A/c diy?

My car ('99 Sable) needs a new A/C compressor, evaporator core, and filter drier and other associated components. Is this a do-it-yourself job or should I use a professional?

Any common or costly mistakes I should be aware of?

Yes, the costly mistake is trying to do this yourself, unless you are a mechanic. We’ve heard of many attempts by DIYers to tackle this and the result is usually higher cost and poor performance. This is not a good do-it-yourself job. Even refrigeration techs shy away from it.

I would get an estimate from a good A/C specialty shop, not the dealer, and see what that amounts to. My guess is $1300 or so for a real professional job using rebuilt parts. You then have to decide whether it is better to sell the car and buy one with the A/C working.

What is your mechanical experience? This is about as intense as it gets, replacing the evaporator requires disassembling the entire dash in some cases. Not something I’d want to try.

No, I don’t think if this type of job as DIY. I would hire a pro.

The estimate I got is $1600. That is half of what I paid for the car, and I am hesitant to drop that into one system, knowing other maintenance is coming on more essential systems.

Any thoughts on A/C stop leak (http://www.gwrauto.com/AC%20Stop%20Leak%201.htm)? Or recommendations? The leak in my car is a slow one. If I could replace maybe just the compressor and filter drier and patch the evaporator with that, it would greatly reduce the cost and complexity…if it works.

Why does the whole system need replacing? Where’s the leak?

Small leak in seal on compressor, unseen leak in evaporator core, but there was a dyed drip outside the car near the back of the engine compartment that showed up on the black light test. It takes about a week or so to go from a full charge to a partial charge. I’m guessing two weeks would completely drain the system.

I have not used AC stop-leak, but I would sure give it a try before replacing everything. Have you gotten a second opinion on this?

Will do so later this week, most likely. Using this forum to see what others have done or might recommend.

Alright…before I drop the big money on this, I tried some other approaches. After (hopefully) addressing the leaks, I was adding freon to the system and noticed that the pressure in the system (while the car was running) peaked around 45 psi, the a/c compressor clutch kicked in, the pressure dropped, and the compressor shut off. About 10 seconds later, pressure was back to 45, and the whole process started over.

If I was an A/C expert, what would that indicate to me? Too much pressure in the system? Not enough? Something else entirely? Anybody?