2006 Sentra’s AC is not working for at least 3 to 4 years. I can deal with it and I was not planning to fix it at all. The heat works, which is more important for me.
That said, DS, now 10, started getting serious heat intolerance. He has always had it but it was never this pronounced. This year, it hasn’t reached 100F and he has already complained of a headache at least 8-10 times. So I may have to fix it.
Last year, I tried DIY refill using those AC Pro kits. It worked for a day and leaked out by the end of the second day. So my question to experienced folks, what average repair costs I am looking at?
I talked to the mechanic and he mentioned that he will fill up fluorescent dye to check leakage and then he will know for sure abt the costs. But he also mentioned that I made a mistake by not fixing it right away as the refrigerant not only contains refrigerant but also lubricating oil (or similar) to keep the seals intact. Now, there is a good chance that they are broken. I agree with his reasoning. Just wanted to know if anybody can give me a rough idea abt what usually goes wrong most often and what is the worst case scenario.
Many thanks in advance.
P.S. - Is this leak check DIYable? I have a UV flashlight. All I need to get is a dye.
totally depends on where it is leaking from. could be as simple as an o-ring replacement, or as involved as replacing a compressor or condenser.
You’re gonna have to get it checked to know what is going on.
I never recommend a/c work as DIY project. Pros have the tools, the training, and the experience to know what they are doing without causing more damage.
Have no idea what DS means but if I had a family member who suffered because of heat I would replace this 12 year old Sentra even if it meant leasing a new vehicle at the lowest price I could find. As someone who also has to be aware of heat related health problems I know just how miserable one can be.
Thank you, folks. My guesstimate was on a right track. I will at least ask him to check it and give me an idea abt the cost then will decide if I want to go ahead.
@VOLVO_V70 DS is Dear Son and I totally agree with your comment. This car was already ready for replacement before we figured out that DS has a diagnosis of autism. Most of the people still don’t know what autism is (latest rate is 1 in 49 kids) and financial ramifications of it on a family. Autism makes you realize how difficult it is to put aside $200 a month even if you make 6-figure. And that is the ONLY reason why we are still holding on to this car.
How much of this stuff can one just do? If I suspect a part that I can replace, a cheap part, such as an o-ring or hose, I just replace it. Sometimes things work just because I take them apart then put them back together. It’s cheaper by far to replace cheap parts than to figure out whether they’re a problem. Could one take an A/C apart, replace all the hoses and o-rings and other cheap parts, put it back together? If so, how likely would this be to repair it?
If you take the parts off it’s a lot easier to find leaks: just seal up the ends and blow into one of them. Put in a tub of water. Is this crazy?
A/C operates at high pressure, you likely won’t find leaks by blowing. And many leaks are at fittings. You’ll also find that ‘other cheap parts’ aren’t so cheap. Better to pay to have the problem diagnosed, then decide if you can handle the needed repairs.
Sounds like you’ve found a capable AC man. Let him do his diagnosis and get your estimate from him directly.
And I urge you to please, please, please get DS (daughter’s son?) to a doctor immediately. Getting the cause of the severe headaches diagnosed is 1000 times more important than getting the AC fixed. This could be as serious as a growing tumor, or a growing aneurism.
I commented a few posts above. He is already under extensive medical care and thanks to our medical system, I am dealing with this car.
His headache is due to a mitochondrial dysfunction, which is very common in autism population (but not really recognized by the mainstream medical community, yet). Thanks for your concern.
If you live in a dry climate, low humidity area, there may be some stop gap solutions available using less expensive evaporative water-cooler gadgets. I saw folks use those on their cars (especially VW Beetles & Busses for some reason) when I lived in western Colorado. But for that to work is has to be really quite low humidity, less than 20%, better if less than 10%. I use evaporative home cooling here in San Jose. For the most part it doesn’t get very hot here, so no cooling required, but when it does get into the high 90’s or above, even to 115 degrees sometimes , the humidity is usually very low so the evap method works well.