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Dear James. My 2001 S70 Volvo has an A/C leak in the evaporator and the shop looking at it says it takes over 20 hours to replace this part. I have asked them if there is another way to correct this leak and they say there is not. I overheard you talking about a special “Stop Leak” for a/c systems on your radio show. You said that not all a/c stop leaks are the same, and some can cause damage to your a/c system. My question is: can this stop leak really work without damaging my A/C system? Bill A, Lynn Haven

Bill, If you had asked me this question a few years ago I would have told you to save your money and just pull the evaporator out and pay the big bucks. Well “times are a changing” and there really are some fantastic products out on the market for stopping a/c leaks in your car. It works with the older model R-12 type units as well as the newer R-134a systems like that is in your 2001 Volvo. What I have seen over the years is amazing how well it works in stopping you’re a/c system from leaking. We even goes as far as to install this product when we are changing compressors or replacing components that are damaged as an “insurance policy” to make sure they don’t leak. Is it a magic bullet for a/c systems? No it is not, will it work in some cases? Yes it will. Here are the criteria in using this product: 1) A/C system must be able to hold 15 inches of vacuum for 10 minutes 2) System must be mechanically sound (compressor must work correctly and pressures must be as they should when fully charged) 3) After leaks have stopped system needs to be fully discharged (properly captured in a machine) and hold a 30 inch vacuum for 1 hour. 4) If it holds vacuum for the one hour, then re-fill to the proper amount of refrigerant to replace the refrigerant that leaked out before the leak was sealed. This is the only way I know the system has been correctly sealed so that it does not leak and violate any federal or state laws that apply to automotive repair shops. Is this a cheap procedure to do? It is a lot cheaper than spending a couple of thousand dollars to pull your dash apart on your Volvo S 70. And the repair shop not having to worry that they may have missed putting something back in the dash correctly, causing a rattle or squeaks that makes you an unhappy customer! Tech Tip: You’re a/c is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer to keep you cool. When you turn on your defrost on those cool winter days to clear your windshield the a/c system comes on to de-humidify your “defrost air”. If the a/c system does not work properly then you have 2 half moon circles in your windshield you get to look out of when you go down the highway. This is an un-safe condition and can cause you to have and accident. So having a properly working a/c is a safety concern on your vehicle winter or summer.

 

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