Here in North Texas, air conditioning is serious as a heat stroke, so when my 2000 Beetle started blowing brittle pieces of foam from the A/C vents, moaning at stop lights, and refusing to cool, action was required. That was last summer, and I had the A/C “fixed” – new compressor (a dryer thingy had gone bad), a fresh charge of freon, and gloriously arctic air. There was still foam, but who cares as long as it’s cold? (I know the foam is disintegrating due to age, not rodents.) The shop told me they could fix the foam problem but that it would mean taking off the dash, could cost $900 in labor, and that not fixing it meant nothing worse than flying foam.
Now in the second summer, the air still blows cold but only sometimes, and it spits more foam than ever. When the air isn’t cold, if I twiddle all the knobs, especially the one that directs air from my face to my feet to the defrost and back, eventually the vents belch out more foam and give me cold air. This mainly works at 70+ mph. A recent development is that air blows on my toes as well as my face when I have the dial set for face-air-only. My tootsies love it, but I’m concerned that when all the foam breaks free I’ll have air coming from all vents at once, maybe hot, maybe cold.
So I have two questions: (1) When all the foam has flown out the windows, will I have reliable temperature control? (2) If the answer to 1 is no, would it be cheaper to sell my dear Sunshine to CarMax for a lesser price and let them dismantle the dash or pay the shop and keep driving her a while?