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Air conditioning woe and despair


My tale is long, dark, and sordid, but my time is short so I am going to stick to the facts, which are these:

1) I have a 1995 Honda Civic with 182,000 miles.

2) I had the A/C replaced the day before I left Florida to move to Missouri.

3) It died on the way to Missouri.

4) The mechanic in Florida sent me a replacement compressor.

5) I had a mechanic in Missouri install it.

6) He said it was bad, so I bought a new one from him.

7) He said it was bad and replaced it under warranty.

8) A fan associated with the A/C went out 2 weeks later. I paid for him to fix it.

9) A week later two little valves he described as the size of a ball point pen went out. He replaced at no charge.

10) Winter arrived a week later.

11) The following May, no A/C the first time I try to use it.

12) He says those valves are bad again. Replaces at no charge

13) A week later, no A/C. I am out of town for the summer and working every day, so I do nothing.

14) After the summer is over, I go back and ask for my money back. He convinces me to give another one of his locations a shot, says maybe another pair of eyes would help.

15) Other location says valves have been tampered with. Replaces at no charge.

16) A week later, no A/C. I write the original mechanic, upset. He accuses me of stealing freon, we are no longer friendly.

Okay, so my questions are these:

What are these tiny valves?

What could be causing them to fail?

How hard is it to make an A/C system function properly?

What else could be going on?

Thanks for any help you can offer. I am a student and the money I’ve spent on this A/C (why I even chose to replace the A/C on a car with almost 200k miles is a story unto itself) is too significant for me to simply admit defeat.

- Andrew Cox

Columbia, MO

I can only guess that the Thermostatic Expansion Valve is clogging up do to contaminants that’s still in the system.

When the first compressor failed it may have caused massive contamination (Black Death). In that type of failure it may best to perform a firewall forward replacement. That’s replacing everthing except the evaporator, which would get flushed, and the TXV replaced.

Thanks very much for your response. He did replace everything except the hoses, which he said shouldn’t need to be replaced. Is there ever a need to replace those as well?

Since you mention “two tiny valves” I suspect the Schrader valves are the ones being replaced,they are the valves that allow the AC system to be serviced,they do leak,but not as often as you have experienced,they are ike the valves in the tires valve stems. You need to have these (and all other areas) “sniffed” by a electronic tester to verify they are leaking.

To boil your post down you have had 4 compressors and 3 sets of Schrader valves replaced? (the fan relay is out of the mix,they fail)We must look to see any similarity in the reasons for compressor failure and they must show you the leaks.