Neon, 2000-2005

Testing The System


Leak Testing

R-134a service equipment or vehicle A/C system should not be pressure tested or leak tested with compressed air. Mixture of air and R-134a can be combustible at elevated pressures. These mixtures are potentially dangerous and may result in fire or explosion causing injury or property damage. Avoid breathing A/C refrigerant and lubricant vapor or mist. Exposure may irritate eyes, nose and throat. Use only approved service equipment meeting SAE requirements to discharge R-134a system. If accidental system discharge occurs, ventilate work area before resuming service.

The refrigerant system does come from the factory with a yellow tracer dye already installed to aid in detection of leaks.

If the A/C system is not cooling properly, determine if the refrigerant system is fully charged with R-134a. This is accomplished by performing a system Charge Level-Check or Fill. If while performing this test A/C liquid line pressure is less than 345 kPa (50 psi) proceed to System Empty procedure. If liquid line pressure is greater than 345 kPa (50 psi) proceed to System Low procedure. If the refrigerant system is empty or low in refrigerant charge, a leak at any line fitting or component seal is likely. A review of the fittings, lines and components for oily residue is an indication of the leak location. To detect a leak in the refrigerant system, perform one of the following procedures as indicated by the symptoms.

System Empty
  1. Evacuate the refrigerant system to the lowest degree of vacuum possible (approx. 28 in Hg.). Determine if the system holds a vacuum for 15 minutes. If vacuum is held, a leak is probably not present. If system will not maintain vacuum level, proceed with this procedure.
  3. Prepare a 0.284 Kg. (10 oz.) refrigerant charge to be injected into the system.
  5. Connect and dispense 0.284 Kg. (10 oz.) of refrigerant into the evacuated refrigerant system.
  7. Proceed to System Low procedure.

System Low
  1. Determine if there is any (R-134a) refrigerant in the system.
  3. Position the vehicle in a wind free work area. This will aid in detecting small leaks.
  5. Bring the refrigerant system up to operating temperature and pressure. This is done by allowing the engine to run for five minutes with the system set to the following:
    1. Transaxle in Park or Neutral with parking brake set
    3. Engine idling at 700 rpm
    5. A/C controls set in 100 percent outside air
    7. Blower switch in the high A/C position
    9. A/C in the ON position
    11. Open all windows
      A leak detector designed for R-12 refrigerant (only) will not detect leaks in a R-134a refrigerant system.


  7. Shut off the vehicle and wait 2 to 7 minutes. Then use an Electronic Leak Detector that is designed to detect R-134a type refrigerant and search for leaks. Fittings, lines, or components that appear to be oily usually indicates a refrigerant leak. To inspect the evaporator core for leaks, insert the leak detector probe into the drain tube opening or a heat duct. A R-134a dye is available to aid in leak detection, use only DaimlerChrysler approved refrigerant dye.