Q: I keep having to add refrigerant to my 2011 Lincoln Town Car. Afterward, the air conditioning system cools for a while, but eventually, I have to top it off again.
So my question is this: Is there some type of sealant that I can add to the system to fix the leak?
– Tom from Palm Springs, California
Hi, Tom. If you continually have to add refrigerant, there’s a leak somewhere in the A/C system. While there are A/C sealants available on the market, such products often clog up the system and do more harm than good. Moreover, sealants (if and when they actually work) are only designed to seal tiny leaks.
I suggest you (or your mechanic) try to locate and repair the leak. If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot the leak without any special equipment. Look around for signs of oil (the refrigerant has PAG oil in it to lubricate the compressor) accumulation around the A/C components. Oil build-up points to a leak.
It’s also possible that leak detection dye may have been added to the A/C system at some point during the vehicle’s life. Sometimes you can see the dye, which is green in color, without any special equipment.
If a visual inspection doesn’t work, you’ll need to use an electronic leak detector or add dye to the system to locate the leak. Both methods require adding refrigerant to the system prior to testing.
Keep in mind that any repairs to the A/C system will require recovering, evacuating, and recharging the A/C system. Since that process is best left to a professional, you might be better off letting a repair shop tackle the problem from the start.
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