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AC Compressor AND evaporator?

Our 2004 F150 AC pooped out and we took it in for a look. They charged it, said they found no leaks. One hour after we picked it up, no cold air. Took it back and they now say it won’t hold a charge (duh). The mechanic says both the compressor and the evaporator are bad. I asked about the line pressures on the hi and low sides and he said they’re good and the compressor is indicated as the fault. But why the evaporator and how could he know BOTH are bad at the same time? Thanks for any insights.

I’d be getting a second opinion. If they thought it was fine and not leaking, and then it’s dumped all its refrigerant within an hour of their repair, and now suddenly two parts are bad, I would immediately suspect they don’t know what they’re doing.


Run and find a another reputable shop. If the compressor and evaporator are bad and not holding a charge the line pressure, obviously, can’t be “GOOD”.


You are smart to be suspicious and questioning. You are demonstrating common sense. As Shadow said, get a second opinion, from a shop that didn’t do the first repair. Your only problem may be just a leak. Good luck.

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I’m going to take it somewhere else. Years ago, this shop charged me for a rotation they didn’t do. However, I had marked the tires. They claimed a misunderstanding among the mechanics regarding who had (not) done the rotation. Yeah, they gave me a free oil change coupon but I wasn’t happy. I figured a few years later, staff has changed and I’d take a chance.
Thanks again.

Definitely time to find a new shop.

I’d seek out a reputable radiator and AC-certified shop. They’ll often tend to have guys with a bit different skill set, more experience and focus with AC systems.

You current shop? Well, they don’t seem to know what they’re doing. Or care.

The advice above to get a second opinion is sound. When a compressor fails however, the failure can generate metal debris, and the metal debris can in turn damage/clog other parts in the AC system. Here’s a pretty good easy to understand 4 part explanation of how it all works and ways an auto AC system can fail.

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I agree; find another shop. It sounds like these guys are on shaky ground.

Due to the age of the truck I would strongly suspect the compressor shaft seal is leaking. That’s a very common problem with any make of this age.

Usually if the bottom of the compressor is oily that means the shaft seal is leaking.

As for the evaporator and the diagnosis I have no idea. An evaporator can clog (very rare, will show up in a pressure check) or leak. Any leak can be determined with an electronic sniffer.