CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Suspicious service appiintment

I took my car for brakes into a shop, was told in the wait time that I may need a new AC compressor. They noticed some leaking. Seems weird to me 3ss ive had this car in two other shops in the last three days for other work. Prior to this visit the a.c. worked fine. When I left the shop I have no ac just bowing hot air. Is there a way to tell if someone messed with anything. Why would they check my ac if I brought it in for brakes only. . . .it just seems suspicious. . .

Since you’ve had 3 shops look at the car recently… even if you could determine something had been “done” intentionally, I’m not sure how you’d be able to assign blame.

Shops tend to look for other potential work they can do while they have your car. Some are doing it in an attempt to help the customer about something he/she may not be aware of. Other shops are looking more to take advantage of a situation. Obviously you want to find a shop that both does good work and is trying to help you.

Sorry about your troubles. Good luck.

Thanks. My question is tho. . .is there a way to tell. Cause it needs to be fixed and what do I do. . . pick someplace else or trust one of the two shop that could do the work, the third doesnt do ac work. I live in phx az I can’t have no ac. . .

Even if another mechanic thought something had been done to cause the AC to quit proving that any shop did it is next to impossible . Start checking online reviews , friends , coworkers and relatives for an independent AC shop . Just make sure you have them give you a price before they do any work . Try to stay with one shop that you feel good about.
I really doubt your AC was sabotaged , there are much easier ways to generate income .

The high heat there is tough on A/C systems and your car is pretty well aged. Odds are the compressor is leaking (common with any aged car and usually the shaft seal) and it could well be that the level of refrigerant had leaked out enough to where it reached the tipping point so to speak. That tipping point will be when the low side pressure switch does not have enough pressure to close the contacts to the compressor.

The A/C gauges need to be connected to get a handle on what is inside the system as a first step.

1 Like

Like @ok4450 said, I’d use yelp and google to look for a good shop that specializes in a/c, I’m sure there are a few in Phoenix. Read the reviews, focus on ones that discuss how well their car was fixed, not on how nice the waiting room is or whether they felt they were put on hold for too long, that kind of thing.

There’s something which has not yet been mentioned . . . but which is common, especially on older vehicles, such as this

Maybe the shop doing the brakes heard a strange noise under the hood

And the cause of that strange noise was the ac compressor, which was “about to let go”

This happens more often than many customers might think

Just the other day I replaced 2 brake calipers on a truck

After I came back from my test drive, I smelled something wicked and heard a really loud noise

Yup

The smell was the ac compressor

And it was “about to let go” . . . as I said

Undoubtedly, it also shot a bunch of metal into the system

Just something to think about

I highly doubt the shop working on op’s brakes “did something” to cause the ac to stop working

2 Likes

Does the light come on when you push the AC button?

cut your losses and find one local mechanic for all car services. I found a place using google reviews and yelp where over a period of years people commented on trustworthiness and good work. This way only one person/mechanic (hopefully a certified and well trained mechanic) is working on your vehicle, not three.

A time-saver as well, my local mechanic does everything, tires as well.

1 Like

Maybe the other shops didn’t check the A/C because they weren’t asked to do so and worked in an area of the car where the leak was not obvious.

Same for me, dropped it off a few weeks ago, left a list for a front brake job, four new tires, oil change and new windshield wiper blades.

Picked it up at the end of the day with all of these things done. Easy peezy.

This is very solid advice.

@Suzieque76_169353: depending on what part of Phx you are in, message me and I can give you the name of a really good shop there- if you’d like.

But finding a single shop to work on your vehicle is one of the best things you can do for it. That single shop will keep track of repairs and services, where these 3 shops you have recently visited have no idea what the other shops have done. If problems are somehow related, you are likely paying multiple times for the same diagnostics to be done by different people at different shops.