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Old 07-14-2012, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 12,354,848 times
Reputation: 1922

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I just returned Interdynamics Artic Freeze Refirdgerant - says it was developed for Nasa and that it runs cooler than regular R134. Problem is that it has some stop leak - less than 1% of it's volume though. I Googled "Is A/C Stop Leak Bad?" and I got many respones. Some people say it works wonders while other say to stay away from Stop Leak.

Like this good review:


Leaks on ac systems, especially ones that take days to loose the charge like you describe are 9 times out of 10 o-ring drying out and shrinking related. And the current crop of stop leak(seal swellers) that contain leak detecting dye charges are safe and easy to use if used properly.

I have been doing auto ac work for close to 35 years now and say with confidence trying one of the widely available stop leak/leak detector charges is always the best place tostart. Especially if the system is older than 6 years. I have repaired many systems that lasted for years after with one of the available stop/repair leak charges.

In the last few years there are a couple of charges that I have had good luck with in auto ac's. The first sold last summer for ~$28-30 at wal-mart, a complete charge in a tall blue can with a hose and gauge. The other one sold last summer for ~$13-18 and is also in a blue can. If one of these doesn't fix it all you have lost is few $$ and a little time.

The only thing you might faul with a repair charge is the dryer/receiver, a part which will have to be changed anyway if break the system open. If one of these stop/repair leak charges does swell a leaking o-ring then car is fixed. For me worth at least one try to see if your leak is something as simple as a dryed out and srunken up leaking o-ring.

Not having to break the system open may have saved weeks of chasing down new problems that your repair caused. What I mean by that is, once a car reaches 6 years old and older just the starting of a repair can lead directly to a list of related failures, ( hoses that suddenly go bad from the movement of being loose, other parts that fail from being open to air and moisture ). Parts that would not have failed before you started the repair....


I want to get this: Interdynamics Arctic Freeze R134a Ultra Synthetic AC System Recharge Super Size | Product Details | Pep Boys

This is better but more expensive: IDQ AC Pro Professional Formula Ultra Synthetic R-134a | Product Details | Pep Boys

Here's a web page talking about the product: Anyone ever use "Artic Freeze" r134a -- wondering if I just ruined the A/C system... - The Ranger Station Forums

Here are Amazon reviews: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: ARTIC FREEZE R134A REFRIGERANT - 12 OZ.

Buy AC Pro A/C Pro Professional Formula Refrigerant with Gauge and Hose (20 oz.) ACP-100 at Advance Auto Parts

Buy Interdynamics Arctic Freeze Ultra Synthetic R-134a Refrigerant (12 oz.) AF-3 at Advance Auto Parts

Here is the R134 Faq page: F.A.Q.s | | IDQ USAIDQ USA

Here is one reason why not to use Stop Leak: Automotive AC Information Forum - ACKITS.COM

So I don't know what to do... There are good & bad reviews of this stuff. Some mechanics say use it ... it works... others say it will destroy your system.

I wondering if I should just use straight Dupont R134 with nothing added.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:29 PM
 
27,462 posts, read 20,615,116 times
Reputation: 15445
usually when someone claims that a product will destroy your system, it is usually because the system was already in very poor repair, and the product just sped things along.

that said, it doesnt mean that the product is good or bad either way.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:41 PM
 
4,224 posts, read 5,213,822 times
Reputation: 9947
As someone that has repaired a lot of A/C systems I laugh at some of the junk I see on the shelf with hyped marketing claims. I refuse to use anything other than standard R134. I’m not putting sealers in any system. I kind of wish the EPA would regulate R134 the same was R12 is regulated.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:33 PM
 
6,368 posts, read 12,492,390 times
Reputation: 5819
^^Do you use a refrigerant identifier?
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:04 PM
 
10,307 posts, read 38,008,051 times
Reputation: 12462
I've "fixed" so many cars with the leak stop R134a products for dealer resale cars that I've lost track. Many cars will develop minute seeps that leak out the refrigerant over the course of several months that the sealer will mitigate for years.

While I wouldn't call this sealant as good a repair as replacing the hoses and "o" rings and seals that may be at fault, the results speak for themselves. A $20+/- can of sealant R-134s that "fixes" the system so it can perform normally for several years is significantly less expense than the labor and parts to get into a seeping A/C system; in some cars, the cost of doing so may approach the value of the car. If the "fix" isn't going to work on a given car, at least you're only out a minimal amount of money and can make an informed decision about the greater expenses ahead. Even at that, the sealant R134a can be a good leak finder, especially the stuff that is UV dye so you can locate the leak(s).

If the A/C system is so far gone that a compressor, receiver/dryer, expansion valve, hoses, possibly a condensor or evaporator, and a blower/fan assembly is required ... than a sealant can R134a won't be the repair. But in my experience, the sealant product has never caused any of these items to fail. As a pro tech/shop owner, I have no issue with a car owner trying the quick fix for themself. If it works, so be it. If it doesn't, then we get to proceed without a lot of objection from the owner because the issue of a potential "cheap fix" has already been explored ... unless we are dealing with a car where the costs of repairs aren't justified. Those economics were present before the cheap fix possibility presented and the use of the cheap fix didn't affect that outcome.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-15-2012 at 04:24 PM..
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:40 PM
 
Location: USA, love-it or leave-it Baby!!!!
12,878 posts, read 13,177,722 times
Reputation: 8152
I like most of the stop-leak product that are good quality. BUT....if you have a leak that is pretty bad, well they just are not going to do the job.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:41 AM
 
6,131 posts, read 2,882,553 times
Reputation: 8942
I see that this thread is 3 years old, but no resolution or follow up post by the OP was proffered to determine the outcome.

I have been reading pro's-con's on these products for years.
My question is how could these companies still remain in business of their product was clogging up A/C systems and costing expensive repairs due to the sealants in them?
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:54 AM
 
330 posts, read 338,708 times
Reputation: 333
I used this exact product on my 93 LS400 with 260K miles. It had a very slow leak and compressor wasn't engaging due to low pressure. When I opened the valve on the low side it still had pressure, which means no moisture yet. So I charged it using this and it's been over a year and still icy cold. If you have no pressure that probably means an expensive repair.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:06 PM
 
6,131 posts, read 2,882,553 times
Reputation: 8942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennychaser11 View Post
I used this exact product on my 93 LS400 with 260K miles. It had a very slow leak and compressor wasn't engaging due to low pressure. When I opened the valve on the low side it still had pressure, which means no moisture yet. So I charged it using this and it's been over a year and still icy cold. If you have no pressure that probably means an expensive repair.
So which product did you use, as the OP has dead links and several products?
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