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A/C unit - # point check

Hi All,

Some months ago my brother-in-law took his Nissan sedan for an oil change at the dealership. I assume that along with the oil change a (insert any number here) - point check was done. A few days later he notices that his air conditioning (A/C) stopped working. He then took it back to the dealership to get it fixed, which took up to a week and about $1000.

My question is wouldn’t/shouldn’t the mechanics at the dealership be able to notice that the A/C would crap out during their (insert any number here) - point check?

I’ve never heard of a mechanic doing an oil change check the AC system. They’d have no reason to.
Even if they did, it could crap out tomorrow anyway. Stuff happens,


There is no red meter with a dial pointing to “Imminent Failure” on the AC. Even if the tech had hooked up his gauges to the AC, which they won’t, it would have read OK and cold air was exiting the vents.

Those checks are for things the tech can actually see, like tire life or abnormal wear, loose parts, damaged bushings, worn brake pads, dirty air filter, bad wipers. Basically stuff that would endanger your life or cause your car to stop running. AC is not one of those things.


You are kidding. You really expect someone to predict when an air conditioner will fail.


@Mustangman: Thank you.

@VOLVO_V70: I wasn’t kidding as I am not a car expert and I’m not entirely sure as to what goes on during the time when a tech at the dealership checks the vehicles – and I say that because I’ve heard people give horror stories and tales of warnings.

Thanks for the responses, as always.

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As someone who has done countless vehicle inspections for various reasons including those associated with basic oil changes and so on, I will say that an A/C system check is not nor has it ever been part of an oil change service.
It’s too intrusive.
Even on a major service such as 30 or 60k miles the gauges are not hooked up to check A/C performance. A thermometer in the dash vents to get a feel for things is about it.

I also suspect that some (maybe even most) of the horror stories and tales of warnings may be a bit off-base. However, it would be interesting to hear a few of them.

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Unfortunately there’s no simple & quick check for the A/C system performance. Neither is there a routine maintenance schedule for the AC system. If it doesn’t blow cool enough air, the shop would expect the owner to mention that. The dealership muti-point check is a general look-see at the vehicle for obvious things that might predict a future problem. Fluid levels, filters, dashboard warning lights, tire tread condition, etc. You can either look at it as a good thing, a car expert taking time to examine your car for any obvious problems so your car is safe to drive and reliable, or a bad thing, a way to find minor problems and use them to improve dealership revenue. In actuality, it’s probably a combination of both. That service though can prove helpful to the owner, provided the shop does it diligently.