When I left off on this thread, I had fixed an electrical problem and buttoned up my A/C system, waiting to see if any leaks materialized.
The A/C ran decently on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. In fact, Wednesday morning, the system dumped lots of condensation as I backed into a parking place. That’s a good sign.
Come Thursday, the compressor won’t kick on. Wiggling the clutch wire didn’t help.
After I put the kid to bed, I took a look. The high side service port cap looked off, so I checked it further and found it was broken. The center piece was still in the port:
And notice all the green around the port? That’s the color of leak detection dye!
The plastic piece came out easily with a pocketknife.
I mixed up some soapy water:
…and threw a little on the fitting and got bubbles:
Eureka, I found a leak! The complete lack of visible dye anywhere else suggests this could be it!
The next question is how do I fix this leak? I have a Schrader valve repair kit, but there is some rubber piece over the valve that prevents me from engaging it:
(This is looking straight down the valve.)
Looking two pictures up, you can see a clear hex pattern at the base of the service port. Does the port come apart? I’m going to check with a few people and figure this one out, hopefully soon!
Now here’s what I don’t get. I had enough refrigerant for the system to work acceptably on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Today, the pressure was almost 0 PSI:
How did it lose so much refrigerant so quickly? Was the service port cover actually retarding the refrigerant flow, and it finally broke under pressure, allowing refrigerant to escape more quickly?
Stay tuned. Once I locate vacuum pump oil, I’ll get this completely fixed.