Pinpoint The Pinhole

Earlier this week I wrote about using fluorescent dye to find leaks in air conditioning systems. Sometimes dye doesn’t help and you have to use other methods, such as a leak detector, or just by looking carefully.


After recharging the system on this 2017 Accord and injecting dye, I turned the car on to get it circulating through the system. I started being able to smell refrigerant, but I couldn’t see any dye leaking out anywhere. Looking closely at the condenser I noticed intermittent clouds of refrigerant spurting out of a slightly damaged area. It’s common for fins to get bent, which don’t cause leaks, but the rock or whatever happened to get through the grille and hit the condenser managed to just barely puncture where the refrigerant travels, causing a leak. The fix was a new condenser.

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