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Discussion Starter #1
I have a leaking A/C compressor, verified with UV Dye added to the refrigerant system. It is not leaking from either the high or low side refrigerant ports, but rather what looks to be a sight glass or similar on the very bottom of the compressor. I didn't have a camera with me when I was out there but looking at the compressor online, It is leaking from the area indicated in the below photo (red arrow pointing to the leak). If I had to guess, I would think this is the oil drain port on the compressor as it is basically the lowest point. My question is, is there anything I can tighten here to stop the leak? There is a snap ring there, but I'm not sure what it's holding in and I'd like to know a bit more before pulling the compressor and playing with it.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Was able to get some photos of it this afternoon. There are a few photos and a video showing the slight bubbling (while engine is not running) from around the snap ring at this dropbox link: Rondo AC Leak

For those that don't want to click through the dropbox link, see photo below with leak location highlighted:

115436
 

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2008 Kia Rondo EX 2.7 V6
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I am not an expert on A/C systems, but I highly doubt it is just a loose part that can be "tightened up". If I had to guess, I would say a seal is on the way out. The most cost effective solution I can think of would be to use some sort of A/C sealant that rejuvinates the seals by causing them to swell.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am not an expert on A/C systems, but I highly doubt it is just a loose part that can be "tightened up". If I had to guess, I would say a seal is on the way out. The most cost effective solution I can think of would be to use some sort of A/C sealant that rejuvinates the seals by causing them to swell.
Yeah, if it was leaking from just a seam in the compressor housing, I would be inclined to think the same. This looks like a removable part, and has a snap ring to hold something in place, which makes me think I could take it apart, put in a new seal / o-ring, or even just tighten it up.
 

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2008 Kia Rondo EX 2.7 V6
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Yeah, if it was leaking from just a seam in the compressor housing, I would be inclined to think the same. This looks like a removable part, and has a snap ring to hold something in place, which makes me think I could take it apart, put in a new seal / o-ring, or even just tighten it up.
The presence of a Flathead screw makes me think the same. You could try tightening it, but disassembly would likely cause the refrigerant to escape and moisture would enter the system. You would then need to take it to an A/C shop to have the system completely evacuated and refilled. Such a process is quite expensive, which is why I would advise against disassembling it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The presence of a Flathead screw makes me think the same. You could try tightening it, but disassembly would likely cause the refrigerant to escape and moisture would enter the system. You would then need to take it to an A/C shop to have the system completely evacuated and refilled. Such a process is quite expensive, which is why I would advise against disassembling it.
The system will be empty in a week from the leak anyhow (thats how we found out there was a leak in it in the first place. I threw an A/C charge in a can with dye in it just to find and diagnose the leak). At that point I'll have a tinker with it and if I think I fixed it I'll throw vacuum on the system amd see if it holds overnight. Then I'll get it properly serviced and charged.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To anyone seeing this after the fact, turns out this is the control valve for the A/C Compressor, which doubles as the pressure relief valve. See photos on eBay listing here. I'll be making a trip to the junk yard shortly and probably picking up the entire compressor. If I can just replace the valve, great. Otherwise I have a drop-in compressor replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here's the one from the junk yard (u pull). Valve came out quite easy once the snap ring was removed:
115839


Will post back with exactly what I find once I get the valve out of the compressor in the car and inspect it. Hoping to find a torn O-ring in the valve in the car which would clearly indicate where the leak was coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Changed out the valve and refilled the A/C system a few days ago. Haven't had time to get under the car and check the leak yet, but A/C is still blowing cold. Old valve was a bit hard to pull out of the compressor, but the new one slid in rather easily and seemed to seat well. Will update with leak status once I get under the car again.
 

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2008 Kia Rondo EX 2.7 V6
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Good to hear that you have fixed the issue! Thank you for documenting the problem an the repair in such detail.
 

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2013, Kia Cerato Sedan, 1.8 L
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Final Update: Crawled under the car with my UV light today and saw no leaks around the valve. Seems like the issue is fixed.
Thanks for the info, I assume you removed the valve while the compressor is still mounted in the vehicle? Dis you loose much oil when you removed the valve and how did you refill?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the info, I assume you removed the valve while the compressor is still mounted in the vehicle? Dis you loose much oil when you removed the valve and how did you refill?
Yes, I removed / replaced the valve with the compressor mounted in the vehicle. I did not lose any oil other than what was in the valve itself. Entire system was atmospheric when I removed the valve as it had been leaking for quite a bit of time. Once valve was replaced, I took the car to a shop for an A/C recharge.
 

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2013, Kia Cerato Sedan, 1.8 L
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Yes, I removed / replaced the valve with the compressor mounted in the vehicle. I did not lose any oil other than what was in the valve itself. Entire system was atmospheric when I removed the valve as it had been leaking for quite a bit of time. Once valve was replaced, I took the car to a shop for an A/C recharge.
Manny thanks from Australia. I'm sure I have the same problem. AC is still working fine but have a very slow drip from same area. Is it possible to remove this valve without releasing pressure from system?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Manny thanks from Australia. I'm sure I have the same problem. AC is still working fine but have a very slow drip from same area. Is it possible to remove this valve without releasing pressure from system?
No. The system has to be evacuated or else there will be pressure behind the valve when trying to take it out which is not only dangerous, but will lead to refrigerant being expelled into the atmosphere.
 

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2013, Kia Cerato Sedan, 1.8 L
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No. The system has to be evacuated or else there will be pressure behind the valve when trying to take it out which is not only dangerous, but will lead to refrigerant being expelled into the atmosphere.
Thank you once again from "down under"
 
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