I've got a 2008 Mazda 3 Sport GT with a very obvious leak in the AC condenser (from my own previous repair!)

The AC no longer cools, and if the refrigerant has already leaked into the atmosphere should I bother paying for an evacuation before replacing the condenser?

I intend to do what's right for the environment, is it likely that there is gas remaining in the system?

This is what I had done last time I did the repair myself, but thought I'd double check here before trying again.

  • The refrigerant has gone already... – Solar Mike Jul 13 '19 at 17:15

If the system has a leak, the refrigerant will certainly disperse, as you know. Additionally, outside air, along with humidity will then invade. Part of evacuating an air conditioner involves removing moisture. I spoke recently with a tech from a local national dealership who told me they typically run the evacuation process as long as overnight to ensure the ambient moisture has been removed. I believe he described part of the process as involving a desiccant material once the pump has been turned off. This prevents the requirement of running a vacuum pump for many hours.

This would indicate that it is advisable to have your system evacuated.

| improve this answer | |
  • What you’re describing is the process for the recharge. A vacuum must be pulled (and left overnight) as part of the inspection to check for leaks. It’s also easier to replace a void with a different gas (the refrigerant.) What I’m talking about is recovering the current refrigerant (if any remains, which is part of my question) before I do the work so that I’m not letting out into the environment anymore than has already leaked out. If a vacuum is pulled before I repair the leak it’ll just suck in atmosphere through the leak. – Matt Jul 14 '19 at 1:13

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