coolant/ac leak ?

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Old 03-01-10, 05:48 AM
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coolant/ac leak ?

Pulled out of the driveway yesterday with my 2002 PT cruiser ( after sitting overnight) and noticed a spot under the front of the car about a foot in diameter in the snow. IT was bright lime green similar to standard antifreeze. THis car uses Dexcool and looking in the radiator it is a brown rusty color. I would assume if it was coolant leaking it would be the same color. Friend mentioned the only other thing that color in a car is FReon. sometimes in really cold weather they like to expel freon. Not sure how true this is. I would think that if it leaked out somewhere in the system then there would be a permanenet leak somewhere. I did try the AC and it does seem to be blowing out cold air although it is cold outside. Any thoughts why this would happen and if you think the AC will need to be repaired now. Thanks
 
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Old 03-01-10, 07:31 AM
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They have refrigerant with dye for finding leaks that color, so possible!

And there is oil mixed in with the refrigerant. Might want to see if the green stuff is oily.

How cold was it that night? (F.?)

Refrigerant is a gas at warmer temperatures, here are the boiling points of different refrigerants...
Common Refrigerants
 
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Old 03-01-10, 07:39 AM
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It was probably 25-30 degrees outside at the time. As someone put it, in cold weather sometimes the AC system likes to burp refridgerent and expel some. I find it hard to believe that it would expel freon and there not be a damaged component or a significant leak that will need to be repaired somewhere.
 
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Old 03-01-10, 10:19 AM
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Well..personally I've never heard of such a thing. And those temps don't seem that cold.

Wouldn't it make sense that as it got colder the refrigerant would be more condensed?


Hmm...maybe if there was some sort of "slug" of refrigerant when the compressor started in defrost, and it blew a fitting?? I'd think you'd be able to easily see it under the hood though.
 
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Old 03-01-10, 04:13 PM
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If you lost freon it would come out under pressure and spew all over the place. It would not happen due to cold temps. Like Gunguy said, the cooler the temps the lower the pressures.
 
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Old 03-01-10, 05:23 PM
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Window washer fluid?

Another car which was parked there before?

An animal crawled under there? (Any nuclear plants nearby?)

Someone put regular antifreeze in the coolant reservoir?
 
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Old 03-01-10, 08:30 PM
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Actually freon or r 132 is clear in color. The dye mentioned is in fact a bright green in color and easily seen with untra violet light.... hence the leak detection effect. If it is leaking then the ac compressor wont run as the system is protected with a pressure switch. The lubricating oil is carried via the freon and a leak endangers the compressor. With the heater or more specifically the defrost circuit on the compressor is on to remove moisture from the air hitting the windshield, defrost. If your coolant is brown in color it is likely contaminated and thats another issue.
Bill
 
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Old 03-03-10, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jcraft View Post
Pulled out of the driveway yesterday with my 2002 PT cruiser ( after sitting overnight) and noticed a spot under the front of the car about a foot in diameter in the snow. IT was bright lime green similar to standard antifreeze. THis car uses Dexcool and looking in the radiator it is a brown rusty color. I would assume if it was coolant leaking it would be the same color....
I would assume as well. The brown rusty color would be a concern for me. Dexcool is a bright orange color. When's the last time you had the radiator flushed? The reason I ask is that Dexcool is good for (at most) 5 years or 150k miles

To your problem - I second what Bill190 said about Window washer fluid? or Someone put regular antifreeze in the coolant reservoir? In the former, I've seen green colored washer fluid for sale at Autozone. As to the latter, I hope that they didn't mix Dexcool and good ol' green radiator fluid together.
 
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Old 03-13-10, 09:31 AM
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This is possibly the strangest thing I've ever heard in regards to an automotive issue.

I honestly do not mean to be condescending in any way, but are you sure that you checked the coolant reservoir?

Could the fluid be from another car?

The refrigerants are not that color. The only thing that I know of in that color is antifreeze.

Just because the car uses dexcool doesn't mean that it was serviced with it. GM calls for dexcool in my car and I've only ever serviced it with the red (now purple) "Mercedes" coolant. My mechanic, and two other SAAB dealerships near me, use the same red/purple coolant.
 
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