1994 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class - $4k AC fix

I have a 1994 SL 500 Mercedes. 66,500 miles in great condition. The A/C just went out and they want $4,000 to fix it. Question…do I fix it, store it until it becomes a classic or sell it?

I don’t see how anyone can answer that question for you . Only you know if 4000.00 is a burden to your finances . Of course you can get a second opinion for the repair. Become a Classic , who knows so why have storage fees .
Do a little online research such as Kelly Blue Book to see what it would be worth with all working functions and maybe list it at a lower price without fixing the air Conditioner .


One can purchase an entire 1994 Mercedes SL 500 for less than $4K. At last that’s what they start at. I would look for an alternative option to fixing the AC on that car. Unless it is super special.


Who gave you the $4000 quote? Have you checked with good ac shops in your area? Time for a second opinion!

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AAA estimates the compressor replacement to be between $1,200 and $1,235. Could be more where you live. I would get a second and even third opinion and stay away from dealer service. Look for a mom and pop shop. It is not hard to replace the compressor on your model car, just a little labor intensive.

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You can purchase a compressor component kit for under $300.00 at Rockauto.


Sounds like someone has a few boat payments to make.



Yacht …

If the evaporator core is leaking a new compressor won’t help. 14 hours labor to replace the evaporator.

Exactly what components needs to be replaced? Is “they” a Benz dealer?

There’s a lot of reasons why the A/C may suddenly go out and many of the causes are not in the 4 grand range. Nowhere near 4 grand or even a single grand actually. At this point there is no info to go on.


Great BIG assumption on your part that it ever will be a classic. Not all old cars become desirable classics. Some just stay old cars.


Yep, especially those that aren’t maintained well, like with a/c that doesn’t work…


Do you have an itemized, written estimate? If not, get one from the first shop. Get two other Itemized written estimates. Now you can compare them and see what you get for the extra money. If you don’t know a good shop, ask everyone you know for recommendations. Eventually, a couple shops will rise to the top. Try them for estimates.

It’s 26 years old and only 66,000 miles in it, it’s obviously a weekend/sunny day car and it’s a convertible.
It’s not going to go up in value but it won’t do much down in value either until other things like the engine or more likely the tranny, start giving up the ghost and then it’s worth $500 scrap value.

So would you rather have $4,000 cash now or a weekend car to tool around in?

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And why are you assuming it’s the compressor

For $4000 . . . I’m assuming the evaporator is leaking

It’s a LOT of work to replace an evaporator on a R129 . . . that was not a typo

On those older cars, you can’t just take out the dash in a few minutes :smiley:

Assuming the diagnosis is correct, the only thing you can do is shop around for a lower hourly rate. An independent shop will only charge slightly less than the dealer for parts, and the hourly rate . . . assuming it’s a good shop that actually knows what they’re doing . . . will be close to the dealer rate

Any shop will charge a ton of labor hours to replace the evaporator on this car

And I highly suspect only shops familiar with older Benzes will even agree to do the job

There are a ton of expensive trim pieces which will almost certainly get damaged if you’re not extremely careful and take your time. And those pieces are ones the customer will see . . .

Even removing the cluster is very tricky. If you’re not using the right tool, and if you’re not using the right angle and so forth, it’s almost a given that you will break the plastic lens covering


I guess you are correct. We should ask OP if she has an itemized list of the work suggested.