Author Topic: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive  (Read 19901 times)

Jack

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2015, 11:28:47 AM »
Plus, it will be fall weather soon...put it off until next year!

We don't where the OP is but fall weather doesn't start until late November in the south.

Nah, it's more like October (unless you're way down along the Gulf coast)

Haha, I'm in Southern California. The weather has been in the 80s and 90s lately. I mean, it does seem as simple as "I'll just have the AC Compressor and a couple tubes replaced and call it done for under $1000" but will it really be that straightforward? Especially in the long-run? I can barely do my own car work...

First, you think 80s and 90s in Southern California is hot? That's nothing; 80s and 90s on the East Coast (with high humidity) is hot! Quit being a wuss.

Second, you already replaced the entire door on that car, which (IMO) is much more impressive a repair than fixing the AC would be.

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2015, 11:44:11 AM »
Plus, it will be fall weather soon...put it off until next year!

We don't where the OP is but fall weather doesn't start until late November in the south.

Nah, it's more like October (unless you're way down along the Gulf coast)

Haha, I'm in Southern California. The weather has been in the 80s and 90s lately. I mean, it does seem as simple as "I'll just have the AC Compressor and a couple tubes replaced and call it done for under $1000" but will it really be that straightforward? Especially in the long-run? I can barely do my own car work...

First, you think 80s and 90s in Southern California is hot? That's nothing; 80s and 90s on the East Coast (with high humidity) is hot! Quit being a wuss.

Second, you already replaced the entire door on that car, which (IMO) is much more impressive a repair than fixing the AC would be.

I'm not comparing regions here... I'm talking 'heat' relative to where I live - on average, it has been hotter than normal even in the summer time and per El Nino. One thing too: once you move to a different region you get somewhat acclimated to the weather (e.g. my cousin moved to SoCal for his residency and current employment from Dallas and I'm pretty sure he's not looking forward to the weather back there when he moves back. Of course, his love for his hometown overrides all that anyway). I've been in Houston and Taiwan as well, so I know about "humidity." Another example, most Southern Californians, when they visit Northern California, think it's "too cold" and vice-versa. I'm from Northern California and grew up in that weather, so it's not "cold" to me. East Coast weather is cold (during winter)! Everything is relative to where you live. That said, the *car* is the oven here and what is unbearable...not the weather.

As far as replacing the car door, it wasn't all that difficult compared to how I perceive replacing an AC compressor and all the valves/tubes would be... I took a look under the hood and getting to the compressor seems like a pain because everything is so tight in there. And I don't have jack stands...
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 11:48:02 AM by jplee3 »

Money Mouse

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2015, 12:28:07 PM »
For an infant/baby it isn't just that the interior of the car is hot, it's also that they are in a car seat. Those car seats retain heat remarkably well, an interior temp where adults or non-car seat kids are merely warm and a bit uncomfortable could have an baby drenched in sweat.  And infants can't adjust to extreme temps as well as older kids and adults (which is one of the reasons why leaving young kids in hot cars can lead to such disaster in short amounts of time). Remember, those of us that grew up w/out AC in the cars our parents drove also weren't likely in car seats (I was a baby/young kid in the late 70's and early 80's and car seats were not a "thing"), so just having the windows cranked down was likely good enough.  Plus just because we lived through it at the time, doesn't mean it was necessarily a good idea (like how cars used to not have seat belts, or it used to be no one wore bike helmets. Sure *we* all survived but how many others didn't?).

These days I would not have a car that was used to regularly transport young kids w/out working AC. Just not worth chancing it, IMO.

THAT SAID...as long as you aren't going to put the kid in this old car, then really it comes down to if you have the time/inclination to get it fixed and deal with any future issues.  At some point it just isn't worth the aggravation, but that point is different with everyone. Only you can decide what you're willing to put up with.

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2015, 12:43:50 PM »
For an infant/baby it isn't just that the interior of the car is hot, it's also that they are in a car seat. Those car seats retain heat remarkably well, an interior temp where adults or non-car seat kids are merely warm and a bit uncomfortable could have an baby drenched in sweat.  And infants can't adjust to extreme temps as well as older kids and adults (which is one of the reasons why leaving young kids in hot cars can lead to such disaster in short amounts of time). Remember, those of us that grew up w/out AC in the cars our parents drove also weren't likely in car seats (I was a baby/young kid in the late 70's and early 80's and car seats were not a "thing"), so just having the windows cranked down was likely good enough.  Plus just because we lived through it at the time, doesn't mean it was necessarily a good idea (like how cars used to not have seat belts, or it used to be no one wore bike helmets. Sure *we* all survived but how many others didn't?).

These days I would not have a car that was used to regularly transport young kids w/out working AC. Just not worth chancing it, IMO.

THAT SAID...as long as you aren't going to put the kid in this old car, then really it comes down to if you have the time/inclination to get it fixed and deal with any future issues.  At some point it just isn't worth the aggravation, but that point is different with everyone. Only you can decide what you're willing to put up with.

Babies' sweat glands aren't fully developed so it *can* be very dangerous if their temps aren't moderated. Take for example my wife's friend, whose Korean mother insisted "NO AC!" in their house during the summer (old Korean wives tale) - additionally, her mother swaddled the baby and wrapped her in a blanket before putting her to sleep. The baby ended up with a high fever that night and they had to rush her back to the hospital...this was within the first week of birth. Doc said the baby needs to stay cool due to undeveloped sweat glands...

That said, you bring up some salient points. Especially about car seats and how much heat they can retain. Makes a lot of sense, and definitely makes me not want to install a base in the car until I get the AC fixed. And yea, just because we were "OK" if our parents put us through something (esp if there were no other means) doesn't mean we should do the same thing with our kids.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 12:46:10 PM by jplee3 »

The Beacon

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2015, 04:49:03 PM »
People are different. What others think right might not be right for you.  This is not a competition to see who is the baddest penny pincher here. You need to strike the right balance for yourself. The fact you are driving this POS means you are already frugal.  No question about it.  But do not go overboard on this.  You still need to live your life.  The most important question is whether you are fine with delaying your FIRE a bit for this. If yes, go ahead.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2015, 06:06:38 PM »
Wait, so far all the votes are to replace the whole car because the A/C compressor stopped working?  WTF?  A radiator and an A/C compressor are not major items.  It's not like your transmission or head gasket blew.  Fix the compressor.  Keep driving the car.

Yes, yes it is a big deal, especially on something as old as the OP's car.  I went through this myself.  First my heater broke, then the A/C, then the check engine light came on, which means I can't renew the registration because it will fail emissions.  Fixing an A/C system can easily run over $800, potentially up in to the $2000 range if it turns out that the compressor failed due to other problems.  For example on my car, a 1997 Ford Escort, they bury the condensor & heater core so deeply in the dash that the book labor rate for replacing the heater core & condenser is 9.5 hours.  At a shop rate of $120/hour, that's $1140.  That's without touching the compressor, refilling the lines with refrigerant, or talking about the parts cost.

I went through all the math and it simply wasn't worth it.  Even if I did the repairs and could get the car to pass emissions for a couple hundred more I'd still have a car from 1997 that has NONE of the modern safety features and construction of a modern car.  It just wasn't worth it.  Right now my Ford is sitting out on the street while I decide what to do with it and I have a 2010 Prius that I picked up for $9500.  Sure, $9500 is a lot more than the $2500 that I might have been able to fix my Ford for, but there was still no guarantee that it wouldn't need another thousand or two in repairs after that.  It leaks every kind of fluid it has, motor mounts shot, and who knows what else.

OP should look in to buying a new car.  Even if he/she doesn't want to splurge and get an expensive car like I did, you can still find a car that's 10-15 years newer than that Camry in the $3-6k range.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2015, 01:35:44 AM »
Considering the circumstances, spending $5000 or so of cash on a tidy 10 year old secondhand car isn't a bad move. Especially if you get something that's better on fuel than the Camry.

Buying a fuel efficient 10 year old secondhand car when an older one starts to become uneconomic to maintain isn't antimustachian. Buying a brand new SUV every three years on credit is.

MrSal

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2015, 09:42:14 AM »
Since you are having a baby then you need to get another car. I am sure you can find something good in the $3k-$5k range but since you are having a baby do not take chances.

This made me LOL.  OMG, there's chance that your baby could experience the natural climate!  DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN!!!!!!

I agree!

In europe there's not such crap like this ... even 20+ years ago I dont even recall many cars having AC. Our family didn't have any cars with AC and we were a upper class family.

Just open the windows and its fine. You get used to it. And yes I had little brothers in the car and thousands of other families as well. just live with it. Sure, coming from the beach it would be unbearable to get in the car since it felt like an oven ...

We just opened the windows and let the air out while we cleaned our feet brushing the sand off and stuff like that.

And I lived in a country where summer temps reaches 110-125 F several times! and the common temperature during the a normal summer day usually is 90-100 F

Now that I live in the US, what I can say is everyone is a complainty pants ... "oh my god the AC doesnt work you need to fix your car" ... or "oh my god the house is at 79 F it feels so hot in here"

No shit, if you keep always using the AC you dont let your body get used to it. When I actually get home and the house is at 80 or so F I actually think "oh it feels nice and cool in here" when compared to the outside.

The same way in the winter time, I think a 60-64 F house feels nice in the winter but during summer even at 74 F which is where my wife sometimes puts the AC at, I get cold. Its all relative ...

Argyle

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2015, 11:14:35 AM »
My 20-year-old car never had air conditioning in the first place.  My baby and I were both fine.  Problem solved.

bacchi

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2015, 01:07:16 PM »
In europe there's not such crap like this ... even 20+ years ago I dont even recall many cars having AC. Our family didn't have any cars with AC and we were a upper class family.

It'll get to 45C this week in Phoenix and that's not unusual. There's a record breaking heat wave in Europe right now and the temps are 40C. So, yeah, there's a huge difference between the usual temps in the southern/southwestern US and Europe. They are on different latitudes, after all.

http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2015/06/30/intense-heat-wave-spreading-through-europe-temperatures-rising-above-40-c/

Sometimes this board is laughable. It's like everyone expects that things are exactly the same everywhere else. "So what if you live in the Sonoran desert? If you sweat when biking into work, you're out of shape!"


MrSal

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2015, 02:02:33 PM »
In europe there's not such crap like this ... even 20+ years ago I dont even recall many cars having AC. Our family didn't have any cars with AC and we were a upper class family.

It'll get to 45C this week in Phoenix and that's not unusual. There's a record breaking heat wave in Europe right now and the temps are 40C. So, yeah, there's a huge difference between the usual temps in the southern/southwestern US and Europe. They are on different latitudes, after all.

http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2015/06/30/intense-heat-wave-spreading-through-europe-temperatures-rising-above-40-c/

Sometimes this board is laughable. It's like everyone expects that things are exactly the same everywhere else. "So what if you live in the Sonoran desert? If you sweat when biking into work, you're out of shape!"

really? Record breaking 40C ahah.. we get that every single summer so nothing from being record breaking. That temp in england might be a record in north of France and England.

Im talking south of Portugal and south of Spain... where the temps there are much higher especially because of influences of the proximity to the Sahara desert and also the Granada desert.

By the way heres a picture from a couple weeks ago in the south of Spain close to the border of Portugal:



53 C by the way is around 127 F and this was at 6-7 PM !!!!

Today its already 11 PM and its still 93 F at this time

Temps in the mid 40's Celsius are not unusual around.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 02:08:57 PM by MrSal »

mrshudson

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2015, 02:07:17 PM »
Yes, yes it will be.  Then if something else minor breaks, you can get that fixed too.  It blows my mind that people (upthread) somehow think that getting a different car will automatically come without anything that can break.  Cars break.  Yes, even those newer ones.  Find a good mechanic if you can't do it yourself.  You know the car drives fine.  Your kid will not care if the quarter panels are different colors.  It sounds like s/he won't even ride in this one much if at all.

THANK YOU! I was shaking my head in wild disbelief when people recommended that you just replace the whole car! What guarantees can the previous posters provide that the new old car will not come with its own host of problems?

Yes, OP, please fix the damn compressor, the condenser, hosing, recharge it (get an independent mechanic to do it if you're that uncomfortable/short changed on time)  and try it out for a while.  Yes, handling freon (R-12 if it's an older car) or more typically R-134a is dangerous, so educate yourself on how to do it safely.

If your car develops problems, fix it yourself. If it develops some other problems, fix that as well. That is the way it is with car ownership on the cheap. Your baby will thank you for the nice financial cushion you have built up along with being a role model in autonomy in doing so when s/he grows up.

Geez, it's a Camry for crying out loud. It will likely outlive your career.

mrshudson

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2015, 02:13:30 PM »
Keep in mind though that whatever is preventing your AC from working could need to be fixed if it is necessary for otherwise cooling your engine.  I had something with my AC go last year and I had no choice but to fix it to preserve the rest of the car.  I can't remember what the part was called though.

There is absolutely no part that needs to be saved to "preserve the rest of the car" if your AC doesn't blow cold air. Nor is the AC lines and engine coolant lines in any way related. It's like saying gas in your digestive system is bad, because it could rupture your arteries due to pressure buildup.

The AC uses a R-134a (or R-12 if it's an older car) refrigerant to go through a conventional airconditioning cycle, not dissimilar from your household AC. Here's the schematic of that:

http://www.sladeautoelectrical.co.uk/images/aircon_diag.jpg

The engine is mostly water cooled with antifreeze and other additives added. Here's a sketch of that:

http://www.autocorner.ca/images/cool/coolant_flow%201.jpg




mrshudson

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2015, 02:24:53 PM »

The A/C issues aren't the problem; they're symptoms of the problem: a 20 year old car that will, statistically,  have a bunch of other things let go in the near future. Maybe you'll get lucky and they won't but the odds are likely* against you.


The problem is not the problem. The problem is the attitude about the problem.

mrshudson

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2015, 02:40:57 PM »
I went through all the math and it simply wasn't worth it.  Even if I did the repairs and could get the car to pass emissions for a couple hundred more I'd still have a car from 1997 that has NONE of the modern safety features and construction of a modern car.  It just wasn't worth it.  Right now my Ford is sitting out on the street while I decide what to do with it and I have a 2010 Prius that I picked up for $9500.  Sure, $9500 is a lot more than the $2500 that I might have been able to fix my Ford for, but there was still no guarantee that it wouldn't need another thousand or two in repairs after that.  It leaks every kind of fluid it has, motor mounts shot, and who knows what else.

OP should look in to buying a new car.  Even if he/she doesn't want to splurge and get an expensive car like I did, you can still find a car that's 10-15 years newer than that Camry in the $3-6k range.

Yes, there is no guarantee that it wouldn't need another thousand or two in repairs. It is not a Toyota!

I don't know what you consider safety features, but NHTSA's data can be perused to figure out if safety really is an expensive illusion.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811572.pdf

If OP were to go with a 10 year old car (say, a 2004 model), I would consider the safety improvements statistically insignificant over a 1993-5 era car. See figures 4-3 and 4-4 on that paper. Remember that part of the reason newer cars are considered "safer" is because of stricter testing starting about 2011.  You can always review safety ratings from the NHTSA database.

bacchi

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2015, 03:32:39 PM »
By the way heres a picture from a couple weeks ago in the south of Spain close to the border of Portugal:



53 C by the way is around 127 F and this was at 6-7 PM !!!!

Today its already 11 PM and its still 93 F at this time

Temps in the mid 40's Celsius are not unusual around.

Where was this? A high of 127F would've broken all records in Spain and Portugal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_weather_records

I'm thinking that thermometer was broken or placed incorrectly.

MrSal

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2015, 05:45:54 PM »
No it wasnt broken because it was like this all over town ... give or take 1 degree or so between different thermometers.

Dont forget that usually those records misstate temperatures because there is also micro climates and heat can be felt more in some regions that have no official weather station.

For example, in PA they always say the past few days the weather has been around 83-85 or so ... but in one of the days my thermometers and weather station in my backyard were stating 92'ish degrees F

Also they may not measure the island effect temperature from all the concrete and pavement and the heat radiating from it... i dunno what are the methodologies used in official weather stations in order to keep measurements standard around the whole world and keep the measurements as most accurate possible..

This is interesting from the wikkipedia page:

Quote
The standard measuring conditions for temperature are in the air, 1.5 meters above the ground, and shielded from direct sunlight (hence the term, x degrees "in the shade").[2] The following lists include all officially confirmed claims measured by those methods.

Temperatures measured directly on the ground may exceed air temperatures by 30 to 50 °C.[2] A ground temperature of 84 °C (183.2 °F) has been recorded in Port Sudan, Sudan.[3] A ground temperature of 93.9 °C (201 °F) was recorded in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California, USA on 15 July 1972; this may be the highest natural ground surface temperature ever recorded.[4] The theoretical maximum possible ground surface temperature has been estimated to be between 90 and 100 °C for dry, darkish soils of low thermal conductivity.[5]

Quote
Many weather records are measured under specific conditions—such as surface temperature and wind speed—to keep consistency among measurements around the Earth. Each of these records is understood to be the record value officially observed, as these records may have been exceeded before modern weather instrumentation was invented, or in remote areas without an official weather station. This list does not include remotely sensed observations such as satellite measurements, since those values are not considered official records.[1]
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 05:54:36 PM by MrSal »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2015, 07:57:02 AM »
If it were me, I'd fix the AC and keep on truckin'.  I've done it once before, and it's not a huge deal as long as you take the time to do it right.  It was actually one of my first repairs.  I didn't know about Rock Auto at the time, so I bought the compressor from Autozone, but I still saved myself $400 vs having a mechanic do it.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2015, 08:12:19 AM »
I'd replace the car, personally. If that's what you think is best, then don't let a bunch of overzealous tightwads shame you into keeping a car that you're ready to replace. She served you well - now retire her at your leisure.

James

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2015, 08:39:31 AM »
I would probably replace the car when possible. I would look into what the cost of repairing the A/C is, since that will greatly cut down on the value of the car if it isn't fixed. Might be best to fix the A/C first anyway, but I agree heading toward a new-to-you car is probably the right direction.


Having said that, you are not in an emergency with the car, going without A/C isn't that bad, and you need to slowly and carefully consider your car situation and head toward where you want to be. You don't mention your financial situation, and that is what should dictate your decision right now. I currently am driving a 2005 vehicle with 160k miles and rust eating at the body. Oh, and the A/C is broken just like yours, there is dye coming from under the compressor so that will probably need to be replaced to make it work. I have enough money in the bank to pay cash for a nice used vehicle, but I don't. I could certainly repair the A/C, but it's just not a priority. My kids hate the lack of A/C, and I tell them to suck it up. It's a good experience for them. Your new baby wouldn't be able to "suck it up", but it wouldn't be damaging unless driving a long distance with the windows up.


What is my point? The point is growing your badassity muscle is worth it! Who the hell cares what your vehicle looks like! Who the hell cares if you sweat a bit and get sticky! You replaced a door on your car, that is sweet. You handled lack of A/C for a summer, that is awesome. You are showing yourself that comfort isn't the priority, and being badass isn't a bug, it's a feature. So when you have the money pulled together, and when you know the right way to go (read the car post by MMM), then make that move in a deliberate way and be happy with the new vehicle with A/C. Nothing wrong with that. But don't "suffer" through your current badassity, revel in it!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2015, 09:07:42 AM »
When Europe has a heat wave, tens of thousands of people die. So I'm not looking to adopt European attitudes towards air conditioning.

Zman

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2015, 09:14:52 AM »
I have had no AC in my 2008 Mazda 3 for about 5 years now.

AND I live in SoCal where its always hot!

My Advice? Drive it till you cant anymore and in the mean time just tint the windows.

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #72 on: August 10, 2015, 10:13:55 AM »
I would probably replace the car when possible. I would look into what the cost of repairing the A/C is, since that will greatly cut down on the value of the car if it isn't fixed. Might be best to fix the A/C first anyway, but I agree heading toward a new-to-you car is probably the right direction.


Having said that, you are not in an emergency with the car, going without A/C isn't that bad, and you need to slowly and carefully consider your car situation and head toward where you want to be. You don't mention your financial situation, and that is what should dictate your decision right now. I currently am driving a 2005 vehicle with 160k miles and rust eating at the body. Oh, and the A/C is broken just like yours, there is dye coming from under the compressor so that will probably need to be replaced to make it work. I have enough money in the bank to pay cash for a nice used vehicle, but I don't. I could certainly repair the A/C, but it's just not a priority. My kids hate the lack of A/C, and I tell them to suck it up. It's a good experience for them. Your new baby wouldn't be able to "suck it up", but it wouldn't be damaging unless driving a long distance with the windows up.


What is my point? The point is growing your badassity muscle is worth it! Who the hell cares what your vehicle looks like! Who the hell cares if you sweat a bit and get sticky! You replaced a door on your car, that is sweet. You handled lack of A/C for a summer, that is awesome. You are showing yourself that comfort isn't the priority, and being badass isn't a bug, it's a feature. So when you have the money pulled together, and when you know the right way to go (read the car post by MMM), then make that move in a deliberate way and be happy with the new vehicle with A/C. Nothing wrong with that. But don't "suffer" through your current badassity, revel in it!


Haha thanks for the encouragement. As far as finances and affording a used car, that's not really an issue. I could probably go out and get one on a whim. Besides wanting to be frugal, I have no experience buying a new or used car, so that's the other hurdle that would hold me back from actually doing it. But my first excuse is not having to spend more money lol. I think this situation is one where I'll end up 'complaining' about it but not doing anything because in reality it's not that bad. Of course, who knows how I'll change once the baby arrives. I think it'll still be OK. I do want to avoid driving him around in this car though, especially since we have a fully functional car otherwise. Plus, I'd have to buy another car seat base for my car, which is more $$$...lol!

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #73 on: August 10, 2015, 11:53:59 AM »
I have had no AC in my 2008 Mazda 3 for about 5 years now.

AND I live in SoCal where its always hot!

My Advice? Drive it till you cant anymore and in the mean time just tint the windows.

It's not legal to have tinted windows in CA.  Which is sad.

lbmustache

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #74 on: August 10, 2015, 12:03:43 PM »
I have had no AC in my 2008 Mazda 3 for about 5 years now.

AND I live in SoCal where its always hot!

My Advice? Drive it till you cant anymore and in the mean time just tint the windows.

It's not legal to have tinted windows in CA.  Which is sad.

You can tint the rear windows and there is something called "Llumar Air 80" which is basically transparent and CA legal for front windows. http://northamerica.llumar.com/choose-a-product/automotive-window-films/clear-window-films

ysette9

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #75 on: August 10, 2015, 02:29:18 PM »
Ugh. Reading this thread is taking me back to last summer when I was home on maternity leave with my new, tiny baby. Every tired cell in my body is screaming at you to "replace the car"!!! My reasons are a little more gut-instinct than the thoughtful views other posters have shared so far, but here goes anyway.

1. Some babies come sturdy and tough and others come small and delicate. My baby came at 3 pounds 9 ounces and 6 weeks early. She couldn't control her body temperature for a while because she had no fat under her skin. We twisted ourselves into knots bending over backwards to make sure she was warm but not too warm. If I hadn't had AC in the car that summer we would have never left the house.

2. Once the baby comes all of the normal things in life are suddenly 10 times harder and stay that way for at least 6 months (in my case, over a year). The car breaks down today and you go out and replace it, easy-peasy. If the car breaks down once the baby is here that may be a monumental task.

3. Speaking as the mother, between the heat last summer, the lack of insulation and double-paned windows in our house, the HORMONES, and having this baby on me all the time, last summer was the HOTTEST I have ever been in my life. That was also true pre-baby at the end of the pregnancy. I just had no concept on how hot and uncomfortable the hormones make you until living it. Some days literally the only relief I would get was getting in the car and cranking up the AC while driving to some support group.
Yeah, it's nice to be tough and suck it up, blah blah blah.... that might work on a good night's sleep but when you have been woken up every three hours for week after week after week, you just don't have the mental capacity to deal with other $hit like being hot.

In our case my husband wanted to replace our 2-door sporty coupe with a 4-door something because he was banging the baby's head on the roof while putting her into her carseat in the back. He just managed to find the time to buy a new (used) car a few weeks ago.
While on a 2-week staycation.
Now that the baby is 14 months old.

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #76 on: August 13, 2015, 03:07:49 PM »
So I got some estimates from places in my area. On the high-end I was ballpark quoted $1000+ from a shop in my neighborhood. But a couple shops in 2-3 cities away from me quoted $550-600+ on the low-end. One shop was recommended by a coworker but is about 20 miles away vs another shop I found through Yelp that's only 10mi away. Both those shops seem honest and reasonable so I may just take it to the closer one. At this point, if it's going to cost around $600, I feel it's probably worth getting fixed. Especially if it'll help with selling the car in the future. Then again, not sure how much I'd end up getting for it at this rate haha. I'd like to avoid dealing with a new/used car purchase right now if I can...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 03:18:41 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2015, 02:06:49 PM »
Just a quick update - I took it to the place further away earlier today and got everything fixed. It was $600 total - they replaced the compressor, drier, expansion valve, as well as flushed the system and converted it to r134a w/ new refrigerant. 6mo/6000mi warranty as well. Things are *much* better now to say the least...

mrshudson

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2015, 03:14:50 PM »
Great job!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #79 on: August 15, 2015, 07:12:35 PM »
Wow, that's actually a pretty decent deal.  When I did the same thing for my car, it cost probably $450 in parts alone.  Of course, I got the parts at Autozone rather than Rock Auto, but still...

Roland of Gilead

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #80 on: August 15, 2015, 09:53:40 PM »
A better solution than mine, which was going to be a thermoelectric cooler from Goodwill for the baby.

Probably best that we never had kids...

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #81 on: August 15, 2015, 10:49:34 PM »
Wow, that's actually a pretty decent deal.  When I did the same thing for my car, it cost probably $450 in parts alone.  Of course, I got the parts at Autozone rather than Rock Auto, but still...

Yea, that's almost exactly the pricing I got when checking for part costs at a nearby dealership. The mechanic I went to specializes in AC repair and they were busy the whole day. It's a bit of a drive, and it took them a few hours but it was well-worth it. I'm pretty happy with the result... hopefully the car will be good for a while. This was much cheaper than buying a used car. And I think the money spent was well-worth it vs the time and trouble I'd likely have spent going the DIY route. IMHO also worth paying for in terms of not being miserable every time I drive it around. The worst thing now is driving around with a mismatched fender and door... I might look into painting it myself eventually :)

cchrissyy

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #82 on: August 15, 2015, 11:44:51 PM »
Glad it worked out and not too expensive!

I was going to recommend parking with windows down for the rest of summer and just enduring it until fall/winter when you sell it to somebody who is willing to buy a car that they know will need AC repaired next year.

TomTX

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #83 on: August 22, 2015, 09:03:22 PM »
Yea the windows are fine. There's even a sunroof LOL. Problem is the interior of the car is dark leather, so it heats up fast and heats up a lot (prob over 100 degrees) and doesn't cool down much even with the windows and vents open. It really sucks. If the parking lot here at work were covered, it would be no problem. Oh well... I guess I can continue to designate it as my commuting car and "emergency" car. I may get a quote on the AC stuff though first just to see. If it's only $300-$600, I'd probably be OK with it.

Shit, this is my 3rd summer in the '95 Saturn with no AC. And I'm in Texas. Not that "Ooh, it gets into the 80s and sometimes low 90s here in SoCal!" - I've had a lucky summer. Typically 95-99F for a high this year. Rarely triple digits this year. I've measured 145F inside that car before. No sunroof.

Is it my commuter car? Sure. Does the toddler go in a car with AC? Yep.

Oh, and that 53C? The sensor is sitting in the sun. Official temperature measurements are in the shade in protected areas.

Cassie

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #84 on: August 23, 2015, 03:00:07 PM »
When my son was born we were young & poor in the military living in TX. Our car or apartment had no AC & we were all fine. Uncomfortable, yes but no one died or got sick. 

Aki

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #85 on: August 23, 2015, 03:58:26 PM »
My AC recently broke and for $1000, I decided to not fix it.  (I rarely use it and am always cold.)  The only trouble I've had, once, was on a recent warm, rainy and humid day, when the windows fogged up and the defrost seemed to not be working.  Some say this is related to no AC.  In any event, I decided to gamble that we won't have too many such days in MI.  I wonder if anyone else has had this problem. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #86 on: August 23, 2015, 05:37:26 PM »
My AC recently broke and for $1000, I decided to not fix it.  (I rarely use it and am always cold.)  The only trouble I've had, once, was on a recent warm, rainy and humid day, when the windows fogged up and the defrost seemed to not be working.  Some say this is related to no AC.  In any event, I decided to gamble that we won't have too many such days in MI.  I wonder if anyone else has had this problem.
They were right--when you turn on the defroster, your car runs the A/C and the heater at the same time, effectively forming a dehumidifier for your car.  That warm, dry air then gets blown against your windshield, drawing off the condensation.

Living in michigan?  Yeah, you'll probably see your share of such weather every spring :)

mrshudson

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2015, 08:15:18 PM »
My AC recently broke and for $1000, I decided to not fix it.  (I rarely use it and am always cold.)  The only trouble I've had, once, was on a recent warm, rainy and humid day, when the windows fogged up and the defrost seemed to not be working.  Some say this is related to no AC.  In any event, I decided to gamble that we won't have too many such days in MI.  I wonder if anyone else has had this problem.

The defrost is for thawing ice on your windows - it works by supplying heat. On a muggy day (I've lived in Minnesota and we have a few of those), your ac cools and to an extent dehumidifies, so that your window wouldn't fog up. Your defrost (regardless of whether your ac is functional or not) doesn't affect fogging up of windows on hot days.

Gone Fishing

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #88 on: September 01, 2015, 03:09:24 PM »
My AC recently broke and for $1000, I decided to not fix it.  (I rarely use it and am always cold.)  The only trouble I've had, once, was on a recent warm, rainy and humid day, when the windows fogged up and the defrost seemed to not be working.  Some say this is related to no AC.  In any event, I decided to gamble that we won't have too many such days in MI.  I wonder if anyone else has had this problem.

If you really need it bad, run the defrost on heat.  It should work.  Might be bit uncomfortable, but better than wrecking your car.  I used to keep a rag in the console as backup when I couldn't stand to run the heat. 

frugaldrummer

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2015, 06:18:08 PM »
Hahaha - this thread brought back childhood memories from the 60's, driving to Montana from California every summer, no AC, but we did have a swamp cooler that you attached to the window:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_cooler

;)

jeromedawg

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Re: I don't know what to do about my car... AC broken - unbearable to drive
« Reply #90 on: September 01, 2015, 07:16:16 PM »
Yea the windows are fine. There's even a sunroof LOL. Problem is the interior of the car is dark leather, so it heats up fast and heats up a lot (prob over 100 degrees) and doesn't cool down much even with the windows and vents open. It really sucks. If the parking lot here at work were covered, it would be no problem. Oh well... I guess I can continue to designate it as my commuting car and "emergency" car. I may get a quote on the AC stuff though first just to see. If it's only $300-$600, I'd probably be OK with it.

Shit, this is my 3rd summer in the '95 Saturn with no AC. And I'm in Texas. Not that "Ooh, it gets into the 80s and sometimes low 90s here in SoCal!" - I've had a lucky summer. Typically 95-99F for a high this year. Rarely triple digits this year. I've measured 145F inside that car before. No sunroof.

Is it my commuter car? Sure. Does the toddler go in a car with AC? Yep.

Oh, and that 53C? The sensor is sitting in the sun. Official temperature measurements are in the shade in protected areas.

Haha... everyone's got different tolerances and limits. I'm not used to the hotter and more humid weather that it has been as of late (in fact, I'm pretty sure a majority of the population here isn't used to it because it's hardly like that). I start sweating like a freak when it starts heating up. If I were in your shoes, my entire head and body would be wet from sweat and I'd have to keep a beach towel in the car to dry off. Not something I really look forward to. To a lesser extent, this was what was happening before I got the A/C fixed. Oh and for some reason, leather interiors (which mine is) of older cars seem to retain even *more* heat in my experience. I remember when I'd drive around in my mom's old all black (and black leather interior) BMW. On not even a super-hot but sunny day, the interior of the car would get really hot - so much so that it felt like the seats were burning my skin whenever I wore shorts. Oh, and don't forget about avoiding touching the metal part of the seat belt buckle :O