I've owned a '94 Ford Escort for the last five years.
The A/C cooled nicely, actually surprisingly well, all of just over 90,000
miles until this morning. I took it in, borrowed the wife's car, and got a
message from my garage that everything in the A/C system leaks, that I need
the following replaced:
Condensor, compressor, fittings, accumulator, evaporator, and liquid
line(what's this?). There's additional charges for refrigerant and oil, but I
figured I'd need those anyway. I know what he's calling the liquid line, and
he told me he doesn't replace the oriface tube, he replaces the line (I guess
the tubes in it) because he hasn't had much luck just replacing oriface tubes.
I've got a couple of questions. First, doe AC systems normally fail all over,
as the technician tells me? Second, did he leave anything out of this list?
He says, after I got the list and forked over $80.00 for the diagnosis, that
he estimates a $1600.00 to $2000.00 repair. I asked about black death, he
said, no, he just detected leaks in the compressor, evaporator, and condensor,
the other stuff has to be replaced anyway. I asked if it was slow leaks, he
said "the system won't hold a pound, there's some pretty big leaks".
I've had him do other service both on this Escort and a handful of other Fords
I've owned, so I trust him and his judgement, and I'll probably not pay that
much for an Escort that old just for AC, but it's hot, guess I'll look for a
car with running air.
Some closing questions though, I've never replaced any air conditioning
components, assuming I can get the parts, what can I replace before I have to
take it back to get the remainder of the parts professionally installed and
the system charged back up and running. I figure I can do everything but the
evaporator, and I understand that the accumulator is the last thing to go on
before it's checked for sealing, so is it possible to do the rest myself, what
do I have to look out for?
Is there any particular order for replacing the parts I can get to? Such as,
replace the condensor before replacing the compressor, or replace the liquid
line before you replace the condensor? I doubt I can do it all in a weekend,
my budget wouldn't allow it.
Is such a thing an acceptable practice, or will I be stepping on his toes by
replacing most of the things on the list? I'd hate to have him tell me he
won't touch my system because I did all sorts of work on it and therefore he
can't work on it anymore. The car is literally a daily driver, when I'm not
driving it for work my daugther is driving it to her job, and she works over
Hot, tired, and frustrated near Miami, FL.