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Author Topic: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help  (Read 477 times)

Malibu39

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Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« on: May 06, 2018, 11:44:57 AM »
So I have a leak in my dash AC on my 2004 Itasca Horizon. I’ve been reading a lot of horror stories about how much money and time it takes to have a professional fix it. Before I do that, are there any type of “stop leak” products out there worth a try?  Thank you!
2004 Itasca Horizon 40KD 350 Cummins, 60,000 miles

Kevin Means

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    • Tactical Flying
Re: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 12:03:48 PM »
So I have a leak in my dash AC on my 2004 Itasca Horizon. I’ve been reading a lot of horror stories about how much money and time it takes to have a professional fix it. Before I do that, are there any type of “stop leak” products out there worth a try?  Thank you!
Finding a leak in a dash AC system can be challenging. When a shop was trying to find the leak in my Tahoe's system, they recharged the system with refrigerant, then put dye in so they could see where the leak was after it ran for awhile. Turned out to be in the compressor itself. I've recharged several systems over the years, but I've never added dye, nor do I have a way to replace high pressure hoses or fittings.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

scottydl

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Re: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 12:42:08 PM »
It all depends on where the leak is, and how big it is. Question is, if you refill the system yourself (which is pretty easy to do on most vehicles) how quick does it leak out and cause the A/C to stop blowing cold air?

Cans of R134a refrigerant are relatively inexpensive ($5-7 each) at Amazon, Walmart, or other auto parts suppliers. A refill on a completely empty vehicle system generally needs 3-5 cans depending on its capacity. You can buy a cheap gauge (or a can with a low-tech removable/reusable gauge like this one, which is what I did) to measure and refill.

Last year, my Suburban's A/C was blowing warm air. I measured the system pressure and it had almost no refrigerant. I put several cans of R134a in (checking the pressure and the cold air output after each one), including a can of this Stop Leak product. My Suburban has a rear A/C system with 2 blowers, and required 4.5 lbs of refrigerant (quite a bit) to be full... that info came from the owner's manual. The A/C worked great all last summer, and is still blowing cold... so I guess the leak was pretty minor and the Stop Leak product worked for now. I'll take it!

If you can refill yourself each season for about $20 of refrigerant and maybe 20 minutes of your time, that's a WHOLE lot less than paying $1500 for a new compressor, evaporator, lines, and shop labor. It's worth trying at least once IMO, to see if your system will hold the refrigerant.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Malibu39

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Re: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 08:33:51 PM »
Excellent points and my leak is a slow leak. First time around I only put in two cans and it got me through the end of last summer, but started getting less cold. So I will give it a full charge with a cheap gauge I bought with it and see how long that last. I guess my only question is since I am going to have to re-charge it, if it’s worth trying the stop leak stuff. I believe that stuff is pretty cheap too, so why not give it a try.
2004 Itasca Horizon 40KD 350 Cummins, 60,000 miles

scottydl

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Re: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 11:04:57 PM »
That was my thought... I didn't have much expectation with the Stop Leak, and actually thought the red dye might show the leak. Never noticed the dye but my leak stopped, or was at least slowed sufficiently.

With the older R-12 refrigerant that cost $40/lb, annual $200 refills didn't make sense for too long! But R134a is so cheap that it's worth some experimenting. :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 07:45:09 AM »
Refrigerant with some sort of leak stop ingredient only costs a couple dollars more, so worth a try. You only need one can of that - any additional cans could be the vanilla R134a.  It might help if the problem is a leaky O-ring, but I wouldn't get my hopes up real high.

A professional automotive a/c shop can probably diagnose it for $200-#300. It takes time and equipment and involves filling with the leak detection dye mentioned previously, so the base cost isn't small. If its just an O-ring seal somewhere, then not much additional cost.  If they determine its needs a dryer or compressor, then quite a bit more.  I'd stay away from most RV dealer shops for dash a/c work - they charge very high labor rates and tend to just throw expensive parts at it rather than actual diagnosis and fix what's wrong.

If you can get by adding a couple cans each season, that's what I would do. Fill it in the spring and top off if needed toward the end of the season.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

catblaster

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Re: Dash AC on diesel pusher needs help
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 09:01:18 AM »
  One of the easiest thing to check is the service valves and charging ports. On our RV the "O" ring  on the service valve was of the wrong type and bothe charging valves leaked. also had charging valve on our chevy corvette leaking. The Caps used on charging ports will not hold the pressure back they are there just to keep dirt out.
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor