A/C question

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How long is the meant time before failure of your typical auto AC system and what is the normal failure ?
I have 4 vehicles with AC systems that have a combined mileage of around
750,000 miles. I have replaced three compressors. One was an old York piston unit on a 1969 auto that broke a rod at about 200,000 miles. The other two where new style compessors and both were replaced because of seal leaks. The fourth unit is an original York piston unit that is still working great and is 36 years old. I seem to have more problem with seals going bad than compressor blowing apart so I would have to say seal failure is the big failure mode. How off normal am I ? I also never buy spark plugs and find very few bad spark plug wires. I laughed the other day when I was in an AutoZone store and saw a complete wall full of spark plug wires and all I could think about was all the good wires that were being thrown away.
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i really dont think there is a realistic way to answer that question. you _should_ be able to expect 10 years of trouble free operation, but ive seen many go much longer, and many only last a couple years. id guess the most common failure is seal failure.
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"Ron" wrote:

of
It depends on the usage of the unit and the climate you live in too. If you live in Teaxs and use it a lot, it will not last as long but I have gotten 200k out of a few compressors and my 89 burb had its compressor replaced at 45k under extended warranty because of quality problems with compressors that year but its replacement is still doing fine 130k miles later.
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tom already did, last night.
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Nathan W. Collier
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Now don't confuse Gary with the facts :-)
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"Nathan W. Collier" < snipped-for-privacy@aol.com> wrote in message
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"TBone" are you in michigan? Local bendix plant unloaded a bunch of vac. pumps about 5 years ago.

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Nope, from NJ and now in NC. My vacuum pump came from Bendix aerospace in NJ many years ago. My dad worked there and picked it up when they moved the division that used them to PA.
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It sure sounds like it works for a few of use and I personally have never had a problem and have always had cold air when it hits 120 F outside.
ollier wrote:

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Yup works for me also and doesn't cost anyway near big bucks.
Big Al wrote:

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check your local technical colledge. the ones around here will offer "certificate" classes in automotive repair. and yes they do offer one in auto hvac.

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i should add. i highly stress the importance of being properly educated in hvac repair. the dangers of dealing with the refigerant are hidden and apparent both. please take a class for your own information. in the mean time. take it to a shop and have a certified professional work on it. it'll be safer for you and the vehicle both.

opportunity
the
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The thing is, I would really like to learn, and what a golden opportunity now that I have a broken system (I actually have two) to get some experience.
I am not afraid to spend some money on equipment, I just don't know what to buy, or how to use it.
If what you are saying is that it is too complicated, or involved for the do-it-yourselfer I respect that I guess.
Does anybody know a way that a guy like me could learn more?
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if youre _serious_ about learning more (for possibly a career?) i recommend strongly that you begin to consider a tech course. refrigeration/hvac is what i do for a living (http://BighornRefrigeration.com ) and its been very good to me (in addition to welding). i cannot stress enough the importance of learning right before you pick up any bad habits. i was initially self-taught and although i could get by, for the most part i was a bumbling idiot until i got some formal training. if its what you want to do youll make a lot of money doing it.....just learn to do it right by getting formal instruction. if you just want the basics, go to the library. haynes also makes a tech manual for a/c thats very basic. drop by your local auto parts store and pick up a copy.
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So now you are no longer bumbling? <GBFG> It was just laying there, so I just had to.
Roy
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Roy wrote:

Yup I believe he is still the idiot though. I know more self taught people that know far more than formally taught person. It has to do with getting the books and reading them and also a person's ability to understand also with common sense which most people do not have.
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Not hardly. That was in jest, guess you didn't see the gbfg

Hmmm.. wonder where you live that all these self taught folks have all this expertise. Also wonder on who's equipment they screwed until they got it right.
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Thanks.
I will try tomorrow. Shouldn't it read 0 if I have a leak?
Also, I am pretty adept at working on cars, but I am a supreme novice when it comes to A/C. Can somebody suggest a good book that I can read to get mor edjucated?
Thanks
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Surfersabo wrote:

Lots of great information at this site:
http://www.autoacforum.com /
I learned how to do mine this summer after reading the above forum. Good luck.
Bob
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if you have 100 psi, running or not, you probably don't have a leak
what's the pressures with it running ?
and why does this 'mechanic' 'think' that you 'have a leak' ?
low funds ?

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Thank you all very much for the comments!!!
You have all been very helpful to me.
I think TranSurgeon sees what I'm afraid of with the low funds comment.
According to the mechanic, I have a leak and it must be in the evaporator, because he looked everywhere else. It could be true. It is just a very expensive repair and I would like to feel very secure that I am replacing the right part.
I appreciate the section where people debated about the cost of the tools.
I just measured the low side pressure with the AC system running and it was doing the following:
The compressor would click on and the reading would drop down to about 20, then it would click off and the pressure would rise back up to about 45. The compressor is clicking on and off every five seconds or so. Is this how the guy "knows" I have a leak?
Again, I really appreciate the help in learning about this.
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