National average cost of a AC Dye Leak Detection Service for popular vehicles:
What is AC dye leak detection?
AC dye leak detection refers to a process that a qualified technician takes to identify leaks in the air conditioning (AC) system of a vehicle. The service is done using a special UV dye that is added to the refrigerant in the system. The leak detection dye fluoresces under a black light, thereby assisting the technician in locating a faulty AC component.
How do I know if my vehicle needs an AC dye leak detection service performed?
The use of AC dye leak detection is indicated when there is a problem with your vehicle’s air conditioning that is not easily attributed to a specific component. Many of the components of an AC system exhibit similar signs when they go bad.
For instance, you might notice that the AC compressor cycles on and off more rapidly than normal, a symptom of low refrigerant. The same issue, low refrigerant, could lead to warm air blowing from your vents rather than cool air. If the cause of low refrigerant is a leak, and the leak is not obvious (i.e. a bent or broken AC line), a technician would recommend this procedure as a means of diagnosis.
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To perform an AC dye leak detection service, a specially trained technician will take the following general steps
Using an AC recovery machine connected to the high and low side service ports, evacuate the refrigerant from the system
Recharge the system with dye added to the refrigerant
Start your vehicle and run the air conditioner for a period of time
Shut off the engine and, using a black light, inspect all refrigerant lines and AC components for signs of dye that has escaped the system
Per federal law, only technicians that hold a special certification may service automotive AC systems.
It should also be noted that some vehicle manufacturers require that, if the AC system is evacuated of refrigerant and components are removed (opening up the system to the atmosphere), the receiver/drier must be replaced. Opening up the system is not always necessary when an AC dye leak detection service is performed. However, if a leaking component must be replaced, it would be necessary.
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
How long does it take for AC dye to work?
AC leak detector dye can work in a matter of minutes. Then again, it could take hours or even days for the dye to leak out. It all depends on the severity of the leak. When the UV dye emerges from a leak in a refrigerant hose or other component, it will leave a fluorescent mark that is visible under black light. Sometimes, when the leak is minor, it takes quite a while for enough dye to make a mark. Generally speaking, the greater the refrigerant leak, the faster the dye will appear outside the system.
How long does AC leak dye last?
The UV dye used to diagnose a leak in your vehicle’s AC system is mixed with the refrigerant. The dye will last as long as the refrigerant remains in the system, until it either leaks out completely or is evacuated by a technician. AC leak dye does not deteriorate or fade and can remain in the refrigerant circuit for the life of the system without causing harm.
Do AC leak sealants work?
Certain products on the market are promoted to repair refrigerant leaks. While consumer reactions are mixed regarding the use of AC leak sealants, many technicians advise against their use. That is due to the possibility that the sealant will unintentionally clog passageways inside the refrigerant circuit. These passageways need to remain open, otherwise extensive damage can occur to your AC system. Some repair facilities will even charge a premium to service vehicles that have previously had AC sealant introduced into the refrigerant, due to the need for special procedures to evacuate the contaminated refrigerant in the system.
What parts are related to a AC Dye Leak Detection Service?