$700 to fix car's A/C?!

  1. Is it worth it?! $700 to fix air conditioning unit--the evaporator core is leaking. I can put it off for awhile, he said, but he cannot guarantee how long the Freon will last. It's August...I'll need A/C for maybe another month. Man, I hate to spend that kind of money on a 1995 Caravan. Of course, it's cheaper than a new one! Sheez, what to do? Fix it? Wait until next year? In the mean time, I'll be leaking Freon which is also an environmental hazard. Yeesh.

    Any mechanics out there? Advice?
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    About Zee_RN

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 1,664; Likes: 176
    RN, Inpatient Hospice; from US
    Specialty: 17 year(s) of experience in Hospice, Critical Care


  3. by   shygirl
    Can you take the humidity and the warmth?
    Are you planning on keeping it long?

    If you can take the heat (:chuckle), then put it off. If you plan on keeping it at least another year, this will give you time to save and fix it next year at the begining of summer!
  4. by   oramar
    Zee, if I show this to my hubby he will have a fit. Sounds like someone is sticking it to you to me.
  5. by   Lausana
    My heart sank when I saw your title my Dodge Neon was diagnosed the very same last month. I would have paid the outrageous amount of $800 in a heartbeat if I hadn't already paid $1000 that same visit for the brakes I don't do heat well!!

    If you can handle the next couple months with the windows down, I'd probably wait til early next spring, to give you time to price around and save up. That's my plan anyway My friend at work warned everyone not to get too close to me on real hot days...I don't know if she meant I'd be grumpy or have B.O. :chuckle

    Good Luck!
  6. by   Zee_RN
    Funny you say that, Leslie. My husband's 1996 Dodge Neon's A/C isn't working either. He hasn't bothered to take it in for an estimate; he doesn't drive that much anymore since he's been working at home. His Neon has about 110,000 miles on it! I'd not buy another one though; it's been trouble.
  7. by   researchrabbit
    I'd get another estimate, just to be on the safe side.

    If the car is paid for, and you haven't had a lot of other repairs, you should probably go ahead and have it fixed. My rule of thumb is that if the car starts costing more than a monthly payment would be, it's probably time to get rid of the car.
  8. by   indeed
    Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Get another estimate, but don't expect it to be far from that original quote. I have been trolling for a new car recently, and AC doesn't actually come standard on most low end cars, so I have been unfortunate enough to see *in Tom Brokaw voice* the fleecing of America *end Tom Brokaw voice* through air conditioning...new it would have cost $900+. Blarh.

  9. by   oramar
    OK, here is what hubby says. He paid $400 for similar repair. BUT.... and this is biggg but, he is not satisfied with work. So if you pay that much and it works and gives you no further problems it is not out of line. He also says that very few car airconditioners still use Freon. It is called R12 or R22 or R134a, the something else is very expensive. We are paying the extra cost to save the ozone layer so I guess it is worth it.
  10. by   Zee_RN
    From what I'm hearing here and other places, the $700 is about right. *sigh* The evaporator core is in a difficult place to reach; hence the high labor cost (the part is only something like $250; the rest is labor). They said it takes a little over six hours to fix.

    Still, $700 is better than a car payment. I'll just say my prayers that something else doesn't go wrong after I get this fixed! I'm also going to start "making a car payment" into my savings account so I'm used to it when the dastardly deed must in fact be done!

    Thanks for your help, folks! (I am going to put off spending the $700 though--maybe a few months--I've got a $1400 tax bill to pay first.)
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    Hey Zee........
    My 93 Dodge Caravan has Water Pump leak. Yesterdays estimate for repair: only $650.00 IF none of the other connecting parts aren't rusted out.

    Trust my mechanic of 27 years. Personally called me at work to give me the news and do I really want to spend that amount of money on a car with 128,750 miles with most engines only lasting 130,000 miles or do I want to sink money in a new vehicle (HINT, HINT). Had hubby call him who has NOT been receptive to HINT, HINT. Settled on lube and oil change, gunk put in radiator for $33.50 bill.

    Out of debtors prison in October--home loan paid off. Both cars paid off. We've always bought new cars and kept 7-10 years.
    This is only my 5th car since age 16. Has made the rounds of Tristate Philadelphia area and served me well as home visiting RN. It's time to give it a decent burial and let 16 1/2 yo son learn to drive in it ---just needs antifreeze weekly. Just paid $3,100 school tax bill last week: benefit of being #3 school district in the state. Saving on monies for College for sons. 9th grader estatic at taking Ceramics this fall as art requirement. Gets to take Honors Social Study in Spring too!
  12. by   CEN35

    unfortunately a/c is (price/value=cost) one of the most expensive
    things to fix on a car. r-12 (freon) which was what they used initially, went up and up in price as the goverment limited it's use. they did that because it was so damaging to the atmosphere (ozone).
    they worked on developing something new which, is less damagin to the ozone. i can't remember the number designation, but the name is suva now, not freon. it's alot more expensive, and because of the equipment you need to vacume and re-charge, you can't really do it yourself. so they have you on the a/c.
    i couldn't live without mine. i paid $350 earlier this summer to get it fixed. then i went out got a motorcycle and only drove the car maybe 6 times since early july! :chuckle that makes alot of sense huh? lol!