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Car Pros: New A/C System


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So my 2004 V6 Mustang A/C stopped blowing cold air a couple days ago. I tried recharging with refrigerant, but that did nothing. Took it to the shop and they noticed the compressor is shot, and said they have to replace it along with some other stuff, and then flush out the system.

They quoted me at just over $1,000 with parts and labor. Is this a fair price? Any tips?

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That might be a fair price.

 

Have your A/C fixed at a reputable mom and pop type shop that cares about its reputation.  No Pep Boys, Aamco, Meineke, etc.  Reason being that the flushing out is the most important part of the process.  If they fail to remove all of the contamination, other parts of your A/C system will get damaged and cause it to fail again.  Those other failures won't be covered by any parts or labor warranty and you'll have to pay $1000 (or whatever) a second time. 

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I had a leak in the condenser that caused the system to lose all of its charge pretty quickly. While it is possible that your compressor is shot, many places tell you that is the cause because it is the single most expensive part in the A/C system. When I had a Mini Cooper the Mini dealer even tried to blame the compressor for the engine stalling.

 

BTW, if I were to buy a compressor for my car right now it would be less than $200.

 

I use an independent mechanic.

Edited by Vegas Halo Fan
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I would get a second opinion. You could have a major leak.

Could a leak cause the compressor to stop working? The wheel on the compressor isn't spinning when the car is on. Plus, it's an 11 year old car and this would be the first time the A/C gets replaced.

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So my 2004 V6 Mustang A/C stopped blowing cold air a couple days ago. I tried recharging with refrigerant, but that did nothing. Took it to the shop and they noticed the compressor is shot, and said they have to replace it along with some other stuff, and then flush out the system.

They quoted me at just over $1,000 with parts and labor. Is this a fair price? Any tips?

For that price you could buy another 2004 Mustang that has working air conditioning. Edited by notti
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Could a leak cause the compressor to stop working? The wheel on the compressor isn't spinning when the car is on. Plus, it's an 11 year old car and this would be the first time the A/C gets replaced.

 

So the shop is telling you the compressor is seized? 

 

IIRC, how an A/C compressor fails affects how the system is repaired. 

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Low refrigerant can definitely prevent the compressor from engaging. Take it to another reputable place and have them search for leaks before you consider replacing the compressor. 

 

Before I took it in, I tried recharging with refrigerant, and the gauge was in the red the whole time. Even after almost the whole bottle of refrigerant was added, the gauge remained in the red. 

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Thanks a lot, Taylor.  This is all your fault. 

 

Last night I had a nightmare the A/C failed on my car.  Bartolo Colon was my auto mechanic.  I met him at Costco, he was one of the guys handing out food samples.  Never got my car back because he had to pitch for the Mets so I ran through the frozen food section at Costco searching for my car.

 

Then I woke up. 

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I asked my wife who works in a shop what she would quote a customer for a compressor replacement

 

Parts:

Compressor  $297.59

Freon      $18.75
Pag oil      $18.00
Orifice tube $3.37
 
Labor: $260
Tax $45 (surely would be higher in CA)
 
 
So around $650  
Don't take as gospel as this was via text so accuracy could hardly be 100% assured.
 
 

 

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I asked my wife who works in a shop what she would quote a customer for a compressor replacement

 

Parts:

Compressor  $297.59

Freon      $18.75

Pag oil      $18.00

Orifice tube $3.37
 
Labor: $260
Tax $45 (surely would be higher in CA)
 
 
So around $650  
Don't take as gospel as this was via text so accuracy could hardly be 100% assured.
 
 

 

 

Interesting. I did find a mechanic who will do it for $750.

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