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AC repair on 1998 Subaru Outback

I took my Subaru in because the “check engine” light came on and it was hesitating when I hit the gas. The mechanic replaced the spark plugs and wiring then told me that there was an AC line that was leaking and probably my AC would last another 2 weeks. He was dead on and the AC stopped working in exactly 2 weeks. I’m suspicious about whether he helped the line get leaky and also wondering if it’s a part that I can replace myself. Any advice is more than welcome!

Air conditioning systems are not do-it-yourself projects for most people.
I suggest that you take the car to a professional–preferably an auto A/C specialist.

If you are truly suspicious, take the car to another mechanic and ask them to look for evidence of tampering. I doubt that this is the case because few people will risk criminal prosecution or even their job for the sake of an additional couple hundred dollar job. Your car is 15 years old and will need more repairs as time goes on. If you feel you cannot trust your current mechanic, you need to find one you can trust.

A 13 year old A/C part can be expected to leak and fail at any time.
As to whether you can change this part I’ll say that if you cannot change your own spark plugs then you should not attemp this.

Even if you change the line you would then need someone with the equipment and skills to evacuate the system, recharge, and check for additional leaks, etc.

My feeling is that this car likely has several A/C leaks and the system should be inspected and fixed in its entirety.

Thank you for your honest info. Sorry if I’ve insulted anyone by suggesting that the mechanic was tampering with my vehicle. You are absolutely right. The car is old and probably has more than one leak in the system. Patching this one will probably cause the next weakest link to start leaking. I need this car to last a little while until I can afford to replace it and was hoping to be able to have AC for the summer without putting a lot of money into it. Good thing the windows work!

No, you’re not insulting. What you might consider is having someone test the system with an electronic sniffer for leaks.
If nothing appears other than the line in question then I would consider fixing the A/C.

You also might look at this line and see if you can determine why the mechanic stated what he did.
With leaks (especially those down low) a leak may appear as an oily, dirt-encrusted blotch.
The leak could be due to age or even physical damage from a prior collision or a rock thrown up and hitting an exposed A/C part.