.00).

There was almost nothing in the system I pulled the high side fitting loose and it bled down in seconds. Popped off the fittings on the condensor and could see they had been leaking. Dye was apparent and the o-rings were hard. Cleaned everything up and installed the new o-rings with some krytox LVP and installed a new dryer. Pumped it down and it seemed to hold vacuum with no noticeable change on the gauges for 30 mins so I think I am good to go. Filled it with freon and good to go. I guess we will see in the long run if it lasts.

Of course while I was doing this the battery cables broke where they had corroded through so I ended up replacing those too.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8143/7648056548_f1a1a4f68c_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/67292116@N00/7648056548/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/67292116@N00/7648056548/) by macona (http://www.flickr.com/people/67292116@N00/), on Flickr

07-26-2012, 02:07 AM
I don't know how that one is, but some of the fittings I've seen have a recess for the O-ring, sized so it compresses to some degree, at the same time that the fitting comes up tight. Putting more torque on the fitting doesn't make any difference to how well the ring seals. In other words, if the ring is leaking and the fitting is tight, then you won't be able to stop the leaking by over-tightening the fitting. Don't risk breaking something for no good reason is all I'm saying.

07-26-2012, 07:25 AM
All these fitting are as you describe. The only solution is to replace the o-rings, which I did.

Jim Hubbell
08-05-2012, 12:15 AM
When my Dodge Caravan lost its AC charge they replaced the rear evap. I took the failed evap. home to check it out. Sure enough the al. tubing had pitted through very near the "O" ring joint. Over $500 job. I watched them do the repair and am glad I didn't try it myself.