My A/C recently stopped working on my 2002 RSX type s. I took the car
into the dealership and they told me that my A/C condenser had a big
hole in it and that it would need to be replaced. They tell me the
part will cost over $1,000, and they'll presumably charge me even more
to install it.
I called the "customer relations" line and they told me that this
happens often and that it was most likely caused by a rock or
something flying up from the road. I have no idea when this might
have happened, but the rep said that you might not know if it had
happened. I asked her if there would have been some fluid dripping
and she said she didn't know. She compared it to a rock flying up and
chipping the windshield, but I would have thought that the condenser
should be a lot more sturdy than a glass window! Shouldn't it?
The car is 5-6 years old and has under 100k on it. Is this really a
routine situation to have happen with this kind of vehicle? I'm a bit
frustrated with the situation.
I'd check around on parts prices -- for example, here is a replacement
condensor for $99.00 Your Wishlist Shopping Cart (0) Contact Us Your
Home Categories Manufacturers Customer Service
You could probably find any decent shop that works on ac to replace it and
recharge the system. I suspect Acura dealers are rather like Lexus dealers
in high priced repairs and service. You might try a Honda dealer for a
quote and it might be cheaper.
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Years ago when I was overseas in the UK, we had a Datsun 210 where I had the
same problem. Not hard to replace and the part was cheap from the States via
the APO. The problem was finding someone who had the capability the evac
the system and recharge since ac in the UK in the early 80s was generally
only found in very expensive motorcars.
inWashington D.C. at the time and selling the Datsun really was not a good
option -- we had to sell an 810 at the time. The military would only ship
one car -- so we picked up a 1600cc Mazda over there -- with a choke no
less. You may not know, moving in the military always cost you like having
to buy new appliances and dump possessions because of shipping weight limits
by grade. Never regretted my service though and would do it again. Our 4
years in the UK was a most enjoyable tour.
If you're handy, you can do most of the work yourself and save a bundle.
If you're not, you can still buy the parts online and bring them to a
local shop for installation and still save big. There is lots of
information and resources on the interent.
First, buy the condensor here:
They have them for $108 or $120. You should probably replace the
receiver/dryer at the same time They're cheap. Here it is for $12:
I've used RockAuto on several occasions and never had a problem.
If you prefer, you can get an OEM part for $219 here:
Buy a manual. Even if that costs you another $50 it's worth it. Here's
one online for $9.95: http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/3068052 -
Misc. Don't know if it's any good, never used it.
I've never done it on this particular car, but usually, removing and
replacing the condensor and the receiver dryer is no big deal . You'll
probably need some O-rings also. As I say, check the manual. You may have
to remove some facia pieces to get at the condensor. The first hard step,
removing the refrigerant has alreay been taken care of by the rock.
Another hard step, flushing the system is probably not needed since there
is no reason to suspect contamination. That usually occurs with an
internal compressor breakdown. You will have to have the system
evacuated, more on that later.
Remove and replace the old condensor and receiver/dryer per the manual.
Shouldn't be any more difficult than home plumbing work. Then take the
car to a local shop that does a/c. You can do the rest yourself, but it
requires a lot of specialized tools which aren't worth it for one time
use and from this point forward, the work gets a lot more technical. Have
the shop evacuate the sytem. This is done with a vacuum pump and is
necessary to get rid of any mosture that has entered your system. Do not
skip this step or your system will soon die. Then have the shop recharge
with the appropriate refridgerent and oil. Your done. My guess is the
shop will charge you about $100-150. Not counting your own labor, you
should be able to do the whole deal, with OEM parts if your want, for
well under $500. Use the RockAuto premium part and you'll save another
Very common on just about every type of modern vehicle, unfortunately.
The condenser is thin aluminum with high internal pressures and is
directly exposed to the air stream at the front of the car. Damage is
very common. It would be nice if automakers mounted some kind of
protection screen in front of them, but I've never seen it done.
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