“DAAAAAD! My AC doesn’t work”.
That’s how it starts.
So, I have some left-over R-134a and I hook it up and give it a start. AC works again.
Two days later. “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.”
So I get a new can of refrigerant, some that includes leak stop in it, in case a seal in the system has dried out. I use the whole can and the line pressure never goes up. Two possibilities: The gauge is not working or I just blew another huge hole in the ozone layer*.
I head back to the parts store and get a small can of leak detector and a leak detector kit (special UV flashlight and safety lenses).
I install the leak detecting gas and run the system for a few minutes, then look for brightly glowing leak indicators. OH! PRETTY COLORS!! I especially look at places where joints meet and seals may have decayed. I discover that dead bugs irradiate the in the IR spectrum just like leak detector gas. so, I have to scrape away a few dead bug to see if they are indeed covering up leaks.
Then I find something I didn’t expect to find. The middle of a pipe is leaking big time. Nowhere near a seam, junction or seal. A plastic part on the Air filter conduit has been rubbing against the aluminum high side pipe for the past 15 years and finally wore through.
Once again, I find it pleasing to discover a fault that is so obvious that even a guy like me can see it. This elevates me above the local mechanic who would just start replacing parts (starting with the compressor) until it all started working again.
New pipe is on order. $50 for the OEM part from Honda. I will include pictures and a detailed repair guide when I get to that. Since you tube doesn’t seem to have one of those yet.
*Mythical disaster awaiting the Planet before people discovered there was money to be made selling carbon credits. In the race to save the ozone, the world did away with freon, replacing it with something that is more expensive and not as good. But that didn’t make the advocates wealthier. So they jumped to climate change instead.