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Air Conditioning

(1996 Honda Civic)
in Everett, WA on April 08, 2009
A mechanic that checked my ac said the "leak" was under the dash inside the car. But he was vauge about what it might be. Is it the ac evaporator that has a leak? Because that would be more expensive to fix than the ac condenser. PLEASE HELP!
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Popular Answer
Air conditioning work can be so expensive. The condenser is located in front of the radiator and often gets damaged or tweeked if a car gets in an accident or gets hit by stones and road debris when you are driving down the road. The compressor often fails and is expensive to replace but at least it is out in the open in the engine compartment. The evaporator is located in the same housing behind the dash as the heater radiator is located in but luckily on the Honda Civic the entire dash does not have to be removed to replace it. Removing the glove box allows access. Its still going to take three hours to evacuate the air conditioning charge, remove the evaporator, replace, check for leaks and recharge.
The only way to check a system for leaks use a "sniffer" you move it around from place to place and it beeps when it locates the source of the leak. If the leak is behind the dash you cannot see the leak so we would put a dye in the air conditioning system and let you drive the car. On disassemble later the dye will leave a stain that will pin point the source of the leak weather it is the evaporator or an "O"-Ring.
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