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A/C Freon Leak w/ Diagnostic Codes

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by Bama4door, Jun 19, 2017 at 12:08 PM.

  1. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    My wifes A/C on her '01 LX stopped blowing cold a couple weeks ago. I hit the shrader valve on the low side momentarily and hardly anything. I've put freon in it since then, but it will all leak out within 1-2 days (compressor kicks back once I start adding freon).

    I ran the AC diagnostic code test as well. Turn the ignition to ON, then hold reciruclate and AUTO buttons at the same time. I got codes 17, 19, 26, 37 and 47. I've tried to find a list of the codes, but could only find a few of them.

    Anyways, I went to harbor freight to get a Freon Leak Detector to see if I could figure anything out (going to take it back, pretty useless). I traced through the AC lines in the engine bay and then down along side the passenger side frame rail and couldn't find anything. I know most line leaks I've read about are usually the rear AC lines under the frame rails or under the muffler heat shield. This truck is completely rust free and I couldn't find any areas where it looked like a line could have gotten corroded.

    I looked at the High pressure line that runs on top of the radiator/fan shroud and noticed some slimmy/greasy spots on the hardline and where it connects to the rubber hose as well as the top of the fan shroud. See pic:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I looked down at the compressor, and it looks like there's a leak around where the High pressure line connects to the top of the compressor. The liquid is green in color. My first thought was maybe a coolant leak, but my coolant is Toyota red. I'm guessing the green color is from some kind of UV dye that was introduced to the system at some point? See pics below:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, my best guess is I need to replace the long line/hose that goes from the compressor up and over the fan shroud and connects close to the passenger headlight (i believe it goes into the condensor?) Does anyone have the part number for the line? Also, does anyone else have any idea what the diagnostic codes are? Sorry for the long post, but I really appreciate the help!
     
  2. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Certainly looks as if you have found two areas where it has a substantial leaks. I would also look at the front of your compressor where the shaft enters the compressor and see if you find the same residue there before going any further.

    It appears as if you have a combination of refrigerant, PAG oil and dye at the sites of your leaks.

    Don't have any info for you on part numbers or DTC's, sorry. Maybe someone else can help.
     
  3. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    It's hard to look at the front of the compressor with the oil filter and everything in the way. I did see a drop of PAG oil/dye on the bottom of the middle section of the compressor, but it looks like it was dripping down from the top plate where the 2 lines connect. The LX has 283k miles on it, so I may just go ahead and replace the compressor while I'm in at it.

    @flintknapper with replacing the high pressure line and associated o-rings, will i need to replace the drier as well? Or do you only replace the drier if you replace the compressor? Thanks!
     
  4. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    With 283K on the clock....IF the compressor is the original, it has done very well. I would expect the front seal to be leaking (even if slowly).

    If it were me....I'd replace the compressor after looking at it carefully to see if you think it is the original (its possible it was replaced some time in the past if you aren't the original owner of the vehicle). If good, reuse it, if old replace it.

    Yes, replace the drier any time you have exposed the system to atmosphere or if it is very old. The Thermal Expansion Valve on your evaporator is another item that many folks replace when servicing the system to the extent you propose.

    New O-rings on everything you can reach. I like to use a little 'nylog' on the orings and mating surfaces, that way you know you aren't going to have leaks after you put it all back together.

    My position on doing A/C work is as follows: It's a pain the arse (we know that), it can be expensive (depending on what is wrong), You DON'T want to have to do it twice! So do it right the first time...if you plan to keep the vehicle. Your reward will be nice cool air for a long time and an appreciative Wife.

    And we all know an 'Appreciative Wife' beats the hell out of one that ISN'T. ;)
     
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  5. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    Awesome, I appreciate all the help!
     
  6. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    Gotta love buying a truck serviced at the dealership...went on LexusOwners.com and found out the compressor was replaced at 243k miles :cool:
     
  7. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Excellent. So we can most likely cross that off the list.

    My LX had an very good dealership history as well. LexusOwners is indispensable for gathering the service records.
     
  8. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    I also found out that the condenser was replaced a few thousand miles before the compressor. The customer had complained of A/C not getting cool on and off and it sounds like they just started replacing stuff every time they brought the truck in (blower motor was replaced too).

    Quick question, after I vaccum out the H/L lines for 30 minutes is it necessary to run a flush kit up there just to be safe, or is this only necessary if I were to replace the compressor (which I'm not doing). After I vaccum the lines, I will need to open up the condensor and replace the drier, but I have no idea where it's located and haven't had any luck finding any pics of people doing on Mud. Could you point me in the right direction?

    I've started removing the aux fan in front of the condenser as well as the horns and unbolted the trans cooler to move out of the way. Am I going to have to take the condenser completely out of the truck to replace the drier?

    I'll be sure to take some pics of the whole process, so hopefully it will help some people down the road.
     
  9. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    ^^^^^^^ Expand above for reply.

    desiccant bag LX470.jpg
     
  10. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    Thanks for that. I mispoke earlier about the intermittent cooling. Here's the records from LexusOwners...


    190,939 Miles
    SERVICE: EVAC AND RECHARGE SYSTEM/ADDED DYE
    DESCRIPTION: EVAC AND RECHARGE SYSTEM/ADDED DYE ~|~C\S A\C IS NOT COOLING

    191,541 Miles
    SERVICE: REPLACED A\C CONDENSER ASSY DUE TO LEAK
    DESCRIPTION: REPLACED A\C CONDENSER ASSY DUE TO LEAK ~|~C\S A\C IS NOT COOLING

    223,848
    SERVICE: R&R BLOWER MOTOR AND CLEANED OUT HOUSING/REPLACED CABIN FILTER
    DESCRIPTION: R&R BLOWER MOTOR AND CLEANED OUT HOUSING/REPLACED CABIN FILTER ~|~C/S AC IS LOUD/NOT COOLING LIKE IT SHOULD ~|~

    243,148
    SERVICE: REPLACED AC COMPRESSOR, CLUTCH ASSY AND DRIER
    DESCRIPTION: REPLACED AC COMPRESSOR, CLUTCH ASSY AND DRIER ~|~C/S AC MAKES A MOANING NOISE WHEN TEMP IS HOT OUTSIDE ~|~
    SERVICE: REPLACED HEATER HOSES AND CLAMPS
    DESCRIPTION: REPLACED HEATER HOSES AND CLAMPS ~|~C/R REPLACE HEATER HOSE AND CLAMPS ~|~

    243,289
    SERVICE: REPLACED BLOWER MOTOR
    DESCRIPTION: REPLACED BLOWER MOTOR ~|~C/S AC STILL MAKES LOUD NOISE AFTER SITTING OUT AND GETS HOT/AC NOT COOLING AT TIMES/FAN GOES UP/DOWN ~|~

    248,791
    SERVICE: REPLACED RADIATOR
    DESCRIPTION: REPLACED RADIATOR ~|~C/S FLUID LEAK/SPRAYED ON FRT GRILL AND DRIPPING ~|~

    SERVICE: RADIATOR RUPTURED AND SPRAYED HOT COOLANT ONTO A/C CONDESOR.
    DESCRIPTION: RADIATOR RUPTURED AND SPRAYED HOT COOLANT ONTO A/C CONDESOR. ~|~C/S AC STILL NOT COOLING AT TIMES ~|~


    ^^ The last one kind of concerns me. They replaced the radiator after is broke and coolant leaked on Condensor. I wouldn't think coolant could damage a metal condensor. The AC has worked great since we have owned it for the past year. This issue with leaking freon just started a couple weeks ago.
     
  11. re_guderian

    re_guderian SILVER Star

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    Sounds the Lexus dealer found a live one in the PO.
     
  12. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    OK, well that is helpful.

    No, the coolant from when the radiator burst is of no real concern.

    So...if I am following the Service records correctly, at approximately 191K the A/C was evacuated, pumped down and refrigerant and dye were added to the system. Customer States: A\C IS NOT COOLING. Presumably the dealer suspected a leak and fully expected to see the vehicle come back.

    About 600 miles later the vehicle returns with a leak in the Condenser. Condenser is replaced.

    32K miles later the vehicle comes back, customer states: AC IS LOUD/NOT COOLING LIKE IT SHOULD
    Service Center replaces the blower motor and cleans out the fan housing and replaces the Cabin Filters.

    At approx. 243K miles, the A/C compressor, clutch and drier were replaced. Customer states: AC MAKES A MOANING NOISE WHEN TEMP IS HOT OUTSIDE . Heater hoses were also replaced at Customer request.

    Less than 200 miles later the vehicle again returns, Customer states:
    AC STILL MAKES LOUD NOISE AFTER SITTING OUT AND GETS HOT/AC NOT COOLING AT TIMES/FAN GOES UP/DOWN
    Service department puts another blower motor in the vehicle.

    At approx. 249K miles the radiator burst and was replaced. Again the Customer states: AC STILL NOT COOLING AT TIMES

    No further action taken?

    The recurring theme with the P.O. was noise and intermittent issues of insufficient cooling. Unfortunately, both of these things tend to be subjective.

    Your own experience with the vehicle (prior to the leaks) has been that the ("AC has worked great since we have owned it for the past year"). So we will assume you did not think the system was too loud or not cooling enough?

    Which pretty much brings us back to the leak(s) you have found. Unless YOU too have experienced intermittent cooling, I'd replace every O-ring I could reach in the system, use Nylog on the mating surfaces, replace any leaking hoses, replace drier element and then test the system. IF it holds vacuum, then go ahead and recharge the system.

    Your compressor is fairly new...as is the condenser. The only other major components (non-electrical) are the Evaporator and TXV. We don't know their condition....but if the unit was cooling well before and you aren't hearing a protracted hissing noise from behind your glove box, they might be OK.

    Basically, unless you take it to a professional who has all the tools to properly test the entire system, then we just have to 'start' somewhere based on the information we have at hand. So...I'm guessing your system simply has leaks that need to be repaired, then the system properly pumped down and recharged. But there are other things that might need to be done.

     
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  13. Bama4door

    Bama4door

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    @flintknapper man I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read through all this and help me out, I'm very very appreciative!!

    I ordered a new o-ring kit for the whole system, so I will replace all of them while I'm in there. Is Nylog available at any auto parts store, or is it Toyota specific?
     
  14. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Nylog is not a Toyota product. Many A/C shops (home A/C) will carry it. It is NOT a necessary item or step to take, but IF you can find it...it virtually insures you will not have a leak from O-rings and fittings (which can be a bugger to chase down). One bottle will last you a lifetime. I hate doing A/C work...so I won't do a project without it. Use the blue Nylog if you decide to use it.

    No need for thanks, we all try to help one another around here. The best we can do at this juncture is to give you some 'direction'. Hopefully your A/C issue will prove easy to solve.
     
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