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LeakFinder450.jpg

If you charged your A/C system not too long ago and it’s still anemic, you might want to look at this UV leak detector.  In addition to the A/C it’ll find leaks in any of your car’s fluid systems, including hydraulics, and it can really save you some headaches.  If you’ve ever chased a leak you couldn’t find, you’ll immediately see the value.

Street pricing for the TP1121 universal kit starts at $50, a reasonable price considering the time you’ll save.

LeakFinder Kit [Tracerline]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]

 

9 Responses to UV Leak Detection

  1. BC says:

    If you can get your hands on just the dye, a $5 blacklight bulb in a trouble light works wonders!

  2. BC says:

    …that is, a FLUORESCENT blacklight bulb.

  3. KMR says:

    Autozone carries just the dye, I keep a couple in stock here at the shop. In January we built a $12k race TR6 motor, started weeping oil after 10 minutes on the dyno from the head gasket edge. Great! Out came the $5 UV dye, it narrowed down the source of the leak. With the head off, we were able to see a nick in the copper head gasket around an oil passage. That allowed the oil to start to weep.

    (We do seal copper gaskets with Permatex’s Copper Spray-A-Gasket, in this case it wasn’t enough to fill that small void. Hondabond HT worked like a champ… allowed us to finish the dyno session that day)

  4. Kevin says:

    Best price for a UV source is to look on eBay for UV-LED flashlights.

    Nice directional beam and the LED “bulb” lasts pretty much forever, runs on a couple batteries, usually either AAA or CR123.

  5. Tupman says:

    I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to figure out where my a leak has been coming from on an engine swap I did in my VW Fox Wagon, and after reading this post and KMR’s comment decided a homemade UV leak detection was in order. I ordered a super cheap UV LED flashlight from here: dealextreme.com (some of the reviews of the UV lights even mention their use in leak detection) and will be checking the local autoparts store or amazon for some tracerline dye’s! Thanks toolmongers

  6. fred says:

    I’m guessing that you need to inject different dyes (in different carrier vehicles) for different engine systems (i.e. different fluids for A/C, Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid, Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, Engine Coolant etc.)

    Or is there some universal dye that works for everything?

  7. Tupman says:

    My brief research showed that there are specific dyes for specific fluids. But Tracerline (and others) make a “Universal” dye for petroleum(and synthetic oil) products that works in motor oil, auto transmission fluid, gas, diesel, etc: http://www.tracerline.com/dyesforfluids_all-in-one.html

    Then there’s dye’s for AC/refrigerant: http://www.tracerline.com/dyesforacr.html

    So it looks like the universal dye would be good to keep handy in the toolbox, but check documentation to make sure there aren’t any incompatibilities.

  8. Shopmonger says:

    They make dyes that can go into multiple systems but don’t just go pouring dye intoall of your systems. OH and by the way…. don’t do more that one system at a time….. Haa haa hhaa I had a freind who did this and when we lite his car up with the light… it looked like a college balcklight party. HAAA HAAA HAAAAAA

    I have a $500 kit (SNK I think) and have had it for years, I love it.

    Saves a ton of work.

  9. dave says:

    Times have changed, today you can get dye on amazon for $7 and about the same for a UV flashlight on Amazon or eBay. The flashlight may or may not be as powerful, you have choices there on what to buy and beam pattern.

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