Now It's Official, Summer's Here Because My AC's Failed.

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 the weekend. Hot, tired, and frustrated near Miami, FL.
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Well, NOW you know...
Thats' bullshit.
NO way EVERYTHING fails at once.
A good sniffer detects a leak of a quarter oz/year. I know, I have one.. and it can confuse the hell out of you.
If he just got his, he's running amok with it.
Just replace the compressor and all the o-rings, THEN have it sniffed.
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It does sound pretty fishy. The thing works for 90k no problem, and then all of a sudden it sprouts 8 leaks. No way....That thing would have been tit's up months ago. They all wouldn't have all appeared on the same day. I'd have him show the obvious hose leaks with liquid detector. They should bubble. Heck, you never know, it may have just gotten low enough over time to trip the pressure switch. A can or two of freon, and it might have worked quite a while longer for a low cost. But there ain't no money in selling freon. On one hand though, car A/C's are finicky, and he's probably trying to avoid future comebacks by trying to insist on changing the whole thing. I can see that, but I can't believe everything on the car is leaking overnight, when the thing was running OK yesterday. I'd bet some of his "leaks" wouldn't amount to a whizz in a whirlwind in the overall scheme of things. There may be one bad one though... He might also be using one of those crappy battery operated detectors. Junk... The only detector I'll use is a plug in the wall G.E. that comes in the leather case. It's the only one that's really worth using, and I've tried them all nearly. I do A/C work, but not on cars much. He may have had a contaminated tip. That will make them act goofy every time. MK
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Mark Keith opined in

How about a Bachman? That's what I got... A dual type... because I do property maintenance.
It works pretty well, IMO... unless the leak is BIG.
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