Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

AC sealer stop leak

AC sealer stop leak

Can you fix a leaking auto AC system with AC sealer?

Possibly. But adding AC sealer to your car’s AC system can cause a costly repair bill down the road. If you ever have to take your vehicle into a shop for an AC repair, the shop will test the refrigerant in your system to see if you’ve added an AC sealer. If so, you’ll have to pay a hefty upcharge for the shop to evacuate and dispose of the contaminated refrigerant because it cannot be recovered using their shop equipment. Since most AC sealers work by reacting with moisture, it will solidify on contact with any moisture inside the shop’s recovery equipment. That’s why you should avoid AC sealer stop leak products at all cost.

Where AC sealer works

Pinhole leaks in aluminum tubing, pinhole leaks in a condenser, evaporator or accumulator/receiver-drier. If the leak is larger than a pinhole, you will lose most of your refrigerant before the sealer can stop the leak. Also, the sealer can’t seal large openings.

Where AC sealer doesn’t work

Some AC stop leak manufacturers claim their products will seal leaks in rubber hose connections and O-ring seals or a combination metal rubber gasket. However, since rubber components flex and the sealer forms a rigid patch, any movement will break the seal and the system will leak again. Since the compressor shaft seal is a rotating component, AC stop leak products will not work to stop a compressor shaft seal leak.

How does AC sealer work?

There are several types of AC sealers, but most work by reacting with the humidity in the air at the leak location to form an exterior “patch”.

Can AC sealers harm your AC system?

As I said above, the sealers work by reacting with moisture to form a hard patch. If you’re a DIYer and using an AC recharging kit with AC sealer or contemplating adding a can of AC sealer, consider this:

Since your system is low on refrigerant, that automatically means you have air in the system and that air contains moisture. The desiccant in the accumulator or receiver/dryer is designed to absorb some of that moisture, but there’s a limit to how much it can hold. If your system any remaining moisture circulating in the system, it will react with the AC sealer and harden. That can plug up the orifice tube or your expansion valve.

clogged expansion valve

Clogged expansion valve

©, 2020 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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