Author Topic: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?  (Read 739 times)

DaKini

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Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« on: July 08, 2019, 08:00:10 AM »
Half a year ago the a/c of my car finally stopped cooling. Analyses showed a leakage at the high pressure pipe and the condensator. Replacing that woul cost about 800 Ä at the local workshop (which is a free one).
We only have this one car, and it has about 145k km on its clock, but seems in good condition otherwise.

The dilemma is that i dont have the need for this repair, fir me its just luxury. Recently i drove in 28degC for 5 hours or so and honestly,  this wasnt very nice to do, but it was okay i kept my arms wet  so the airflow could efficiently cool me to ok levels.
The repair equals about 85% of my monthly savings rate, so while not neglegible, would not poke a giant hole in the savings.
My wife likes it to be repaired, and we as a family with two kids will do an 4hr trip in a few weeks. Another good thing if the ac is the fog free windows in humid weather and especially in winter, where the fog will regularly freeze.


The thing is, i for me would rather scrap ice and sweat but see the money working. Am i a cheapskate? I really fear that it has gine so far...

dcheesi

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 08:52:13 AM »
IME once the A/C starts to go on a car, any repairs are generally temporary. I had similar work done on a couple of cars, only to have the A/C break again, or at least need a recharge, the very next summer. YMMV, of course, but it's something to keep in mind.

OTOH, your wife may never forgive you if don't at least try to fix it once! Maybe do the repair this time, and if it does break again you'll have a stronger argument for letting it be?

BECABECA

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 09:01:17 AM »
I think you need to look at it in the broader context: if you donít fix the AC, your wife and kids will push to get a new car altogether. If you fix the AC, you can likely continue to drive the car until it completely dies on its own. So youíre not looking at a decision of paying 800Ä vs none, youíre looking at paying 800Ä vs many more thousands to upgrade to a newer car. If it was me, Iíd definitely fix the AC because I wouldnít want to give my wife any more ammunition on the new car discussion!

(I recently installed a new touchscreen Bluetooth stereo with backup camera and Apple CarPlay into our car even though the car itself is only worth $1000. I did this because my wife was pushing to get a new car so it could have Bluetooth and play music off her phone. $300 investment into a $1000 car doesnít make sense on its own but in the broader context, that $300 will save us thousands by helping to quell the desire for a new car).

v8rx7guy

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 09:02:06 AM »
What kind of car is it?  Do you ever plan on selling it?  The reason I ask is that you probably will have a much harder time selling it in the future with dead AC, so you might as well fix it now and enjoy a cool car in the meantime if you ever plan on selling it.  It's kind of like when you're about to sell a house and you have to quick do all the little fixes before you list it and think, "I should have done that earlier!"

RWD

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 09:07:17 AM »
How valuable is the car?

Personally I think you're being a cheapskate. It's one thing if you're just taking short drives around town with the windows down. But if you're planning a 4 hour trip in the summer with two kids its ludicrous to not have working A/C.


IME once the A/C starts to go on a car, any repairs are generally temporary. I had similar work done on a couple of cars, only to have the A/C break again, or at least need a recharge, the very next summer. YMMV, of course, but it's something to keep in mind.
Then your A/C wasn't properly repaired. Also, there is no such thing as just needing a recharge. Properly functioning A/C systems do not leak/evaporate.

DaKini

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 09:15:43 AM »
No, i dont intend on selling it until its dead.

Most if driving (90%) is just me to and from work, a 20 minute trip...
So far i did run the ac only a few days in the year for myself.

I made a schedule at thoursday in the workshop.

Syonyk

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 09:55:11 AM »
My wife likes it to be repaired, and we as a family with two kids will do an 4hr trip in a few weeks. Another good thing if the ac is the fog free windows in humid weather and especially in winter, where the fog will regularly freeze.

So fix the AC unless you're in a position where you really can't afford that repair.

What I'll tolerate in my vehicles, and what I try to provide for my wife and kids, are two different levels of function.  My truck's internal door handle has been acting up for a few years now - doesn't bother me, and about the only reason I'm planning to fix it is because my wife drives it in the winter sometimes.

DaKini

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 11:27:52 AM »
Thanks for all that new perspectives. This helps alot!

Tester

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 10:39:30 PM »
You already decided to repair it so this is just extra.
Repair costs almost one month of savings.
I would say do it, it won't affect your finances while not doing it will affect your family.

dougstash

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 11:00:07 AM »
I happily drive a $500 shitbox without working windows that I plan to drive to the ground. It does have working ac but I choose not to run it over increased fuel consumption.  I embrace the humid stagnant heat. Same thing at home. No ac there either :)

But thatís just me. Most people wonít put up with that

Did I mention I have to disconnect my battery just to turn the vehicle off?  Itís awesome! 

Syonyk

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 11:21:14 AM »
I happily drive a $500 shitbox without working windows that I plan to drive to the ground. It does have working ac but I choose not to run it over increased fuel consumption.  I embrace the humid stagnant heat. Same thing at home. No ac there either :)

But thatís just me. Most people wonít put up with that

Did I mention I have to disconnect my battery just to turn the vehicle off?  Itís awesome!

I'm... going to go out on a limb here and guess you're not married with a couple kids?

Boofinator

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 11:35:35 AM »
What I'll tolerate in my vehicles, and what I try to provide for my wife and kids, are two different levels of function.

I agree with this perspective. Consider fixing the AC as an investment in your wife's and kids' happiness, rather than an investment in your vehicle.

dougstash

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 11:36:37 AM »
You must be a psychic

BikingEngineer

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 11:59:43 AM »
No, i dont intend on selling it until its dead.

Most if driving (90%) is just me to and from work, a 20 minute trip...
So far i did run the ac only a few days in the year for myself.

I made a schedule at thoursday in the workshop.

Not running the A/C regularly probably contributed to the failure. You have to run the system every so often to circulate lubricant through the system. That keeps the seals supple and prevents them from cracking and allowing refrigerant out. I'd suggest running the A/C at least every month to keep the seals in good shape.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2019, 12:48:25 PM »
I just went through this same dilemma, I have a 13 year old Hyundai worth a couple grand, ac compressor blew up and it was $875 to have fixed.  I decided to do it, not because I canít tough it out (my other car Iíve had for 17 years has no ac) but because itís a lot more pleasant when we have longer family trips to be able to keep everyone comfortable.  Speaking of which, Iím off to do a 4 hour drive with them to go camping. 

DaKini

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2019, 12:51:04 PM »
Did I mention I have to disconnect my battery just to turn the vehicle off?  Itís awesome!
... and you are not driving in germany? Here, the T‹V would have grounded your vehicle long ago.

Not running the A/C regularly probably contributed to the failure. You have to run the system every so often to circulate lubricant through the system. That keeps the seals supple and prevents them from cracking and allowing refrigerant out. I'd suggest running the A/C at least every month to keep the seals in good shape.
That also the mechanic said, and indeed it was very seldom turned on.

Car was returned from there today, and now its cool as in the first day :)
It was just 820 Ä. For cool air, but a happy family.

[edit] Thinking of that more closely again: what a d*mn privileged position to be in, to be able to pay this cash out of cashflow; and even still having something left to save.

Syonyk

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2019, 01:10:45 PM »
I happily drive a $500 shitbox without working windows that I plan to drive to the ground. It does have working ac but I choose not to run it over increased fuel consumption.  I embrace the humid stagnant heat. Same thing at home. No ac there either :)

But thatís just me. Most people wonít put up with that

Did I mention I have to disconnect my battery just to turn the vehicle off?  Itís awesome!

More seriously, have you considered fixing your car?  Do it yourself if you don't want to pay someone to do it, but having to disconnect your battery to shut the car off isn't a comfort issue, it's a safety issue.  If your throttle sticks, and you need to shut down the engine, getting out to disconnect it isn't really an option.

Honestly, it sounds like you're driving a shitbox, proud of it, and the shittier, the better - which means I don't want to be on a road anywhere near you, because I've seen those cars.  They tend to have major mechanical problems as well with things like the brakes and the suspension, steering, etc.

I've owned cheap cars.  I've owned some true rolling wrecks - but I kept them in mechanically solid condition.  The ignition switches worked.  The brakes were in good shape.  I replaced wheel bearings if they were going out.  I'd ensure the exhaust system was at least dumping somewhere past the end of the car (and I have to say, a side dump flex pipe exhaust on an old Subaru with a cheap glass pack sounds an awful lot more impressive than the engine really is).

And you know what "hot, stagnant heat" in a house breeds?  Mold.

There's a line between badassity and stupidity.  I'm not sure you're on the right side of it.

Car Jack

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2019, 01:24:02 PM »
I happily drive a $500 shitbox without working windows that I plan to drive to the ground. It does have working ac but I choose not to run it over increased fuel consumption.  I embrace the humid stagnant heat. Same thing at home. No ac there either :)

But thatís just me. Most people wonít put up with that

Did I mention I have to disconnect my battery just to turn the vehicle off?  Itís awesome!

Hmmmmm.....I have some worn out tires I need to unload.  You need new-to-you worn out, but hold air tires?


dcheesi

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2019, 02:38:31 PM »
Has anyone else with a leaky AC system had luck with the sealant solutions sold on the market?

E.g.
https://www.amazon.com/Rectorseal-45322-Freeze-Magic-Frost/dp/B01BF7AQJG/ref=asc_df_B01BF7AQJG/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198097979185&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13385241031539666781&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060548&hvtargid=pla-379201385684&psc=1
Not in a car, no. My gf just had similar stuff applied to her aging home AC; apparently she had the same treatment done a couple of years ago, and it held well enough for those two years before needing to be recharged and re-treated. Basically it's probably a temporary solution, but perhaps that's enough for some folks? [Note: none of this was my call, it's her house and her business]

...In retrospect, though, I do wonder if at least some of those all-too-temporary car AC "repairs" I experienced years ago were just the mechanics using this stuff? I know in one case I paid for replacement lines, but in the other case I don't really recall as much.

chemistk

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2019, 05:59:48 AM »
Has anyone else with a leaky AC system had luck with the sealant solutions sold on the market?

E.g.
https://www.amazon.com/Rectorseal-45322-Freeze-Magic-Frost/dp/B01BF7AQJG/ref=asc_df_B01BF7AQJG/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198097979185&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13385241031539666781&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060548&hvtargid=pla-379201385684&psc=1

Nobody should be using any such products. If you actually care about your car, don't use "Stop leak" in you A/C, your transmission, your oil, your radiator, your tires (unless necessary in an emergency), or any other fluid reservoir in your car. These 'fixes' are temporary at best, and at worse they're detrimental long-term to any of those systems. To that same point, there are very few additives that are actually beneficial to a modern car.

Syonyk

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Re: Cars a/c dead (leakage) repair or sweat? am i cheap?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2019, 09:01:46 AM »
Eh, on an older car, they're worth it.

I solved a rather irritating power steering leak for a couple years (to the end of the car's life) with StopLeak, and same for one of the tires that I couldn't get to seal up properly.