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  #1  
Old 08-01-2002, 02:19 PM
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AC went south - please help

My AC just quit a few days ago (its a 87 190E, about 112 K miles). Have had no problems with the AC before. Went to a local guy today - he says the compressor is seized up (450 + 3 hours labor), freon needs to be charged up ($200), plus, the expansion valve may need to be changed (can't tell till he opens it up, another $200), plus some filter in the front may need to be changed. All in all, at least $800, may be upto $1200. Is he quoting me a reasonable price, or am I being taken for a ride? I can't spend a thousand bucks on this old car now, especially for the AC, which I use maybe 2 months a year.
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Old 08-02-2002, 01:53 PM
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anyone ..... please......
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2002, 03:35 PM
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Location: Motor City, MI
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Actually, I think this is a reasonable price. He gave you a range of $800-$1200, and this type of job does depend on what is found after things are opened up. With a seized compressor, debris (shavings, particles) may have been blown throughout the system. Again, nobody knows until the system is opened up.

Sadly, yours is a familiar tale. All too often, a non-working a/c is the main reason people give up their cars and buy a new one. When the a/c quits, people don't want to sink the big bucks their mechanic quotes to get it working again.....not worth it on an old car. But they do want a working a/c, so they go out and buy a new car, even though their old car is otherwise working okay.

Frankly, I think fixing automotive a/c systems is one of the most financially rewarding jobs a do-it-yourselfer can do.
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95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
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Old 08-05-2002, 11:14 AM
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Thanks, Kestas.

One more thing - is there any way I can tell myself if the compressor is seized up (its a 87 190E 2.3). Just want to make sure, while I think about its future. After 15 years, the engine is fine, but many other things have given up, like sunroof, some trim pieces, and now A/C. I think I am finally in the "drive it to death mode"!
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Old 08-05-2002, 02:29 PM
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Location: Motor City, MI
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I'm not too fluent with that type of diagnosis, but I imagine a number of things would point to a seized compressor, such as the refrigerant charge being okay, voltage to the clutch okay, and perhaps a squealing belt. The a/c compressor rarely outlives the life of the car.
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