Went to recharge my AC system on a 2000 Acura TL, the pressure gauge showed the pressure being on the line of "empty" and "filled", put some refrigerant in and the gauge didn't move at all put more in and it still didn't move. Eventually the entire can was emptied and the gauge was still in the same position.

Car ran for about a half hour, air was cold. All of a sudden the engine started smoking in what appeared to be a coolant leak near the AC compressor. Gauge now shows the pressure in the system at empty, and the AC compressor doesn't appear to kick on. But there's no more coolant leaking from the car.

Can anyone give me insight into what happened?

  • You sure it was coolant? Dye in refrigerant is green usually.
    – Ben
    May 19, 2016 at 22:35
  • 1
    Sounds like the gauge line is not depressing the valve far enough to read actual line pressure. Leak at the compressor is probably the pop off valve venting on the compressor due to overcharge.
    – Moab
    May 20, 2016 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


I suspect that you've filled the system correctly but that the additional stress places on the seals which were perhaps old, perished and slightly seeping have now, with the added pressure, failed completely and that the cloud you saw was the gas escaping at speed.

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