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Old 13.07.2020, 10:49
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Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

Hi all,

About 10 days ago I went to a car mechanic to fill up my AC. The guy fills it up, says everything is okay, the compressor is fine and all works well. Yesterday I start hearing a hissing noise when I turn on the AC and today the AC is not functional, the hissing is still there, the cooling is not. When I think of it now, I have felt the smell of freon right away.

So I call the guy and explain the problem and his response is "Ah yes, there might be a problem, you should come and have it checked. When I filled it up everything was okay. If there was a leak the refilling wouldn't work. Maybe there is a small leak."


Now, shouldn't this be his job? To check beforehand that there is a problem and not fill the AC for nothing if there is a leak. He claims that everything was fine and that the problem arose in the meantime. I have a feeling this guy is trying to rip me off.

Am I in the place to ask for a refund and what would you do in this case?

Thanks
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Old 13.07.2020, 11:12
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

You went and told him specifically to fill up the AC. (I never do that, that's a thing I leave to "my guys" to decide when it's due.) So he did. He probably turned it on and off it worked. Job done. You did not ask him to look for possible faults here, there and everywhere.

So no, I don't think he's ripping you off. He could have made the money immediately, telling you there is a fault - had he noticed one - why wait for you to come back?

Cars are like humans, they fail unexpectedly.

What would I do? I'd have it checked, now there is a fault and see what he finds out.
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Old 13.07.2020, 11:36
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

Sadly once a car's AC system loses its gas it's on a slippery downhill path. The seals will dry out is it's left unpressurised (even simply by lack if use, which is why the manual will tell you to run it from time to time even if you don't need it) and once that's happened it's no lobger just a case of refilling it.

I've had this happen on two cars in my life, both of which were at the stage of their life where it wasn't economically worthwhile to get it properly fixed. Basically the first time you get it refilled it seems to work for a while, then it gets shorter each time as the leaks get worse and worse until it won't hold pressure at all, which sounds like is the case for you here.

My current 10-y-o VW has possibly started on this path. Was left standing for the best part of three months over last winter, when I got it going again (new battery required) the AC wasn't working at all; since it's been topped up it seems that it's working at around 70% of its previous efficiency, so I suspect I'll need to address it sometime soon, but as it's not getting any worse I;m keeping my fingers crossed...
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Old 13.07.2020, 11:38
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

the mechanic is correct, if the machine detects a leak then it stops right away as venting the gas iirc is illegal.

once its refilled its upto full pressure so if anything is going to go wrong its going to be now, how long was it empty for? a seal could have dried out.

I couple of years ago I had the gas replaced in my focus, just chatting with the mechanic, all finished, and the main rubber aircon pipe burst, it happens, scared the shit out of both of us
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Old 13.07.2020, 11:50
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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.....The seals will dry out is it's left unpressurised (even simply by lack if use, which is why the manual will tell you to run it from time to time even if you don't need it) .........
Interesting. I wonder if that's why every time (every time) I get my car back from the garage, the AC is on. I myself have used it maybe twice in 5 years.

If so, I'm doing the right thing, leaving AC-decisions to "my guys".
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Old 13.07.2020, 12:26
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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the mechanic is correct, if the machine detects a leak then it stops right away as venting the gas iirc is illegal.

once its refilled its upto full pressure so if anything is going to go wrong its going to be now, how long was it empty for? a seal could have dried out.

I couple of years ago I had the gas replaced in my focus, just chatting with the mechanic, all finished, and the main rubber aircon pipe burst, it happens, scared the shit out of both of us
The this is that the car was bought before the end of 2019 and already at that time the AC was empty. So it was out for about 7 months, so I guess this might have killed it.
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Old 13.07.2020, 12:35
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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When I think of it now, I have felt the smell of freon right away.
Isn't Freon banned since the '90s?

Lesson learned: always state your problem. If you know the solution, do it on your own
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Old 13.07.2020, 12:43
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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Isn't Freon banned since the '90s?

Lesson learned: always state your problem. If you know the solution, do it on your own
Usage is still not banned, Production of new freon was banned some months ago in the US (don't think it is a worldwide ban and more a national thing), but over the last 10 yrs airco's in very large majority have switched to using Puron.
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Old 13.07.2020, 14:41
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

I had exactly the saame problem with my SLK 200. My mechanic has now added a liquid / product to seal the leaks, and then refilled the gas. I hope it works this time...
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Old 13.07.2020, 15:11
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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Interesting. I wonder if that's why every time (every time) I get my car back from the garage, the AC is on. I myself have used it maybe twice in 5 years.
Looks like you are not driving in rainy weather.. AC is your go to help if the windows get foggy inside.
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Old 13.07.2020, 15:20
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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Looks like you are not driving in rainy weather.. AC is your go to help if the windows get foggy inside.
There's the other old fashioned solution, open the windows! Works with the helmet visor anyways until your glassed get wet, then everything gets wet then everything fogs again. Oh how I miss driving for hours in the dark and rain.
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Old 14.07.2020, 01:09
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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Looks like you are not driving in rainy weather.. AC is your go to help if the windows get foggy inside.
What use is the AC/cooling in these cases?

Open the windows a bit, turn up the fans and have them "service" the windshield primarily, and if you need it really quick turn up the heat for a short bit if availble.

What am I missing?
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Old 14.07.2020, 08:33
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

On both cars that I owned that had AC the system broke like described by OP. If you have an AC, you should budget roughly 100chf a year for future repairs.

Because of this have no AC in my car, and crack the windows when it is warm. I find this so much more enjoyable than AC, its like proper fresh air with smells of fresh grass etc...
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Old 14.07.2020, 09:34
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic

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What use is the AC/cooling in these cases?
It works as a de-humidifier.

Tom
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Old 14.07.2020, 10:26
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

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On both cars that I owned that had AC the system broke like described by OP. If you have an AC, you should budget roughly 100chf a year for future repairs.

Because of this have no AC in my car, and crack the windows when it is warm. I find this so much more enjoyable than AC, its like proper fresh air with smells of fresh grass etc...
I agree but buying cheap second hand cars, they got in it what they got in it.
My current one is the first with an A/C (not a very sophisticated one).

What I actually wonder is: Once it's broken, can I just leave it being broken? As I'm not using it - does it matter?
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Old 14.07.2020, 10:27
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

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What I actually wonder is: Once it's broken, can I just leave it being broken? As I'm not using it - does it matter?
Yes, no problem.

Tom
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Old 14.07.2020, 10:28
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

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What I actually wonder is: Once it's broken, can I just leave it being broken? As I'm not using it - does it matter?
Yes leave it broken, it does not matter unless you want working air conditioning
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Old 14.07.2020, 10:31
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

I can't remember the last time that I turned the AC off in my car.
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Old 14.07.2020, 10:32
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

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I can't remember the last time that I turned the AC off in my car.
Probably a more sophisticated climate control unit.
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Old 14.07.2020, 18:29
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Re: Possible issue with a car mechanic (car A/C refill)

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Probably a more sophisticated climate control unit.
Absolutely, if you have climate control then the compressor will work all year round to maintain the balance in the car.

My mum was complaining last week that the manual AC in their Octavia isn't working. I've been banging on for years that they need to run it at least once a week, even in the winter but they never listen and now I'm going to have to sort it out when I'm over there next week
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