• New Member registration is open. Applicants will be subject to management approval. If you have always wanted to join, now is the time.

Need car repair advice [AC blowing hot air]

DanicaFreak

Green monster
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
16,123
Points
883
2011 Dodge Journey.
191K Km on it.

AC went out end of last summer, and now its getting hot again. Would you guys pour $$$ into a 9 yr old car to find out what is the matter?

My kids need the cool air for longer drives
Wonder if its time to stick a fork in it.

I know AC is one of those things were you can spend thousands and then have other parts break.
 

Nitro Dude

Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,508
Points
793
Location
Orange Ca
If I'm not mistaken I think they started changing to the new type of Freon around 2012. If it has the old system and you can't find any of the old Freon you may have to pay a lot to change the system over. You should ask a good trust worthy mechanic.
 

BobbyFord

Secret Agent Man
Contributor
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
56,091
Points
1,033
Location
Southern California.
If it’s blowing hot there’s a reason. The refrigerant has left. Recharge with more refrigerant is a waste of money if you don’t repair the leak. Generally, it is o-ring replacement. There will be evidence of compressor oil leakage where the refrigerant leaked. Many mechanics will put fluorescent dye in with a recharge so that future leaks are easily detectable with a black light.
 

BobbyFord

Secret Agent Man
Contributor
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
56,091
Points
1,033
Location
Southern California.
If I'm not mistaken I think they started changing to the new type of Freon around 2012. If it has the old system and you can't find any of the old Freon you may have to pay a lot to change the system over. You should ask a good trust worthy mechanic.
Change over from R12 to R134 is a matter of installing R134 adapters to the R12 charge ports. About $10.
R12 systems work well with R134.
 

DanicaFreak

Green monster
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
16,123
Points
883
If it’s blowing hot there’s a reason. The refrigerant has left. Recharge with more refrigerant is a waste of money if you don’t repair the leak. Generally, it is o-ring replacement. There will be evidence of compressor oil leakage where the refrigerant leaked. Many mechanics will put fluorescent dye in with a recharge so that future leaks are easily detectable with a black light.
Thanks so much bobby!
Its time to get a pro to look at it, and determine costs. For this, I may go to the dealer.

Condenser is a big ticket part along with the evaporator. I pray its not either of those.
 

BobbyFord

Secret Agent Man
Contributor
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
56,091
Points
1,033
Location
Southern California.
Thanks so much bobby!
Its time to get a pro to look at it, and determine costs. For this, I may go to the dealer.

Condenser is a big ticket part along with the evaporator. I pray its not either of those.
Condenser and evap aren’t a likely cause. A lot of mechanics like to replace the evaporator with every repair but it isn’t necessary for an average refrigerant leak situation. Evacuate the system after the leak is repaired and you’ll be good.
 

Nitro Dude

Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
7,508
Points
793
Location
Orange Ca
Change over from R12 to R134 is a matter of installing R134 adapters to the R12 charge ports. About $10.
R12 systems work well with R134.
I have never had to change one over but I was under the impression that is cost a lot more to change over. That's not bad at all.
 

gone

Team Owner
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
594
Points
223
"Would you guys pour $$$ into a 9 yr old car to find out what is the matter? "
I would at least spend the money to get a diagnosis and quote for repair. Usually the better independent shops don't charge a lot to do that, if at all.

But realize I'm someone who keeps driving cars for years and years and years... well past the day the AC gives up the ghost (although I don't have kids to keep cool). Lol, my youngest car is 12 years old. Maybe I'm too tolerant of accessories that don't work - I used to have a car that had over 250,000 miles on it and was over 20 years old, whose AC that hadn't worked for at least 10 years. I could have fixed it, but the cost was more than I was willing to spend... finally gave the car away to a charity when all of the electric windows had died (and the parts I needed to fix them weren't available) - it was either put the windows down and let the rain in, or leave them up and roast.

When I decide whether to keep spending money to fix a car (or not), I consider how much I like the car. I also research the repair histories of similar cars, and the costs. Then I can estimate what I could be in for. Usually I find that it's overall cheaper to fix rather than replace a whole car, but I factor in age too (rust and metal fatigue is often too expensive to safely repair). Also depends on weather conditions where you live. 9 years isn't bad in arid climates, but could be over the hill in the Rust Belt.
 

BobbyFord

Secret Agent Man
Contributor
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
56,091
Points
1,033
Location
Southern California.
I replaced the compressor in my Ex’s Subaru because it blew out the front seal. The seal wasn’t available. Dealer wanted $1200 for the compressor replacement and system recharge. I bought the compressor from Amazon, evacuated and recharged the system for $160.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sdj

Bobw

Team Owner
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
12,944
Points
883
Change over from R12 to R134 is a matter of installing R134 adapters to the R12 charge ports. About $10.
R12 systems work well with R134.
Not exactly..There's a lot more to it if you do it right.


Besides Chrysler Corp, and the others changed to r134 in the 1994 model year
 

BobbyFord

Secret Agent Man
Contributor
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
56,091
Points
1,033
Location
Southern California.

Magnethead

Admin & Resident Techie
Staff member
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
10,689
Points
633
Location
Ft Worth Tx
On the dakota, I had the oriface tube plug up and punch the front seal out of the compressor. It's leaked out since then, I never replaced the condensor and think it may have a leak.

Firebird currently also has the front seal pushed out.

The front Seal is the only real place an AC system can "leak". All the O-rings have crush flanges that are bolted, so it would require the O-ring to be cut or the bolt to come loose (or both) to leak refridgerant.

A cracked evaporator in the dash can also happen due to internal or external corrosion.
 

KTMLew01

Team Owner
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Messages
1,768
Points
243
They haven't used R12 since 1994...the new "freon" is called 1234y which is 2017 up. Your vehicle uses 134A and they eat evaporators. You need a leak detector to check the evaporator unless it's leaking bad enough to push oil/dye out the drain under the car. Take it to your favorite shop. Tell them it quit last fall. They will likely evac & charge with dye added. If it goes flat in a couple days it has a significant leak. Replacing the Evap IS expensive cause the dash has to come out.
 
Top Bottom