W201 190D A/C Repair Choices

I am in a pickle here and can't figure out how to proceed with this car I don't know any history about. The compressor in this car is not turning on. The mechanic found that even when he supplied power to it
directly, the clutch didn't engage. He saw also that of the three wires going to the compressor, one has been cut. He reasoned that it at least needs a clutch, but the price of a compressor and clutch together is only $10 more than just the clutch. I found a rebuilt compressor for $200, compared to $300 at AutoZone so I am assuming it's a good deal. The labor to replace the whole compressor is the same as replacing just the clutch. Either way, the system has to be evacuated and charged with R134A freon, so there is no difference there. He said, though, that since he applied compressed air to the system and saw it is clearly leaking and found only one visible leak, which he fixed by tightening a connection, there is no way to tell if the evaporator is leaking easily or if it is coming from the compressor. He said for $50 he could block off the system and check whether it is the compressor, evaporator or both before I decide whether I want to pay for the compressor and get it installed. So, here are the choices.
1) Just buy the $200 compressor w/ clutch and have him install, evac and charge for a grand total of $450. Risk: evaporator leaks, which is another $550, parts and labor. If I new the evaporator was bad, I probably wouldn't do anything to the A/C and I would just suffer in the heat.
2) Pay the $50 before the go/no go decision on the compressor replacement.
I am leaning toward just skipping the $50 test. On the other hand the aluminum in the engine looks corroded/oxidized so maybe that's a sign that the evaporated probably is too.
Am I missing anything in the decision process? What about the expansion valve or some other component? Some or all of those could be bad too, right?
Lastly, he said, don't worry about the automatic climate control unit. That's the least of our worries, because he can get around that if he has to by just putting in a relay and a switch for the compressor for free.
He's a good guy; trying to save me money.
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how old is the car? also spend the 50 bucks.
kind of like spending a lot on a speed boat but not checking it for leaks first
the case, minus a few cans!
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Why didn't he connect that cut wire? He was only assuming that might be the problem without diagnosing it.
He can pressurize the system with the dye leak detector and see if the leak come from anywhere else... There is no such thing as blind diagnosis with A/C system. It is either leaking there or not there. The green dye is easy to see with UV lgiht and enhancing goggle. They glow neon green/purple when lit up.
Don't think about the evaporator.. that's the ploy nowdays that mechanic uses to rip you off... by telling you they can't find the leak anywhere and evaporator has to be it... again, there is no such thing is blind diagnosis. With dye injected, if there is leak by the evaporator, you would see it on your windshield/dash when set to defrost mode.
What year do you have and what is the last 6 digits of your VIN number? I got a used one from my part car... cheap.
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I am with Tiger. he must be able to diagnose first. If it's 50 bucks that is well worth it.
Mechanics that just throw parts at a problem are best avoided if possible.
Marty
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you will get a definite positive for a leak when testing the air vents inside the car.
cheers :wq
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