2002 Dodge Caravan


#1

About 9 months ago my air conditioner stopped putting out cold air. I presume that there is no freon in the system. The dealer states it’ll be $85. to check and 50 to refill, and then we’ll have to check for leaks and the cost of that could be any amount. I just want to know if I’m presuming correctly.


#2

There’s no way to know for sure, but considering the age of the vehicle it’s a pretty safe bet that the level of the refrigerant (they don’t use freon any more) is low. It really doesn’t matter, because you will have to take it to someone who understands air conditioning systems in order to properly diagnose and repair it.

Others may not agree, but I do not consider the AC system a “do it yourself” item. You need the proper equipment and training to correctly service a vehicle AC system, and neither you nor I have either of those.

AC service is not cheap these days. It may take two visits; one to evacuate, dry, and refill the system, adding leak-detection dye, and another to repair the leak that might not show up immediately.

You don’t necessarily have to go to Dodge dealer. There are independent shops that specialize in automotive heating and AC systems, and they may know more about it than the dealer does. For the dealer it’s just one more thing. For a specialist AC service is what they do every day.


#3

follow MCs reasoning.

look in thye yellow pages for automobile, AC, refrigeration repair.

these guys are top notch, and won’t scalp you like a dealer will.

these places don’t stay in business because they are rip off shops, they have a reputation to uphold.

ask friends and neighbors where they take their cars for AC work.

also, the AC shops will usually give you credit for the refill and dye test if you go back for the repiar work. the dealer will just keep charging you… and charging you… and charging you…