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Do mechanics hate working on AC?

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JimFromTN View Drop Down
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    Posted: May/23/2019 at 12:45
If there are any professional mechanics out there, I have a question.  What is the deal with working on AC?  I have on at least a half a dozen times taken different vehicles in because the AC was blowing hot air over my lifetime.  In every instance, it seems like they just want to charge the AC and send me on my way.  Isn't that like going into a tire shop and telling them your tire goes flat over night and they just fill it up and send you on your way rather than fixing the actual leak?  If the AC is blowing hot air then there is a leak in the system.  Why wouldn't you try to locate the leak?  Why would you charge someone hundreds of dollars and send them on their way knowing that they will be blowing hot air within a a couple of days?  The last time this happened to me, I called them back and they told me they could not get parts for it anymore and there was nothing they could do.  Needless to say they sell the parts at autozone and orielly.  I took my vehicle to a friend who had the tools to charge the system and when he charged it, you could hear quite clearly the refrigerant blowing out the side of the compressor.  There was no way they did not hear it and they did not say anything and sent me on my way.  They even told me when I called them back that it was probably a hose which they could not get anymore.  I went into one place with another vehicle and they told me they would flush and recharge and replace some belts and other things and it would only be $500.  I held off and went to someone else who actually admitted that the compressor was shot.  What is the deal?  From what I am finding, this is the norm and not the exception.   I understand that it may not be worth fixing to me but I will still have to pay for the work and materials.   Say it up front and then find out why it is leaking.  The only reason I can think of is that auto repair businesses are afraid people will hear that and not have i done and the business will lose money.  In other words, profit is more important than honesty.

Sorry for the rant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2019 at 13:17
You kind of answered your own question. It's hard enough to find a honest mechanic, much less a good mechanic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2019 at 14:19
Just an FYI, charging your own AC system is stupid easy.  You can buy a can of refrigerant at walwart with the hose for around $20 and do it yourself.  Search for how to do it on youtube.  I have recharged 3 of my vehicles in the past several years and have spend less than $100 for all three of them.  They if it leaks back out you know you have a problem and can start one step ahead without loosing a butt load of cash up front.  I don't understand why they charge so much for it either. 

Good mechanics are hard to come by.  The mechanic I go to is in his 60s now, I am dreading the day he retires as I know I can trust him.   

The part I hate about mechanics is the guessing game.  You pay them a bunch of money and if they didn't fix the problem then you have to pay them again and maybe again.  Most businesses if you don't do it right the first time, you have to fix it for free until it is right. 

Funny story.  My bro inlaw is a GM "technician" not mechanic, they get testy about that these days.  Anyway, he got brought a brand new duramax truck from out of state that had been t 3 other dealerships over the last few months to fix an issue it was having.  The had replaced all kinds of parts, he said they even replaced the whole computer system in the truck and it still did not fix it.  THey had spent several thousand dollars of parts for this truck to no avail.  So he started testing ohms in the wires going to the computer.  One wire was off of the ohm rating it should have.  So he started to dig into the wiring harnesses and one single connection in the harness had gotten bent when it was originally put together.  The replaced the connector and the truck was fixed.  Said it took him 20 minutes to fix.  So in their defense, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with cars these days. 

I owned a pontiac g6 and the check engine light came on.  Small evap leak was the code.  So I replaced the gas cap and cleared the code.  It came back on in the next drive cycle.  So I took it to my bro inlaw and he hooked it up to his system and a smoke machine to see if he could find the leak.  There was no leak.  So he started again checking the wire resistance and found one wire that was not right.  We started looking at wires and found where one wire under the factory tap job had had a hole poked in it from what looked like a test light.  In the hole the wire had corroded and had caused the wire to fail.  We cut out that piece of wire and replaced and it stopped throwing hte code.  Crazy the little things that can cause problem.    


Edited by supertool73 - May/23/2019 at 14:28
Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service don't mean a thing when your gun fails during a zombie attack.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike650 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2019 at 17:55
I'm in the need, haven't had my mine in a decade, I checked Youtube, which recharging system did you purchase Jason?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigdaddy0381 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2019 at 18:31
 I just replaced the AC lines and recharged and added die to my wife's Acadia. AC work is rough and a pain and is not an easy fix so it cost the shop owner in more time and less turn over than they want or would like.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2019 at 19:03
I don’t remember the exact one i bought. It came with a hose and a small bottle of refrigerant for 21 or 22. then they sell the small cans for 10ish iirc. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2019 at 04:58
I put some freon in my truck about ten years ago myself and it was easy....but I may have to see the video to remember how I did it.

My truck has an AC problem. Certainly a leak somewhere. One guy charged me $400 a few years back and it wasn't fixed. So I rode around with the windows down. Three years ago ( I still have the same truck...) a fellow put a couple of cans in and it worked for about six weeks....Roll Eyes

rather than spend a fortune I guess I'll just keep putting freon in every few weeks....



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimFromTN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2019 at 08:42
I have charged my own ac but it has never made a difference when there was absolutely no refrigerant in the system.  When there was some in the system and was not blowing as cool as it should be, it did make a difference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2019 at 09:12
Originally posted by JimFromTN JimFromTN wrote:

I have charged my own ac but it has never made a difference when there was absolutely no refrigerant in the system.  When there was some in the system and was not blowing as cool as it should be, it did make a difference.


Do think that is because you didn't put enough?  Or is there something else that needs to be done when it is empty?  Or course if its empty, I would assume a leak is present?

I don't think mine were empty as they are still cool a few years later, so likely not a leak in my cases. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coyote95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2019 at 12:48
I love my job !   
The best way to charge auto a/c system is to weigh it in. You totally evacuate system with a vacuum pump this will also give good indication how tight or leak free it is.  No sense wasting time or money with a large leak. Auto a/c charges are are considered a critical charge so by weighing it in is going to give best performance. You can usually find type and weight of charge inside engine compartment on top of radiator.  Most leaks come from where the line sets are connected. They use o rings that fail after time. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigdaddy0381 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2019 at 13:26
The correct way (not the crap you get at the auto parts place in hose can) is to suck the system down then fill on low side. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2019 at 15:02
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